Made in Emerging Europe

Made in emerging Europe: Jobbatical, Alsendo/Zaslat, Booking

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, movers and shakers, every week Emerging Europe brings you a round-up of the region’s start-up news.

Jobbatical raises 11.6 million euros to make moving to a new country paperless

Estonia-founded Jobbatical last week announced a 11.6 million euros funding round, led by Nordic VC Inventure, to meet the demands of the annual 281 million global worker relocations and the rapidly growing digital nomad community.

The investment supports Jobbatical’s global expansion and further digitalisation of the traditionally paper-heavy immigration and relocation process.

Jobbatical manages employee relocations for high-growth companies including N26, TravelPerk, and Personio to build a world where moving from one country to another is fully paperless.

Roughly one in 30 people make a move internationally every year, with two-thirds choosing to land in Europe and the US. Post-Covid the growth curve for worker relocations has rapidly increased as businesses look to relocate talent to plug gaps created by the global skills shortage.

Demand for Jobbatical’s services has therefore skyrocketed. The company experienced 8x ARR growth in the past 12 months and 19x MRR growth in Germany alone during the same period, while also getting to cash flow and EBITDA positive.

From January to April this year, Jobbatical saw its monthly turnover increase sevenfold.

“The lockdowns following the pandemic should have slowed us down but didn’t – that’s proof that Jobbatical helps companies battle the largest ever global skills shortage as borderless living becomes the norm,” says co-founder and CEO Karoli Hindriks.

“As we welcome onboard these new investors, we welcome decision-makers to prioritise staff retention and increase the flexibility of their working models – including liberating their employees to work from anywhere.”

Abris-backed Alsendo invests in Czech platform Zaslat

Abris Capital Partners, an ESG transformation specialist private equity investor, has supported Alsendo, a Warsaw-based Central European technology shipping solutions business, in acquiring a majority stake in Zaslat, a technology-enabled parcel delivery platform focused on consumers and corporate clients in Czechia and Slovakia.

The acquisition has strong strategic rationale, supporting Alsendo’s international expansion and giving the business an immediate footprint in the Czech and Slovak markets, with the potential for further expansion across Central Europe.

Additionally, Zaslat’s shipping system can be replicated across other Central European markets and further afield.

Alsendo’s acquisition of Zaslat follows 2021’s add-on of Sendit, a parcel delivery platform for individual customers in Poland, as well as a number of smaller tuck-in acquisitions.

“We continue to pursue our strategy of transitioning to a technology-driven business model and expanding internationally,” says Alsendo COO Marcin Susmanek. “This transaction accelerates our growth into Czechia and Slovakia and, as demonstrated by a recent pilot in South Africa, brings the potential for wider expansion across other markets.”

In addition to unlocking the potential for further consolidation in the Czech and Slovak markets and expansion into new geographies, the acquisition of Zaslat will support Alsendo’s transition towards a technology-driven business with a scalable platform, providing the potential to further accelerate the international rollout.

Alsendo’s goal is to provide comprehensive solutions in the field of shipping and after-sales processes across all customer segments.

Its core activities are aimed at improving the efficiency of clients’ shipping processes while maintaining the highest standards of service, using cutting-edge technological solutions. Alsendo offers solutions across all customer segments who are looking for logistics solutions tailored to their requirements.

The company’s portfolio includes shipping services and technological solutions designed for business customers, including top e-commerce solutions, marketplace and global enterprises.

Booking opens Bucharest centre of excellence

Booking Holdings, the world’s leading provider of online travel and related services, last week opened its first Center of Excellence in Bucharest, Romania, to support the company’s growth, goals, and vision for the future of travel.

Representing a projected investment of 100 million euros over five years, the opening of the Booking Holdings Centre of Excellence in Bucharest is expected to create 500 jobs.

The centre has been opened to provide access to specialised and highly skilled talent, support projects powered by new and emerging technologies, leverage industry best practices, and foster collaboration opportunities across all of the Booking Holdings brands, including, Priceline, Agoda, KAYAK, OpenTable and

Currently the new centre will focus on supporting core cybersecurity and fraud monitoring capabilities, IT infrastructure, and procurement analytics, with new capabilities in other areas including data governance, finance and marketing being added throughout this year and into 2023.

“When we were looking for the best place to open our first centre of excellence, we wanted somewhere that would meet the needs of our dynamic, diverse and digital-first organisation, both today and as we continue to grow and evolve in the future,” says Paulo Pisano, chief human resources officer for Booking Holdings.

“Bucharest’s abundance of diversified and multilingual talent, including strong functional capabilities in relevant areas, the quantity and expertise of partner providers in the market, a high-grade digital infrastructure, promising national economic growth, and available cutting edge office facilities, all played into our decision to open here. We are very much looking forward to expanding our presence in this vibrant and exciting city.”

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