Last summer, at the inaugural Europas Awards, we launched the TechCrunch Europe Top 100 Index of the most innovative and highest-potential European tech companies. This has been the first time anyone has tried to actually track, in a pre-defined way, early stage tech companies in Europe. We’ve now updated the Index, which is focused on mobile and web companies in the EMEA region, once more.
As you can see, there are companies that are staying in the Index, some arriving and some, alas, leaving. The companies that have made great progress in the last few months are ones that have being doing important things like generating revenue. It’s quite clear from the refreshed Index that European startups know how to make money (in particular through e-commerce, private shopping, lead-generation and games). The Silicon Valley business model of scale and user acquisition, while still a hugely important arrow in the European startups quiver, is still just part of the equation, especially in a wide European market so divided by language and regulation. Although I’d like to see more European startups thinking globally from the start, and going for growth, no-one is saying one shouldn’t have at least half an eye trained on where the business model is going to come from.
In general, the companies we took out of the list were not bad companies as such, but were simply trumped by those startups that have greater traffic, funding or revenue traction.
The Index was created by TechCrunch Europe alongside startup tracker YouNoodle. The scores and rankings are based on a sophisticated algorithm using information pulled in from thousands of online sources about early stage companies. Among others, these include key metrics such as traffic, mainstream media buzz, funding information, and opinion in the blogosphere. Of course, if a company is actually pulling in revenues, or even in profit, it also gets ranked higher. Each company is given a “YouNoodle Score” which is a measurement, on a scale of 0 to 100, of a startup’s progress as an early-stage company.
Typically, a 0-15 company is just getting started, a 30-60 company has experienced some very strong growth (through traffic, funding, or revenue), and a 90-plus company is a strong acquisition candidate, or perhaps even close to IPO-level. Cleantech and gadget companies sometimes have a presence on the list, e.g Modu.
If you think we’re missing something, want to recommend a company, or have any questions, the first line of enquiry is our partner YouNoodle. Contact Kirill Makharinsky over at YouNoodle via kirill[AT]younoodle.com or @kirill on Twitter – he is running the details on this Index for us.
You can see the new Index here but here are some highlights.
Examples of startup trends by category
1. Private Shopping clubs: Brands4friends, markafoni, Ventee-Privee
2. Ecommerce & Lead Gen: eCommera, Stylight, Just-Eat, Graze, Skimbit
3. Consumer software: Dailybooth, Pandora, Tweetmeme, Tuenti, Aka Aki, MyHeritage
4. Entertainment shopping: Swoopo
5. Gaming: Moshi Monsters, Natural Motion, Spilgames.
6. Carbon Footprint, CSR: AMEE, Ecovadis
7. Mobile: Infogin, Mobank
8. SaaS: Eventovate, Patients Know Best
Standout examples of hot companies
Spotify (up 8 points)
Why? Increasing activity, buzz surrounding possible US launch. It just took the invitation-only lock off in France. What can we say, simply everyone is talking about Spotify, whether we like it or not.
Plastic Logic (up 15 points)
Why? Plastic Logic is building an electronic book reader / e-reader using its plastic displays which are flexible, very light weight and much more robust than traditional glass-based displays. They’ve had growth and buzz following their announcements at CES.
Voddler (up 17 points)
Why? Growth and recent funding. The movie-streaming service (the so-called ”Spotify for movies”) has received about 3.4 million Euros (35 million SEK) in funding from a group of private investors. The service now has about 70,000 users.
eRepublik (up 6 points)
Why? This social strategy game has had continued traffic growth over the last 3 months and recently appointed the highly experienced Internet entrepreneur Toby Rowland to its board. eRepublik Labs was founded in 2007 and is backed to the tune of €2.75m from AGF Private Equity in addition to various angels.
Zendesk (up 9 points)
Why? Zendesk is on something of a roll. It’s had continued progress following its funding round in August 2009 and is creating fascinating competition with big US player GetSatisfaction.
Iminent (up 6 points)
Why? The Paris, France based Iminent offers users a variety of premium products to enhance instant messaging with extravagant emoticons and video features. This is virtual goods at their most virtual. You can’t deny that kids love it for IM and it’s had strong traffic growth based on all public metrics. It has €5.4 million in VC backing.
KupiVIP (up 8 points)
Why? Continued traffic growth, and funding. The Russian KupiVIP.ru is not unlike the French Vente Privée but with access to a much bigger potential market. It recently raised a monster round of $20 million in venture funding led by Accel Partners and joined by prior investors Mangrove Capital Partners, ARLAN, Direct Group and angel Oliver Jung. In March 2009, KupiVIP.ru had raised $8 million on top of its Series A round of $3 million, so this new capital injection brings the amount of investement to a healthy $31 million. KupiVIP.ru sells discounted fashion goods from over 500 active brands, an offer that has so far attracted 1 million members to its online club.
Bambuser (up 7 points)
Why? Bambuser is killing it. It’s had a successful launch of its iPhone app, way ahead of big US rival Qik. It’s also partnering with broadcasters an interesting business model which will actually bring in revenues.
Playfire (up 6 points)
Why? Funding in December and continued traffic growth. Late last year Playfire, a social network for gamers, secured $2.1m (£1.3m) of Series A funding from Atomico Ventures, in conjunction with Michael Birch, Brent Hoberman, William Reeve and Alex Chesterman and David Gardner. Playfire lets gamers track scores and rankings on Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and Sony’s PlayStation 3, as well as providing discussion forums and alerts to new content, such as news and videos. Twenty-two year old O’Neil, of course, is best known for his association with video sharing site HolyLemon, a web property he founded as a 15-year old student and later sold for $1.25m in 2007 at the age of nineteen.
Jimdo (up 4 points)
Why? Continued strong traffic growth and new partnerships. ISP United Internet has a 30% stake in the startup which markets a simple tool that allows users to build their own websites with little time and effort.
Companies new to the TechCrunch Europe Top 100
Below you’re find the companies that are entering the TechCrunch Europe Top 100 for the first time. The company’s name is following by the funding they have (if known) and a short description of why they are entering the Index.
Skimbit – UK $1,200,000 Awards & Traction
Tweetmeme – UK € 350,000 Traction.
Markafoni – Turkey Revenue Traction. Funding.
Globoforce – Ireland $11,200,000 Fast Growth.
Natural Motion – UK Traction, uptake in games like Ashes 2009.
Inspirational Stores – France €10m Euro Funding Round.
Ecovadis – France $1,400,000 Profitable. Fortune 2000 Customers. CSR Software. Co-founder of MrTed.
Fotonauts – France $2,300,000 Ex-Apple CTO, Launch, TAG Funded.
Vente-Privee – France Very strong revenue.
Stylight – Germany Strong revenue.
Eventovate – Ireland $500,000 Growth. Revenue.
Equiendo – Ireland $1,960,000 Growth. Revenue.
Mobank – UK £750,000 Founders of Egg, Traction.
Rebtel – UK £3,400,000 Controls a lot of call volume across international borders.
Dailybooth – UK/US $1,015,000 6m uniques. $1m funding from Sequoia, and major angels.
AMEE – UK $1,000,000 USV & TAG Funded. Huge Market.
eCommera – UK £5,000,000 Founder of Figleaves. 5m pound funding.
Swoopo – Germany $10,000,000 Revenue & Traction. Raised money from August Capital.
Graze – UK £1,400,000 Traction.
Infogin – $10,000,000 Growth & Traction.
MyHeritage – Israel $24,000,000 Activity & Traffic.
Shazam – UK $20,000,000 Kleiner Perkins Investment, 50 million users.
Patients Know Best – Cambridge, UK € 50,00 Seedcamp investment. Investment activity in play.
Just-Eat – Denmark £10,500,000 Index Investment. Global Expansion.
Elecsnet – Russia Strong Revenue Traction.
Spilgames – Netherlands Strong traffic.
Brands4friends – Germany € 12,000,000 Private Shopping. Strong Revenue Traction.
aka-aki networks – “several million Euros” Traction, recent investment.
Mind Candy – $10,000,000 Moshi Monsters profitable.
Tuenti – Spain 20 Billion pageviews, Facebook of Spain.
Layar – Holland, Buzz, Activity.
Voddler – Sweden – Funding and user traction
Scoreloop – Germany €2 million cash injection
Companies leaving the TechCrunch Europe Top 100
Here’s a list of companies that are now out of the Top 100. As we said before, the Top 100 is based around buzz, funding, revenues and traffic events. Most of these companies have just been pushed out by other companies scoring higher on those kinds of rankings. Some have been pushed out because they have been sold and absorbed (like Spinvox) or are established enough to cruise for a while and are this not producing buzz/high growth/funding events. It may be that they’ll be back. (Though Spinvox I doubt).
School of Everything
Decisions for Heroes
My Name is E