Startups are springing up everywhere in Europe at an increasing rate. In the beginning of this year, we took a look at major European countries and tried to come up with a list of 5 startups (each country) to look out for in 2014. We started with France, now it’s time for Italy– and it’s been hard to narrow this list down to 5. However we’ve decided to just go with 5 promising Italian startups out of different sectors. All of them entered the market within the last three years and each of the listed startups has something special to add to the web experience in 2014.
1. JUSP: An Italian startup which enables mobile payments and transactions -for consumers and business users- in a fast and easy way. It only requires the JUSP app, your credit card and a few taps on your mobile device. The Cagliari- and Milan-based mobile payment startup was founded in November of 2011 and received a Series-A round worth € 4 million in March of 2013.
2. Vivocha: A cloud-based service that allows any company to provide live support to online customers. Vivocha, which was founded in Italy and is now headquartered in San Francisco, enables businesses to communicate with prospects and customers right on the website, using any combination of VoIP (audio and video), chat, audio callbacks and collaboration tools, like assisted browsing, form & document sharing. Vivocha.com is aiming to offer the simplest and most effective multi-channel online customer engagement service.
3. Bliu Bliu: Its the believe of the Bliu Bliu-team that “Grammar does not teach you the language, being exposed to interesting content at your level does”. Bliu Bliu was founded in 2012 by the Italian entrepreneur Claudio Santori who then moved to Lithuania to work on his startup. The young company creates a flow of content, filtering from the Internet from existing texts and videos. You learn the language by consuming content you would normally consume in your native language. It’s the message Bliu Bliu makes sure you understand, without worrying that you will understand any single word.
4. Atooma: A contextually aware horizontal platform that enables the connection between software sensors (like consumer and business mobile applications) hard sensors (smartphone accelerators, location sensors, lights sensors, etc.) and physical world’s hard sensors like wearable devices, smart tv, connected cars and many other devices. Atooma, which was founded in 2012 connects these 3 worlds to enable a context aware layer around its users. Atooma’s go to market strategy has been its consumer application which is available in Google Play. It allows users to create smart action like “If I am at specific location turns on the wifi and set autoreply for relevant emails automatically”.
5. Stamplay: A Rome- and London-based startup that helps creative professionals to develop web applications for online communication campaigns without the need to know a programming language. The approach of Stamplay is simple: Connect the best online services to do jobs and leverage their power instead of reinventing the wheel everytime. The startup, which was founded in 2012, joined the Seedcamp program in the September of 2013.
The above list has been prepared with the help of the European Startup Initiative (esi). During their research they spoke to accelerators and startup enthusiasts out of all EU member states and asked them which three startups from their home country will most likely be successful on a global scale. Their answers were one of our sources that led us to the above list of 5 Italian startups to look out for in 2014.