Startups in the CEE remain strong in 2022

Dealroom, Google for Startups, Atomico and Credo Ventures published a new report on CEE Startups. Key findings show that CEE startups are resilient and the most efficient value creators in Europe.

Startups in the CEE remain strong in 2022
Image from Central and Eastern European startups - efficient, resilient and growing fast |

We recommend everyone to read this report, and kudos to Dealroom, Google for Startups, Atomico and Credo Ventures for putting it together. But we were particularly interested in mentions of Slovenia and Croatia, where Nlaw operates.

Slovenian web3 startups amount to 427M EUR in enterprise value, the second largest after Estonia with 1,3B EUR. Ljubljana was also mentioned as one of the emerging hubs, with Birdbuddy, Juicy Marbles, Leanpay and PredictLeads rocking the space. The number of startups in Ljubljana is 600+, representing an enterprise value of 2,1B EUR, and they raised 71M EUR in 2022. Slovenian founders do not seem to be happy with the Slovenian business environment. Companies representing 0,7B EUR of enterprise value remain based there, while 1,4B EUR worth of companies relocated elsewhere. Startups were hiring actively, creating more than 50 jobs per every million EUR raised.

Croatia also had a great year! Rockstar Rimac first raised 120M EUR of growth capital, followed by 500M EUR series D (who would have thought that Bugatti's headquarters would be in Croatia?)! Excluding the mega-rounds, Croatian startups raised more than 550M EUR, which makes them the seventh most funded country in the region. Web3 startups can be found in Croatia also, with Revuto and RMRK being mentioned as the most promising. Croatia had the second highest enterprise value growth in the region at 15,7x, following the chart winner Lithuania at 16,6x. Croatian entrepreneurs were more inclined to stay home as 3,1B EUR of enterprise value remained, and 1,6B EUR of enterprise value relocated to other jurisdictions. Croatian startups raised 865M EUR in 2022 in total, the third-best country in the region, trailing Estonia and the Czech Republic. Croatian startups seem to find talent abroad as only about ten jobs were created per every million EUR raised.

Rainbow unicorn inflatable inner tube in tropical island ocean water.
Photo by Meritt Thomas / Unsplash

Overall, it seems 2022 will be another successful year for startups in Slovenia and Croatia. We expect more VC funds to be established in both countries in 2023, and therefore a case for further growth of the space remains.

Nlaw is bullish!