Swisscom Ventures Invests 12.5 Million Dollars in British-Croatian Startup

Lauren Simmonds

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As Novac/Bernard Ivezic writes, the British-Croatian startup Cognism has received a 12.5 million US dollars in the form of an investment from the VC fund of Switzerland’s largest telecom, Swisscom Ventures. This British-Croatian startup expects that the market in the USA will open up again in the next three months, and a similar thing could happen in the UK, but also in other markets across Europe. The last, hitherto known market value of Cognism was 503 million kuna or 72 million dollars. It is to be expected that that sum is bigger now, but the company has not yet commented on just how much bigger it is.

Cognism was launched back in 2015 by Zadar programmer Stjepan Buljat and former UBS financier James Isilay. In the meantime, this British-Croatian startup has become one of the fastest growing companies in the investment portfolio of South Central Ventures, the first Croatian VC fund.

Stjepan Buljat stated that they want to be ready for business expansion as soon as the lockdown is over.

“The US and the UK have already signalled that their lockdowns could be completed within the next three months and this offers a signal to everyone in business that they need to prepare for it, and we´d like to be ready, also at the at EU level,¨ explained Buljat.

Cognism has offices in Croatia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, South Africa, Macedonia and Germany. According to Latka, this startup is one of the 50 fastest growing software service providers in the whole world. Last year, according to Latka, Cognism achieved revenue growth of 130 percent and employs 189 professionals. The company has an open office in Zadar, and recently they created one here in Zagreb. Back in pre-pandemic 2019, it enjoyed 700,400 kuna in revenue in Croatia and employed eight IT professionals. Buljat says they now employ more than 20 people here in Croatia.

This British-Croatian startup has developed a cloud system that allows companies to use Internet technologies to improve their sales and marketing. This proved to be a hit in the pandemic, especially since many people worked from home and making business contacts was even harder than usual. Cognism states that they have more than a thousand customers in 30 countries.

Until the investment of Swisscom Ventures, this British-Croatian startup had attracted 28.9 million US dollars in investments, of which almost half were acheived last year, when they made their first acquisition in buying the German startup Mailtastic. With the purchase of Mailtastic, Cognism thus gained a marketing platform with email signatures and increased their number of employees to more than 200.

James Isilay, the CEO of Cognism, says Swisscom Ventures has indicated with this investment that they have grown into one of Europe’s largest data providers.

“This year we´re focused on growing our presence in the UK and across the rest of Europe, and our plan is to improve our products with additional functionalities and solutions we can offer globally. In addition, we will focus even more strongly to keep our data the most compliant at all levels,” stated Isilay.

Stefan Kuentz, a partner at Swisscom Ventures, pointed out that they want a leading player in this segment in Europe.

“Artificial intelligence is key to increasing salespeople productivity, even more so when people are working from home. Cognism is in a great position to become a leading company in Europe and we´re excited to be a part of that journey,” Kuentz concluded.

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