Highlights of 2019
The year of 2019 is coming to an end, and we would hereby like to take a moment to look back at the past 12 months and to evaluate them from the perspective of Czech-Silicon Valley relations. Traditionally, we base our assessment of a year on three main pillars:
1. CzechTech companies that arrived and spent a longer period of time in the Bay Area
2. R&D projects of Silicon Valley-based companies in the Czech Republic
3. Successful exists and closed fundraising rounds of Czech companies in Silicon Valley.
CzechTech in SV
Based on our data, there were around 60 CzechTech companies that came all the way from the Czech Republic to the Bay Area in 2019.
They attended accelerators such as Alchemist Accelerator, Y Combinator and CzechAccelerator, trade shows, or simply visited Silicon Valley to expose their products and/or services to the local environment in order to get an accurate idea of their worldwide competitiveness.
According to our database, the number of Czech companies arriving to the Bay Area has been growing for the at least last four years.
New Silicon Valley Projects for CZ
As for the R&D projects, we have seen an increasing interest in investigation of the potential of the Czech business & labor environment from the side of SV-headquartered tech companies.
Up to date, there have been four official announcements of such projects, and couple of more to be disclosed soon. Read the story of PEX, Pure Storage and Wrike:
PEX is an American, Los-Angeles based video and music analytics platform that enables its users to track their video and music content anywhere on the Web. This year, the company has expanded to the Czech Republic and opened a new office in Prague, the capital city with the intention of recruiting new teams of mainly software engineers.
Another company that has decided to open an office in the heart of Europe this year is Pure Storage. This publicly traded company focuses on providing enterprise data flash storage solutions designed to substitute for electromechanical disk arrays, and is considered to be one of the fastest growing enterprise IT companies in history.
The Czech Republic has attracted one more U.S.-based company 2019 - Wrike. This work management platform opened its first R&D office in the Czech Republic and plans to hire more than 250 employees in the upcoming three years. At the event of the expansion, the company hosted a product-focused contest open to most Central and Eastern European developers, designers and product managers.
Exits and VC rounds
This year also followed up on the success of 2018, when it comes to the number and size of successful exists and closed fundraising rounds of Czech tech companies.
Firstly, we need to mention Beat Saber that got recently acquired by Facebook, which is one of the greatest achievements of Czech-made technology in SV.
Secondly, we have seen additional funding coming into Productboard, as well as a masive Series B closed by Mews. This transaction did not happen in SV, however, it cannot be left out of this article, in our opinion.
Finally, there have been a couple of Czech-related companies in YC - for instance Supernova, Deepnote, Sable, Docucharm.
CzechInvest is a very proud representative of the Czech talent, which is why we always take great pleasure in highlighting exceptional achievements of Czech entrepreneurs and businesses. In the following paragraphs, you can find this year's most significant milestones related to our small Central European country - within borders of Czechia and overseas.
Beat Saber is a rhythm slashing VR game developed by Beat Games, which will soon be acquired by Facebook. The team will keep operating from Prague, Czech Republic. Having sold more than 1 million copies of the game, this 8-person company achieved its success with no external capital and started collaborating with famous musicians such as Imagine Dragons and Panic! at the Disco.
The most-awaited next Czech unicorn has raised another $10M in their Series A. This San Francisco and Prague-based start-up has developed a product management platform has raised $19.7M in total funding so far and is nearing a '9-digit' valuation. Founded in 2014 by two co-founders who split their roles between Europe and the USA, the company is expected to join the 'SaaS giants' crowd currently consisting of Salesforce, Zendesk and Workday in the near future.
On the mission to bring hotel administration into the 21st century, Mews, a cloud-based platform automating manual tasks, strives to revolutionize how hotels are run all over the world. This London and Prague-headquartered company has raised $33M in their Series B round and plans to use this source of funds to open a new office in New York City as a party of their strategy to enter the American market.