Business

Made in emerging Europe: Scanmed/Ars Medical, Keboola

Emerging Europe’s start-up scene is thriving: new money and new ideas are coming onto the market all the time. To keep you up to date with the latest investments, innovations, events and accelerators, every week Emerging Europe brings you a round-up of the region’s start-up news.


Abris-backed Scanmed buys oncology specialist Ars Medical

Scanmed, a Polish healthcare business, has acquired Ars Medical, one of the leading players in cancer care treatment in Poland. 

Ars Medical specialises in oncology, haematology, cardiology, internal medicine and palliative care, as well as general and specialist outpatient care. The company is one of the leading local players in cancer care treatment, diagnostic imaging and commercial procedures, and has a team of 400 doctors and nurses, including over 100 specialists in 48 therapeutic areas.

The acquisition has strong strategic rationale, broadening Scanmed’s offer to accommodate the needs of its clients and strengthening its position as a private in-patient healthcare provider. Additionally, the acquisition will enable synergies with existing Scanmed facilities and expand the company’s presence in north-west Poland.

According to Sylwester Urbanek, investment director at Abris Capital Partners, the ESG transformation specialist private equity investor which supported Scanmed, “the acquisition of Ars Medical is the latest step in our ambitious buy-and-build strategy for Scanmed. We welcome the Ars Medical team on board and we will continue supporting Scanmed’s development and the constant improvement of quality of care in key therapeutic areas.”

Dr Zygmunt Malinowski, co-founder and CEO of ARS Medical, adds: “Cancer care treatment is one of the therapeutic areas with the highest growth characteristics and limited competition, and over the past 30 years we have built a team of 190 experts working in modern, state-of-the-art facilities. We look forward to continuing our growth as part of Scanmed under the expert stewardship of Abris Capital.”

Abris acquired Scanmed in 2020 with a plan to build a local healthcare champion by improving and growing the group’s service offering in key therapeutic areas including cardiology, oncology, orthopedics and ophthalmology, and expand its countrywide geographic coverage.

“Scanmed is consistently expanding its offer in the area of outpatient clinics and hospitals. We provide our patients with modern methods of therapy, used by highly qualified specialists, and access to treatment using modern medical equipment. The acquisition of Ars Medical is an important step for the group and will support our goals of providing services at the highest level and extending the complexity of our medical offer,” says Andrzej Podlipski, CEO of Scanmed.

Keboola seals 4.5 million US dollars seed round to help any business unlock the potential of data

Prague-based Keboola, a data-platform-as-a-service start-up, has closed a 4.5 million US dollars seed financing round led by Presto Ventures. Joining the round was Reflex Capital, the VC fund of Mall Group founder Ondřej Fryc, as well as a number of prominent angel investors, including Eduard Kučera, founder of Avast, and Tomáš Čupr, founder of Rohlik Group.

Up until the current round of funding, Keboola has been entirely self-funded, having been officially founded in 2017 after nearly a decade running in bootstrap mode. Keboola is on track to achieve an annual subscription revenue (or ARR) of more than eight million US dollars in 2022.

Keboola’s platform addresses the challenges of complexity and cost currently holding back DataOps. It delivers an end-to-end infrastructure for businesses of any size, with a front end that can be operated by any non-technical business user and back-end API integrations for developers.

By integrating the entire data stack and automating all infrastructure operations, Keboola reduces maintenance and management friction and allows organisations to fully focus on turning data into business intelligence and new products. Data engineers are provided with a full-stack, open source platform, which they can easily customise. Business users get a simple-to-use, no-code front end.

Keboola brings popular tools from the modern data stack such as dbt, Apache Spark, MLflow, OpenLineage, Jupyter, and Hightouch under one roof, with a single interface wired for enterprise governance. 

Pavel Doležal, co-founder and CEO of Keboola, says: “We believe in the potential of data and AI to fundamentally transform any business. But this requires tons of time and money to build and maintain infrastructure. Today, only Amazon, Google and a handful of other companies are really able to make the most of their data. We want to unlock the data opportunity for all others.”

Keboola’s fully-scalable platform is built on Snowflake, which recommends Keboola as a self-service BI platform in the ‘Powered by Snowflake’ programme. In addition, Keboola provides enterprise-grade security and governance. The platform is completely open, allowing outside app integrations and flexible coding language options. These characteristics enable wide customisation possibilities, with the option for organisations to write their own code and components, including machine learning algorithms. 

“The priority is to help clients turn data into money. Our platform approach removes infrastructure from the equation and puts the focus on the data. The result is a solution that is like a luxury car with every conceivable option available and the best possible engine in Snowflake. We are strongly influenced by our belief in openness and data mesh principles,” adds Doležal.

The company will use the money to accelerate growth in Europe and North America. It currently counts the likes of RBI (restaurants), DXC, ProductBoard, Mall Group, and Rohlik Group among its clients, in diverse fields such as retail, eCommerce, marketing, financial services, and hospitality. Keboola expects to at least double revenues in 2023.

According to Přemysl Rubeš, founder of lead investor Presto Ventures, “The Keboola team has been ahead of its time with their product. They have done a fantastic job of scaling the company organically and turning Keboola into a cult company within the data analytics and business intelligence community. We are excited to back them to accelerate that growth and win in a global market predicted to reach 655 billion US dollars by 2029.” 


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