Friday, 30 July 2021

New Mayors of Pula and Vodnjan Ditch Two Major Projects, Jutarnji List Reports

ZAGREB, 30 July 2021 - In just two days the new mayors of Pula and Vodnjan rejected two major projects by the Istrian Democratic Party (IDS) worth about HRK 90 million, Jutarnji List daily said on Friday.

Both projects are from the EU's Integrated Territorial Investment (ITU) mechanism, and a portion of the funding was grants from the European Regional Development Fund. But both independent mayors decided to forgo the grants arguing that the stakes of their respective cities in the investment projects were too high.

The aim of the projects was to convert a former industrial complex in Pula and an old oil mill in Vodnjan into tourism and cultural centres. A HRK 34.9 million grant agreement for the Mehanika polyvalent centre in Pula was signed in February, while Vodnjan's MMC Torcio project was awarded a HRK 7.15 million grant.

Both mayors said that the main reasons for rejecting the projects were too short implementation deadlines, an excessive credit burden on their budgets and too high bids for the performance of construction works.

For more on politics, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 15 May 2021

Vodnjan Company Infobip Continues on Upward Trajectory with Good Results

May the 15th, 2021 - The Vodnjan company infobip continues to go from strength to strength and showcase just what a Croatian enterprise can do, even in a climate which still makes doing business more difficult than it should be.

As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes, Twilio has 4,500 employees, generates 1.76 billion US dollars in revenue annually and has a market value of 51.85 billion dollars. It is a company that the founders of the Vodnjan company Infobip - Silvio Kutic, Izabel Jelenic and Roberto Kutic - most often point out as their main competitor. By comparison, Infobip has about 3,000 employees, revenue of 1.25 billion dollars, and last year its market value exceeded an impressive 1 billion dollars.

Due to the difference of 1:52 in relation to Twilio, the first Croatian unicorn startup is preparing to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange at the end of next year or at the beginning of 2023 at the very latest. As one of the preparatory steps, the Vodnjan company Infobip aims to raise a 500 million dollar investment by the end of August 2021. It will purchase its own competition with those finds.

Twilio will not be on that list because of its value, but which smaller competitors will be there is problematic to predict because it also depends on the aspirations of their own respective investors. That's why it's good to understand who, in fact, Infobip's competitors actually are and in which direction the business in which they operate is developing.

Cost control

Both Infobip and Twilio are engaged in a business that is quite exotic. There are SMS messages, connections to applications (apps) on the web and on mobiles, chatbots, emails, support for the omnichannel communication of brands, geolocation solutions and many other similar services.

Both companies have developed a variety of software, which, like Lego bricks, companies can integrate into their own web and mobile applications, thus communicating with their users more easily and securely. Infobip and Twilio are therefore communication platforms that sell their software as a service (Communication platform as a Service - CpaaS).

The main reason why companies that sell over the internet, and today that is almost all of them, have a need for their services is the necessity to control costs and communication to all their customers, no matter where they're located. This cannot be offered by any teleoperator, not even the likes of Starlink.

Although Elon Musk created the first true global operator with Starlink, meaning one that has its own planetary infrastructure, it doesn't offer mobile services. Large global telecoms, which form the backbone of the Internet, such as Level 3, Telie, GTT, Cogent and NTT, also show no interest in offering companies software solutions for specific forms of communication. The only ones slowly moving towards the field where Twilio and Infobip compete are Amazon, Google and Microsoft.

Currently, another company that the Vodnjan company Infobip founders often cite as a competitor is the Swedish Sinch. It has a market value of 9.76 billion dollars, revenue of just under 1 billion dollars and more than 1,600 employees. Sinch follows a similar tactic and is intensively active in acquisitions.

Recently, Sinch has acquired SAP’s SAP Digital Interconnect business unit, followed by Brazil’s Wavy and the largest independent voice communications operator in the US, Inteliquent.

A European challenger

Infobip's competitor is also RingCentral, an American company that offers other companies similar communication solutions as Zoom and MS Teams. RingCentral, which had revenue of 1.2 billion dollars last year, also offers a communications platform as a service, forcing Microsoft and other major technology companies to potentially enter the segment.

Finally, there is another major European challenger in the mix, MessageBird. This Dutch company is particularly interesting because it promotes business in a very similar way to Croatia's own Infobip. It boasts of collaborating with giants such as Facebook, Google, Uber and WhatsApp and offering an omnichannel communication platform. Behind MessageBird are (financially) the largest VC fund in Europe, Atomico, Y Combinator and Accel.

In addition, the Dutch are also targeting expansion into the United States. Back in April, they raised a 800 million dollars investment to buy the American mail marketing company SparkPost, and this is just the beginning of the list in the CPaaS market, which also includes the Indian Plivo, the American Vonage Communications and many others, so it is obvious that consolidation will follow in the next period.

For more on Infobip and companies like it, follow Made in Croatia.

Friday, 7 May 2021

Vodnjan Giant Infobip Announces Third Acquisition in Just 7 Months

May the 7th, 2021 - The Vodnjan giant Infobip is very well known at this point for its wild success and seemingly almost constant acquisitions. The company has since announced its third large acquisition in just seven months.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, the Vodnjan giant Infobip has announced a new, third acquisition in just seven months. This time it is the Irish IT company Anam Technologies, the world's leading provider of SMS firewall services. Infobip and Anam will now jointly provide technical solutions for more than 700 mobile operators globally, covering 64 percent of the world’s mobile devices.

The value of this acquisition remains unknown, and payment was made by a combination of cash and Infobip shares.

As they have pointed out from the Vodnjan giant Infobip, the acquisition unites the strengths of both companies in the segment of security in message traffic and monetisation with an even more complete portfolio of solutions from which both mobile operators and end users will benefit. Anam's team is now to join Infobip's department in charge of strategic partnerships with mobile operators.

Their business customers will thus have at their disposal a better and more comprehensive offer, which includes continuous 24/7 professional support, more detailed analysis and more accurate reporting, with an even greater number of direct connections to mobile operators from around the world.

"With the acquisition of Anam, we've strengthened our leading position in providing a high level of security and protection of messages to mobile operators and helped them increase value within their own sector, but also improve relationships with end users. I'm looking forward to our mutual future successes,'' said the executive director of Infobip, Silvio Kutic.

Infobip's communication platform processes more than 14 billion user interactions per month through a number of communication channels, in more than 190 countries around the world.

Business users of both companies will have at their disposal a rich offer of services, a connected solution for a superior end-user experience and a better solution for monetising A2P (Application-to-Person) traffic. Together, both companies will now provide the most complete supply chain globally in the A2P SMS segment.

This sense of excitement is also shared by Anam itself, whose CEO Darragh Kelly pointed out that this acquisition is a confirmation of the importance of mobile messaging in a growing digital environment.

“The security and integrity of mobile networks are key parts of the messaging ecosystem. In order for the industry to continue to grow, it's necessary, on the one hand, for the messaging channel to be successfully protected from spam and fraud, and, on the other hand, for the position of mobile operators, businesses and end users to be protected. We believe that we're achieving this by joining the Infobip family, which brings together the two best messaging companies in the segment of A2P communication security. Our joint product portfolio provides a rare and exceptional offer to mobile operators. By joining Infobip, we intend to continue our growth and provide added value to our users,'' said Darragh Kelly, CEO of Anama.

Both companies are consistently at the top of the global ROCCO report in the A2P SMS Firewall segment and are winners of the Juniper Future Digital Awards. The company also points out that Infobip and Anam share the same values ​​and culture based on team spirit and innovation with a strong focus on the experience of both employees and users.

To briefly recall, the Vodnjan giant Infobip took over the leading regional technology conference Shift less than one month ago, and in 2020 they concluded a sales contract with IT company Amdocs to take over the American company Open Market, a leading B2B provider of mobile messaging solutions.

For more, follow our dedicated business section.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

The Story of Lady, Who Still Waits for Her Friend in Vodnjan

May 1, 2021 - Everyone knows the story of Hachiko, the dog who waited years for its deceased owner. But the story of Lady, from Vodnjan, is just as sweet and heartbreaking.

When we talk about dogs, the first thing that comes to mind is their unmatched loyalty. It is well known that dogs do not take long to show their affection to younger children or that they are often inseparable from their owners. Stories like those of Hachiko, the famous Japanese dog who, even after the death of her owner, never lost faith to one day meet him again.

Another that would prove that dogs indeed love forever, is the story of Lady, from Vodnjan.

As Jutarnji.hr reports, Lady is a 16-year-old dog who immediately fell in love with all of her family when she arrived in their lives. However, as said by Marijan Kancijanić, her real love story happened when she was five.

That great love was with her neighbor, Salko. Why? No one knows, but the two of them loved each other endlessly. His house was about 80 meters away from hers, in a parallel street. Close enough to go to him every day. The world has never seen such love.

the-story-of-lady.jpg

Credit: Private album.

''She followed him to the garden and the store every morning for an hour or two. They had their own timing. If she didn't show up one day, because she would be with us in the olive groves, he would definitely come that evening or the next morning to ask if she was okay. Also, when she came home with us, she would walk away for at least a minute to see him or at least sniff in front of Salko's house. I don't know exactly why, I guess to see if he is well, because he was a kidney patient'', says Marijan.

She was once trapped under the wheels of a car, so she was not there for a couple of days because she was recovering at home. Salko came to visit. He was crying, worried about the little one, and her tail would start working like crazy when she saw him. Sure, everything hurt, but when she saw him, everything was a little better.

''It didn't take long. About a year and a half after they connected, Salko passed away. As he left, part of her spirit disappeared with him. That was a full four years ago. From then until today, every morning and afternoon, Lady is constantly waiting in front of Salko's door'', explains Marijan.

And so, today, every day, regardless of rain, sun, or snow, Lady goes to Salko's house two or three times a day, at a time known only to her, depending on the season. She lays down on the sidewalk, her head facing the entrance, her sad gaze fixed on the door: waiting for him to appear. It doesn’t matter that he hasn’t appeared in four years, time is a human invention anyway and means nothing to dogs.

She understands that the sun has risen and set many times since her friend is gone, but she knows he will return. One day, Lady will come to the door and he will open it for her, hug her, give her a nice biscuit, and then the two of them, together, will slowly walk to the store, through their favorite streets, talking. Salko will tell her what is bothering him, and she will understand him in her canine way. And it will be as it used to be. One man and one dog, for a time beyond human comprehension, the discovery of two kindred spirits in this vast universe.

''I know she hopes to see at least one more time the man who took her everywhere with him, shared meals with her, talked to her... The late Salko entrusted his wife to take care of Lady for life. On his deathbed, he asked: "Is Lady coming?". Several times, when we would meet on my doorstep, he liked to hear the verses of Dino Dvornik's song from the Ballad of Shark: "Because a man is a man, and a dog is a dog, it's worth it for everyone, but not for us...", concludes Marijan.

If you want to know more about dogs and pets in Croatia, be sure to check Total Croatia's guide HERE.

For more news about Croatia, visit Total Croatia News dedicated page.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Vodnjan Company Market Leader in Technology for Smart Ship Concept

A Vodnjan company called Sentinel Marine Solution has signed a contract with the Hanse Group, which entered into the OEM segment and thus opened the door to mass production for shipbuilders.

As Novac/Jozo Vrdoljak/Privredni.hr writes on the 14th of January, 2020, the Vodnjan company Sentinel Marine Solution, with the exception of Vodnjan, has offices in Zagreb and Ljubljana (Slovenia), along with its manufacturing facility. The sixteen employees who work there are focused on development, aided by the 1 million euro venture capital fund of South Central Ventures and the capital of several other partners.

''After five years of development, we've been recognised by the world's largest players such as the Hanse Group, the second largest yacht and motorboat manufacturer in the world. Each of their ships will have a Sentinel system and will be on the Sentinel platform. In addition to them, we collaborate with the brands Fjord, Sealine, Privilege, Dehler, Moody... Our system is also used by Beneteau First and many well-known shipbuilders from Australia to America.

Sentinel also successfully integrates partner technologies such as Torqeedo's electric motors or CZone's most famous digital switching and monitoring provider. Even the great Garmin Marine has chosen Sentinel for its own product range as a telematics solution for business clients, shipbuilders. What we do with shipyards involves a lengthy process, and the results of collaborating with big names are now visible. We've developed into an independent company that operates well,'' explained Draško Andrić, sales and development manager of the Vodnjan company.

Sentinel Marine Solution was launched as a Slovenian-Croatian startup, initially as a basic monitoring model for all ship's devices and a provider of marine internet for private users and charter fleets. In just a few years, Sentinel has become the market leader in developing technologies for smart ships. One of Sentinel's first clients was Jack Shuri, a pioneer of the charter industry in the Croatian part of the Adriatic sea, which he supported at an early stage of development.

''In addition to Surija, the first users were the pioneers of the charter industry in Croatia, such as Ivica Buble, the owner of Dalmatia charter from Trogir. The Sentinel Boat Monitor is actually a gateway that collects all the data on all instruments on board that are connected to the NMEA 2000 network. The read condition communicates with our main gateway, after which any warnings are sent to the shipowner or someone who maintains it.

It's a standard that sets itself as the future of all nautics. Shipbuilders are now our focus. It's a platform that enables the communication of all of the ship's devices and the ship, that is, its users for the purpose of a better navigation experience and easier and cheaper maintenance of the vessel. Due to complete control of our own system, we have our own production of hardware and software, which is a great advantage for us, but it's also necessary if you want to work with the Tier 1 sector,'' stated Andrić.

According to Draško Andrić, today, the Sentinel Marine Solution (in-house solution) is a leader in the market for connected vessel technology, a huge title for this Vodnjan company.

''The service is completely in-house, which means that every aspect of it has been developed in Sentinel. This gives us stability and a system independent of external partnership development. Sentinel's advantage and strength lies in the fact that it can connect to all ship systems and interact with almost all instruments on board, read them and understand what happens on board when no one is aboard,'' he explained.

In the last four to five years, Sentinel has, according to this Vodnjan company's managers, become a leading provider of monitoring services in the Adriatic and worldwide.

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

Saturday, 16 November 2019

Days of Olive Oil Sees Istrian Product Draw President's Praise in Vodnjan

Istrian olive oil and Dalmatian olive oil could hold an eternal battle when it comes to deciding just ''who'' is better. While both are excellent and have won awards, there's just something about Istrian olive oil that keeps the international praise rolling in, and the fifteenth Days of Olive Oil being held in Vodnjan, Istria, is drawing praise for Istria's golden liquid from no less than the Croatian President.

As Glas Istre/Danijela Basic-Palkovic writes on the 15th of November, 2019, the President of the Republic of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, opened the fifteenth edition of Days of Olive Oil - Giornate dell 'olio d'oliva novello yesterday, which will be held in Vodnjan until Sunday.

At this international event which is featuring more than 100 Croatian and foreign olive oil exhibitors, all lovers of top virgin oils will be able to taste the best products from not only Croatia but the wider region, and the variety and the rich offer will certainly be attractive to various consumer groups, as well as lovers of gastronomy and top products.

Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said that olive is absolutely part of Istrian culture.

"Olive growing and olive cultivation have been being passed down, especially here in Istria, from people's very beginnings in this area. Olives connect us with the whole Mediterranean and its traditions, and olive oil is an important part of our identity. When I go to restaurants all over the world, everyone boasts about their oils, and I always bring them a bottle of our Croatian oil and I hope that this way we'll be able to spread the word about Croatian olive oil all over the world,'' said President Grabar-Kitarović.

''I try to encourage small and medium-sized enterprises that I believe are the foundation of our economy. I'd recommend everyone, especially olive growers, to promote olive oil a little more on the continent, because I'm afraid that people there are still not yet aware of what kind of gold we're producing,'' said Grabar-Kitarović.

She also stated that she has been following the development of olive growing for years, saying that Croatia can boast a huge shift in quality, but that there is still much work to be done on quantity.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

Vodnjan Becomes Center of Highest Quality and Award-winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil

November 13, 2019 - Vodnjan celebrates young olive oil every year with a unique story that is recognizable not only in Istria and Croatia but around the world. The Days of Young Olive Oil will be held from November 15 to 17, 2019. 

Glas Istre writes that "Days of Young Olive Oil" is recognized by its partners and friends from Croatia and beyond. The upcoming 15th event, to be held in Vodnjan over the weekend (November 15 to 17), was presented at a press conference on Tuesday. Vodnjan Mayor Klaudio Vitasovic, President of the Agrotourist Association of Vodnjan Ester Geissa Djuric and Director of the Vodnjan Tourist Board Morena Smoljan Makragic spoke about the program.

Mayor Vitasovic thanked everyone who participated in this year's organization and supported the event, and announced that a vibrant, intense and attractive program was planned this year.

“For several decades, Vodnjan has been recognized as an area of premium olive oil producers. The event in Vodnjan contributed to the presentation of these top results, and the benefits of the event, apart from the olive oil producers, are also felt by those who visit the Days of Young Olive Oil, whether they come to present their products, services or gain new business acquaintances. We started with a two hundred square meter tent, and today we measure an area of 2,000 square meters where the best products from the wider region will come together,” said the Mayor of Vodnjan.

On Saturday and Sunday, tours will be held of olive groves boasting different olive varieties, while gastronomy tours and tasting locations are available throughout the event. The president of the Agroturist Association of Vodnjan, Geissa Djuric, addressed the educational note of the event, but also pointed out that this year, the quantities of olive oil in the Vodnjan area were reduced, but that is why they are of superior quality.

“The program will include lectures with interesting topics, all of which will be held at the Training Center for Young Olive Growers at Trg javne vage 22. It will cover topics from the protection and processing of olives and the production of olive oil to topics related to the use of olive oil in cosmetics and for health needs,” said Geissa Djuric, and emphasized that details of the three-day program are on the association's website.

Under a 2,000 square meter tent, products and services will be offered by more than 100 exhibitors, from olive oil producers to producers of other native agricultural and food products, while experts from Oil Bar will answer all questions related to young olive oils during guided tastings. The best chefs from Istria and Kvarner will offer a full-day gastro-show, and on the first day, they will present how Istrian cuisine has evolved over the years, with top chef Robert Peric, Denia Srdoc, and the youngest Croatian Michelin star chef, while on Saturday,  visitors will be able to taste the dishes from David Skoko’s cooking show. The last day of the festival will be led by Dragan Jovanovic, starting at 5 pm.

The director of the Vodnjan Tourist Board invites everyone interested to attend the opening ceremony of the event on Friday, November 15, at noon.

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Croatia's Infobip to Help Facebook Recover Revenue Growth

One Croatian company is at the side of an internet giant.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Vodnjan Gives Land to Young Families to Keep Them from Emigrating

Land for construction of new houses is being given away for one kuna per square metre.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Life of the Youth: Small Croatian Town Sees Biggest Employment Hike in One Year

One Istrian town is setting a shining example for the rest of the country.

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