As Europe excels at deep tech, we highlight 20 start-ups to watch in 2018 in the areas of AI, enterprise and SaaS technology.
With the business world hurtling towards greater digitalisation, the entire purpose of information technology (IT) is being challenged to deliver more – and, especially, to deliver more insights.
Once upon a time, IT was all about the servers in the building and computers on your desks. Now, IT in the business world is all about cloud, and vital data can be accessed from anywhere on any device.
The fluid nature of data in a world of software as a service (SaaS), analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) requires nimble, ambitious start-ups that could one day be the next Oracle, IBM or Microsoft.
When it comes to deep tech, Europe is cultivating a complex tapestry of vibrant young companies intent on making data the material of our age.
From Dublin to London to Istanbul, Tel Aviv and Kiev, young start-ups with data in their veins are ready to take on the world.
— Algolia (@algolia) December 12, 2017
Algolia is a SaaS start-up that was founded in Paris in 2012. A hosted search engine API, Algolia provides product teams with the resources and tools they need to create fast, relevant searches.
Algolia was founded by Julien Lemoine and Nicolas Dessaigne, and has enjoyed five successful funding rounds, the most recent of which was in September of last year. While this amount of funding is unknown at the time of writing, Algolia’s previous funding round in June 2017 yielded an incredible $53m.
Anodot (Tel Aviv)
Gain crucial business insights from your data
Posted by Anodot on Tuesday, February 2, 2016
With data being touted as the ‘new oil’, businesses around the globe are collecting as much data as they possibly can, only to find that they don’t necessarily understand what to do with it.
Israeli data science firm Anodot uses machine-learning technology to track anomalies in your business in real time with the hopes of providing insights that could prevent revenue leaks or brand-damaging incidents.
At the time of writing, the company has raised $27.5m in capital across four funding rounds. Its most recent Series B round in December 2017 drummed up $15m between three investors: Redline Capital (lead investor), Aleph VC and Disruptive Technologies VC.
Chanty is a Ukraine-based start-up behind a revolutionary new AI-powered business messaging platform. Chanty was founded to help small teams, start-ups and SMBs to become more productive, efficient and successful.
The start-up was founded in 2016 by Dmytro Okunyev, Olga Mykhoparkina and Nick Kamyshan (an expert in communication and collaboration). Its first product is an AI-powered business messenger and a single notification centre.
Chanty features instant messages with an unlimited searchable history as well as robust file sharing. It unites notifications from multiple software services in a single place.
Clarida Technologies (London)
Clarida Technologies develops automated data discovery software for the government, healthcare and industry sectors. Its products are built for non-technical people with zero programming skills. It can, within minutes, handle billions of data records and different forms of data.
Founded in 2016 by Jonas and Robin Poelmans, Clarida recently raised €5m from unnamed investors in a round that values the company at around €100m.
— COREDINATE (@COREDINATE) January 3, 2018
German start-up Coredinate is a fully integrated, professional and innovative solution for security companies. Founded in 2012 by Günter Meier, Coredinate helps companies to upgrade and improve their security or their documentation maintenance for a more streamlined system.
Coredinate’s clients include top security companies from all over Germany, including Pond Security and AC Security Service.
Coredinate has had two rounds of funding, and its most recent one was in September of last year. The seed round raised €1.9m from three investors, with MWN Equity Investment as the lead investor.
DigitalGenius’s Human+AI platform integrates with existing CRM tools to give human operators some chatbot assistance for the more repetitive parts of customer service.
Having already built up millions in early-stage funding since 2014, this AI start-up stormed out of its Series A round with a whopping $14.75m at the close of 2017. Global Founders Capital led this investment, while Salesforce Ventures continued its backing of the company.
The founding team is divided between the EMEA and US offices, with CEO Dmitry Aksenov and CTO Bogdan Maksak in London, while CSO and president Mikhail Naumov runs the show in San Francisco.
— elium (@eliumhq) January 3, 2018
‘Intranet’ is a stale word you’re not likely to encounter in modern, digitised workplaces. Belgium’s Elium bills its service as a ‘knowledge-sharing platform’, with all the slick design, features and third-party integration that a workforce familiar with social media and collaborative online tools has come to expect. All this has added up to stable, major clients such as L’Oréal and a €4m Series A funding round from Serena Capital in the summer of 2017.
Formerly known as Knowledge Plaza, the original company co-founded by Antoine Perdaens acquired HyperWeek led by Raphaël Briner, who is now co-founder and CMO at Elium.
French software company FlexyBeauty was founded in 2014 to offer a SaaS suite for hairdresser, beauty and spa salons. It aims to make it easier for clients to book appointments, process online payments and manage customer files.
Based in Paris, FlexyBeauty is led by CEO and co-founder Ilan Koskas and last year raised €1.5m in seed funding from Newfund Capital. Last summer, EU-Startups named FlexyBeauty as one of 10 European start-ups with the potential to disrupt the beauty industry.
— FreightHub (@freighthub_com) May 28, 2017
FreightHub is a digital asset-free freight-forwarding company located in Berlin. The company leverages state-of-the-art technology to provide seamless processes to the transport industry. FreightHub operates in a market that is ripe for digitalisation because the logistics industry relies on outdated, manual and paper-based systems, leading to high prices and inefficiencies.
The start-up was founded in 2016 by Fabian Heilemann, Erik Muttersbach, Michael Wax and Ferry Heilemann. Last December, the company reported the biggest Series A financing round for a European logistics start-up after raising a $20m Series A round led by Northzone, an early investor in Spotify and iZettle, with participation from Global Founders Capital, Cherry Ventures, Cavalry Ventures and La Famiglia. The family office of the Indian entrepreneurial Mittal family also participated as a strategic business angel.
Improbable is a London start-up that is responsible for the creation of a platform for third parties to build immense virtual and simulated worlds. The company raised more than $500m in a 2017 funding round led by SoftBank.
Improbable gives developers a way to create outstanding immersive experiences for gaming and even transport using next-generation mapping. Its SpatialOS platform uses distributed cloud computing and machine learning to create rich worlds. The company was co-founded by Herman Narula and Rob Whitehead.
We are intuo’s biggest fans?
Well that’s a douchy thing to say, but it is the truth.
— intuo.io (@intuotalent) October 19, 2017
Intuo is a Ghent-based HR online talent platform that hopes to encourage ‘coaching culture’ within companies, recognise talent in employees and ‘future-proof’ organisations.
Intuo translates a company’s mission into agile objectives with the hopes of making them more human-centric and ensuring that everyone’s available talents are being utilised in a way that maximises the value of each employee.
The firm has secured €1.2m in funding over two seed rounds and boasts clients such as Thomas Cook, Teamleader and the European Resuscitation Council.
— Lodgify (@Lodgify) January 8, 2018
Holiday rental SaaS start-up Lodgify was founded in Barcelona in 2012 by Dennis Klett and Marco De Gregorio.
Lodgify is an all-in-one solution that helps holiday rental owners and property managers to manage and market their accommodation business. It helps rental owners to build their own mobile-friendly website, including the ability to accept online bookings and process payments.
Lodgify has had three successful funding rounds, the most recent of which raised €1.4m in funding in April 2016, with Nauta Capital as the lead investor.
The reason we won this award is our focus on delivering value to customers. https://t.co/Aw964e8Mpy
— Logtrust (@logtrustInc) December 6, 2017
With offices in Sunnyvale, California, LogTrust’s roots go back to Madrid, where it was founded in 2011 by Pedro Castillo.
The company has developed a real-time, big-data platform for operations, fraud, security, marketing, IoT and other aspects of business.
Named a Gartner Cool Vendor business in 2016, LogTrust closed a $35m Series B round of financing in September of last year, having already secured $11m in funding led by firms including Atlantic Bridge Capital.
Opening.io is using AI to make the recruitment process entirely data-driven. Employing AI enables users to narrow down candidate pools based on role-specific criteria, and data science can be used to help recruiters sharpen their game and not overlook important CVs or opportunities.
Opening.io was founded by two Transylvanians who have made Ireland their home, Andreea Wade and Adrian Mihai.
Paraşüt is an Istanbul-based start-up developing a SaaS invoice and expenses management application to empower small businesses in Turkey.
The finance management platform was founded in 2013 by Andac Turkmen, Fahri Ozkaramanli and Sean X Yu, and has gone from strength to strength since then. Paraşüt aims to offer basic financial information that entrepreneurs need in an easy-to-understand and actionable way.
Paraşüt has had four rounds of funding, the most recent of which brought in $2m from three investors.
Payslip has developed digital technology that empowers payroll professionals to streamline their global payroll processes and manage international data, resources and vendors efficiently on one user-friendly cloud platform.
Founder Fidelma McGuirk previously founded Sprintax.com and was the CEO of Taxback.com.
Red Points (Barcelona)
Red Points is using the cloud to protect the content of some of the world’s biggest entertainment brands. The company offers a cloud-based SaaS solution to combat IP infringement through detection and removal – the system scans for counterfeit products online and automates the removal process.
The company was founded at the end of 2011 by Josep Coll, an intellectual property lawyer. David Casellas joined the Red Points team in 2012 as a co-founder after having worked for FC Barcelona for more than two years. CEO Laura Urquizu joined in 2014.
At the start of 2018, the company closed a $12m Series B round led by Northzone, involving previous investors Mangrove and Sabadell Venture Capital.
— Seerene (@seerene) September 19, 2017
Founded in 2011, Seerene is a code and people management platform that lets CIOs and IT executives see across all of their software initiatives, to easily understand things such as effort, costs and risks.
The German SaaS start-up was founded by Johannes Bohnet and Marc Hildebrandt, and has had two successful rounds of funding, which collectively raised $19m.
Seerene is currently headed by former SunGard general manager Oliver Muhr, and now has more than 80 employees in offices around the world.
SwiftComply is a platform that connects restaurants, cities and contractors to make environmental compliance easy. The company received high-potential start-up status from Enterprise Ireland in early 2017, and opened an office in the US last summer to be closer to US customers.
The start-up took part in the Techstars programme in 2016, and last year secured a $900,000 investment led by the former COO of Facebook, Owen Van Natta. SwiftComply recently emerged victorious in the qualifier to represent Ireland in the Startup World Cup in San Francisco.
VST Enterprises (Manchester)
— VST Enterprises (@vstenterprises) August 22, 2017
For Manchester-based VST Enterprises, the use of the QR code is no longer just old-fashioned, it is nowhere as secure as it can be, which is why it launched its VCode program.
Using specialised equipment, the VCode technology can be identified from up to 3km away.
Founded by CEO Louis-James Davis in 2012, the company has drawn considerable interest from investors, including an £11.4m funding round achieved in May of last year. It said at the time that the funding would be used in the roll-out of its VApparel technology to enable secure, instant payments.
Updated, 8.24am, 6 February 2018: This article was updated to include Michael Wax as a co-founder of FreightHub.