Three international startups with Romanian co-founders that raised nine-digit investments
Three startups founded or co-founded by Romanian entrepreneurs abroad have managed to raise financings worth over USD 100 million (each) from venture capital investors in recent years. Two of them have also reached unicorn status (over USD 1 bln evaluation). Here they are:
Branch (co-founded by Mada Seghete) - USD 367 mln
US-based startup Branch provides the leading mobile linking platform. Its solutions unify user experience and measurement across different devices, platforms, and channels. Branch was founded in 2014 and of its co-founders is Romanian Madalina Seghete, who is also the company’s VP of Marketing and Market Development.
Branch has raised USD 367.1 mln from investors in five rounds of financing. The latest one, worth USD 129 mln, took place in September 2018 and brought it a valuation of over USD 1 billion, which translates into unicorn status.
In 2020, Branch ranked third in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, a ranking of the 500 fastest-growing technology, media, telecommunications, life sciences, and energy tech companies in North America. It recorded a three-year revenue growth of 48,918%.
Madalina Seghete comes from Bacau, Romania. She graduated from Cornell University with a Bachelor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and got an MBA from Stanford University.
Whoop (co-founded by Aurelian Nicolae) – USD 205 mln
Whoop is a US startup that aims to help athletes improve their performances by monitoring their workouts, sleep, recovery. Whoop uses a fitness wearable, designed by Romanian engineer Aurelian Nicolae, one of the startup’s co-founders, and an app that tracks these parameters and gives users advice on how to improve their training routine and sleep.
Whoop has raised USD 204.8 mln worth of financing. The most recent round, worth USD 100 mln, brought it unicorn status in November 2020.
Aurelian Nicolae joined Will Ahmed and John Capodilupo to start Whoop in 2012 after he graduated from Harvard.
Konux (co-founded by Vlad Lata) – USD 131 mln
Munich-based Konux is an Internet of Things startup that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to develop sensor-based systems that enable predictive maintenance of industrial plants and railway equipment. The Konux sensor system continuously shows railway operators the condition of their lines. The company has raised USD 130.6 mln from investors so far. It’s most recent founding round (Series C) was USD 80 million in January 2021.
Vlad Lata is from Medias, a small city in Romania’s Transylvania region. He graduated from the Technical University in Munich and also has a Master degree from the same university. He co-founded Konux in December 2014 and was the company’s Chief Technology Officer until September 2018. In January 2020 he launched a med-tech startup – Avi Medical.
(Photo source: Dreamstime.com)