Over the past decade, Bulgaria has managed to build a thriving startup ecosystem by slowly gaining the expertise, the people, and the skills to become one of the key players in the European startup scene.
According to Crunchbase, there are currently 188 different startups in Bulgaria, which have collectively seen over 409 rounds of funding and $117.4M in investment.
Some of the advantages that Bulgarian startup companies have over those starting in other markets include a strong outsourcing economy with a solid IT background, launching and operating a company is fast and inexpensive, business-friendly tax rates (the lowest corporate tax in EU – 10% flat), and developed digital infrastructure.
Fintech is a particularly strong area for the country with Sofia being ranked by fDi as the most cost-effective fintech city worldwide for 2019/20 . In 2015, Forbes magazine ranked Sofia in the top 10 cities around the world to launch a start-up. In 2017 Bulgaria became the second most innovative upper-middle-income country in the world, the most innovation efficient country, and the top innovation achiever in Southeastern Europe (SEE), according to the Global Innovation Index 2017 and the Southeast Europe – Fintech and Innovations 2018 report by Seenews.
The domain name .bg is the country code top-level domain (ccTLD) in the Domain Name System of the Internet for Bulgaria. It is currently operated by Register.BG. BG domain names can be registered by people and companies in the European Union. For entities outside the European Union registration is also available, but they must use an authorized person/entity located in the EU. It is important to note that the ability to hide registrant data (WHOIS privacy) is not available for .BG domain registrations. The registrant data can be checked at the site of the global .BG registry, Register.bg. For organizations, all registrant data is disclosed – name, address, phone, email address. For individuals, only the name is disclosed. There are currently 30,559 .BG registered domains with 24 533 active websites.
The extension is mostly used by local businesses or businesses targeting local audiences – global brands like Nike, Chanel, etc. have secured their local presence with the .bg extension. It can also be used in a creative way – Remove.bg is an interesting example of a foreign company that has chosen to use the local .BG extension as a descriptive domain extension to their brand name (Remove Background). The company is based in Austria and has developed a great tool to remove image backgrounds automatically in 5 seconds with just one click, they got acquired by Canva and you can now use the functionality as part of the services offered by Canva for creatives.
We have curated a list with 91 cool Bulgarian tech companies and startups to follow, such as:
A4Everyone – The company offers an open SaaS ecosystem for proprietary and third-party advanced analytical solutions.
Ayo by Novalogy – a personalized light therapy, is the flagship product of startup Novalogy. In 2018, the product won the prestigious design Red Dot Award for exceptional product design and quality, and they also attracted capital from Eleven Ventures, Bulgarian and US angel investors and EIT digital.
Alterco– Allterco is a group of eight companies delivering innovation through designing, producing and distributing high quality IoT products. Allterco’s products have already conquered over 100 markets.
Software Group – Software Group is a global technology company that helps financial service providers digitize their business, extend outreach and improve efficiency. In 2018 the company closed a €3.2M investment round led by the local fund BrightCap Ventures.
According to our research, 56 out of 91 companies on the list prefer .com domain extension.
47 out of those 56 using an exact brand name, and approximately 11 are using the local .bg extension.
Dashes and numbers are not commonly used when choosing a domain, with only 7 of the companies on the list including either of them in their name.
Below is the full list of 91 companies with their domain choices and funding, where available.