What are the best Polish startups in 2019?

Update 9.5.2021: Note that an updated version of the list is now available: What are the hottest Polish tech startups in 2021?

I’ve been constantly updating my list of hottest startups in Poland over the last decade on Quora and I finally decided to make it into a blog post as well, so here you are — I’m presenting the list of the most valuable, interesting, groundbreaking and popular Polish startups as of September 2019.

I only included the startups (and scale-ups) that work globally on a product, which eliminated some very successful local companies providing services to the home market. I have decided to divide the startups into categories based on what seems to be Poland’s specialties: gaming, consumer hardware (especially beacons and 3d printing, health devices), big data and AI, medtech, fintech, blockchain and more.

The Witcher by CD Project RED

Hottest of the Hottest

Those are the clear global market leaders in their respective categories, companies that we’re the most proud of as Poles.

Fintech

Cinkciarz sponsoring Chicago Bulls basketball team

Blockchain & Bitcoin tech

Golem is building a worldwide supercomputer on blockchain

Health & Wellbeing

  • Docplanner (mentioned in the hottest)
  • Telemedi.co — online consultations with doctors (raised 200k EUR from Docplanner founders)
  • Infermedica — pre-diagnose, triage, and connect your patients with the appropriate medical services. Raised 3.7M (as of Sept 2019)
  • MySpiroo — ultraportable peak flow meter that connects to your smartphone (TechCrunch article)
  • Harimata — turns gagdets into health monitors
  • GLOV by Phenicoptere — products for makeup removal and home SPA
  • Sidly — wearable medical device that monitors your health
  • Emerald — clear the air around you
  • Egzotech — your robot physiotherapist
  • vBionic — prosthetic hand
  • StethoMe — hardware to examine your child’s health. Raised $4.2M (Sept 2019)
  • UnitDoseOne — takes care of hospital drugs logistics
  • biolumo — point-of-care diagnostic machine for general practitioners (GPs) to help them select proper antibiotics by Olga Grudniak (graduate of Startupbootcamp Berlin Digital Health 2017
  • HoloSurgical — synthetic vision for surgeons
MySpiroo in action

Consumer Hardware

Photon is a robot that evolves with your kid

3D Printing Tech

According to Predictions 2015: 3D printing is a revolution | by Deloitte, 10% of world 3d-printers are designed and manufactured in Poland, making us the market leader in that category.

Zortrax 3D printer

IoT and beacon-related tech

Estimote LTE beacons

Video, Augmented & Virtual Reality

  • Tellyo — tool for broadcasters to easily share video content in social media
  • Cubiware — set-top box middleware maker acquired by TiVO
  • DCC Labs — another set-top box software company acquired by SeaChange
  • Filmaster — Netflix-like personalization and analytics platform for the entertainment industry (backed by HackFwd and hardGAMMA Ventures) — sold to Samba TV in 2015 (humble disclosure: I was a co-founder)
  • Flowbox — rotoscoping and VFX platform for the movie industry (backed by Innovation Nest)
  • Bivrost — tools enabling the production & experience of the stereoscopic 360° video
  • Nanovo — digital in-store communication tools dedicated to retail
  • Superbright — VR studio, a launch partner of Google Daydream, by Wojtek Podgorski
Bivrost VR cameras

Customer Service Automation

  • LiveChat (mentioned in the hottest)
  • Tidio — chatbot builder for websites
  • CallPage — livechat for call backs
  • LiveCall — another livechat for calls. I know.
  • User.com — Intercom competitor
  • Sugester — customer support and ticket management by Marcin Stefaniak
  • Migam — building communication between the deaf people and everyone else, customer service for the deaf

Sales and Marketing Automation

Martech, Advertising Tech, PR Tech

Brand24 Internet monitorsing panel

Internet Monitoring

PackHelp packages

Company Management Software

Customized furniture by tylko

Design and Fashion

  • 4F — sportswear brand
  • ANSWEAR.com — online multibrand store that operates in Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Hungary (as of late 2016)
  • SHOWROOM — marketplace for independent fashion brands and designers (backed by hardGAMMA Ventures, Hubert Burda Media)
  • tylko — customized furniture
  • Intiaro — visualization and configuration tool for furnishing products online (kind of like tylko but white label)
  • MISBHV — fashion boutique (Rihanna wears them!)
  • Displate — metal posters (they are really cool!)
  • LESS_ — marketplace for second-hand clothes

Consumer Apps & Marketplaces

  • Brainly (mentioned in the hottest)
  • Audioteka — audiobook platform running in Poland, Czech Republic, France and other EU countries (backed by Giza Polish Ventures and K2 Internet)
  • Nozbe — popular getting things done tool
  • Betegy — football prediction tool to help betting
  • Listonic — a popular smart shopping list app with a nice ad-powered business model by Filip Miłoszewski
  • DailyArt — mobile app with a daily dose of art on your phone and a BuzzFeed for art (DailyArtDaily.com) by Zuzanna Stanska
  • Explain Everything — collaborative whiteboard app
  • FinancesOnline.com — top 3 in the world in SaaS software comparison and reviews by Sebastian Lambert
  • AirHelp — helps passengers get refunds for delayed or canceled flights. yCombinator graduate. Raised $12.2M. Profitable with tens of millions in ARR as of Sept 2019. 90% of the staff is Polish and based in the country.

Human Resources

Apps for Designers and Engineers

Image and Speech Recognition

Big Data & Automation

  • Oktawave — computing cloud (backed by K2 Internet)
  • Elmodis — improves efficiency of industrial machines (backed by Innovation Nest)
  • Fogger — big data for predictive maintenance (previously Enteye)
  • deepsense.io — big data science powered by Apache Spark (competes with IBM, SAS Institute)
  • Deep.BI — real-time big data analytics (aka your big data co-founder)
  • DataWalk (previously Pilab) — find and leverage hidden connections between data sets to gain new insights
Perovskite material by Saule Technologies

FFoodtech, Biotech, Hardcore Scientific Stuff

  • Saule Technologies — company working on the commercial application of perovskites by creating a new generation of photovoltaic cells by Olga Malinkiewicz (backed by Hideo Sawada and NCBiR — Polish innovation government agency)
  • XTPL — ultra-fine printing of a variety of nanomaterials for
    LCD manufacturers, photovoltaic cell manufacturers, glass, touch screens
  • Syntoil — transform rubber into valuable resource. Finalist of Chivas Venture 2019.
  • Insignes Labs — novel antimicrobial components
  • HiProMine — food from insects & more eco-friendly stuff
  • Sundose — personalized supplements
  • Nextbio — DNA-based plant protection solutions for agritech,

Space stuff

  • Creotech — spacecraft components, quantum computing
  • SatRevolution — nanosatelite systems and solutions, launched their first two satellites in 2019
  • SatAgro — sattelite monitor for farmers (monitors land, manages crops, saves money)
Dying Light 2 coming soon by Techland

Game development and publishing

  • CD Project RED (mentioned in the hottest)
  • Techland (mentioned in the hottest)
  • Ten Square Games (mentioned in the hottest)
  • Huuuge Games (mentioned in the hottest)
  • PlayWay — game publisher and investor. Valued at $200M on Warsaw Stock Exchange (Aug 2019)
  • G2A — global gaming marketplace, not necessarily legal
  • Vivid Games — games for iPhone and Android, backed by Giza Polish Ventures
  • 11 bit studios — official site — authors of This War of Mine among other hits
  • Farm51 — creators of Chernobylite and World War 3
  • Cherrypick Games — free2play games. Valued at $30M at Warsaw Stock Exchanged (2019)
  • CI Games — indie publisher of premium games. alued at $30M at Warsaw Stock Exchanged (2019)
  • CreativeForge Games — premium game developer and publisher best known for Hard West turn-based strategy game. Valued at $30M at Warsaw Stock Exchanged (2019)
  • SUPERHOT — a unique first-person shooter game where time moves only when you move, making each level a deadly puzzle. Raised $250k on Kickstarter.
  • Gamesture — free-to-play games studio, authors of Questland
  • Duckiedeck — online pre-school games for kids (backed by Satus Venture)
  • Reality Games — mobile games based on big data by Zbigniew Woznowski

Honorable mention

Those are some of the biggest internet companies that are specific to the Polish-market. You’ve never heard about them if you’re not Polish yourself, but the list would be incomplete without them:

  • Allegro — Polish ebay (acquired by Naspers)
  • Gadu-Gadu — Polish ICQ (acquired by Naspers)
  • Nasza-Klasa — Polish ClassMates (acquired by Odnoklassiki, now part of Onet group)
  • Onet — Polish Yahoo by Piotr Wilam (acquired by Ringier Axel Springer Polska)
  • Wirtualna Polska and O2 by Michał Brański — two more Polish yahoos, now merged into one company
  • Interia — yet another Polish Yahoo (owned by Grupa Bauer Media Polska)
  • GoldenLine — Polish Linkedin by Mariusz Gralewski
  • Niania.pl— connecting families with caregivers, specialists
  • Pracuj.pl — biggest Polish job portal

Other resources

Final words

I intend this post to be live and frequently updated, so please frel free to comment, suggest edits, both adding new amazing startups and removing those that died or did not reach their expectations.

I invest in early stage startups in Poland via SMOK.vc. Prev CEO Filmaster sold to Samba TV, co-founder ReaktorX, Startup Poland. Filmbuff. NBA lover.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store