Filip Barilić, Author at SGS JSC

Mastering Marketing: Proven Tactics for Business Growth

Unlocking the secrets to marketing success requires a holistic approach that combines a deep understanding of your target audience, a compelling brand identity, and clear, measurable goals. In the digital realm, harness the power of SEO, content marketing, social media, and email campaigns to engage and convert your audience. Don’t forget traditional tactics like print advertising, networking, and public relations, which still hold relevance in today’s multifaceted marketing landscape. To maintain your competitive edge, regularly measure your results using analytics and KPIs, and don’t shy away from A/B testing to refine your strategies. Stay ahead of the competition by continually learning and innovating. Marketing success is an ongoing journey that, when embraced with dedication and creativity, will lead your business to thrive in a competitive world.

Scaling New Heights: SGS Receives $150,000 Microsoft for Startups Grant

In the dynamic world of startups, every achievement is a significant milestone, and we at SGS are thrilled to share our latest accomplishment. We’ve recently secured the Microsoft for Startups grant, a game-changing move that propels us into the next phase of our journey. This grant, worth $150,000, not only recognizes our unwavering dedication but also opens up exciting new possibilities for our future.

A Leap from “Grow” to “Scale”

Our journey began with the aspiration to grow, innovate, and make a real impact. We’ve worked diligently, honed our skills, and made strategic moves. And now, we’re excited to announce that we’ve taken the leap from the “grow” phase to the esteemed “scale” phase. This transition signifies our progress, determination, and ability to adapt and thrive in a competitive landscape.

Microsoft’s Valuable Recognition

The Microsoft for Startups grant is not just a financial boost; it’s a testament to the value of our mission and our potential to drive innovation. Microsoft, a global tech giant, recognizes the potential in SGS and our unwavering dedication to our goals. This recognition is a tremendous honor and validates the hard work and vision that have guided us thus far.

Fueling Future Endeavors

With the $150,000 grant in hand, we’re poised to take on new challenges and opportunities. This grant allows us to invest in research and development and explore cutting-edge technologies that can take our solutions to the next level. It’s not just about the funding; it’s about the opportunities this grant creates and the doors it opens for us.

The Road Ahead

As we embark on this exciting new phase of our journey, we remain committed to our core values of innovation, quality, and customer satisfaction. The Microsoft for Startups grant is a testament to our potential, but it’s also a reminder of the expectations and responsibilities that come with it. We’ll continue to deliver exceptional results, exceed expectations, and drive our mission forward.

We’re grateful for the support and recognition we’ve received from Microsoft, and we’re excited about the opportunities this grant brings. We believe that this milestone is just the beginning of what we can achieve. As we scale new heights, we invite you to join us on this journey and be a part of our exciting future.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to innovate, grow, and make a positive impact.
The best is yet to come!

Unlocking Europe’s Economic Powerhouse: Western Balkans & DaaS Innovation

Becoming part of the EU single market is not just about trade—it’s about investment, economic modernization, democratic progress, rule of law, and better regional cooperation. In recent years, several initiatives have been adopted to foster regional economic integration, including the Common Regional Market Action Plan 2021-2024. These initiatives aim to build a common regional market based on EU rules and regulations and on the four freedoms. They are intended to be a stepping stone for Western Balkan economies to better integrate into European value chains and improve their competitiveness. The initiatives have focused on four main regional areas: trade, investment, digitalization, and industry and innovation. The establishment of “green lanes”—streamlined border crossings for freight vehicles—during the COVID-19 pandemic was a successful example of regional cooperation. 

The Berlin Process, a very important initiative that has pushed for faster economic integration with the EU, has also been revitalized, and the next meeting will be held in Albania in October. The Open Balkans Initiative, another project that started as an economic cooperation agreement among Serbia, North Macedonia, and Albania in 2021, has also offered some practical steps for better economic cooperation in the region. 

Regional economic integration is imperative for the Western Balkans to benefit from bigger markets and greater competition by fostering cross-border production chains and leveraging regional comparative advantages. To attract the interest of serious foreign investors, it is necessary to cooperate in a “pooled” competition for foreign direct investment. This will help countries to improve their competitiveness by incentivizing technological and industrial clusters, as well as help modernize their economies, facilitate innovation, and improve skills and productivity. 

As European companies are looking to relocate their supply chains closer to home, investing in the Western Balkans for the production of critical goods would contribute to the EU’s strategic economic autonomy, following through on the “de-risking” goals that occupy a key place in the EU’s newly published European Economic Security Strategy. 

In this context, Scalable Global Solutions (SGS), operating from Croatia within the Western Balkan region, plays a pivotal role. SGS offers SME businesses across Europe a unique digital service known as ‘Department as a Solution (DaaS).’ DaaS allows businesses to create remote Business Departments on demand, streamlining recruitment, facilitating office setup, and enabling effortless management of remote teams, all in one place through SGS’s software and mobile app. This innovative solution is helping businesses expand their operations efficiently and cost-effectively, aligning with the goals of regional economic integration and enhancing competitiveness. 

Developing European industrial clusters in the Western Balkans would increase the EU’s competitiveness, including in key areas such as green and solar industries, biotech, and electric vehicles. Ports in the Adriatic Sea are important for the resilience of trade routes and hold potential for investment in liquefied natural gas transportation as well. 

Lower labor costs in the Western Balkans and strategic connectivity in terms of energy and transport make the region attractive, but what is needed is more EU investment to improve infrastructural networks. EU investment in strategic infrastructure projects in the Western Balkans to boost interconnectedness would also counter China’s increased economic and diplomatic footprint in the Western Balkans. This growing footprint challenges European business interests and fuels practices that hinder the EU’s ability to enhance the promotion of Western norms and standards. 

Source: Western Balkans ‘nearshoring’ can turn the region into a strategic asset for the EU – Atlantic Council 

Croatia’s Startup Potential on Full Display: Google Acquires a Croatian Startup for 0,5 billion USD

In a groundbreaking move, Google has successfully acquired Photomath, a Croatian startup renowned for its mobile app that solves math problems through pictures. Valued at an estimated 550 million USD, this acquisition marks a historic milestone in Croatia’s startup landscape. 

Despite this good news for Croatia´s startup ecosystem, the EU startup landscape has seen funding for venture-backed startups, decline by a 39% in 2023. Dropping from $83 billion in 2022 to an expected $51 billion. This decrease can largely be attributed to a retreat from U.S. investors, who play a significant role in driving funding activity in Europe. Despite these challenges, Croatia’s local and regional VC funds remain strong, presenting opportunities for growth and showcasing the country’s commitment to supporting innovation. 

Amidst the changing landscape of European startups, SGS has managed to shine with an outstanding performance in Q2 2023 compared to the same quarter in 2022. Despite the negative outlook on the funding market, the company witnessed a remarkable QoQ revenue growth of 117%. This highlights the opportunities the Covid-19 crisis has unlocked and the growing interest of businesses looking for alternative ways of working and reducing costs positioning SGS as an ideal support for any kind of business. 

However, the challenging EU fundraising market also impacted SGS’s efforts, resulting in a 74% reduction in raised funds during Q2 2023 compared to the previous year. Nevertheless, the company’s commitment to responsible financial management and sustainable growth remains steadfast. 

On a positive note, Q2 2023 witnessed an impressive client acquisition for SGS, growing its client base from 3 to 11 clients, representing a remarkable growth rate of 267%. This expansion reflects the growing recognition of the company’s brand and the trust clients place in its products and services. 

Furthermore, SGS’s diligence in executing its revenue strategy is evident in the achieving of a planned revenue increase of 250% in comparison to the year 2022. With only a slight variance of -0.30% from the planned revenue target in Q2 2023, this minor deviation highlights the company’s impressive growth. Considering we are only halfway through 2023 these numbers leave us excited about Q3 and Q4 and demonstrate SGS’s adjustability to market dynamics and its pursuit of continuous improvement. 

In Europe’s challenging startup landscape, the acquisition of Photomath by Google represents a significant milestone in Croatia’s entrepreneurial journey. Adding to the recent success stories of Croatia’s unicorns Rimac Automobili and Infobip, this demonstrates the potential of Croatia as a thriving and innovative startup ecosystem.  

SGS’s impressive Q2 performance showcases its unwavering commitment to excellence and adaptability in dynamic market conditions, with remarkable revenue growth and successful client acquisitions highlighting its strong market positioning. Irrespective of funding situations in Croatia or Europe, SGS continues to experience steady growth and continues to deliver an outstanding performance in Q2 of 2023, which serves as a testament to the market’s interest in our DaaS product and services. As we look towards the future, our primary focus remains on achieving our Break-Even point, a major milestone that will significantly reduce our reliance on external investment to cover our burn rate. Once we successfully reach this important goal, we intend to allocate all incoming investments toward the expansion of our Sales and Channel Team, as well as the development of the highly anticipated 2.0 version of our SGS ONE software. 

We sincerely thank our investors, clients, and employees for their continued support and dedication, which has been pivotal in our ongoing success, and we are looking forward to the challenges yet to come. 

Navigating the Future of Work: Insights from the World Economic Forums’ Annual Meeting

2022 witnessed a glimmer of hope as COVID-19 restrictions eased, paving the way for a more optimistic outlook in 2023. The year began with aspirations of leaving the pandemic behind and embracing a new normal. However, the aftermath of the global crisis continues to cast its shadow on the business world. The World Economic Forum’s annual meeting held from the 16th to the 20th of January 2023 addressed these lingering aftereffects, focusing on the transformative impact of the challenges of the past three years.  

One of the key topics of discussion at the meeting was the future of work, encompassing anticipated changes in work conduct influenced by technology, generational shifts, and social dynamics. Part of the discussions focused on the issue of a growing talent gap in the EU, where more than 75% of companies report difficulties finding skilled workers, underscores the importance of addressing skills shortages in the region. While organizations express confidence in developing their existing workforce, they are less optimistic about talent availability in the coming years. This scarcity of talent poses a significant barrier to industry transformation, with skills gaps and difficulty attracting talent being key challenges. SGS recognizes these global issues as significant opportunities, as we focus on solving talent acquisition problems and assisting companies in adapting to dynamic market conditions.  

Part of the discussion on the future of work revolved around the aftereffects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has brought about a major shift in the future of work, with three major trends reshaping how businesses operate. Remote work and virtual meetings have become the new norm, providing greater flexibility, and breaking down geographical barriers. E-commerce has witnessed unprecedented growth, compelling businesses to rethink their digital strategies. Simultaneously, the rapid adoption of digital technologies, such as automation and AI, has revolutionized various industries and work processes. As a result, traditional work setups are being reimagined, and businesses are now seeking sustainable growth and new ways of working. 

For SGS, these emerging trends present exciting opportunities, as the number of potential clients grows exponentially. Even conservative companies that were once skeptical about remote work are now open to exploring new possibilities. Our expertise in this area is highly valuable and relevant, as we remain committed to helping organizations navigate these changes and capitalize on the potential for success in the evolving landscape of work.  

In light of these global discussions, our company, during Q1 2023, demonstrated impressive performance and unwavering commitment to excellence and adaptability in dynamic market conditions. Notable achievements include a remarkable 232% increase in revenue compared to Q1 2022, a testament to the effectiveness of our strategic initiatives and the strong demand for our products and services in the market. 

By leveraging our current network of investors and reaching out to past investors, we achieved an impressive 69% increase in investments raised during this quarter compared to the same period last year. This success is a testament to the strong relationships we have built with our investors and their continued confidence in our business and growth prospects.  

Moreover, our client base experienced remarkable expansion during the same period, growing from 2 clients in 2022 to 10 clients, representing an impressive growth rate of 400%. This growth underscores the market’s recognition of the quality and value of our SGS ONE software and our DaaS solution. Furthermore, it is not only the growth of our client base but also our customer satisfaction, which has been a key driver of our success. Read more about the success story of our largest client ORBIS. 

Our company has consistently surpassed planned revenue targets, achieving a growth rate of 3.60% beyond the set plan in Q1 2023. This further illustrates our adaptability and ability to thrive in dynamic market conditions. 

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to our investors, clients, and employees for their unwavering support and commitment, which has been instrumental in our success. 

With the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting providing valuable insights into the future of work and the global business landscape, we are poised to navigate the challenges and opportunities ahead with confidence and resilience. Together, we look forward to a path of growth and prosperity in this ever-changing world of work. 

Scaling New Heights: Welcoming our new Partner “Der Mittelstand. BVMW”.

We are excited to announce our new partner “Der Mittelstand. BVMW” is joining our SGS Team. As one of Germany´s largest and most active business networks for SMEs, we look forward to working together toward making an impact in today’s dynamic market. 

“Der Mittelstand. BVMW” stands at the forefront of the SME ecosystem in Germany, advising and driving the success of medium-sized companies across Germany. With a network of more than 300 local consultants and international offices, they have built a reputation for providing valuable resources, advocacy for favorable business conditions, and a wealth of knowledge on relevant topics. Their core philosophy of “by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs” deeply resonates with our vision, and together, we are excited to make an impact in the investment world. 

Join us in celebrating this important milestone as we start on a new path together with “Der Mittelstand. BVMW”. 

Risks and returns on investing in a SaaS start-up

Philippe Botteri from Accel stated that if the current growth continues at this pace, the cloud solutions might overtake on-premises software in value by 2025 and the entire software market should be worth approximately $1 trillion.

SaaS is a subscription-based or pay-per-use model that users can access through online via a web browser. It has a significantly lower upfront cost compared to a one-time fee for an on-premises solution, which is a large capital investment and has a lengthy (and often complicated) implementation process. The SaaS model decreases the financial risk as it is paid either monthly, quarterly, or annually and can be canceled anytime, compared to a one-time fee for traditional software.


SaaS are attractive investments for several reasons:

  1. Predictable and recurring revenue – just like with any subscription-based software (Netflix e.g.), investors can count that the income stream will be secure, it can be grown by getting more subscriptions or increasing its cost, compared to a one-time purchase of software (or movie for this analogy).
  2. Already in the modern consumer mindset – instead of having to buy one large and expensive purchase, the modern consumer likes to have options, flexibility, and more reasonable-priced products. A suitable market already exists for the SaaS business model, you just need to have the right product.
  3. Capital efficient – based on insights from Crunchbase, 49% of all SaaS funded by VC’s that exited, raised less than $10m before their exit.


On the other hand, there are certain risks of investing in SaaS:

  1. Governance – with scalability, as the company grows, the number of users that use the software grows as well, meaning, a lot of data is just floating around, and that data needs to be organized. Financially speaking, if a company does not know if its platform or apps are being used to their fullest, they are losing money. Companies that have well-structured governance are reported to have almost 20% increased revenue than their competition. Connected with this, is also data privacy, where a company must be always aware that they are compliant with data privacy laws such as GDPR.
  2. Continuous development – the SaaS market is constantly evolving, with new services right behind the block. If the company is not agile in adapting to changes on time, it will be a sign of weakness and it will reflect on their value in the end. The SaaS market is extremely volatile, and if you are not ready for that kind of a “ride”, think again before you invest in these kinds of companies.
  3. Economic crisis and the big players – smaller SaaS’s, who are on the path of becoming profitable, face two more risks. The first one is if an economic crisis would occur, smaller companies do not have the cash reserves to withstand a serious market downfall, where the need for their services will rapidly decline.


The second is the danger of big players in the software market, where they can simply buy out the smaller ones or use their near-unlimited cash reserves to create a rival SaaS of the smaller companies.

There are certainly ups and downs when it comes to investing in SaaS, with plenty of rewards if the investments are successful, but with risks as well.




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SGS submits project proposal on InvestEU Portal

We are excited to announce that Scalable Global Solutions has submitted a funding proposal on the InvestEU Portal. This platform offers an easy-to-use project database that grants visibility to EU, Iceland, or Norway-based projects that are seeking financing. It also provides investors with information about available investment opportunities.

Our project proposal aims to support the growth of small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by providing a unique solution that allows them to create and manage their own teams in another location, without opening a new entity. We offer globally sourced talent, office space and equipment, handle compliance, and implement a CRM system to automate processes, enabling SMEs to quickly and efficiently scale their operations and enter new markets.

We are confident that our proposal will be selected for funding, as it aligns with the InvestEU Portal’s mission to support SMEs and promote economic growth and development. We will keep you updated on the progress of our proposal and any developments in the future.

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to secure funding through the InvestEU Portal, and we look forward to the potential growth and success that this funding will bring to our company and our clients.

CRIISP TV Interview with Markus Borlinghaus

Our founder and CEO, Markus Borlinghaus, interviewed CRIISP TV where he spoke about our current investment opportunity and the milestones we hit this year, such as signing 9 new clients, implementing a partner program, and raising €450k in investments from new and existing investors.

You can access the video here: TV Interview SGS by Wholesale Investor with Markus Borlinghaus – YouTube.

CRIISP TV is a part of Wholesale Investor. Wholesale Investor is a global leading investment platform that connects innovative, emerging companies that are looking to raise capital with an active, engaged and growing ecosystem of over 31,000+ high-net-worth investors, fund managers, family offices, PE and VC firms, and government bodies.




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Digipool is Finland’s fresh, agile & modern recruitment and resourcing agency. They use artificial intelligence and an extensive personal network to provide a flawless customer experience and stellar results. With its business growing and wanting to have a better global outreach, company intends to improve its day-to-day operations and have the ability to track project assignments.



Scalable Global Solutions presented Digipool with the SGS ONE software and its HR module.


Client outcome

The user-friendliness of the SGS ONE CRM software helped improve Digipool’s business processes across the whole company. They can now streamline its day-to-day activities across departments clearly and concisely. With the HR module, the recruitment process is optimised: easily tracking candidates across projects and generating unified reports with a few clicks. Satisfied with the outcome of using the SGS ONE, company has decided to become our Channel Partner as well for the Nordics.





ORBIS helps SMEs and international corporations to digitalise their business processes – from jointly developing the customer-specific big picture to practical implementation in the project. The digitalisation and automation of business processes across the entire value chain ensure our customers’ competitiveness.

Expertise for over 35 years The process-related know-how and innovative flair of our 750 employees, combined with the expertise gained from 35-plus years of successfully undertaking international projects in various sectors, make us a competent partner. We rely on SAP and Microsoft’s solutions and technologies, our partners whose portfolios are complemented by ORBIS solutions. Our focus is on SAP S/4HANA, Microsoft Power Platform, customer engagement (sales, customer service, field service and marketing processes) and the realisation of the smart factory. Using smart cloud technologies such as machine learning, cognitive services or the IoT as a basis, we promote our customers’ innovative power in developing innovative products, services and business models.

Our expertise results from over 2,000 customer projects with over 500 customers operating in the automotive supply industry, construction supply industry, electrical and electronics industry, mechanical and plant engineering, logistics, metal industry, consumer goods industry and trade. Long-standing customers include, among others, ZF-Konzern, Hörmann, Hager Group, Rittal, Andreas Stihl, BEUMER Group, ÖBB, Plasser & Theurer, Paul Hartmann and Sick, Bystronic, Ferrum, Halter, Yanmar Marine International, PALFINGER, Ottakringer and LiSEC.



The international success of ORBIS and the constantly growing customer base led to the continuous growth of our consulting and implementation teams, demanding more and more well-trained and experienced experts in their respective fields. One of our core convictions always has been to be close to our customers, which resulted in a very strong local team within Europe, especially in the DACH region.

As we continued to grow our ORBIS workforce within Europe, one strategic decision was to establish an office in the Balkan region with the benefits of a close distance to our core markets, a well-educated workforce, and many people with some German skills.

While we were convinced that the path of opening an office in the SEE region would be a valuable addition to the group, there were some risks involved with that. With no pre-existing business in the region except for some international rollouts of existing customers, we had little to no insights into the market and the governing laws around setting up companies for hiring employees. One advantage would be common EU laws, which made a strong case for Croatia as our preferred country to open an office.

As an IT company, one of our most important tools is proofs of concept – the first versions of a project demonstrating the planned architecture’s viability.
We quickly realised that this was what we needed: A proof of concept of our strategy – a low-risk approach with quick wins!



That’s where SGS came into the picture – the first conversations sounded exactly like what we needed: A low-risk approach to enter the market with local support ensuring compliance with local laws and a lot of know-how about the market. SGS was able to offer us the full package: An all-inclusive offering providing office space, payroll management, recruiting services, HR consulting, office management and IT support. This allowed us to quickly set up a team consisting of different roles from junior developers to senior consultants and solution architects with the skill-set and mindset we needed and looked for without taking the risk of founding a company and managing all the non-operative issues of running a business. SGS handles the daily business of all that, while we can focus on onboarding and integrating our new team members as soon as possible. That has allowed us to add new members to the team with minimal ramp-up time.



Starting ORBIS business activities in Zagreb with SGS was just the beginning – after growing our team to seven people in the first six months, we look forward to adding additional roles and new members to the team. SGS even provides the services to found our own company and transition our team into that organisation if we want to do that later. While this is a fantastic service, we don’t see any reasons for that at the current time and look forward to continuing our business relationship in the current, very successful way!



Overall, the cooperation with SGS has been a very positive one – but one of the most impressive things about SGS is how they handle things if things go wrong, as they always do. From the beginning, SGS was open, transparent, and incredibly engaged in getting its services and performance right and quickly correcting any mistakes. They demonstrate an open and transparent communication style and a friendly and positive company climate, which is a major part of our team’s happiness at their job. It’s easy to see that SGS considers our success to be their success and wants to do everything that guarantees their clients’ success.

For us as an ORBIS, the last year was a very successful proof of concept and looking forward to the future growth of our very own department at SGS!




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Venture & Capital 2022 startup event in London

This month, we were a part of the Venture & Capital 2022 startup event in London, UK, hosted by Wholesale Investor.

Our CEO, Markus Borlinghaus, gave a brief company presentation and presented our latest investment round to participating investors, partners and potential clients.

Check the whole pitch on our YouTube channel.