Varaždin Startup Worcon Now in 54 Countries, Awaiting a New Large Investment

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Worcon, Croatian Innovation & Personality in the Machine Tool Industry, is a platform that connects all manufacturers and customers in the world in metal, wood, rubber, plastics, and similar materials. Their first product quickly proved itself in the market in the B2B segment. In a year and a half, they gained more than 1700 customers from 54 countries.

The business concept is based on establishing cooperation and expanding the client’s portfolio. As the service starts to be charged later, they are now reaping the first major fruits, and according to Keškić, in the first three months of this year, they generated more than 100,000 euros.

Their B2B system was launched in 2018 and the eponymous industrial portal with mechanical engineering and industry articles. Still, today they also publish a bimonthly magazine Manufacturing Bay that they send to 2000 addresses. In the middle of 2019, they were even on the verge of collapse, he says, but the turnaround was brought by the competition on the Rijeka business campus, where this startup was declared the best. It also attracted investors.

They stepped into the business with the first financial injection of the Fil Rouge Capital Fund, developed two online business platforms in two years, and already have numerous clients from all over the world.

Fil Rouge Capital initially decided to invest 50,000 euros, and the company then began training, and accelerated development followed. The Varaždin startup within the first generation of this fund, together with 24 startups, adopted first-hand knowledge of business live, specifically from Mate Rimac, who was Keškić’s mentor time to Igor Leprince from Nokia.

During the Covid-19 outbreak, they received a new tranche of investment of 400,000 euros from the fund. Thus, their second project was created – a master plan with which they intend to be a leader in organization and planning in mechanical engineering and industry software on a global scale.

They are negotiating with new investors and plan to open the first offices abroad and new employments. Today’s value is estimated at 100 million kunas, and the plan is to be a global leader in the project management system in 2-3 years.

Artificial intelligence is connected to the new platform. Through the 3D model, the best technology and the process in which the desired machine product is produced can be answered by predicting the product price. The errors are reduced to about 10 percent deviation. The development goes in the direction of reducing the error below 5%, which is an excellent result compared to the current calculation curves that exceed 20%, depending on the model.

“Today, we are a company with 12 employees and external associates. The Office is in Varaždin, where development, management, and administration occur, while the developers, sales, and marketing are in Zagreb. We are negotiating with several external investors on a new investment that should exceed HRK 14 million. As part of the new phase of development, we intend to hire about 15 more employees by the end of this year, and open offices in Milan, Munich, and Toronto,” says Keškić.

Their new system is called Machine Desk. It is currently used by 10 companies with about 600 people, which corresponds to their capacity. Due to excessive demand within a month, they already have about 30 new customers waiting to implement the system. For this year, they predict that the system will have more than 5,000 users.

“If in small Croatia we managed to gather about 40 companies in a month, only the sky is the limit when we start internationalizing our business. For project management systems in 2 to 3 years, we believe we will be a leader in the world. We are not afraid of competition, because the main thing we have learned from the fund is that all big companies are afraid of us small ones. After all, we are growing so fast that they either have to buy us or cooperate with us.” 

“An example is a company with similar solutions that was recently bought for about 350 million euros. To our knowledge, they had 100 companies on their system, which is an average of 20,000 users,” says Keškić. By the way, the fund has a 20% stake in Work Connect, another minority member 7%, and Keškić holds a majority stake.

For more stories of Croatian excellence and innovation, check out the TCN Made in Croatia section


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