2. July 2013–
Following on from Croatia's entry into the EU this week, Tobias Stone takes a look at the most promising startups emerging from the country right now...
The startup scene in Croatia is already dynamic and well developed, but hopefully the entry into the EU will lower barriers for Croatian startups to expand further into Europe and bring some fresh investment to the area. Here are the 10 startups that you should be keeping an eye on from Croatia...
The big Croatian startup success has been Farmeron, from Croatia’s second city, Osijek. The company provides cloud-based management systems for farmers, integrating data outputs from their various hardware and machinery into manageable, cloud-based information they can use to manage their farms.
Two years after starting out with €12,000 in angel funding in 2010, the company raised just over €1m seed investment from Silicon Valley. Farmeron has been used in Southeast Europe since 2011, but the seed round brought the company into the US. They now have 450 clients in 14 countries, and a partnership with German-based Neelsen Agrar GmbH, one of the world’s leading animal husbandry and farm logistics companies
Cinexio offers a mobile and web app to find and book cinema tickets. It received €30,000 investment from the Launchub accelerator in Bulgaria, and then a further €100.000, also from Launchub. While already present in Croatia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Serbia, the next move is into Austria and Germany, and the initial founder team of three school friends has grown to a team of eight people.
As well as an integrated booking system and personalised watch-lists, an easy way to organise group film visits is also in the pipeline, so you can coordinate going to the cinema with your friends. They're thinking big, and gunning to become the main European contender for cinema bookings.
Habbits is a mobile platform that tracks children’s activities to engage both parents and children. The application combines elements of Tamagotchi, Talking Tom and Task Manager, making it fun and useful, while also educational.
Based in Zagreb, Habbits was produced by the co-owner of local tech firm, IT4U, which has developed and published 40+ mobile apps in the past three years. It has secured accelerator investment from Launchub and have already had 55,000 downloads in three months, expanded to 8,000 daily active users and more than 500,000 finished tasks.
ZZZZAPP changes any Wifi hotspot on into a highly interactive media experience for ZZZZAPP providers and advertisers to engage on-site customers with an array of applications and location-specific information. The team is international, but based in Croatia. Tino Tokic, CEO and founder, is from Croatia. Andrey Shtylemnko, CTO, is from Russia, and Robert Aronson, CMO, from the US.
ZZZZAPP received an equity investment from the Eleven Venture Accelerator Fund in Bulgaria in April. Currently, it has over 60 Wifi sites in Croatia. The focus of the firm is large-venue, travel-related business sectors, specifically targeting the captive end of the market where Wifi is essential and not yet monetised.
Squee is a curated online store and micro-blogging platform for designer items. Users can create collections, and define themselves and their styles, and share them on a social platform. The result is a very elegant, interactive, social retail platform.
Eyeknow has developed a technology that reads car number plates to identify the nationality of the car. This information is then used to present nearby advertising and information on dedicated boards in the correct language for the driver.
Hypersphere has produced what looks like a mashup of a zeppelin, remote-control helicopter and drone surveillance device that looks like a very elegant UFO. The outcome is an aerial remote surveillance unit that has a flying time of 24-100 hours, but which is 10-15 times cheaper other unmanned aerial flight surveillance systems.
Founded in 2010, GIS Cloud offers a web-based geographic information system (GIS) that can visualise any data as maps. Their services are cloud-based with strong mobile apps, and can be used in a wide variety of sectors, from city planning through real estate to high-level science.
Loccie uses natural language entry to help you plan and map routes and exploration. By entering sentences of where you want to go and what you like, or want to see, the system then produces a customised route, with spots to visit. The journeys appear in the Loccie App or Loccie "Walkie" – a minimalist GPS device. They navigate without using maps, but instead focussed around places of interest.
Trillenium is an online administration software platform for retailers with integrated and easy-to-use back office, store and shelf-design tools.
Trillenium also supports inventory management features to enable you to build a copy of your real, physical store online. Trillenium's unique, rapid and comprehensive 360˚ product-scanning camera suite enables a 200,000 stock inventory to be scanned and uploaded by non-expert users in very rapid timescales.
Image credit: flickr user Chadmagiera