Bento, Intellectually Curious, a Romanian entrepreneurial company listed on the AeRO market of the Bucharest Stock Exchange, specialized in the development and implementation of software solutions and the provision of IT and Cloud infrastructure services, announces the approval of a project with European funds worth approximately 25 million lei within the Competitiveness Operational Program (POC) 2014 – 2020, of which approximately 15.1 million lei represent non-reimbursable grants.
“Throughout our existence, we have constantly invested in improving the services and solutions we provide to local and international clients and expanding our IT&C expertise. Our funding sources are profit reinvestment, bank financing, and capital market funding starting this year. At the same time, almost two years ago, we chose to diversify our growth by applying for European funds. Therefore, the approved project we are announcing today is an achievement we are extremely proud of, considering the rigors and complex processes required to obtain non-reimbursable grants. The capital obtained will support us in developing an integrated platform and structuring it as standard products that can serve clients without the need to develop constantly customized applications for them. The platform is in line with the company’s strategy of developing its own products, Bento FSM and Bento MDM being two of them, to which new modules using the same technology will be added through the platform so that the result is an integrated modular system,” stated Radu Scarlat, Chairman of Bento’s Board of Directors.
The project “Platform for modular digital transformation in the enterprise environment and the public sector,” for which Bento receives funding through POC 2014 – 2020, is part of Priority Axis 2 – “Information and communication technology (ICT) for a competitive digital economy” and aims to develop a modular platform designed to automate and optimize processes within the organizations in which one or more of its modules will be implemented. The platform will address private and public organizations, and through it, the activities of companies or public institutions will be partially or fully digitalized.
In the last two years, the pandemic caused by COVID-19 has accelerated the digitalization at the level of companies and public institutions. Thus, they started investing heavily in IT infrastructure and digital solutions to automate their various activities. According to Bento’s management, today, the digitalization phenomenon has reached the next stage of this development, in which organizations aim to customize more and more the IT solutions they need. These customized solutions consider several determining factors, such as the organization’s size, the specifics of the industry in which it operates, location, business objectives, way of working, existing software solutions, etc. As such, the standardized software applications versions cannot offer the maximum efficiency they desire, especially in the case of companies with complex businesses.
Thus, the platform that Bento will create with the support of the non-reimbursable grants takes into account the increasing demand for IT solutions from organizations, the dynamics regarding the need to customize solutions to the specific requirements of companies and public institutions, as well as their increased appetite for cloud digitalization solutions.
The project’s financing ends on December 31, 2023, after which Bento will have to meet a series of performance indicators for a period of three years related to aspects such as the creation of the mentioned platform, the extension with at least six existing or new clients which will use the platform developed by the company and the achievement of profitability of 1.29. The profitability is calculated as the ratio between the direct or indirect turnover achieved following the sale of the solutions within the platform and the non-reimbursable value of the project, of approximately 15,1 million lei.
The contribution regarding the co-financing of the project, in the amount of approximately 9.4 million lei, is made up of several components: a part comes from the profit related to the years 2021, 2022, and 2023, another part from the capital raised in the private placement from November 2021, as well as bank financing available to the company.
“Developing software applications that cover a wide range of activities has been part of our DNA since the company’s beginnings. During our more than 17 years of existence, we have developed applications in all IT&C areas and have accumulated experience both from our perspective, as software developers, and from the clients’ perspective. Thus, we understand the difficulties and obstacles that various companies and public authorities have to overcome, and we have developed software systems that have delivered viable solutions to manage or even eliminate them. The platform proposed within this project capitalizes on the experience gained in these years, and the clients will become the main beneficiaries of the services and solutions that will be implemented at a much faster pace and with reduced financial efforts on their part,” stated Vlad Bodea, co-founder of Bento.
Bento has developed its own software products, such as Bento FSM and Bento MDM, used by local and international companies active in various economic sectors. Bento FSM is a suite of applications dedicated to companies delivering services through distributed field teams. Through this application, all activities related to providing services with field teams are digitized, automated, and optimized, improving operational activity by up to 30%.
Bento MDM is a system dedicated to companies that manage a substantial fleet of mobile devices, such as tablets, smartphones, POS, etc. The solution allows for centralized control of these devices, enforcement of security policies, tracking of the devices via GPS, remote control of each user’s rights, applications, and settings, and locking of the devices to be used only for their intended purpose.
Bento is listed on the AeRO market of the Bucharest Stock Exchange as of March 16, 2022, being one of the few technology companies in Romania developing its own software products. The products and solutions provided by Bento are used by local and international companies operating in multiple industries such as energy, FMCG, utilities, telecommunications, healthcare, agriculture, IT, media, food industry, distribution, transport, and services.