The five best ad startups I saw at Europe’s Web Summit

By Fred Schonenberg | Founder

November 18, 2016 | 5 min read

Look out CES and SXSW, Europe’s Web Summit may eclipse you as the premier place to showcase new technology innovations and launch early stage startups.

Billed as “Europe’s Largest Tech Marketplace”, Web Summit took place in Lisbon, Portugal last week and boasted over 53,000 attendees, 7,000 CEOs, and 15,000 companies from 166 countries.

Web Summit

Web Summit

One of the themes of the conference was the need for advertisers to cut through the increasing noise in the marketplace. By embracing what is next, now, advertisers can realize several first-mover advantages such as low cost to entry, uncluttered environments, passionate, and welcoming consumers that are willing to pay attention.

As Gary Vaynerchuk said from Centre Stage at the conference, “the best opportunities arise when a platform is new.” With that in mind, here are five international start-ups that advertisers should know about.

Snatch (London, UK)

Snatch is a multi-brand acquisition tool packaged as a fast-paced augmented reality game. Think Pokémon GO for adults and advertisers. Brilliant design drives in-store traffic as well as branding, sweepstakes, and engagement. After a very successful UK launch, Snatch will be coming to the U.S. in 2017. It is a great tool to merge mobile, geo-targeting, and actual in-store sales.

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The In Things (Singapore)

Attempting to tackle an enormous challenge and opportunity, The In Things is creating an ecosystem to deliver “moment of truth advertisement.” It is capitalizing on the estimated 50Bn-connected devices by 2020, to leverage touchpoints to gather consumer data, based on their physical world activities and location and deliver the right advertisement at the moment of truth. Basically, The In Things is making sense of the data that the expanding IoT universe provides to optimize targeting and timing of messaging.

Lemur (Moscow, Russian Federation)

The Fox and The Hound no longer need to leave their romance to chance now that they can browse through Lemur, the dating app for pets. Americans spend nearly $60 billion dollars per year on their pets, leaving a giant market when you consider the power of word of mouth (WOM) advertising. With the connective nature of this platform, you may not want to paw left on this idea quite yet.

Jack (Brussels, Belgium)

Jack is a messaging app that helps us rediscover the pleasure of waiting. While patience and waiting are two things millennials are not known for, there is something surprisingly compelling about this concept. Remember the anticipation when you were expecting snail mail? That Christmas morning feeling? The pleasure of anticipation? Jack has tapped into those sentiments with its delayed messaging. Now the question becomes: can advertisers wait to get their message out?

Daily Dress (Hamburg, Germany)

Daily Dress presents individualized outfit suggestions based on the weather, different occasions, and the user’s existing wardrobe. While there are a few apps out there that combine the weather and fashion, the ability to tap into your existing wardrobe is powerful for consumers. For brands, the opportunities to show new options based on current styles or to demonstrate how consumers can re-order something as one begins to fade will resonate greatly for fashionistas and trendsetters alike.

These five start-ups from five different parts of the world were all invented with the intent to innovate and improve consumers’ lives. For brands to reach their summit, they have to make several small bets on new opportunities that their consumers love and always be on the lookout for ways to partner with what is next.


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