The 2015 edition of the pan-European startup contest Idea Challenge sees an increase in variety and internationality. The series of events re…
Photo credit: Ina Ciobanu
Bulgarian seed fund LAUNCHub has just announced the composition of the new batch joining its investment portfolio. Out of the 200 startups that applied to the selection run in February 2014, only six companies made the cut: one from Romania, four from Bulgaria, and one from Slovenia.
Lyuben Belov, managing partner at LAUNCHub, told inventures.eu that the three main reasons they have decided to invest in the six new companies are their teams, the traction gained so far and the markets they are addressing. “These factors are crucial for us to identify an investment opportunity and growth potential in a startup company,” he said.
According to Belov, the overall total investment in these six companies is approximately 400.000 euros. In addition to receiving seed funding, the selected startups will also benefit from coaching and networking during the programme. Created about two years ago, the Sofia-based fund has already invested approximately three million euros in the digital tech sector mainly in the SEE region but since recently, also further west. With those newcomers on board, LAUNCHub now spans the South European map from Romania to Greece and Slovenia to Ukraine with 41 investees in seven countries. “This is the region we are focusing on and we have seen some impressive tech talent here ready to disrupt the tech scene,” Belov said.
Among the happy few entering the LAUNCHub family is Romanian Style Jukebox, who’s recently made our front-page news. This cross-platform for saving music enables the users to access and stream their favourite songs from different devices, both online or offline.
Who else is on board?
The four Bulgarian newcomers include AdTapsy, a mobile ad revenue accelerator aiming to help publishers and developers to monetise their apps. Easy to integrate, the tool is fully automatic and supports profitable ad networks.
Both a personal organiser and a social tool, Clusterize combines Facebook and Google+ events and categorises them automatically. The app also recommends users the best ways to spend their free time based on their interests, the people they hang out with most, and their previous outgoings.
Meanwhile, the CM2W platform provides a cost-effective and easy way to monitor and control remote devices in real time, responding to customer needs for consistent information and opportunity for timely response to different input events.
To encourage personal education, Zeduki is a marketplace for live e-learning and tutoring where students and teachers can meet and share resources. The platform offers users to pay online and get lessons directly, either on one-to-one or group sessions.
Last but not least, to the great joy of winemakers and oenologists, Slovenian Enolyse offers a comprehensive system for monitoring must fermentation thanks to a small device and an app. The smart sensor measures the degree of sugar, alcohol as well as temperature and, from the web or mobile application, tells the wine producers about the stage of the fermentation and when they should rack the wine.
Belov said the fund expects fast growth and further development of those six investees’ products and solutions, as well as readiness to learn, to share experience and to work together as a team and as partners. “The most successful teams we have supported in the past two years have shown commitment, creativity and passion in their development and we have the same expectations for the newcomers as well,” he added.
Entrepreneurs of the region, mark your calendars and refine your business idea: LAUNCHub’s next investment round is scheduled to open on 12 May.
In April, about 20 promising ventures from the HR world pitched their ideas at the ‘Personal Swiss’, an HR fair in Switzerland. Austrian startup Mercury Puzzle was among them and got voted most exciting, innovative and promising HR venture by a jury, 200 online stream viewers and the guests themselves at the fair and so won the HR innovation slam.
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