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Infobip, Croatia’s first Unicorn, launches ‘ScaleUp & Up,’ a podcast aimed at helping scale-ups

(Editor’s note: This post about Infobip and the new “Scaleup& Up” podcast is part of our Tech Tuesdays series. Dispatches covers tech because so many of our highly skilled internationals are engineers and entrepreneurs.)

I’ve raved about the truly remarkable company Infobip in the past, and it isn’t without a very good reason. Having gone from being the product of a parental loan in a small Croatian town in Istria to working with the likes of global giants like WhatsApp and becoming Croatia’s first Unicorn is no small (or remotely easy) feat.

Infobip was founded back in 2006 in a town called Vodnjan after the resourceful Silvio Kutić tried multiple times to get things off the ground. It was a classic case of “third time lucky” for electrical engineer Silvio, with would-have-been Infobip launches flopping the first two times he tried.

Fast-forwarding to 2024, things have come a long way, and this extraordinary enterprise provides communication tools to some of the world’s largest Internet companies. It’s also worth noting how global players like One Equity Partners were quick to notice Infobip’s massive potential, pouring in an investment of $200 million, which saw it make history and become the first ever Croatian Unicorn, with a valuation of more than $1 billion.

Helping startups

One thing that has always stood out with Infobip is its desire to help others, and its latest venture in that regard will come as no surprise to those who have followed it.

ScaleUp&Up is Infobip’s new podcast which aims to help out all those emerging companies just finding their feet in the often very choppy bureaucratic waters of entrepreneurship. Those choppy waters
can easily turn into rip tides here in Croatia, and so this podcast will likely be all the more appreciated by those wanting to cautiously wade deeper.

The widely read American financial magazine “Fortune” recently featured a piece on Infobip, shining the spotlight on Croatian innovation as the country gradually transforms its image from one of sea and sunshine to a rapidly emerging European tech hub. “Fortune” detailed how Infobip was “born” in an Istrian settlement of a mere 3,000 inhabitants and gradually evolved into being the name on everyone’s lips, boasting approximately 3,400 employees in more than 70 countries around the world.

“When an app asks you to agree to two-factor authentication to install it, or offers you a chatbot to talk to, it’s very likely that either Infobip or another company in the communications platform as a service (CPaaS) segment is behind it,” states the article.

From working with WhatsApp and Uber to British Telecom (BT), Infobip is now a globally respected tech giant valued at more than $ 1 billion. Scale Up&Up’s goal is to support Croatian scale-up companies and founders in achieving their business goals by showcasing how successful global companies are initially created and then gradually expanded.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, a scale-up company is one that has grown its business by more than 20 percent annually over a three-year period, and there are few more qualified to offer advice and guidance than Infobip.

Hearing from entrepreneurial role models

Infobip’s latest aid to budding startups and scaleups aims to help them feel secure in their ambitions and work to achieve their goals through the engagement, reach and scalability offered by their global communication platform.

More than likely to attract swathes of young Croatian tech hopefuls as well as seasoned experts, ScaleU&Up will host business founders and tech experts. Much like Infobip, these skilful individuals will have either started their companies from scratch or managed to secure venture capital financing, before going on to achieve success on the demanding global stage.

Croatia’s entrepreneurial spirit has only grown stronger and more stable over the last several years. It has come very far for a country that once quite infamously disallowed a young self-starter from naming his innovative concept a certain name that had “angel” in it, apparently because it was synonymous with the Catholic Church.

Trailblazing companies like Infobip lead the way along this exceptional little country’s winding but promising path from “summer holiday land” to a world full of promising tech and innovation. You can be more than certain that podcasts like ScaleUp&Up will only make the once formidable idea of achieving and succeeding more accessible to the endless numbers of talented individuals this country is home to.

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Read more about Croatia here in Dispatches’ archives.

See more by Lauren here.

Lauren Simmonds

Lauren Simmonds is the editor of Total Croatia News, the largest English language portal in Croatia. She lives in Zagreb, Croatia, and is a translator, content writer, interpreter and the co-author of "Croatia - A Survival Kit for Foreigners," which was published in 2022.

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