One of Croatia’s biggest business news stories this year was the acquisition of digital agency FIVE by the multinational company Endava for 40 million US dollars.
The acquisition was celebrated across the technology industry in Croatia. Company founders Luka Arbus and Viktor Marohnić, with the addition of Sven Marušić as a Managing Partner who joined them in 2020, have a clear direction in mind when it comes to the future of FIVE. In their own words:
Our goal has been the same from the start, to grow our business so that we can always provide enough opportunities for our super talented employees to stay happy, fulfilled, challenged, and compete with the best people in the industry worldwide.
How it started
In 2005, Viktor Marohnić and Saša Šarunić, who later left the company to build another startup, founded Pet Minuta (English: Five Minutes). Pet Minuta became a leading Croatian agency for app development in a few years, with offices in Zagreb, Osijek and New York.
With the opening of the international office, the company changed its name to FIVE and established the New York office in 2007. Three years later, Luka Arbus joined the company and became a partner.
From the beginning, they had a clear vision of what they wanted to do, for whom and what kind of company culture they wanted to cultivate. FIVE develops software solutions for clients. While most of FIVE’s clients are international, in the early 2000s, they created one of the first e-commerce applications in Croatia for Konzum, a supermarket chain.
Still, they also wanted to build their product, and in 2007, they launched a sister company called Shoutem and the product Shoutem App Builder. Shoutem is a solution for everyone who wants to make an application but doesn’t know how to code.
How it’s going
At the beginning of 2018, the agency became the first certified member of the Google Developers Agency Program from Croatia and one of, at the time, 49 agencies worldwide.
They are now entirely oriented to the American market. Last year FIVE had the highest revenue growth since the beginning. They also onboarded some respectable new clients like Pearson, McAfee and Sanofi.
The cherry on top was recognition from Clutch. Clutch, the top rating and review platform for IT, Marketing and Business service providers, named FIVE one of the top three digital agencies in New York focused on developing mobile apps.
As mentioned, the majority of FIVE’s clients are coming from the United States. They work with the streaming service Napster, publisher Penguin Random House, language learning platform Rosetta Stone, Marriott International hotel chain, AccuWeather and many more. For instance, Marriott International developed a chatbot to make them more approachable to potential millennial employees, and the app has more than 60% returning users.
They gave us a quick look at some of their other projects for Supermajority, women-to-women voter engagement program; Plato app for fintech startup TradeCore and The Phoenix, a platform for the national sober active community.
Since the best recommendation for one’s business goes through word of mouth from relevant sources, Clutch is an excellent source of information about how FIVE does business. In one interview, Viktor Marohnić said that 90% of their clients come by recommendation of their existing clients.
FIVE currently has more than 300 employees across offices in Zagreb, Osijek, Rijeka and Split, 146 hired just last year. Since FIVE is in an industry that’s constantly evolving and growing, and they are on the constant lookout for the best talent, the best way to make sure you get the right people is by educating them.
Boot Camp is a paid six-week internship program held during the summer months for technical, economic or mathematical specialisation and design studies students. The mentors are current employees who provide valuable experience for future developers and designers.
FIVE is a company with excellent communication skills and big goals. Besides technical knowledge, their open communication is what brought them to the top. All three offices are constantly growing, and we can’t wait to see what’s next for them. We are looking forward to seeing them achieve the goal of becoming a leading NYC agency.