CEE Startup Challenge organized by Vestbee, the leading regional platform connecting global investors, accelerators, business angels and corporates with startups and scaleups from Central & Eastern Europe, has ended. Austrian Schrott24 outcompeted more than 1000 companies fighting for an opportunity to win 1 million euro investment from Next Road Ventures. Second and third places were taken by, respectively, Agremo and Senuto.
Founded in 2016 in Austria, Schrott24, a B2B platform aiming to automate the European metal scrap market, started operations with its working prototype on $7.4B markets of Austria and Germany and has been growing rapidly since then. In August 2019 Schrott24 acquired METALSALE - a German startup operating in the same industry. The company plans to expand to other European markets.
Agremo, a Serbian startup backed by South Central Ventures and StartLabs, develops intuitive agricultural sensing and drone analysis platform for drone operators, growers, and agronomists. Agremo helps to collect and analyze data about crops and fields which helps to improve agricultural processes. It has already paying users in more than 100 countries and plans to develop its technology and world presence further.
A Polish startup, Senuto provides SaaS-based tools for comprehensive SEO support and smart content planning to rank higher in Google. This marketing tool uses AI and Big Data technology to provide insights enabling SEO optimization of webpage and marketing campaigns. The startup is proving its advantages with big clients on board, like Axel Springer, onet.pl group and pracuj.pl, as well as over 11 000 professionals using the tool already.
Among the finalists, we can find prospective startups from full spectrum of industries: Healcloud and Biotts - MedTech enterprises, DoDo and Cargofy aiming to disrupt transportation market, Talent Alpha - engineers recruitment platform, IP Fabric providing cybersecurity to companies and Scio Technologies operating on automotive market.
Apart from the main prize from Next Road Ventures, selected teams from TOP10 were granted special prizes, such as training on "How to negotiate with a VC fund" by Olesiński&Wspólnicy or free financial due diligence for the winner by GenProx. Beside this, all participants benefited from discounts or free trial periods by the Partners of the competition - Google Cloud, Brand24, Revolut infoShare or MamStartup.
InnoEnergy’s special prize was awarded to a Lithuanian startup - Inion. Inion has developed hardware and software used to manage Photovoltaic Plants and increase production. The prize is a fast track to InnoEnergy HIGHWAY, an acceleration program for startups operating in energy industry.
“We took part in the Vestbee CEE Startup Challenge jury panel looking for innovative cleantech startups, ready to boost their ideas with our investment. We came across Inion - we believe they will be the ones who will revolutionize the booming PV market and become the next market leader”, said Łukasz Skarka, Investment Manager at InnoEnergy Central Europe.
CEE Startup Challenge IV is a continuation of the series of online challenges organized by Vestbee, the leading matching platform in CEE that aims to fill the regional funding gap, building bridges between global investors and startups from Central & Eastern Europe. Among investors and corporate partners supporting this initiative, you can find a bunch of well-known names such as Balderton Capital, TMT Investments, Accel, Credo Ventures, SpeedUp, Innovation Nest, InnoEnergy, Engie, Talanx and Adamed.
The next competition - CEE Scaleup Challenge will be launched in February focusing on companies on later stages of their development- raising pre-series A and beyond.