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Startup Investment&Innovation in Emerging Europe: key facts about Romania

In terms of startup ecosystem and investments, Romania is in Group2, “Early-stage markets, ”together with Croatia, Georgia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine. In these countries, startup ecosystems are at various phases of development (but clearly not mature yet), and startup investment volumes per capita are more substantial by regional standards, according to Startup Investment&Innovation Emerging Europe, a comprehensive startup research on 24 countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

In terms of industry specialization, most countries of the region have developed a rather diverse, generally IT-oriented startup scene. However, on certain local startup scenes, one or a few specific segments have become predominant.

This is the case, for example, with gaming and AI in Belarus, Cybersecurity in Czech, fintech in Latvia, e-commerce and gaming in Lithuania, software and life science in Poland, software in Romania, Gaming and cyber security in Slovenia


  • With nearly 20 million inhabitants, the country is the 7th most populated country in the EU. Romania has11 million Internet users, and nearly 8million smartphone users; however, the country ranks the lowest in EU innovation performance indicators.


  • Some 100,000 engineers are employed in outsourcing, with IT firms accounting for more than 6% of the country’s GDP.


  • Though at a relatively early stage, the Romanian startup scene is vibrant, with hundreds if not thousands (depending on estimates) of companies across the country. Startups are supported by a variety of tech parks, incubators and accelerators, with active involvement from local and international corporations.


  • Local venture investors are few: a dozens of business angels and a handful of VC funds. Total investment in startups amounts to a few dozens million euros per year. Nevertheless, Romania has already displayed many successful startups, with 12 exits in 2016, demonstrating the talent of local entrepreneurs.

We recommend to our partners, investors and Romanian entrepreneurs, to read this research for a better understanding of local entrepreneurship ecosystem.


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