Web Summit attracts thousands of start-ups from across the world, so many it is hard to know which ones to focus on. Together with the Web Summit, Informilo has selected 25 young, promising or under-the-radar teams worth seeking out.
San Francisco, CA, U.S.
What it does: Cross-network ad platform.
Why it’s hot: AdStage is a self-service, cross-network, advertising platform with management and analytics that work across search, display, social and mobile ad networks like Google, Bing, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Founded in May 2012, AdStage has received $8.78 million in funding from Digital Garage, Verizon Ventures, Freestyle Capital and others. The company claims it’s used by more than 4,000 agencies and advertisers.
What it does: UX design tool for mobile apps.
Why it’s hot: Fuse is a UX tool suite that aims to close the gap between prototyping and development, allowing for faster app deployment. Interface designs can be updated in real time across devices. Fuse works on both iOS and Android. The company, founded in 2011, completed a $28 million funding round in January 2015. Total funding to date is reported to be $6.3 million. Backers include Alliance Venture and Northzone.
What it does: Big Data search engine for the physical world.
Why it’s hot: Since its foundation in February 2013 GeoSpock has been developing technology that enables extreme-scale geospatial applications to be run at a lower cost while maintaining sub-second response times regardless of the size of the dataset. Raised a total of $6.65 million. Investors include Cambridge Innovation Capital and Techstars.
What it does: Child tracking device.
Why it’s hot: Founded in 2011 in Israel, hereO makes what it claims is the world’s smallest child watch with built-in GPS and mobile tracking application. The standalone, cellular-connected children’s watch was designed to be worn by children aged 3 years and up. Together with its location app, hereO enables parents to follow their children all day. The company has raised some $4 million from undisclosed investors.
What it does: German fantasy soccer manager.
Why it’s hot: Unlike other games which rely on secondary sources, KickBase has a full Bundesliga license and relies on live data stream from the statistics service Opta, the official partner of the German league. After starting in Germany, the company is looking to extend to other European leagues. Kick Base (formerly KKSTR) is a product of KKSTR GmbH.
Boston, MA, U.S.
What it does: Analytics and marketing platform for mobile and web apps.
Why it’s hot: Localytics offers an integrated approach to app marketing and analytics to help customers such as ESPN, eBay, Fox and The New York Times automate and optimize each stage of the app lifecycle to keep users engaged and to deliver personalized experiences. A TechStars alumni, the company claims its products are used in more than 37,000 apps on more than 2.7 billion devices. Investors include Sapphire Ventures, Foundation Capital and Polaris Partners. It completed a $35 million Series D round in March bringing total investment to $59.75 million.
What it does: Transactional and marketing email delivery.
Why it’s hot: Mailjet is an email service provider that provides insight and deliverability results for both marketing and transactional emails.The company, founded in 2010, says it serves more than 26,000 clients in 156 countries, sending close to one billion emails a month. Its most recent funding round, Series B, in July, raised $11 million from eFounders, Iris Capital, Alven Capital and Seventure Partners. Total disclosed funding to date is $17.46 million.
What it does: Helps employers move workers overseas.
Why it’s hot: MOVE Guides helps employers solve the problems of moving employees overseas, handling shipping, as well as helping tackle immigration and tax affairs. It also provides access to services in the new country through its closed marketplace. Founded in 2011 by former investment banker Brynne Herbert, in October the company raised a $15.60 million Series B round. Investors include SaaS specialists Notion Capital. Previous investors include UK angel Sherry Coutu. Total announced investment to date is $26.23 million.
What it does: International money transfer app.
Why it’s hot: The Revolut app allows users to exchange currencies with no fees and at interbank rates, and to send money through social networks. It also provides a multi-currency card that can be used everywhere MasterCard is accepted, and in ATMs abroad. Its goal is to remove all hidden banking costs. In July Balderton Capital invested in a £1.5 million funding round.
What it does: Uber for jets.
Why it’s hot: The company has spent five years refining an algorithm it claims delivers the charter industry’s only 100-percent-accurate, real-time jet charter booking system for consumers. Its software generates live pricing for the up to 500 available aircraft in its database.The company recently announced a $5 million round from an unnamed backer to fund expansion into the U.S. and Asia.
New York, NY, U.S.
What it does: Access to celebrity talent.
Why it’s hot: Thuzio provides businesses and professionals with access to celebrity talent and influencers through an online platform, talent procurement services and event series. Founded by former NFL running back Tiki Barber the company lists more than 20,000 commercial profiles of current and former athletes, coaches and sports personalities available for hire. The company, founded in 2012, has raised some $18.96 million to date; its last round, for an undisclosed amount, was in October.
New York, NY, U.S.
What it does: Web-based project management tool.
Why it’s hot: Trello lets individuals, teams and companies organize projects via a highly visual interface. Launched in 2011 Trello claims over 10 million users on its freemium service, It has raised $10.3 million in a Series A round of funding led by Spark Capital and Index Ventures.
Dallas, TX, U.S.
What it does: Connected car platform.
Why it’s hot: Using a car’s OBD II data port, Vinli claims its device can sync nearly any auto made after 1996 to all of its drivers’ devices, opening up the vehicle to a range of apps and services, including safety, entertainment and onboard high-speed Wifi. In June the company announced a $6.5 million Series A round. Samsung Global Innovation Center led the round alongside Cox Automotive, Continental ITS and the Westly Group, an investor in Tesla.
San Francisco, CA, U.S.
What it does: GPS tracker for dogs.
Why it’s hot: Whistle’s monitoring system features a wireless device that attaches directly to a dog’s collar and a mobile app that allows pet owners to track their dog. Founded in 2012, Whistle closed a $15 million Series B round led by Nokia Growth Partners. Qualcomm, Melo7 Tech Partners, as well as QueensBridge Venture Partners. Existing investors, including Series A leader DCM and Slow Ventures, also participated. Whistle has raised $25 million to date.
Under The Radar
San Francisco, CA, U.S.
What it does: Auto-follow drone for adventure sports.
Why it’s hot: Airdog, originally launched in Riga, Latvia, makes a quadcopter drone designed for extreme sports that links to a device worn by the user and uses a GoPro to record his or her sport. It raised $1.4 million on Kickstarter last July that was followed by a $2 million seed round led by Seraph Group.
What it does: Semantic analysis tool.
Why it’s hot: Founded by Iranian-born and Dublin-resident Parsa Ghaffari, the company has developed a Text Analysis API, a package of eight natural language processing, machine learning and information retrieval tools for extracting insights and meaning from documents. The company was founded in 2011 and has received total venture funding of US$500,000 from SOSVentures and private investors.
What it does: Smart bike.
Why it’s hot: COBI is an integrated system that connects a bike with a smartphone, integrating six accessories into one system: light, bike-navigation, smartphone holder with charging function, alarm system, bell and bike computer. The Frankfurt company, founded in 2014, completed an undisclosed seed round last year.
San Francisco, CA, U.S.
What it does: Hardware device to help you sleep.
Why it’s hot: Dreem Headband claims to be the first active wearable that aims to make sleep better. Based on a stimulation process coming from research work in neurosciences, Dreem Headband augments the duration and the quality of deep sleep, a particular sleep stage where crucial biological processes take place such as memory consolidation, cellular regeneration or biological clock reset. Currently in beta.
What it does: Audience data marketplace.
Why it’s hot: Eyeota is a cloud-driven data marketplace that helps publishers, agencies, and advertisers to build, segment, monetize, and protect their audience data. Eyeota provides data to help marketers reach online audiences and cut campaign waste while also enabling publishers to monetize their audiences more widely. Founded in 2010 the company has offices in London, Berlin, Düsseldorf, Melbourne and Sydney. It has completed two undisclosed funding rounds. Investors include TA Venture and Project A Ventures.
What it does: Food redistribution platform.
Why it’s hot: Not-for-profit social enterprise FoodCloud connects businesses that have too much food, to charities in the community that don’t have enough. In July last year it announced a partnership with Tesco that sees surplus food from its 146 Irish stores redistributed to charities. Founded in 2013, the company has won a raft of awards.
What it does: Investment-grade information on start-ups.
Why it’s hot: Founded in Estonia, Funderbeam is a subscription service for discovering, tracking, and analyzing start-ups. The company closed a seed round last month, raising €655k ($745k) from angel investors and 3TS Capital Partners. This takes the company to €1.75 million ($2 million) in total. Existing investors include UK-based Rockspring and Jaan Tallinn, co-founder of Skype.
What it does: Customer tracking.
Why it’s hot: Lab4motion provides a real-time service aimed to help companies assess customer experience and so improve customer service both online and offline. Founded in 2011, and winner of the 2013 IBM SmartCamp Challenge, Lab4Motion provides real-time analytics of business processes allowing companies to assess the customer journey, customer experience and customer service. The company, based in Poznan, has reported total funding of $500k in three rounds, the latest in May 2015.
What it does: Adult sex toy.
Why it’s hot: The world of women’s sex toys has moved on from lurid pink phallic objects. Mystery Vibe’s Crescendo is a discreet device that bends and holds any shape. According to the company’s founder, Crescendo also lets users program the device. The company has raised £200k in seed round, although many venture capital funds have morality clauses that limit where they can invest.
What it does: Order drinks in a bar quicker.
Why it’s hot: Orderella aims to solve the problem of queuing for drinks in a bar by allowing users to order, and pay for, drinks at their table via a smartphone app. Drinkers receive an alert telling them when they are ready for collection. The company has rolled out to around 130 venues in the UK and Ireland. No funding details have been announced.
What it does: Adds e-commerce to any site.
Why it’s hot: Snipcart is a simple, HTML-based shopping cart. Since it’s HTML/JS-based, it allows developers to turn any website into an e-commerce platform. Snipcart gives access to a series of payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, Paymill, and Authorize.net. Founded in 2013, the company has not announced any funding details.