The Polish startup scene has seen tremendous growth in recent years, attracting a record level of fundraising in 2021.
As in many other ecosystems, investors expect cash amounts for this year to fall below these records.
This is not the case for deeptech, however.
Deeptech startups in Poland have raised $174 million in 2022 so far, according to Dealroom. This is already more than double the total raised in 2021. It is also over 43% of the total raised by all Polish startups this year.
Poland doesn’t have any deeptech unicorns yet, but we might see the first ones soon. One of The “soonicorns” of European deeptechFinnish-Polish satellite startup ICEYE, has been operating in Poland for five years and is part of the country’s growing space tech sector, which includes startups like SatRevolution and CreoTECH.
Sifted asked the country’s top investors which Polish deeptech startups they were watching. There was only one rule: they couldn’t choose companies from their own portfolio.
Bartosz Składzień, Partner at Aper Ventures
Aper Ventures is a Polish venture capital firm that invests in advanced technology and hardware startups. Its portfolio includes Reef Factory, The Batteries and Talent Alpha.
Thorium Space makes telecommunications systems that transfer data faster. The company develops software-defined satellite technology, which allows satellites to be reprogrammed over their many years of operation in orbit.
“They are producing a new satellite with a modular design and are actively seeking military, government and consumer customers.”
“ResQuant is working on a flexible design of a cryptographic processor that is immune to attacks from quantum computers. This ensures the security of sensitive information stored in any type of electronic device.
The company also offers a “digital safe” for the most sensitive information stored on a device, which can be used to protect personal computers in the public or financial sectors.
Synthesis of Apeiron
Apeiron Synthesis uses a chemical method called metathesis to produce pharmaceuticals, perfumes, agrochemicals and petrochemicals. This Nobel Prize-winning method is cheaper and more durable than those traditionally used by the chemical industry.
“The company’s technology platform is positively impacting and transforming the chemical industry by designing more sustainable and cost-effective synthetic pathways to new and existing products.”
Marcus Erken, co-founder and managing partner at Sunfish Partners
Sunfish Partners is a Berlin-based early-stage venture capitalist investing in Polish deeptech startups. Its portfolio includes Smarter Diagnostics, CodeAlly and Deepflare.
Infermedica develops advanced AI technology for preliminary medical diagnosis and patient triage. Their offerings have been used by more than 12 million patients worldwide and have been adopted by more than 90 leading healthcare and technology organizations.
Nomagic combines computer vision, machine learning and robotics to solve logistics challenges. The team is made up of specialists in all these fields and has demonstrated its expertise in several implementations in complex logistics environments.
Marcin Hejka, General Partner at OTB Ventures
OTB Ventures is a venture capital firm in Warsaw that invests in high-tech startups in Central and Eastern Europe. Its portfolio includes ICEYE, Kevin and FintechOS.
talk about things
Talkin’ Things manufactures high quality RFID (radio frequency identification) and NFC (near field communication) tags – smart tags that can be used to identify and track any product to which they are attached. The company has an in-house RFID design lab and manufactures high-performance tags that can be used in nearly every major industry.
Aleph Zero is a faster blockchain platform than most other blockchain solutions, which build on existing technologies. The startup uses a protocol called DAG which is fast and scalable, while being decentralized and secure.
KP Labs is a space technology company that provides computers and artificial intelligence software to space missions. “Applying autonomy in space domains like Earth observation or space robotics is an inevitable step towards reducing the cost of operations and the risk of mission failure.”
Stanisław Knaflewski, Managing Partner at Altamira
Altamira is an equity investor focused on supporting technologies in the chemical, pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Its portfolio includes BIN-e, 3D Lab and Apeiron Synthesis.
MoleculeOne has developed a suite of tools that integrate artificial intelligence into drug discovery processes. The starter platform helps determine the most efficient pathways to synthesize target compounds.
“As AI tools have recently become abundant in drug discovery, MoleculeOne fills an important gap by helping to estimate the accessibility of AI-derived compounds in the real world.”
Nomagic offers advanced robotic solutions to traditional merchants and e-commerce players. The startup has developed a robotic arm capable of identifying, picking up, sorting and packing objects, as well as responding to “unexpected” events such as the fall of a transported object.
“Nomagic’s robotic solutions were first used for small electronic objects such as telephones or toys, then were deployed on a wide range of products by e-tailers such as the Swiss Brack.ch.”
“Fluence is one of the few companies in the world to develop a new generation of ultrafast lasers. Exceptional speed gives Fluence’s lasers an edge in micromachining, with applications ranging from electronics to medicine and science.
These lasers can be used to work with notoriously difficult to cut materials, such as ceramics, glass, and even diamonds.
Sylwester Janik, General Partner at Cogito Capital Partners
Warsaw-based Cogito Capital Partners is a growth-stage venture capital firm investing in European technology companies. Its portfolio includes MarketFinance, Uncapped and Acceleran.
Spacelift has developed an infrastructure-as-code platform. This technology allows users to host their servers in the cloud, which means they can automate and easily scale up and down their server infrastructure usage.
Neptune.ai has developed a platform for machine learning developers to organize data science projects and enable collaboration. The tool is designed to store and manage all the experiment and model data that developers use to train machine learning algorithms.
Solvemed uses artificial intelligence tools to assess a patient’s health. Its technology can make precise measurements of eye and neurological health, which can be used to diagnose and monitor conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
“It’s a long journey, but it’s one of the most promising start-ups in health technology in Poland.”
Clara Rodríguez Fernández is Sifted’s Berlin-based deeptech correspondent. Follow her on LinkedIn.