For the 21st consecutive time, the international consulting company Deloitte presented its “Technology Fast 50” ranking for Central Europe. Three Bulgarian software companies were also awarded in it. These are Coursedot, StorPool Storage, and CloudCart.
The report aims to rank the fastest growing technology companies in the region. The organizations’ main ranking criterion is based on percentage revenue growth over the last four years – a minimum of € 50,000 in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and at least € 100,000 in 2019. It should also be noted that financial data of the companies are provided by the entrants themselves and are gathered via Deloitte’s online survey tool. This information is then cross-checked and passes strict verification.
Coursedot ranks first among the Bulgarian organizations, standing 13th in the ranking with a growth of 1366%. The other two domestic companies – StorPool Storage and CloudCart, ranked 46th and 50th, respectively, with a 541% and 494% increase in operating income.
Two other Bulgarian companies find a place in the special section of Deloitte’s report – Rising Stars. This category includes two more Bulgarian companies – EnduroSat and NOTOLYTIX, which mark the growth of 405% and 267%, respectively. The Rising Stars section includes organizations that cannot currently meet the core criteria to be part of Technology Fast 50 but have development potential and over € 30,000 in operating income for the previous three years.
In this year’s edition of the report, Deloitte introduces a new section – Impact Stars. It includes three companies from each country in the region, which manage to positively impact at least one of the following categories through the product or service they offer: public life, the overall business environment, innovation, environment, and social diversity. The three Bulgarian companies that fall into this section are EnduroSat, CloudCart, and ESCREO.
The Bulgarian companies awarded in the various sections of the report are among the more than 300 applicants for participation this year. The year also marked a record average growth in the distinguished organizations’ operating turnover – 1460%. This shows that the business environment in the region is suitable for the development of the companies.
The leader in the ranking this year is the Polish company Packhelp, which marks a growth of over 9000%. Nine countries are represented in the ranking this year, with the Czech Republic (21), Poland (15), and Croatia (5) representing the largest number. Bulgaria is
Nestle Bulgaria invested another BGN 23 million in a robotic production line at its factory in Sofia. The innovation was presented during an online event that included a virtual walk showing the factory’s innovations.
The investment is in a new production line of the KitKat brand, with an updated digital network that connects all machines to a single data system. In case a problem occurs, it can be solved remotely. In the current situation of an ongoing pandemic, the company considers this an opportunity of high importance to enable continuous production despite the circumstances.
“The new robotic production line guarantees faster and more efficient production at the Nestlé factory, and a safer working environment for the employees who will be trained to work with automated machines,” the company announced in an official statement.
Thus, Nestle Bulgaria works with two production lines that prepare and package 2.5 million bars of Kat Kat per day (or 1736 pieces per minute), prepared with Bulgarian flour. Of them, 95% are exported to over 35 countries abroad, including South Korea, Mexico, Qatar, South Africa, Singapore, and the Caribbean.
The factory has been operating in Sofia for 80 years, and owned by the Swiss giant Nestlé since 1994. The company employs 1,060 people, 60% of whom are employed in production activities.
The German Festo to invest 40 million euros in acquiring, designing, and building a new plant near Sofia. This will be the company’s third production facility in Bulgaria, as it has plants in Smolyan and Druzhba district in Sofia.
The plot near Sofia has an area of about 20 thousand square meters for production, logistics, office space, and technical premises. They are expected to be put into оperation in 2023. The 40 million euro investment does not include production facilities. The new plant will take on the increased demand for components for industrial automation, sensors, control pneumatic cylinders, communication modules, controllers, servo motors.
In the next four years, Festo plans to open 150 new jobs in production and as many for the technical engineering center in Sofia in order to enlarge its software, electronics, and product design and development team.
Read more about the company’s plans in the publication and the interview with Georgi Atanasov, manager of Festo Production, by Economy.bg.
Three Bulgarian software companies have entered the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 ranking for the fastest growing companies in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. These are Botron – with 503% revenue growth, Accedia – with 280% growth, and ScaleFocus – 185% revenue growth.
All three are Sofia-based companies, and the American Appfire acquired the highest-ranked – Botron, in June this year.
The Technology Fast 500 ranking is based upon available financial information over the years 2015 till 2018. It is important to note that the ranking covers companies that proactively and on their initiative, submit data on their activities, and not all potential companies. Another feature is that the ranking was closed on April 30, 2020, based on the available financial information covering the years until 2018. The number of organizations involved has not been modified based on the impact of COVID-19, and the condition of the listed companies might have changed since then.
This year’s edition ranks companies from 22 countries according to their average annual growth rate. The growth of the individual participants in the ranking varies from 157% to 39,754%.
The ranking is almost entirely dominated by companies in the field of financial technology and software development. The Top 5 includes three fintech companies, including the leader in the ranking – the British Revolut. Three of the top five companies are from the United Kingdom; the other two are from Germany. The list includes companies from Great Britain (98), the Netherlands (70), Germany (47), Sweden (46), and Belgium (35).
The German open-source software company SUSE opens an innovation hub in Sofia. The center will start operations for up to six months and will hire more than 200 employees in the coming years – software developers, digital marketing specialists, support, and project management experts.
SUSE develops solutions based on open source, cloud services infrastructure, application platforms, and more. The solutions find applications in healthcare, large data processing centers, supercomputers, and more. The company has offices in Switzerland, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Great Britain, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, China, South Africa, and others. With nearly 1,600 employees worldwide, SUSE serves over 17,000 customers in 75 countries.
The Sofia engineering unit will focus on developing new open-source technological solutions and projects for autonomous cars, artificial intelligence, data analysis, and others.
The Sofia-based fintech Paynetics announced that it has acquired the German Wirecard assets in the UK and Ireland. Paynetics will take over card issuance and payment services to Wirecard’s corporate customers in both markets after the German company declared bankruptcy. According to the company’s official announcement, Sofia-based Paynetics will acquire the assets through its British subsidiary.
Paynetics is licensed across the EU, regulated by the Bulgarian National Bank, and a Member of Mastercard, Visa, SWIFT, and SEPA. The company offers next-generation payment technology solutions, including card issuing, money transfers, eWallets, mobile payments and software POS, etc.
The deal is of great significance for Bulgarian fintech in terms of expansion on the UK market and in Europe. At the beginning of the year, Paynetics raised 2.5m euros in funding from the Bulgarian-American Credit Bank (BACB), the New Vision 3 venture capital fund, and angel investors.
Sofia agrotech startup NASEKOMO has gone into partnership with the French Groupe Grimaud. Through a joint investment, the two companies will equip Nasekomo’s bio development factory near Sofia to breed improved blackflies and larvae for companies with large amounts of organic waste for processing.
The new joint venture Fly Genetics aims to launch on the European market in the second half of 2021. You will find more about the investment in the official announcement here.
Only three months ago, the Sofia-based startup NASEKOMO received an investment of 4 million euros from the Bulgarian funds NV3 and Morningside Hill, supported by the Fund of Funds in Bulgaria, and by private investors from the UK, France, South Africa, and Bulgaria.
Groupe Grimaud is one of the world leaders in multi-species animal genetics, bio-pharmacy, and Novel Farming. It has operations in more than 100 countries, generates € 320 M in turnover, and employs over 1,800 people worldwide.
Vitesse Running is a mobile app for running enthusiasts with workouts created by the best long-distance runners in Bulgaria and participants in Rio 2016- Militsa Mircheva and Yolo Nikolov.
Vitesse Running is a great solution that is highly useful for beginners and advanced runners alike. The virtual coach in the app generates a plan for each user according to their level and their training days preferences. It later adapts the plan according to the user’s performance. The workouts are meant to show beginners how exciting and diverse the running can be, and also prepare professionals for competitions.
“The main problem that runners at different levels face when using other apps is that even though they provide good detailed data to their users, that data is not analyzed and presented comprehensively “. – shares Martin Markov, co-founder and adds: ‘’Our goal was to create a mobile app that collects all the data that can be gathered from the user’s device and analyze it by using artificial intelligence in the process. Then we present that data in the form of running tips that we plan to make more personalised for each user’’.
Workouts by Olympians
Vitesse Running has more than 100 running workouts with different intensity divided into several categories: Beginners, Fat-Burning, 5K, 10K, Half-Marathon and Marathon. The workouts are created by the professional athletes Militsa Mircheva and Yolo Nikolov. Militsa competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics and finished 108th in the marathon thus becoming the first Bulgarian woman to ever finish a marathon at the Olympics. Besides a professional runner himself, Yolo is the best coach of long-distance runners in Bulgaria. He also specializes in creating personalised training plans and programs.
“We joined the project because it is absolutely one-of-a-kind! It aims to prepare people on all levels to reach their goals in the most effective and individual way possible. We know that everyone has different talents which is why we created Vitesse Running. Our virtual coach will analyze your runs and show you where you have to work harder while building up the qualities you need for success.“ – says Militsa.
The team developing the app is entirely Sofia-based due to the many opportunities they see for this type of product here.
“We are originally from Sofia, so starting the business elsewhere was never an option. There are so many talented young professionals here as well as
The French company BIC has officially launched its Sofia office and plans to recruit a team of approximately 200 people by 2021. BIC Sofia Services is the world’s first BIC Shared Service Center and is part of “BIC 2022 – Invent the future” Group BIC Services (GBS) transformation plan, aimed at increasing efficiency and achieving sustainable growth.
The company had carried a long evaluation and destination selection process for its Shared Services office, which began early last year. We are glad that the Invest Sofia team partnered the company to examine the environment in Sofia and choose our beautiful and dynamic city for the place to build its team.
The new center in Sofia will consolidate the company’s administrative activities for BIC’s European Finance, Accounting, Quality Control, and Customer Service operations. The BIC Sofia Services teammates will share 2,200 square meters of office space, in Tower B of Bulgaria Mall, with a great panoramic view over the city. The company is currently recruiting specialists for 11 positions.
BIC is a world leader in stationery, lighters, and shavers. For more than 75 years, the company has provided high-quality, affordable products to consumers in over 160 countries around the world. Some of BIC’s iconic brands feature Cello®, Conté®, BIC FlexTM, Lucky Stationery, Made For YOUTM, Soleil®, Tipp-Ex®, Wite-Out®, among others. In 2019, BIC Net Sales were 1,949.4 million euros.
The construction of the building for the supercomputer in Sofia, part of the EuroHPC network, has officially begun. The processing power of the supercomputer will be unique for Bulgaria and the region.
Last year, Bulgaria was chosen as one of the eight sites across the EU that will host the first European supercomputers. The other 7 supercomputing machines will be located in Ostrava (Czechia), Kajaani (Finland), Bologna (Italy), Bissen (Luxembourg), Minho (Portugal), Maribor (Slovenia), and Barcelona (Spain).
The project is implemented by the “Petascale Supercomputer – Bulgaria” consortium with a leading partner Sofia Tech Park, and is located on the territory of the technology park. The supercomputer is planned to start operations by the end of February 2021. The state funding in the project, including the estimated operating costs for the first 5 years of exploitation, is EUR 12 mln., out of which 6 mln. are European funding.
This is the largest EU investment in Bulgaria related to the scientific infrastructure and is part of the pioneering European continent-wide plan to compete with the USA, China, and Japan as a major international player in supercomputing.
The supercomputer in Sofia will be able to execute at least 4 billion operations per second and together with the supercomputers in the other locations will support European researchers, the industry and the business in the development of new applications in a wide range of fields such as designing medicines, fighting climate change, testing and simulation in the aviation and automotive industries, data analysis, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and blockchain.
„Today’s start of the construction of the digital hub in Sofia is a proof of Bulgaria’s potential to be a regional leader in the field of supercomputers”, said the EU commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education, and Youth Maria Gabriel at the symbolic groundbreaking ceremony. She emphasized that supercomputers can help ensure more reliable transport, energy saving, effective climate change fighting, and more. She thanked the team of Sofia Tech Park for their diligence, expertise and perseverance in working on the project.
“Investing in technology, innovation and education is the way Sofia is going. All this is happening thanks to the great support which Sofia receives from the European Union, from our Commissioner Maria Gabriel, and the government.”, said Sofia’s Mayor Ms. Yordanka Fandakova. She stressed that Sofia and Bulgaria will continue to invest in science, education, and to create quality jobs for educated and
Acronis entered the Bulgarian market with the acquisition of the Sofia-based T-Soft and an investment of 1.2 million leva. The team of Invest Sofia was а partner of the company throughout the whole process of establishing operations in the capital. The Sofia office started with 30 people and today the world leader employs nearly 300 engineers who work on cyber protection, AI, and blockchain projects.
See why Acronis chose Sofia for its development centre in our interview “Why Sofia” with Stanislav Protasov, co-founder of Acronis.
The company was hiring even during the months of crisis measures because of the spread of COVID-19 and last month it put into operation 4 new floors in San Stefano Plaza where the Sofia-based team of Acronis works. At the moment, the company is actively seeking for specialists for 29 open positions announced in the career website of the organization here.
In the autumn of 2019, the international leader in cyber security and hybrid cloud solutions became a unicorn with an evaluation of over USD 1,5 billion.
Less than a month ago, Acronis announced the acquisition of DeviceLock, Inc. – a supplier of software for prevention of data loss from end devices of 4 million computers in over 5000 business organizations and state institutions in the world.
Nasekomo received an investment of 4 million Euro from the Bulgarian funds NV3 and Morningside Hill backed by the Fund of Funds in Bulgaria and private investors from the UK, France, South Africa and Bulgaria. This is the largest publicly announced AgTech deal in the region. The funds will be used to further develop the company’s automated insect breeding technologies.
Nasekomo utilizes the incredible biological abilities of the larvae of black flies (the so-called Black Soldier fly) to turn organic waste into animal food. In a short time the larvae absorb great amounts of biowaste, drastically increase in size and in turn, after processing, become raw materials for pet food additives, for the agricultural sector, and even for the cosmetics industry.
Nasekomo’s robotized insect rearing technology is a unique solution on the agrotech market. The company launched only three years ago and since then has managed to increase its production capacity over 25 times.
“We have spent the last 3 years developing unique solutions for the insect rearing market. Nasekomo has leveraged robotics, A.I. and big data which allow us to produce insect protein efficiently. We will not only be competitively producing large volumes, but also addressing the challenges of our world related to animal feed”, states Marc Bolard, co-founder and technology lead of Nasekomo.
The 4 million investment will allow Nasekomo to increase its market presence and its productivity by implementing more solutions related to robotics and automatisation and data analysis.
You can find more details in the official company statement of Nasekomo.