To identify the Top 25 EMEA companies to watch in 2016, Informilo asked investors to nominate start-ups outside their own portfolios. Since Europe and Israel have an abundance of great start-ups we have not included late-stage companies that are expected to IPO in the next 12 to 18 months such as Spotify, Outbrain, Taboola, Adyen, Klarna, Takeaway and Delivery Hero.
What it does: Online auction house.
Why it’s hot: Auctionata’s livestream auction broadcasts enable users around the world to bid at any time, from any device. The company recorded total net sales of €31.5 million in 2014, and €35.7 million in the first half of 2015. In March MCI Management led a €42 million Series C round, bringing total funding close to €90 million.
What it does: Ride-sharing community.
Why it’s hot: BlaBlaCar, a pioneer in this space, has 20 million members across 19 countries and transports more than 10 million people every quarter, creating an entirely new, people-powered transport network. In September it raised $200 million in a round led by Insight Venture Partners, Lead Edge Capital and Vostok New Ventures, which values the company at $1.58 billion.
What it does: Hyper-local premium food delivery service.
Why it’s hot: Deliveroo delivers meals from more than 5,000 high-quality restaurants. It delivers customers’ orders itself in 23 European cities and plans to expand in Asia soon. In November Deliveroo raised $100 million from Digital Sky Technologies and existing investors Accel Partners, Index Ventures and Hummingbird Ventures, bringing total funding to roughly $200 million.
What it does: High-end sound systems.
Why it’s hot: Founded in 2007, Devialet created what it calls the first hybrid technology to combine the precision of analog amplification with the power of digital amplification, giving its products “a never heard before sound quality.” The company holds more than 88 patents and has won more than 50 awards. In September it closed a $20 million round with existing investors.
Tel Aviv, Israel
What it does: Global online marketplace offering tasks and services, usually for $5.
Why it’s hot: Fiverr provides a “living marketplace” for millions of micro-entrepreneurs in 196 countries. There have been 25 million transactions on the site since it launched in 2011. In November Fiverr raised $60 million from Square Peg Capital and existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners and Qumra Capital, bringing total funding to $110 million.
What it does: Delivers meal kits.
Why it’s hot: HelloFresh, a Rocket Internet company, delivers pre-measured ingredients and recipes so users can make meals at home. The service is available in seven countries and serves more than four million meals a month. Its 2015 revenues were €70 million. In September HelloFresh raised €75 million from Scottish investment firm Baille Gifford, at a €2.6 billion valuation.
What it does: Online 3D printing.
Why it’s hot: Founded in 2013, 3D Hubs aims to connect all 3D printers globally into one online platform and make them locally accessible. It’s already providing more than one billion people with access to 3D printing within 10 miles of their homes. There are now more than 22,000 printers in the network. The company raised a $4.5 million Series A round from Balderton Capital in 2014.
Paris, France/San Francisco, CA, U.S.
What it does: Search-as-a-service provider.
Why it’s hot: Founded in 2012 in Paris, Algolia provides a hosted search API that allows websites and mobile applications to increase user engagement and conversions. It has over 1,000 customers in 70 countries. Customers include Birchbox, Medium and WeWork. In May it raised an $18.3 million Series A round led by Accel Partners. The funding will be used for product development, international expansion.
What it does: Predictive analytics for the travel sector.
Why it’s hot: bd4travel uses big data and machine learning to enable travel sites, including Expedia, to provide offers and services to potential travelers. It claims its services can save customers 10% to 30% of the cost of digital sales. The company has raised $4.2 million in Series A funding from Hoxton Ventures, B2B and SaaS VC fund Talis Capital, and British investor Robin Klein.
What it does: App and social network for sport fishing.
Why it’s hot: Sometimes called the Instagram of fishing, FishBrain’s vision is to help the 200 million anglers in the world catch more and bigger fish. The service was launched in 2013 and now boasts more than one million registered users. In July it raised $8 million in a round led by NorthZone,which included new investors Recruit Strategic Partners and Novel TMT Ventures.
What it does: Work sabbatical marketplace.
Why it’s hot: Jobbatical runs a marketplace and matching service to enable individuals looking for a professional career break to use their skills and knowhow to work on short-term projects in more than 30 countries around the world. In September the company raised €510,000 in funding from SmartCap, online media company Ekspress Group and several angel investors.
What it does: Audience monetization platform.
Why it’s hot: Kiosked’s platform turns publishers’ content into targeted ad placements based on contextual and behavioral data. The company now has several hundred premium publisher clients around the world that are monetizing more than three billion impressions per month. In December it raised a $30 million Series B round from European institutional investors.
What it does: Crowdsourced street photos.
Why it’s hot: Mapillary’s service enables anyone using a smartphone or action camera to collect photos that are then combined into a collective street-level photo view. The company claims that for private and non-commercial use its service will always be free. In January 2015 Sequoia led a $1.5 million seed round; Playfair, Wellington LDV Capital and a number of angels also invested.
What it does: Property crowd-funding.
Why it’s hot: Launched in January 2015, Property Partner allows anyone to invest in property to rent, for as little as £50. Its 5,200 investors receive a share of rental income and of any upside if the property is sold. It charges 2% of the purchase price and 12.5% of rental income. In March Property Partner raised £5.2 million from Index Ventures, Octopus Ventures and Seedcamp.
What it does: Nanotechnology company.
Why it’s hot: StoreDot has discovered self-assembled nanodots of biological origin, and has put these at the core of several patented innovations. Its flash battery can recharge mobile phones in minutes rather than hours. It’s now developing an electric car battery that would recharge in six minutes. StoreDot has raised $66 million, including an $18 million Series C round in 2015.
What it does: Surgery simulation app.
Why it’s hot: Touch Surgery’s free mobile and tablet app was designed to give trainee surgeons instructions on how to perform different surgeries and then test their knowledge. (Although a number of its 600,000 users are patients learning about their own procedures.) It has raised $2.5 million in two rounds; investors include Balderton Capital, Blueprint Health and Episode 1.
What it does: Online used car marketplace.
Why it’s hot: CarPrice, co-founded by serial entrepreneur Oskar Hartmann, claims to be Russia’s largest broker and online auction house for used cars. It works with more than 1,000 dealers across Russia and is on track to run 10,000 auctions each month. In July it raised a Series B round of $40 million to support growth in Russia and international expansion plans.
What it does: Student accommodation booking service.
Why it’s hot: Uniplaces is an online marketplace for student accommodation. Since its launch in 2013 it has helped more than 10,000 students from 165 countries book 30,000 places at properties in 40 cities. Booking values grew 1,000% in 2015. In November it raised a $24 million Series A round led by Atomico; Octopus Ventures, Shilling Capital Partners. Caixa Capital also invested.
Tel Aviv, Israel
What it does: Maritime tracking and big data analysis.
Why it’s hot: Windward aggregates and analyzes maritime data, providing an actionable picture of what’s happening at sea. Its services are used by intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies. In April it raised $10.8 million from Hong-Kong based Horizon Ventures; it previously raised $5 million. The funds are financing a platform for traders, investors and analysts.
Under the Radar
What it does: Alternative currency trading platform.
Why it’s hot: CRYEX aims to provide a trusted gateway between the traditional regulated financial industry and digital currencies. The company was founded by financial industry veterans. Its exchange launched in March 2015. In May CRYEX raised $10 million in funding from White Star Capital, Northzone and high-profile investors from the financial sector.
What it does: Encrypted enterprise messaging.
Why it’s hot: Crypho enables businesses to create real-time confidential communications channels (chat, file transfers, video conferencing, meetings) across companies. All data is strongly encrypted end-to-end, with keys only held by the users. Crypho is used by financial institutions, journalists, lawyers, software companies and human rights activists in more than 70 countries.
What it does: Global start-up community.
Why it’s hot: F6S provides a platform for founders and start-ups. It claims that each day thousands of start-ups apply to accelerators, pitch to investment funds, post or apply for jobs, and get free deals through its site. (The F6S name comes from shortening the six letters between the “f” and “s” in “founders.”) The company has received an undisclosed amount of funding in a seed round.
What it does: Interactive cooking app.
Why it’s hot: Kitchen Stories provides recipes in 12 languages and a platform to share them on. The recipes have been exclusively developed by top chefs. The app has been downloaded more than four million times. In January 2015 it raised $1.8 million from Point Nine Capital and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments.
What it does: Insurance analytics platform.
Why it’s hot: QuanTemplate is a secure cloud platform that enables wholesale insurance and reinsurance companies to report, share and analyze data. The platform reduces time and cost spent on reporting and analytics. In September it raised £5.25 million in seed funding from Route 66 Ventures, Anthemis Group, Transamerica Ventures and Allianz Digital Corporate Ventures.
What it does: Online marketing for restaurants.
Why it’s hot: Zenchef’s mission is to help restaurants attract more customers through online marketing. It offers an all-in-one booking system that aims to strengthen online visibility, better convert visitors into customers and increase customer knowledge and loyalty. Zenchef claims that on average its 2,500 customers in France, Spain and the UK each make £2,246 of extra revenue per year. In November it raised €6 million in new funding.