Which are the best startups in Poland ?

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How startups got started

 

Ralph Talmont of TEDxWarsaw asked me for suggestions in preparing a speech-  in answering his e-mail I ended up creating this blog post. This is  both an aggregation of other lists –  (disclaimer – where I have done this  I am neither taking the credit for the work done, nor claiming that the startups listed are good companies –  in the sense of providing clients with something fun or  useful, creating good jobs, paying taxes and proving a return to investors).

The photo of Open Coffee Kraków’s event at Google for Entrepreneurs is a partly an advert, and partly a public thanks to Google for Entrepreneurs Kraków who did a great deal to accelerate the Krakow Startup community. I’ve written about this elsewhere and also  here 

If you want to keep up to date with the startup community  there are a few places to check regularly. My passive aggressive streak will take you here   though this approach can lead you to strange EU funded lists like this  The best list of startups is here on Quora – copy pasted below  (note the total lack of government money). Hat tip to Borys at Reaktor Warsaw for this, it’s copy pasted below..  Ramon’s Tancinco gave this memorable TEDxKraków talk and build this free site    which has a very good list including many startups

There is an effort to bring the Polish Startup Community together here 

There are places where local communities find out what is going on, For example OMGKRK’s Facebook page

Proseed magazine in Polish  and Bitspiration and Mam Startup Goal Europe has regional news. Probably Techcrunch is a great place to look. Mike Butcher and John Biggs know more about our eco system than most, and regularly visit.

What is a great startup ?
 Getting funding is not the moment to declare victory.  These thoughts led me here , while capital remains cheap (and low commodity prices, a strong dollar and weak global demand mean that they probably will stay low for a while yet ) silly valuations in the Valley will encourage us to invest. I have not listed my investments – they are available on my Linkedin  There is more than one way to skin a cat, and there is more than one way to make US$100 million , well described here   How many startups put out a press release saying “we are cash positive “. Companies like Netguru and Paul Klipp’s Kanbanery are doing fine – but do they count as  startups. ?
In my view, the coolest company in Poland is Integer’s Inpost/Paczkomaty  – a world leader, who are busy disrupting retail, with strong first mover advantage,  being part of  Amazon and Ebay eco-system,  chosen by Naspers (via Allegro) as a strategic partner.  It was a startup in Krakow not so long ago, and they are conquering the world.  They may yet cause the collapse of retail rents.
Krakow’s Brainly and Base  both got over $10 mln investment. I’m still not sure what Brainly’s business model is, but helping kids stuck with homework globally is a “must have”  painkiller, and they have 30 million users. They will do well.   Base has a “must have product”,   great design, but CRM is anything but scaleable as anyone who has tried to deploy must know. I wonder how they will avoid adding complexity while giving clients what they need.  
Everydayiplay  – is an little known Kraków  games phenomenon with more than 2.5 mln downloads of its top ten Facebook game Vikings Gone Wild  but if we are mentioned games then we need to point out Polish success stories like CD Projekt 
and if we talk about larger tech businesses in Poland, why not Comarch . How many tech entrepreneurs have created as much value ? Livechat in Wroclaw are growing fast, great profitability and are in a market that can only get bigger and bigger
Here is the Reaktor list.
Hardware and Healthcare startups:

Consumer-facing Apps

Fashion sites and Online Boutiques

SEO and Social Media tools:

Specialized Business Tools

Specialized APIs and Platforms:

Bonus 
Some of the biggest Polish-market specific companies you’ve never heard of if you’re not Polish include:

  • Allegro – Polish ebay (acquired by Naspers)
  • Gadu-Gadu – Polish ICQ (acquired by Naspers)
  • Nasza-Klasa – Polish ClassMates (acquired by Odnoklassiki, now part of the Mail_ru group)
  • Onet – Polish Yahoo by Piotr Wilam (acquired by Ringier Axel Springer Polska)
  • Wirtualna Polska and O2 by Michał Brański – two more Polish yahoos, now merged into one company
  • Interia – yet another Polish Yahoo, independent
  • GoldenLine – Polish Linkedin by Mariusz Gralewski
  • Niania.pl – connecting families with caregiver
On 10 January 2015 at 09:53, Ralph Talmont <rt@well.com> wrote:

Hey there you guys

Please let me know how I can help StartupPoland.

Also, I urgently need exaples of already successful or dynamically growing PL startups that are not getting enough press, ie. not Estimote 🙂 Giving a talk about this next week.

Ciao
RT

iPhone therefore iTypo, iTerse and quite possibly iMakespellingmistakes so iApologise.

 

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2 comments on “Which are the best startups in Poland ?

  1. To learn more about interesting startups in Poland, follow @Polish_Startups on Twitter, watch other inspiring talks and check out the  Bitspiration blog which covers new projects.

  2. Hi Richard,
    Thanks for the excellent article about Polish startup market!
    I’d like to show you another inspiring one – TimeCamp, which is a company producing time tracking and project management software. Our time tracker is well-known and used by thousands of companies worldwide. Is it possible to contact you to discuss adding the company to your list? Please email me at o.rybacka@timecamp.com!
    Ola Rybacka, Social Media Manager at TimeCamp