$60 Million Secured for Microblink Expansion to USA, Asia and Middle East

Daniela Rogulj



December 16, 2020 – Damir Sabol and his co-founders Izet Ždralović and Jurica Cerovec discuss the Microblink expansion to the US market and beyond. 

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, Microblink recorded 36 percent sales growth and secured an investment from Boston-based Silversmith Capital Partners that has invested in companies such as Webflow, ActiveCampaign, and Appfire.

Two years after securing a $6 million investment for their spinoff company Photomath, Damir Sabol and his co-founders Izet Ždralović and Jurica Cerovec have exclusively confirmed an investment of over HRK 370 million by the US growth equity fund Silversmith Capital Partners.

Damir explains for Netokracija.hr how the cooperation came about:

“In fact, it all happened surprisingly fast. Their approach and culture are quite similar to ours, and more importantly, they understand our business, products, and technology very well. They invest because they see the potential of our development and growth in an even bigger world organization. We believe that we will work well with them because their focus is on good products and customers. From them, we can certainly gain expertise in managing and organizing global functions, product development for the US market, and expanding sales in the US and other markets.”

Although most of the public knows about Microblink and their technology primarily through their application that helps users solve math problems, it is in the wake of the B2B solution that Microblink has secured external capital for the first time – seven years after its founding. 

“This is the first time that Microblink has received external capital. With a strategic, long-term approach, we could independently, with the reinvestment of profits, develop a company that has become a global technology leader in its segment. This was the first phase in the company’s development, and we still have even bigger ambitions. We want to harness the potential of artificial intelligence to continue to make products with a superior user experience that change the ways the physical and digital worlds interact, across all devices,” Damir points out.

With the entry of such large investors, some things will change, and so will the structure. While Jurica Cerovec will continue in the CTO role and Izet Ždralović as CEO in Croatia, Damir Sabol will be a member of the Microblink board together with Sri Rao, a partner from Silversmith, and Darren Bassman, who also becomes the CEO of Microblink.

Bassman has so far founded BlinkReceipt LLC, which has been a partner of Microblink for 6 years, and Microblink considers it the best choice for scaling in the US and global market.

Microblink B2B solutions are digital products based on their core recognition technology, available to users and developers through the SDK or Web API.

It all started with PhotoPay, a system for recognizing invoices and payment slips, which Microblink piloted in Croatia in 2011 with Erste Bank, for the then-revolutionary application Erste mBanking, which this year, unfortunately, was replaced by George.

Building on the success of PhotoPay, the founders unveiled a new umbrella brand for their “mobile vision” SDK called Microblink at London’s Techcrunch Disrupt in 2014.

The introduction of the BlinkID is Microblink’s most popular product today, which is no wonder given that during a pandemic, scanning documents without close contact is more important than ever. Damir points out that BlinkReceipt is potentially very important commercially.

According to Microblink, hundreds of millions of people scan more than a billion documents and cards thanks to their technology used by a whole network of clients in over 70 countries, in industries such as banking, where PhotoPay started, all the way to insurance and retail.

Given the active role of Microblink as one of the initiators of CroAI and Sabola as an ambassador of the Elements of AI course in Croatia, no one is surprised that Microblink sees the further potential of its products in additional investment in artificial intelligence. 

“We will continue to bring together top engineers, but also experts in all other business areas, especially related to customer relations, product development, and expansion into global markets. We continue to lead scientific discoveries and innovations in the field of artificial intelligence. For that, we need passionate and talented people, who exist in Croatia and who already recognize us as one of the top three employers in the field of IT,” said Jurica. 

Today, Microblink has over 100 full-time employees in Croatia, and in addition to focusing on the US market, it will also target some new markets.

“In the new development phase, we will first focus on strengthening the team in America and opening up new opportunities in that market. We will not stop there and are thinking about expanding into new markets, such as Asia and the Middle East. The priority is to design products that will bring greater value in certain verticals such as digital identity, market analysis, online payments,” said Damir.

Damir concluded that they see Microblink as “a global leader in a segment that offers complete solutions and is slowly climbing in the value chain that is being delivered.” The new phase of Microblink development confirms the lessons of the last 10 years: B2B and profitability to gradually scaling the global market.

They add a new lesson: through the development of a range of products based on innovative technology, they enabled scaling that began with PhotoPay and continued through Photomath as a spinoff and a range of B2B products within Microblink, which with this investment becomes one of the best-funded technology companies in Croatia.

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