Europe’s early-stage tech scene is thriving with a raft of innovative and challenging companies emerging across the region. Informilo asked investors and industry experts to nominate and evaluate the top 25 hottest European early-stage companies outside their own portfolios to come up with a list of what they consider to be Europe’s hottest early-stage companies.
What it does: Cyber intelligence service.
Why it’s hot: Companies expose a great deal of information online, particularly through social media. Hackers use this to launch focused attacks. Spanning over tens of millions of sources of information, Digital Shadows delivers a “hacker’s eye view” of an organization, then identifies and helps mitigate risks. Customers include some of the world’s largest banks.
What it does: Web-based farm management tools.
Why it’s hot: Farmeron helps bring dairy farm records online and boosts farms’ results with actionable metrics. Its reports can be used to monitor production performance and adjust production plans and support reporting requirements. In May it raised $2.65 million in funding, bringing total funding to more than $4 million. Rumored to be negotiating funding with Monsanto.
What it does: Helps developers make better games.
Why it’s hot: GameAnalytics provides free analytics services to game developers, supporting nearly 12,000 games and tracking a total of over one billion players since the launch of its service in 2013. The company has a data engineering team in Berlin and a commercial team in London. Gameanalytics has raised $2.5 million in funding from Sunstone Capital, Crunchfund, and angels.
What it does: Log management and analytics.
Why it’s hot: Logentries delivers business insights from machine-generated log data for development, IT and business operations teams of all sizes. It supports more than 25,000 users from over 100 countries; customers include Macy’s, Mailchimp, and the Financial Times. In October 2013 Logentries raised $10 million in one of Europe’s largest “A-Round” investments.
What it does: E-commerce intelligence.
Why it’s hot: Profitero provides more than 50 retailers — including Staples, Sam’s Club and Waitrose — with competitors’ prices, promotions and product information. It also helps brands enhance online sales and market positioning by delivering daily online metrics. In June the company raised $8 million from Polaris Partners to double its engineering team and expand in the U.S.
What it does: Customer experience platform.
Why it’s hot: Qubit collects more than 300 data points to help its customers understand visitors in granular detail. Founded by four former Google employees, Qubit’s visitor data hub processes more than 1.5 billion customer events online every day. In September it closed a $26 million Series B round, investors included Accel Partners; Salesforce Ventures and Balderton Capital.
What it does: Improves yield for e-commerce merchants.
Why it’s hot: Yieldify’s analytics platform converts visitors into customers. It influences user behavior to drive down cart abandonment. Its communications increase the opt-in rate to 5%-30%, which translates into a real increase of 1,000%-6,000% (average opt-ins are typically just 0.5%). Clients include O2, Phillips and Play.com. It closed a $1.3m round with leading angel investors in March.
What it does: Information for fixed income liquidity.
Why it’s hot: Algomi connects fixed income professionals, letting them make better trading relationships in a landscape of changing capital, leverage and liquidity requirements. The services are live or being installed in nine banks, and Algomi will open its network to the buyside later this year. Rumored to be on the verge of raising a round that will give it a $400 million valuation.
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
What it does: Bitcoin wallet and website.
Why it’s hot: Blockchain’s site began as a Blockchain explorer intended to make it easier for Bitcoin users to study transactions and analyze the bitcoin economy. Shortly after, Blockchain Wallet was launched. The company has raised more than $30 million from investors in the U.S. and UK.
What it does: Global transaction network for the fund industry.
Why it’s hot: Calastone claims its automated transaction service has enabled the fund industry to reduce the cost of transactions by over 60%. It has more than 450 clients and 4,200 network connections and has carried order value in excess of $280 billion. In 2013 the company raised $18 million from Accel Partners and shareholder Octopus Investments.
What it does: Crowd-sourced funding for SMEs.
Why it’s hot: Funding Circle has enabled 30,000 investors to lend £285 million to British businesses. £130 million was lent out in 2013 alone. In October the company merged with U.S.-based Endurance Lending Network; it recently acquired LeapPay to speed up loan turnaround time and support U.S. expansion. It has raised $65 million in funding.
What it does: Online investment management.
Why it’s hot: Nutmeg is the UK’s first online discretionary fund manager. It serves more than 35,000 users and is one of the top 25 wealth managers in the UK. In June it raised $32 million from Balderton Capital, Schroders, Charles Dunstone and existing investors Draper Associates and Armada Investment Group, to reach $50 million in total funding.
What it does: Foreign currency transfer services.
Why it’s hot: TransferWise keeps currency transfer costs down by using the real exchange rate and charging a low service fee. In April the company announced it has helped its customers to make foreign exchange transfers totaling £1 billion so far. In May 2013, Valar Ventures, Peter Thiel’s VC fund, led a $6 million round for TransferWise, bringing the total raised to $7.35 million.
Web And Mobility
What it does: Real-time, multi-screen digital advertising platform.
Why it’s hot: Adbrain enables global advertisers to use data to better understand and reach mobile-first, multi-screen consumers. Following a $1.5 million seed investment in June 2013, in March 2014 Adbrain raised $7.5 million in Series A funding from Octopus Investments and Notion Capital. The round will help expansion into the U.S. and Europe.
San Francisco, CA, U.S.
What it does: Connected monitoring system for pregnant women.
Why it’s hot: Slovenian-Croatian start-up Bellabeat has developed tools to monitor the health of pregnant women and their babies. Its app connects mothers with a community. Bellabeat won first prize in the 2013 Pioneers Festival start-up competition, was asked to join Y Combinator’s March class in Silicon Valley and has raised $4.5 million in funding.
What it does: Multi-modal transport and mapping app.
Why it’s hot: Citymapper’s app provides real-time routing using multiple methods of transport in London, New York, Berlin and Paris. It uses feeds from open data sources to suggest routes in real time. In April it raised $10 million in a round led by Balderton Capital. Existing investors Connect Ventures, Index Ventures and Greylock Partners also participated.
What it does: Premium food delivery service.
Why it’s hot: Deliveroo delivers meals from high-quality restaurants that are not exclusively take-aways. The company also delivers customers’ orders itself. Initially funded by JamJar Investments and angels, in June the company raised £2.75 million from Index Ventures and Hoxton Ventures for European expansion and logistics platform enhancements.
What it does: Web-based product design platform.
Why it’s hot: Desall enables companies and private clients to reach a global community of designers who can participate in the creation of new products in the industrial, craft and interior design fields. Clients such as Alessi, Illy, and Luxottica have so far run 36 design contests which yielded 8,350 designs. Funded by and based at the H-Farm venture Incubator in Italy.
What it does: DIY computer kit.
Why it’s hot: Kano is a computer users build and code themselves, based on the Raspberry Pi with child-friendly assembly and programming instructions. As of September Kano had received pre-orders for 18,000 kits and had started shipping to 86 countries. Kano’s Kickstarter campaign raised more than $1.5 million. Index Ventures’ Saul Klein is a co-founder and an investor.
What it does: Social fashion shopping site.
Why it’s hot: Lyst partners with thousands of leading brands and stores, so users can follow favorites and shop from one place. It has grown over 400% in each of the past two years, and generates $60 million for its brands. Two million shoppers visit the site each month. In January it raised a $14 million round led by Balderton Capital; existing investors DFJ Esprit and Accel participated.
What it does: Members-only travel flash sale site.
Why it’s hot: Secret Escapes negotiates exclusive discounted rates (up to 70% off) for luxury hotels and holidays. In 2013 membership more than doubled, to over four million in the UK alone; revenue tripled to £65 million. Secret Escapes has raised more than £14 million from Index Ventures, Octopus Investments and Atlas Venture. It launched in the U.S. earlier this year.
What it does: Smart mobile keyboard.
Why it’s hot: Swiftkey builds apps that learn from users to make text entry easier and faster. In 2013 and 2012 its app spent more days as Google Play’s No.1 paid download than any other. SwiftKey raised $17.5 million in September 2013 from Index Ventures, Octopus, Cambridge Capital Group and angels, bringing total funding to $21.6 million.
What it does: Personal stylists for men and women.
Why it’s hot: Thread gives people their own personal stylist for free to help them find the clothes they love. The company plans to scale by combining human stylists with clever algorithms — the aim is to get to one stylist per 10,000 clients. The company has raised $2.5 million in seed funding from a number of prominent business angels, Y Combinator and Passion Capital.
What it does: Free online store creation platform.
Why it’s hot: Tictail enables users to set up an online store in minutes. Launched in May 2012, it currently supports more than 55,000 stores in 110 countries and is aiming for 100,000 stores by the end of 2014. Tictail has raised more than $10 million in funding, from investors including Balderton Capital, Thrive Capital, Klaus Hommels, and Summly’s Nick D’Aloisio.
What it does: Hotel meta-search engine.
Why it’s hot: Top10’s TopRank uses popularity data, customer reviews, location, price and research from its own travel experts to sort through thousands of relevant hotels to create a simple Top10 list for any destination. Currently driving more than 3,000 bookings per month. In March the company raised $8 million in Series B funding bring total funding raised to date to $12.5 million.