For the second year now, the Invest Sofia team has successfully worked with independent local and international companies to assist investors in the city under our SofiaIS programme. We are highly motivated by the positive feedback that our business partners give to our activities. Here’s what the consulting company Cushman & Wakefield Forton had to say about our work together:
Yavor Kostov, Managing Partner: We at C&W Forton are extremely glad to have the possibility to work with Sofia Investment Agency. Their motivated team members have shown us repeatedly a great amount of dedication and love for their job. Thanks to their continuous efforts, attention to detail and hard work, Sofia is becoming an even more attractive place for new investments. We are excited to be part of the programme SofiaIS and we are sure that the more time we devote together to it, the greater the impact will be on Bulgaria.
A great recognition for our team. When companies in the city view our activities in this way, it means our efforts are in the right direction. We appreciate C&W Forton’s willingness to partner closely with all our activities addressed to new investors in the city. It is a declaration of their willingness to develop together the potential of Sofia as an attractive center for entrepreneurship and successful business.
German automotive software supplier Sulzer will invest €1.5m in opening a development centre in Sofia, the Economy Ministry announced. This is an initial investment, the company says, and its long-term plans are to open a total of new 100 jobs. The company will form a team of highly qualified IT specialists.
Sofia has been chosen for the new investment in line with the company’s near-shoring strategy, which will allow it to shorten supply chains. The German company was founded in 1978 and delivers to automotive leaders such as BMW, Audi, Daimler, Porsche, Rolls Royce, SEAT, Volkswagen, and Skoda, as well as to clients in the engineering and insurance sectors.
A Sofia-based company is the big winner in the national round of the StartUP World Cup competition. This is Releva.ai and its AI platform that helps online marketers increase their revenue by identifying consumer preferences and behaviours. The company will represent Bulgaria at the Finals in Silicon Valley with the chance to win a prize of $1 million.
With an investment of BGN 25 million, the Bulgarian manufacturer of security and fire alarm equipment Teletek Electronics JSC opened a new production and administrative base in Sofia. In the construction of the building, the company has used innovative technologies and modern equipment. All activities in the new site will be managed and carried out by a fully automated system – the company’s own development.
The new building is located on 11 thousand square meters, which include a production area with five production lines, as well as warehouses. Teletek Electronics JSC exports to nearly 90 countries and currently over a million buildings worldwide are equipped with Teletek’s locally developed technology – public, residential and office buildings, as well as specialized buildings such as hospitals, logistics centers, government buildings, etc.
Seven out of ten are the Sofia-based companies featured in the TOP 10 Fintech Startups in Bulgaria ranking made by one of the largest global platforms for startups with over 4.6 million members – F6S. The companies that have caught the attention of the network are the air travel management company Colibra, the crypto and blockchain enterprise TraDEXsocial, the data management platform A4Everyone, the digital marketing product VertoDigital, the payments service Enbank, the platform for connecting buyers and suppliers of raw materials EOTRACE LTD. and the peer-to-peer lending platform Cashlend bg.
The list of companies is complemented by three that are
The ICT Cluster informs about four open AIBC EUROCLUSTERS calls for financial support to EU SMEs planning projects related to the application of artificial intelligence, blockchain, manufacturing, mobility, logistics and energy. Up to EUR 5 thousand per company will be used to support training activities for retraining and upskilling. Activities on digitisation and green transition through artificial intelligence and blockchain can receive funding of up to EUR 15 thousand. Participation in international events that will lead to increased competences in the field of artificial intelligence and blockchain in global markets can receive financial support of up to EUR 2 thousand, and projects for cooperation with other SMEs to develop and test solutions with artificial intelligence and/or blockchain are eligible for funding of up to EUR 65 thousand per project. The deadline for all calls is 5 September 2023. A link to each can be found on the ICT Cluster website here.
With a total budget of €1.05 million, the European INGENIOUS initiative will support innovation, capacity building training and internationalisation activities of SMEs from EU countries with grant funding. Training should be on digital skills, green transition and sustainability preparedness. Internationalisation activities should target markets in Africa, Asia, the Americas, and innovation should aim at deploying processes and technologies to accelerate the transformation towards a greener, digital and sustainable economy of value chains in energy-intensive industries. On the INGENIOUS website, you will find landing pages on the application requirements for each of the three open programmes.
Enterprise Europe Network informs about the open procedure “Go International” to support the internationalisation of small and medium-sized enterprises in architecture, engineering and construction. Up to EUR 2 000 will be reimbursed for travel costs (transport, accommodation and event-related fees) when companies participate in a specific trade fair in Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Kenya. Up to 3 people per company can participate in the trade mission and companies are expected to hold at least 10 bilateral meetings with foreign partners during the mission. Funds will be disbursed on the basis of documentary evidence of the costs associated with participation in the relevant event, and the signing of at least one Memorandum of Understanding with an international partner as a result of that participation. More information on this opportunity can be found here.
BIA’s International Economic Relations Center invites companies in the food industry to the Food
Deloitte Bulgaria (Deloitte) is now part of Sofia IS – the city initiative between local Sofia companies and Invest Sofia aimed at free-of-charge integrated services to investors in Sofia. The partnership was agreed upon by signing a Memorandum of Cooperation between the Sofia Municipal Privatization and Investment Agency (Invest Sofia) and Deloitte. The document was signed by Sylvia Peneva – Managing partner of Deloitte Bulgaria during an official meeting.
Deloitte was founded in London in 1845. The international company has been present in Bulgaria since 1992. The company provides audit services, tax and legal advice, technology solutions, risk management services, cyber security consulting, etc.
Under the signed Agreement, Deloitte’s team in Bulgaria will provide entrepreneurs exploring Sofia as a next investment destination with initial advice on Grants and Incentives, Public Procurement, State Aid, Global Mobility Services, Corporate Tax, Indirect Tax, Accounting and Payroll, Legal Services.
Vitosha Venture Partners invested a total of €1 million in nine new companies, five of which are startups in a more advanced stage of development and t4 are part of the Vitosha ACCELERATE accelerator programme. Among the supported Sofia-based companies are the Nakantara platform for selling cars through auctions, which receives 100 thousand euros, the manufacturer of tin-lead and lead-free alloys SN Metals – with 200 thousand euros and the FinqUp fintech platform for individual investors supported with 50 thousand euros. Among the younger companies from Sofia that received funding are Diplom.id – a platform for electronic issuance and verification of educational diplomas and certificates, and the pet care platform PetStay.
Sofia-based EnduroSat raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Luxembourg-based investment firm Ceecat Capital. Existing investors such as German seed fund Freigeist Capital also participated in the round. The investment will enable EnduroSat to expand its operations and work on a wider range of satellite technologies. The company is now headquartered in Luxembourg and has core R&D operations in Sofia, Bulgaria. EnduroSat has new offices in Luxembourg, Berlin, Toulouse, Naples and Delaware, and has opened a new space centre in Sofia with 3,200 square metres of office space and 700 square metres of state-of-the-art space testing and component assembly laboratories. EnduroSat has seen 6 consecutive years of growth of over 200% year on year and now has a solid customer base in the US and EU. Since its launch in 2018, the company has supported over 200 customers and delivered over 2500 satellite modules that fly in orbit on satellites to customers around the world.
Another Sofia-based aerospace technology company, Dronamics, announced the successful completion of the first flight of its Black Swan cargo aircraft from Balchik Airport in Bulgaria. Dronamics is the world’s first drone cargo airline and has made it its mission to make cargo deliveries affordable and possible within a day. The cargo drone was remotely controlled from a Dronamics ground control station. The successful flight test validates the company’s licensed cargo drone technology for commercial flights in Europe, which will begin later this year and serve industries such as e-commerce, pharmaceuticals, spare parts and short shelf-life goods.
The Sofia-based gaming startup Augment, has announced a joint project with Riot Games, the world’s largest game publisher and creator of League of Legends. Augment’s data analytics platform will be used in
At the invitation of Policy Dialogue with Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth Maria Gabriel, Invest Sofia participated in the policy dialogue “Education and Innovation – Interactions and Challenges”. The meeting took place at the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria in Sofia, under the hostage of Commissioner Gabriel, and the active participation of school directors, university rectors, business representatives, associations, and students from all over the country.
The dialogue was organized on the occasion of Europe Day, May 9th. The focus was on innovation, education, entrepreneurship and regional innovation ecosystems. Challenges and opportunities were discussed, as well as key European initiatives and programmes in these areas.
Our CEO, Maria Hristova Ph.D., joined the discussions. Speakers, along with Commissioner Maria Gabriel, were the Rector of the Technical University of Sofia – Prof. Ivan Kralov, the Mayor of Gabrovo – Tanya Hristova, and the Executive Director of JA Bulgaria – Milena Stoycheva. Students and pupils also participated in the discussions.