Krakow is the place where most money is invested in start-ups among all Polish agglomerations - more than Wroclaw, Trojmiasto or even Warsaw. As many as 40% of Polish start-ups, which gained at least PLN 10 mln from investors, come from Krakow, according to Aspire and Motife's report on Krakow's IT market.
Almost PLN 1.7 billion ($460 million) in funding for the development of modern technology and software has been obtained by fifteen of Kraków's most successful start-ups since their inception.
What do Krakow's start-ups do?
Start-ups operating in Krakow can be divided into three groups. The first of them focuses on the development of IoT, i.e. the so-called Internet of Things, and it mainly includes companies such as Silvair, EMBETECH, Airly, SEEDia, Husarion, Findair, Estimote, Elmodis or Kontakt.io.
Krakow start-ups also specialise strongly in building tools and developing services that support sales and marketing. This group includes such ventures as Zendesk Sell (formerly BASE), CallPage, Codewise, Synerise, SalesManago, FreshMail, Edward or edrone.
Into the last drawer we can assign game development companies. According to the Aspire and Motife report, more than 20% of Polish game studios are either based in Krakow or have their offices in Krakow. In this case we are talking about companies such as Infinity Ward/Activision (Call of Duty), CD Projekt RED (The Witcher, Cyberpunk 2077) and Gamesture (Questland).
Top 15 players
Brainly is by far the biggest success story on the Krakow start-up scene. The company with its educational platform, visited by 200 million users per month, has raised $148.5 million in funding since its inception in 2009. Of course, Brainly, as well as companies such as Estimote, Kontakt.io or Silvair no longer work only in Krakow, and their headquarters are now located in the United States.
Of these fifteen most successful Krakow start-ups, according to the Crunchbase platform, Mobiltek started the earliest. The company, which works on software that enables the use of mobile payments in business, started in 2002 and has since raised 112 million dollars in funding.
Zendesk Sell, which has built a platform for managing customer relationships, e.g. in online shops (CRM), is in third place in terms of the amount of funding raised from investors - the company has raised 91.2 million dollars since 2009.
This is already several times lower than the funding ceiling, but investors also strongly trusted the Estimote platform (27 million dollars), Silvair (23.3 million dollars) or Synerise (19.2 million dollars). Other start-ups at the forefront of the Krakow's scene and which have intensively gone global include Airly, Beit, CallPage, Codewise, edrone, Elmodis, Kontakt.io, SALESmanago and Sinterit.