Sunday, 28 August 2022

Croatian Startup Make IT Easy Succeeds with Investment Plans

August the 28th, 2022 - The Croatian startup Make IT easy has succeeded with its investment plans, raising more than 150,000 euros a little more than a month after launching their campaign on Funderbeam.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, MobilityONE, the software made by the Croatian startup Make IT Easy, intended for fleet management and cost control, raised more than 150,000 euros a little more than a month after the launch of its campaign on Funderbeam.

According to Marko Stojakovic, executive director of the Croatian startup Make IT Easy, they collected exactly 157,000 euros from around 100 investors, which was the minimum amount they had set for themselves. The campaign is still set to go on for another fifteen days, but Stojakovic has noted that it will close when they collect 300,000 euros, which is the upper goal they set for themselves.

Stojakovic explained that the average investment in their software stands at around 1,500 euros, and among the more famous investors are Juraj Sebalj, a well-known rally driver and brand ambassador of the platform, who invested 15,000 euros, and Nenad Bakic, known for his role within Varteks. "The majority, or 80 percent of them, of investors are from Croatia, the rest are foreign investors," Stojakovic pointed out.

This Funderbeam campaign for MobilityONE is an introduction to the second round of financing (the first was at the end of last year when they collected 260 thousand euros through Funderbeam), in which they plan to collect 1.5 million euros, followed by the conquest of the European and American markets. The plan is to collect the same in three ways, through the ongoing Funderbeam campaign, then through venture capital funds and European funds. They used the period between the two financial campaigns for software development. At the moment, as Stojakovic revealed, they are about to sign the payment contracts with several respectable Croatian and foreign companies, the names of which cannot reveal the names until they are signed.

As for the investors, that is, the venture capital funds (VC funds), they are in negotiations with five of them, and they have already received a non-binding letter of intent from one of them.

"We're talking with the others and soon, in six months, we should close this investment round with the funds," says Stojakovic. There is obviously no lack of interest, which is not surprising when you take into account the fact that the market for managing mobile assets and fleet resources should grow to 30 billion euros by 2030.

MobilityONE, on the other hand, will become the first Croatian export product in that domain, and, as they claim, it stands out from the competition due to its simplicity in both implementation and use. In addition, the software, which is intended for professional fleet services companies, leasing and rent-a-car companies, car dealers, i.e. anyone with a fleet of vehicles, saves 20 percent of costs, 50 percent of management time and 30 percent of carbon dioxide emissions.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated Made in Croatia section.

Sunday, 28 August 2022

Croatian Business Entities Intensively Preparing for Eurozone Accession

August the 28th, 2022 - Croatian business entities are now intensively preparing for the country's Eurozone accession, which is now very rapidly approaching. All wages which would have otherwise been paid out in Croatian kuna for the month of December 2022, will be paid out in January 2023 in the new currency - euros.

As Novac/Gordana Galovic/Jutarnji list writes, due to the upcoming introduction of the euro, Croatian business entities are undergoing the demanding process of adjusting their accounting processes, preparing financial statements, paying out wages, reporting taxes and other similar activities in euros. According to data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), at the end of June 2022, there were 316,052 registered business entities operating in Croatia, of which 56 percent or 176,882 are active.

Most commercial companies, 141,743 of them to be more precise, are active, and 93,393 are trades and the like. The main cost for everyone is the adjustment of IT and accounting systems.

Invoices, wages and payment slips, giro account statements, delivery notes, purchase orders, receipts and other accounting documents on the basis of which business events are entered in the business books must be expressed in the official currency of whatever country they're being carried out in. This means that companies report them in kuna until December the 31st of this year, and after January the 1st, 2023, this will all be done exclusively in euros. Invoices and other accounting documents dated before and on December the 31st, 2022, which companies will issue after January the 1st, 2023, regardless of whether they contain dual amounts in kuna and euro, must be issued in euros.

Croatian business entities will pay all of their outgoings in euros from January the 1st, 2023 onwards. Only during the period of dual circulation, i.e. the first fourteen days of January 2023, can cash kuna be used as legal tender when paying in cash. If something is paid cashless, from January the 1st, 2023, it will be automatically paid in euros because the amounts on deposit, savings and transaction accounts, other payment accounts, payment instruments and other records will be converted from kuna to euros without any charge, with the application of a fixed conversion rate and in accordance with the rules for conversion and rounding.

Companies will need report their profit tax returns, as well as their income tax returns for 2022, but submitted in 2023, in kuna. An exception is for corporate tax payers whose tax period begins before the introduction of the euro and ends after the day of the introduction of the euro, they may submit their corporate tax return for that tax period in euros.

When it comes to companies that are obliged to submit annual financial statements, all those whose business year is equal to the calendar year will need to prepare and submit annual financial statements for 2022 in kuna.

If Croatian business entities receive an invoice after closing the business year for the previous period, it must be in euros. The exception is companies whose business year is different from the calendar year. If the last day of their financial year is after the day of the introduction of the euro, they must state all of their data for the previous business year in their financial statements in euros.

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

Friday, 26 August 2022

Successful Croatian Franchise Carwiz Expanding to Kosovo, Slovakia

August the 26th, 2022 - The highly successful Croatian franchise Carwiz is set to expand to the markets of Kosovo and Slovakia as it continues its spread across the globe.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, one of the most successful Croatian franchises, the rent-a-car company Carwiz, is continuing its expansion on the global market, and new partners are coming from Slovakia and Kosovo.

As explained by the Zagreb-based company, after the signing of the contract with the aforementioned two new partners, new Carwiz offices are expected to be opened in these countries, namely at Pristina Airport and Gnjilan, and in Slovakia at Bratislava Airport.

Sabedin Sinani, RCK sh.P.k. the director of the franchisor from Kosovo, pointed out that the main reason for their joining the rapidly expanding Carwiz rent-a-car network was because they recognised the global influence and effectiveness of the brand in the region and beyond it.

"I believe that together, through the Carwiz brand, we'll manage to highlight the seriousness and quality of our joint business, and thus successfully continue to respond to the demanding market conditions and user needs," said Sinani.

The success of working through the Carwiz brand is best demonstrated by the example of Slovakia, given that the same company that operates as a franchisor in the Czech Republic, and after only two and a half years of being there, it has recorded impressive business growth through an increase in reservations of as much as 92% compared to 2021.

Considering the results achieved in the past time in the Czech Republic, Erik Rajohnson, director of RX auto s.r.o. decided to expand to the Slovakian market through the Carwiz brand.

"Being part of the Carwiz family has proven to be a safe and productive business move. Doing business through the Carwiz brand over the last two years brought us a strong positioning of the company on the market and results that exceeded our expectations, even through situations of global crises. We're extremely satisfied, and taking all that into account, it wasn't difficult to make the decision that we want to repeat it here in Slovakia," Rajohnson said.

Carwiz has also announced that their network expansion strategy will certainly not stop at Kosovo and Slovakia, and according to the development plan, they have already announced the signing of contracts with some more new franchisors, emphasising that given the good sales results of all tourism branches of the economy throughout 2022, which shows signs of recovery in tourist traffic after two years of the coronavirus crisis, it is likely that they are approaching the levels of traffic they enjoyed back in 2019.

For Carwiz International, this means the continuation of the extremely successful expansion of the franchisor network in more than 30 countries around the world. The last major expansion was a few months ago in Poland, where they opened four new locations and now have eight points in that country.

Cities on the wish list

“We see enormous potential for a brand like Carwiz in Poland. Despite almost two years of the global coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, people still want to rent reliable cars at good prices. We saw an opportunity for growth and decided to continue with the development plans. We'll by no means stop there because there are more cities on our wish list," said Robert Mucha, the CEO of Carwiz Poland.

In the last year of operation, Carwiz International has signed 12 partnerships, and today, in addition to being present here in Croatia, it operates in Greece, Serbia, Albania, Iceland, the Czech Republic, Poland, Portugal, Morocco, St. Maarten, Latvia, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, USA, Mauritius, Malta, Montenegro, Canada, Romania, and soon Kosovo and Slovakia.

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

Thursday, 25 August 2022

Djuro Djakovic Contracts 190 Million Kuna Job for GATX Rail Europe

August the 25th, 2022 - Croatia's Djuro Djakovic company has contracted a significant 190 million kuna job for a well known company - GATX Rail Europe, despite undergoing a transformation of sorts of its own.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, while waiting for the ownership transformation to be completed, Croatia's Djuro Djakovic still successfully manages to contract new jobs. The company has just contracted the construction of new Shimmns freight cars for GATX Rail Europe, the value of which stands at almost 190 million in total.

The production and delivery of wagons is planned for the first half of next year, and the Slavonski Brod-based group has pointed out that with this project, Djuro Djakovic group has confirmed its strategic orientation towards the development and production of wagons for special purpose and performance, with the use of new generation production equipment with which the company is rounding off its development and production processes in the meantime.

According to the Djuro Djakovic group's latest financial report for the first half of this year, the value of the previously contracted production of Shimmns freight wagons amounted to almost 150 million kuna, and the value of the Uacns wagons contracted with a Swiss client stood at approximately 94 million kuna. Their capacities have been filled for this year and the company is already preparing itself for new construction contracted for next year.

In addition to the transport segment, the Djuro Djakovic group has contracted jobs in the defense, energy and industry segments, and the total value of all jobs, before the latest contract, was a very impressive 310 million kuna in total.

From the communication heard from the company undergoing a transformation so far, the production of wagons will be a priority in the further development of this well known industrialist from Slavonski Brod with the new majority owner, the company DD Acquisition, owned by Czech investors Rene Matera and Jaroslav Strnad, who will soon recapitalise the company.

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

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Croatian AD Plastik Contracts 31.2 Million Euro Job with Stellantis

August the 2nd, 2022 - The Croatian AD Plastik company has contracted a job worth a massive 31.2 million euros with the French-Italian enterprise Stellantis, and it isn't the first time it has succeeded in doing so.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Croatian AD Plastik revealed last week that it has contracted new jobs for the European market worth a huge 31.2 million euros in total.

"The AD Plastik Grupa (Group) has contracted new business with the buyer Stellantis for the European market, with expected revenues of 31.2 million euros and an expected duration of the project of seven years," reads the statement according to a short announcement on the Zagreb Stock Exchange.

This is already the third significant deal the Croatian AD Plastik company has managed to contract with the French-Italian automotive group during this year alone. It's worth noting that back in March this year, the Croatian AD Plastik company reported on a deal contracted with Stellantis worth 71.5 million euros, and at the end of June, it did the same with a contract worth an even higher 85.9 million euros.

On Wednesday last week, the Croatian AD Plastik Grupa reported on its business results for the first half of this year, in which a net loss of 59.46 million kuna was recorded. This loss includes value adjustments in the amount of 75 million kuna made on the basis of an assessment of the recoverability of the assets of the Russian companies of the group, which is of course something which required an overhaul following the Russian invasion of Ukraine and all of the sanctions placed on the country as a result.

The Group's operating income amounted to 433.09 million kuna, which is 30.4 percent less, and the normalised EBITDA of 18.58 million kuna is a significant 77.5 percent lower.

In the report from AD Plastik Grupa, they stated that the half-year results of the group's operations were largely characterised by geopolitical events and the consequences of the semiconductor shortage crisis on the market.

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

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

First Positive Monthly Financial Croatia Airlines Result Recorded in June

August the 2nd, 2022 - The very first positive monthly financial result for the enfeebled national carrier Croatia Airlines was recorded back during the month of June this year.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the operational loss of the Croatian national carrier Croatia Airlines (CA) during the first half of this year stands at an absolutely enormous 170.3 million kuna, and the net loss is 164.1 million kuna, despite the gradual recovery of demand and mainly due to the increase in fuel prices, Croatia Airlines announced recently.

They pointed out from Croatia Airlines that the company's very first positive monthly financial result since the beginning of the global crisis caused by the outbreak of the global coronavirus pandemic was achieved back in June this year.

In the period from January to June 2022, a total of 10,054 flights were successfully carried out by Croatia Airlines, which is 85 percent more compared to the same period last year.

558,146 passengers were transported, equal to 2.7 percent more in comparison to the same period back in 2021, but still 42 percent less compared to 960,620 passengers transported in the same period during the pre-pandemic, record year of 2019.

400,887 passengers were transported in international regular traffic, almost three times more than in the same period last year, while 146,428 passengers were transported in domestic regular traffic, twice as many as back during the first half of 2021.

When it comes to charter traffic, 10,831 passengers were transported, which is 77 percent more compared to the same period back in 2021. Cargo transportation was 14 percent higher, and cabins were filled by 56.2 percent, 10.9 percentage points more than back during the first six months of 2021.

The flight structure was adapted to traffic needs and circumstances, and the emphasis was primarily placed on the use of the Q400 fleet in addition to increasing the use of the Airbus fleet.

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

Saturday, 30 July 2022

Croatian Tourism Company Valamar Riviera Publishes 2022 Results So Far

July the 30th, 2022 - The massive Croatian tourism company Valamar Riviera has published the results it has acheived during the first six months of this year, and they're in stark contrast to the situation just one year ago, never mind two.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in the first half of 2022, the Croatian tourism company Valamar Riviera achieved an impressive 2.1 million overnight stays with business revenues of 677.5 million kuna, which is comparable to the volume of business in the first six months of the pre-crisis, record year of 2019.

The growth of business income in the first half of 2022 is mostly the result of the growth of average prices, which are roughly 8 percent higher when compared to how much they were back in 2019. The best results were recorded in the premium segment, especially in the part of campsites and car destinations.

However, increased costs, primarily of electricity, labour and food products had a significant impact on profitability overall. The operating profit for the first six months stands at 58 million kuna less than in 2019, which is entirely the result of increased electricity costs of 37 million kuna and labour costs of 22 million kuna.

With the aim of increasing the attractiveness of key professions in tourism and providing the best working conditions in the sector, the Croatian tourist company Valamar launched the ''First for a reason/Prvi s razlogom'' campaign this year. For this year, a total of 15 million euros have been set aside for salary increases and various reward programmes. This year, Valamar is once again among the TOP 10 most desirable Croatian employers of all, and is still the best employer in the tourism sector.

The investment cycle in hotels, summer resorts and campsites managed by the Croatian tourism company Valamar for 2022 amounted to a massive 530 million kuna. Dalmacija [PLACESHOTEL] by Valamar in Makarska, the newly built Valamar Amicor Green Resort in Stari Grad on the island of Hvar and Corinthia Baska Sunny hotel by Valamar on the island of Krk were all successfully opened. This season's investments include new facilities at Istra Premium Camping Resort and the Lanterna Premium Camping Resort in Porec, as well as the construction of a beach near the Valamar Padova Hotel on the island of Rab. The new Valamar House for housing seasonal employees down in Dubrovnik was also opened.

The Croatian tourism company Valamar has also expanded its portfolio in nearby Austria with the acquisition of the Kesselspitze 5* Hotel, which has become the third hotel under Valamar's management in Obertauern, Austria. As the first Valamar Collection hotel in Austria, it will open in the winter season of 2022/2023.

Valamar Riviera is otherwise the very first tourism company in Croatia to have integrated sustainable development into its business and development management and published a new sustainability strategy and set of ESG goals until the year 2025. The strategy includes 12 key goals in the field of environment (E), society (S) and management (G) that Valamar plans to achieve through 6 strategic initiatives until the aforementioned year.

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

Friday, 29 July 2022

New Serengeti Split Office Opens, Company Hires Local IT Experts

July the 29th, 2022 - The brand new Serengeti Split office has opened its doors and has been hiring local IT experts, a move which will hopefully further contribute to people remaining in Croatia and people from Dalmatia becoming employed in something other than tourism.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, after having opened offices in Zagreb, Bjelovar, Varaždin and neighbouring Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as development centres over in Kenya and Serbia, the new Serengeti Split office has opened, where it sees great potential for further establishing the IT profession, developing innovative projects and attracting young experts from across the region; Cooperation with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding in Split is also planned through internships and scholarships.

Serengeti, one of the fastest growing Croatian software development companies, will start working at their new location on August the 1st, 2022, in their brand new office on the Riva in the very heart of the City of Split. Since its foundation back in 2007, Serengeti has grown organically in terms of revenue, number of employees and level of expertise, and is now one of the fastest growing Croatian IT companies for software development, with an average annual revenue growth rate of around 35%.

Serengeti's expansion further down towards the south of Croatia is motivated by the increasing volume of work in general, as well as work on projects for the global market, and it has all been planned since the beginning of this year. Serengeti recognised Split as one of the most promising Croatian cities with great potential for even stronger technological development. In addition, Serengeti wishes to motivate local young experts, software engineers, to stay here in Croatia. There are already seven developers working within the Split team, and by the end of the year they will employ a minimum of eight more people. Two and a half million kuna is planned for the salaries of these 15 employees this year alone.

As far as the further growth of the number of employees is concerned, cooperation with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Shipbuilding in Split is also planned in the form of professional internships, scholarships and employment of interns, as mentioned previously.

"We already have seven employees working in Split and they fit perfectly into our way of working. Since Split and the region where it is located are strong in terms of engineering personnel and there are excellent technical faculties there, we believe that we'll be able to significantly expand our engineering team and offer people work on large international projects. The new Serengeti Split office is an important pillar in our future development plans, which largely depends on the ability to attract and retain quality engineering staff," says Goran Kalanj, president of the board and founder of Serengeti.

Serengeti's developers in Split are currently working on the development of a tourist application (app) for one of the leading Croatian tourism companies, and in cooperation with colleagues from other offices, they'll also work on projects for other markets. With an already established position within the European Union (EU), Serengeti has been present on the American, Scandinavian and Israeli markets since last year, which is why this company is constantly growing in terms of the number of employees.

Thanks to challenging projects, expertise and experience from both domestic and global markets, investment in development and the family atmosphere that reigns in all Serengeti offices, the company is recognised as a desirable employer and will have more than 200 satisfied employees at all of its current locations by the end of the year.

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

Wednesday, 20 July 2022

Remarkable Croatian Company Infobip Enters Israeli Market

July the 20th, 2022 - The impressive Croatian company Infobip has entered yet another new market as part of another brave business move, this time in Israel.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the Croatian company Infobip, which is now multinational has included Israel as a new destination in which they'll operate and employ new people, and now their global business network has more than 3,500 employees worldwide.

As was announced recently by the Croatian company Infobip itself, this cloud communication platform is only continuing with its ongoing and very enviable global growth.

The start of operations in Israel was announced by Infobip to the leading customer experience experts who gathered in the city of Tel Aviv to discuss the upcoming trends and challenges in the sector, and with this move, it is going to continue its strategy of having a truly global presence - after expanding into the Estonian market back in May, it is now actively recruiting in Israel as well.

Israel is one of the current technological leaders of the world, with more than 3,000 high-tech companies headquartered in the country. As many as 71 of them are listed on NASDAQ, which puts Israel in second place in terms of the number of companies on that American stock exchange, after the USA itself.

In Israel, the Croatian company Infobip will offer its users access to the market-leading CPaaS platform, enabling them to expand their communications across multiple channels and connect more strongly with their customers on a global scale.

"Israel is an important strategic market for Infobip thanks to it having the world's leading startup ecosystem, which totals more than 6,000 startups and about 80 unicorns. In our expansion into this new market, the support of the Israeli ambassador Ilan Mor, to whom we thank for his great help, was extremely important.

Numerous Israeli SaaS and cybersecurity platforms are exceeding expectations and are looking for a communication partner with a global perspective. With a reach in more than 200 countries around the world, our platform is the market leader and can help new and existing clients from Israel to strengthen ties with their own customers around the world," said Ivan Ostojic, a member of Infobip's Business Development Board. Growing companies based in Israel can now join Infobip's much talked about Startup Tribe programme, as well.

This is a very unusual programme that aims to bring together the most innovative startups from across the world and give them access to the tools needed to interact with their various clients on multiple communication channels.

“Through our Startup Tribe programme and our broad portfolio of scalable capabilities, we can support and partner with Israeli companies regardless of their stage of development. We're looking forward to being part of their journey and helping them communicate with their clients on a global level," added Ostojic.

Investments in the Israeli technology sector are continuously growing, which has resulted in a share of employees in high-tech companies of as much as 10 percent. Israel will be one of more than 70 countries in which the Croatian company Infobip is present, and where it will offer its leading CPaaS solutions.

Last week, Infobip announced that it had taken over the business technology portal Netokracija. The goal of this takeover, they explained, was to further strengthen the programming community through the creation of additional content designed for IT specialists.

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

Thursday, 14 July 2022

Vodnjan Company Infobip Now Taking Over Netokracija Magazine

July the 4th, 2022 - The remarkable Vodnjan company Infobip, otherwise Croatia's very first unicorn, is now taking over the Netokracija magazine in yet another step forward for its business.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Josipa Ban writes, Infobip, the first Croatian unicorn, is taking over the business and technology magazine Netokracija, with which it has been cooperating for a long time, with the aim of strengthening the developer community and providing it with content intended for it, as well as further raising the value of IT in society as a whole.

Netokracija's team, headed by founder Ivan Brezak Brkan, will become part of the Vodnjan company Infobip's developer experience department led by Ivan Burazin.

It's worth looking at just how far Infobip has come, as it has well and truly broken the stereotypes placed on the majority of Croatian companies. Last year, Infobip took over Shift, the largest regional developer conference of which Netokracija has been a partner since the very beginning.

The plan is for Netokracija, as part of the wider Infobip Group, to continue operating through independent editorial with the potential to expand to other markets to continue positioning itself as a relevant media portal in the Republic of Croatia and in neighbouring Serbia with a stronger focus placed on the startup and developer scene.

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

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