10 brilliant start-ups from Budapest to watch

5 Jul 2018

Hungarian parliament in Budapest at sunset. Image: TTstudio/Shutterstock

The Hungarian capital, Budapest, is buzzing with tech start-ups with a world vision, and products and platforms to match.

One of Europe’s most beautiful cities and a treasure trove of museums, libraries, baths, opera houses and art galleries, Budapest also boasts a compelling tech start-up ecosystem.

Having endured through Roman, Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires, the city is a melting pot of art, culture and history.

For start-ups, Budapest is an affordable place to live and it tops the charts for cheap and fast broadband.

Useful events calendars can be found at Startup Hungary as well as the Startup Vállalkozók Facebook group.

Popular start-up events include Skill Goulash, Budapest HackathonsVittinger Meetup as well as Hackathon-in-a-Box.

Incubators and accelerators include Kitchen Budapest, Traction Tribe, ConnectEast, Aquincum Technology Incubator, Oxo Labs, Digital Factory, MyCo and DBH SeedStar.

Active investors include Day One Capital, Core Ventures, the Conor Fund, Euroventures and Primus Capital.

And so, here are the start-ups from Budapest to watch out for.


AImotive is a full-stack autonomous vehicle technology company. Its proprietary autonomous driving technology relies primarily on affordable, off-the-shelf camera sensors and artificial intelligence-based vision processing. AImotive uses cameras as primary sensors to mimic the visual capabilities of human drivers. AImotive was started in 2014 by László Kishonti and has raised $47.5m from investors that include Prime Ventures, B Capital, Cisco Investments, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Robert Bosch Ventures, Day One Capital and Draper Associates.

Barion Payment

Barion Payment has developed a fintech app that enables users to make payments from their cards and also use the app as a prepaid wallet for wire transfers. It was founded by Sándor Kiss and Tamás Bíró in 2015. Barion currently has 6,000 corporate customers and 2,600 web store partners. In December, the company secured a €6m investment from Petr Kellner, one of the wealthiest business people in the Czech Republic.


Bitrise, a former Y Combinator start-up, is a mobile continuous integration and delivery platform for app developers, including firms such as Foursquare, Fox, InVision and Grindr. Bitrise was founded in 2014 by Barnabas Birmacher, Daniel Balla and Viktor Benei and has raised $3.5m from investors that include Fiedler Capital, OpenOcean and Y Combinator.


Founded in Budapest and with offices in London, Enbrite.ly has created a full marketing source analysis platform that helps to eliminate fraudulent behaviour. In other words, it helps to find humans on the internet. Enbrite.ly won first prize at Slush 100 in 2014, the same year the start-up was founded. It has raised €750,000 in funding so far.


Prezi is a cloud-based presentation platform that enables users to connect more powerfully with audience and customers. Established in Budapest and with offices in San Francisco, Prezi was founded by Peter Arvai, Adam Somlai-Fischer and Péter Halácsy in 2009. According to Crunchbase, it has raised $72.8m to date from investors that include Accel, Spectrum Equity, Sunstone Capital, BootstrapLabs and Magyar Telekom.


Seon helps online businesses to reduce the costs, time and challenges faced due to fraud. The platform serves more than 300 merchants, has reviewed 25m transactions and is estimated to have saved businesses around €10m so far. Established in 2015 by Bence Jendruszak and Tamas Kadar, it has raised €600,000 in investment.


Shapr3D is the creator of a 3D CAD tool designed specifically for iPad Pro. The software is easy to learn and easy to use, but built with professionals in mind. Shapr3D is compatible with all major CAD software and is also ideal for 3D printing. The company was founded in 2015 by Istvan Csanady and in 2017, it raised $1.3m in a venture round involving InReach Ventures and Lifeline Ventures.


SignAll has created a technology that translates sign language automatically, eliminating communications barriers and improving opportunities and quality of life for the deaf workforce. Spun out of the research lab of Dolphio Technologies, SignAll was founded in 2016 by János Rovnyai and Zsolt Robotka. It raised €1.5m in a seed round from an international consortium consisting Credo Ventures, Perion Investments and Conor Seed Capital.


Synetiq uses biometric sensors to measure the way audiences respond to media and marketing content. Clients include BBC, Vodafone, IKEA, HBO, Tesco and Heineken, to name a few. Synetiq was founded in 2014 by Adam Divak and David Ottlik and has raised $1.1m to date from investors that include Google Launchpad, Day One Capital, Startup Sauna, Andgo Partners and PortfoLion.


Tresorit helps teams to protect and share files with end-to-end encryption. At its core is a cloud-based secure file synchronisation and collaboration software that enables users to share confidential data. The company’s origins extend back to when Istvan Lam, aged 12, received his first cryptography book. 10 years later, in 2011, he co-founded the company with fellow university students Szilveszter Szebeni and Gyorgy Szilagyi. It has now been adopted by more than 10,000 organisations in 193 countries. Tresorit has raised $4.7m from Euroventures and private investors.

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Updated, 8.59am, 5 July 2018: This article was updated to include the correct currency symbol for funding figures raised by Bitrise and Enbrite.ly, and to clarify that Prezi has raised $72.8m to date according to Crunchbase, not $250m as previously stated.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years