The battles won - community highlights from 2020
After months of havoc and many battles on the way, it’s time to talk about how we got here. How we fought and how we thrived. And by ‘we’, we mean the members of the awesome Puzl community, who are now sharing their stories.
And we… we couldn’t be more grateful that we have such awesome, inspiring, strong-willed people around who push ‘the pedal to the metal’ every day and bring value to the local ecosystem.
Hats off to you folks, hats off.
We start alphabetically and first in line here are Amplify Analytix, who, despite the pandemic, kept on growing, got some admirable funding, and are planning big things for 2021. With more and more businesses out there realizing the need for better and optimized data analysis methods, new tools, Amplify are breaking new grounds there.
Hey everyone, Amplify Analytix here.
What a year has it been! We, like everyone else, have gone through a lot of changes, full-time work-from-home, process changes due to the latter, and so on. But this year has also brought us huge success.
Our client base is steadily growing, and we have secured our 2 first clients in the US! We previously worked mainly with Western Europe, and working with the US now definitely opens news horizons for us.
We won €80K funding for product development through the European Data Incubator program! We applied for the program and have been selected first out of a pool of 208 companies (along with 35 other SMEs and startups) to compete in the EDI Datathon. Out of the 36 companies competing, we and 17 others received the equity-free funding for product development.
The Challenge that we will be solving through product development is Pattern Recognition Campaign Performance Indicators, set by JOT Internet Media.
Our win and the opportunity to develop a scalable product brought us quite some publicity! We were the guest of Evropa TV’s Business Daily, in an interview about the importance of data analytics, the current need for data analytics and qualified people in Europe and the world, and the opportunities provided by European Data Incubator and the European Union for startups and SMEs. You can watch the interview here (in Bulgarian) or read the transcript here (in English).
Our win also got featured in the Trending Topics’ article talking about women in tech, the future of marketing, and the EDI Challenge. You can read it here.
This year our CEO, Laura Murphy, gave a talk “Amplifying digital performance through increasing relevance” at the DMWF Conference. We had 125 talk view signups and received 5* reviews.
Xenia Cotlearova, Marketing Manager at Amplify Analytix
Brightive also didn’t back down and managed to grow, both in numbers, in square meters, and success. And got some awards along the way.
What a year 2020 was for Checkout X! The super-efficient checkout solution now powers 5400 online stores worldwide and has more than 12K merchants using it. And that was an achievement that was recognized by Forbes Bulgaria, which put Ruslan Letyiski, Checkout X’s founder, on the cover of their 30 under 30 list. Not only that, but Checkout X got the gold from Endeavor Bulgaria’s Dare to Scale Demo Day!
One thing left to say here - keep on crushing through 2021, Checkout X, you’re doing that great enough!
Another highly recognized startup that launched this year is Kelvin Health, Imagga’s brand new and ‘on-time’ side hustle which is getting bigger and better by the day. Their AI-powered tools allow you to monitor daily your body for early and hidden signs of various thermally verifiable diseases. Better yet - it helps with remote monitoring and diagnostic assistance.
Kelvin also got some serious ‘applause’, as their CTO Georgi Kostadinov also got in Forbes ‘30 under 30 list’. Not only that, but they got some recognition, as they won the Gabrovo Hackathon and got awarded with a 1-st Place in the category "AI Opportunity" during the course "AI for Local Value"!
You go, folks - change the future of diagnostics! We’re super thrilled to see what comes next for Kelvin!
Whatever digital optimization you’d like to have, Netpeak are the folks that can skyrocket your visibility. With that said, you can imagine that 2020 was a maximum effort year for the Netpeak team. And they just c-r-u-n-c-h-e-d it! We mean just look at what they shared down below!
For Netpeak 2020 was so many things - new clients, new partnerships, new markets, new certificates & awards, new goals, new challenges, many memorable experiences!
We would like to share our most important updates this year:
We held two editions of our yearly conference - Performance OA Live on 16th of January 2020 and OA Live 2020 - on 2nd of April 2020, with (watch out!) more than 900 views on our YouTube channel. This is our personal best! :-)
In March 2020 we became Certified Google Digital Champion in Smart Bidding - through smart bidding we can begin reporting on the effectiveness of the campaigns for our clients. (very important thing in performance marketing)!
We organized and participated in various digital marketing courses for Softuni Digital's students, two entire digital marketing programs, and held 4 Netpeak Talks sessions.
In June we celebrated 14 years of Netpeak Group - our big family with offices in 4 countries and 7 cities.
In July we became the official Facebook Marketing Partner!
October 2020 was a huge success for us - we participated in the European Agency Awards contest and became a finalist in the category Best SEO campaign with a case study for one of our biggest clients!
We had several digital marketing dedicated articles in Bulgarian print media - one in Enterprise magazine and one in kMarketing Factbook - monthly issue of Capital.bg. On top, in December our CEO Gennadiy Vorobyov was interviewed by Bloomberg TV and spoke about search trends in 2020 and what users are looking for this year.
We gained 13th place (within 100 businesses) and 2nd place among digital marketing agencies in the yearly "Guepard" classification of the most dynamically developing small and medium-sized companies in Bulgaria.
Jessica Stoilkova, Marketing Manager in Netpeak Bulgaria
Most people imagine accountants in a certain, stereotypical way. Well, they should think again, as the awesome next-gen accounting folks from Veda Accounting are destroying each and every cliché out there possible. Their fearless, ice-cream devouring and 200% dedicated team crunched through 2020 like butter in a way that many times left us in awe.
No doubt, 2020 was (and still is - London, wink-wink) the most naughty year for many of us. I’ll never forget the streets in March. It reminded me of some scenes of zombie apocalypse movies. And as we know from these movies, panic is not your friend. They can smell it!
So, what we did? At first, we finished all Puzl members' ice cream, abandoned in the freezer. Then, as real knights we sat around VEDA’s round table (yes, it is 90 centimeters in diameter, but still round) and started discussions on two main topics: Shall we buy more ice cream and how we could save the planet (or at least our own asses). The answer to both questions was 42.
42 kilos of ice cream (OK, approximately), destroyed in 2020 by our wellness team, and 42% (at least) more effort, invested by each of us on a daily (and holidaily) basis, trying to climb and ride the wave from the opposite side, because we really love to stay on top. Yes, we decided, instead of hiding at home and be afraid, cut people and costs and sh*t, to work our asses off and to break the beast!
It's time to thank once again all VEDA girls for their self-sacrifice, working hard 12-14 hours (I'm not exaggerating) every single day with almost no rest! Special thanks to Puzl, being the funkiest space to work and share! Bow to the entire startup community too! Without you, we would not have been able to go through this successfully! Thank you!
The result? In the first place - we’re more friends than ever before! We have also 55% revenue growth and doubled team. We have pounds to lose. We plan to open the most fancy accounting academy in 2021!
Danail Koev, CEO of Veda Accounting
In a year in which ‘shared’ seemed to be a dangerous word, Via didn’t for one bit hesitate in chasing their admirable goal - making transportation better, more efficient, and most importantly - greener, reaching new heights, despite the challenges down the road. What a fine, fine example of entrepreneurial spirits and drive! Salute!
This year has been challenging for everyone. However, it has taught us that together we are stronger. We can do great things if we embrace change, adapt and work as a team. Resilience, focus, hope and determination have been the main drivers for Via in 2020. We reached some historical milestones as a company and we are going to set the bar even higher for 2021.
The most noticeable achievement has been the growth of our Sofia office. We started off 2020 with only 3 employees. Now we are 30 and counting. We attribute our success and expansion to the amazing people who decided to trust us and joined our mission of making transportation smarter, greener and more efficient for everyone.
Bring on 2021!
Boris Simandoff - General Manager Via Engineering Bulgaria
A trillion minute calls later, Rakuten Viber has turned 10 in 2020! And in the words of Viber’s CEO Djamel Agaoua, in the tech world, turning 10 is like turning 100. Can you believe it - 10 years since the purple speaker icon has changed the way we communicate on a daily basis and brought connectivity to a whole new level! From making it easier to hold international calls on the go without getting super-expensive bills back in 2010 to group-video calls and payment in chatbots nowadays, Rakuten Viber has gone a long way!
“Our most important vision is to keep communication free and accessible through interoperability, which will allow people to exchange instant messages across platforms and competing messaging apps, just as calls connect between different telco companies. This would ensure freedom of choice is never compromised and would be a great incentive for companies to increase privacy.”
Djamel Agaoua, CEO of Rakuten Viber
Check-out their 10th anniversary blogpost HERE.
At the end of this 2020 overview, we look with anticipation, positive vibes, and absolute readiness for 2021 and what it will bring. One is certain - whatever comes our way, we’re sure we’ll stick tight, help each other out when needed and face the next set of challenges together as a community, partners, and… well, friends.