Thursday, 23 January 2020

Vodnjan's Infobip Plans to Employ 1000 New Workers on Global Level

When it comes to Croatian companies, there tends to be an enormous amounts of excellent ideas and promising businesses but the state tends to put up too much red tape for them to succeed. Croatia doesn't provide a business friendly atmosphere, nor does it handle investments well, and as for entrepreneurs, they often feel that their only hope is to leave. Infobip from Vodnjan, however, isn't one of them.

We've written extensively about Infobip and how this company has beaten the odds and managed to grow to proportions I imagine not even its founder, Silvio Kutic, could have imagined. This Croatian company has only gone from strength to strength and it seems that that trend isn't about to alter anytime soon.

As Novac writes on the 22nd of January, 2020, the Vodnjan-based IT giant, Infobip, is planning to hire about a thousand new employees, expanding further globally after reaching the impressive figure of 3,000 employees, and ending last year with 2,100 employees.

In addition, by the end of this year, the company expects the completion of the city campuses in Sveta Klara in Zagreb, which should accommodate as many as 650 Infobip employees.

According to a report from Lider.hr, Infobip also announced its plans for placement on the world famous New York Stock Exchange, further development of technological solutions and products in the direction of ''conversational messages'' and ''conversational commerce'', and they just launched their own ''chatbot'' platform, which took six months to develop in total.

Infobip's production will soon be offered to customers who will be able to create ''chatbots'' on our platforms. We aim to get feedback so they can leverage the products, which is in line with our customer-centric strategy. In 2020 we will continue to focus on artificial intelligence and its implementation in our decisions,'' said Tomislav Smiljanić, senior product manager at Infobip.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian companies, products and services.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Infobip: Largest Croatian Software Company Opens Office in Split

Croatian companies face many obstacles when doing business, and the state tends to be the one throwing barriers up left right and centre, often forcing companies to relocate to other EU countries in which the situation for entrepreneurs and doing business is much more favourable.

While running a business in Croatia is far from easy, there are exceptions to the general rule (or at least the general rule which continues to be the most commonly held belief among Croats), that nobody can succeed here unless they're well connected or members of a certain political party. Infobip, a truly impressive Croatian software company which draws its roots not from Zagreb but from Vodnjan in Istria, is just one fine example of what can be done in Croatia, and done well, with patience, dogged determination and a clear view.

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 17th of November, 2019, in the very centre of Dalmatia, the remarkable Croatian company Infoip has initially employed eighteen experts.

The ever-impressive Infobip, otherwise the largest Croatian software company, has now opened an office in Split, the new Split premises mark the company's fourth office to open in the Republic of Croatia, making it the 66th in the world. Infobip's offices are located across Croatia, and in addition to the newly opened Split office, their offices can be found in Vodnjan, Zagreb and Rijeka. The company has, as stated, initially employed eighteen IT professionals in Split and the new office has become part of Infobip's development hubs. The company otherwise employs more than 2,000 workers in total.

Izabel Jelenić, co-founder and CTO of Infobip, says they want to give talented people in Split the opportunity to work on global innovation.

''After Vodnjan, Rijeka, Zagreb, Sarajevo, Tuzla, Pune (India) and St. Petersburg (Russia), the office in Split has joined the network of hubs in which we develop communication solutions,'' concluded Jelenić.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Could Croatia's Infobip End Up on New York Stock Exchange?

Infobip, a truly impressive company from Vodnjan, Istria, is continuing to go from strength to strength alongside the likes of Rimac Automobili - could it find itself on the New York Stock Exchange and go down in Croatian economic history?

As Poslovni Dnevnik/VL/Zoran Vitas writes on the 14th of November, 2019, the Croatian publications Poslovni Dnevnik and Vecernji List are awarding the most prestigious business awards in the country this year yet again.

The title of Economist and Economic Event of the Year will be awarded to the most successful and strongest business person and business event in Croatia, whose business or influence crucially affected the economic trends in the country, and also improved the established economic and social climate.

Although it isn't being talked about too much yet, the news that Vodnjan's incredible company Infobip could be listed on the New York Stock Exchange was one of the biggest pieces of economic news so far this year, and it's certainly news that has attracted the most attention, alongside Hyundai's massive investment in Rimac Automobili.

While it remains a pleasant piece of news, it is in actuality quite logical for Infobip to make an initial public offering that would finally push it towards gaining the title of Croatia's first ''unicorn'', a newer company worth more than 1 billion US dollars. It's been a while since all of that was first discussed, and that once very distant possibility has now steadily begun to take on a somewhat more palpable contour.

"We'll make an IPO decision in two years. This needs to be prepared for, it was only four months ago that we first employed a finance chief with a background in investment banking and corporate finance. For example, we've monitored transfer prices so far, and logistically we can pass the audit done by Ernst & Young for us, as we have 65 offices in countries around the world. However, starting this year only, we've started to use finance as a lever for the development of the company,'' Silvio Kutić, co-founder and CEO of Infobip, said in a recent interview with Poslovni Dnevnik.

For the first time since Infobip has existed, it has a Chief Financial Officer. The man in question is Mario Baburić, who has engineering experience in addition to vast experience in the world of finance. In the first interview he gave when he took up the position, back at the beginning of September, he revealed to Vecernji List that his main task was to provide a solid foundation for Infobip's IPO.

''IPOs may be the next phase, but before that, companies usually find a serious private investor who can acquire a minority stake by recapitalisation, and these funds will help us in the next two to three years to grow further.

We need some 12 to 24 months to prepare for IPOs. By carefully selecting investors with a good reputation, we will get an extra spring in our step in terms of our future plans for a stronger presence in the US and other markets. After that, we'd be ready for a campaign in about two years, that is, we could sort out a story like an IPO. The need for our services is growing, so we're also thinking about private capital to help us grow, and we are looking for a solution to that in the next few months. Internally, the finance department is now being strengthened in order to be ready for this possible IPO,'' Baburić said at the time.

Another high-profile person from the business world is engaged in preparing such ''gigs'' across the Atlantic in New York. This is Boris Nemšić, the former head of Vip, later Mobilkom, and then CEO of the consulting company Delta Partners in Dubai. He is now head of the Infobip Advisory Board.

"I'm going to focus on the bigger picture, but also on managing the company so that, if we choose to do so, we're ready for potential foreign investors," Nemšić told Bloomberg, one of the world's most influential business portals, which closely follows the activities around this remarkable company from Vodnjan, Istria.

''The fact that everything surrounding this is being taken very seriously has been confirmed by the involvement of a commercial bank in America. It is of interest to many of the world's most renowned investors in the industry. Of course, when choosing a future investor, we need to look at what's best for us, not only the price of money and valuation, which is of course important, but how to get an adequate partner who will further help us with their advice and experience,'' they say from Infobip.

''If such a partner may already have had a similar company in his portfolio and helped it to enter the New York Stock Exchange, then there are people who can help us further with that experience. Our owners know very well how the business and the company are developing, which is why we're only talking about a minority stake because we already have quality leadership. The investment bank we've engaged in this process is Citi,'' Mario Baburić told Vecernji List in early September this year.

It is quite obvious that when it comes to the Infobip IPO, it will be a unique but also a turning point for the Croatian economy as a whole. At that point, should it come, Croatia will have a confirmed global player with solid roots in the largest market - the US market - in the most competitive sector of them all.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia for much more.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

Foreign Workers in Istria: Peaceful But Croatian Bureaucracy is Disaster

As Glas Istre/Lara Bagar writes on the 10th of November, 2019, the old saying goes that the grass is greener on the other side. It's always interesting to how our own grass is when compared to that of other people, at least in their opinion. Istria has become a somewhat desirable location for life and work, at least in comparison to much of the rest of Croatia, but how do foreign workers perceive it?

How does Vodnjan's ''grass" look to people from elsewhere, that is, how do they perceive it and in what way is it greener? For the answer to such a question, it was enough to head to Vodnjan, to an incubator of knowledge and a proverbial melting pot of different nationalities from here in Europe and far beyond it - Russians, Colombians, Filipinos, Brits, Serbs, Bosnians… The whole world seems to have gathered in Vodnjan.

"Think globally, act locally" could be, if it isn't already, the ''slogan'' of the largest IT giant in Infobip's home region of Istria.

The IT giant from Vodnjan, Istria, is a real miracle, especially in Croatian terms where obstacles are set up every step of the way when it comes to creating a business. Infobip isn't only a leader when it comes to IT and in an economic sense, but also in a social one.

While we all constantly have to sit and listen to the ghastly numbers of young, talented people leaving Croatia and heading to other, more prosperous EU countries, the story with Infobip is completely different. People from all over the world come to to Istria, more precisely to Vodnjan, and there are quite a few who switch their lives across millions of cities by deciding to stay, live and work in Istria.

Infobip seems to be on another planet, in another time zone, maybe even in another dimension when you compare it with a lot of the depressing statistics and figures across the country. In just a few years, a company with 2,000 employees, branches in 40 countries and 65 offices around the world has become a desirable place to work just like London, Berlin or any other major European city.

Just how do these foreign nationals who have chosen to make their lives in Istria view Vodnjan, Istria, and indeed life in Croatia in general?

Everyone came to Vodnjan primarily for business, and some brought their hearts with them too, that is, they had fallen in love with Croats. In the first case, Buje became home for Francisca Riverosa Fialla from Colombia.

"My wife and I lived in Barcelona and at one point we decided we had to be closer to one of our families. And Croatia, of course, was closer. I contacted Infobip from Barcelona, ​​applied for the job, the Kutić brothers interviewed me, I got the job and we decided to move,'' Francisco tells of his arrival in Istria five whole years ago.

What it was like to come to Buje after living in enormous cities like Bogota and London is the first question that arises.

"After living in Bogota and London, I came to Buje, a place with a thousand inhabitants. If I'd ended up here in my twenties, I'd have gone crazy," he joked. "But now, at the age of 38 and with a two-year-old child, living in a house with a garden and seven different trees is totally up my street. I'm an engineer during the week and I enjoy working around the house here in Buje during the weekends. It's wonderful, and living in such a small environment completely suits me and my wife, who runs the NTC program for children in Buje. For me, this is a life-long journey,'' states Francisco, who still has to travel 75 kilometres to reach his workplace at Infobip.

''It's twice the amount of time it took to get to my old job in the Colombian capital. That's a big advantage. But the biggest barrier seems to be the language. My family speaks ''Istrian'', and so do I.'' He is tormented by his lack of Croatian because he speaks English at work and Spanish and Italian at home, giving him little chance to practice.

"It isn't impossible to learn, but it is difficult. The language is difficult and the Croatian bureaucracy is a katastrofa (disaster),'' states Francisco in Croatian. With Croatian, when you love something or it bothers you, then you seem to learn the right word!

The Croatian mentality is also different - it's more peaceful and withdrawn. He himself says that warm southern blood distinguishes Latin Americans from Europeans.

"In Colombia, everyone is talking all the time, they're always loud and social. It's different here. People have a smaller circle of friends,'' concludes Francisco who switched Bogota and London for Buje, Istria.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Friday, 9 August 2019

Croatian Companies: Is Infobip Worth More Than One Billion USD?

As Bernard Ivezic/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 8th of August, 2019, there have been stories of this Croatian company being funded with investment capital, especially since its formal global headquarters are in London, but this has always been strongly denied by Infobip. However, they have now confirmed that they were constantly receiving offers from various corporations for takeovers.

It is becoming increasingly clear that Infobip is changing its investment policy. This Croatian startup, founded by Silvio Kutić, Roberto Kutić and Izabel Jelenić, no longer hides the fact that it is interested in investment, and the main topic of concern in the industry is whether or not Infobip is worth more than one billion US dollars already.

Although there are those who are firmly convinced in that, the fact is that this still remains entirely unknown. Several people have claimed that Infobip is already worth more than one billion US dollars, but nobody wants to speak publicly about it.

It would be logical for investors to be the ones to answer this question, as in the case of Rimac Automobili after its last investment. Mate Rimac said at the time: "... as far as ownership is concerned, I now hold 47.7 percent. The Chinese Camel group holds 14 percent, Hyundai holds 11 percent, Porsche holds 10 percent, Kia holds 2.7 percent, and the rest are smaller shares which investors so far from 2012 and 2013 hold.''

From this, it can be calculated that Hyundai and Kia invested their 80 million euros into Rimac's company with a valuation of 584 million euros, or 4.3 billion kuna. In other words, investors have confirmed that Rimac's company is halfway to becoming a startup worth at least one billion US dollars in market value. In Croatia, so far, at least publicly, there are no startups which carry such value.

A number of other Croatian startups which have good foundations and could one day reach such high valuations. The latest in the series is ReversingLabs, which just won the Black Unicorn Award in Las Vegas, this company isn't worth one billion US dollars, but its business moves do reveal what the plan is for this high-tech company from Zagreb.

There is a lot of ambition in many Croatian startups, such as Tolar and Zizoo, as well as Agrivi, Altpro, Bulb Technologies, Electrocoin, Include, Gideon Brothers, Nanobit, Oradian, Photomath (and Microlink), Visage Technologies and Zipato.

The above list is certainly not complete, nor does it mean that all of their aspirations will be realised at the same time. But, for the development of the Croatian startup ecosystem, the next turning point will be the emergence of the first Croatian company to be worth one billion US dollars. After Microsoft bought the Estonian startup Skype for a dizzying 8.5 billion dollars, a lot has changed in that country, and with it, much more has now become possible.

Skype's founders and co-founders now have the capital and knowledge to be able to transfer that over into Estonia's local ecosystem and further accelerate its development to the point that the whole country has started to look more digital, making the Estonians the champions of the whole of the EU in that regard today.

From this perspective, it is good that a Croatian company worth one billion US dollars will finally emerge, regardless of whether it is Rimac Automobili or Infobip. While Rimac is steadily climbing towards this goal through genuine investor interest, Infobip is in a slightly different position. After all, two of the three founders are brothers (the Kutićs), but they are working to alter the ''family'' perception in the wider public. 

According to Silvio Kutić, who, in addition to being the co-founder, is also the CEO of this Croatian company, nfobip also transferred ten percent of its shares to its employees.

In addition, and they didn't want to announce which companies they were talking about, Infobip has partnered with almost every major internet company in the world, from Facebook and Uber and beyond. Infobip also has several times the revenue of Rimac Automobili.

This Croatian company has grown by 30 percent for two consecutive years, and on top of all that, it has been favoured to become the prime competitor by all business indicators by America's Twilio.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for more information on Croatian companies, Croatian products and services and doing business in Croatia.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Croatian Company Infobip Considers American Stock Exchange

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 2nd of August, 2019, Infobip, a highly successful Croatian technology company that can boast of clients such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Burger King, is considering listing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange as it plans to expand its business across the Atlantic in the United States of America.

An IPO "is something we're talking about right now," stated Silvio Kutić, the co-founder and CEO of Infobip, during a phone interview. "We're constantly thinking about it and checking when we should go in this direction, maybe in the next few months, half a year, a year... a decision will be made,'' he noted.

This Croatian company has gone from strength to strength and provides corporations with the technology to send alerts to customers through various channels, such as WhatsApp or SMS. In March, the company announced that the world famous Uber is using its technology to mask contact information/data when drivers and those needing a ride communicate. The company's clients include giants like Vodafone Group Plc, Costco Wholesale Corp and Zendesk Inc.

Founded back in 2006, Infobip currently has approximately 1,750 employees who generated about 435 million euros (485 million US dollars) in revenue back in 2018, according to Kutić. Infobip's employees own ten percent of the shares of the company, and the rest are shared by the three founders of the company.

"In the last two years, we have had about thirty percent of annual revenue growth, and this year we're accelerating," Kutić said. The demand for alerts sent by SMS "continues to grow like crazy around the world."

The sector is highly fragmented. Infobip has strong domestic rivals in countries such as China and Brazil, but Twilio Inc. is currently the largest over in the United States.

The company has stepped up its presence in recent months in the United States by opening up an Infobip office in New York, which is the second in the country, after acquiring the property from Ericsson AB.

"We're now preparing for our big push," Kutić said.

"Today, about 35 percent of our revenue comes from American customers, but these are digital Silicon Valley businesses that do business with us around the world. There is much more liquidity and better exposure for IT companies on US stock exchanges. That would be the crown of our business," concluded Kutić when discussing Infobip's potential next moves.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian companies, products and services.

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Croatia's Infobip Continues to Impress at EY Entrepreneur of the Year

Croatian companies are becoming all the more successful in spite of the red tape the state often places in their way. Uhljebs (click here) survive like bacteria under a toilet seat within Croatia's many draconian laws which are no friend to the entrepreneur or the investor, much less the Croatian company. The beast, also known as the Croatian bureaucratic machine, is a difficult one to conquer, but while many try and fail, some succeed. The tale of the Croatian company Infobip is one such inspiring success story.

As Novac writes on the 9th of June, 2019, Silvio Kutić is the founder of the wildly successful Croatian technology giant Infobip.

What has Silvio, and thus Infobip, accomplished?

Vodnjan's Infobip was recently declared the best A2P (application-to-person) service in the world. This is the third year that this company has been ranked number one by mobile operators' ratings, but for the first time, Enterprise research was launched, where leading global companies from different industrial sectors rated A2P service providers, and this company from Croatia ranked first.

Why is this so important?

Infobip is so impressive because of its continuity and the confidence it has managed to instill in disillusioned people that have written off their country and the chance of the progression of their professional lives within it, which is a move that has been made by many, this company has proved that top projects and the creation of top-ranking, globally relevant companies can be done here in Croatia. Infobip is not the only one to have set such a shining example, but alongside Rimac Automobili, which has recently announced an expansion of their plant near Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb.

How does Infobip work?

After a series of attempts, Kutić decided to develop technology solutions for business customers, and back in 2006, along with his brother Robert and partner Izabela Jelenić, he founded Infobip, a world-class ICT company with sixty offices across six continents, and successfully competing with all of the competition from within the same field, of which there's no shortage. The company's services were used by a massive 4.7 billion people just last year alone, and their global customers include Uber, Facebook and WhatsApp. The number of employees has long since surpassed the 1,000 mark, are scattered around the world, and Infobip's revenue is measured in millions of dollars.

What will Infobip do in the future?

Infobip is continuing to reinvest what they earn. The money goes back into research and development, the improvement of cloud infrastructure, the strengthening of their centres and the overall quality of the services they provide. Infobip's main intention is to remain on top and develop more technology. The Vodnjan-based campus, which has long since called the "Croatian Google", is a clear sign that they have every intention to do it all from right here in Croatia.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more.

Friday, 31 May 2019

Croatia's Infobip Proclaimed World's Best A2P Service Provider in London

Paddling through a muddy array of depressing stories about companies operating (or not, as the case usually is) in Croatia, Infobip continues to attract nothing but positive headlines and encouraging articles from across the board. This Croatian IT company appears to be going from strength to strength and this has been confirmed once again in the British capital.

As Darko Bicak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 30th of May, 2019, this Croatian IT company has been proclaimed the best owing to the votes of 350 global telecom companies and 265 other companies. The Croatian IT company Infobip, which employs 1,600 people not only in Croatia but globally, was proclaimed the best A2P (application-to-person) service provider in the whole world.

As announced by the company at the ROCCO Awards (Roaming Consulting Company), which took place on Wednesday in London, UK, and according to 350 telecom operators worldwide and 265 leading global companies in the annual ROCCO report, Infobip was voted the absolute best in this category.

This is the third year in a row that Infobip has been ranked first place according to the ratings of mobile operators, but for the first time research was conducted in the ''Enterprise'' category, where the leading global companies from different industrial sectors evaluated A2P service providers, and Croatia's highly successful Infobip was positioned in very first place.

As of 2012, ROCCO has been conducting independent market tests for mobile service providers, network equipment, connectivity, business models and service quality. Precisely because of the unique methodology that ensures transparency and the relevance of data, ROCCO's reports are considered to be among the most important top service providers on the global telecommunications scene.

Silvio Kutić of Infobip, said that their major competitors are large companies based in the Silicon Valley, USA, but that doesn't discourage them remotely from doing great things.

"Infobip is linked to more than 600 operators around the globe, which provides us with a high level of quality of service that we provide to our customers globally. We're going to continue our business with the focus on new technical solutions," stated Kutić.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for more information on Croatian companies, Croatian products and services, doing business and investing in Croatia and much more.

 

Click here for the original article by Darko Bicak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Infobip Gathers Developers for ''Code Escape'' Humanitarian Event

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 3rd of May, 2019, in a sea of ​​popular hackathons, engineers from Croatia's Infobip invented a brand new concept of developmental entertainment called Code Escape last year, in which software engineers use their knowledge and skills and solve logical and technical puzzles in order to complete the game within a limited timeframe. The event is inspired by the popular Escape Room concept and is of a humanitarian character, and all lovers of coding and good fun are free to participate.

After the successful Code Escape, organised last year in Zagreb, this year's event will take place in the recently opened Infobip Office in Rijeka, where some forty experts currently work. Infobip's main desire was that by solving the puzzles, the teams also contribute to the development of the local community so that through code, participants "unlock" the amounts Infobip will donate to the "My place under the sun" (Moje mjesto pod suncem) project, designed to provide children in a poorer socio-economic position with a stimulating environment. This praiseworthy act involves DIRA Rijeka which promotes, develops and improves work with children with developmental difficulties, as well as the Kantrida Children's Hospital.

"We've put a lot of effort into designing Code Escape, we've created and tested ten puzzles over a six month period. The best part is that in addition to having fun in a relaxed atmosphere, with pizza and a team, we're using our development skills to invest back into the community. Last year in Zagreb, we had a large number of entries and we hope to have the same response in Rijeka,'' said one of the organisers, Infobip's Anja Hula.

The engineers are the driving forces of Infobip, which is reflected in the company's established strategy - to become the Centre of Excellence for Engineering, which, coupled with state-of-the-art technology and great work methods, brings together the best software engineers in creating innovative communications solutions at both a regional and a global level. Denis Ćutić, senior software engineer at Infobip, was the initiator of this game, while dozens of developers participated in its development.

"Although I work within the largest IT company in Croatia, we're far from a corporation because the company is run in an informal environment and we're able to share knowledge and work on developing projects with our colleagues and developers that improve the technology community, but also contribute to society, and this sets us apart from the others," stated Denis.

More information on the humanitarian game that will be held on May the 18th in the Infobip Rijeka office at Martinkovac 109, as well as the application form, are available here.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle and business pages for much more.

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