Tech News Jan. 14: Zendesk Buys Estonian AI-based Customer Service Startup


🤝Zendesk Acquired Estonian Quality Management Platform Klaus

Klaus, a Tallinn-based quality management platform, has been acquired by US technology company Zendesk, marking an exit for Estonian, German venture funds Acton Capital, Global Founders, Sweden’s Creandum, and investors Kristjan Vilosius and Andrus Purde. Klaus, founded in 2017, provides an artificial intelligence-based feedback automation platform for customer service quality management, aligning with Zendesk’s employee engagement management solution. The company raised a total of $19.9 million in investment. [Source: BalticVC]

🏀Estonian Basketball Fan Engagement Platform Raised $793K

Scorestars, an Estonian basketball fan engagement platform, has successfully raised $793,998 (€725,000) in a seed round, with participation from Trind Ventures, Startup Wise Guys, Portugal’s 3 Comma Capital, and several business angels. The funds will be allocated to marketing efforts and the hiring of new employees for Scorestars, a startup offering a fantasy game where fans collect digital cards of their favorite athletes, engage in virtual basketball management, and compete for prizes, achieving over 300K game plays and 2K transactions among European basketball enthusiasts. [Source: BalticVC]

🧼Estonian Accelerator Invested in Turkish Health and Hygiene Tech

Startup Wise Guys, an Estonian accelerator, has invested in Turkish health and hygiene technology startup ERG Controls, which raised $500,000 in a funding round. The investment, joined by Turkish TechOne, 100th Year Venture Capital, Founder One, TRANGELS, and business angels, will support ERG Controls, an IoT startup based in Istanbul, in enhancing its international market presence and expanding its team. [Source: BalticVC]

🏠 New Tech Hub to Open in Riga 

Opening on February 1, Startup House in Riga’s Spikeri quarter is a specialized workspace designed to be a key startup hub, supported by investments from prominent Latvian startups and entrepreneurs, offering co-working spaces, private offices, and meeting rooms for a monthly fee of 50 euros per desk. Notable members include startups like Monetizr and, along with venture funds. [Source: BalticVC]

🔍Latvian Inspection and Maintenance Company Received $4.8M Grant from EU

Aerones, a Riga-based startup specializing in robot-enabled wind turbine inspection and maintenance, has secured a $4.8 million (€4,416,000) grant from the EU’s Innovation Fund, set up to decarbonize European industry and support climate neutrality transition. The funding will be used to develop and deploy robotic sets for repairing wind turbine blade leading edges, aiming to reduce repair downtime by 67%, avoid 161,349 tons of CO2 emissions over a decade, and contribute to the global transition to renewable energy. [Source:]

🚀10 Lithuanian Startups to Watch In 2024

As the Lithuanian startup scene flourishes in 2024, ten innovative companies will significantly impact various industries. From Leafood‘s sustainable vertical farming to Tyler Health‘s personalized metabolic health companion, these startups are not only driving technological advancements but also addressing societal and environmental challenges, positioning themselves as noteworthy players to watch in the coming year. Read the full article for the list of all the startups. [Source: TechRound]


☁️ZAS Ventures Invested $50K in a Cloud Infrastructure Optimization Startup

CloudAvocado, a Ukrainian cloud infrastructure cost optimization startup, has secured a $50,000 investment from ZAS Ventures, with the funds earmarked for strengthening the company’s business development and marketing. CloudAvocado’s product focuses on optimizing cloud costs on AWS, providing real-time analytics and reports on infrastructure costs, and offering guidance on reducing the environmental impact by optimizing cloud resource usage. [Source:]


👍Subscription Startup YAYA Raised $100K in Investment

YAYA, a Kazakhstani startup offering a single subscription for children’s sports, development, and entertainment centers, has initiated a pre-seed investment round with a $2 million valuation. The project has already secured $100,000 from initial investors such as Saken Shayakhmetov, Chocofamily co-founder Anvar Bakiev, and business angel Aidar Baimakhan, with plans to attract an additional $400,000 at a $4 million valuation to fuel business growth and scaling efforts. [Source:]


📈International Agencies Forecast Stable Economic Growth for Uzbekistan in 2024

Uzbekistan’s economic outlook for 2024 is optimistic, with the Asian Development Bank predicting a 5.5% GDP growth and the World Bank anticipating rates between 5.5% and 5.8%. Credit rating agencies like S&P and Moody’s affirmed the nation’s stable creditworthiness, highlighting the significance of ongoing reforms and fiscal policies for sustained economic advancement, positioning Uzbekistan as an attractive destination for diverse investment opportunities. [Source: Daryo]


💰Presto Ventures Leads $330K Pre-seed Round

Wempler, a Georgian marketplace for task delegation, has raised $330,000 in a pre-seed round led by Prague-based Presto Ventures, with plans to utilize the investment for product development and market expansion. Founded in 2022 in Tbilisi, Wempler connects customers with local businesses and experts for various tasks, claiming to provide matching with the three most suitable offers within 5 minutes, having completed over 22,000 tasks and served more than 10,000 customers since its launch. The startup plans to use the investment toward product development and market expansion. [Source:]


🐶Biotech Startup Secured $2.7M for Veterinary Therapy 

Bioceltix, a biotech startup based in Poland, has secured around $2.7 million (€2.53 million, PLN 11 million) in subsidies under the European Funds for a Modern Economy (FENG) program and signed a co-financing agreement with the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development. The startup is focusing on developing stem cell-based medicinal products for veterinary use, with its current project involving a drug candidate for treating atopic dermatitis in canines, initiating a multicenter clinical trial in Hungary, Portugal, Ireland, and Poland to confirm the effectiveness and safety of the developed product. [Source:]

📚EdTech Secured $438K of Investment, a Polish ed-tech startup, has secured approximately $438,000 (€400,000, PLN 1.75 million) in investment from Tar Heel Capital Pathfinder, EKIPA Investments, and an undisclosed private investor. Multilango’s platform allows employers to offer foreign language learning as an employee benefit, providing one-on-one online lessons with experienced instructors in sixteen different languages, and the funding will support the startup in expanding its market presence, scaling sales, and enhancing product functionalities, including work on machine learning and speech recognition features. [Source:]


🐜Biotech Received $8.7M of Funding

Nasekomo, a Sofia-based biotech startup, has secured approximately $8.7 million (€8 million) in a Series A funding round led by private equity fund Invenio Partners. The funds will support Nasekomo’s transition to a data-driven franchising business model, aiming to operate 100 bioconversion factories by 2030, each capable of processing up to 100,000 tons of biowaste into valuable insect protein, oil, and organic soil fertilizer. [Source:]

📱Smartphone Renewal Company Secured $1.5M in Investment, a Bulgarian company specializing in refurbishing and selling used smartphones, has secured approximately $1.5 million (€1.4 million) in investments supported by Vitosha Venture Partners and New Vision 3. Founded in October 2021, reported just under $2.7 million (€2.5 million) in revenue for 2023, marking a nearly fivefold increase from the previous year. The company has plans to expand further in the Bulgarian market and abroad, targeting countries like Greece, Romania, and other Eastern European nations. [Source:]


💡Energy Tech AI Raised $685K

Ogre AI, a Bucharest-based energy solutions provider, has raised approximately $684,000 (€625,000) in funding from Czech Soulmates Ventures, with participation from Romanian Early Game Ventures and Matei Stratan, the CEO of Ogre AI. The data science startup specializing in energy sector solutions based on machine learning and artificial intelligence. The funds will be used for product scaling and expansion into the European market, including the Czech Republic. [Source:]


💰2023 Largest Funding Rounds in Central and Eastern Europe

The Central and Eastern European (CEE) region experienced a surge in investment in 2023, fostering the growth of startups and companies. Despite challenges and the absence of registered unicorns, notable funding rounds were secured by companies such as R.Power Renewables (€150M), LucidLink ($75M), Causaly ($60M), Hack The Box ($55M), Instacar (€55M), Dronamics ($40M), ($35M), TileDB ($34M), Keboola ($32M), DRUID AI ($30M), Plan A ($27M), IP Fabric ($25M), Woltair (€20.5M), ElevenLabs ($20M), and GenePlanet (€20M), showcasing the dynamism and potential of the CEE region in various sectors, including energy, cybersecurity, healthtech, AI, biotechnology, and more. [Source: The Recursive]

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