It might be everyone’s dream to move to Portugal. Beautiful beaches, amazing food, and weather. Its vibrant startup scene is now another reason to add to the list. Like in neighboring Spain, the country was hit hard with a headache-inducing unemployment rate that was concentrated primarily on Portugal’s youth.
Instead of plunging the country into a deeper recession, this moment inspired an entrepreneurial zeitgeist that hurled Portugal headfirst into a technological renaissance. The government is taking this opportunity and running with it, offering benefits to startups like a €200 million venture capital matching fund open to all startups headquartered in Portugal and the StartUP voucher which gives 400 entrepreneurs a grant every year to develop their startup idea.
The international tech scene has already caught on to the country’s potential with a number of startups relocating or opening secondary offices there. Perhaps the most well-known relocation was the annual Web Summit’s move from Dublin to Lisbon in 2016. These transplants will only add to Portugal’s now unstoppable startup ecosystem.
Selecting the hottest young scale-ups in Europe
Together with payments tech company Adyen, we set out in search of the most promising new startups based on their performance, growth, and potential. The top-5 from each country will join the Tech5, a community of the hottest young tech companies in Europe and Israel. This year’s newcomers will then join us at the exclusive Founders Day (May 8) and TNW Conference (May 9-10) in Amsterdam.
Today we highlight Portugal. We did our research, consulted with our advisory consortium of 100 investors, influencers, entrepreneurs and experts across Europe and selected the five hottest young Portugese scale-ups.
Find out who Portugal’s hottest young scale-ups are:
Remember those days when shopping involved a cut-throat fight over who would go home with the last clearance sale leather jacket? If like me, you now stick to shopping online, with over 50 fashion brands as clients, you most likely have Huub to thank. Huub is a logistics + tech platform for fashion brands that aims to integrate the full supply chain process in one place to simplify and optimize operations: from production to customer service. The platform supports all sales channels and makes use of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and data to boost business growth through better decision-making. Their team keeps hiring and they expect to double from 40+ in 2018 to 80+ at the end of 2019. They’ve experienced an amazing 110% growth in revenue with a current MRR of 150k and plan to scale their growth to 400% this year.
Zaask connects service providers to people/businesses who need them: a language teacher, a gardener, a wedding planner, a super recommended dog walker or an experienced web designer. As the leading service hiring platform in Portugal and Spain, Zaask will help you find the profile of a professional or company who’s ready to get the job done. Through the platform you can get quotes and compare them based on ratings and prices, ultimately finding the right person or business to fulfill your every need. The company has more than 460,000 users per month and almost 100,000 registered professional service providers.
Landing.jobs is on a mission to help recruiters and tech talent find each other according to skills, requirements, and company culture. They’re not an agency, but a candidate-driven marketplace that helps candidates advance their careers, their challenge is to change the way careers are ultimately planned and executed. For employers, Landing.jobs promotes posted job openings, allows HR to track candidate’s applications and also gives advice on how to land a successful hire. With offices in Lisbon, Porto, and Barcelona, their revenue growth has doubled every year since they’ve started. With the country now recovering from the recent unemployment crisis, this platform is here to ensure tech talent will have job opportunities now and in the future.
Unbabel gives your customer service team multilingual superpowers at speed, without compromising translation quality. It’s a very handy subscription-based translation service for scaling businesses internationally, offers 28 language combinations, can be integrated with Zendesk, Salesforce, Freshdesk and there’s also a service for video subtitling and translation. They charge per content type and volume and have been recognized as one of Y Combinator’s fastest-growing seed companies. Unbabel also recently closed a Series B funding round of $23 million. The 150+ team works from Lisbon, San Francisco, New York, and London.
YouClap has created an app that allows you to send virtual challenges to friends. Recipients can then either accept your virtual challenge or simply leave a small “clap”. The cool thing is that you can even send a challenge to your favorite brands. And they provide the proper tools to interact with these challenges, something that’s been missing on other social media platforms. Just a week after they launched in May 2018 they reached first place on the Trending Social Apps list of the Google Play Store and fourth place on the App Store. By the end of 2018, they already reached 20k users and were voted by Google as one of 2018’s best-hidden gems on the Brazilian Play Store. Needless to say, they deserve to be on the list representing Portugal this year!
Is your startup looking for funding and new clients? Come to TNW 2019. Startup rates start at just 299 euros and come with a ton of perks to help you grow.
By Andrea Niño Bonilla and Andrea Hak
This is part of a series selecting the hottest young tech companies from all over Europe. Every day we cover a new country. Check out the hottest young tech companies from Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, The Netherlands, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Estonia, Finland, Poland, UK, Israel, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Hungary, and a combined selection of other European countries.
This post is brought to you by Tech5.