Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Entrepreneur Mate Rimac Collects 130-150 Million Euros in New Investments

March the 2nd, 2021 - Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac keeps going from strength to strength when it comes to doing business responsibly and succeeding on the tricky investment front, going as far as to attract automotive giants like Porsche once again.

Rimac Automobili is a company that has done much more than just put Croatia on the automotive map, which is no small feat at all, but Livno-born Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac has shown that it is very possible to succeed and do well in Croatia if enough effort and know-how are employed.

Attracting investments left, right and centre, the always smiling protagonist of this shining Croatian business story even taught the Croatian Government a thing or two about how to attract massive investments from huge companies and as such bring the automotive industry within Croatia's borders.

As Novac writes, no less than Porsche should participate in a new round of financing for entrepreneur Mate Rimac's impressive company Rimac Automobili, in which the company should raise an additional 130 to 150 million euros, the company's founder Mate Rimac told the German publication Automobilwoche.

The funding should be completed in two to three months, and another round of funding is planned by the end of the year, entrepreneur Mate Rimac explained.

Porsche currently holds a 15.5 percent stake in Rimac Automobili, and that Porsche owned stake could increase to just under 50 percent in an agreement under which Rimac would take over Volkswagen's luxury brand Bugatti, about which we recently wrote.

Rimac Automobili, as well as Volkswagen, have not yet commented on this matter and this article will be updated as comments come out.

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Monday, 22 February 2021

Croatian Entrepreneur Mate Rimac Closer and Closer to Bugatti Takeover

February the 22nd, 2021 - Rimac Automobili, owned by Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac, has gone from strength to strength and it seems as if that run is far from over.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, Bugatti and the Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac are becoming closer than ever in their relations, with a company takeover from Rimac seeming closer to coming to fruition than ever.

"At the moment, we're thinking intensively about how to ensure the development of Bugatti in the best possible way. Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac could play a significant role in all of that because the two brands fit very well in a technological sense,'' Porsche's Oliver Blume told Automobilwoche.

The Croatian company Rimac Automobili and Volkswagen's supercar brand Bugatti are a fantastic couple in terms of technology, said Oliver Blume, Porsche's director for German Automobilwoche, Reuters reports. The statement reawakened hope that Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac's beloved company could indeed take over the gigantic Bugatti, which has, as Telegram writes, been being talked about for several months now and would mean an enormous amount for Croatia's place on the car map.

Namely, back in September last year, the British portal CarMagazine announced that the Volkswagen Group would hand over Bugatti to Rimac Automobili, in exchange for increasing Porsche's share in Rimac's impressive company headquartered in Sveta Nedelja near Zagreb.

Volkswagen is also the owner of the Porsche brand, which has acquired a 15.5 percent stake in the Croatian company over the years. Back in 2018, they bought a 10 percent stake, and a year later they purchased another 5.5 percent of it. Britain's CarMagazine then claimed that VW's management intended to increase that share to a significantly higher 49 percent.

“There are different scenarios with different structures that we're looking into. I believe that a decision on this issue will be made in the first half of this year,'' noted Oliver Blume.

For more on Mate Rimac, follow our dedicated section.


Thursday, 18 February 2021

Rimac Expanding Global Network of Sales Partners to China

ZAGREB, 18 February 2021 - Rimac Automobili on Thursday announced the expansion of its international network of partners to key Asian markets thanks to a new relationship with Kingsway Group, a company specialised in the distribution of luxury vehicles and yachts in China.

Ahead of the first deliveries of the C_Two next-generation hypercar, Rimac is building a global network of partners. Thanks to the partnership with Kingsway Group, a luxury showroom has been opened in Shanghai, Rimac said on its website. The company has been making electric cars since 2009.

"We are very happy to welcome Kingsway Group into our family with their excellent reputation and access to the key markets for our customers in Hong Kong, Macau, and China. This is another important step in the building of Rimac’s global network and brand," said Mate Rimac, the company’s founder and CEO.

"With the prototypes currently undergoing final testing, Rimac will unveil the C_Two, next-generation hypercar, in its final form in 2021," the company said. The original plan before the COVID-19 crisis envisaged the first deliveries in 2020.

"Rimac is an innovative company with outstanding capabilities in electrification. It is an extremely exciting time in the car industry and Rimac is at the cutting edge of this field," said Albert Wong, CEO of Kingsway Group Holdings, which has been in business since 1974.

Recall, earlier this week, in an admiring new business profile, the most prestigious of British broadcasters look at Croatian car innovator Mate Rimac BBC comparing him to Tesla's Elon Musk.

The Mate Rimac BBC profile is titled 'The hypercar maker who was told to give up his dream' and was published on Tuesday 16 February 2021. In the article, which is part business profile and part a personality profile on Mate Rimac BBC journalist and business correspondent Theo Leggett describes Rimac automobiles as “some of the most exotic machines on the planet”.

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

Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Mate Rimac BBC Profile Compares Croatia Car Innovator To Elon Musk

February 16, 2021 – In an admiring new business profile, the most prestigious of British broadcasters looks at Croatian car innovator Mate Rimac BBC comparing him to Tesla's Elon Musk.

In an admiring new business profile, the most prestigious of British broadcasters looks at Croatian car innovator Mate Rimac BBC comparing him to Tesla's Elon Musk.

The Mate Rimac BBC profile is titled 'The hypercar maker who was told to give up his dream' and was published earlier today, Tuesday 16 February 2021. In the article, which is part business profile and part a personality profile on Mate Rimac BBC journalist and business correspondent Theo Leggett describes Rimac automobiles as “some of the most exotic machines on the planet”.

Screenshot_170.pngThe BBC profile of Mate Rimac and his Rimac Automobili company, from earlier today © BBC screenshot

Direct quotes from the Mate Rimac BBC profile

“Rimac Automobili is best known for building ultra-exclusive electric hypercars,” says Mate Rimac BBC profile writer Mr Leggett.

“The Concept One, first unveiled in 2011, had a top speed of 354km/h (220mph). Only eight were ever made - and one was famously destroyed when the TV presenter Richard Hammond careered off the road during a competition in Switzerland.”

“Its successor the C_Two is even more extreme with a claimed top speed of 415km/h (258mph); able to accelerate from 0-97km/h (60mph) in 1.85 seconds. Due to go on sale this year, it's expected to have a price tag of €2m ($2.4m; £1.8m).”

1619px-Rimac_C_Two_20180929_DSC_8816_cropped.jpgThe rimac C_Two © Branko Radovanović

“The cars are by any normal measure extraordinary. But they form only one part of Rimac's business model. Increasingly the company is setting itself up as a technology supplier to other manufacturers, to help them build their own high-performance electric cars.”

Alongside the obvious similarity of them both building electric cars, it is this expansion of the company's field of vision that prompts the Mate Rimac BBC profile journalist to compare the Croat to Tesla's Elon Musk.

Further along in the Mate Rimac BBC profile, the journalist interviews David Bailey, professor of industrial strategy at Birmingham University.

"Mate Rimac is seen as a real disruptor," says Professor Bailey. "His company has come from absolutely nowhere, their products are really exciting - and they've developed a brand round the hypercars."

Rimac Automobili “Working and Living in Croatia” video, first published by Total Croatia News on 25 October 2020

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Unique Croatian Tourism Experiences: Take the Rimac Tour

January 27, 2021 - Croatia has a number of fabulous and untapped unique tourism experiences, among them the Rimac tour in Sveta Nedelja. 

I will confess that I wasn't 100% sure who he was when I first met Mate Rimac a few years ago on the Nikola Tesla EV Rally in Porec. Something to do with cool electric cars, I had been told. And then I saw the Concept One.

Rather embarrassingly, young Rimac had heard of me and was very complimentary about TCN. Having recognised what a legend the boy was, I managed to get that all-important selfie, and it was only after sharing that on Facebook that I realised what a legend he  was when many people from my past who I had not heard from in years started messaging me:

"Is that you and Rimac? Do you actually know him?"


And no, I don't really know him. We have met briefly 3-4 times briefly and always exchanged a laugh. He comments occasionally on my wall (mostly about posts on Del Boy and Rodney, funnily enough), but the more I have followed the Rimac story, the more I appreciate what he does for Brand Croatia, and what an asset he is for the country's tourism. 

And I had come to that conclusion even before the release of THAT video about living and working in Croatia.

And it turns out that Rimac Automobili offer their own unique tourism experience to visitors to Croatia, one which makes for an excellent day trip out of Zagreb, to the company's headquarters in Sveta Nedelja, about 25 minutes from Zagreb city centre.  


Rimac has kept things very local despite his rapid expansion, and the company is very much at home in the town named the best for the economy for the last three years running. 

I had the chance to finally visit the factory where all the magic a few months ago, and I was delighted to learn that there is an officially organised Rimac tour for car enthusiasts.  


Details of the tour are in detail below, but I really liked the reception area where it all began, including a fascinating timeline of where it all started, and where it is today. young Mate looking more like Del Boy back in 2006 as a high school student winning national and international awards for innovation with the iGlove, before moving on to 'the Garage Phase' with his beat-up 1984 BMW E30.  


2011 must have been quite a year - from setting world records to the launch of the prototype of Concept_One as the world's first all-electric hypercar at the Frankfurt Motor Show. 


And so the years rolled by, with a growing team and increased success and international recognition.  


The history of the company is beautifully recorded in this timeline, but that is only part of the fascinating tour, which needs to be booked in advance (and I suspect may not be currently available due to coronavirus restrictions).  



The standard tour costs 225 kuna (30 euro - 10 euro for students), with a 50 euro premium tour including a test ride with the revolutionary Greyp bikes. Sadly, a ride in the Concept_One or C_Two is reserved for customers only. 

But here is what the tour includes, with photos from the official Rimac site - photography on the tour itself is restricted.  



Walk down the history line and meet the iconic Concept_One, our technology in other hypercars and our next generation, the C_Two.


Explore of the process of various raw materials turning into molds that go further in the process or into finished parts used in the components or vehicle assembly.



Learn about different composites used in hypercar production as well as the steps taken from mold preparation to a finished part.



Grasp the complexity of our painting process and various methods used to create state-of-the-art hypercars.


Prototype Assembly

Watch all the parts come together in our prototype assembly area.



Meet the team behind the world's most advanced electric hypercars and EV technology, the brain of the operation.

One of my favourite questions in the tour FAQ is:


Due to Mate’s busy schedule we can’t promise you will have a chance to meet him. Maybe, you will have a chance to see him working with some of our engineers or technicians.

Should corona not be an issue, tours are generally available Monday to Friday from 10:00 - 13:00. You are advised to check everything in advance in these uncertain times on the Rimac tour dedicated page.

And while you are there, why not make a day of it in Sveta Nedelja. The nature is beautiful and the lakes are magical. Check out the official promo video from the Sveta Nedelja Tourist Board. 

For the latest from Rimac and Sveta Nedelja, follow the TCN Rimac and Sveta Nedelja sections

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

A Very Cool Croatian Map with Mate Rimac C_Two Supply Update

January 19, 2021 - While some leaders have social media accounts suspending for allegedly inciting violence, others use it as an effective tool to engage with their audience, leaders such as the man behind the Rimac C_Two.

This has to be one of the coolest maps featuring Croatia that I have ever seen. 

A map of global car dealerships for Croatia's only car producer. There are more global dealerships for Rimac Automobilii than the number of cars that the company has ever produced. Think about that for the moment. 

And even though the number of dealerships is growing, this will not be the case for long, as the Rimac C_Two goes into production. 

The map was posted by CEO Mate Rimac on his latest Facebook post yesterday. In an age where leaders are being banned for allegedly inciting violence, Rimac uses the tool extremely effectively to update people on progress, as well as to clear up misconceptions and misunderstandings, as is the case in his latest post, which is published in full below.

You can follow Mate Rimac on Facebook.

Something I wanted to clear up for a long time. During an interview with our Head of Sales a couple of years ago, a journalist misinterpreted (mistakenly or not) that the C_Two is sold out. That was not the case and still isn't, but has been repeated in many articles as a fact.

While it is not unusual for hypercars to be sold-out before they go into production, that is usually only the case for established brands, like Ferrari. The C_Two has many 'firsts' - first all-electric-hypercar (globally homologated), first series-production car of Rimac (a new and still relatively unknown brand) etc. It is a completely new market (there are no competitors in production yet) and nobody knows how customers will really react. Customers are very interested in the car but want to see how things play out - they want to try it before committing and see reviews. We are fully in line with that and have never pushed customers to commit before trying the car. There are, of course, many who trusted us enough and liked the car so much to pay a deposit very early on.

So far, only a few customers had the chance to try the C_Two (like Nico Rosberg for example). That is the case for several reasons - while we have made lots of prototypes already, we need every second of them for development, testing and homologation. It is always difficult to squeeze in customer test drives as it impacts testing. Also, the car is still in development so we don't want the customer to experience glitches or some rough edges that will be improved in the production car. The COVID situation makes traveling hard so that is another factor that is slowing things down.

Let's not forget that we still didn't present the production version with the new name - which we will do soon. In parallel, there will be lots of independent reviews coming, from top journalists/YouTubers from all over the world. We are currently building 3 marketing/sales cars that will be used for unveiling the production car, media test-drives, events world-wide (they will go on a world tour, despite the situation) and customer tests.

Nevertheless, we are very happy with how sales are progressing. What I can say is that we are sold-out for at least the first year of production, which was our initial goal - that sales are always at least 12 months ahead of production.

I was never scared of not selling the cars - I am sure that there will be more demand than the 150-unit limit that we have set ourselves. What I am working day and night on is to make sure that the car is as perfect as possible - and that it (over)delivers everything that we have promised - acceleration, features, top speed, range... If we get that right (and there is no indication that we won't), I am not worried about selling 150 units. I am pretty sure that all 150 units will be gone soon - after we present the final car, there will be a bunch of independent tests available and customers will have the opportunity to try it. We'll see.

I really believe that many people (journalists, customers) will be very surprised about the level of technology, performance, comfort and features we have managed to put together as a new company with limited resources. That's something I can't wait for - and we are almost there.

Maybe also one thing to clarify - while many customers come directly to us, we as an OEM are actually selling cars to our partners - dealers that are representing us all over the world. There are currently 14 of those and more joining us almost every month. A car is "sold" for us when the dealer orders it - which doesn't necessarily mean that the dealer has sold it to an end customer. So it might happen that some end-customers, can still get a low VIN number (early delivery), if their local dealer has a slot that is not allocated to an end-user customer.

Hope that this gives some clarity on the situation - just wanted to be open and honest about it as it felt like lying when I see that in articles, while we have actually never said that we are sold out.

For the latest in the Rimac story, follow the dedicated TCN section.

Monday, 18 January 2021

Rimac Automobili Advancing Towards C_Two Series Production

January 18, 2021 - Rimac Automobili has announced that they are advancing towards the C_Two series production this year.

Index.hr reports that the pre-series production phase began in December.

"Eyes on the future. With the start of the pre-series vehicle production in December, we are advancing towards the series production of the C_Two in 2021. The pre-series cars will have a fit and finish, drivability, and reliability that is nearly production-ready. They will be used for further minor tweaks, homologation tests, durability tests, trim experimentation, NVH tweaking, and global product evaluation. It’s an important year ahead of us. We appreciate your support every step of the way!" Rimac announced on Facebook on January 2, 2021. 

"Walking around here and finally, after ten years of blood, sweat, and tears, seeing it all come together - what a feeling. Pre-series production ramping up and getting ready for customer cars," Mate Rimac revealed on his personal Facebook account on Thursday, January 14. 

Mate Rimac wrote on Facebook that he would produce numerous cars in this line this year if everything goes according to plan.

The assembly of each C_Two car will take approximately five weeks, halving the production time compared to the principle of static production outside the production line, used by some other supersport car manufacturers. The new process at full capacity will enable the construction of four final production vehicles per month.

However, at Rimac, the production process begins before the assembly of finished components on the line, since many components and systems are produced in the factory in Sveta Nedelja and Veliko Trgovišće, after which it is delivered to the vehicle assembly line.

The new production line is divided into five main zones. It begins with the attachment of all brackets and attachment points to the vehicle's carbon construction - the so-called monocoque chassis. The two technicians at each subsequent station then proceed to assemble the car piece by piece. Subassemblies such as the powertrain, dashboard or front radiator, and other parts are manufactured and prepared off-line, as part of Rimac Automobili's production facilities. They are delivered complete for installation on the vehicle assembly line.

The complete homologation process without any shortcuts, from the first concepts, through complete prototypes to cars on the road, is a three-year process. With the introduction of the new production line, Rimac Automobili will deliver the first cars to customers in 2021, unlike the original plan before the COVID-19 crisis, which foresaw deliveries in 2020. The final design and name of the vehicle will be revealed this year.

The German TV channel Welt also made a documentary about the origin of the model.

"We're working hard to design the car the way we envisioned it - a new type of hypercar that provides extreme electric drive performance and a new driving experience for the driver. At the same time, it will be a technical masterpiece from an engineering point of view. C_Two will have a new driving experience, high communicative handling, and first-class dynamics that will define our new car. We want this car to be intuitive and usable, but at the same time, sharp and capable. The testing and tuning process is crucial to ensure that our promises are met. Driving the C_Two will be something completely different," said Rimac.

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

Monday, 14 December 2020

Entrepreneurial Legend Mate Rimac Has New Investors, Who Are They?

December the 14th, 2020 - Croatian entreprener Mate Rimac, who is by far the perfect example that with enough grit and effort, you can succeed here in Croatia, has attracted yet more new investors from different parts of the globe.

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has seen many a previously planned investment grind to a halt, be put on pause for better days or simply be thrown in the bin. Mate Rimac, however, has continued to attract attention in terms of investment. Rimac has done the impossible in many ways, but by far the most surprising move he has made of late is managing to gain the attention of some of the giants of the automotive world. The idea of a Croatian automotive industry was unthinkable not so long ago, and for many it still is, but Rimac has managed to make the idea at least conceivable.

It shouldn't be surprising, when looking at his rather remarkable record, that this man of many talents is continuing to attract investor attention even during these unprecedented and extremely difficult times.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, about ten days ago, new investors entered the ownership structure of Rimac Automobili, according to a report from Lider. According to information from the court register, Neurone R SA from Luxembourg is registered as a new member of Mate Rimac's wildly successful company headquartered in Sveta Nedelja, while the investor from Abu Dhabi, Ziad Tassabehji, who was otherwise one of Mate Rimac's first investors back in 2014, left the ownership, ie he is no longer registered as a member.

Back at the beginning of October, KINGRICH INVESTMENTS LIMITED from Hong Kong also entered the ownership structure of Rimac Automobil, while at the end of September, China Dynamics (Holdings) Limited left the ownership structure.

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Saturday, 14 November 2020

Transparency: Entrepreneur Mate Rimac Reveals Wage, Wages of Employees

November the 14th, 2020 - Croatian entrepreneur Mate Rimac is well known for a multitude of reasons. His desire to push Croatia forward is second only to his success with his remarkable company, Rimac Automobili, and now he can add total transparency to his list - a rare quality among Croatian employers.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the wildly successful entrepreneur Mate Rimac has released a YouTube video in which he is frank and open about the one thing most of us feel uncomfortable discussing - finances.

"I think that in Croatia there's a very strong interest in what Rimac Automobili is doing and what is happening in our country. I also sometimes see that there is a misunderstanding about what we do, how we do it, etc. I think the best way to inform people about that is in a direct way - as as little information as possible is lost.

I took some time and tried to show, in the most transparent way, what, how and why we do what we do. Maybe I’ll make a regular thing of it. I've never seen such ''radical transparency'' anywhere, so I'm really interested in how it will go. Now that I’ve started recording, I can see a lot of things that I should add or do differently - but I’ll do that another time.

Here, grab your popcorn and enjoy,'' wrote Rimac.

"We have a net salary of approximately 10,500 kuna without transport and accommodation, and 11,500 kuna with transport and accommodation included. That's far from something we can all be happy with. We want to be competitive on the international labour market, not just here on the Croatian one, and we want those employee salaries to be as high as possible. Rimac Automobili alone has a gross cost of 14 million kuna per month for salaries. Maybe one interesting thing... seeing as I don't know why it should be hidden, this is my net salary,'' said the very open entrepreneur Mate Rimac, showing a graph which shows that his net salary is just under 35,000 kuna.

If you understand Croatian, can watch his full report on YouTube below:

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Sunday, 1 November 2020

Lessons from Rimac: How Croatia Tourist Board Video Promo is Failing (Analysis)

November 1, 2020 - Lessons from Rimac - and no, it is not on how to build an electric supercar. A look at how official Croatian tourism video promotion is largely ineffective and costly. But doesn't need to be. 

Last summer, a friend sent me a link to one of the most beautiful videos I have seen promoting Croatia - pianist Lola Astanova performing solo on the tip of the famous Zlatni Rat beach in Bol on the island of Brac. 

Perfectly shot, stunningly performed by a beautiful artiste, there are few better videos online to show the magic of the Adriatic.

Take a look for yourself.

The story behind the video has that Lola was in Bol to perform at the WTA Bol Tennis Open. She apparently absolutely loved Croatia and did a lot of free promotion on her Instagram during her stay (with over 4 million views). She was due to record this video in Venice, but she was persuaded by her new friends on Brac to record it on Croatia's most iconic beach instead, and she covered all the costs of shooting and directing the video. 

A fantastic and free promotion of Croatia, generated from an initiative from the private sector. 

Looking at the video statistics over a year later, the video has had 855,333 views, with some 14,000+ likes and 857 comments. Some serious social media engagement. 

"When you have a moment," said my friend, "take a look at the national tourist board videos and their engagement."

It was a comment which stayed with me and went onto the never-ending to-do list of mine - one which I will never completely overcome. 

Music and Croatia's fabulous coast are the perfect combination, something that 2Cellos have used to their advantage on more than one occasion with their fantastic global promotions of their native country. How about this stunner from Dubrovnik back in 2017, for example? More than 42 million views, 532k likes and more than 12,000 comments. promotion which would give even Kings Landing itself a run for its money.  

When I saw this video, I was reminded of my friend's comment to check national tourist board engagement, but it still remained on my to-do list until this week, after watching THAT Mate Rimac video for the second time. 

The Rimac video had EVERYTHING, easily the best promotional video of Croatia I have seen in a long time. Apart from promoting the tourism beauties of the country, its major focus on why Croatia is a great place to work and live is hopefully the start of a discussion to move Croatia's tourism direction on a new path built on safety, authentic experiences, lifestyle, and digital nomads. In just over a week, the Rimac video has had over 125,000 views, 4,900+ likes and over 700 comments, many of which were extremely positive about Croatia.

lessons-from-rimac (13).JPG

I smiled at the end of the video at the slide thanking the national tourist board for use of their footage in the making of the video. Rimac is a smart guy. Why reinvent the wheel (I guess he invents enough of his own in his day job)? If you can get fantastic footage for free, interview a few employees at the office, then throw in some footage of those amazing Rimac cars, the production cost of the video is going to be very affordable. 

It also shows that the stunning footage exists in the official archives. And, as the Rimac production team showed, it is possible to use that footage to create something very engaging and positive, promoting many aspects of life and work in Croatia, as well as tourism - on a budget. Perhaps the Rimac team threw some money to boost the video. I would be surprised if yes, and it certainly got a ton of organic traffic and media space, so there was really no need. 

But really great engagement again. When I saw the national tourist board footage slide at the end of the video, my friend's comment from last year came back into my head, and I decided to finally take a look. 

Having written about the heroes who run the Kingdom of Accidental Tourism for a decade now, there is nothing about their efforts that shocks me anymore. I truly have seen it all. 

Or so I thought. 

For when I looked at the Croatia, Full of Life YouTube channel and compared it to these outstanding examples above, what I discovered was truly staggering. Expecially when one considers what must be at least hundreds of thousands of dollars in social media promotion, in addition to the cost of the videos themselves. Having looked at the channel for 5 minutes, I realised that in order to understand and analyse what I was looking at properly, I would need some industry expert help. I posted such a request on Facebook, and a social media marketing expert from a major Croatian tourism company (who asked not to be named) offered his services, including generating some data on the videos. Thank you,  Sir - you know who you are. 

 lessons-from-rimac (2).JPG

(Croatia Full of Life YouTube screenshots above, and more below)

I decided to start at the top. What was the most popular official video of all time? Wow! An impressive 22 MILLION views. Very, very impressive. 

Until I saw the engagement. 

Have you ever come across a video on YouTube with over 20 million views which has just 76 likes and 7 comments (including those of the original poster)?

lessons-from-rimac (3).JPG

Nor had I. The second most popular video of all time. Again, an impressive 12.2 million views, but just 71 likes and just 4 comments (including those of the original poster). 

If a car maker, a pianist and a couple of cellists could get so much engagement and reaction, liking and sharing of their videos, how was it possible that the Croatian National Tourist Board was getting so little love for its videos? As Rimac had proved, they had the material, and he had shown how to use it. My new online data analyst friend offered to run a report on the 12 most popular videos of all time on the official national tourist board channel. Here is what he found.


Pageviews - seriously impressive  But engagement? Only one of the 12 most popular videos in terms of views with more than 80 likes? And a total of just 32 comments over 12 videos and over 120 million views?

And you don't have to make the world's fastest electric car or be the most famous cello duo in the world to get engagement. Here is my little contribution on Hvar 5 years ago, when I managed to persuade a couple of YouTubers to go for a swim in Gariful's underfloor aquarium, complete with baby shark as part of a report they did on a visit to Croatia's premier island. Some 4.5 million organic views later, it is now the most popular video about Hvar on YouTube, with engagement of 92,000 likes and more than 5,000 comments. I personally have answered at least 10 emails from tourists on Hvar asking me where to find the restaurant so they can go for lunch. 

lessons-from-rimac (7).JPG

This screenshot from the official YouTube channel gives us some clues. The same video, posted in numerous languages 8 months ago. The German version, posted twice, has 274,000 views in total, while the Italian one was just viewed 109 times, and the French one a lamentable 61 times. The only explanation, my data expert said, is that the German version had been heavily promoted through a paid campaign, while the Italian and French versions were examples of how the organic traffic looked. Not quite the same as Rimac or Lola.

Indeed, of the 43 videos posted in 2020, over a third (15 of them) have less than 1,500 views. This despite the channel having almost 19,000 subscribers.


Time for another report, said my new friend. In 2020, the national tourist board has apparently posted a total of 43 videos (actually not 43 unique videos, as several have gone out in different languages - each video in a new language is counted as one). And here is a summary on engagement compared to Lola on Brac, 2Cellos in Dubrovnik and Rimac in Sveta Nedelja. Almost 30 million views over 43 videos, which sounds ok until we examine just how much of that is paid promotion below, just 1650 likes over 43 videos (even after paid promotion) - the one Rimac video is already three times higher than all 43 official videos combined as it now approaches 5,000 likes. 

And ZERO comments. How can that be possible?

lessons-from-rimac (9).JPG

Quite simple, if the comments are turned off. I don't know much about online promotion, but if you pay to get people to watch a video to then engage, where is the logic in blocking people from doing that by not allowing comments? Perhaps to mask the embarrassment of lack of comments when they were switched on - see above with a total of 32 comments for the top 12 videos of all time. 

lessons-from-rimac (12).JPG

Even more curious is the wasted opportunity of using the description to provide a call to action, a chance to engage further. Take this example from a Croatian tourist board video in Polish with over 1.4 million views, but just 17 likes, no comments possible, and no link for further information. 

Now look at this example of how someone in the private sector does it:

lessons-from-rimac (1).JPG

This is how Rimac promotes not only his video, but also his company. He guides people through the video with a helpful timeline. But look at the other options to engage further, with a range of calls to action. 

It really is not that difficult, especially as I understand that all this work is outsourced by the national tourist board to a third party. After all there are only 70-80 people working fulltime at head office, so who could possibly have the time to take on such a task?

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Interestingly, given that the national tourist board has a policy of not promoting any material from private businesses, the Rimac video was shared on official channels 6 days after it first appeared online. Great stuff, and I hope this is the start in a change of policy. I had to smile to compare the level of engagement on the official national tourist board social media of the Rimac video and then compare it to the engagement to its own record-breaking video with 22 million views. 

So how many likes SHOULD a good video get to indicate how well it is received by its audience? A quick Google search, as well as a question to my new friend, came to roughly the same conclusion:

Like to View Ratio Although likes aren’t taken into consideration when it comes to monetizing your video, it doesn’t mean they aren’t important. Likes will determine your popularity. On average, YouTubers should expect a 4% like to view ratio. That means they should be getting at least 4 likes for every one hundred views. Likes are usually given by people who find your video informative and engaging. If your videos are not getting a high enough like to view ratio, consider an alternate approach.

So Croatia's most popular official video with its 22 million views should then have almost 1 million likes if it was hitting the mark. 

It has just 76. 

If your videos are not getting a high enough like to view ratio, consider an alternate approach.

So how much is all this costing in terms of promotion, to boost these videos that nobody is engaging with?

A Google search reveals a number of prices per view, but my friend suggested a more conservative number of between $0.01 and $0.03 per view. For the sake of this article, let's stick to the conservative end of that (while acknowledging that the amount could be three times higher, or more), so $1 per 100 views. 


Given the lack of engagement and the French and Italian examples above, it is fair to assume that almost all of the traffic is therefore boosted by a paid campaign. Looking at 2020 alone, my friend came up with this. Almost 30 million views so far this year. If the price is $0.01 per view, then that equates to $300,000. If the amount is $0.03 per view, however... 

And this, of course, is just the cost to Google. Add a nice fee to the agency doing the work, and let's not forget the costs of actually producing the material. 

And for what end result? A product nobody engages with, with restricted chance to engage via comments and no call to action to find out more information (not in every video, but in the vast majority I checked). 

There is another tool of measurement I was unaware of - the cost of engagement. How much should it cost for a successful campaign of engagement?

Cost Per Engagement can mean too many things to many people, so there isn't really enough data that is comparable to average out. It's usually not much, however. According to Quora it can be about $2, and according to Reddit, you can pay around $0.01.

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A lot more than $2.  As a huge disclaimer, these are suggested numbers based on the expert analysis I was given. I invite the Croatian National Tourist Board to transparently publish the amounts spent on these promotions, as well as their interpretation of the results. There are always two sides to every story. Well, almost always. 


By way of comparison, IF Rimac, 2Cellos and Lola were just promoting their videos with paid similar paid promotion (Lola's management has confirmed all views and engagements are organic, so her cost of engagement is $0), it would compare like this, above. Well within the recommended amount, so they are clearly doing things right. The engagement cost is actually much lower, or even zero (as in Lola's case at least) due to the huge organic traffic. 

So somewhere between $0.01 and $2 then is average. My data friend told me that the calculation as he sent me the above report - page views x 0.01/likes, dislikes, shares and comments. And this price of $169.82 is assuming a conservative ad price of $0.01. If it was $0.03, for example, then the number would be over $500 per engagement.

So what have we learned from all this? And is our tourism promotion money being used effectively?

Lessons from Rimac - we have the material, we need creativity to get the message out effectively (actually let's take a step back, we have to figure out what our message is - the golden era of accidental tourism is coming to an end), calls to action and engagement work. 

We also have the experts in the private sector who can take tourism promotion to the next level for a fraction of the cost of the cash being thrown wastefully at the moment. 

Let's use them. 

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