To identify the most promising fast-growing internet companies in Europe and Israel, Informilo asked some of the most active investors in the sector to nominate and evaluate 25 companies outside their own portfolios. Informilo’s Top 25 are not necessarily the biggest or the the most senior companies in their respective sectors; they are the ones that are growing the most quickly. Many of these companies attended the NOAH conference in London. Read on to see who’s on the list.
What it does:Open-source enterprise content management platform.
Why it’s hot: Claims to be the second-largest open-source player in the market, after Red Hat, with 5.6 million users spread across 161,000 companies. 2011 revenues were just under $100 million in revenues, and the company is considering an IPO in 2013 (if not before). It raised $20 million in venture funding from Accel, Mayfield and SAP Ventures in 2008. Recently launched The Alfresco Cloud, which hopes to take some market share from Dropbox and Box.net. Alfresco was founded by Documentum Co-founder John Newton and former COO of Business Objects John Powell.
La Plaine Saint-Denis, France
What it does:Online shopping club.
Why it’s hot: One of Europe’s largest private member e-commerce websites, selling heavily discounted designer fashion and homewares across Europe. In 2010 Accel Partners invested €37 million. In 2011 revenues were €130 million; it now has approximately 15 million users. The company is expanding quickly, and the site is growing at 200,000 new members a month.
What it does:Free online games.
Why it’s hot: King.com offers over 150 exclusive games in 14 languages through its website, mobile devices, Google+, and Facebook, where it is a top 10 Facebook developer, and the second most popular game provider, with more than 11 million daily active users. Overall, its games are played by 40 million players more than 3 billion times each month. Planning an IPO on Nasdaq next year.
What it does:Social network “for meeting new people.”
Why it’s hot: Has 164 million members in 180 countries; more than 100,000 new members join every day. Currently available in 40 languages via Badoo.com and various social/mobile platforms as an iPhone, Android, Facebook & Desktop application. More than 5 million adults visit Badoo daily and millions more come more often, each spending well above average time on the site. It is rumored to be considering an IPO on Nasdaq.
What it does:Online takeaway ordering service.
Why it’s hot: Active on four continents with more than 20,000 restaurants on its network; used by millions of takeaway customers every month. Raised $64 million from private equity group Vitruvian Partners and other investors in May to support acquisitions of smaller rivals, Europe’s largest e-commerce fundraise for 2012. Claims that less than 10% of all takeaway orders in the world take place online, so there is still plenty of growth out there.
What it does:A fee-free platform for e-billing and payments.
Why it’s hot: With a growth rate of 60% a month, this Danish-born venture recently raised $7 million to expand the business. It is now active in 190 countries; customers include the EU’s new procurement platform, as well as the UK’s National Health Service.
What it does:Digital, real-time short-term loans for consumers and businesses.
Why it’s hot: Wonga’s technology platform allows it to make swift credit decisions, yet maintain positive cash flow with very tight lending restrictions (in 2011 revenue exceeded £73 million and profits were £16.6 million). Recently named the number one company in the Sunday Times Tech Track 100. Allegedly considering a stock market float in the US as early as next year which could value the company above £1 billion.
What it does:A leader in performance display advertising.
Why it’s hot: Profitable since 2009, but still raised a EU30 million round of funding in September, led by SoftBank Capital. The company was a beta partner of the Facebook Exchange, which lets Criteo tap into inventory that accounted for 28% of total U.S. online ad impressions last year. Its 3,000 advertisers in 39 countries are mainly in retail, travel and classified categories, but the firm is working on a “top-of-funnel CPC product” that would appeal to auto, finance and telecom brands. Also allegedly being considered for acquisition by Yahoo.
What it does: Developer of casual games across multiple platforms – iOS, Android, Windows Phone, OSX, Windows, Facebook.
Why it’s hot: Angry Birds, Rovio’s breakthrough game, hasn’t just made it on to multiple platforms — it’s now part of the collective consciousness. Launched in December 2009, the game has been downloaded more than 500m times and has spawned real-world stores to sell fluffy versions of its grumpy avians and pigs as well as apparel. Last year Rovio scored a $42m funding round; CEO Mikael Hed hasn’t ruled out more funding before an IPO.
What it does: Mobile app to identify music.
Why it’s hot: Bar-goers have since 2002 been holding their handsets up to speakers so the Shazam app can identify the music they’re listening to. Since then it has morphed into a powerful marketing tool: the user can now not only to identify the music in, say, an ad, but also buy the goods featured in the ad, concert tickets, the track itself, etc. In June 2011 it raised $32 million in funding. It boasts 250 million users, adds two million new users a week, and claims to have identified more than five billion songs. Now it is expanding onto second screens, making TV ads “Shazamable,” allowing its large user base to buy not just music but all sorts of merchandise connected with programming.
What it does:Creator of Moshi Monsters, an online world for kids.
Why it’s hot: Founded in 2004 by Michael Acton Smith, a UK-based entrepreneur who previously founded Firebox.com. Over 65 million kids have joined the site online and Moshi is now expanding successfully offline into books, magazines, trading cards, toys, videos games, music, mobile apps, and cartoons. Moshi Magazine launched in February 2011 and is now the largest UK kids title in the UK. In March the company signed a major partnership deal with Sony Music.
What it does:European social game developer.
Why it’s hot: Nordeus’s game, Top Eleven, is the most-played online sports game in the world, with more than 6 million monthly and 2 million daily users on web, Android and iOS devices. Won the People’s Choice Award for best start-up at London Web Summit 2012.
What it does:Real-time social gaming developer.
Why it’s hot: Since pivoting to become a “tablet-first” publisher the company has released two games: Hay Market and Clash of Clans; one is a global hit; the other a blockbuster. The company is now generating revenues of $500,000 a day.
What it does:Seeks to provide a zero-friction online payment solution that allows consumers and merchants to interact with each other safely and simply.
Why it’s hot: Klarna lets the consumer receive the goods first and pay afterwards, while the company assumes the credit and fraud risks for the merchants. Klarna is one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies; in the past even years it has grown to 700 employees operating in seven European countries with over seven million consumers.
What it does: Streaming music service with close social media interactivity and mobile apps.
Why it’s hot: Allows users to stream music from the big music players and smaller independent labels using either a free, ad-supported service or a premium ad-free service. Now requires a Facebook account, so has enormous potential reach; recently declared itself a “platform,” encouraging developers to write apps for it. Users can share playlists, driving social crowdsourcing for events big and small; premium users can also access and share music on most mobile devices.
What it does: Social sound platform where anyone can create sounds and share them.
Why it’s hot: SoundCloud allows sound creators to instantly record or upload original audio content, embed sound across websites and blogs, share publicly and privately, receive detailed analytics, plus get feedback from the community directly onto the waveform. Has signed up more than 15 million “sound creators.” In January raised an undisclosed amount in a round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. GGV Capital also participated. The investment will allow SoundCloud to continue to expand more rapidly.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
What it does:Social investment network.
Why it’s hot: 1.75 million traders have placed more than 17 million trades through eToro’s award-winning OpenBook and WebTrader platforms since January 2012. Traders can learn from each other, share live trading information and use their collective trading power. Received Best of Show at FinovateFall for its Social Trading Index, which enables traders to create their own indices and make them available to the eToro investment network.
New York, NY, USA
What it does:Content discovery platform.
Why it’s hot:“Content marketing” — creating and sharing content to engage current and potential consumer bases — is gaining traction. Outbrain is well-positioned for a shift to a greater emphasis on content; its installed on more than 90,000 blogs and websites. American Express, Proctor & Gamble, GE and General Mills use it as part of their marketing strategy to reach target audiences.
Tel Aviv, Israel
What it does:Free publishing platform for websites, Facebook pages and mobile sites.
Why it’s hot: Raised $58.5 million in funding in four rounds since 2007. Has some 27 million users; over 20 million web sites have been built using Wix and more than one million mobile sites. The company claims to be adding a million new users a month. Last year it launched “FB eStore,” which allows companies to take payments, via PayPal, directly on their Facebook fan pages. Some surveys say 40% of small businesses use Facebook as their sole marketing channel, giving Wix a good market to grow into.
palo alto, ca, usA
What it does:Free navigation and traffic service that creates “local driving communities that work together to improve the quality of everyone’s daily driving.”
Why it’s hot:Has a community of 13 million global “traffic resisters” who keep users informed about road conditions in real time. In February Waze integrated Foursquare and Yelp points of interest into the service. Consistently the number one navigation app in the Android Marketplace.
foster city, ca, us
What it does:Cloud-based tools to help web and mobile publishers engage their audience.
Why it’s hot:More than 260,000 publishers and 250 million end users in 120 countries use Conduit tools, including Major League Baseball, Time Warner Cable, Chelsea Football Club, Groupon, and Fox News. In April, Conduit was valued at $1.3 billion when investor Yozma Venture Capital sold its stake and J.P. Morgan’s fund bought 7% of the company for $100 million.
What it does: Free text, calling, photo messages and location-sharing with other Viber users.
Why it’s hot: Founded by American-Israeli entrepreneur Talmon Marco, Viber is growing fast: it had more than 100 million users as of September, up from 65 million in July. It’s available on a range of platforms, and in 10 languages. Disrupting mobile operators and the previous generation of disruptors, such as Skype.
tel aviv, israel
What it does:Digital marketing software focused on search marketing and online advertising.
Why it’s hot:$25 billion+ in annual client sales revenue is directed through Kenshoo, which has campaigns running in more than 190 countries with clients including Expedia, Facebook, Hitwise, Omnicom, Travelocity, and Zappos. Backed by Sequoia Capital and Arts Alliance, the company delivers 1 billion+ Facebook ads and 1.5 billion+ SEM impressions a day. A market leader with a solid position in a growth market.
palo alto, ca, us
What it does:Offers online businesses social infrastructure to integrate social network functionality throughout their web properties.
Why it’s hot:Works with more than 600 enterprises, including 44 of the top 100 websites. Gigya finished Q3 2012 with record growth in key metrics; the company is on track to triple 2011 revenue after seven consecutive quarters of double-digit sales growth. After securing an additional $15.3 million in funding in June, the company has scaled rapidly. Social infrastructure has become a requirement for online businesses; Gigya’s approach of offering everything a site needs to be social puts it in a good position for future growth.
menlo Park, ca, usA
What it does: Cloud-based solution to make ERP systems easy to install, use, upgrade, and maintain.
Why it’s hot: Panaya’s software-as-a-service helps companies that use SAP or Oracle to reduce 80% of their upgrade and testing risk and effort. Used on 2,500 ERP systems among 500 customers in 54 countries. Management team are all seasoned professionals with 15+ years experience in the tech sector.