5 European startups that made it big

The collective market of Europe is a major force to be reckoned with. Along with the US and China, Europe is among the big three of the largest global players. And in Europe, business is booming. However, there is a common belief that’s found even in one of the big three- initial capital is a key determinant in success. How true is that belief?

While it is true that the high initial capital is a key force in many startups, it is also dependent on where the market lies. Many businesses require major capital at the start. On the other hand, we’ve seen many startups make a huge impact on a global scale where all it took was a few creative minds in a shack. With the European market having such a dominating presence, we thought we’d highlight 5 European businesses that have made it big.

  1. Spotify

Quite often, entrepreneurs in the tech industry think that only a brand new idea that’s never been done before will help them stand out in the market. And there are numerous examples of such ideas having blown up to global scales. However, that’s not always the case. Sometimes, all it takes is a deep understanding of the current market and what the people need and want.

The music industry in 2006 was not like what we have in 2021. While Napster did something that the people wanted, it got buried in legalities over copyright infringements, etc. The founders of Spotify, Daniel Ek, and Martin Lorentzon, saw the opportunity and took it.

The idea for Spotify originated in Daniel Ek’s apartment in Stockholm. Born from the ashes of Napster, the two set out to give the people what they needed. Whereas Napster got buried over legal lawsuits, the creators of Spotify set out to make sure that they would encounter no such thing. That was just the first key to the puzzle. They needed to make a model that would truly set the norm for years to come. And they did so by offering their users a freemium model. A paid monthly subscription with more features such as better audio quality, offline downloading, and no ads. On the other hand, the free version had its limitations but offered almost the same experience.

After closed beta, Spotify officially launched in 2008 with initial funding of $21.6 million. From there, they set out to make history. In a matter of 2 years, their music library had reached close to 10 million songs and accumulated 6.67 million users by 2011. Spotify witnessed exponential growth for several factors. They realized the gap in the market, they understood the legalities of their product and they spared no expense on the technical side- making sure that their users witness an experience not shy of perfection.

As of 2021, Spotify is worth $67 billion and has a total of 356 million users. They are a prime example of a launch done well and have made themselves one of Europe’s biggest and most prolific tech startups to date.

  1. Goodwall

The global pandemic impacted industries, markets, and educational institutes all the same. With that, it was found just how volatile some aspects of life, in general, can be. Although Goodwall started in 2014, its success over the years shows how big of a market gap it helped fill.

Goodwall, with its headquarters based in Geneva, Switzerland, is an app that has found its usage growing among college students. Spread in over 150 countries, Goodwall is a platform that is used to connect students with their peers and professionals where they can showcase their abilities and interests. Along with that, it also helps students find potential job and internship opportunities.

The idea for Goodwall originated from a blog created by Omar Bawa, one of Goodwall’s founders. Omar Bawa and Taha Bawa found themselves witnessing the harsh realities of life around the globe at an early age. And they sought to connect the world and its people. With various sorts of challenges, updates, and opportunities for jobs, the users of Goodwall find themselves acquiring new skills and improving upon the already existent ones. As of 2021, Goodwall has over 1.5 million members across 150+ countries around the world. And it is continuing to grow even more.

  1. Epicery

The market for food is one, among many, that only continues to grow. Various restaurants, grocery shops, and even mom-and-pop shops are thriving and growing. Epicery centralized it all with its portal.

Founded in 2016 by Esla Hermal and Edouard Morhange in France, Epicery is a fresh food delivery app that allows people to order food online. The streets of France have numerous shops and restaurants, each specializing in its niche and representing France in its way. Hoping to preserve the small and independently-owned stores, the founders of Epicery found their product and made their mark.

Through the Epicery app, you’re given access to hundreds of different gourmet bakers, wine merchants, butchers, fishmongers, and more. Promising speedy delivery times of under 1 hour, Epicery has found their niche market and is only looking forward. Their goal, expand throughout the world. Their aim, connect the authenticity of the food and digitize it with the 2021 market.

  1. Prusa3D

Behind the remarkable technology surrounding Prusa3D is the brilliant mind of an enthusiast- Josef Prusa. He found his passion and started to work in his basement, delivering 3D printer parts in pizza boxes. And now, Josef Prusa is one of the most recognized names in the 3D printer market.

When it comes to humble beginnings of entrepreneurs, Josef Prusa is a prime example. Starting with no investment and no sales team, all he had was a desire to make his plan work and his dream come true. This startup was launched in 2012 in a small basement and now, Prusa3D ships thousands of 3D printers across the world. Their headquarters is based in Prague, Czech.

As of 2021, Prusa3D has an estimated value of €236 million and is the fastest-growing tech company in Central Europe. Despite its phenomenal growth and popularity, Josef Prusa remains humble and prioritizes pristine craftsmanship over everything else. His printers are loved by people around the world. And what’s more remarkable about Prusa3D is the fact that they’re using their parts to construct more 3D printers.

  1. Breeze Technologies

With the alarming and shocking statistics about global warming, air pollution is also put under the spotlight. The air we breathe continues to get more and more polluted, resulting in harmful effects throughout the world. Enter Breeze Technologies, one of Europe’s most promising startups recognized by the European Parliament and the European Commission.

Founded in 2015 in Hamburg, Germany, by the founder Robert Heinecke, Breeze Technologies is a leader in air quality sensors, data, and analytics. Founded by their passion for clean air and positive ecological change, Breeze Technologies provides a low-cost air quality monitoring device. It gathers data in real-time and can fish out the usual suspects- carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and more. They aim to provide their solutions at low-costs, which is why they’ve found their air quality monitoring systems deployed in many offices as well as homes. Breeze Technologies is looking to expand their horizons even more and are working with Homeland Security to detect and prevent wildfires. And with the Coronavirus pandemic terrorizing the world, their update made sure that the interface was made simple so that the freshness of air could more easily be tracked.

The team of Breeze Technologies has been awarded the Hamburg Founder’s Award for their contributions. With his background in computer science, Robert Heinecke realized his passion for philanthropy and is well on his way to providing cleaner air to everyone around the world.

These 5 European businesses started with a goal in mind. Their passion to realize that kept them going and made them pioneers in their niche. At DragonLabz, we support such goals, visions and ideas, and have the infrastructure ready to take promising ventures to the next level. Want to learn more? Contact us today.

More insights

Insight
3 min read

5 European startups that made it big

If you're a founder with |,
reach out

Accelerate
arrow nextarrow next