The EU startup scene
The European startup space is an exciting place to be right now. As investor Vivek Goyal notes at VentureBeat, music startups, fashion startups and platforms to grow the sharing economy are doing especially well in the EU right now.
That rising tide is lifting a lot of boats. Tech professionals are finding well-paid jobs, and startup founders are refuting old myths that markets in some EU countries are too set in their ways to be effectively disrupted.
Big things are on the horizon. Here are 20 EU startups worth keeping an eye on in the second half of 2016.
20 EU startups to follow
Algolia is building better ways for users to search on websites and in mobile apps. “We don’t want people to ‘search’ in the traditional type-keyword / hit-enter / wait-for-results / repeat-until-found-or-abandon way,” writes co-founder and CEO Nicolas Dessaigne. “We want them to intuitively access data.”
The company raised 18 million EUR last year to accelerate its efforts in building these tools and making them available to developers.
Fresh off of raising an eye-popping 109 million EUR, Cabify looks to take its rides-on-demand service throughout Europe and to Latin America to compete head-on with Uber. Cabify CEO Juan de Antonio also told the Wall Street Journal in April that his company plans to bring its parcel-delivery service into those new markets, too.
Catawiki hosts online auctions curated by professionals, who do the heavy lifting so customers can easily find noteworthy, curious, valuable items for sale without having to sift through thousands of listings, as on eBay. According to TechCrunch, Catawiki is poised to become a household name after its revenue grew 45,000% (yep, three zeroes) between 2011 and 2015.
ChartMogul founder Nick Franklin was one of the first hires at Zendesk, and he brings a wealth of experience in growing that company to his own startup, which provides intelligence and analytics to subscription-based businesses. ChartMogul’s team is small right now, but the company is hiring for several positions at the moment and clearly has its eyes set on the lucrative North American SaaS market.
Sales optimisation platform Datahug got a tremendous amount of press in 2013 and 2014, and since then it has quietly built its base of customers and perfected its software. Now, the company looks to be capitalising on that internal growth. It March, Datahug hired a new VP of Sales, Russ Hearl, who most recently grew event analytics app-maker DoubleDutch’s revenue from 250,000 USD to 20 million-plus USD annual recurring revenue in less than three years.
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Deliveroo, United Kingdom
Deliveroo has built one of the UK’s leading food-delivery platforms, but the company seems to have run into a problem: User growth is naturally limited by the supply of nearby restaurants. So, Deliveroo invested money from a recent funding round into RooBox, which will provide off-site kitchens for restaurants that need to raise their productive capacity just to meet the demands of hungry Britons.
Fortumo provides carrier billing services to millions of users in nearly 100 countries. This lets carriers give their customers the option to shop on mobile devices with one-click payment methods, which then becomes an item on their phone bills. In February, CB Insights named Fortumo one of 10 high-momentum companies to watch at this year’s Mobile World Congress.
Growbots in Warsaw is building a lead generation platform for businesses looking for ways to automatically grow their customer bases through email drip campaigns. The platform connects with a company’s CRM data so sales and marketing teams can simply queue up an email campaign and watch sales opportunities roll in.
Growbots just hit a big sales milestone, too:
Intercom has been a startup to watch for the last few years. The company provides a communication platform that lets sales, marketing, product and support teams connect with customers on whatever channel those customers need. Thanks to all the hard work Intercom’s team has been doing, the company saw a four-fold growth in revenue in 2015.
Mailjet was founded in 2010 to help companies send better emails. The company has grown steadily over the past six years, but now it looks poised to take off: It’s currently hiring for several positions in Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid and New York.
Pronto, United Kingdom
Pronto just raised 1 million GBP to take on incumbent delivery services like Deliveroo above. The company’s mission is a bit broader than most other delivery services, however. “Like Uber has made it possible to replace your car, we are replacing your kitchen,” the team writes. “We are building the food infrastructure of the future, that will feed hundreds of millions daily across our world.”
Qubit, United Kingdom
Developers of website optimisation software, Qubit’s spring 2016 release is pretty exciting. This release has a dynamic customer data segmentation feature that automatically adjusts whenever it notices changes in how website visitors behave.
“Adaptive targeting lets you manage these relationships at scale, understanding if a customer needs a different experience from one day to the next,” the company writes. It will be interesting to see how Qubit’s customers will seize the opportunities this kind of technology creates.
Like a few other companies on this list, SoundCloud is big enough that plenty of people are already watching every move it makes. But it just made a huge move: SoundCloud recently launched its subscription service SoundCloud Go in the UK and Ireland after a successful rollout in the United States.
Additionally, it’s created a new way for companies to advertise on the SoundCloud platform, giving them a new channel to reach the 175 million-plus people who listen every month.
StoreMe in Vienna just launched its “Airbnb for storage space” platform, but that’s something that could grow quickly. The service lets users take advantage of free space in someone else’s basement, garage or attic, where they pay a per-unit rate to store things they might not otherwise have room for.
TeamViewer is already huge: The company says that at any one time its remote access and online meeting software is live on 20 million-plus devices. Here’s the thing: The company raked in a healthy amount of revenue in 2015 (Tech.eu’s Robin Wauters puts the figure “around 180 million EUR”), and TeamViewer CEO Andreas König says the company has identified the Internet of Things as a growth area.
One of the shining stars of Lisbon’s startup scene, Talkdesk makes call center software that brings a whole new level of intel to customer phone support. Today, big companies such as Dropbox and Peet’s Coffee & Tea are using Talkdesk’s software. Consequently, co-founder Cristina Fonseca said the company was “growing like crazy” at Disrupt London last year.
Tradeshift is a business-to-business social network “that connects buyers, suppliers and their processes” in one place. In a press release, co-founder and CEO Christian Lanng noted that the company saw a 250% boost in the value of transactions on Tradeshift in 2015. “Our customers are transacting billions of dollars across the network on a monthly basis as they reap the reward of digital transformation,” he said.
Vinted is a platform that lets its current base of 12 million users buy, sell and swap second-hand clothes and accessories. Just before Christmas 2015, the company raised 27 million USD to expand beyond its current markets into the EU and the US.
Wanty connects people who are going to an event — such as a conference — or people who’d just like to find someone to join them for a day of rock-climbing or a Sunday-afternoon coffee. The company just hit the 20,000-user mark and is working now to grow across the whole continent.
XtreeE offers large-scale 3D printing, mostly targeted to construction and engineering companies. 2016 is poised to be a big year for the company. “Several projects are underway including printing multiple complex large parts (over 4 meters each),” CEO Philippe Morel tells French news site Batiweb.com.