Cool Slovenian brands, part 1: Technology startups making it big


Slovenia has a surprisingly high level of technology companies that made a global impact. These startups are an inspiration to everybody, and we hope more of us will be joining them soon. Some made it with the support of different incubators, such as Seedcamp or Y Combinator, others made it on their own. They all share an innovative and outstanding product or service, proving that Slovenia is a place of very talented and ambitious people. While there are probably even more successful startups I haven't heard of or mentioned, I think these eight Slovenian technology organizations created the most hype in the recent few years.


With the recent domination of smartphones and tablets, mobile advertising is sky-rocketing. And we are not talking only about ads inside apps, we are talking about multi-platform mobile rich-media ads. These ads go beyond the direct effect of clicking, they enable mobile branding, attracting top-level multinational companies. Celtra has developed a platform for publishing and tracking such ads, and it is so hot they've received 5 millions in investor funding.


DoubleRecall is a company that might as well save the printing industry. The internet made information more accessible, and people are willing to pay less and less for it. Banner ads don't generate enough revenue for online editions, so newspapers are trying other options, specially content paywalls and tablet editions. In the mean time, DoubleRecall "invented" a new type of ad, where you have to type-in in a few words to access the article. High recollection of something you read and type make this type of ad very effective, and advertisers are willing to pay a lot for it. DoubleRecall got picked by YCombinator.


Even though Enterprise 2.0 has been around for a while, we haven't seen it penetrating business on a large scale. Flowr addresses this issue, offering a simple and effective service for online collaboration between coworkers and teams. Call it Facebook for the enterprise if you like, these types of applications surely are the future of work. The Flowr managed to become a finalist in the Enterprise 2.0 conference.

The latest Slovenian Seedcamp winner,, combines two fascinating and trendy technologies: location based networking and gamification. The game supports Foursquare and other geo platforms, and its main objective is to conquer as much territory as possible by checking-in to places, becoming an ouster. Recently, they've also introduced a risk-type game that you play in teams. Your life should be a game? Can't agree more.


Thanks to a series of talking friends available on most smartphone platforms, Outfit7 has become one of the most successful mobile development companies, and its founder one of the wealthiest Slovenians. At this point, more than 200 million downloads of Talking Tom, Talking Santa and other characters have been made. One of the most fascinating facts about Outfit 7 is that they have identified a totally new target group - children on (parents') smartphones and tablets, which is shown by their vision: we compete against Mattel and Disney. Ingenious.


Toshl is a fun app that helps you track expenses on your smartphone. With more than $250.000.000 expenses tracked on different mobile platforms, Toshl managed to became a finalist on SeedCamp New York in 2011. The competition there was fierce, so they didn't receive any funding, but that didn't stop them from moving to Silicon Valley, where the real magic happens. We are standing by to hear about the results. is one of the hottest Slovenian startups at this point. After winning Seedcamp London in 2011, this company is on it's way up, being covered by influential magazines / blogs Wired and TechCrunch in the past weeks. What is it about? It's VoIP (Skype) in your browser, without installation. Besides being cool, also introduced a few interesting new concepts, such as using an URL instead of a phone number.


Zemanta is the original Slovenian startup success story, the winner of Seedcamp in 2007. It offers a service that allows bloggers to enrich their writing by adding pictures, links and related content to their posts. Zemanta is very important because it showed other companies they can think big, and since then, they have been paving the way for other Slovenian and East European startups. A few days ago they've announced a strategic partnership with Federated Media Publishing.

The impact

These companies are not only successful, they are also very important for other Slovenian startups trying to make a difference. They've become the foundation and mentors of a new mentality that's coming to this part of Europe, and they deserve all the respect. We are trying too, with Neolab and Twenity, and hopefully someday we will become members of similar lists. Until then, it's only fair we support them, by using their services, helping them, or just spreading the word about their awesomeness. We should be proud some of us have actually made it this far.

Trademarks and logos are the property of their respective owners. Martin Strel image courtesy of Martin Strel Swimming Adventure.

Check out the complete Cool Slovenian brands series.

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written 5.2.2012 18:23 CET on chronolog
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