When it comes to technology in Romania, which sector isn’t doing well? Romania is now 47th in global gaming revenue rankings, with a lot of its success due to improved Internet access throughout the country. But it’s also due to investments in online gaming — both eSports and casino gaming — and the country’s growing startup scene. The country is quickly being the place for innovation, particularly for the tech industry.
Here are just a few of the different tech sectors seeing serious growth in Romania (and beyond):
The fintech industry is seeing rapid growth all over the world. There’s a huge demand for financial technology that’s user friendly, and fintech startups are more than happy to meet that demand — usually by partnering with a big bank. It’s a win-win: The startup gets to share their product with more customers, and the bank gets to retain those customers by offering them what they want.
There are nearly 100 hundred fintech startups in Romania. One of the most successful startups at the moment is FintechOS, which is focused on delivering automated, hyper-personalized financial technology to users. In practice, it’s a technology-as-a-service platform for financial companies like banks and insurance businesses that are looking to update their offerings in order to retain customers and remain competitive. They now have offices all over Europe and have partnered with major brands like Microsoft and Capgemini.
Everyone is trying to get a slice of the billion-dollar eSports industry. Dubai has been working on designing a stadium specifically for eSports tournaments, universities worldwide now offer eSports-related majors, and even the Minnesota Vikings are investing (at least) $25 million to launch an eSports franchise that will compete in a Call of Duty league. Fantasy leagues and eSports picks are also huge, with dedicated fans contemplating which players — And who can forget Le’Veon Bell’s rushing yards record against the Vikings? (But if you did forget, it was 57 yards.) — will get them far in the eSports world.
Like the rest of the world, Romania’s eSports industry is also growing. There are more than 50 game development studios in Bucharest, and there are dozens more in other cities around the country. Romanian developers have worked on well-known international games like the FIFA series and Assassin’s Creed Origins. eSports tournaments with huge cash pools are also becoming the norm, and they may soon be competitive with some of the world’s biggest prize pools in eSports history. Just earlier this year, Bucharest was the final stop on the Hearthstone Masters Tour, where the prize pool was half a million dollars.
More so than the other sectors on this list, biometrics is the type of tech we probably associate with sci-fi movies more than anything else, even though it’s already a part of our world today. Biometrics uses our physical characteristics, like our fingerprints, iris, or face, to identify us. One of these methods of identification can then be used to help us unlock our smartphone or enter a high-security building — or more.
The company to pay attention to in this sector is TypingDNA, which raised $1.5 million in seed money earlier this year. TypingDNA is used as a cybersecurity measure to prevent online fraud. The AI tech identifies you based on how you type on a keyboard — or any device, for that matter. It works quietly in the background as you go about your normal business, protecting you without disrupting you. This is of course a huge deal, and a crucial step for Internet users to take to protect their identity in this day and age. And with that new seed money, TypingDNA hopes to become the leading provider of biometrics tech.
Whatever happens, there’s no doubt they’re off to a great start. In the meantime, they’ve certainly brought more attention to Romania’s booming tech scene — which will only help to attract more business in the future.