Friday, 4 December 2020

Founders of Croatian IT Companies Nanobit and Infobip Win Businessmen of Year Award

December 4, 2020 – Founders of Croatian IT companies Nanobit and Infobip are this year's best businessmen in Croatia. According to the choice of the Večernji list and Poslovni dnevnik readers, the businessmen of the year are Silvio and Roberto Kutić and Izabel Jelenić from Infobip, while according to the choice of the expert jury, this award goes to the founders of Nanobit Alan Sumina and Zoran Vučinić.

As Večernji.hr reports, the fifth selection for "Businessman and Economic Event of the Year" was held today, for the first time in the online edition.

The winners were chosen by the readers of Večernji list and Poslovni dnevnik, who decided to give this recognition to Silvija and Robert Kutić and Izabel Jelenić from the Croatian IT company Infobip, which is the first Croatian unicorn (worth more than a billion dollars).

'IT resistant to COVID'

At Infobip in Vodnjan, they are primarily engaged in mobile communication, and one of their clients is WhatsApp. It was founded in 2006, and the founders then had only two laptops and borrowed money from their parents. This year, a foreign investor invested 200 million dollars in Infobip, and today this company is the leader of the Croatian economy.

"We continue to work in order to develop as much as possible," said Silvio Kutić very briefly and clearly, and expressed satisfaction that he and other colleagues from the sector are a positive example from Croatia. Roberto Kutić added that this is an industry that was lucky because it is resistant to COVID, and Izabel Jelenić concluded that they still stick to their motto - they are just at the beginning and there is much more ahead of them.

Growth and competitiveness

For the best economic event of the year, readers chose the selling Nanobit's stake in the company to the Swedish giant Stillfront, and the founders of that company, Alan Sumina and Zoran Vučinić, were chosen as businessmen of the year by the expert jury. Nanobit is a gaming company that, like Infobip, was founded with only two laptops, but with a lot of will and perseverance.

"I am especially pleased to see in whose company we are today. Neither Infinum, nor Infobip, nor Rimac Automobili, nor we did not exist 10-15 years ago or we were so small that we were not interesting to anyone. And today we are representatives not only of the IT industry but of the economy in Croatia in general. Moreover, we show that this is the 'healthiest' part of the Croatian industry that can grow at a rapid pace and be competitive in the global market," said Alan Sumina.

Nanobit made their first million on a fitness app and then started developing games. Today, after 12 years, it has 125 highly educated employees and their games are played monthly by more than 10 million active players worldwide.

"The gaming industry in Croatia is just beginning to develop and although it has experienced great changes in recent years, many times they have experienced it a bit frivolously. If nothing else, now at least that dilemma has been removed and the value of companies like Nanobit has been confirmed, but apart from us, there are many other companies and I think that in the next few years some of them will achieve greater success than us," said Alan Sumina.

Helping the private sector

For the economic event of the year, renowned journalists and editors who cover the economy, as well as leading economists and scientists from the field of economics, who formed the expert jury, evaluated the state aid for job preservation.

This year, the Croatian government will direct about 10 billion kunas to preserve jobs, which was one of the first and most concrete state measures aimed at companies and employees. One or more months of support were used by more than a hundred thousand employers for almost 600 thousand workers, and if there were no measures, tens of thousands of people would lose their jobs.

Andrej Plenković stated that they reacted quickly and decisively in this crisis. They showed how much state intervention was necessary in these circumstances, to help the private sector in the first place, and they will continue with the measures.

Building big world brands in Croatia

Mate Rimac, the founder of Rimac cars, Tomislav Car from Infinum, and Marin Pucar, the President of the Management Board of Podravka, were also nominated in the category for the businessman of the year. In the category of the economic event of the year, Croatia's entry into the European exchange rate mechanism, the growth of Infobip into the category of the unicorn, and the agreement on a new EU financial envelope were also in competition.

Although 2020 was full of challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, there were many achievements and inspirational stories.

"When it comes to this competition, we can conclude that this is a year in which there has been a big turn in the selection of the 'most successful'. These are no longer companies that started in the former state or the 90s. This is a year marked by 'some new kids', kids who started businesses with only two laptops, and today have multinational companies whose revenues are dizzying billions," said the editor-in-chief of Večernji list Dražen Klarić.

He concluded that 2020 showed that there are new, inspiring, and young entrepreneurs who are ready to invest here and build big world brands from Croatia.

To read more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 20 November 2020

Croatian Company Infobip Enters into Another Important Partnership

November the 20th, 2020 - The Croatian company Infobip is often in the news and media for all the right reasons, and this remarkable domestic IT company has entered into yet another extremely significant partnership.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Vodnjan-based Infobip, the largest Croatian IT company and digital agencies PM Ljubljana and 01 Content & Technology Zagreb, members of the largest European content marketing network C3, have entered into a partnership to increase the quality of brand communication.

According to a recent announcement, the partnership will enable the C3 Adriatic network to create personalised communication for its customers using the Croatian company Infobip's own platform, from Answers chatbots, the Conversations cloud contact centere, to the most modern tool for engaging users of Moments.

The aim of this new partnership is to increase customer satisfaction so that communication takes place through the channel that the user prefers, at the moment that suits them best and with useful and relevant information they actually do need at that time, and solutions will be offered to clients here in Croatia's immediate region and across Europe.

Aleksandar Daic, the Croatian company Infobip's Strategic Director for Partnerships, pointed out that digital agencies are at the forefront, because they help their clients create a superior user experience.

"That's why, through our partnership with C3 Adriatic, we want to offer solutions that enrich the user experience and bring strong benefits to customers throughout Europe," explained Daic.

Karsten Kramer, Member of the Management Board of C3 Creative Code and Content GmbH, explained that C3 helps brands to remain relevant partners in the lives of their customers.

''More than 700 strategists, designers, journalists, editors, engineers in the C3 Group develop and implement communication solutions with outstanding results. The C3 combines creativity, content and technology, all aspects of advanced communication under one roof,'' noted Kramer.

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Friday, 13 November 2020

Croatian Infobip: We're Only Just Beginning, Exciting Times Ahead

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes on the 12th of November, 2020, the Croatian Infobip, the first domestic "unicorn" with a market value of more than a billion US dollars, is, as we previously reported, entering the American market - they're buying their subsidiary OpenMarket, a platform for sending SMS messages, from the American company Amdocs, for a price of almost 300 million US dollars.

A sales contract with the owner of OpenMarket has now been signed, and the transaction between the Croatian Infobip and OpenMarket, which will be concluded following its approval by US regulators, will enable more than 14 billion user interactions per month through a number of communication channels across more than 190 countries.

''Infobip and OpenMarket together can boast of more than 10,000 business users, which includes many of the world's most prominent companies. We'll be able to better meet the needs of our customers in every part of the world with the best direct connectivity, with more than 650 telecom operators, a superior, shared portfolio of cloud communications solutions and an SaaS offer,'' explained Silvio Kutic, the CEO of the Croatian Infobip, adding that they have an exciting period ahead of them and that this is just the beginning.

Jonathan Morgan, the director of OpenMarket, feels the same way. Back during this summer, the Croatian Infobip raised more than 200 million US dollars in the first round of funding from the investment fund One Equity Partners. Then, they announced their expansion in the USA with the help of the cash from that fund, with the announcement of potential takeovers, and it seems that the current focus is on acquisitions. The trio from Vodnjan - Roberto and Silvio Kutic, as well as Izabel Jelenic - directed precisely that 200 million US dollars towards gaining the largest American clients, which they've now been able to confirm.

The Seattle-based OpenMarket fits into the Croatian Infobip’s portfolio because their main product is cloud-based mobile messaging, which includes sending SMS, MMS, RCS and short codes, local numbers and free messaging. The company has about 300 employees, with revenues of about 200 million US dollars, and their services are used by more than 400 companies. Today, Infobip has more than 65 offices worldwide and more than 2,700 employees. They grossed 602 million US dollars last year and have grown an average of 48 percent a year for the past decade, with more than 300,000 business clients including WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, Costco, Virgin Megastore, Strava, Uber, Unilever, Zendesk and Burger King.

They started back in 2006 as a small startup in Vodnjan in Istria, which gradually built up its own global network. Today, they provide proprietary technology that can reach more than seven billion devices in more than 190 countries, and are directly connected to more than 600 telecom operators worldwide.

In just seven years, they have grown from zero kuna to a worth of 100 million US dollars and now they are among the ten fastest growing B2B SaaS companies in the whole world.

In October, the Infobip Management Board received two strong names - Gregor Potocar, who was appointed Vice President for Revenue, while Aleksandar Raic was appointed Vice President for Transformation and Human Resources. Then, Potocar announced that the Croatian Infobip was preparing for the upcoming period of enormous growth of the company, which will be marked by new business segments and entry into new markets.

"Infobip is facing an exciting period in which we expect a large increase in the number of people within the company through acquisitions and new employments, further structuring, as well as the continuation of the digitalisation process at the company level," Raic announced at the time.

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Wednesday, 11 November 2020

Croatian Infobip Buys American Company for $300 Million

November 11, 2020 - Croatian Infobip bought the American company OpenMarket for $300 million. It is a subsidiary of Amdocs, which, like Infobip, deals with SMS sending services.

"We can confirm that an OpenMarket purchase agreement has been signed with the seller, Amdocs. We are currently awaiting final details and will release more information today during the day," Infobip briefly confirmed on Index.hr.

This summer, Infobip raised more than $200 million in the first round of financing from the One Equity Partners investment fund.

After that success, they announced that it would help them expand the company in the United States through acquisitions.

Infobip started in 2006 as a small start-up company from Vodnjan in Istria. Today, with almost 15 years of experience in the IT industry, it employs more than 2,100 people globally and operates on six continents through 67 offices.

The reason for this success is Infobip's communication platform and services for businesses that can reach almost 7 billion users and things in more than 190 countries, thus enabling seamless mobile communication of businesses with their end-users - on every channel and device, at any time and no matter what part of the world they are in.

In 2018 alone, two-thirds of the world's population, or 4.7 billion people, used Infobip's services. The company collaborates and partners with leading mobile operators, messaging application companies, banks, e-commerce companies, social networks, and technology companies. Infobip is recognized worldwide as the winner of numerous awards for the quality of services it provides, collaborating with more than 300,000 clients; with the world's largest chat applications such as WhatsApp, Viber, Telegram, and with globally known brands such as Virgin Megastore, Fear, Uber, Zendesk, Burger King and many others.

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Friday, 18 September 2020

Unleash the Croatian Entrepreneur & Follow Infobip, Rimac, Nanobit, Infinum

September 18, 2020 - The recent successes of Infobit, Riimac Automobili, Nanobit and Infinum show the potential of the Croatian private sector. Time to unleash the Croatian entrepreneur?

Even though we have only physically met once, one of my favourite people to follow on social media in Croatia is serial entrepreneur Andrija Colak. Co-founder of Croatia's most successful franchise (Surf'n'Fries - now in 5 continents), as well as the innovative smart umbrella, Kisha (which he cheekily sent to President Putin after the World Cup Final to avoid any presidents or prime ministers getting wet due to unexpected rainfall in the future), Andrija kindly agreed to a TCN interview last year in which I asked him about the positive aspects of doing business in Croatia:

In terms of positives... well if you are up for an adventure you have come to the right place :-) Or... if you really want to test your concept and it survives in Croatia, you can conquer the world! hahah! Actually, I'm not joking.

Successful entrepreneurs here tell me that they have succeeded here not because of Croatia, but DESPITE Croatia. So many others have given up with the bureaucracy, high taxes and nepotism, take their concepts abroad and succeed there. 

But some decide to stay and try their luck here - after all, you cannot beat the Croatian lifestyle. 

I sometimes feel that I live in two countries in Croatia. The first Croatia is the same one which is familiar to all its residents, with the worsening economic situation, polarising politics, constant complaining, corruption, and negative mindset. No wonder people are emigrating. 

But the other Croatia is a totally different place, one where only positivity exists, and where I have decided to spend an increasing amount of my time and energy.

The Croatia of the Croatian entrepreneur. 

Despite the obstacles and the negative stigma attached to entrepreneurs in Croatia, these forward-thinking individuals are quietly achieving miracles DESPITE Croatia. One only wonders what could be achieved with the system supporting their efforts. Two stunning announcements in the last 24 hours are the latest in a series of great news from the Croatian entrepreneurial world, and they give a glimpse of what Croatia 2.0 can deliver to this country. And the thousands of jobs that have been created as a direct result of the business ideas of just a few individuals in a country which is in economic crisis is quite staggering. Indeed Rimac Automobili announced last week that it has hired an additional 150 workers during the pandemic, as tens of millions of jobs were being lost worldwide. Just over a decade ago, Rimac was one man in a garage. Today, the company is closing in on 1,000 employees.  

Here are just four things that have happened in the last few weeks, the first two in the last 24 hours (all are links to TCN articles with full details. 

Swedish Gaming Giant Takes Over Zagreb Company Nanobit for Almost One Billion Kuna

Car Magazine: Rimac Automobili to Takeover Bugatti

Infobip: Croatian Company Raises 200 Million US Dollars for Investment

Porsche Digital Croatia Plans to Employ 100 Experts in Next 3 Years in Infinum Partnership

The eco-system of Croatian entrepreneurial excellence is growing, and I come across this excellence daily in my second Croatia. A meeting last week at Human, for example, who earlier this year beat Google at the prestigious Webby awards, considered the Oscars of the industry. In December I was in Berlin to se Bagatin Clinic collect the award for best international cosmetic surgery clinic 2019. And one only has to spend a short time with Nenad and Rujana Bakic and their STEM revolution and exciting partnership with Google.org to know that the seeds of the future are being sown extremely well. 

crop-hrvatska.jpg

Fresh from his successful initiative to introduce the digital nomad visa to Croatia, which has the potential to make a significant contribution to Croatia's economic numbers, Dutchman Jan de Jong and partner Jerko Trgolic are turning their attention to agriculture, with an initial project to grow tomatoes in northern Croatia, using Dutch technology and Croatian land and labour. The first phase will create 72 jobs in an economically depressed part of northern Croatia.

So many seeds, some of which have blossomed such as Rimac, Nanobit and Infobip, and SO many more that could do the same if they were getting the support they deserve rather than punishing taxation and bureaucracy. I have no idea how many jobs Rimac, Infobit, Nanobit and Infinum have created alone, but it is in the thousands. Imagine if the system was conducive to allowing other such ideas and concepts grow in Croatia - how many more tens and hundreds of thousands of jobs would be created? 

Last year, I met an American consultant for the medical tourism industry at a conference in Zagreb, and we talked about what needed to happen for this Croatian industry to progress (an industry with huge - here I go saying the hated 'P' word again - potential). He told me that the role of government was to provide the legislative framework for the industry to thrive, perhaps bring some financing, but most importantly, then get the hell out of the way

For many years, I bought into the story that Croatia was an economic basket case, with no prospects for employment, and that the emigration was inevitable. But in this second Croatia, the world of the Croatian entrepreneur, the situation is completely different, and the opportunity is there, even more so if we can unleash the Croatian entrepreneur to fulfil his or her true potential. 

And we have a very good precedent of how quickly and effectively change can be introduced. An open letter to the Prime Minister from a Dutchman on LinkedIn on July 11 asking for the introduction of a digital nomad visa started a process which resulted with the prime minister tweeting his plans to introduce the visa just 44 days later, with an amendment to the Foreigner's Act introduced to Parliament the following day. Things are moving smoothly behind the scenes, and my understanding is that this legislation should be in place by January 1. 

Croatia a bureaucratic country? It clearly doesn't have to be. 

Unleash the Croatian entrepreneur, and watch many more seeds like Rimac, Nanobit and Infobip start to bloom all over the country. 

Learn more about foreign entrepreneurs making a success of life in Croatia

Thursday, 17 September 2020

Span Opens Doors to 1500 Companies on Six Continents for Infobip

As Bernard Ivezic/Novac writes on the 1th of September, 2020, Infobip, the first Croatian unicorn startup, and Span, the largest Croatian software exporter and one of the ten largest IT companies in Croatia, have entered into a sales partnership. Infobip became famous on the market for its SMS services, and now Infobip and Span are a force to be reckoned with.

As a result of previous business moves, the Croatian unicorn, Infobip, which is led by Silvio Kutic, has more than four billion end users and more than seven billion monthly transactions. The business, in turn, collaborates with huge clients such as Facebook, Google and Uber.

In the meantime, Infobip has expanded its offer and, in addition to SMS solutions, created complex IT solutions called Moments, Conversations and Answers. In addition to making it easier to reach a billion-dollar valuation, the new software products forced the Croatian IT ace to start building new, global sales infrastructure. That's where Span comes in.

Aleksandar Daic, strategic manager for users and partners at Infobip, says that today there is no organisation that isn't moving towards digital transformation. He stated that in cooperation with Span, he will accelerate the digital transformation of existing and new clients.

"That's why we believe that technology companies should join forces and bring their expertise together in order to deliver the best communication solutions to customers and accelerate business change," explained Daic.

Span is, much like Infobip, a global company. It has more than 1,500 clients on six continents. In Croatia, Span, led by Nikola Dujmovic, is one of the ten largest IT companies in terms of revenue, the largest software exporter and the longest-serving partner of Microsoft in Croatia, ie the longest-standing partner of the largest software company in the world. This means that it has vast experience in selling not only simple bundled software but also the most complex IT solutions.

This year, Span was even recognised as Microsoft Partner of the Year in Croatia. It is a title for which more than 3,300 companies from one hundred countries competed. The partnership with Microsoft is additionally interesting to Infobip, because Span has proven to be a great sales partner that is both very efficient and innovative in the way it sells solutions based on Microsoft technology. It is a winning combination that Infobip also wants to achieve.

The company Span is atypical for Croatian conditions. About 15 years ago, Span's management bought the company from the then owner, the Hungarian Synergon, for 10.56 million kuna. It was the first buyout management in Croatia. Soon, Span became one of the biggest cloud players in Croatia, boasting global contracts with the likes of McDonald’s, Heineken and eventually Rolls Royce Marine.

Infobip, on the other hand, is the fastest growing Croatian software company. In 2019, it had revenue growth of 38 percent to 602 million euros. Infobip has been growing at a similar pace for years, so it is on the list of the ten fastest growing companies that develop subscriber software which is purchased over the Internet, so-called SaaS. Atlassian, Salesforce and Slack are on the same list. This explains why Infobip has to look for new ways to sell its software and why Span is precisely the company to help them do it.

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Friday, 31 July 2020

Infobip: Croatian Company Raises 200 Million US Dollars for Investment

The highly successful Croatian IT company Infobip just keeps going from strength to strength, and the latest spring in its step will certainly push it to even higher plains and help further expansion across the Atlantic in the United States.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of July, 2020, Infobip has raised over 200 million US dollars from the One Equity Partners investment fund. This is the first round of financing, according to Reuters, adding that the value of this Croatian company now stands at over a billion dollars, reports N1.

This company thus became the first unicorn in the Republic of Croatia, and this is a term used in the venture capital industry when a privately owned startup achieves a value of over a billion dollars.

The investment will help Infobip further expand in the American market through potential acquisitions and the ability to compete with rivals such as the San Francisco-based Twilio, Reuters sources said.

Infobip is a global IT and telecommunications company, founded back in 2006 in Croatia, that provides the technology and services needed for multi-channel marketing by enabling companies to communicate with customers via text messages or applications such as the wildly popular WhatsApp.

Giants like Uber, Costco and Unilever are just some of the clients of this incredible Croatian IT company, which communicate with over seven billion mobile devices in more than 190 countries around the world, according to Reuters.

Croatia's Infobip had a 38 percent increase in revenue in 2019, generating revenue of 602 million euros. Infobip will now focus on expanding the business, says one Reuters source.

The research firm International Data Corporation (IDC) forecasts the growth of communication platform services (CPaaS) from 3.3 billion US dollars in 2018 to 17.2 billion US dollars by the year 2023.

For more on Infobip and more Croatian companies and startups, follow our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Infobip Generously Donates Medical Equipment to Pula General Hospital

As Milan Pavlovic/Glas Istre writes on the 19th of March, 2020, during these times of coronavirus crisis when any sort of assistance that can contribute to us coping more effectively with this dire situation in which we can all come together is very welcome. The remarkable Croatian company Infobip is making that happen.

The excellent news comes from the Pula General Hospital which has received a valuable donation consisting of four medical devices that are extremely important for the care of suspected or coronavirus infected patients.

One of these devices is an advanced mechanical respirator that is scheduled to arrive in Pula in the coming week, intended for the facility's intensive care unit. It is a priceless medical device that helps patients with respiratory problems by pumping air into their lungs and allowing their body to function smoothly until the patient recovers and can breathe naturally again without additional assistance.

"The advanced mechanical respirator will be used by patients who need mechanical ventilation support and comes as a donation for the internal medicine unit, while the other three medical devices are intended for the pediatrics department," Dr. Daniela Fabris Vitkovic stated. A new mobile ultrasound device, a vital function monitor, and a high-throughput therapy system and CPAP bubble for premature babies, newborns and children up to the age of eighteen will also arrive at the department for pediatrics.

"The CPAP device for high-flow oxygen therapy has already been delivered to the hospital and is ready to be put into operation, and the rest should arrive in the coming days. It's a medical device that helps patients with respiratory failure to overcome a period of illness, and this may delay or eliminate the need to connect them to a respirator. The donation is intended to combat the COVID-19 virus more effectively, and all of these devices will make a significant contribution to helping those patients who show more severe symptoms and require intensive treatment,'' Dr. Fabris Vitkovic added.

The donated equipment is worth more than 600 thousand kuna, and Dr. Daniela Fabris Vitkovic thanked the incredible Vodnjan-based company Infobip, which is behind the donation. As one of the leading Croatian IT companies, Infobip reacted very seriously to the threat of the spread of coronavirus, and back at the end of February, all Infobip employees were preventively ordered to work from home.

In doing so, they have shown that they are an extremely responsible company that cares for the health of their employees and their families, and this donation to the Pula General Hospital is a practical example of a socially responsible business that is a shining example to very many.

Make sure to follow our dedicated section for rolling information in English on coronavirus in Croatia.

Saturday, 7 March 2020

Talented Croatian Students Already Working with Infobip on Impressive App

As Novac/Barbara Ban writes on the 6th of March, 2020, behind the name T \ 'n \' D Web hides a young maths and computer science duo - Toni Borina and Damir Numic-Mesa, Croatian students. These two outstanding graduates from Pula High School facilitated the easier work of their professors, as well as their colleagues at the school, with their project, marking another incredible piece of innovation made in Croatia.

Working together with the mentorship of Professor Nikola Vujacic, in a mere two months, the students created a web application within the project "School in the Palm of your Hand", which has already come to life among high school students across Pula.

The Croatian students' product has only been ''out'' for a month, and it is already widely used by professors and students because it provides them with the necessary information about the school's schedule and free classrooms in a very simple way. It can also be used to send SMS messages to inform people of all the important things that are happening in the school.

''School in the Palm of your Hand'' is a project consisting of four websites that make it easier for students and professors in their every day ''school lives''. The app can be used to create approvals for extracurricular activities, for example. There is also an interactive school schedule that can be used to search for schedules by professor, classroom, class and subject, and you can also choose to search for schedules in free classrooms that are available for a lecture,'' explains Damir.

He says that in conjunction with the technology giant from Vodnjan, Infobip, they also created an SMS notification system that allows students to easily send messages.

''This system may, for example, be used by the headmaster to inform students about the absence of a professor and who is giving a lecture or the like, which students wouldn't otherwise be able to find out. At the same time, there is a fourth webpage within the app, the Search Encyclopedia, expressed through the Google Custom Search platform, which allows you to search for specific terms or pages,'' the student says.

The application is available on the Internet at www.skolanadlanu.hr and can also be downloaded on mobile phones. Consideration is also being given to having it placed on the Google Play Store. Toni explains that the Croatian students came up with this idea because their school is big and it often happens that students waste a lot of time finding, for example, one of the professors they need.

''Often there was confusion about the replacements of professors, so we'd not know if there would be substitutes and who would hold our classes,'' says Toni, who has been working with Damir since the beginning of their high school days.

The app is yet another example of innovation not only made in Croatia, but made by Croatian students, and has been in use since February the 7th, 2020.

''It took us two months to complete the project, and the learning of programming languages alone ​​took place as part of a one-year workshop conducted Istria County's Technical Culture Community. The process of learning programming languages ​​has been a long one, in fact, you're constantly learning because you can never actually know everything, and then you start working slowly. We really worked hard on the application every day,'' Damir notes.

They say that they have tested it out on their colleagues, but also that they are constantly improving it.

''Applications should always be improved. For example, we noticed that the search was slow, so we sped it up,'' Toni points out.

Otherwise, the application, after being developed, was submitted to the county IT and software development competition, where it rightly earned 95 percentage points and won first place, and later it was submitted to a national competition, where the project was rated at 61.5 percent points. But for these young IT creatives who would like to enroll in Zagreb's FER after high school, this isn't the first project of its kind. During the last school year, they tried to programme another platform to help the school.

''Eight icons - The first project we did, was part of a larger team of eight students. The result of this project can be seen at the entrance to our school, at the info point. It has eight icons that make it easy to notify and display current information about school activities, schedules, and more. It's a little bit like this app,'' Damir tells us.

Also interesting was the students' collaboration with the wildly successful Infobip, which came about because some former high school students from Pula also work there.

''We needed the equipment and that's how we started working with Infobip. For example, they bought us computers for the library and donated some of their old equipment to us. Then we decided it would be good for the students to see how that company functions. And so it all started. Then it spread to other schools, but we were the pioneers in this,'' says the students' mentor, Vujacic.

For more applications, products and innovation made in Croatia, follow our dedicated Made in Croatia page.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

New Infobip Campus will be Built as Part of IT Park in Sarajevo, BiH

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Bernard Ivezic writes on the 12th of February, 2020, Croatia's highly successful Infobip has started the construction of its third campus in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, which, according to initial announcements, will be larger than the one in Vodnjan and will gain on the largest, which is being built in Zagreb. The leading Croatian software company has purchased four building lots covering a total area of ​​4230 square metres at the location of Šip.

The value of the contract is 503,000 BAM, which is approximately HRK 1.9 million. Although the price of construction land in Bosnia and Herzegovina is lower than it is in Croatia, the plans Infobip has in the capital of the neighbouring country are no less ambitious than those in Croatia. The Sarajevo campus will cover an area of ​​8500 square metres. Currently, the company employs more than 160 professionals in this city, and with this investment, it will be able to offer jobs to more than 500 people in one place.

According to these indicators, it is the largest IT investment in Bosnia and Herzegovina in decades. Infobip has already begun the process of choosing an architectural solution for the new campus. It is said to have been opened to some of the best regional players and should be done within the next two months. Although it is unknown how much the total investment in Sarajevo will be, for comparison, the new campus in Zagreb is reportedly worth an investment totalling HRK 120 million.

The expansion in Sarajevo is part of Infobip's growing regional positioning, strengthening the base in preparation for the New York Stock Exchange in the next few years, in line with announcements made by Silvio Kutic, co-founder and CEO.

According to Poslovni Dnevnik, as part of the reorganisation, Infobip has decided to transform its campus in Vodnjan into its global headquarters, a new campus in Zagreb into a business headquarters for Europe, while the campus in Bosnia and Herzegovina will become the headquarters for operations in the Middle East and North Africa, the so-called MENA region. Dino Ibrahimovic, director of the MENA region at Infobip, says that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the company's plans are to significantly increase its number of employees in line with the company's plan to create 1,000 new jobs globally in 2020.

He stresses that the Sarajevo campus, with more than 500 employees, will become one of Infobip's key development centres and a strategic hub for the MENA region.

"Because our current business premises aren't big enough for us, building a modern IT campus for all employees in the wider Sarajevo area is a logical step in view of the projected growth of our office," says Ibrahimovic. The first Infobip campus "Pangea", the one in Vodnjan, whose opening three years ago was attended by Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic, covers a total of 17,000 square metres, and in its available office space, it has a capacity of 5600 square metres intended for two hundred employees.

The Alpha Centauri campus in Zagreb, which is being built rapidly in St. Klara, and which will be the largest, will cover 20,000 square metres and will have as much as 11,900 square feet of office space on seven floors.

According to Infobip, construction is progressing as planned. The ground floor is finished and the second floor is currently being completed. The Alpha Centauri campus is expected to receive its first tenants by the end of this year.

"There are no further plans for the construction of new campuses in the region, but there are plans to increase the capacity of all our offices in Croatia - in Vodnjan, Zagreb, Rijeka and Split," Infobip explained.

Commenting on the construction of a campus in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Dino Ibrahimovic said that the Sarajevo municipality of Centar showed the highest level of willingness of all levels of government in the country to support IT companies.

"Our long-term goal is to retain young talent in Bosnia and Herzegovina and we're aware that a job alone is not enough for that purpose, but we as a company will provide a secure workplace, certain benefits and working conditions that are comparable to the world's largest companies," says Ibrahimovic.

Globally, Infobip is undergoing a major expansion, aiming to double its headcount by 2022 to 4,500, with the highest growth expected in the entire region. The company has so far opened 67 offices on all continents except Antarctica. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, besides Sarajevo, a brand new Infobip office has recently been opened in Tuzla, employing 25 professionals, and it plans to increase that figure to 80.

Nedzad Ajnadzic, Mayor of the Sarajevo Centar Municipality, expressed his satisfaction that they had completed their administrative work, followed by the issuance of a planning and construction permit.

"I have high expectations of this project and my opinion is that the IT Park is one of the largest development projects for this local community and beyond," says Ajnadzic. He added that all engineers of the future IT park will also be offered the opportunity by his municipality to resolve housing issues through the purchase of an apartment with an interest free loan.

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