ARICOMA Group, part of the Czech holding KKCG, acquired 100% of the Bulgarian IT company Musala Soft. The value of the deal remains undisclosed. The Bulgarian management team will stay on board in the long term. Founded in 2020 in Sofia, Musala Soft builds next-generation software products and enterprise solutions for local and international clients. The company is provider of high-end software engineering services in AI, Big Data, IoT, Analytics, Cloud, and Integration. Musala Soft covers all elements of the software life cycle for clients in IT, Telecom, Finance and Automotive. The company has a team of 750 employees and, apart from the office in Sofia, it also has offices in Burgas, Ruse and Skopje, as well as local partners in Egypt, Albania and Kosovo. With the acquisition of the company, ARICOMA Group becomes a family of 10 technology companies and a leading supplier in the development of software solutions from South-Eastern Europe with a consolidated turnover exceeding EUR 400 million, and more than 4000 professionals. The group partners with more than 1,000 clients in a total of 15 markets from its 8 Europe-based delivery centers and provides end-to-end digital transformation solutions, including UX design and consulting, software development, IT infrastructure, IT operations management, cloud services, and security.
The smart career platform nPloy raised an investment of over BGN 3.8 million. The main investor is the Morningside Hil venture capital fund. In this first round for the Sofia-based startup, funding was also attracted from Blue Ocean Ventures, Digimark Ventures and GAP Investments. The investment will help nPloy enter new markets in Central and Eastern Europe. By the end of next year, the company plans to launch operations in 10 countries in the region. Currently, the platform is active in Bulgaria and Romania.
The nPloy career platform is a locally developed product that, unlike standard job boards, offers employers the opportunity to find and contact even passive job seekers, start a chat or video interview, and build and develop their employer brand by using various tools integrated into the platform. For job seekers, the platform is completely free and accessible via a mobile app. In April, Invest Sofia signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with the company for joint activities in the development of the labour market in Sofia, overcoming the shortage of staff, and helping talents and companies in the context of human resources management.
The Foody.to platform developed by the Sofia-based startup “Sofia to Go” Ltd. attracted 50,000 euros from the FUn of Fund’s fund manager Innovation Capital. The platform started as an Instagram blog for food and restaurant lovers in Sofia but developed into a marketplace for orders of food not sold during the usual opening hours of the restaurants. In order not to be thrown away as waste, it is offered for delivery at a discount between 10 and 40%. The Foody.to business currently covers over 60 food spots in Sofia and Varna. The company aims to expand to other large cities across the country. The platform became a semi-finalist in the European Commission’s EuropeanSocial Innovation Competition 2021 because of the mission behind its business model – to reduce food waste. The foody.to website gives access to an interactive map of the city with the nearest daily offers of the partner restaurants. A mobile app for Google Play and the App Store is currently under development.
Sofia concentrates the vast majority of multinational and Bulgarian companies in the robotics and automation sector in the country. Data is according to the latest report of the Bulgarian Professional Association of Robotics and Automation (PARA). The fourth edition of the annual report includes data from 2021 and presents the achievements of companies and organizations, academic institutions, etc. The document also includes a mapping of the key stakeholders in the ecosystem. In the mapping, 100% of the included robotics and automation multinational companies have their headquarters in Sofia, as well as over 75% of the Bulgarian companies. All R&D centers listed in the mapping are also in Sofia. These are the Institute for Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, and Technology (INSAIT), the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia Tech Park and the co-innovation hub Resonator. Sofia-based companies such as FESTO, OCADO Technology, Schneider Electric, Zuhlke Engineering, Gimatic, ABB, FANUC Bulgaria, SPESIMA, Giga Automata, Allterco Robotics, Kimex, Neurorehabilitation Robotics, Amygda Labs, ZekEng, Ondo, Technology Valley, IRise Mechanics, Biodit has been featured among the main players in the ecosystem.
Among the good practices are the stories of four capital startup companies – the software robot company RPA Consulting, the industrial AI startup Amygda Labs, the Neurorehabilitation Robotics’ solution for accelerated recovery process through AI-based software and devices, and the digital twin startup MYX. The BGN 19 million investment of Nestlé Bulgaria for a new automated factory in Sofia, the activities of Festo’s engineering center on projects and products for medical and laboratory automation, the work of Ocado’s Sofia-based robotics team on automation of orders in e-trade robotics and many more successful examples from companies in Sofia and the country have also been presented.
The report Bulgarian Success Stories in Robotics and Industrial Automation 2021 is available for free download from PARA’s website here.
Source: Sofia Investment Agency