The 2014 winners of The Europas Tech Startup Competition, one of the most prominent tech startup awards in Europe, are announced. Grand Prix prize went to ‘learning’ keyboard developer SwiftKey whereas Vkontakte founder and ex-CEO Pavel Durov’s Telegram is selected as fastest rising startıp of the year. SwiftKey is also chosen as the “Coolest Technology Innovation”. Index Ventures got away with Best VC Investor of the Year award.
Founded in 2009 and still run by tech journalist Mike Butcher, The Europas again proved to be the showcase of Europe’s hottest startup scene, bringing together more than 800 top tech entrepreneurs, leading investors and media in the EMEA region. The winners of this years’s awards as determined by peer voting and a panel of judges are as follows:
• Best Entertainment or Media Startup
Winner is: Soundcloud – With over 200 million regular listeners today, and acquirers circling, Soundcloud continues to be a fantastic European success story and an ambassador for Berlin’s tech scene.
• Best E-Commerce Startup
Winner is: From Berlin FoodPanda SLASH Hellofood – For its huge global expansion in the last year.
• Best Education Startup
Winner is: From Berlin: Babbel, has become one of the worlds leading language learning platforms, used in 190 countries, with 15 million users.
• Best Startup Accelerator or Incubator
Winner is: Startup Bootcamp
Now working across Istanbul, London, Berlin, Israel and operating across numerous verticals, Startup Bootcamp has extended its model across Europe and has created a force to be reckoned with internationally.
• Best Advertising Marketing Startup
Winner is: Brainient
From London and now in New York, this cross-device interactive video platform continues to scale in an impressive fashion internationlly
• Best Gaming or Social Games Startup
Winner is: Supercell
From Helsinki, it’s impossible to argue with Supercell’s super success in the last year, with a Billion Dollar investment and smash hits like Clash Of Clans.
• Best Social Mobile Startup
Winner is: EyeEm
From Berlin, EyeEm started small with a great product and has battled its way to tens of million of users, a unique marketplace where photographers get paid and amazing photographs, all against the might of Instagram.
• Best FinTech Startup
Winner is: GoCardless
From London, GoCardless has shaken up the world of Fintech, processing $200m worth of transactions and disrupting the Direct Debit business – making users lives easier.
• Best Enterprise, Software as a Service or B2B Startup
Winner is: DataSift
From the UK, Datasift is a deep tech startup that has impressed users globally with is big data on social media, enough to attract the attention of significant UK and US venture capital
• Best Hardware Startup
Winner is: Petcube
From Kiev, Ukraine, Petcube’s founders have, against all odds, designed built and raised money for a radical new interactive device for pets, all from the midst of incredible upheaval in their home country.
• Best Sharing or Crowd Sourcing Economy Startup
Winner is: BlaBlaCar
From Paris, BlaBlaCar has built a ride-sharing marketplace which has reached into the furthest parts of Europe, scaling its business to 30 million riders a year and counting.
• Best Health Startup
Winner is: Big Health with Sleep.io
From the UK, Big Health’s Sleep.io service Big Health creates highly personalised medicinal programmes delivered via web and mobile using data collected from personal devices such as the Jawbone UP. The future of health indeed!
• Best Security or Privacy Startup
Winner is: ZenMate
From Berlin, ZenMate encrypts users’ internet connection to protect their privacy while browsing – crucial in the age of the NSA and GCHQ…
• Best Virtual Currency Startup
Winner is: Bitstamp
Based in “The European Union”, Bitstamp based bitcoin marketplace allowing people from all around the world to safely buy and sell bitcoins and is at the forefront of European startups in this space.
• Best Travel or Transport Startup
Winner is: Hailo
Direct from 3 London Cabbies, Hailo is taking on Uber and many others in the fight to become the the world’s transport system.
• Best Internet of Things Startup
Winner is: Evrythng
With founders from London and Zurich, Evrythng plans to connect every product on the planet to the Internet and make it smart.
• Coolest Technology Innovation
Winner is: Swiftkey
From London, Swiftkey has change the way people type on smartphones and is even manage to impress the tough to please Apple with its tech.
• Best Fashion Startup
Winner is: FarFetch
An idea born in Spain but scaled in London, FarFetch has taken the luxury fashion industry by storm and added to London’s hot-bed of fashion startups.
• Best Angel or Seed Investor of the Year
Winner is: Xavier Niel & Jeremie Berrebi of Kima Ventures
Working between Paris and Tel Aviv, Kima Ventures now invests in literally hundreds of early stage startups a year. If you need someone to write a cheque, Kima plans to give you a fast yes or no.
• Greatest Tech Influence On Society
Winner is: CodeClub
From London, CodeClub started out as a simple idea to teach kids to code, but has now spread internationally and is poised to make a real impact on the whole world, not just Europe.
• Best VC Investor of the Year
Winner is: Index Ventures
From London, amid incredibly tough competition, Index Ventures has knocked it out of the park in the last year, participating in or leading deals in startups which have produced FIVE BILLION DOLLAR European exits in the last 6 months
• Best Startup Founder or Co-founders
Winner is: Peter Arvai, Péter Halácsy and Ádám Somlai-Fischer from Prezi
Based between Budapest and San Francisco, Prezi has changed how people present and learn information and taken on the might of Microsoft PowerPoint.
• Fastest Rising Startup Of The Year
Winner is: Telegram
Built in St Petersburg, Russia, and now based, well, “on a plane”, Pavel Durov’s Telegram app has exploded onto the messaging space amassing 35 million users in a matter of months, not long after he left Russia’s Facebook, VKontakte.
The Europas Hall Of Fame, given to key long-term individuals working in or with tech startups:
Daniel Ek, Spotify, Stockholm/London
Eileen Burbidge, Passion Capital, London
Klaus Hommels, VC, Zurich
Martin Varsavsky, Fon, Madrid
Robin Klein, Index Ventures, London
Sherry Coutu (CBE), Silicon Valley Comes to UK / Founders4Schools
Xavier Niel, Kima Ventures, Paris
• The Europas Grand Prix Award
Winner: From London, Swiftkey
SwiftKey was founded by friends Jon Reynolds and Dr Ben Medlock who are Math geniuses and realised they could build an engine which could predict words and phrases as people typed them. After millions of downloads, a launch on IOS and raising $22 million, Swiftkey is the latest company that proves you can build a global startup form Europe.
For a slightly more information on SwiftKey, you can also check the video interview below that was recorded during DLD Conference earlier this year.