Cybersecurity Breakthroughs, Urban Utopias, Fintech Pioneers, IT Trailblazers: Ocean’s Group Chronicles 2023

Ocean Investments: Year in Review 2023

As we prepare to jump to lightspeed into the new year, let’s take a moment to look back at our accomplishments. 2023 has been a year where Ocean Investments and its family of companies have boldly navigated the exciting territories of innovation and growth. From groundbreaking cybersecurity solutions to pioneering urban living concepts, our journey has been marked by remarkable achievements and steadfast commitment to our core values.

Now, as we set our course for 2024, we’re fueled by the successes of the past year and ready to embrace new challenges and opportunities. In the following sections, we’ll embark on a journey through each of our portfolio companies (listed alphabetically), showcasing their individual successes and collective impact through 2023. Let’s go!

AMATAS: A Year of Expansion and Community Engagement

New Customers and Global Reach

  • Expansion into New Markets: AMATAS successfully expanded its client base, securing contracts with one of the largest banks in the Balkan Peninsula and welcoming its first client from the Netherlands.
  • Silicon Valley Client: Marking a significant milestone, AMATAS added a client from Silicon Valley to its portfolio, showcasing its growing international appeal.

Community and Industry Engagement

  • Active Participation in QAD Events: In March, AMATAS played a pivotal role in two QAD events, co-presenting a success story together with an American client (QAD is a leading provider of next-generation manufacturing and supply chain solutions in the cloud).
  • Strengthening the Cybersecurity Community: AMATAS continued its commitment to the Bulgarian ethical hacking community by co-organizing the BSides Sofia international conference. The event featured a ‘Capture the Flag’ competition, sponsored by AMATAS, offering a platform for ethical hackers to showcase their skills.
  • Strategic Partnership at CyberSecurity Forum 2023: AMATAS showcased its industry prominence as a strategic partner at the CyberSecurity Forum 2023, held at Sofia Tech Park. The event, focusing on the interplay of AI and cybersecurity, featured a keynote speech by Boris Goncharov, AMATAS’ Chief Strategy Officer. His insights highlighted the evolving challenges and opportunities in cybersecurity, emphasizing the importance of adaptation and vigilance in the face of emerging technologies.

Online Presence

  • Enhanced Online Engagement: The company’s Monthly Cyber Threat Report Newsletter on LinkedIn saw significant growth, reaching over 17,000 subscribers. The newsletter’s enhanced visual appeal and enriched content, including impactful quotes, statistics, and links to articles and services, contributed to this success.

Accreditations and Achievements

  • CREST Accreditation: Achieving a first for Bulgaria, AMATAS received accreditation from CREST for Penetration Testing, reinforcing its position as a trusted SWIFT partner and leading to an increase in requests for independent cybersecurity audits.
  • Sales Success in Security Services: The company recorded significant sales success, securing a new Managed Detection and Response (MDR) client and renewing annual subscriptions with two major corporations.

Milestones and Celebrations

  • 7th Anniversary: September 20th marked AMATAS’ 7th anniversary, celebrating its continuous growth and dedication in the cybersecurity field.
  • Website Revamp: AMATAS also launched a newly revamped website, enhancing its digital footprint and user experience.

Anticipating a New Cybersecurity Innovation

  • A Glimpse into the Future: AMATAS is on the brink of introducing an innovative cybersecurity product, marking a significant step forward in its technological offerings. And you know what? We’re currently incubating a brand-new company right here at Ocean. Stay tuned for the name reveal!

Gravity: Launching a Visionary Urban Living Project

The Dawn of Gravity: A Landmark Development

  • Embarking on a Revolutionary Journey: This year marked a pivotal moment for Ocean Investments with the initiation of Gravity, a project that encapsulates our core values of innovation, community, and forward-thinking living.
  • Creating a Future-Ready Urban Habitat: Gravity is more than a development; it’s a bold step towards realizing our vision for the future of urban living. Designed to be sustainable, smart, and socially connected, Gravity is set to redefine the concept of community and individuality in urban spaces.

Partnership with SGI for Instant Homecoming

  • Seamless Transition from Purchase to Living: In an innovative collaboration with SGI, Gravity promises a unique ‘Instant Homecoming’ experience. From the moment Act 16 is issued, homeowners will step into fully furnished and meticulously designed homes, ready for immediate occupancy. This partnership extends to every detail of home creation, including bespoke designs, furniture, and fittings, ensuring a hassle-free and transparent living experience from day one.
  • Synergy with Industry Leaders: The project’s excellence is further assured by alliances with IPA, Bulgaria’s architectural leader, and BuildeX, renowned for their building expertise.

Upcoming Milestones

  • First Sod Ceremony: A significant upcoming event for Gravity is the first sod ceremony, marking the commencement of construction.

OMNIO: A Trailblazer in the FinTech Sector

  • Ranked Among Top 10 FinTech Startups for 2023: OMNIO has been recognized globally as one of the top ten rapidly growing fintech startups. This prestigious ranking highlights OMNIO’s significant contributions in banking solutions, investment management, microfinance, and financial fraud prevention. The company’s system functionality and market alignment were key factors in this acknowledgment.
  • Awarded at Startup OLÉ 2023: OMNIO earned top honors in the fintech/blockchain category at Startup OLÉ 2023, one of Europe’s largest technology events held in Salamanca, Spain. This award underscores OMNIO’s innovative potential and prominent position in the European fintech scene. The event, featuring over 300 startups and numerous industry stakeholders, provided a platform for OMNIO to shine among its peers and stakeholders.

Resolute: Pioneering Change and Garnering Awards in IT

Nurturing Talent and Community Engagement

  • Partnership with American University in Bulgaria: Resolute embarked on a fruitful partnership with the American University in Bulgaria, focusing on nurturing young IT talents. This collaboration included workshops and mentorship programs, with Resolute’s experts like Veli Pehlivanov and Silvia Aleksandrova sharing their insights and experiences with students.

Awards and Recognitions

  • Third Consecutive Heartcount Award for “People First Company”: For the third consecutive year, Resolute was honored with the Heartcount award, recognizing its commitment to a positive work environment. The company’s focus on happiness, relationships, and proactive steps to enhance team satisfaction was particularly commended.
  • Bronze Award at The Stevie Awards: Resolute was awarded a bronze accolade at the 20th Annual International Business Awards® in the Business Professional Services category. This recognition was for their impactful projects in the healthcare sector, including the enhancement of a mobile application for a global health organization and upgrading a desktop application used by medical professionals worldwide.
  • Named “Company to Watch” by Deloitte: Deloitte Technology Fast 50 Central Europe honored Resolute by ranking the company in their ‘Companies to Watch’ category, acknowledging their growth potential and advancements in technology. This award recognized Resolute’s significant contributions to the healthcare field, including the modernization of patient health information systems and the development of a widely-used healthcare application.

Business Expansion and Innovation

  • Expansion in IT Consulting and Services: Resolute expanded its collaboration with Progress, offering consulting services for MOVEit software. Additionally, the company ventured into AI utilization training, particularly with ChatGPT, and introduced Reverse Cloud Migration services, responding to the trend of exiting the Cloud.
  • Client Growth and Digital Presence: Resolute successfully added 15 new clients this year, reflecting its growing influence and expertise in the technology sector. Additionally, the company launched its revamped website, enhancing its digital presence and user experience.

Ocean Investments: A Year of Community Impact and Cultural Enrichment

Empowering Future Leaders and Entrepreneurs

  • Teenovator Participation: Ocean Investments supported Teenovator in their two-day event “Weekend of Ideas,” guiding high school students in Bulgaria to develop innovative business ideas. The event, featuring mentors like Nicoleta Lazarova, Business Development & Sales Director at Resolute, and Stoyan Lozanov, CEO of OMNIO, culminated in presentations of 86 business projects. In 2024, our support continues, with Denitsa Kostova, CMO at Ocean Investments, taking on a mentorship role for the next 8 months. Additionally, representatives from our team will participate as jury members in the next “Weekend of Ideas” event.

Cultural Celebrations and Storytelling

  • Bulgaria’s Liberation Day with Ivaylo Kunev: Celebrating Bulgaria’s Liberation Day together with Ocean Investments, storyteller Ivaylo Kunev shared tales from his book, “Leaders: The Forgotten Stories of Bulgaria,” inspiring pride and a sense of national belonging (you can watch the video HERE).
  • Hosting Maria Laleva on International Women’s Day: On March 8th, Ocean Investments celebrated women’s strength with author Maria Laleva, who shared her insights and stories, fostering empowerment and human connections (you can watch the video HERE).
  • Lyudmila Filipova’s Visit for May 24: On the Day of Slavonic Alphabet, Bulgarian Enlightenment, and Culture, Ocean Investments hosted an event with Ludmila Filipova, the author of “The War of the Letters.” Her discussion about the book offered an exploration of the Cyrillic alphabet’s creation, emphasizing the profound impact and power of storytelling in Bulgarian culture (you can watch the video HERE).

Fostering Team Development and Values

  • Let’s Grow Together Leadership Academy: A 5-month leadership training program was organized for employees from various Ocean companies, led by Ivaylo Kunev, focusing on leadership roles, team development, and motivation.
  • Presentation of Ocean’s Core Values: On World Ocean Day, Atanas Simeonov presented Ocean Investments’ core values, emphasizing the beliefs central to the company and its employees.

Community Support and Charity Initiatives

  • Partnership with Kremikovtsy Monastery: Ocean Investments partnered with Kremikovtsy Monastery, supporting children’s centers and summer camps through charity bazaars and initiatives.
  • Easter Activities and Charity Bazaar: The team organized a Baking Contest and visited a nursing home for an egg-painting session, embodying the spirit of giving and supporting local charities.
  • Blood Donation Campaign: A blood donation drive was held on World Health Day, emphasizing the importance of communal generosity in healthcare.
  • Farmers Market for Autism Support: An organic Farmers Market was organized to support a colleague’s grandson with autism, showcasing team unity and commitment to positive impacts.
  • Supporting Paralympians at Farmers Market: A charity Farmers Market was held on Christian Family Day, supporting Bulgarian Paralympians Ruzhdi Ruzhdi and Hristiyan Stoyanov, exemplifying community spirit and support for inspiring athletes.

Promoting Education and National Values

  • Prof. Atanas Semov’s Discussion on Bulgarian Folk Psychology: On People’s Awakeners Day (November 1), Prof. Atanas Semov engaged in a discussion about Bulgarian folk psychology, exploring themes of authority, defiance, and human nature (you can watch the video HERE).

Ocean Investments: Embracing the Future with New Year Resolutions

Commitment to Values and Supporting Innovators

  • Upholding Core Values: As we step into the new year, Ocean Investments renews its commitment to the values that form the bedrock of our organization. Drawing inspiration from our foundational principles, we pledge to continue fostering an environment of integrity, innovation, and excellence.
  • Empowering More Innovators: Building on our legacy of nurturing talent, Ocean Investments is set to amplify its support for innovators across our investment verticals. The new year will see us deepening our engagement with visionary entrepreneurs, providing them with the resources and guidance needed to transform their groundbreaking ideas into reality.
  • Expanding Our Impact: With a focus on sustainable growth and positive change, we aim to expand our reach and impact, not just within our existing portfolio but also by exploring new opportunities and partnerships that align with our mission and values.

Ready for Hyperdrive: Here’s to More Adventures!

And that’s a wrap on 2023! It’s been a wild ride with Ocean Investments, full of twists, turns, and thrilling leaps forward. Our portfolio companies have been nothing short of interstellar, each blazing their own trail in the cosmos of innovation. As we rev up our engines for 2024, we’re not just planning to keep pace – we’re aiming to outfly our own shadow. So, buckle up, space cadets, the next chapter promises even more excitement and groundbreaking ventures. Here’s to turning ‘what-ifs’ into ‘what’s next’ and making the extraordinary our new ordinary!

About the author

Snezhana Simeonova

In a digital universe far, far away, Snezhana stands as the Jedi Master of content marketing at Ocean Investments. Armed with the wit of Han Solo and the strategic mind of Princess Leia, she navigates the galaxy of digital content with a lightsaber of humor and a shield of authenticity. Snezhana is not just keeping up with the latest trends in security, health, estate, food, and education; she's in a TIE fighter chase with them, staying ahead and bringing the latest insights back to the Ocean Investments' starship. Her goal? To ensure that every founder feels like they've got the force of a Jedi council behind them, minus the long robes and cryptic advice. Because let's face it, in the world of startups, it's less about 'Do or do not' and more about 'Do and then do some more.'

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