Top 10 Innovative Startups In Bulgaria
Bulgaria Innovation Hub (BIH) launched its Fall Accelerator Program, bringing together the fourth cohort of Bulgarian startups with high potential for US market expansion. In addition to Ampeco, Escreo, Boleron, Evrotrust, Shkolo, Primeholding, and SoftUni, seven other companies participated in the 3-week equity-free program.
On September 27th, Bulgarian founders will participate in the BIH’s online Fall Accelerator Program, which connects them with Silicon Valley experts, mentors, advisors, and investors. Startups will take part in 27-28 virtual workshops focused on building successful marketing and sales teams, business planning, forecasting, and pitching. The Bulgarian founders will be guided on their market expansion journey by Todd Rulon-Miller, former vice president at Netscape, Jerry Chen, Partner at Greylock, a VC firm with the longest history, Bogomil Balkansky, partner at Sequoia Capital, Momchil Kyurkchiev, founder of Leanplum, and Ivan Osmak, founder and CEO of GTM Hub.
AWS, Segment, Stripe, and others provide free technology products and services as part of the program. A pitch meeting will take place on the 15th of October between 7 Bulgarian startups and investors from the US ecosystem, to conclude the Fall Program. In early April 2022, the next program will begin.
Apache Hadoop Distributed File System runs MammothDB, an OLAP database. Analyzing data and storing it are its main uses. Unfortunately, a DBMS company that provides analytical and transactional queries killed MammothDB after MariaDB acquired its company.
Steve Keil, Alex Aldev, and Angel Mitev founded MammothDB in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 2012. To make enterprise-level data warehouses and analytics tools more affordable and available, MammothDB was founded with the mission of “democratizing” them. Unfortunately, MariaDB acquired MammothDB on March 27, 2018, bringing an end to the company.
The workers on each of MammothDB’s nodes run on a single thread, so no two tasks ever share a line. This is why it does not have a concurrency control protocol. OLAP workloads with low concurrency do not need concurrency control protocols, whereas OLTP workloads with high concurrency do. As a result, MammothDB supports 5000 simultaneous clients as opposed to MySQL‘s limit of 10.
The long, gloomy Dutch winter days were difficult for Aleksandar Dimitrov and Branislav Nikolic during their studies in the Netherlands. The Bulgarians and Serbs came from sunnier countries and found it difficult to move up and stay active in Northern Europe’s darker days. So they looked into technology products available on the market during their MSc Entrepreneurship studies that could gain their energy levels.
Light-based energy solutions were inappropriate and did not use smart technology or personalization. As a result, Dimitrov, Nikolic, and Nikola Vucinic came up with their product, AYO, which compares the natural blue light emitted by the sun. With more than $370k raised in crowdfunding, AYO moved into Indiegogo’s Marketplace and signed a contract with KLM Airlines so they could use them on many international flights for business and economy passengers.
With Ayo, you have control over your internal clock, making it one of the few products on the market. Blue light is emitted through the frames of these glasses, giving a natural alternative to energy drinks, sleeping pills, and caffeine. With the app that comes with eyewear, you can fully customize and control the light. A clinically-backed AYO light was designed by Dimitrov, Nikolic, and Vucinic using chronobiology and circadian rhythm research. AYO can thus regulate the release of melatonin in your brain, increasing energy levels and setting a natural sleep cycle.
To develop AYO glasses, Dimitrov looked to leading institutions, like Harvard, Oxford, and NASA, for the best developments and studies in Chronobiology in the past 20 years. Although the glasses came to market when controlling our internal clock was becoming popular” to honor their findings about circadian rhythms, three American researchers were honored with the Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology in 2017. Through personalized, smart technology, AYO allows you to control your circadian rhythm.
It claims to improve energy levels, relieves stress, improves sleep, and beat jet lag by wearing it even for 20 minutes a day. Frequent fliers use the invention to skip power naps after long flights and win the Air France / KLM Innovation Challenge. Travel Blue and the Global Shopping Forum known as AYO as the best onboard product.
It is evident from the beginning that Dimitrov, Nikolic, and Vucinic would launch their idea through crowdfunding. At the time, Dimitrov said, AYO wanted to showcase its innovative concept of crowdfunding to the world while still working on one of its earliest prototypes.
AYO was able to reach its initial crowdfunding plan on Indiegogo nearly three years later. In less than 48 hours after launching on Indiegogo, AYO reached its $50,000 purpose thanks to backers. Funding wasn’t their only impact. “AYO would not be the wearable product it is today without our supportive backers, who have provided us with ideas and shared feedback along the way,” explained Dimitrov. Indiegogo and the fantastic community of backers played a big part in creating AYO.
They selected the IndieGoGo InDemand program to keep AYO’s momentum going. Through InDemand, AYO could reach out to new audiences and get more orders without any restrictions or deadlines. The AYO team moved to Indiegogo’s Marketplace after a successful run on InDemand. It gives products from crowdfunding campaigns that have succeeded – all with shipping. You can find them on Indiegogo’s Marketplace.
According to Dimitrov, Indiegogo’s Marketplace gives campaigners the ability to sell their products to customers after they’ve been delivered to backers. Announcing AYO on Indiegogo was one of the most worthwhile experiences the team has undertaken, from crowdfunding to demand and Marketplace. As a result of Indiegogo, we were able to reach 2,000 people in more than 80 countries globally and sell our product, ” added Dimitrov. In our Marketplace, you can find other innovative products like AYO.
End users sometimes have difficulty deciding between all the mobile wallets available and what is best for their purposes due to the array of options available. Smaller local companies in the space are finding it harder to gain market share against Revolut and Monzo because they are building big VC rounds and investing in their marketing and customer bases around the globe. That is not for Phyre, which launched in 2017 and has already registered 100K+ end-customers for its mobile wallet, and provides the wallets to two out of three Bulgarian telecoms.
“We want to build a whole ecosystem of interoperable wallets which will provide convenience to customers, and an added value to merchants allowing them to leverage transaction data while maintaining user privacy,” says Konstantin Djelebov, co-founder and CEO of the company. This vision is his company’s goal, which recently raised €1.55M. A new local VC fund, New Vision 3, and several angel investors contributed equally to the round, and Bulgarian American Credit Bank.
Phyre supports physical and virtual cards, and new features like utility bill payments are on their way, like support for local IBANs. This fintech company launched Phyre in 2017 with the idea of targeting end customers through its license for e-money. Paynetics, from which Phyre uses its e-money license, owns the Phyre license. “Since we are a Bulgarian company, we primarily focus on functionality for the local market,” explains Djelebov, despite having a dozen thousand users in Romania and the UK.
It is estimated that the team of 21 people reached 115K users with the b2c model and almost no marketing investments. There are two Phyre plans: a free plan, in which users pay 1.1 billion Bulgarian leva for bank transfers and 0.6% for top-ups, and a plus plan, with 1.1 billion leva for bank transfers and free top-ups for amounts under 120. Using ATMs costs €1 + 0.6% for both plans. Also, currency exchange prices vary based on plans. If you use any of the services given by the app, you are considered a paying user. Plus plan users are not told by the startup.
“I expect growth to return by the beginning of May,” says the CEO, even though transaction numbers dropped during the crisis.
Despite the popularity of the b2c model, it requires a large marketing investment, and the return may not come for years to come. Moreover, it is pretty expensive to reach users at scale. Consequently, we have teamed up with associations with established customer bases. In his comments, Konstantin Djelebov explained how mobile wallets launched by Vivacom and A1 use the same Phyre platform. It is now the company’s growth engine, according to him.
With Phyre, users can quickly and affordably make all types of payments they need, utility bills, or other services payments, within their ecosystem of different wallets. The near future will include features like loyalty cards and cashback.
Corporate clients from different sectors are being contacted by the company. It’s already been asked from other markets, and we are planning to expand abroad purely through partnerships and business-to-business models so that we can launch a mobile wallet service for an business customer in three months. The CEO says that when it comes to b2c, the main focus will be on what local customers most need. As part of the financing, the network will be developed further and become the go-to place for mobile and digital payments.
The investors seem to be convinced by this thesis. In Bulgaria, Phyre is the leading digital wallet with the most sophisticated technology. Konstantin Petrov, managing partner at New Vision 3, the lead investor, said in a statement that the company matches perfectly with the VC model and is destined for success.
It has announced a partnership with Balkan Services, one of Bulgaria’s leaders in providing IT business solutions. Using complex mathematical modelling, Balkan Services’ clients can make better decisions relating to managing materials and cash flows as a result of forecasting and optimization. In addition, clients in need of tailor-made forecasting analytics solutions will be able to receive over-the-top analysis from A4Everyone.
“We are delighted to work with A4Everone,” said Vladimir Rashev, Managing partner at Balkan Services. With this partnership, we are expanding our analytics portfolio to serve a broader range of business sizes. In addition to allowing more companies to access mathematical analytics solutions suited to their particular business needs, such a partnership will enable them to benefit from attractive pricing levels.
Hristo Hadjichonev, the CEO of A4Everyone, said: “We are very pleased that we can form partnerships with such leading companies in our industry as Balkan Services.”
Analytics, CRM, and email marketing platform, Metrilo was created in 2014 by an all-star team of three people. It aims to help e-commerce brands grow sustainably by utilizing historical data. As a result, almost a billion orders were processed by Metrilo by 2019!
With Metrilo, profits are enabled by retaining customers (more on that in a moment). In addition, focusing on understanding and investing in long-term customer relationships helps users spend less on paid traffic.
Using Metrilo’s features, you can grow your business in four steps. Analyzing and monitoring are the first steps. Next, they can monitor your store’s performance with Metrilo’s advanced analytics.
The next step is to explore and understand those insights with Metrilo. Next, we give insights into your customers’ behaviors that can help you better understand their profiles and shopping journeys using Metrilo’s customer database.
You can then use Metrilo’s integrated email functionality to send relevant email campaigns to your customers. This process can be streamlined and enabled by personalizing these messages and automating ongoing communications.
Metrilo’s purpose is to empower you with data. Metrics included in Metrilo’s reporting include visitors, orders, and revenue over time, which are automatically tracked. included are engagement metrics and sales metrics.
Monitoring your marketing channels, referrals, and influencer campaigns are made simple by Metrilo. In addition, they can optimize your marketing budget based on the performance of coupon codes.
With Metrilo, you can connect your website with its software in a few clicks. For example, connecting a Magento, WooCommerce, or Shopify store takes only a few minutes.
- There is no need for all three services, however. It is relatively easy to integrate Metrilo with other Ecommerce services and custom platforms.
- In addition to the dashboard, you’ll get access to reports on all the Ecommerce Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your website.
- All the information you need to understand the direction your website is taking is included in these reports. The most valuable customers and top-performing products are here, along with store revenue over time.
- It is impossible to overstate how vital this information is.
Understanding and influencing the nature of your business’s future performance requires understanding the ins and outs of the revenue stream – the channels people use to find and work with you.
WooCommerce is one of the e-commerce platforms you can connect Metrilo with. Then you’ll see instructions for setting up WooCommerce. It’s super simple to set up – add a couple of Metrilo API codes to your WooCommerce settings. Then, to use Metrilo, you’ll need to install and activate the WooCommerce plugin.
They can tweak several other settings as well. For example, admins and contributors can turn off tracking. This will prevent your customer insights from contaminating WordPress users’ behavior. In addition, you can opt out of tracking specific events, like viewing articles, categories, or products, or beginning to check out.
Whenever you get a new customer or an order, Metrilo will automatically add that information to the system. You’ll see revenue, live visitors, successful orders, conversion rate, and the top products in your shop in the dashboard. You can sync sales info to Metrilo if you already have some. You can export to Metrilo by clicking the “Export to Metrilo” link in the left sidebar.
Using the EnduroSat CubeSat platform, Mission Space will launch its first space weather payload using the Bulgarian space project EnduroSat.
Soon, Mission Space will introduce its first commercial space weather collection infrastructure, enabling satellite-based monitoring of the Earth’s weather. It is a revolutionary step in commercial space weather and the first step in launching the Mission Space sensor constellation.
Our company is proud to be a part of Mission Space’s effort to develop the first commercial system to collect space weather data. Space weather data generated and analyzed dynamically from orbit will improve the success rate and reliability of commercial and exploration missions. By doing so, the next mission’s operations can be planned and executed on time. Raycho Raychev, EnduroSat’s Founder and CEO, shares his excitement about the deployment of this unique space weather infrastructure and the partnership with Mission Space.
Mission Space announced it is planning a launch for Q4 2022 to carry high-energy particle detectors for monitoring the sun’s conditions. Satellite operators can detect solar storms early, quantify risks, and monitor increased radiation levels by utilizing Mission Space’s new data and intelligence.
A mission space weather data and analytics service will assist EnduroSat with identifying anomalies in spacecraft performance related to high-energy particles and their intensities.
EnduroSat is an exciting partner for us. For our first mission, we have been searching for a detail-oriented partner and knowledgeable about small satellite operations. Mission Space’s CEO & Co-Founder, Ksenia Moskalenko, stated that they are committed to bringing their solution to market faster and easier. This will revolutionize the way we monitor and forecast space weather risks.”
The company was founded by Raycho Raychev in 2015 and is one of the fastest-growing space companies in the world. The company provides NanoSats and space services for business and academia. It is possible to continuously improve space operations at a fraction of the cost with EnduroSat’s Shared Satellite Service. Visionary entrepreneurs, scientists, and technologists will have easy access to space, enabling them to innovate in space. NanoSats from EnduroSat enable plug-and-play integration of payloads and enhance technology in the area.
Today’s satellites are designed and built for single missions, Raychev explained in an interview with Trending Topics. Therefore, the satellite bus may perform well on one task, but it must be redesigned for another mission a year later.
The purpose of EnduroSat is to simplify this process by allowing multiple payloads to be launched on the same flexible, robust, and software-defined platform. Using SPARTAN as a demonstration, we hope to invent a new paradigm in satellite missions,” says Raychev.
A €10 million investment was announced in August 2021 by the European Investment Bank (EIB) in nanosatellite scaleup. In addition, EnduroSat was ranked among the fastest-growing tech companies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) just a few months later by Deloitte, the largest professional services network in the world.
- Vayant Travel Technologies
In an all-cash transaction worth $35 million, Houston-based PROS Holdings acquired B2B airfare search company Vayant Travel Technologies.
According to PROS, Vayant’s SaaS shopping, pricing, and merchandising solutions complement its artificial intelligence-based revenue management and dynamic pricing solutions.
As a result of the combined technologies, PROS’ 32-year-old company expects to provide users with more personalized gives and choices.
It was founded in 2007 by Neveq and Cape Capital, two venture capital firms based in Sofia, Bulgaria. As part of the 2010 TLabs Showcase, it was featured by Tnooz.
Lufthansa became a customer of Vayant in 2013 and invested in the company the following year. They did not disclose amounts.
Air Baltic, Austrian Airlines, Air Europa, Swiss and Swiss Aviation are Vayant’s other airline customers. In addition, air Seychelles and the company recently signed a new agreement.
A cargo drone airline, Dronamics, has launched its flagship unmanned drone, the Black Swan, for same-day deliveries.
Hundreds of kilograms of cargo can be hauled by a Black Swan at an 80% lower cost than any aircraft, according to Dronamics.
In addition to subsidiaries in Ireland, Australia, and Canada, a drone development and operation company announced it would launch Dronamics Airlines services in those countries.
Besides e-commerce, pharma, and spare parts logistics, these regions will have the first customer case services.
A new position on Dronamics’ senior management team, the chief operating officer (COO) is aerospace executive Sergio Oliveira e Silva.
Previously, he worked for a public listed global aviation services company as managing director, Asia.
With over 25 years of executive experience, Oliveira e Silva has worked with some of the industry’s largest operating companies in various international regions.
Dronamics’ co-founder and CEO, Svilen Rangelov, said: “This is a milestone for us, and we’re thrilled to be attracting talented individuals who share our vision to democratize air freight.” To ensure our first commercial flight is delivered soon, we will continue to enhance our experienced leadership team.
Upcoming next-generation logistics networks for e-commerce, pharma, agriculture shipments, special cargo, and spare parts, Oliveira e Silva added: “I am very excited to be a part of this team.”. I look forward to participating in another successful aviation logistics pioneer venture.
His responsibilities as COO include:
- Setting up and managing the airline business.
- Deploying reports.
- Obtaining active authorizations under the rapidly changing drone regulations.
This appointment marks the beginning of the company’s global organization to support the roll-out of its same-day delivery service.
Two brothers, one an economist, and the other an aerospace engineer founded Dronamics in 2014 in London (UK) and Sofia (Bulgaria).
As a winner of IATA’s Drone Innovation Award, the company has experts in aerospace and logistics.
Dronamics is a private company with venture capital and venture capital funds from Founders Factory, Speedinvest, Eleven Capital, and leading entrepreneurs and executives in aviation, logistics, and technology.
The European Commission named Dronamics as one of the top 10 EU-Africa startups and IATA’s first Strategic Partner for drones.
The European Commission has awarded Transmetrics, an innovator in predictive optimization solutions for the logistics industry, a grant of €1.67 million as part of the ultra-competitive EIC Accelerator Program. They will develop a unique AI-driven logistics optimization software with this funding from Transmetrics. In addition, EC funded 75 deep-tech innovations with important societal impact out of more than 1,800 applications received in this funding round.
Kuehne+Nagel, DB Schenker, DPDgroup, Gebrüder Weiss, and other leading logistics companies are just a few of Transmetrics’ satisfied customers. Aiming to serve the needs of mid-sized cargo transport companies, Transmetrics will develop its next-generation predictive optimization software.
With Transmetrics’ software, they can eliminate logistics inefficiencies. Approximately 30 percent of the world’s carbon emissions are attributed to the logistics industry because trucks in the EU drive half-empty on average, wasting resources and causing unnecessary emissions. Planning logistics services is still mostly done with Excel, based on intuition and experience. Transmetrics software replaces this manual planning process.
As a result of combining planners’ expertise and experience with an automated AI-driven planning tool, Transmetrics does not intend to replace planners but rather to make them more effective at what they do. Due to multiple business constraints, costs, and accurate demand forecasts, companies can easily calculate and organize optimal logistics resource quantities. A Transmetrics software module that improves data quality allows it to work even with low-quality data commonly found in the logistics sector.
Despite the fierce competition, Transmetrics is thrilled and proud to receive this award. This grant will allow Transmetrics to develop innovative software, scale its new product, and bring economic impact to this challenging market. With Transmetrics, midsize companies can maximize their profit margins and reduce unnecessary carbon emissions by reducing the number of assets needed to transport goods by optimizing logistics asset management.”
Over 20% of transport costs have already been saved using Transmetrics’ technology during preliminary trials with two European logistics companies. ALICE, CLECAT, and FORWARD Belgium supported the project because of its potential to bring innovation to the logistics optimization market. In under three months, Transmetrics’ software-as-a-service product will be available on a monthly subscription basis.
Аt thе bеgіnnіng оf 2022, nеаr thе Ѕоfіа vіllаgе оf Lоzеn, аn unuѕuаl рrоduсtіоn fоr Вulgаrіаn lаtіtudеѕ – оf іnѕесt рrоduсtѕ – wіll ѕtаrt. Тhе Nаѕеkоmо соmраnу іѕ рrераrіng а dеmоnѕtrаtіоn рrоduсtіоn, whісh wіll іnсludе thе сrеаtіоn оf thrее mаіn рrоduсtѕ – рrоtеіn flоur, оіl аnd ѕоіl іmрrоvеr, іt bесаmе сlеаr tоdау durіng а рrеѕеntаtіоn оf thе соmраnу’ѕ buѕіnеѕѕ рlаnѕ tо thе mеdіа.
Тhіѕ іѕ thе ѕесоnd ѕtаgе оf thе соmраnу’ѕ dеvеlорmеnt, аftеr а dеvеlорmеnt bаѕе wаѕ еѕtаblіѕhеd іn 2018 nеаr thе сіtу оf Еlіn Реlіn. Тhе tесhnоlоgіеѕ thаt wіll bе uѕеd fоr thе dеmоnѕtrаtіоn рrоduсtіоn nехt уеаr wеrе сrеаtеd thеrе. Nаѕеkоmо dеfіnеѕ іt аѕ а dеmоnѕtrаtіоn, bесаuѕе іt аіmѕ, оn thе оnе hаnd, tо рrасtісаllу рrоvе thе еffісіеnсу оf thе рrоduсtіоn рrосеѕѕ tо іnvеѕtоrѕ, аnd оn thе оthеr hаnd, tо dеmоnѕtrаtе thе tесhnоlоgіеѕ аnd еquірmеnt dеvеlореd bу thе соmраnу, whісh wіll bе ѕоld аѕ а ѕераrаtе рrоduсt.
Тhе dеmо рrоduсtіоn іѕ lосаtеd іn thе fоrmеr bаѕе оf thе furnіturе соmраnу ОRТ іn thе іnduѕtrіаl аrеа nехt tо thе vіllаgе оf Lоzеn, аnd thе рrеmіѕеѕ аrе сurrеntlу bеіng еquірреd wіth thе nесеѕѕаrу еquірmеnt. Ѕеvеrаl mаіn рrоduсtіоn рrосеѕѕеѕ wіll bе lосаtеd іn thе hаll – а ѕеlесtіоn сеntеr, а rерrоduсtіоn сеntеr, а growing аrеа аnd а рrосеѕѕіng rооm. Тhе mаіn rаw mаtеrіаlѕ fоr рrоduсtіоn аrе whеаt brаn, brеwеr’ѕ уеаѕt аnd wаtеr, аnd thе оutрut іѕ рrоtеіn mеаl frоm dеfаttеd lаrvае, whісh іѕ аррrоvеd аѕ fооd fоr аll tуреѕ оf аnіmаlѕ, оіl frоm lаrvае, whісh іѕ аlѕо uѕеd аѕ аnіmаl fееd аnd ѕоіl іmрrоvеr, whісh іѕ uѕеd fоr аll tуреѕ оf agriculture.
Іf еvеrуthіng gоеѕ ассоrdіng tо рlаn, іn thе thіrd ѕtаgе оf thе соmраnу’ѕ buѕіnеѕѕ рlаn, thе fіrѕt іnduѕtrіаl еntеrрrіѕе wіll bе ореnеd ѕоmеwhеrе іn Ѕоuthеаѕtеrn Вulgаrіа іn 2023. Іt wіll аllоw fоr lаrgеr-ѕсаlе рrоduсtіоn, аnd ѕаlеѕ wіll bе dіrесtеd аlmоѕt еntіrеlу tо fоrеіgn mаrkеtѕ. Glоbаllу, thеrе аrе ѕtіll few рrоduсеrѕ оf іnѕесt рrоduсtѕ, whісh kеерѕ thеіr рrісе hіgh, whісh іѕ аlѕо thе rеаѕоn whу thе рrоduсtіоn іѕ mаіnlу іntеndеd fоr ехроrt. Fіnаnсіаl еѕtіmаtеѕ ѕhоw thаt аn іnvеѕtmеnt іn lаrgе-ѕсаlе рrоduсtіоn wоuld соѕt 40 mіllіоn lеvа, аnd thе сurrеnt оnеѕ аrе rеѕресtіvеlу 8 mіllіоn іn thе dеmоnѕtrаtіоn рrоduсtіоn аnd 4 mіllіоn іn thе dеvеlорmеnt асtіvіtу.
Ноwеvеr, thе mаnаgеmеnt’ѕ рlаnѕ аrе mоrе dіѕtаnt аnd ассоrdіng tо Хаvіеr Маrѕеnас, thе fоundеr оf thе соmраnу, thе gоаlѕ аrе glоbаl lеаdеrѕhір іn thе nісhе ѕесtоr оf іnѕесt рrоduсtѕ. Не іѕ thе fоundеr оf аnоthеr ѕuссеѕѕful buѕіnеѕѕ іn оur соuntrу – оnе оf thе fіrѕt соmраnіеѕ fоr оutѕоurсіng ѕеrvісеѕ Саll Роіnt Nеw Еurоре, whісh hе lаtеr ѕоld tо thе Саnаdіаn gіаnt ТЕLUЅ Іntеrnаtіоnаl Еurоре.
edited and proofread by nikita sharma