Wednesday, 19 April 2023

Croatian Project Museum of Illusions Aiming for 100 Locations Worldwide

April 19, 2023 - The Museum of Illusions - a globally renowned project born in Croatia, is embarking on an aggressive global expansion. The ambitious team of Metamorfoza, which is in charge of business expansion, aims to have 100 such museums worldwide in its portfolio by the end of 2026.

As Poslovni writes, the Museum of Illusions currently has 42 locations from Zagreb through New York, Dubai, Milan, and Paris, in 25 countries. Such intensive expansion was accompanied by strengthening the team that globally manages the brand from Croatia. So, for example, last year in Charlotte, North Carolina, they opened their first own museum, which is directly managed by the Zagreb team, which is why the team had to grow fivefold.

"We are currently the world's largest chain of private museums, and Metamorfoza is the company behind the brand. Our team consists of more than 50 experts from Croatia who cover the areas of project management, research and development, logistics, architecture, finance, marketing, and account management.

In 2023, we will continue with the wave of employment, which is also influenced by the future openings of the Museum of Illusions, including locations in the USA. It is precisely for this reason that we are opening an office in Atlanta that will be the headquarters for the American market, while the global headquarters of Metamorfoza will remain in Zagreb," said Metamorfoza director Teo Širola at the presentation of the plans, adding that so far more than nine million visitors have passed through the Museum of Illusion, and 2022 was the most successful year.

The business model is set so that Metamorfoza owns the franchise, and each museum has its franchisor who is responsible for the business and runs it with the help and support of the Zagreb team. Together, they guide franchisors through all phases, from museum construction to development and day-to-day management.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Business section.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

New for Croatia 2023: 1. Inside 5-Star Hotel Ambasador in Split

April 18, 2023 - A new tourist season is upon us, and there are a number of quality additions to the Croatian tourism offer. In a new series on TCN, we take a look, starting with the new star of the Split waterfront, Hotel Ambasador.

The social media posts are increasing in number. A new hotel, a new restaurant, a new tour operator offering something truly unique. The 2023 season is expected to be epic in Croatia, and with several quality new offerings emerging, there should be a little bit of extra choice this year. 

So what and where are these new quality additions. In the first of a new TCN, we take a closer look at some of those new businesses which have opened their doors and are awaiting their first full season. 

And where better to start than the finest addition to the Split waterfront in many a year - the new 5-star Hotel Ambasador Split with the 7-star location and view?

When I first moved to Croatia back in 2003, Split was known as the Gateway to the Dalmatian Islands. Visitors rarely stopped in the city, using more as a transit point for the charms of Brac, Hvar, Vis and Solta. But then Split started to emerge as a serious destination in its own right and is now regarded as one of the coolest destinations on the Adriatic. And while there was a rental accommodation boom, it was mostly in the private accommodation sector, and the number of hotels - especially quality hotels - was severely lacking. 

As a statement of intent to move Split tourism upmarket to cater for the luxury sector, Hotel Ambasador Split is certainly in the right spot, located superbly between the marina and the riva - accessible to both, but away from the crowds and the noise. The majestic nature of Marjan Hill is just a short walk away. And for a bedroom view, I don't think I have stayed anywhere more mesmerising, especially being a light sleeper. I recommend you sleep with the curtains open, initially to enjoy the spectacular view of Diocletian's Palace and the boat traffic in the harbour, but then to watch the changing colours of the same view through the night. It is simply quite brilliant. 


The 101 rooms are a mixture of superior and premium rooms, junior suites and the accommodation pride of the hotel, the spectacular 110m2 Ambasador Suite, which is surely the best address in the city. 

A striking feature of the hotel, which compliments its modern, and sleek design, is the throwback to the traditions of life in Split. The hotel itself has a heritage dating back to 1937, when a hotel of the same name stood, and the first thing you notice on entering the lobby are the magnificent photographs of aspects of life in Split over half a century ago.


Superb scenes of kids playing traditional street games, as well as snapshots of daily life, including the beloved beach game of picigin on Bacvice. These photographs are also a part of the room design, making each room individual. When I stayed, the photograph of the Split riva covered in snow was a wonderful contrast to the sunlight streaming in through the window.  


Croatia's luxury tour operators have been quick to check out this new stylish addition to the Split hotel scene. Split has always struggled to offer the same level of quality to top-end guests in comparison to Rovinj and Dubrovnik, for example, but the opening of Ambasador is an important step to changing that. it was a joy to finally meet the pioneer of inbound luxury Croatian tourism from the US market, the legend that is Wanda Radetti, when I visited. Wanda was on an inspection visit and has been busy making reservations ever since. you can learn more about Wanda's impressions from this interview on TCN - Where Luxury Collides: Wanda Radetti Meets Hotel Ambasador in Split.


The spectacular views continue at the Pool Bar, which is open to hotel guests only. And what a location to while away a lazy afternoon after a morning's sightseeing. 


Health snacks, salads and drinks are served, with towels available - a perfect spot to follow the pace of life in Split's famous harbour.

Looking for a view that is EVEN more spectacular and offering a lot more privacy? The top terrace has the best views of all and will soon be available for private hire, so if you are planning on a unique dinner to impress friends or business partners, look no further. 


Bar Split, just off reception, and its accompanying terrace, is a fine addition to the Split scene, and an excellent new address for those looking to take their daily coffee while overlooking life on the Adriatic. 


Open to non-residents, Bar Split's terrace is an excellent way to sample the atmosphere of the hotel for locals, while enjoying a different view of the Dalmatian capital. And if you are looking for something a little stronger, check out the signature cocktails on offer. 


Relaxation comes in many forms, and after lounging at the Pool Bar for a while, the Hacelia Spa is waiting to welcome you for a range of massages, saunas and beauty services.

Hacelia Spa also comes with a fully equipped gym. Day passes and monthly memberships are available to non-residents.


Looking for an impressive location to hold a conference or seminar? 

Below the main hotel, but with plenty of natural light, is a multi-purpose conference room, away from the buzz of the city, which is ideal for banquets, conferences, and other such events. With a capacity of 100 people maximum, this versatile space offers a range of meeting opportunities - full catering services are available on demand. 


One building, one addition to the Split tourism scene, but with quite an offer packed into it.

There are so many aspects of this hotel that I really like, but at the end of the day, one really has to come back to THAT view - what a way to start the day on your next Split vacation.


You can learn more about Hotel Ambasador Split on the official website.


Paul Bradbury was a guest of Hotel Ambasador Split in December, 2022.



Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Why Croatia? Oyster Tasting on a Floating Island in Mali Ston (VIDEO)

April 18, 2023 - Croatia has a multitude of individual gourmet experiences, including the fabulous oyster tasting on a private floating island just off Mali Ston. 

It is only a tiny place, and nearby Ston is not much bigger, but Mali Ston and its neighbour really do pack a lot into their tourist offer. 

Here you can find the expansive salt works that used to generate 35% of the annual revenue for the Republic of Ragusa, as Dubrovnik used to be known, as well as what some claim as the largest fortified wall still in existence outside China - the wall was built to protect the salt. 

But for foodies, there is one more reason to visit Mali Ston.


Mali Ston is one of the best places in Europe to sample an oyster or three, and the local restaurants have become very creative in how they present their gift from the Adriatic over the years in their menus (I thoroughly enjoy a 5-course oyster menu on my first visit). But when it comes to combining tourism with oysters, it is pretty hard to beat the unique experience of leading local restaurant, Bote Sare. 

In addition to the excellent waterfront restaurant of the same name, the Bote Sare team offers an oyster boar trip to a floating island they constructed a few years ago. Here you can learn all about the oyster growing process, seeing progress of the strings of oysters hanging over the side of the floating island, before sampling a fresh batch with a fresh glass or three of local white wine. 

You can check out a lot more about the experience in my article a few years ago, How to Shuck a Croatian Oyster on a Floating Bar on the Adriatic.  O much better, check out this excellent video by 45 Degrees Sailing, on a recent CROMADS experience.


You can subscribe to the Paul Bradbury Croatia Expert YouTube channel here.

What is it like to live in Croatia? An expat for 20 years, you can follow my series, 20 Ways Croatia Changed Me in 20 Years, starting at the beginning - Business and Dalmatia.

Follow Paul Bradbury on LinkedIn.

Croatia, a Survival Kit for Foreigners is now available on Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.


Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Eazytowork App by Cro Returnees Presented at Osijek Business Centre

April 22, 2023 -  An innovative app, Eazytowork, was presented at the Osijek Business Incubator. It offers a unique employment solution in Croatia, especially for young people who want to earn money while utilising all their skills and qualities to leave a good impression at their workplace.

In short, writes SiB, it can be argued that the Eazytowork app makes it easier to find temporary jobs for those who want to work but are not permanently employed. It allows the "booking" of jobs by shift. The employer announces shifts as needed, and the worker selects and "books" their shifts according to their capabilities.

The company Eazytowork itself was created in Ireland about two years ago when its founder Bernard Tomljenović started developing the idea of an application for quick and easy employment. Originally from Osijek, Bernard left for a temporary job in Ireland four years ago. The idea for an app through which employers and workers can easily connect came about during an annual vacation in Croatia.

Namely, Bernard noticed the problem of lack of communication between those who need small and quick jobs done and those who could provide those services. He was particularly motivated by the video of a young man who travelled around the country and provided similar services as a volunteer, so he began to think about a similar way of doing business that would solve the problem of smaller businesses.

The beginning was challenging. First, it was necessary to find the right direction and the right collaborators with whom the app could be launched. In the first ten months, he kept stumbling, which was reflected financially in a loss of over ten thousand euros.

Bernard then established cooperation with the Čakovec company Red Code, and after two years, the app came to life. During that time, Bernard's brother Tadej joined the Eazytowork team, while his high school friend Dominik Bogojević was with him from the beginning.

The innovative venture presented numerous challenges to young men aged 22 to 25, but they overcame them with perseverance, their own financial resources, and a lot of effort. The result is an innovative app for "booking" jobs throughout Croatia.

It should be noted that business registration in Croatia and the creation of a database of employers and employees are currently underway. The Eazytowork team is pleased to note that in just a few days, about a hundred job seekers have registered, and the number of interested employers is also growing.

As they are natives of Osijek, the founders of the Eazytowork team wanted to hold the first presentation of the app in their city, which is now widely known as the centre of the IT sector in Croatia and beyond. The company will continue to make it easier for young people to find jobs and unlock new ways to earn faster.

In addition to the "booking" of jobs, expansions in the app will soon allow all interested parties to publish various services such as tutoring for students, haircuts, installation of PC components, etc., which will greatly benefit young people who provide and advertise services through the app. Employees will also have access to various online courses they can take within the app, such as work safety.

Check it out on Eazytowork's official website.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Business section.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Slavonia 365, Full of Life - Vinkovci Roman Days 2023

April 20, 2023 - Spring is here, and Slavonia is full of life, indeed. One of the most famous and intriguing periods of the incredibly long and rich history of the oldest European city will soon come to life again in all its splendor, returning Vinkovci to the age of the ancient Cibals and its not one but two Roman emperors. 2023 Vinkovci Roman Days have been announced.

As SiB writes, the special tenth edition of the Roman Days is just around the corner. From June 16 to 18, the town on Bosut will once again be the center of the ancient world. Legionnaires will march through the city streets, and the sounds of gladiator fights and the hustle and bustle of a real Roman fair will resound through Lenije Park. All visitors will be able to enjoy the finest delicacies of the era. All this was announced at a press conference appropriately held at the Vinkovci City Museum, one of the most important and prominent museum institutions in Croatia and beyond, known in the world precisely for its archaeological finds from the Roman era.


"This year, we're celebrating the 10th Roman Days, much like they did in the Roman Cibalae, where they celebrated the Decennials. It is an old festival that dates back to Emperor Augustus, who started ruling the Roman Empire at the age of 27, subsequently refusing his role and returning it to the people. However, the people returned it to him again because everyone was so satisfied with the way he ruled. Thus, the Decennial festival was established, which was celebrated every 10th year of the reign of all Roman emperors who managed to live ten years of reign and consisted of a ceremony in which the emperor renounces his power and authority, and the happy citizens reject and return the rule to the emperor. Grateful to the people for trusting him, the emperor would organize games that included gladiators, races, animal fights, large feasts, and parties. This year, Vinkovci is celebrating Valentinian's decennial, which he marked in 374, after ten years of rule", explained the director of the Vinkovci Museum, Hrvoje Vulić, referencing the theme of this year's Roman Days.

Mayor Ivan Bosančić emphasized that the Roman Days are an extremely well-received event, both by the people of Vinkovci and by visitors from other parts of Croatia, who will be expecting many exciting things this year.

"Thank you to everyone participating in the organization, doing their best to prepare an unforgettable weekend in our city in the form of another great event that, I believe, many people will attend. I invite all our fellow citizens and guests to participate as much as possible in all the events as part of the Roman Days and to enjoy everything that we're preparing, with the aim that this event in the future reaches the number of visitors similar to Vinkovačke Jeseni", said the mayor.

This year's novelty and a kind of introduction to the two central days of this great historical and tourist event in Vinkovci, announced the director of the Vinkovci Tourist Board, Marina Matković, will be the Roman Wine Evening under the branches of the old oaks in the beautiful setting of Šokački Stan, on the program on Friday, 16th June.


"Each year, we add new content to the Roman Days, and the Roman Wine Evening is one of those. We will also have our well-known attractions, from the parade of participants through the city streets, to gladiator fights, a Roman military camp, and a presentation of the ancient way of life. The Roman Fair will traditionally gather artisans and craftsmen who constantly follow us and develop their offer; cooperation with our high schools will result in the preparation of the most delicious Roman delicacies, and elementary school students and children of kindergarten age will have the opportunity to participate in educational programs and workshops aimed at the promotion of the event itself, but also of the Roman heritage of our city", said Matković.

A special attraction at the presentation of the 10th Roman Days were the real Roman soldiers, members of the Prima Valentiniana association who present history revived, whose members will all be present for the first time at this year's events.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Additional Krk LNG Terminal Capacities Starting from 2025/2026

April the 18th, 2023 - Additional Krk LNG terminal capacities will begin being put into use as of the year 2025 or 2026 following the recent conclusion of a contract with the Norwegians.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Marija Brnic writes, last year's project to increase the capacity of the Krk LNG terminal is finally starting to become concrete with the now concluded contract for the delivery of an additional gasification module, worth almost 23 million euros.

The contract signed in Omisalj by the president of LNG Hrvatska (Croatia) Hrvoje Krhen and the sales director of the Norwegian company Wartsila Gas Solutions, Kjell Ove Ulstein, will provide a new module, the installation of which will almost double the existing capacities of the Krk LNG terminal. With this additional module, the Krk LNG terminal's overall gasification capacities will rise to 700,000 cubic metres of gas, meaning that it will enable the delivery of 6.1 billion cubic metres annually.

The engagement of the Norwegian company Wartsila Gas Solutions is a continuation of Croatian-Norwegian cooperation because it is also the manufacturer of the existing gasification system on board LNG Hrvatska itself. The technology remains the same, which is why environmental impact studies aren't required, which will speed up the Krk LNG terminal capacity increase project.

The plan is that the production of the module will be completed in 22 months, and it should be installed in the summer of 2025, while additional capacities would be available at the beginning of the 2025/2026 gas year. When signing the contract, Minister of Economy Davor Filipovic emphasizsd that the gas network will be ready at the same time.

Plinacro is already working on the construction of an additional gas pipeline (Zlobin - Bosiljevo), and according to him, the works will start soon, and works on other sections and interconnections with neighbouring countries are also now expected. Filipovic pointed out that the government is also counting on co-financing from EU funds for all parts of this large project.

The President of the Plinacro Management Board, Ivica Arar, expects that the Zlobin - Bosiljevo gas pipeline should be completed in 2025. A construction permit has already been obtained for a new gas pipeline into neighbouring Slovenia, and an activity plan has just been agreed with the operator of the transport system in Slovenia.

Over the coming days, the sixtieth ship is expected to arrive in Omisalj since the Krk LNG terminal began operating, and in which more than 4.9 billion cubic metres of natural gas have been gasified and delivered to the network so far.

For more, check out our dedicated news section.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

RC Europe Chooses Croatian Company FACIES for 75 Million EUR Project

April the 18th, 2023 - RC Europe has chosen the Croatian company FACIES to construct a brand new gigantic logistics centre, RC Zone Samobor, worth 75 million euros.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Czech investor RC Europe has announced the end of its tender for the construction contractor for the RC Zone Samobor logistics park in the wider Bobovica economic zone. It has chosen the Croatian company FACIES, which has its headquarters in Strmec.

Earlier on, they completed the construction of the access road and relocated the main sewage line, as well as the overhead power line - all of which were prerequisites for the start of construction. In addition to that, at the end of last year, they obtained a building permit for this future green investment worth a massive 75 million euros.

"We're successfully continuing with our RC Zone Samobor logistics park project, which will represent a good example of green and sustainable construction within the logistics segment here in the Republic of Croatia. Alongside a local partner, the reputable construction Croatian company FACIES, with its many years of experience working on demanding projects, we're now one step closer to realising this investment, which, with 86,000 m2 of storage space will surely meet the needs of our future tenants,'' said Marko Vitelj, the country manager for Croatia of RC Europe.

This large infrastructure project will also contribute to the quality of life of the local community, not only through the creation of hundreds of different kinds of jobs, but also through the development of better transport infrastructure. For example, the constructed access road, roundabout, public car park and access bridge to the park are all important for the residents and visitors of Samobor and its surroundings, as it will relieve traffic in the more populated areas and facilitate access to the Bobovica business zone.

The Croatian company FACIES, which has been successfully operating for more than twenty years now, and which has been selected as the main contractor for the future RC Zone Samobor, will make a very significant contribution to the realisation of the investment indeed.

"It was with great pleasure that we received the news that another large and significant investor in the economic development of our region has chosen FACIES. We'll justify the trust given to us with our quality and knowledge and successfully realise this commendable project,'' said Marinko Mandic, the deputy director of the Croatian company FACIES.

The future RC Zone Samobor will boast more than 86,000 m² of storage space, with a net height of 12 metres, suitable for logistics as well as for various production activities. The location of this modern warehouse centre is strategically extremely favourable - it is located near neighbouring Slovenia and Western European roads, as well as the exit to the Croatian highway A3, which is ideal for trade operations and logistics.

For more, check out our news and business sections.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Dreamfish (Sarpa Salpa): The Adriatic Fish That Causes Hallucinations

April the 18th, 2023 - Did you know that Adriatic fish aren't always all that safe to consume? They might generally be tasty, but you might not want to end up with what's known as a sarpa salpa, or ''dreamfish'' next to the blitva on your plate...

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Sarpa salpa, salema porgy, or often the ''dreamfish'' is a type of fish that can cause vivid hallucinations, and some historical sources state that the Romans consumed it on purpose - because it was once known as the strongest trip of all.

The dreamfish is a species that inhabits just about all of the Mediterranean, the east coast of Africa, and also part of the Atlantic Ocean, and is a favourite delicacy on the menu of many restaurants, according to Some people have no consequences after consuming this fish, but some experience hallucinations lasting for up to three days, which continues to baffle scientists. Only certain parts of the fish, if consumed, are believed to cause such hallucinations and other unwanted effects.

The first case was documented in Marseille in France and refers to a family that ate grilled sarpa salpa back in 1982 without first removing the internal organs. The hallucinations they experienced as a result lasted for an astonishing ten hours. A case from 1994 is also fairly well known, when a tourist, once agin in France, suffered from blurred vision, nausea and muscle weakness after eating this fish in a restaurant. Torturous hallucinations followed and he ended up in the hospital for three full days in quite a bad state, reports IFLScience.

According to a 2006 article in Clinical Toxicology, there have been two other reported cases of people experiencing terrifying fish poisoning. One of these events happened back in 2002 after a 90-year-old man bought this particular type of fish in Saint Tropez on the Mediterranean coast of... you guessed it - France. After eating the fish, he began experiencing hallucinations which involved people screaming and birds screeching insufferably. He didn't go to the hospital, and the elderly man's hallucinations subsided after a few days.

A terrifying phenomenon known as ichthyoleinotoxicism

These terrifying LSD-like trips are known as ichthioallyeinotoxism, a rare hallucinogenic poisoning that occurs after eating certain types and parts of fish. The effects of the poison can cause disturbances within the nervous system and create auditory and visual hallucinations similar to those experienced when taking certain hard drugs. However, scientists are still not quite sure what makes eating the dreamfish cause this effect in some cases. A 2006 study in In Vitro Cell and Developmental Biology suggested that this is due to the fish's consumption of a certain type of toxic phytoplankton that grows on seagrass.

While the head of the fish is considered the most hallucinogenic part of all, one study found that the liver and internal organs are also highly toxic, and the levels of toxicity the fish contains seems to vary throughout the year. Namely, the largest number of such events seem to occur in autumn. Another study found that the algae these fish feed on contains toxins that accumulate in the animal's liver, which is another reason to avoid eating this particular organ. This also suggests that the source of the hallucinations may be the sarpa salpa's general diet.

For all the above reasons, extreme caution is advised when dealing with this species, although numerous sources suggest that the Romans targeted the sarpa salpa on purpose because it contains a substance that can be extremely psychoactive.

"Cases of dreamfish poisoning are as rare as shark attacks"

''It's true that dreamfish do eat still-unknown planktonic seaweed, which, during a certain part of the year, can cause people to experience terrible hallucinations, vomiting and dizziness, weakness and extremely disturbing nightmares,'' wrote about this topic at one time. This phenomenon is called (as mentioned above) ichthyoalienotoxicism. However, cases of dreamfish poisoning are rare, almost like shark attacks, and they refer only to the southern areas of the Mediterranean. In Arabic, the salpa is called "the fish that creates dreams", hence its nickname - dreamfish.

For more, make sure to check out our news section.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Zagreb Loonapark Company Doubles Revenue, Plans More Employment

April the 18th, 2023 - The Zagreb Loonapark company is young, and it is already looking at a very promising future after having doubled its income and with plans for further employment opportunities.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, there really is nothing missing in the already extremely thick catalog of promotional materials of the Zagreb Loonapark company. From indispensable cups of all types, colours and designs, the most sought-after bottles and thermoses, to lamps, pendants, bags, ecological ballpoint pens, this young company does it all.

In short, there's no promotional material that the Zagreb Loonapark company's team can't design and deliver to their clients. The richness of their offer and the individual approach they take has ensured their great success, because in just two years of being operational, they've managed to profile themselves as one of the leading companies for the production of promotional material in all of the Republic of Croatia.

The management of the company, founders Robert Bozic and Domagoj Vrdoljak, therefore have every reason to be satisfied. In the second year of their operations, the company's revenues doubled to a very impressive 6.6 million kuna, or 876,000 euros. Their number of employees also grew from the initial three to nine.

They offer more than 40,000 items from within their range and they also have a respectable number of clients, among whom are some of the biggest names of the domestic economy, from Atlantic Grupa, Infobip, Microblink and Allianz osiguranje to Infinum. Despite their obvious success, their beginnings were not at all easy because they started Loonapark's business in the middle of the unprecedented coronavirus crisis.

"Clients recognised us, and almost everyone we worked with would recommend us to someone else, so it wasn't really a question of whether we would grow, but by much we'd grow," stated Robert Bozic, the co-founder and CEO of Promo spot, under which the Zagreb Loonapark company's brand operates. Their clients come from various sectors, from trade, tourism, the HoReCa sector to the IT and the processing industry, and they're of all sizes - small, medium and large enterprises.

"The list of companies we work with is large and varied, which is good because we aren't dependent on any one in this way. For example, our five largest clients account for 25 percent of Loonapark's revenue," Bozic explained. A significant investment, in the amount of 40 thousand euros, in their web shop, i.e. online sales, also contributed to the growth of their business. Their web sales have been refreshed, optimised and their search engine has been improved, Bozic pointed out, adding that it's their main sales tool.

"It's precisely through the web shop that we get contacted by companies that we've never heard of and that we think are micro or small, but later it turns out that they are successful and respectable IT companies that just aren't very publicly known. Therefore, high-quality business cooperation often results from the contacts we make through the web shop," said the executive director of the Zagreb Loonapark company.

On top of all of the above, this company's wide array of clients, who are increasingly looking for recycled and degradable materials and custom-made products that are special and different, are won over and retained by their approach.

"In this segment, we've made the biggest step forward because we care that we approach each client individually and that they get everything they need in one place. In addition, through our graphic preparation and design department, we can offer them new and different solutions depending on the campaign they're working on and the message they want to send out," emphasised Bozic. In the end, it was precisely this approach that, in just two years of being operational, placed them among the leading companies involved in the production of promotional materials in the country.

The coronavirus crisis didn't really harm them either, and we all know that as a result of the public health crisis, most marketing budgets were drastically cut. In fact, in that first year of their business being up and running, they achieved an impressive 3.6 million kuna in revenue (478,000 euros). Their business wasn't affected by the increase in the prices of materials, for example paper by about 15 percent, by products purchased from China by about 40 percent (due to the increase in shipping costs), nor by the increase in delivery days by 30 to 45 days, to 120 days in total.

"We founded the company during the crisis, so we've become used to crises and as such we're optimistic", said the founder of the company, which mainly procures its materials from Europe, mostly from the Netherlands, Poland, Hungary and Portugal, while they procure a smaller part of the assortment from China, but that's mainly what is needed for making products to order.

They also aren't worried about their business results this year due to announcements of a slowdown in economic growth and even a potential crisis. It's well known that in every crisis, the budgets for marketing are cut first, but Bozic isn't afraid of that and expects that the Zagreb Loonapark company will grow by 20 percent this year, as well as the next. They're also planning to employ one to two people in sales. The company will try to achieve more visibility on the market and make even more contacts with the industry at the Days of Communications, one of the biggest events in the field of marketing in all of Croatia, which will soon be held in Rovinj. Loonapark will be a partner of this event this year, and as Bozic pointed out, this represents a good opportunity for them to connect more strongly with industry experts across the board and create new business opportunities.

The long-term plan of this ambitious young Zagreb company is to develop even further and turn into an agency that will offer their clients a very comprehensive approach, i.e. brand development, and then communication campaigns.

"At the end of this year or at the beginning of 2024, we plan to launch new departments within Loonapark,'' announced the CEO of the company, which is currently in one of the most intense periods of the year. Now, Bozic explains, companies are preparing their campaigns for the upcoming summer, so there is a lot of work and inquiries to deal with. The second most intensive period is, as expected, the end of the year, that is, the last quarter.

Bozic emphasised that the success of the Zagreb Loonapark company was definitely contributed by the employees and their intense engagement. In order for the company to be as high quality as possible, it invests a lot in employee education, which they receive through training sessions and various sorts of workshops. According to Bozic, they have no problems with finding and retaining staff, unlike the vast majority of employers in Croatia.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Tuesday, 18 April 2023

Croatian Startup Revuto Announces Brand New Project, Shares Offered

April the 18th, 2023 - The Croatian startup Revuto launches a new project which allows for the close engagement of the public who can become owners of shares in the company.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, the Croatian startup Revuto, which developed an application (app) for managing subscriptions, has recently announced a brand new project in the launch of which, through a crowdfunding campaign, people can also participate as investors, and in return they will receive shares in the company.

The plan is to raise about 1.7 million US dollars in total, and as far as the project itself is concerned, the Croatian startup Revuto has announced the launch of a card programme for the overall better control of subscriptions.

With it, as they explained, Revuto's users will get the opportunity to use virtual debit cards to make payments and have greater subscription control. They will be able to top up with debit or credit cards and through cryptocurrencies, and the main goal is to provide privacy and protection from any irritating and unwanted costs.

The app's users will also have an overview of all subscriptions in one place, so it will be easier to manage them. Small investors will also be able to participate in the launch of this programme.

"Through all the activities so far, we have achieved significant growth, secured all of the necessary regulatory permits, integrated with our partners and are fully ready to launch our most important product on the market, Revuto debit cards. With this crowdfunding campaign, we want to offer small investors a share in our company so that the project remains in the hands of the community that supports us, and our community grows alongside us," Vedran Vukman, the co-founder and CEO of the Croatian startup Revuto, pointed out.

It's important to note that the number of investors is limited. As such, today, on Tuesday, April the 18th, 1,500 investors will be free participate in the crowdfunding campaign, which will last only 24 hours.

From Revuto, a startup that raised 10 million US dollars of investment back in 2021 and whose services are used by more than 355 thousand active users at this moment in time, they also note that by investing, the investors will, in addition to a share in the company, also receive a return of up to 15% of the investment in the form of the REVU token.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

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