Last week a shortlist of startups participating in The Europas (Europe’s most prestigious tech startup awards) was published. It includes 200 companies divided into 25 categories. I looked through the whole list, diving deeper into those, which do business in areas of advertising technology, analytics and big data.
What are analytics and ad tech nominees in The Europas? Are they going to be game changers? Which of them are worth looking into?
The Europas is one of most popular startup events in Europe, organised since 2009. This year it is taking place in Berlin, on 22nd January 2013.
Every year, companies compete for awards in 20 categories ranging from category startup awards (e.g. Best Social, Mobile or Apps Startup) through investor awards (e.g. Best Exit of the Year, Best Angel or Seed Investor of the Year) up to startup ecosystem awards (e.g. Best Service Provider to Startups).
Winners from last years include such companies/brands as: Codility, Flattr, Seedcamp, SoundCloud, Spotify, and TweetDeck.
Ad tech companies.
Ad verification and ad visibility are recently very hot topics discussed in advertising industry. Definitely a breakthrough is coming soon in this area, which will cause a lot of implications for advertisers, publishers and ad technologies in general.
However, the service provided by adjust.io at this point is rather simplistic and very similar to standard tools which has been used for a long time by affiliates and ad performance agencies, especially from a mobile space, such as Budurl, Clickmeter or MobAffTracker.
Skimlinks is a service that transforms automatically existing links as well as product names into affiliate links which help to monetize traffic for publishers. It’s a very non-intrusive technology compared to SEO links trading (such as inLinks, teliad or TextLinkAds).
SponsorPay is mobile advertising network focusing value-exchange model for games and apps monetization as well as in-app/in-game brand engagement.
The value-exchange model offers consumer (user) points or other bonuses while playing a game in exchange for watching video ad, filling out surveys or other interaction with the advertiser’s materials.
Besides that, SponsorPay allows advertisers to do a kind of product placement inside games and apps by putting branded objects within the game.
StartApp is a mobile ad network focusing on monetization of free Android apps. According to their blog post they are monetizing over 5,000 apps and generating over 2 billion ad impressions monthly. There isn’t anything very special about StartApp – they got a couple interesting ad formats such as AppWall, but besides that they are running into a red ocean on very competitive market.
GoSquared is an (another) real time web analytics platform. It provides a similar, fancy, updated in real time dashboard as Chartbeat and Woopra.
According to BuiltWith, currently 7,411 websites use GoSquared, which places it far behind ChartBeat (27,834 websites) and Woopra (50,741 websites). Unless GoSquared got a secret, hard to replicate or unique business- or product-level advantage over its direct competitors it will be pretty tough challenge for them to get the market leader position.
Another problem I see, and in that case it concerns all analytics focusing just on real-time, is how these products can bring more value to the user besides engaging him to spend tons of time looking at the nice-looking real-time charts? How they can become actionable, providing guidance for the user rather than just feed data?
qunb (winner of Le Web Paris 2012 startup competition) is a data aggregator for various figures coming from public bodies (such as World Bank, Eurostat or IMF) as well as other, agencies, private and public organisations.
With qunb, it’s easy to pull, filter and contrast different figures/data you need, visualise them by plotting on charts as well as export via API.
What is very interesting is that one of recent EU Commission’s programmes which I wrote about a few weeks ago - SME Initiative on Analytics has an aim to establish Integrated Open Data Incubator, which is similar to what qunb does:
establish a mechanism for connecting open data demand and supply by systematically contacting European public bodies for their open data and assisting them in the efficient and sustainable publication of such data, if needed with targeted engagements.
Unfortunately the deadline was on 15th January 2013, but if guys at qunb had a chance to sign up, it seems like they would be a great fit for the programme!
Other analytics companies.
There are several other interesting analytics companies competing for The Europas awards:
- Bime is SaaS Business Intelligence. It allows to mix data from different sources ranging from Google Spreadsheets, through SQL databases, Amazon DB and SAP up to popular analytics data sources such as Google Analytics, Facebook or Salesforce. You can connect and mix this data together to generate meaningful reports.
- DataSift is a social data feed provider. They process data from various social media (Twitter, Facebook, Bitly, YouTube, Amazon, Flickr and several others), enrich it with meta data (such as language, sentiment, authority, gender, topic, location, product/company) and make it available to its clients.
- SocialBakers is a user-friendly social media analytics platform. They offer a couple of products – analytics for Facebook/Twitter/YouTube profiles including comparing them to your competitors (analytics PRO), platform to manage social media profiles and conversations with fans (builder PRO) as well as viewing market data for Facebook (marker insights).
- Nitrogram, Instragram analytics. In my opinion it brands and agencies need a full view over their social media activies, not just instragram. May be an option to be acquired by larger player for technology and the team (DataSift seems to have already Instragram in data sources, but SocialBakers not yet!)
- Swrve, analytics, personalisation and optimisation platform for web, mobile and smart-TV games. Already used by large game producers such as Activision, HitGrab, Epic Games and others!
That’s not all.
There is a lot of interesting startups in other categories. I recommend looking especially into payments/finance category – there is at least a couple that will become very successful ones!