Category Archives: Bulgaria

Maxima Grupe has acquired Barbora

Maxima Grupė, which manages retail chains in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Poland, took over  – Barbora the largest e-commerce company in Lithuania, offering food and other products. The value of the transaction amounted to 1.4 million euros. Maxima Groupė acquired 100% shares of JSC Radas, which had owned 100% shares of Barbora.

maxima-logo                      logo-barbora

The developing startup Barbora conducted for Maxima courier services in Vilnius. It will now become integrated with other e-commerce services of Maxime in Latvia and Estonia.

Barbora is a leader in its field in Lithuania. It had been developed according to its business model, attracting loyal customer base and winning high consumer confidence. Now Barbora will operate as a separate business unit within the Maxima Grupe. Maxima’s management assured that the acquisition will not have a negative impact on the quality of service, product range and prices. There will be no changes in the management board either. Maxime Grupe wants to expand Barbora’s activities not only in other cities in Lithuania, but also through integration with Maxima’s e-companies, which already operate in Latvia and Estonia.

LAUNCHub Ventures shuts its 2nd fund at EUR 18M

Bulgarian VC fund LAUNCHub Ventures has closed its new €18 million second  fund to invest in startups in Bulgaria and Southeast Europe. The existing portfolio companies will benefit as well.

The first LAUNCHub fund of €9M was founded in 2012. It was started as pre-seed tickets up to €200,000. Yet, thanks to this new fund, the venture can deploy into the seed space with investments in the €300,000 to €700,000 scope, expansible to €2M per firm. The aim of the venture’s strategy is to become the obvious first choice for entrepreneurs in their region. The founders believe  there is a fantastic opportunity in the currently underserved South Eastern Europe region, which is quickly growing. LAUNCHub has already lavishly supported the growth of the Bulgarian and regional startup ecosystems.

LAUNCHub’s investors include: the European Investment Fund (EIF), the founders of Bulgarian software corporation Telerik, and many other investors whose names have not been disclosed. The venture is headed up by: Belov, Todor Breshkov, Rumen Iliev, Stanislav Sirakov, and Stephane Gantchev.

LAUNCHub’s portfolio currently features companies in an assorted set of fields, such as: video distribution platform Fite; workflow automation service connecting hundreds of cloud applications Cloudpipes; an online platform connecting pharmacies and pharmaceutical firms Doctrina; UI middleware tool for gaming studios Coherent Labs.

Who are Internet users in Europe?

Gemius analysts have just recently published data on the number of Internet users in Central and Eastern European countries and calculated their internet penetration rate (they checked what percentage of the population are Internet users in a given country).

There were taken into account European countries, where Gemius conducts Internet research: Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania. The data comes from 2015 and refers to population aged 18-69 years (with the exception of Bulgaria, for which data refers to 15-69 years old people).

GemiusAccording to the estimates, the audited country where Internet users represent the largest percentage of population is Estonia. 86% of Estonians are active in the network. In the forefront there are also the Czechs and the Poles. Only every fourth citizen of these countries at the age of 15-69 years did not use the Internet. In turn, the country which recorded the lowest percentage of Internet users, is Romania – 58%.

Internet users in Europe

Countries, where you can observe the greatest gender disparities in structures of Internet users, are: Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Latvia. In Romania and Latvia, males account for 53% of Internet users. On the other hand, in Serbia and Croatia women outclass men by even more percent points. Serbian females account for 56% of Internet users in their country, while Croatian females for 54%.

On the other hand, Moldova is a country where people aged 15-24 constitute the largest group of Internet users – 29%. In Ukraine the largest age group of Internet users are those aged 25-34 (29%). Every fourth Czech person using the Internet is 35-44 years old, every fifth Latvian is 45-54 years old and one in five Estonians is 55 years old or more.

In all the analyzed countries the greatest share in population of Internet users are people with secondary education. The leader of these countries is the Czech Republic, where representatives of this group are 67% of network users. The country with the highest proportion of Internet users among people with higher education is Ukraine – 4%. Meanwhile, the country with the lowest percentage of Internet users with university degree is Slovakia – 21%.

Bulgarian startup StorPool gets a strategic investor

Large companies all around the world are facing many issues concerning data storage and cloud management. Big data and the necessity of sharing everything in a cloud is eating away at the companies budget as well as constantly pressuring their security.

Bulgarian startup StorPool was launched in 2011, and offers some solution to these problems by simplifying cloud storage for large companies. They do storage virtualization, using spare capacities on numerous servers and bulging them in one “unified” storage space. This allows immense levels of scalability and performance in data storage management.

StorPool just closed Series A funding with a strategic investor IT Web, the investment arm of web hosted SiteGround (Bulgarian origins, international services) to accelerate product development.

Boyan Ivanov, the CEO of StorPool seems to be on the right track, positioning his company in a very important business niche, with a highly specialized and sought of service.