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This article was published on April 24, 2014

    Meet 4 of Europe’s fastest-growing tech firms: Showpad, Akamon, KelBillet and Eyefreight

    Meet 4 of Europe’s fastest-growing tech firms: Showpad, Akamon, KelBillet and Eyefreight
    Ben Woods
    Story by

    Ben Woods

    Europe Editor

    Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional Ben is a technology journalist with a specialism in mobile devices and a geeky love of mobile spectrum issues. Ben used to be a professional online poker player. You can contact him via Twitter or on Google+.

    Over the past few months, we’ve been tracking down the fastest-growing tech companies in Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK to present at TNW Conference Europe as part of our Tech5 competition. Now, that day has come.

    The companies presenting here are already winners – they’re the fastest-growing startups in their country. At the end of the two-day conference, an overall winner will be named as the fastest-growing tech company in Europe, and a separate winner will be chosen by the judges.

    So, without further ado, here are the first four winners from the local heats hoping to take home one of the overall winner spots. Don’t forget to check back tomorrow for round two with four more companies, and then the eventual winner at the end of the conference.

    Showpad

    Showpad
    Showpad was named the fastest-growing tech startup in Belgium to get to this stage with its cloud-based platform for managing sales material in one central place.

    Sales software-as-a-service (SaaS) might not sound overly exciting, but bringing marketing departments and material closer in line with sales teams can significantly increase customer conversion rates, the company said.

    The company itself was founded around three years ago, and the first version of the platform launched around a year and a half ago, followed by a $2 million Series A round of funding in 2013.

    While Showpad was named our Belgian winner, the company has teams and customers all around the world and spread across a range of different industries.

    ➤ Showpad

    Akamon

    Akamon
    Barcelona-based social gaming company Akamon might have a battle on its hands with rivals like King and Gameloft also having a presence in Spain, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping the company from expanding at a rapid rate.

    With its platform spanning across Web, iOS and Android, the company says that 70 percent of the games it makes never see it through to full production. However, that leaves 30 percent of games that graduate to a full blown release.

    In total, around 2.5 million customers return to play every month, and it boasts 433,000 daily active users; add in that the company is set to break through the €1 million monthly revenue mark. 

    The company added that 96 percent of its users never spend a penny, with only four percent opting for an in-app purchase.

    Akamon

    KelBillet

    kelbillet
    Hailing from France, Kelbillet is a Web platform for planning trips via train, car, bus or even ride-shares.

    However, unlike traditional travel booking services, Kelbillet compares and displays all your options on one page, making it quicker and easier to plan your route and find the most fitting mode of transport.

    Another feather in the company’s cap is its customer-to-customer features, like a marketplace for users to sell unwanted but non-fundable tickets and its review system.

    The seven-strong team plans to extend the service beyond France and deeper into Europe this year. To that end, the service is monetized, essentially, on a cost-per-click basis and via affiliate revenues.

    Right now, the platform attracts around 1.5 million monthly unique visitors (around half the user base returns each month) and has generated sales of around €20 million for partners.

    ➤ KelBillet

    Eyefreight

    Eyefreght
    Enterprise transportation management. Not the sexiest words in tech, but getting customer orders to where they need to be is a vital business.

    Five years ago, Netherlands-based Eyefreight recognized the potential opportunity and developed a platform for optimizing the logistics of freight transportation.

    Depending on the needs of customers (which include brands like Heineken and Levi’s), there are two tiers of service and customer contracts tend to run for between 3-5 years, and cost between €80,000 and €750,000 per year.

    On the carrier side of things, Eyefreight works with some big name companies like DHL, TNT and DPD, as well as smaller local services.

    To get up and running with the system is no walk in the park; due to the complexities of the operation and the need to integrate with customer’s systems, getting fully up to speed can take anything between six weeks and a year for large enterprises.

    With its European headquarters in the Netherlands, as well as one in Chicago, the 55-strong company is now eyeing 10,000 potential new customers in the US.

     Eyefreight