Innovation isn’t just coming from Silicon Valley; it’s happening everywhere. The US, China and the European Union are all pushing for the creation of startups meant to accelerate digitization in all areas and find “world changing” ideas. Artificial intelligence, big data, and cloud are some of the technologies being used to improve the lives of both consumers and businesses.
The industries in which these startups are operating cover the entire economic spectrum. But most of the innovation can be found in sectors like marketing, finance or healthcare. Business Review has put together some of these innovative companies that are worth following in 2019.
Our shortlist is not a comprehensive list and companies are not ranked in a particular order.
Launched by Rares Banescu in 2013 with just a few employees and only a part of the features available today, Retargeting.biz evolved very quickly, becoming one of the fastest growing SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) companies. The project was launched to help online stores convert more of their existing traffic, so the project offered customized e-mail, pop-ups and SMS functionalities.
2017 was the year in which these features underwent a redesign process. New features were also released, such as push notifications and bulk SMS campaigns. One year later, advertising giants Google and Facebook appreciated the work done by the Romanian company so much that in June 2018 Retargeting received the Google Premier Partner badge and in October it became a Facebook Marketing Partner, being one of the first companies in Eastern Europe to hold both distinctions.
Retargeting.biz’s development plans for the coming years are very ambitious, with the company aiming to set up a local office in every country in Southeast Europe. Also this year, it will launch a new version of its Retargeting 5 platform which will include a number of new features such as promotion via YouTube, Google Shopping, and more.
Keez is a Romanian startup providing full online accounting services for SMEs. The Keez Platform aims to become a “digital accountant” for companies by providing complete accounting services, from managing vouchers and bills in digital format, submitting all statements to the fiscal authority and issuing real-time financial reports.
The startup was created by Daniel Mateescu, the former Operations Manager of Total Soft, a company where he accumulated nearly 13 years of experience and which he left shortly after it was sold to the Turks at Logo Software. That’s when he started Keez.ro, with 6 programmers and an ACCA Certified Product Manager. Now Daniel works with dozens of accountants and many more software developers.
Instant Factoring, the first Romanian online micro-factoring company, is making strategic changes to its organizational structure to strengthen its leadership team and support a regional expansion in Central and Eastern Europe. The company is planning to open two new branches in Central and Eastern Europe this year to strengthen its regional presence and expand online small business microfinancing operations.
Instant Factoring provided 1,930 grants to small companies and micro-enterprises in its first year on the Romanian factoring market, which were worth EUR 4 million. This year, the company is planning to grow its customer portfolio by 300 percent and the funding volume to EUR 15 million.
Modex is a Romanian blockchain startup, which created the world’s first blockchain marketplace. Last year it also launched a pack of free tools designed to provide easier access to blockchain technology for developers.
Modex’s objective is to provide a diverse portfolio of applications globally using innovative blockchain technology, bringing together developers of distributed application (DApps) alongside their business customers. In a world where distributed ledger technology – blockchain – is gaining more ground, waiting for implementation in many areas of activity, developer solutions can be easily accessed and purchased by companies, which will be able to run them without needing to learn specific tech-related skills.
Founded by two former bankers, Cosmin Cosma and Danut Covalciuc, and two programmers, Dumitru Taraianu and Alex Bejan, the fintech created a free mobile app that helps users manage their own budget in one place through a multi-bank experience.
FINQ offers users the ability to manage and optimize their budget. Users can make all payments in the app regardless of which bank they have opened their account at. They will also be able to resolve new financial needs by opening a new savings account or taking out a personal loan.
The startup was nominated in 2018 for best fintech startup in the final of the Central European Awards.