Europe’s 25 Hottest Internet Companies

To identify the most promising Internet companies in Europe Informilo Editor-in-Chief Jennifer L. Schenker asked some of the Continent’s most active investors to nominate companies outside of their own portfolios. While companies copying existing business models like Zalando, KupiVIP and grupfoni are doing well we chose to spotlight innovative European technologies or business models, from early to late stage. Some are well known, others are below the radar but unlikely to stay that way for very long. Read on to see are our picks for the top 25:

Most Likely To Go Public or Be Acquired

Gameforge (www.gameforge.com)

Karlsruhe, Germany

What it does: Developer and publisher
of free-to-play massively multiplayer online-games.

Why it’s hot: A 2009 World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, the company has more than 200 million registered users and the games are available in more than 50 languages.

Spotify (www.spotify.com)

London, England

What it does: Digital service used to discover and share music with friends via social tools.

Why it’s hot: More than 7 million users
in Europe use its ad-supported or subscriber services.

Yandex (www.yandex.com)

Moscow, Russia

What it does: Internet portal and web
search service.

Why it’s hot: A 2008 World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, it has innovative search technology and grabs more market share than Google in Russia.

Shazam (www.shazam.com)

London, England

What it does: Music discovery engine

Why it’s hot: More than 75 million people are using Shazam to discover new songs, artists and concert information.

Vente-privee.com
(www.vente-privee.com)

La Plaine Saint Denis, France

What it does: Private on-line sales club.

Why it’s hot: It gets some 70,000 orders per day and expects 2010 sales of 710 million euros. Its business model is being copied world-wide.

Wonga (www.wonga.com)

London, England

What it does: Provides quick access
to small, short-term loans via the Web
and mobile phone.

Why it is hot: It is one of the fastest growing Web businesses in Europe.

AVG Technologies (www.avg.com)

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

What it does: Antivirus and security software.

Why it’s hot: The company, which originated in the Czech Republic, has more than 110 million consumers and small businesses in 170 countries as customers.

Badoo (www.badoo.com)

London, England

What it does: Multi-lingual social networking.

Why it’s hot: The service, which originated in Russia, now claims over 80 million users and is most popular in France, Spain, Portugal and Latin America.

 

Companies To Watch: Western Europe

Criteo (www.criteo.com)

Paris, France

What it does: Pay per click personalized retargeting of Web advertising.

Why it is hot: The service enables  online e-commerce sites to re-engage with potential customers who have left their website.

Wooga (www.wooga.com)

Berlin, Germany

What it does: Social games developer

Why it’s hot: The company is behind on-line games Brain Buddy and Popular Island.

Layar (www.layar.com)

Amsterdam, the Netherlands

What it does: Mobile augmented reality.

Why it’s hot: A 2011 World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, the company’s browser already has been installed more than 2.5 million times, and it’s expected to be pre-loaded on tens of millions of phones from handset makers and carriers by year’s end.

Rovio Mobile (www.rovio.com)

Espoo, Finland

What it does: Independent developer
of wireless games.

Why it’s hot: Rovio is behind the popular Angry Bird game and has developed
titles for some of the biggest names in the mobile space including Electronic Arts,
Nokia and Vivendi.

Soundcloud (www.soundcloud.com)

Berlin, Germany

What it does: Internet platform for musicians, producers and labels.

Why it’s hot: It allows musicians to upload large audio files, embed those tracks on websites and blogs and share them publicly or only to specified contacts. Listeners can comment on specific parts of the recording directly from the SoundCloud player.

Mind Candy (www.mindcandy.com)

London, England

What it does: Social online gaming.

Why it’s hot: Developer and publisher
of Moshi Monsters a “Facebook” for
young children that has attracted over 15 million players.

Klarna (www.klarna.se)

Stockholm, Sweden

What it does: Payment solutions that increase sales for the e-commerce sector.

Why it’s hot: Klarna is positioning itself
as a key player in the $40 billion global payments market.

Softonic (www.softonic.com)

Barcelona, Spain

What it does: Freeware/shareware for consumers.

Why it’s hot: It is Europe’s leading software download site with more than 105,000 freeware, shareware and trial version software titles available with reviews written in multiple European languages and Chinese.

Fotolia (www.fotolia.com)

Founded in France, now based in New
York City

What it does: Online social marketplace for creative digital stock images.

Why it’s hot: The fast growing service
offers over 11 million low-priced royalty free
images using a credit or subscription system.

Tradeshift (www.tradeshift.com)

Copenhagen, Denmark

What it does: Free invoicing tool

Why it’s hot: It’s using the Internet to disrupt how banks and credit card companies process payments between any kind of business.

Gaikai (www.gaikai.com)

Founded in Amsterdam, now based
in Aliso Viejo, California

What it does: Cloud-based gaming technology that streams video games
to any computer.

Why it’s hot: The technology promises
to bring new kinds of business models
and distribution methods to the
gaming industry.

Unity Technologies
(www.unity3D.com)

Founded in Denmark now based in San Francisco

What it does: Sophisticated development tools for interactive 3D games.

Why it’s hot: Its plug-in for web browsers allows the display of high-end graphics without the need to download games.

Videoplaza 

(www.videoplaza.com)

Stockholm, Sweden

What it does: Video ad server technology used by broadcasters, newspaper publishers and other media.

Why it’s hot: Its product allows content producers in multiple countries to target video advertising on mobile devices, tablets, digital magazines and other formats

Companies To Watch:

Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia

Getjar (www.getjar.com)

Founded in Lithuania, now based in San Mateo, California

What it does: Delivers more than 70,000 mobile applications to phones across all major software platforms.

Why it’s hot: A 2011 World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer, the company has so far generated more than 1 billion application downloads.

BeFunky.com (www.befunky.com)

Founded in Turkey, now based in Wilmington, Delaware

What it does: One-click photo enhancement tools.

Why it’s hot: The technology allows digital photos to be easily transformed into artwork.

AlterGeo (www.altergeo.com)

Moscow, Russia

What it does: Russian location-based
social service and provider of location positioning technology.

Why it’s hot: It is the first and biggest location-based social service in Russia and has developed its own location positioning technology which it licenses to some of the biggest Russian and European Internet companies, including Yandex and Mail.ru.

Anywayanyday.com
(anywayanyday.com)

Moscow, Russia.

What it does: Online air ticket sales and hotel reservations.

Why it’s hot: It is grabbing an increasing share of Russia’s $500 million online airline ticket sales market.

This story appeared in a print publication Informilo produced in partnership with Raconteur Media, which was distributed at Le Web in Paris December 8 and 9. The print publication is a beta version of a quarterly  on innovation, entrepreneurship and venture capital that Informilo and Raconteur Media plan to produce in the Times in 2011.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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