I shared a story yesterday about the Euro ad tech scene. It’s definitely hotter than I’ve ever seen but with AppNexus’s snapping up of Alenty, I think the message is now being broadcast loud and clear: Not all innovation is coming out of the Valley or NYC.
At the AppNexus summit this week there were, of course, the familiar sponsor logos of Microsoft, Oracle, Millennial, and Peer39. However, there were also quite a few small, new, European startups. They came from the UK, France, Netherlands, and elsewhere. Companies like Grapeshot, FlxOne, Wywy, Adomik had a strong showing and I think raised the EU tech flag in a very visible and encouraging way.
The work I’m doing with AtlanticLeap aims to support these fast-growing companies as they look west to expand into the biggest ad market in the world, the US. Historically, the story has always been that there’s a sluggish pace of innovation and venture cash in Europe. That seems to be changing lately and the AppNexus acquisition of French tech company Alenty is certainly feeding the speed of that change.
I’ve been very impressed with the number of European companies that have been innovating and pushing the limits without huge amounts of funding. The model where you have to raise tens of millions to prove out an idea isn’t the only way to innovate. Our partnership and acquisition of Alenty is an interesting model for the future, where entrepreneurs are rewarded for creating real value, even if it’s not the entire value chain. Brian O’Kelley, CEO AppNexus