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86 million pln to 9 Accelerators for Poland Prize.

PARP (the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development) has announceed the results of the “Accelerative Programs – Poland Prize” competition.

33 accelerators took part in the competition, presenting their original concepts of searching for and bringing foreign teams to Poland ready to implement innovative solutions in our country. The value of submitted applications exceeded PLN 326 million, compared to PLN 60 million initially available in the competition. The high level of projects resulted in the selection of as many as 9 operators and the competition budget was increased to over PLN 86.2 million. The competition is financed by the European funds of the Intelligent Development Operational Program.

The task of the program operators will be to find the most interesting foreign young companies with appropriate growth potential and bring them to Poland. The accelerator will take care of the proper start of a young company in Poland, and then enable the establishment of business relationships, resulting in the implementation of a startup product or obtaining investment capital.

Poland Prize acceleration programs will start with the scouting stage, i.e. activities aimed at acquiring startups from outside Poland with appropriate growth potential. Selected accelerators with their offer will reach dozens of the most promising foreign markets around the world and would like to attract startups with the most interesting solutions to the program.

After registering the company in Poland, selected teams can count on a grant of up to PLN 50,000 PLN. These funds should provide a young company with the conditions necessary to start a business in our country: they will finance the first 3 months of operation on the Polish market, provide support for the startup supervisor, team development, establishing relationships, and promotion.

The launch of acceleration programs by selected accelerators is planned for May 2021.

Source and FULL LIST

Romanian DocProcess (business process automation) opens first office in U.S., in Austin

DocProcess, the leader in business process automation in Romania, announces the opening of a commercial office in the United States. Salim Sunderji, the newly appointed CEO of the Group, will head the office opened in Austin, Texas.

“When we joined forces with Morphosis Capital, we developed a strategy to expand to new markets and become a global player. We want to be present in major markets worldwide not only through the services we offer but also through local offices. Opening a commercial office in the US is a natural step in our development considering that the market is renowned for its high interest in innovative technologies, including in the area of business process automation,” stated Liviu Apolozan, President and VP of Strategy, DocProcess.

Salim Sunderji, who will lead the Austin office, will focus on building a local team and attracting new clients on the US market. In addition to developing the US operations, Salim Sunderji is also responsible for setting up global partnerships and expanding DocProcess services in the UK, Middle East and India.

We are considering partnerships with various integrators to accelerate the use of DocProcess’s products by US companies. The major advantage of DocProcess’s Business Ecosystem Automation platform is that it suits all types of companies, regardless of the industry in which they operate. Without changing their work infrastructure or internal processes, companies can improve and streamline their business operations through our customized solutions. I expect DocProcess solutions to be in high demand on the US market, where the global pandemic has changed the way companies work, and the way they collaborate with each other and with public institutions,” said Salim Sunderji, Group CEO and Head of DocProcess’s US office.

The Austin office is the third DocProcess location opened outside Romania. In 2018, the company inaugurated a research and development center in Grenoble, followed by a commercial office in Paris, in April 2020. Out of the 63 DocProcess employees, 17 are based outside of Romania.

With the renewed urgency felt by companies worldwide to further their digital transformation efforts, DocProcess expects the demand for automation solutions to grow rapidly on the US, Middle Eastern, European, and Asian markets. According to a survey conducted by PwC, 48% of CFOs plan to accelerate automation and other new ways of working, while 49% of CEOs will significantly increase their investments in digital transformation.

The key benefits of Business Ecosystem Automation are the acceleration of business processes (including invoice processing), a substantial reduction of payment delays, cash savings, as well as improved decision-making due to real-time access to quality data.

Undergoing digital transformation has been identified as a driver for agility, flexibility and scalability. It allows companies to rapidly and seamlessly integrate a large number of new clients, partners and suppliers, regardless of their technological capabilities. In the context of the WFH model that has become increasingly widespread since 2020, Business Ecosystem Automation offers connectivity anytime and anywhere, as long as there is an internet connection.

The company delivers automation solutions to global companies such as Carrefour, Cora, Mondelez, Strauss, eMAG, as well as Romanian entrepreneurial companies such as E-Boda, Altex and Flanco.

Wargaming opens new office in Vilnius, will hire 300+

Wargaming, the award-winning video game developer and publisher, and one of the leaders on the F2P MMO market, has announced that it will open a new office in Vilnius, Lithuania — making it the 18th global hub for the company.

Vilnius is an ideal location for opening a new base, with a developed infrastructure and an excellent logistics capability, as well as proximity to other company’s offices. Currently, Wargaming has 5,500 employees and is continuously expanding its presence in Europe. Vilnius represents this growth, and within 3-4 years Wargaming plans to increase the number of employees in the new office to several hundred. The new location will strengthen the company’s distributed development model and will also act as a publishing unit with a focus on the current and future projects.

The company will be a great addition to the growing gaming community in Lithuania alongside Unity, Norducrrent, Game Insight and others. The new Wargaming hub will be located in the city centre’s modern business district Šnipiškės and Mantas Katinas will take over the role of General Manager in a new Wargaming office.

“Vilnius already has a strong international reputation in the technology industry and continues to attract global professionals from around the world. With a new Wargaming office and huge plans for the future, I’m certain that this city will create a very vibrant ecosystem for the international gaming industry,” states Mantas Katinas, General Manager, Wargaming Vilnius.

Following the new office opening announcement, MS-1, Wargaming’s premier mobile development studio behind the hit game World of Tanks Blitz, is looking for talent to bolster the company’s new location. For MS-1, Vilnius will become another key spot alongside with their existing offices in Minsk and Moscow.

Source: Invest Lithuania

Building the bank of tomorrow - an Interview with Virgilijus Mirkes, CEO of Revolut Bank

Source: Invest Lithuania.

It has been two years since Revolut received an EMI and Special Purpose Bank (SPB) licence in Lithuania. How has your journey been so far and what effect has it had on Revolut’s expansion?

We opened an office in Lithuania in 2017, after considering the country’s Fintech-friendly business environment, smooth licensing process, and, of course, the readily-deployable local specialists. When submitting the licence applications, we enjoyed a clear, cooperative and transparent process during which we received all possible assistance from the Bank of Lithuania.

After we were granted EMI and SPB licences at the end of 2018, we continued to get advice, assistance and constant feedback from the regulator, and that was truly useful for expanding our operations. Of course, all of this is balanced with clear and strict rules on supervision after operationalisation.

Getting a licence in Lithuania has allowed us to expand our business across the EU. So, at the moment, our teams in Vilnius are responsible for accelerating the ambitious growth of RevolutBank in Europe.

Since 2019, Revolut has been building Revolut Bank. Is it difficult to gain market share as a newly established bank in the current economic climate?

We already have more than 300,000 Revolut customers in Lithuania. Therefore, offering banking products – insured deposit accounts and credit – was an appealing addition to the end-to-end financial products that are already available in the Revolut app. Our banking licence was the next step in building customer trust and encouraging more people in Lithuania to use Revolut as a daily financial partner.

We have been expanding Revolut Bank across CEE regardless of the pandemic, and I’d say we even have a competitive advantage in these uncertain times. In the peak of the pandemic, it is much safer to consult your phone or computer screen, rather than a bank teller. I see significant growth opportunities for our business model both in Lithuania and the world.

What role is the Lithuanian office playing in Revolut’s journey, and what is the roadmap ahead?

Lithuanian talent has been building Revolut from the very beginning, and the company has always had close ties with the country. Our Vilnius office currently employs more than 200 people across banking, operations, product development, customer support and more.

Our Lithuanian entities are now a hub for allRevolut’s European operations after Brexit. 70% of our 13 million customers are situated in Europe. Therefore, becoming a European bank has always been a priority.

We are building a next-generation bank here in Lithuania, and we have every ambition to leverage our SPB licence to expand operations across Europe which is an essential milestone in Revolut’s goal to build the world’s first truly global financial super-app.

Belarusian IT specialists relocate to Poland

A Polish government program to assist Belarusian IT specialists in relocating to Poland has seen 790 Belarusians obtain visas. But the system leaves gaps in an otherwise burgeoning domestic IT ecosystem.

Poland's "Business Harbor" program — a government-backed assistance program for Belarusians aiming to relocate to Poland — has already brought tangible results after it was launched in September 2020. Visas had been issued to 790 Belarusian IT specialists, Monika Grzelak, a representative of the Polish Investment and Trade Agency (PAiH), told an online conference organized by the Polish Council for the IT Sector (SRKI) in November.

"We are providing IT specialists and their families, as well as owners and employees of companies with a special, accelerated, immigration track," a PAiH representative told DW. "Startups from Belarus receive special funding, and companies of all sizes are provided with a range of dedicated services required to ensure their smooth transition to the Polish business ecosystem," it reads. 

Even Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki is involved, writing on Facebook that Poland is becoming "a safe haven for engineers, programmers, startups and IT companies from Belarus, especially active during protests and exposed to repression."

Nikolai Oreshkin, a Belarusian venture capitalist, described the exodus as a paradox.

"Intelligent people in IT with a good income from abroad, who replenish the treasury, were forced to leave the country," he told DW, adding: "The most successful people turned out to be the most proactive and defended the rights of the oppressed, and, for this, they get hit on the head with truncheons and are forced to live in fear or leave the country."

For Belarus, a missed opportunity

It was not meant to be thus when the Belarusian president, Alexander Lukashenko, unveiled his government's groundbreaking startup decree in December 2017, promising state incentives and tax breaks to tech founders in his country.

After ruling for 24 years, Lukashenko seemed to understand the need to diversify his country's economy. Minsk also signed the IT Decree 2.0 — a digital economy initiative designed to simplify business for tech companies — while also attracting international talent by relaxing work permit regulations. Belarus had already made a home for startups in its Hi-Tech Park, which was launched in 2006 and has developed into one of the biggest IT clusters in Central and Eastern Europe. The zone offers a special tax regime for IT companies.

According to a recent report by London-based think tank Emerging Europe, Belarus has emerged as an "IT powerhouse" over the past two decades. Salaries in the sector are 191% higher than average wages in the economy.

"With over 3.7 million individuals employed in the ICT sector, the country has almost twice as many as in Eastern Europe," the report says.

Though India is unarguably the largest player in the sector globally, Emerging Europe has calculated that the number of IT employees per 100,000 inhabitants is "four times higher" in Belarus.

The report's authors also say political repression, economic uncertainty and the prospects offered by an EU member state on its doorstep have seen many IT specialists cross the border to neighboring Poland.

For Poland, an opportunity

"We became interested in Belarus because it is a phenomenon in terms of IT, not only due to business but also political activities," Anna Kniaz, secretary of the Sectoral Competence Council IT, told the online conference.

"Belarus has for many years performed very well in all world rankings when it comes to IT competency resources, and undoubtedly, in some sense, it could be an example of how to educate IT specialists. It is a small country with less than 10 million inhabitants and educates four times more IT graduates than Poland," she added.

There are already about 2,600 Polish companies in which one of the shareholders is a Belarusian company or a person with Belarusian citizenship, according to international property consulting company CBRE.

"On the Polish IT market, we lack the most diverse programming competences [such as] programming skills based on scripting languages, Java environment or Microsoft.CSharp technologies. Generally speaking, we are able to absorb a lot of programmers in Poland," Przemyslaw Mikus, vice president of Software Development Association Poland, told the online conference.

"Belarus is much closer than, for example, India, so companies look more favorably at this direction of acquiring employees. Our region — I mean Poland, Ukraine and Belarus — is really the best in global rankings in terms of programming quality," he added.

Full Story: DW

Source: DW

How SiMa.ai Is Disrupting The Embedded Edge Market

Making it possible to deliver high-performance machine learning at the edge while simultaneously reducing the power consumption associated with this compute.

an Jose-headquartered SiMa.ai is gearing up to disrupt the $40 billion embedded edge market. SiMa.ai is the brainchild of Krishna Rangasayee, who has previously led the $25 billion+ worth semiconductor business at Xilinx. 

The launch of a new design centre in Bengaluru ties in with the two-year-old startup’s plan to grow beyond Silicon Valley and Serbia, and enable large scale deployment of machine learning.

“We are very excited to start our design centre in India. We have already attracted some of the best minds to lead our efforts in both hardware and software. We plan to scale our team for machine learning and all aspects of our overall solution. India is rich in the talent pool and capabilities, and we are looking for the best innovators to come join us in our journey,” said Rangasayee, founder and CEO, SiMa.ai. 

Analytics India Magazine caught up with Rangasaye to understand what makes SiMa tick.

Behind SiMa.ai

The embedded edge is a $1 trillion+ market. However, the technology is decades old and is long overdue for an overhaul to accommodate today’s computing capabilities needs while managing performance, cost, and power. SiMa brings years of experience in machine learning to scale the adoption of ML at the edge to help customers innovate and bring new capabilities to market.

SiMa also enables high performance with low compute power, and has created disruptive ML solutions 30x better than alternatives. It currently works with market leaders in robotics, security, health, and autonomous systems. 

Rangasayee said as machine learning scales in both the cloud and the edge, a lot of attention is paid to performance but not enough on power dissipation. “For machine learning to scale in adoption at the edge, it is extremely critical that attention be paid not only to performance but also to power,” he said.

“We are one of the key innovators in delivering high-performance machine learning to the edge at the lowest power possible. We are one of the few companies conscious about power and offer an efficient, sustainable machine learning solution,” he added. 

SiMa brings together different backgrounds, and skillsets to build a highly complicated program that is primarily software-centric but weaves in deep expertise in ML, silicon, and systems in a purpose-built platform. 

Currently, SiMa has 60+ innovators across California, Eastern Europe and India. 

See Full Story at Link.

Source: AnalyticsIndia Magazine

Microsoft and Oracle announce cloud partnership for Poland

Software producers Microsoft and Oracle will form a partnership to make cloud services more accessible in Poland, the companies have said.

The partnership is an extension of a 2019 agreement between the two firms on close collaboration on an integrated cloud platform for Polish customers.

The cloud technical alliance will allow the use of cross-cloud solutions across Microsoft Azure and Oracle Cloud by Polish enterprises, financial institutions and public entities at a single point of service, according to a press release from Microsoft.

This enhanced collaboration will reduce integration costs for customers and eliminate any disruption caused by a migration to the cloud, the statement added.

Polish customers will be able to combine cloud services such as analytics or artificial intelligence available under Oracle Cloud and Microsoft Azure with the cloud database services of both vendors, in particular - with the Oracle Autonomous Database.

The CEO of Oracle Polska, Tomasz Bochenek, quoted in the press release, said that the Polish market "is becoming increasingly mature and after a rather long phase of careful approach to cloud technologies, it has recently started to clearly catch up."

In May 2020, Microsoft signed an agreement with Poland's National Cloud Operator, thanks to which a regional technology hub will be created in Poland, the company's first data processing region in Central and Eastern Europe. The investment is to be worth USD 1 billion.

According to the CEO of the Polish branch of Microsoft, Mark Loughran, the development of a Polish Digital Valley will help Poland’s economy and strengthen the country’s economic resilience by providing intelligent cloud solutions, big data processing power and compliance with regulations.

Altimetrik Opens New Office in Poland to Support Growth in Europe

Altimetrik, a leading digital business enablement company, today announced the opening of a new office in Wrocław, Poland to meet customer demand and support expansion in Europe. 

“Establishing this kind of presence as a technology hub in Poland was a strategic decision that will service our growing client needs,” says Raj Sundaresan, Altimetrik’s CEO. “Our emphasis on digital business, innovation, product and data engineering are a perfect match for the strong Polish technology sector and its proximity to both established talent pools and centers of business.”

Indeed, Poland’s technology market has proven to grow at a stable rate of 5-10% annually. Poland is also a top nearshoring destination with some 15,000 new software engineers graduating every year. That includes some of the brightest in the world, with Poland ranking No. 3 globally, according to Top Coder.

This should give Altimetrik the human capital needed to grow a significant DevSecOps practice as the market becomes less reactive and more security-focused in earlier stages of app development. There is opportunity for Altimetrik to develop tailored solutions that support end-to-end implementation and client education on threats and mitigations.

“We maintain Altimetrik’s incredibly high bar for recruitment requirements,” says Jarek Wawro, Altimetrik’s Head of Engineering and Poland Technology Center. “We are seeing substantial interest from our U.S.-based clients in expanding operations to Eastern Europe. Our Poland team is able to help them better tackle challenges with EU compliance, security, business, IP, copyright, and all other aspects required to ensure business success. This important work should help lay the foundation to attract new clientele native to the region.”

Altimetrik’s Wrocław office employs 60 and looks to expand the company’s focus into Data Science and Machine Learning, as Poland’s talent market is mature and nimble enough to meet the increasing need for data analytics and inference. There is ample experience in mature technologies and frameworks, as well as in data-specific solutions and niche languages that can provide new opportunities for customers.

Source: BusinessWire

Ukrainian Gaming Week 2021 Attracts Top Tier Exhibitors and Sponsors

Ukraine is about to experience its first major gambling and gaming exhibition in over 10 yearsUkrainian Gaming Week 2021 (UGW 2021). The large-scale event, which signals the revival of the country’s gambling industry, will take place on 24-25 March this year.

UGW 2021 has attracted widespread interest from international industry leaders since its initial announcement last year. The event will showcase both Ukrainian and international gaming companies as well as innovative solutions to aid in the rebuilding, development and scaling of the country’s gambling industry.

The exhibition aims to help with the revival of the country’s gambling industry. The Ukrainian Government placed a blanket ban on gambling in 2009 following a tragic gambling hall fire that took the lives of nine people. The ban was overturned in August 2020 in a landslide 248-95 vote from the Ukrainian Parliament.

UGW 2021 will be hosted by KyivExpoPlaza – a 6,000 sq.m exhibition centre in the immediate outskirts of the Capital City of Kyiv. All organization will be handled by Smile-Expo, an internationally established event organizer that has been operating around the globe for over 15 years.

UGW 2021 Attracts Exhibitors From Across The World

Exhibitors include players from across the industry, such as equipment manufacturers, software and game developers, furniture suppliers, platform providers and many more players necessary for functioning gambling industry. Almost all exhibition stands have been reserved, so expect some surprise participants. Here is a non-exhaustive list of participants:

  • Slovenian technology developer Spintec, which designs and manufactures innovative and high-quality products for the gambling industry. Some of its many cutting-edge products include automated modular electronic games, virtual multi-gaming stations and a variety of automated, virtual and live gaming solutions.
  • International slot machine and casino game developer Merkur Gaming. The company is a subsidiary of Germany’s widely-known Gauselmann Group – a proven and reliable partner for gambling and gaming operators across the globe
  • Technology provider WIN SYSTEMS, whose casino, electronic roulette and slot machine management solutions grant operators the freedom to tailor their venues to the needs of their clients.
  • Gambee, which specializes in the design and manufacturing of electronic table games and slot machines. The company, which is famous for its high quality and easy-to-use-solutions, supplies clients in over 45 countries across the globe.

UGW 2021 Supported By Renowned Sponsors

No event of this calibre can exist without big-name sponsors to help realize its lofty ambitions:

  • Gambling market innovator and software developer IGT will act as an exclusive sponsor for UGW 2021. The company offers a wide range of products. Those include stationary slow machines, electronic table games, software solutions for casinos and lotteries and much more. Currently, IGT is working with governments and regulators in over 100 countries.
  • International developer and software solutions provider APEX will also act as an exclusive sponsor. The company’s high-quality product range is far too long to list in its entirety. Yet, it includes slot machines, electronic multiplayer games, casino equipment and management systems, cash control systems and more.
  • Multichannel sportsbook and casino platform provider Digitain, which will act as a Badge Sponsor. The company’s portfolio includes a modular API for integrating digital products, sports betting and statistics.
  • Leading software provider BetConstruct is going to act as a Lanyard Sponsor for UGW 2021. The company provides software solutions for sports and esports betting, gaming software and management platforms.

Source: GamblingNews

Ukrainian tech startup Scalarr raises $7.5 million to fight fake ads

Ukrainian startup Scalarr has attracted $7.5 million to expand to the Asian market, cofounder Inna Ushakova wrote on Facebook on Feb. 11.

The company, which develops software to protect advertisers from online scammers, has raised money from the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development and three investment funds, TMT Investments, OTB Ventures and Speedinvest.

Scalarr’s software helps mobile application developers to detect fake ads created to siphon off their money. To fight online fraud, the company uses artificial intelligence.

Globally, ad fraud is a growing problem because scammers are coming up with new ways to make money on fake ads. For example, they can hide online ads under others. Users only see the ad at the top, but when they click, they click on two or more. Advertisers have to pay the fraudsters for each additional click that has no human behind it. Fraudsters also can use bots to generate fake clicks.

The startup has worked with big names like international online retailer Joom, Russia’s largest tech firm Yandex and game developer Goodgame Studios. According to Ushakova, the startup saved its clients nearly $22 million in 2020 by detecting fraudulent ads before the advertiser paid for the clicks.

Ushakova said Scalarr’s rivals use a less effective approach — they try to detect fraud by looking for a list of suspicious activities. Although such lists are constantly updating, it’s hard to keep up with the fraudsters, according to Ushakova. She said only machine learning could keep track of always changing tricks and help accurately detect fake ads.

According to Ushakova, fraud is evolving all the time. “It’s like a Tom and Jerry game. They are ahead of you and we are trying to catch them,” she said.

Investors seem to be happy to work with the Ukrainian startup. “Inna (Ushakova) is a great founder. I admire how passionate she is about the company and its existing and upcoming products,” Alexander Pak, investment director at TMT Investments, told the Kyiv Post. Pak said that Scalarr’s tech is important because it saves money for advertisers and app developers.

Ushakova founded Scalarr with her partner Yuriy Yashunin in 2016. Before that, they directed mobile marketing agency Zenna where they first realized how dangerous fraudulent ads could be. Zenna’s team couldn’t find a satisfactory service to fight ad fraud so they decided to build their own tech. Now the company employs 35 people and has offices in Kyiv, Kharkiv, San-Francisco and Wilmington.

Source: KyivPost

Robot software and augmented reality developer attracts $2 million

Augmented Pixels, a tech startup with Ukrainian roots, has received $2 million in investment, bringing its total funding to $7 million, according to the company’s founder and CEO Vitaliy Goncharuk.

The startup, which develops virtual and augmented reality software, received money from both new and existing investors, whom the company hasn’t disclosed.

In the past, the startup raised the money from Investment Capital Ukraine, Aventures Capital, 408 Ventures, Steltec Capital, The Hive, and T. Ravi among other investors.

The company plans to expand its team in the United States, where it’s based, and to further develop its navigation software. The company works on enabling robots to navigate in space on their own without GPS, and on 3D mapping, a technology used to turn real objects into their three-dimensional virtual representations — these can be buildings, small indoor objects, theatrical stages and others.

The technologies developed by the company promise to “significantly reduce the cost of operations in logistics, facility management and other markets,” Goncharuk said in the company’s statement on Feb. 1.

Goncharuk founded the company in 2010 in Ukraine’s southern city Odesa. Since then, the startup has been working with electronics giants LG, Intel and Qualcomm, as well as other companies.

The company’s headquarters moved to Palo Alto, California, in 2014, but two of its development offices remain in Ukraine, where it employs up to 80 people.

In 2016, Augmented Pixels was acknowledged as one of the largest contributors to computer vision — a field of science focused on how computers can gain high-level understanding from digital images or video — along with giants like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Sony.

Source: KyivPost

Danish Wirtek signs non-binding acquisition agreement as a major milestone

Wirtek has entered into a comprehensive non-binding agreement (Letter of Intent) to acquire a profitable, growth-oriented software company providing outsourcing services that complement and further build-out Wirtek's service offerings.

The expected acquisition is closely aligned with Wirtek's newly published Accelerate25 strategy and will further expand Wirtek's access to international clients, international sales channels, and will add approximately 40 new colleagues to Wirtek.

The acquisition, when and if completed, will have a substantial positive effect on both revenue and EBITDA for Wirtek during the financial year 2021 and in the entire Accelerate25 strategy period.

The final closing of the acquisition is planned for beginning of April 2021 and is conditional upon a satisfactory due-diligence result.

Cash and share-based payment

Payment for the acquisition will be given partly in cash and partly in Wirtek shares. A significant part of the share-based payment will be directly linked to the financial results of the acquired software company over the next years.

Wirtek has as an integral part of the acquisition entered into conditional agreements to purchase existing Wirtek shares to cover up to 100% of the shares needed for the share-based payment. These conditional agreements have been entered into with the Board of Directors, who are willing to support the completion of the transaction.

The pricing of the shares used in all the agreements has been calculated based on the current pricing of Wirtek shares on the Nasdaq First North Growth Market.

Further details about the acquisition will be published after the final closing. Wirtek is a Danish IT outsourcing company.

Source: StreetInsider

Romanian IT company Zitec sees 50% higher revenues in 2020

Zitec, one of the biggest Romanian companies in the IT & digital marketing market, specialized in developing digital transformation solutions and services, increased its revenues by 50% year-on-year in 2020, to EUR 10.5 million.

Throughout 2020, Zitec continued to develop projects for clients in Europe and the US, helping them streamline their business and reduce the impact of the pandemic on their businesses.

The company also reported better results in the segments of customized software solutions and cloud solutions, developed by both Microsoft and Google, registering a growth of 300% in 2020 and reaching the value of EUR 2 million.

The positive results in 2020 were also possible due to the maturity of Zitec's partnerships with Google, Microsoft, and Adobe (Magento Commerce).

Last year, the company also focused on increasing its team through an exclusively online recruitment process. Thus, the company ended the year with 187 employees, 22% more than in December 2019.

Zitec plans to continue its hiring process this year while growing segments such as software development, cloud and e-commerce solutions, mobile applications and blockchain solutions, web design, and digital marketing.

Source: Romania Insider

Romanian software development firm Tremend seeks 150 remote experts

Romanian consulting and software development company Tremend will recruit 150 remote software engineers this year.

The company seeks to hire specialists in technologies such as Java, Python, PHP, Angular, React, C ++, Android, iOS and QA, as well as Project Managers and Business Analysts.

The company's turnover went up by 40% to EUR 21 million in 2020. This year, the company aims for a turnover of EUR 30 mln. The main growth engines are stepping up operations in the US, UK and Benelux, and increasing the number of customers due to partnerships with Mastercard, Salesforce, and Microsoft.

Tremend has two offices in Romania, in Bucharest and Brasov, and international offices in Atlanta (United States), Brussels (Belgium), London (UK), and Luxembourg.

After consolidating its team in the Brasov office in the past years, which currently has 40 specialists, Tremend now plans to expand its team in the Benelux region with up to 25 new colleagues.

Tremend is one of the fastest-growing Romanian companies, according to Deloitte and Financial Times rankings. The company's founders and managing partners are local entrepreneurs Ioan Cocan and Marius Hanganu.

Source: Romania Insider

Business Romanian recruitment automation software company accelerates expansion in North America

SmartDreamers, a Romanian company that develops recruitment automation software, has appointed Tom Strauss as Vice President of Sales for the Americas, effective February 15.

With this appointment, SmartDreamers aims to accelerate its expansion in the North American market.

Tom Strauss previously worked for iCIMS, and its subsidiary, Jibe, where he held multiple senior executive roles over the past decade, most recently as a Sr. Account Manager Enterprise Sales.

"Tom's extensive experience will be an incredible addition to the team," says Adrian Cernat, CEO & Founder of SmartDreamers. "As VP of Sales, Tom will further accelerate our operations across North America. We are privileged to already work with leading global companies, and we look forward to helping others in digitally transforming their TA ecosystems."

 

SmartDreamers provides recruitment marketing automation software used by enterprise and fast-growing companies to centralize, automate, and accelerate talent marketing processes. Companies such as L'Oreal, Siemens, UiPath, Infosys, and Genpact, currently use the SmartDreamers platform.

Source: Romania Insider

Romanian IT group Bittnet buys 25% of software developer Softbinator Technologies

Announced in Q4, Bittnet (BNET), a Romanian group of companies with activities in the IT and digital education sectors, will take over a 25% stake in local software development company Softbinator Technologies.

The value of the transaction amounts to about USD 2 million, to be paid through a mix of cash and equity.

Softbinator Technologies, a product development company in fields such as fintech, edtech, healthtech, e-commerce, IoT, RPA, artificial intelligence/robotics, and blockchain, has two development centers in Bucharest and Constanta, which bring together over 80 software engineers.

The company estimates that it will reach a turnover of RON 12 mln (EUR 2.47 mln) in 2020, double compared to last year. It also expects a net profit of RON 3.2 mln (EUR 660,000), up by 44% compared to 2019.

For Bittnet, the investment in Softbinator represents the starting of a new area in IT services: software development. 

Bittnet listed its shares on the Bucharest Stock Exchange in April 2015. Since then, it has carried out several acquisitions, using funds drawn from the capital market. The group currently has a market capitalization of RON 139 mln (EUR 28.6 mln).

IBA Group opens Development Center in Wroclaw, Poland

On February 1st, IBA Group announced the opening of its development center in Poland. Legally registered on January 22, IBA Poland is located in Wroclaw, one of the three major IT hubs of Poland. Poland became the sixth country where IBA Group set up a development center and the 13th country where IBA Group established its presence.

The expansion is driven by an increasing demand for IT services in Central Europe and the IBA Group’s strategy to be close to its clients. IBA Group chose Poland as a location for the company’s development center because of the intellectual potential and favorable geographic position. The country borders on the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Germany, Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine, where IBA Group has offices. 

Wroclaw, the capital of Lower Silesia, is the largest academic center in Poland. The total number of students in Wroclaw is 112,000, including more than 15,000 in IT and IT-related fields. Almost 36,000 people currently work in the Wrocław IT industry. The city is considered to be one of the most developed and innovative IT ecosystems in the country, and the Polish Silicon Valley. Wroclaw is 350 km away from Prague and 150 km from Dresden.

IBA Group intends to bring the experience and technology know-how of all its centers of excellence to Poland. IBA Poland will focus on enterprise applications, including mobility solutions, business analytics, Big Data, Machine Learning, and SAP services.

Sergei Levteev, IBA Group Chairman, said: “We opened a new development center in the time of global economic downturn. However, I believe that the decision will be beneficial for both our customers and us. The pandemic accelerated digital transformation and increased demand for software development services. Poland is not a new destination for IBA Group, as our developers have been implementing projects for a global IT leader in cooperation with Polish IT developers and traveling to Poland, working as a part of an international team.” 

At the initial stage, IBA Poland employees will be working from home. The company is planning to hold an office warming party in a new office as soon as the pandemic abates.


 

SumUp acquires Lithuanian mobile banking platform Paysolut

Global payments player SumUp has acquired the Lithuanian-born core banking system provider Paysolut. Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition is the “natural extension” of a two-year partnership between the two companies. In 2019 SumUp was granted an electronic money institution license by the decision of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania and says it has since “invested heavily” into growing its presence there, as well as its office in Vilnius. 

At the same time, the UK company has pursued a strategy of building up its core banking offering and penetrating markets driven by small retailers. Over the past two years, SumUp has acquired the accounting software Debitoor, e-commerce tool Shoplo and POS software Goodtill.

All that said, it will be business as usual for the Baltic startup, which was founded in Vilnius and is now headquartered in London. No changes to Paysolut’s daily operations or strategy are foreseen, and management will maintain operational independence. But with SumUp’s support, the company will expand its team and “offer a new level of quality products” with a more global reach.

“We are happy that solutions created in Lithuania will become more important in the world,” said Vytenis Pavalkis, Paysolut’s co-founder and CEO.

Source: TechEU

Romania-born UiPath raises €623M at €29 billion valuation; prepares for IPO

Robots are here to stay. The more you learn about their potential, the faster it’ll help your business to grow. And this is exactly what this Romania-born company UiPath has been doing. It develops robotic process automation and artificial intelligence software. In a recent development, the company has announced that it has raised $750M (approx €623.2M) in its Series F round of funding at a valuation of $35B (approx €29B).

Investors in this round

The round was co-led by existing investors Alkeon Capital and Coatue. While existing investors also participated in this round including Altimeter Capital, Dragoneer, IVP, Sequoia, Tiger Global, and funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.

Abhi Arun, Managing Partner at Alkeon Capital, says, “Automation has become a strategic imperative that is fundamentally changing the way organisations operate. We are excited to co-lead this round of funding, as well as continue to team up with the UiPath team during an important phase for the company.”

What does UiPath aim to achieve?

UiPath was founded in 2005 as a 10-people team based in Bucharest, led by Daniel Dines. Initially, it outsourced automation libraries and software to some of the world’s biggest companies.

Marius Tîrcă joined the company in 2004 as a software engineer, according to his Linkedin profile. He is currently the co-founder & CTO of UiPath. 

UiPath is on a mission to unlock human creativity and ingenuity by enabling the fully automated enterprise and empowering workers through automation.

“Bill Gates used to talk at Microsoft about a computer in every home. I want a robot for every person,” says Daniel Dines.

The company designs and develops robotic process automation software. It offers foolproof development tools, automation of intricate processes, enhanced control, cloud and on-premise deployment, robust governance, and multiple robots on a single virtual machine. 

The company moved its headquarters to New York in 2017 so that it could be closer to its international customer base. 

Currently based in New York, the company claims it Automation Platform is designed to transform the way humans work, providing customers with a vast set of capabilities to discover automation opportunities and build, manage, run, engage, measure, and govern automation across departments within an organisation.

Source: SiliconCanals.com

Life is Hard buys Romanian e-commerce firm Innobyte Solutions; stock price soars

Romanian software developer Life is Hard [listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange: LIH] will propose to its shareholders to approve the takeover of local e-commerce solutions developer Innobyte Solutions.

Shareholders will be asked to approve the deal at an extraordinary general meeting scheduled for February 24, Life is Hard said in a statement filed with the Bucharest Stock Exchange, BVB.

The value of the planned transaction was not disclosed.

Following the deal, Life is Hard aims to complement its portfolio with web development services tailored for small and medium-sized companies, it added. 

The two companies are now in the due-diligence period, during which they will define the terms of the transaction.

Founded in 2009 in Bucharest, Innobyte Solutions posted a turnover of 1.8 million euro ($2.18 million) in 2020. The company is owned by Romanian entrepreneurs Catalin Somfalean and Catalin Bordei.

Life is Hard was established in 2004 in the northwestern city of Cluj and is listed on the alternative trading system of Bucharest Stock Exchange, AeRO. Romanian entrepreneur Ioan-Catalin Chis is its majority shareholder with 62.8%, while general manager Erik Barna holds 13.05%. The remainder is owned by various legal entities and individuals.

Source: SEENews

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