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Polish start-ups to watch in 2021 according to the startup.pfr.pl team

Startup.pfr.pl looked at start-ups that may surprise us this year - both the ones just starting their business and the already mature ones. Who will we be monitoring particularly closely in 2021?

Early-stage startups

upmedic:

upmedic is a system of structured diagnostic descriptions for radiologists. Recently, it has also started offering a system supporting telemedical diagnostics and facilitating the flow of documents - also for GPs.

Why do we think it is worth following?Because, on the one hand, health industry startups received the greatest support from investors in 2020 , and on the other hand, Poles are very skeptical about telemedical advice - solutions that improve the quality of such visits are therefore needed.

The project has started their 2021 by winning an international competition for startups organized by INPUT program and Smart Landing Program Canada, gaining 20,000. Canadian dollars to organize pilot programs and build partnerships with Canadian medical institutions. A small interdisciplinary team has already established contacts in two countries - and this is only the first phase of their product development. How will they develop when they receive an injection of money from programs and VC? We will be tracking this information.

Wellbee:

Another health solution is a start-up specializing in online psychotherapy - offering quick access to specialists.

Why is it worth watching them? The market of psychological services in Poland and in the world is growing rapidly, also as a result of the pandemic. Wellbee has already obtained PLN 1 million in financing from Tar Heel Capital in September. How will the startup compete with other similar solutions on our market (such as Therapify and HearMe), how will it convince Poles to use such 'intimate' services online?And how does it plan to enter foreign markets?

Zajka:

A simple, cheap tool that will allow farmers to test soil moisture and optimally irrigate the field. The project, named eCiupaga, for its shepherd's axe shape, allows farmers to optimize water consumption in times of drought and rising irrigation costs.

Why are we watching them? This start-up is, in fact, still in the pre-seed stage, and is already enjoying its first successes. At the beginning of the year it has won the "The EU: Africa The Post Crisis Journey" hackathon in the Food Security category. As winners, they will take part in a 6-week incubation program that will accelerate the introduction of the prototype to the European and African market. This is a solution with great potential!

Authologic:

A solution that allows for remote identity verification - aggregating various methods that provide for customer recognition - from bank details, through face recognition, to quick transfer.

Why is this an interesting start-up in our opinion? Solutions allowing for remote contract signage exist, but Authologic is backed by experienced founders (the creators of Zencard, a startup bought by PKO BP - Polish national bank), and the aggregation of several identity verification methods in one solution gives an interesting market advantage. In the pre-seed round in October, Authologic obtained PLN 1.8 million from SMOK Ventures. We will observe its further development!

InSTREAMLY:

A platform that connects businesses with video game streamers, allowing large organizations to acquire additional marketing channels, and streamers to gain advertising funding.

Why are we looking at inSTREAMLY?Gaming (including esports) got a big boost of attention thanks to Covid and nothing seems to be slowing down in this regard. InSTREAMLY is also a solution that fits into the market niche - so far no one has created marketing tools aiming at streamers, that are becoming more and more popular. As a result, such global brands as Sony, Adidas, Netflix and Porsche have already used inSTREAMly. In 2020, SMOK Ventures invested PLN 1 million in the company in the seed round, and it has ambitious plans to expand beyond Europe - to Asia and the USA.

Mature start-ups

Infermedica:

Another medical and technological company in our list. Infermedica creates solutions that use artificial intelligence to facilitate initial medical diagnostics and patient movement management (so-called triage). It allows for diagnosis using a telephone application, internet platform, chatbot and API.

Why are we watching Infermedica? Fast development of medtechs was significantly accelerated by the pandemic. We pay more and more attention to our health, and diagnostic tools are used more than ever before. The company operates in the B2B model, and private entities in the medical care system (including telemedical care) will develop dynamically in the coming years. The services of Infermedica are already used by large companies, such as Allianz, Medis, Dovera or PZU.

As for capital - last year, the European Bank for Development and Reconstruction, Heal Capital, Karma Ventures, Inovo Venture Partners and Dreamit Ventures invested over PLN 40 million in the company, and, apart from using AI, Infermedica has plans to develop its solutions towards wider interaction with the patient - e.g. create tools for collecting interviews before visiting the family doctor.

Packhelp:

A solution that allows you to design your own packaging, targeted at the e-commerce market.

Why are we looking at packaging? 2020 was definitely a time of development of e-commerce in Poland, but also globally, in connection with the pandemic. This significantly enlarged the target market. In the Instagram era, attractive product packaging is also an element of its marketing - packaging appears on social channels both in videos and attractive photos. Last year, it was quite quiet about Packhelp, although the company won the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe 2020. What are they preparing for this year?

Nethone:

Scaleup dealing with cybersecurity and preventing payment fraud.

Why are they interesting? At the beginning of 2020, the largest Nethone customers were the travel industry, incl. esky or LOT Polish Airlines.After the problems faced by tourism, we are curious what customers the company will win this year. The media were quite silent on the company, despite the fact it has clients in over 30 countries. Nethone conducted the last major round of financing in 2019. Are they planning another round, further expansion, or maybe a pivot?

Biotts:

A biotechnology company that develops proprietary drug formulas in the field of oncology, dermatology and autoimmune diseases. Their proprietary drug carrier temporarily "softens" the intercellular cement, allowing the active substance to enter the body without pain.

Why are we curious?We close our summary with another medtech. Last year, the company won a number of awards, incl. 1st place at Start-Up Challenge 2020, during the BioMed Academy organized by PFR, or at BioForum. Last year, the company obtained PLN 8 million in financing from the Montis Capital fund and business angels, and in 2021 it has planned to sign a partnership agreement with a large pharmaceutical company. How will Biotts develop this year? And will their technologies contribute to a breakthrough in medicine?

These are interesting solutions that we will be looking at in particular this year. What was 2020 like from the VC perspective? See the PFR Ventures report.

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