10 super start-ups from Slovenia to watch

31 Jan 2019

Lake Bled, Slovenia. Image: © Kavita/Stock.adobe.com

Slovenia has long been at the crossroads of culture in Europe, but in terms of technology start-ups it is blazing its own trail.

Slovenia enjoys a diverse history of Slavic, Germanic and Romance cultures, and the country has survived many tumultuous and dramatic events in European history only to emerge as a strong, forward-looking economy with a vibrant digital tech scene.

The capital city of Ljubljana offers a welcoming environment for start-ups in terms of talent and education while the second largest city, Maribor, boasts a tradition of producing leading-edge services companies as well as having a strong pedigree in the automotive industry.

In terms of events, the Podim conference in Maribor is worth checking out as well as the Coinvest tech investment conference, which brings together investors from 28 countries.

Popular incubators include the University of Ljubljana’s LUI while the Technology Park of Ljubljana is home to more than 300 companies. The University of Maribor has its own internet of things (IoT) programme, Innovative Open Technology.

One of the main trends you will notice about this crop of start-ups is how strongly they have embraced blockchain and are already adept at fundraising through initial coin offerings (ICOs).

So here they are, the start-ups from Slovenia to watch in 2019.


Focused on the digital disruption and transformation of the shipping industry, Ljubljana’s CargoX has found a way for exporters to exchange secure Bill of Lading documentation using blockchain technology. Founded in 2017 by Stefan Kukman, CargoX raised $7m in funding through an ICO last year.


Doctrina is an online platform that allows pharmaceutical companies to educate pharmacy employees using short product videos. Founded in 2013 by Jure Pučko and Tomaž Erjavec, Doctrina secured three investments in 2017, including a Series A round worth €1.3m.


Based in both Maribor and London, Equaleyes is a software development player that develops, manages and maintains web systems with millions of monthly users. It was founded in 2012 and is led by CEO Luka Topolevec.


Fieldoo is a career network for football players to promote themselves and showcase their skills to agents and scouts. The company was started in 2012 and its CEO is Klemen Hosta. As of April 2018, it has more than 350,000 users.


GenePlanet is a Ljubljana-based biotech firm active in the area of genetic testing with a view to improving your life through personalised health, nutrition and sports based on your DNA. Founded in 2008 by Marko Bitenc, it raised $10m in a funding round last year led by JF Investments.


Ljubljana-based Iconomi has created a platform that allows anyone to invest in and manage digital assets via digital asset arrays. Founded in 2016 by Jani Valjavec and Tim M Zagar, it has raised $10.6m in funding to date.


Koofr is a safe and simple way to store, back up, and share documents, music, photos and videos. This can be done on any computer or mobile platform and between multiple cloud storage options such as Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive. Koofr is led by the core team of Damjan Matičič, Jaka Močnik, Luka Zakrajšek, Andraž Vrhovec and Sonja Prislan.


Based in Ljubljana, OriginTrail has created a purpose-built protocol for supply chain based on blockchain technology. Founded in 2013 by Branimar Rakić, Tomaž Levak and Žiga Drev, it has raised $22.5m in funding to date from an ICO in January 2018.


Celje-based Tom PIT is used by medium and large corporations with a vision of unifying information infrastructure across the entire organisation and centralising solutions. Funded by the EU Executive Agency for SMEs, Tom PIT is led by CEO Tomaž Pipinič.


Viberate is focused on creating the world’s biggest curated live music database with 500,000 events, 350,000 musician profiles and 100,000 venues. Formed in 2015 by Matej Gregorčič, Uroš Umek and Vasja Veber, Viberate has raised $11m to date in seed, angel and ICO rounds.

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