Romanian Startup Ecosystem Radar (20 – 26 March 2023)

🚀 Interesting fact for this week

The funding gap – although private funding options grew nicely in the past years in Romania (through new angel investors and venture funds) we believe there is a gap in the very early stage of investing. We see the rounds getting bigger and investors being more selective and (logically) choosing to invest in startups which have the product launched and some basic traction. 

Thus there aren’t many options of private sources of funding for these (let’s call them pre-pre-seed rounds of €30K – €70K). There are some grants offered in some specific conditions but challenging to accept for startups; we don’t have enough acceleration funding and very few angel investors that can fill in the gap.

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

1. Romanian startup Hyperhuman, an AI-powered video platform made for the health & fitness industry, secured a €200K technology grant from EEA and Norway Grants. With this important support, the startup aims to leverage the latest in AI technology to automate the video production and delivery process (link).

2. The Bucharest-based company easySales Global, which provides a multichannel SaaS solution for eCommerce merchants, has announced the raising of €1.1M for the expansion of its business into the US. The round was led by Fortech Investments (link).

3. GoJoe, a London-based social fitness app, announced a seed investment of £1.2M, led by Romanian Superbet Ventures. The startup has also two Romanians among the founders: Costantin Predescu and Mihai Bucșe (link).

😅 Meme break

🗞️ News related to programs and events

4. 40 Romanian companies from four regions of the country will enter ScaleOut 4×10, a scaling program organized by the Romanian Business Leaders Foundation and ING Bank Romania. The program is intended for entrepreneurs with a turnover of over €1M, with growth ambitions at national and regional level (link).

5. The fifth edition’s cohort of the Rubik Garage accelerator has been announced by Rubik Hub. The 24 selected startups have already started the activities and workshops within the Piatra-Neamț accelerator (link).

6. DotNetDays, the largest conference for .NET, cloud, and software architecture, is returning between April 20-22 to Iasi. Based on the success of previous editions, Dotnetdays aims to be this year the meeting place for .NET, Cloud and software architecture enthusiasts (link).

7. Chris Do, founder of The Futur and Emmy award winner for design, is coming to Bucharest on April 24th at Nod Makerspace to host The Business Clinic, an exclusive workshop designed for creative entrepreneurs and small business owners who want to scale up following (link).

8. The Innovation Labs pre-accelerator held selection events for startups in Bucharest and Iași last weekend. 17 teams went further after the hackathon organized in Iași (link).

9. On May 4th, a new edition of Codecamp, the longest-running IT conference in Romania, will take place in Bucharest, attended by the tech speakers of the moment, who will address topics of interest to the IT industry (link).

10. Make IT in Oradea is looking for startup ideas in the field of XR (extended reality) to join the Bright Labs Incubator program. They are organizing on March 28th an online event dedicated to virtual reality and augmented reality enthusiasts, with Timmy Ghiurau, Innovation Leader at Volvo Cars, as a special guest (link).

11. Techcelerator has partnered up with ROTSA and Startup Reaktor to support EIT Digital Venture, a new opportunity for early-stage tech startups from the Baltics, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe. Applications are open until April 16 (link).

🚀 Various news related to startups

12. Footprints AI, a Romanian retail media platform provider that specializes in offering personalized advertising content, has allocated more than €1M towards its development for the year 2023, with a focus on implementing intelligent automation through AI technology. This automation is intended to be implemented on a large scale, while still being relevant to each individual store, shopping center, or mall (link).

13. Dora, the recruitment bot, developed by a team of experts, has reached 1M interviews in an attempt to simplify and streamline the recruitment process for companies and candidates (link).

📢 Other news in the ecosystem

14. eMAG announces the launch of the Fulfillment by eMAG cross-border program, through which it will deliver the orders of eMAG Marketplace sellers to the markets of Hungary and Bulgaria, without incurring additional costs, starting from May this year (link).


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


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