Polish tech starups companies

Top 10 Polish startups to watch out for in 2021

date: 24 June 2021
reading time: 8 min

Poland can currently be considered a hub for startups. There’s a tremendous number of emerging and already-established technological companies that are extremely successful in the international market.

Michał Suski, Co-Founder of one of these businesses (Surfer), talks about being a leader of a startup in Poland:

Poland has quite a lot of advantages in the context of running a Startup. One of the biggest is access to the world’s best developers while keeping your budget in check. Relatively low costs and a weaker currency allow it to grow faster than competitors from the United States or Great Britain.

Poland has noted a tremendous increase in startup VC funding. In fact, 2020 was the year with an all-time highest amount of money raised by investors.

According to PFR Ventures’ report, €477 million has flown into Polish startups. Tim Draper, a billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist agrees and told Sifted that:

We are about to see the golden age of Eastern Europe, now is the perfect time to look into investing in Poland. The region has always had great technology but now they are starting to connect it to the marketplace. Poland is a generation ahead of other countries in the region in understanding the market system.

There are roughly 10,000 Eastern European startups that have won first funding rounds and are ready to go international. For this reason, Future Processing has decided to compose a list of the top ten Polish startups to watch out for in 2021.


Zowie

Zowie is an innovative self-learning AI chatbot that allows a portion of customer service requests to be automated. Currently serving brands such as L’Oreal, InPost, and Aviva, Zowie has experienced rapid growth, mostly due to their cutting-edge product, as well as angel investor funding and venture capital.

The main advantages of Zowie are its versatility with 56 supported languages, integrations with any customer service system, and an effortless setup. Zowie boasts automating as many as 30% requests on day one, with InPost noting 92% after some time.

Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2019Maja Schaefer and Matt Ciolek $620K Seed Round — Zowie Inc. Inovo Venture Partners 19B2B SaaS


KP Labs

KP Labs is a Gliwice-based space startup whose main mission is to “bring autonomy into demanding space missions” by using sophisticated computer software and Artificial Intelligence.

KP Labs offers numerous services, having completed multiple projects in the fields of hyperspectral imaging, advanced vision-based systems, flight software & mission automation, flight testing and simulation, high-performance computing, flight computers, computer vision, and machine learning.

KP Labs’ largest ongoing project is the hyperspectral Earth observation satellite that will allow for automatic processing of imagery. This will involve in-orbit calculations, segmentation, and classification, which will facilitate analysing the images. The entire project is based on deep neural networks.

Michał Zachara COO of KP Labs talks about Space Industry in Poland:

Being located in Poland is a strong advantage for space companies. Poland joined the European Space Agency in 2012, which accelerated the rise of the local NewSpace market. On the other hand, it is at the very beginning of its development, with only several space companies based in Poland, and can still be considered as a blue ocean. That, combined with great local engineers, creates a good atmosphere for the company’s growth. Polish engineers are top of their class, and what is more important they have an unlimited source of creativity and will of self-development. Doing space projects is cool by name, and participation in the space race is an inner-motivation for our team.
Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2016Krzysztof PacanPLN32,800,000  PLN13 926 303,05 for the Innovative hyperspectral Earth observation system European Union, Silesian Voivodeship, The National Centre for Research and Development, Republic of Poland 36B2B R&D


Symmetrical

Symmetrical is an innovative platform that lets employees pay out a portion of their salary they’ve already earned. Instead of waiting for the end of the month, they can almost instantly transfer their earnings in a safe and secure way, without high-interest rates. Employers may adapt this to their payroll system to increase employee happiness and loyalty. 

Founded in 2019, Symmetrical has won considerable funding from prominent investors, adding up to €7.3 million over the two years of its existence. 

Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2019Piotr Smolen, Daniel Wartolowski, Maciej Noga€7,300,000  2020 Symmetrical Seed Round — €5,600,000Global Founders Capital, Finch Capital, Market One Capital, Plug And Play, Partech,36B2B SaaS


Linker

Linker Cloud Fulfillment Platform is a Warsaw-based startup whose main mission is the facilitation of logistics for eCommerce businesses. With its vast network of locally-managed storehouses, Linker can provide a seamless delivery in Poland, Spain, The United Kingdom, Romania, France, and Germany. Still, this is a new feature, only introduced at the beginning of 2021.

Still, Linker’s unique selling point is its software. Namely, an order management system that lets you handle everything in real time. It integrates with the biggest eCommerce platforms like Amazon, eBay, Magento, Shopify, and WooCommerce, as well as delivery companies like UPS and DHL. The application lets you streamline the process by synchronising with all sales channels, verifying past transactions, picking and sorting support, packing, and finally shipment & delivery conveniences.

Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2017Daniel Kierdal, Wojciech CiołkoN/AN/AMarket One Capital, Kogito Ventures28B2B SaaS & fulfillment network


Autonomous Systems

Founded in 2019 by the hands of former Future Processing CEO Jarosław Czaja, Autonomous Systems is making a name for itself in the field of vehicle autonomy. This Gliwice-based startup, while young, has already accomplished major projects. For one, Autonomous Systems has devised a neural network that maps the surroundings of a vehicle. Another significant project is the system of facilitating specific manoeuvres for bus drivers based on deep neural networks and data retrieved from sensors.

Their mission is using cutting-edge technology to make the process of handling a fleet easier, and the automation of drivers’ tasks.

Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2019Jarosław CzajaPLN5,400,000PLN3,100,000 for a system mapping the vehicle surroundings’ depth via the analysis of imagery from heterogenic cameras by convolutional neural networks.Republic of Poland, European Union, Silesian Voivodeship, The National Centre for Research and Development15B2B R&D


Brand24

Born in 2010, Brand24 is one of the leading social listening tools that allows you to gather mentions of specific keywords and use the data to your advantage. The main features include media monitoring, sentiment analysis, mention analytics, influence score, alerts, and filtering.

With the use of social listening, brands can always stay on top of current trends, avoid PR blunders, and conduct successful data-driven market research. Currently, Brand24 has been trusted by brands such as Uber, Intel, and McCann. Michał Sadowski, CEO of Brand24, remarks on what it’s like to run a startup in Poland:

Running a global, online business from Poland means access to top human resources. We have some of the best developers, designers, marketers, customer success experts. You name it. Specifically, during these challenging times, you can run a business from anywhere in the World. To be honest, we used to think this was impossible. We used to plan to have a dedicated office in the US. Clients surprised us, though. If the product is good enough, they are happy to use software made in Poland.

Michał Sadowski announced that Brand24 will be coming back to the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2010Michał Sadowski3,800,000 PLNVenture Round — 1,500,000 PLNVenture INC S.A., Inovo Venture Partners65B2B SaaS


edrone

Cracow-based edrone is one of the world’s leading CRMs for eCommerce. edrone has two integral elements: Learn, which covers extensive analytics, RFM segmentation and a detailed look at each client, and Engage, which consists of 20 customer behaviour scenarios, sending recommendations, and cross-selling based on their Customer Intelligence algorithms.

edrone uses sophisticated technology like AI and machine learning to provide the best possible data-driven CRM. Still, even though edrone is so complex beneath the surface, its implementation is like a walk in the park. Their mission is to help eCommerce companies understand their customers and engage them with easy-to-use Plug‘n’Play software.

Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2014Michał Blak, Rahim Blak$5,900,0002020 Grant — 12,600,000 PLNPortfoLion Capital Partners112B2B CRM SaaS


Booksy

Polish startup with headquarters in San Francisco, Booksy is the leader in the field of platforms for beauty-related businesses. With great numbers raised through funding — first €49 million and then $70 million in VC, Booksy has experienced considerable growth with almost 30 000 active businesses.

Booksy facilitates the process of appointing a visit through Facebook, Instagram, Yelp, and Google integrations. Booksy’s mobile app is also a way of scheduling. Not only does it help customers, but it also lets beauty salons get discovered more easily, reduce no-shows, and keep their schedules full. Booksy also offers management features in terms of bookings, team management, and client records.

Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2014Stefan Batory, Konrad Howard$118,700,000Series C 27 Jan 2021 — $70,000,000Cat Rock Capital, ENERN Investments Piton Capital, Open Ocean, Inovo Venture Partners90B2B SaaS


Brainly

Cracow-based Brainly is a peer-to-peer platform for teachers, students, and parents who are in need of assistance in terms of homework. Brainly offers the unique experience of contacting thousands of people all around the world to answer your questions concerning schoolwork. Currently, Brainly’s users amount to 350 million in 35 countries.

Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2009Michał Borkowski, Łukasz Haluch, Tomasz Kraus$148,500,000Dec 2020 Series D — $80,000,000General Catalyst, Point Nine Capital, Learn Capital, Runa Capital, Kulczyk Investments378P2P platform


Surfer

Surfer, being a unique position in this particular list, is a company that was bootstrapped right from the beginning. Sławomir Czajkowski, Surfer’s Co-Founder and CEO, comments on the troubles of bootstrapping:

Founders who decide to bootstrap need to find a balance between straining for quick break-even, meaning a situation where sales can finance upkeep, and the long-term goals, which often need additional investments.

Surfer has now grown to $2.8 million in Annual Recurring Revenue.

Surfer is a content intelligence tool that enables companies to actively improve their content in terms of on-page optimisation. Based on hundreds of ranking factors and the top 10 positions in the SERP, Surfer provides machine learning-powered recommendations for your articles. It’s hugely based on NLP, or Natural Language Processing, which enables the tool to give you the best possible solutions for optimisation.

Founded inFoundersFundingLargest round Investors Number of employees Business model 
2017Michał Suski, Lucjan Suski, Sławomir CzajkowskiNoneN/AN/A30B2B SaaS

If you’d like to read about skyrocketing Polish IT companies, Future Processing has also composed a list of the top 15 fastest-growing enterprises.

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