Top 8 Local Tech Startups
Malta – a haven for young entrepreneurs with their own dream of setting up shop.
Malta is a great place to start a new business. Partly due to the calm environment and warm sunny weather, but also because of the multiple opportunities available to new startups. Business First, Takeoff, and MITA Innovation Hub are just a few which have recently come to the fore. Malta's small yet condensed population makes it an ideal proving ground for a new idea.
Here's a list of eight inspiring local startups.
Oulala.com is a fantasy football website for people who love football but will probably never be an international player or club manager. The idea is that users can select the players to make up their fantasy team and win real money depending on the season’s outcomes and player’s performance in real life.
Oulala launched in 2013 and after a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014 raising over €25,000 it has gained international acclaim and thousands of users. It now operates mainly in the UK with players all across Europe.
Kwaver is a local startup built with musicians in mind. It’s a mobile platform that facilitates collaboration between artists, making it easy for people from all around the world to come together to create new music. That means if you play any sort of instrument you can record a track and upload it to Kwaver, allowing other artists to sing or play over it, the final product being a completed collaboration piece. This is great for those people who can only produce part of a song, or would like to add an outside influence to their music.
The Kwaver team is also working with Firebase a division of Alphabet Inc. (Google’s parent company) and have seen interest from foreign investors. They are currently in development with a launch expected in the near future.
With the international success of ride-share systems like Uber and Blablacar the Bumalift team decided to bring this concept to Malta. The difference? it’s all free. The idea is simple, if you are a driver you can list where you’re going and allow others to join you. This sort of system is both eco friendly, reducing the amount of cars on the road, and convenient for people who may not want to drive.
They are currently operational and their main users are parents offering kids a ride to school. With most local private schools giving their support the company promises to grow quickly with the potential to have multiple daily rides available in the near future.
Hotjar is probably the biggest international company on this list who had humble beginnings in Malta. They provide all-in-one Analytics & Feedback which allow their customers to see what users are actually doing on their sites. It allows decision makers in a company understand a user’s actions and also makes suggestions on the hottest opportunities which the company can use to their advantage.
DiscountIf is a unique concept that allows users to purchase items from one of their partnered retail stores and receive special discounts depending on the outcome of sporting events. It's essentially a mashup of e-betting and e-commerce which are both steadily growing markets. Once you commit to buying an item through DiscountIf it's yours, buy you will only know how much you're paying for it after the game is over. Using DiscountIf you can get up to 100% cash back by making custom bets on practically any item on Amazon.co.uk with a range of sports and matches to choose from.
After starting out in Malta at the Takeoff Business Incubator and gaining funds for their project, the DiscountIf team made the UK their base of operations. Since then the company has received high praise from critics such as Virgin Media.
ZAAR is another local company that followed a previous successful model and adapted it to our local context. It essentially a crowdfunding platform like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, however unlike these big players it allows Maltese people to get funding for their ideas from locals who can more often than not appreciate the idea more than foreigners. With Kickstarter local companies would also have to register abroad as they only support a select few countries.
ZAAR is still in its infancy, however it has already successfully funded two projects, including the pet visiting room at Mater Dei Hospital.
3D Printing is becoming more and more popular today. Thought3D not only made a name for themselves locally, they also launched a product called Magigoo which secures the first layer of a print to the printer when it is working however it detaches easily when the process is done. This was a huge step forward in the 3D printing world as it eliminates the need for normal glue which regularly would not come undone causing more delicate pieces to break when being removed.
Thought3D won funds from the TakeOff Seed Fund Award (TOSFA) which allowed them to produce Magigoo and release it to the global market. They also won the Malta Innovation Award for Technology and gained recognition from the World Intellectual Property Organization.
MAGIGOO – THE 3D Printing Adhesive for PLA and ABS Filaments
MightyBox are a local company focused on designing new and innovative games. Their first major title is Posthuman, a board game which was launched on Kickstarter in collaboration with American game studios Mr. B Games. The collaboration started as a way to get the game onto Kickstarter however it quickly surpassed all expectations raising over $345,000 when their goal was a mere $27,000. People from all over the world rapidly showed interest in the game where they play as either a human trying to survive the zombie apocalypse or a “posthuman” zombie trying to wipe out the human race.
MightyBox have another game called Will Love Tear Us Apart and plan to release a computer version of Posthuman in the near future, however they are currently focusing on satisfying the demand for the board game.
These are just some local companies that have made it big, or are well on their way to doing so. So what’s stopping you from taking that idea you have and turning it into a business?