10 innovative Central European startups you ought to know
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Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn / Flickr

Photo Credit: Moyan Brenn / Flickr

While this reporter could list tens of cool startups from Central Europe, we’ll take a look at just two companies from each country

Central European startups have the advantage of a highly skilled and still relatively cheap workforce. Many are seeing success here and abroad, with an increasing number expanding to the U.S. While this reporter could list tens of cool startups from Central Europe, we’ll take a look at just two companies from each country.

Austria

1. DaoPay

Photo Credit: DaoPay

Photo Credit: DaoPay

DaoPay is a fast growing Austrian company that offers carrier billing payment solutions. With DaoPay, you can buy digital content with your phone – and no credit card. The firm offers a payment platform where users can pay on mobile and landline phones, and is currently available in 54 countries.

While the 14-year-old startup has never disclosed how much funding they have raised, the firm did acquire the ‘pay by call’ business of American rival Boku in September. The deal makes it the largest processor for pay by call payments worldwide, according to the company. DaoPay is predominantly used for purchases of digital content such as virtual goods, in-game purchases, membership and subscription fees, and other services.

2. Wikifolio

Visiting the wikifolio office. Photo Credit: Pavel Curda

Visiting the wikifolio office. Photo Credit: Pavel Curda

This company, which raised a $8.17 million Series B funding round in June, is a social trading platform where day traders publish and compare their portfolios to other users, as well as follow investors of interest. The “wikifolios” turn the portfolios created into fully-fledged financial products traders can invest in, which are then listed on the stock exchange Börse Stuttgart. Each trade, including execution price and fees, is updated in real-time on wikifolio and partner sites to give the user clarity over the movements in the market.

Czech Republic

3. Tripomatic

Photo Credit: Tripomatic

Photo Credit: Tripomatic

Headquartered in Brno, home of top quality technical universities, trip planner app Tripomatic lets you research activities and build your own travel guide for over 500 destinations worldwide. The service is available on the web and mobile, and can be used offline. Founded in 2011 and with an undisclosed amount of funding so far, Tripomatic currently has 350,000 monthly active users and counting.

4. Portadi

Photo Credit: Portadi

Photo Credit: Portadi

Built by Czechs, incubated in Berlin, and incorporated in the U.S., Portadi is a dashboard where teams manage access to web applications. This is particularly crucial for growing companies to keep track of employee actions and ward off cybersecurity threats. Founded in 2014 and with an undisclosed amount of funding, Portadi gives centralized control over access rights, passwords, and onboarding.

Hungary

5. enbrite.ly

Photo Credit: enbrite.ly

Photo Credit: enbrite.ly

It’s pretty frustrating to pay for ads and then find that 36% of the ad’s viewers are actually bots. Sadly, that’s the industry average.

To combat this, enbrite.ly reveals hidden fraud in advertising and similar to companies like SimilarWeb (forgive the pun), makes sources of traffic for advertisements as transparent as possible. The firm won the $500,000 investment prize for the best startup at Slush 2014 – pretty impressive for a company founded during the same year. So far, they have raised $824,000 in one seed round.

6. Shoka

Photo Credit: Shoka

Photo Credit: Shoka

Shoka is the ultimate bicycle bell with display and theft alerts. Connecting with your phone and playing ringtones for different alerts, Shoka is able to signal for important car and pedestrian movements in the rider’s blind spots, alert you if your bike is stolen, help you ride safer, and track your bicycling habits.

At this point, Shoka is a fairly small operation. It raised a bit more than $12,000 in 2014. Still, with how much interest there is in cycling technology, particularly on crowdfunding platforms, we think this startup is worth watching.

Poland

7. Lab4motion

Photo Credit: Lab4motion

Photo Credit: Lab4motion

Based in Poznan, this startup helps businesses truly understand their clients. The firm provides innovative, real-time customer service based on video processing technology combined with other data sources. Lab4motion offers easy integration with APIs and has reported a total funding of $500,000 in three rounds, the latest in May.

8. Estimote

Photo Credit: Estimote

Photo Credit: Estimote

Located in Krakow, New York, and San Francisco, Estimote is an innovative beacon technology company. For those that don’t know, beacons are small, bluetooth enabled devices mounted in a place, such as a store, that pair with apps to encourage location-specific behavior. For example, beacon-connected apps for retail stores, airports, and other businesses alert potential customers with real-time information and/or deals as they approach or leave these businesses. They can only be used by those that have already downloaded the location’s app.

Estimote has developed beacons and a platform that companies can use to enable their apps to provide more location-specific specific offers and reminders. Beyond their wireless sensors, they also have created a software layer that lets beacons communicate and share data with smartphones close by. The startup was founded in 2012 and has raised at least $3.1 million in funding to date.

Slovakia

9. Explain 3D

Photo Credit: Explain 3D

Photo Credit: Explain 3D

Explain 3D is your interactive 3D encyclopedia. It is a system helping teachers, parents, and students explain and understand how things work. With this platform, you hopefully won’t need to search for boring YouTube tutorials.

It has unique, innovative content, and every user can participate and suggest ideas for new simulations to the Explain 3D team and make it a better application. Moreover it makes education fun and with its assistance, you can simply and quickly explain how things in the world work.

10. Sli.do

Photo Credit: Sli.do

Photo Credit: Sli.do

Sli.do helps event planners crowdsource and curate interactive questions and answers in real-time. Event participants can vote up the questions they like the most and live polls allow you to find out in real-time what your audience thinks. This along with other features make events and conferences more fun.

So far, the 3-year-old Bratislava-based startup has raised $39,000 in seed funding.

Laura Rosbrow-Telem contributed editing. 

Featured Image Credit: Moyan Brenn / Flickr

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