20 European start-ups sorting out data, AI and infosec in 2020

29 Jan 2020

Image: © Tatiana/Stock.adobe.com

We have gathered 20 start-ups working in a wide range of areas related to AI, data and infosec, which we believe are well worth watching in 2020 and the decade ahead.

From Dublin to Galway and from Poland to Romania, we have gathered 20 European start-ups that are definitely worth keeping an eye on if you’re interested in anything to do with data science, AI or cybersecurity.

Our list includes some up-and-coming start-ups utilising data to improve insights into human health, strengthen our defences against cyberattacks and automate the mundane parts of our everyday workloads.


Dublin-based Nuritas is a start-up that combines AI and genomics to discover and unlock natural bioactive peptides that can possess beneficial health and wellness properties.

Founded by Dr Nora Khaldi in 2014 with a team of four people, the start-up has gone on to secure €53m in funding from investors including NDRC, Enterprise Ireland, the European Investment Bank and Cultivian Sandbox Ventures.

Now headquartered on Dawson Street, with a team of 60 employees, the company partners with industry, identifies bioactives and develops consumer products (such as ingredients for functional and health foods) for the likes of Nestlé and BASF.


A former Siliconrepublic.com Start-up of the Week, Cerebreon uses deep learning to predict and prevent insolvency before it happens.

Founded by Dr Kenneth Doherty and Dr Gillian Doyle, the Donegal start-up analyses millions of insolvency documents to predict when an individual is about to default from their arrangements.

After winning the top prize at NDRC’s 2019 Investor Day, NDRC CEO Ben Hurley said that the company “stood out as having serious potential for growth in international markets”.


Based in Wrocław, Poland, Titans24 is a cybersecurity start-up founded by Mateusz Romanów. After speaking with hundreds of clients through his creative agency, Romanów realised that many professionals were neglecting their cybersecurity due to the cost involved.

So, the Titans24 CEO has developed a solution for enterprise-level data protection that costs less than single cloud solutions from AWS, Azure or IBM Security. His solution involves placing a project in a container which is protected by 11 active security layers, including swarm intelligence, multi-level firewall and risk mitigation.

Over the next few years, Titans24 aims to scale its platform to cover smart devices for intelligent houses, IoT hardware, drones, AR and VR devices, as well as autonomous vehicle software.


Danish legaltech company Contractbook has developed a secure platform for storing all legal documents in one convenient place.

Founded by Niels Martin Brøchner Viktor Heide and Jarek Owczarek, the company also enables users to digitally sign contracts, with more than 60,000 of the 120,000 contracts stored on the platform signed by its 45,000 users.

Since it was founded in 2016, the company has raised €3.5m in funding, from investors including byFounders and Google’s Gradient Ventures. In the next few months, the company plans to expand its global footprint.


Dublin-based DataChemist, led by CEO Kevin Feeney, aims to make the complicated simple. The company transforms messy, large datasets into clean, structured and integrated data to help customers improve decision-making and reduce costs.

DataChemist uses AI and machine learning to rapidly transform complex and disparate data systems – from multiple sources – into clean, usable and consistent datasets.

In recent months, the company has announced plans for international expansion, opening a new R&D hub in Utrecht, the Netherlands. With backing from Enterprise Ireland and the Atlantic Bridge University Fund, the start-up has raised about $1.2m in funding to date.

Output Sports

Headquartered at NovaUCD, Output Sports is a start-up that aims to optimise sports performance by using advanced signal processing and machine learning techniques. The company develops wearables for exercise, that can be analysed by strength coaches, rehab professionals and athletes, offering them reliable analysis in a user-centric, fully integrated system.

Founded by Dr Darragh Whelan, Dr Martin O’Reilly and Julian Eberle, the company wants to change the way that coaches optimise their athletes’ performance. The technology has already been adopted by physiotherapists working for Bath Rugby and sports scientists working for Dublin GAA.

In 2019, the company bagged €20,000 at the Seedcorn competition, where it was named best early-stage start-up


Founded by BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition winner Shane Curran, Evervault is a relatively young company that has already received $3.2m in investment from Sequoia Capital.

The company believes that data privacy should be simple and accessible for everyone. In an outline of its product, Evervault has said: “If you struggle to use Evervault, understand where we’re going or what we’re doing, we would consider that a failure.”

Curran recently spoke to Future Human founder and curator Ann O’Dea about his journey so far, and his plans to build a $100bn company. At just 19 years of age, Curran has achieved a lot and looks set to accomplish a lot more.


Paris-based Gatewatcher is a cybersecurity business that focuses on real-time advanced threat detection. Using its unique technology, the start-up detects all types of threats, including existing and unknown forms of malware. Gatewatcher does this by running a dynamic analysis of weak signals from inside network flows.

The company was founded by engineer Jacques de La Rivière and security expert Philippe Gilet, who have formed a team of experts in security, networks, systems, encryption and machine learning.

Certified by ANSSI (the French cybersecurity agency), Gatewatcher is also compliant with the requirements of the French Military Planning Act, in order to protect sensitive and strategic organisations right up to the highest level.


Galway company Octiga wants to make cybersecurity as quick, painless and simple as possible for SMEs using Office 365. Donegal native Dr Robert McFeely leads the company set up by Sash Vasilevski, and this start-up wants to provide a comprehensive approach for the systems, processes and people that comprise a business.

Octiga looks at some of the most simple steps a business can take to secure itself. Rather than taking a heavily funded ‘black ops’ type approach, the start-up aims to solve the smaller problems that could escalate into big issues.

For the customer, this means that Octiga offers incident response services, regular scanning of configurations to make sure everything’s in order, and a security dashboard to alert users to potential risks.

Typing DNA

TypingDNA is a Romanian start-up that has recently received investment from Google. The company is developing an alternative solution to enable fraud detection, authentication and password recovery.

Founded in 2016 by Raul Popa, Cristian Tamas and Adrian Gheara, the company has raised approximately $8.8m to date. The start-up has developed proprietary artificial intelligence algorithms to authenticate users based on how they type.

This technology, known as typing biometrics, can be used in two-factor authentication, fraud detection, password recovery and online education assessment to ‘fingerprint’ users more securely than traditional forms of two-factor authentication.


Based in Cambridge, Prowler.io combines three different branches of mathematics to create an AI platform for general purpose decision-making. By 2025, Prowler.io expects that principled decision-making using autonomous AI agents will drive the world economy.

Founded in 2016, the start-up was recently valued at $100m following a funding round led by Chinese technology giant Tencent. Prowler.io’s founders, Aleksi Tukiainen, Dongo Kim and Vishal Chatrath, believe that their technology will be useful in a range of fields, including finance, logistics and transportation, autonomous systems and smart cities.


Lisbon-based SaaS platform Heptasense was founded in 2017 by Mauro Peixe and Ricardo Santos. The company has developed an AI-powered behaviour analysis platform for surveillance cameras. The platform aims to eliminate human error in surveillance, while protecting identities and meeting European compliance regulations.

The start-up offers more than 20 software products and solutions for various security problems and is already being used by retail stores to detect theft, and in public spaces to improve security, as well as on roads and highways for incident detection and prevention.


Founded by Bart Lehane, Ciaran Tobin and Shane Lynn in 2015, Dublin-based EdgeTier describes itself as a human-centric artificial intelligence start-up. The company has developed a customer service system named Arthur, that can guide customer service agents in responding to queries.

The AI platform is designed to reduce window switching, copying and pasting, and the effort of looking up information, in order to help agents service customers more efficiently.

After it was named as the winner of the 2019 Google Adopt a Startup programme, the company said that it has seen query handling times decrease by up to 80pc, while providing administrators with a detailed view of the data behind their contact centre operations.


Lisbon-headquartered Unbabel is a Portuguese artificial intelligence start-up that offers ‘translation-as-a-service’. The start-up’s aim is to help provide customer service translations in any language, and it does so by translating customer emails and tickets, keeping live chats flowing with live chat translation and providing translation services for FAQ pages.

Since it was founded in 2013 by Vasco Pedro and João Graça, Unbabel has built a community of more than 100,000 translators who have contributed to its customer service platform by reviewing and verifying translations.

The start-up’s technology is being used by brands such as Monese, Change.org, Skyscanner and Trivago. The company offers integrations through popular CRM platforms such as Zendesk, Intercom and Salesforce.

To date the company has raised $91m, according to Crunchbase, from investors including Samsung Next, Greycroft, Scale Venture Partners, Indico Capital Partners, Salesforce and Point72 Ventures.

Nova Leah

Nova Leah is an Irish cybersecurity start-up that focuses on securing medical devices. The company recognised an opportunity to solve the growing issue of vulnerabilities in connected devices. This issue is particularly dangerous when it comes to connected medical devices, which often use very personal data.

The company has developed a first-of-its-kind technology solution called SelectEvidence, which allows medical device manufacturers to quickly automate the process of identifying and mitigating potential vulnerabilities within their products, to satisfy regulatory needs and put customers at ease.

Founded by Anita Finnegan in 2015, Nova Leah currently operates in Dundalk, Co Louth.


GitGuardian is a French cybersecurity start-up that wants to keep private credentials out of source code. Founders Eric Fourrier and Jérémy Thomas launched the business in 2017 after they learned that 80pc of corporate leaks on GitHub occur on developers’ personal repositories, well under their company’s radar.

The start-up helps companies to detect sensitive information and remediate data breaches within minutes, rather than months. Before the company was set up, Fourrier and Thomas put ten years of R&D into the project.

Since GitGuardian was set up, it has sent out more than 400,000 alerts to developers and businesses. The company has helped 100 of the Fortune 500 find exposed secrets on GitHub.

GitGuardian goes beyond keyword search, using pattern matching techniques to discover and maintain a database of thousands of sensitive patterns in every programming language. To date, GitGuardian has raised $12m from investors including Balderton Capital, Kima Ventures and Fly Ventures.


Based in Madrid, Nextail is a cloud-based platform that uses AI and prescriptive analytics to upgrade retailers’ inventory management processes. The start-up was founded by Carlos Miragall, Javier Lafuente García and Joaquin Villalba, and the team comprises former retail and merchandising experts.

Nextail can anticipate local demand and delivers automated, data-driven decisions for retail companies. The company’s technology is used by some pretty big names in retail, including Pepe Jeans, River Island and Versace.

Since the start-up was founded in 2014, it has raised approximately $12m in funding from investors including Keen Venture Partners, Nauta Capital and Realiza Business Angels.


Based in Dublin, 4Securitas wants to simplify security, offering a monitoring and protection service for critical servers belonging to both small and large enterprises. Founded in 2017, the start-up is recognised by Enterprise Ireland as a high potential start-up.

The company has developed a platform called the Automated Cybersecurity Interactive Application (ACSIA), which can be woven into a workflow and allows security teams to focus efforts only on the alerts that could lead to compromises. ACSIA combines full-stack intrustion detection, vulnerability exploitation, asset profiling and risk metrics, all in real-time.

Led by Donal Kerr and Stefan Uygur, the start-up consists of a team that has built and managed large infrastructures and has managed security for Fortune 500 companies and government departments all over the world.

Red Sift

Red Sift is a London-based, data-driven cybersecurity start-up that is used by TransferWise, The Turing Trust and UK political party, Liberal Democrats. The company believes that the answer to stopping the rise of cyberattacks is through computers, rather than consultants.

Founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneurs Rahul Powar and Randal Pinto, Red Sift helps its users to use AI and machine learning to unlock data about threats that already exists, so that they can turn this data into active protection.

Red Sift’s dashboard analyses and synthesises data from day-to-day core business processes – such as email – to help users better manage their online security. The platform has developed a number of different SaaS applications in its mission to democratise cybersecurity.


Security automation firm Tines was founded by Eoin Hinchy and Thomas Kinsella in 2018. In the time since, the company has successfully launched a platform that can help the world’s leading security teams automate any manual task, making them work more effectively and more efficiently.

Tines can be directly integrated into any tool in a technology stack, without any apps, plugins, modules or applets. The platform can automate even the most complex workflows, and enables security teams to build automation stories containing thousands of steps without writing a single line of code. With Tines, users can perform millions of automated actions per day, across an unlimited number of use-cases.

In the last quarter of 2019, Tines successfully raised $15.1m in Series A funding, with investment from Accel, Index Ventures and Blossom Capital.

Kelly Earley was a journalist with Silicon Republic