Romanian Startup Ecosystem Radar (13 – 19 February 2023)

🚀 Interesting fact for this week

Valuation is always a debate in the startup founders – angel investors discussions and negotiations. This has been a more debated topic in the past year in the economical slow down context as there is less appetite for risk. 

But from what I saw the valuations have not lowered, but instead the fundraising process at pre-seed became longer because it is harder to find lead investors or to fill in the whole expected round. 

Oftentimes investors also want to gain more trust by seeing traction growth month-on-month. Thus I advise founders to build trust earlier, by connecting with investors and keeping them up to date (even if not fundraising yet). 

Also to get in touch with 4-5 investors and other startup founders that raised locally that could provide feedback about the valuation you are planning for. This way you’ll be getting a sense of what are the fundraising conditions in the market.

💸 Venture capital, M&A and funding-related news

1. The Romanian investor community Growceanu is looking for new members to join its ranks and invest in startups. The community, which focuses on impact-driven companies, connects entrepreneurs with investors to provide funding and expertise (link).

2. TechAngels, a Romanian angel investing network, invested ~€5,7M in 19 startups in 2022, the sum represents a 36% decrease compared to 2021. The network, which has over 120 members, provides funding and support to early-stage companies in various industries, including technology, healthcare, and consumer goods (link). 

3. Romanian startup Telios Care, focused on digital solutions and telemedicine services, has opened a new funding round worth €1.2M, half of which has already been secured from existing investors, with Fortech Investments being the lead investor. The funds will be used for the accelerated development of the business, both through new products and services and international expansion (link).

😅 Meme break

🗞️ News related to programs and events

4. Zabka Future Lab, a retail technology accelerator based in Poland, has launched a new program for Romanian startups in the retail and commerce space. The program is designed to support early-stage companies with innovative solutions for the retail industry and provide them with access to Zabka’s expertise, resources, and network (link). 

5. Orange Fab Romania, the startup accelerator of telecommunications company Orange Romania, has announced the addition of four new startups to its program. The selected startups will receive mentorship, resources, and access to Orange’s network of experts and customers, as well as the opportunity to pilot their solutions with Orange Romania. The new additions include startups in the fields of fintech, e-commerce, and digital marketing (link). 

6. F&B Business Accelerator has announced the launch of a new edition of its accelerator program for startups in the hospitality and retail industry. The program aims to support early-stage startups with innovative ideas and technologies that can enhance the food and beverage industry. This year’s program includes a specialized fund for HORECA and retail, which will provide startups with additional funding and access to industry experts (link).

7. Startup Reaktor, the first incubation platform in Romania that automatically leads validated startups to private funding, partners with Rōnin to get incubated startups financed. The program will focus on startups in the fintech, cybersecurity, and artificial intelligence sectors (link).

8. Registrations for the 2023 edition of the CASSINI Hackathon have begun. The fifth edition of the CASSINI Hackathon is taking place simultaneously in 10 countries in the European Union, and teams can sign up to solve the challenges posed by the 3 defense themes on EU territory (link).

9. The second edition of FIX Cluj, an incubator program aimed at young people between the ages of 16 and 26 who are from Cluj-Napoca, has been launched. The program provides grants of up to €50K, as well as personalized mentorship and support to help young people develop and test innovative ideas (link).

10. The sixth edition of the Future Healthcare conference will be organized on March 9 by and focuses on the role of innovation in transforming the healthcare system. The event brings together experts and professionals from various fields, including healthcare, technology, and entrepreneurship, to discuss the latest trends and innovations in healthcare (link).

11. The EIT Urban Mobility Startup Support Programme is now accepting applications until March 17. This programme offers mentorship and practical experience in areas such as product management, go-to-market strategy, sales, financial forecasting, pitching, and investment strategy (link).

🚀 Various news related to startups

12. Druid, a Romanian start-up that develops conversational AI technology, announced a 250% growth rate for 2022 and an Annual Recurring Revenue of €5.6M. With offices in Romania, the UK, and the US, Druid plans to continue expanding globally and developing its product offerings (link).

13. Smart Fintech, a Romanian financial technology startup, has announced its integration with EasyBill, a platform for digital invoice payments. The integration will allow Smart Fintech’s customers to make digital payments for their invoices through the EasyBill platform. This partnership will enable Smart Fintech to expand its digital payment offerings and improve the customer experience (link).

14. Linnify, in partnership with the First Aid Academy, launched the HelpMe app, which aims to help people locate the nearest defibrillator in case of a cardiac emergency. The app is designed to be user-friendly and provides a map with the locations of all defibrillators in a given area, as well as directions to the nearest one (link).

📢 Other news in the ecosystem

15. NEPI Rockcastle, a leading real estate investment company in Europe, has announced that it will be using Citigroup‘s global CitiConnect API on its FinqTreasury, a next generation treasury management automation platform, developed by Finqware. This integration will enable NEPI Rockcastle to optimize its treasury operations by providing automated access to critical cash management services (link). 


from Andrea, Denisa, Adrian, Ela and Mircea (Activize team)


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