In 2013, startups presented new ideas, inventions and platforms, tested strategies, competed with their business plans, and fundraised like their very lives depended on it (because they did!). To celebrate some end-of-the-year motivational success stories, we take a look back at the top 5 largest investments we wrote about this past year.
1. GoodData, Czech Republic: 22 million dollars
In the top spot is the winner by a landslide. Originating in the Czech Republic, cloud-based, on-demand business intelligence provider GoodData announced in June their 22-million-dollar investment by Latin American enterprise software company TOTVS. Founded in 2007, GoodData moved its corporate headquarters to San Francisco and now the company has been operating jointly between the US and the Czech Republic, while expanding into Australia and the Asia Pacific market in 2012. The expansion caught the eye of TOTVS Ventures, the software company’s investment branch. With this year’s windfall, GoodData will be inspiring to watch in 2014.
2. Pipedrive, Estonia, 2.4 million dollars
Estonia-founded and currently Palo Alto-based sales management software provider Pipedrive raised a seed round, their second in two years, of 2,4 million dollars in 2013. Investors in this round included TMT Investments, Rembrandt Venture Partners, Storm Ventures, plus additional angel investors. The founding team identified a gap in the market: the need for sales people to better manage customer relationships – so they developed the software to fill it. The work paid off, with the software now in use in 105 countries by over 5.000 paying customers, including substantial new capital. “We believe the new funding and the new people we have added with this round will help us in building a great company and grow a lot faster in the near future,” said co-founder Martin Henk.
3. AFreeze, Austria: 2 million euros
Medical engineering startup AFreeze was given the go-ahead following promising results in their first clinical trials thanks to a 2-million-euro private investment round. Their innovative apparatus, the AFreeze CoolLoop, is a cardiac catheter using freezing temperatures to treat common cardiac issues affecting millions of patients. The Tyrolian team behind the new treatment option has actually managed to make “cold-hearted” a positive thing to be, and are taking it Europe-wide. “The proceeds of the financing will be used to complete further clinical studies,” CEO Dr. Gertraud Unterrainer told inventures.eu not too long ago.
4. Zemanta, Slovenia: 2 million dollars
Ljubljana-built startup Zemanta received 2 million dollars in a venture capital round, bringing the grand total for this web content discovery, promotion, and marketing service to 8 million dollars since its founding. The growth and capital have already brought positive changes, as the company’s co-founders switched and settled into new roles within its structure, and the company itself progressively transitions into a marketing-oriented business. New CEO Todd Sawicki said in a blog post that the new funding will be channeled into investments in “native and content-based ad technology, to expand its platform and partnerships, as well as to grow the sales and marketing team.”
5. Apiary, Czech Republic: 1.63 million dollars
Czech-founded, San Francisco-based personal API design platform Apiary enables users to design their own API before programming begins. Apiary launched its public beta at the end of 2012, and in September 2013 announced they had secured 1,63 million dollars in a funding round. Two US-based venture capital companies, Flybridge Capital Partners and Baseline Ventures, led the investments. Founder and CEO Jakub Nesetril told inventures.eu that the financial boost will further expand the API design platform and help grow the team.