Just four months after getting a foothold in Sofia, Coursera announced its plans to expand in the Capital and double its team. The global online learning platform opened an office in Sofia with the acquisition of the US-Bulgarian startup Rhyme Softworks.
The company will expand its engineering team and will focus on the creation of customised hands-on project trainings in the platform for the employees of corporate clients.
Coursera is a leading online training platform with over 45 million students worldwide. The platform collaborates with nearly 200 universities with a world-renowned image. About 2 000 companies train their talents through the platform.
Coursera invests in its centre in Sofia as part of its Coursera Labs initiative. It aims to provide the flexibility and personalisation of those courses part of the platform that involve work on practical projects and developments. Coursera acquired Rhyme Softworks for its product, which allows developers to create learning projects accessible through an Internet browser quickly and easily. It is precisely the upgrading of this product that will allow the creation of practical training tasks by the incorporation of the necessary third-party software applications.
The construction company Cordeel Bulgaria, a local unit of the Belgium-based Cordeel Group, has begun the construction of a modern office and logistics centre for the distributor Orbico Bulgaria, part of the Croatian Orbico Group. The investment is € 26.5 million and 500 staff will work in the centre after it is complete.
The logistics base will include offices and warehouses with a total area of 57,000 sq m. It is located near Botevgradsko Shosse road and its construction should be completed by mid-2021.
Orbico Bulgaria’s logistics centre will handle the storage and distribution of brands of Philip Morris Bulgaria, Shell Bulgaria, Mars and Procter & Gamble.
The Bulgarian online fashion store Remixshop.com is the Central and Eastern Europe’s first and only to implement EU policies for sustainable textile management practices in its business model. The store belongs to the Sofia-based Remix Global, which offers the “Sell to Remix” service in nine European countries, allowing customers to extend the life of unwanted clothing and accessories by sending them free of charge to the company’s logistics centre in Sofia.
As part of its plan to grow the business in a sustainable direction, Remix initially launched the service in Bulgaria and Romania and then in Poland, Germany and Austria. In 2019, the service became available to the other markets where the online store operates — Greece, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
“Sell to Remix” allows customers to send their gently used clothing and accessories to be sold on remixshop.com with easy, free-of-charge shipping and receive a percentage of the final price. The money earned can be used for purchases from the website, transferred to a personal account or donated to SOS Children’s Villages.
Unlike consumer platforms that connect sellers and buyers, Remix takes care of the clothes fully – from disinfection and defect inspection, to taking pictures, pricing and shipping to customers; unusable items are being recycled. A customer only needs to order the Remix Bag (a large, sturdy bag made of recycled polyethylene) and request a courier for return delivery to Remix.
This way, the service becomes an effective method of separate collection of textiles and prevents unwanted accumulation of textile waste.
A circular economy action plan with a focus on sustainable use of resources, especially in high-impact resource-intensive sectors such as textile and construction, has also been enshrined in the so-called Green Deal, part of the Agenda for Europe of the newly-appointed President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
The store handles about 300,000 items from orders every month and over 9,000 full Remix Bags from nine countries. To manage operational activities, Remix works with internally developed software and hardware products, including a proprietary ERP solution that optimises production processes.
“We are based in Sofia, because here we are able to find competent IT specialists to carry out the technological development of the various units of the company and to become more efficient and productive,” says Genoveva Petrova, CEO of Remix. According to her, businesses in the city, including small and
Financial Times just published an article titled Bulgaria attracts record tech investment. The publication states data on foreign investment to Bulgarian software and ICT, foreign greenfield investment and top sectors for foreign investment since 2015.
Bulgaria received a record amount of foreign investment in software and ICT services in 2018, with at least 16 projects valued at $240m, mostly in Sofia, the article sais.
The ICT sector had sales of $3.2bn in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 45 per cent, according to the International Data Corporation. It has more than 12,000 companies, of which 90 per cent are in Sofia, where they employ 50,000 people.
The publication cites the opinion about the business environment of foreign companies such as Acronis and Genius Sports that have already established their centers in Sofia and refers to what Cait O’Riordan, the FT’s chief product and information officer said, at the new centre’s opening: We looked at a number of locations across Asia, Europe and the UK before choosing Bulgaria. Sofia’s longstanding reputation as a centre for technical excellence, alongside its pedigree in data and artificial intelligence and its emergence as the technology capital of the Balkans, made it an irresistible destination.