Europe's most promising companies for 2016

Jess Shanahan
- Leadership - Jan 21, 2016

Technology businesses – particularly fintech – are still attracting a lot of investment in Europe. Forbes has put together a list of businesses for which 2016 is set to be a very good year.

Blacklane

This transport company connects users with fully-insured drivers, for a cost that is often cheaper than a taxi. Unlike Uber it doesn’t multiply its rate with surge-pricing. In just over three months the company launched its service in 100 cities around the globe.

Founders Jens Wohltorf and Frank Steuer, as frequent travellers, saw the need for a professional driver services. They wanted something affordable, reliable and efficient so that’s what they created.

Wohltorf said: "Blacklane will continue to rapidly grow our customer base and driver partners, and integrate our service into more travel booking channels and providers. We will invest heavily into further improving the digital as well as physical customer and driver experiences end to end. In addition, we will add new countries and cities to even better serve our customers with a reliable, high-quality journey around the world. Stay tuned for a couple of major product innovations, too."

Fidor Bank

This online-only bank is determined to change the way we handle our money by offering simple financial solutions as well as an active community. One of the most innovative things about this bank is the fact that it rewards customers for being part of the community. Your interest rates are affected by things like the bank’s Facebook likes, and you can get cash rewards for taking part in discussions.

Vice President of European Expansion, Sophie Guibaud said: “2015 has been an exciting year for Fidor launching in the UK market with the Fidor Smart Current account, competitive Savings Bonds and SEPA transfers and in Germany with the launch of the corporate overdraft. 2016 is aiming to be even more exciting with the introduction of a debit MasterCard which will complete our current account offering, a mobile app, overdraft facilities and emergency loans amongst other projects. Fidor has also set plans for expansion in more countries within the EU, leveraging its EU banking licence, throughout the next few years.”

bethere

This social app makes it easy to create and share plans with friends but turns it all into a game too. It allows you to ‘check in to the future’ so your friends know where your headed and may even join you.

Panos Spyrakis, CEO of bethere said: “The app is a new social planning network, having seen significant growth in London allowing users to pre-check in at locations up to now is about to offer a disruptive way for businesses to connect with & serve customers. bethere will enable mobile users to receive offers (called bethere bids), make reservations, put pre-orders, get rewards and pay using Apple Pay in the app. Small businesses will find a new channel to engage their existing customers, acquire new ones and monetise their social following.”

Slim Pay

This company offers businesses an easy way to take direct debit payments from its customers. Risk is reduced because Slim Pay handles all aspects of the transactions, meaning you received fewer payment rejections from banks. Churn is also reduced as the direct debit solution uses bank account numbers, which, unlike bank cards, don’t have an expiry date. Offering direct debit also improves your conversion rates as people are more likely to sign up if an easy payment method is offered.

iAdvize

This is a customer care platform that allows brand supporters to give advice and support in return for rewards. The company also offers easy customer communication tools such as Click to Chat and Click to Video. This enables businesses to manage their real-time contacts, influence conversion rates and raise customer satisfaction.

This year is going to be very successful for start-ups across Europe, particularly those in the fintech arena.

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