Zagreb’s Syntio Among Europe’s Fastest-Growing Companies for the Third Year in a Row, BLOOMBERG ADRIA

The original article – Bloomberg Adria


    • Syntio is on FT’s list of fastest-growing companies for the third year in a row, with an average growth rate of 38.4%
    • They work with international companies undergoing significant digital transformation
    • Since its founding, the company has grown organically, without relying on external capital or investors

Among the many success stories in the local IT scene, Syntio stands out. This Zagreb-based company, specializing in cloud data engineering, often flies under the radar because it focuses on foreign markets. However, it has been recording growth in revenue and employees for seven years and continues to invest in research and development despite the IT sector crisis.

It is one of the fastest-growing domestic companies and among the few from Croatia that can claim international patenting. At the end of last year, the company received a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for its solution that significantly improves data migration to the cloud for users. The patent is numbered 11,829,343 and is signed by Tomislav Domanovac, one of Syntio’s founders, and Ivan Zeko, senior data engineer.

Additionally, Syntio can boast that it is currently the only domestic company that has remained on the Financial Times’ list of fastest-growing companies for three consecutive years. After placing 225th two years ago and 551st last year, Syntio finished in 953rd place this year with an average growth rate of 38.4%.

“Being recognized at such a level for three consecutive years testifies to the sustainability of our business, the ability to adapt to market changes, and the constant growth and development we invest in. Such recognition strengthens our market position, gives us greater visibility, and opens doors to new business opportunities,” says Davorin Cetto, director and one of Syntio’s founders, to Bloomberg Adria.

From Seven to a Hundred Employees

Syntio’s business story began in 2017, and since then, the company has grown from seven to around 100 employees. They started with the vision that technology should be used to create innovative solutions that would enable other companies to extract real value from data in real-time.

Tomislav Domanovac, Davorin Cetto, Martina Mandic, Fredrik Blom

Cetto, along with co-founders Domanovac and Davor Habjanec, recognized a need and thus an opportunity to start a company that would offer all the services needed for the digital transformation of large international companies from one place.

“For example, our data platform Dataphos consists of several components that together enable data collection, processing, and distribution, adapting to different user needs and industries. The specificity of our product lies in its flexibility and scalability, allowing clients to tailor the platform to the specific needs of their business,” explains Cetto.

However, the beginnings were not easy, and the difficulty of establishing their place in the market was felt at the start when they did not have a long history or portfolio of projects to traditionally prove their expertise and capability. This is why they had to focus on the innovativeness of solutions, team expertise, and a personalized approach. Additionally, Cetto adds that their initial advantage was offering IT consulting services and education in data engineering, which was relatively new in the Croatian market at the time.

Today, their main assets against numerous competitors are the ability to quickly adapt to market changes and the commitment to developing advanced technological solutions.

“By establishing strong foundations for data collection and processing and setting high standards for data quality and governance, we achieve immediate positive effects on business. Improved insight and better control of business processes not only reduce costs but also increase revenues and allow better recognition and understanding of market trends. We are confident that such significant contributions are recognized by both our existing and potential clients,” says Cetto.

Focus on Foreign Markets

Although their headquarters are currently in Croatia, the majority of their business (over 80%) is related to the foreign market. They have focused their work on large and medium-sized international companies undergoing significant digital transformation, and their client portfolio includes various industries such as retail, logistics, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, tourism, finance, and the production of transport and construction equipment.

“We place a special focus on Scandinavia and Northern Europe, which was crucial for our decision to open an office in Sweden, allowing us to be competitive in the targeted market,” emphasizes Cetto.


Syntio’s Revenue and Profit

Source: Fina – Financial Agency

Since its founding, the company has grown organically, meaning without relying on external capital or investors, says Cetto. Last year’s revenue of 5.8 million euros marked another growth compared to 2022 when they achieved 5.5 million euros and 2021 when they earned 3.9 million euros. However, their profit, which grew from 1.2 million euros in 2021 to 1.7 million euros in 2022, fell to 699.8 thousand euros last year.

“The profit fell due to significant growth the previous year and the IT sector crisis, where we decided not to lay off people but to retain them and work on their skills so they would be ready for renewed growth when the market recovers. However, the revenue growth represents continuous growth compared to previous years and an exceptional success in one of the most challenging years for the IT industry recently,” highlights Cetto.

He also states that according to current estimates, they believe they will achieve significant revenue growth in 2024, due to their unique positioning between business consulting and IT services, with a focus on delivering measurable results to clients.

Nonetheless, Cetto emphasizes that one of the key challenges they face is maintaining a high level of innovation amid increasingly rapid technological changes and adapting products to the dynamic and diverse needs of the market. Additionally, despite positive predictions, he notes that the IT world is currently in a phase of change.

“Fewer IT professionals are being hired, and IT services are less in demand globally,” emphasizes Cetto, adding that despite the impact of global turbulence and crises, they have managed to stay focused on their goal.

“Transparency and collaboration play a key role in building and maintaining trust in all our business relationships,” concludes Cetto.

Thus, despite everything, they leave room for investments in research and development, which they believe will ensure a competitive advantage in the future.

“In everything, including the market situation, we are oriented towards agility and focused on long-term goals that guide us in daily operations. In the end, it is crucial to maintain open communication with employees, clients, and partners because we believe that transparency and collaboration play a key role in building and maintaining trust in all our business relationships,” concludes Cetto.