A few days ago, the founders of Nordeus sold their successful company to the world leader in the gaming sector, the American company Take-Two, for a safe 225 and potential 378 million dollars. This is only the latest in a series of acquisitions of Serbian companies by foreign corporations, or at least start-ups that have been recording a continuous development in Serbia.
Last year, Comtrade sold its share of digital services to Endava, and a year earlier Epic Games entered the market with the purchase of the Novi Sad startup 3lateral, which specialises in computer-generated figures; a year earlier Nutanix bought Frame, an American-Serbian cloud computing company, for USD 165 million, and in the meantime, there have been a number of smaller acquisitions by which foreign IT companies have entered the Serbian market.
Schneider Electric, for instance, acquired DMS, an IT company that makes software for managing energy systems.
However, there are many more foreign companies who buy Serbian companies just for the people who work there and who will continue their work on the development of parts of the final product or the service of the new owner. The difference is big in terms of the acquisition price, but also in terms of the effect on the local IT sector and the whole economy.
Last year, the Serbian ICT sector recorded higher exports than in 2019, although there were no double-digit growth rates. Compared to €1.42bn in 2019, exports last year reached €1.44bn, thanks to a big jump in the second half of the year.
According to Milovan Matijevic, owner of Mineco Computers, which monitors IT market developments, some 3,000 companies in the area generated a record turnover of around three billion euro.
“Most of this comes from the export of services, mostly software, about 1.5 billion euro. Just under 700 million euro was earned in our market and IT companies earn about 15-20% of their income from the sale of accompanying equipment, consumables, electronics, etc., and the rest goes to the import and distribution of IT equipment. The local IT market grew by about 10% and then continued to grow at double-digit rates for the fourth consecutive year. We are approaching the IT investment of EUR 100 per capita. The goal, although difficult to achieve, is to reach EUR 150 per capita by 2025, because this is the level the CEE countries were at when they joined the EU,” explains Matijevic, adding that the amount of Serbian investments is not comparable to the EU, because services are cheaper and furthermore, companies are looking for cheaper solutions due to their lower economic power.
This post is also available in: Italiano