10 bootstrapping startup success stories written in Europe

In the beginning of startup companies there are a lot of loss-making companies that are looking to expand as quickly as they can. The most well-known method of getting capital for growth is to give companies shares to business angels, accelerators and VCs in exchange for capital.

It is good news that increasing numbers of tech entrepreneurs are beginning to look at other avenues to obtain the funds they need to expand their business by using crowdfunding or revenue-based financing. Growing a company without external funding, takes some time and effort and can result in amazing outcomes. Bootstrapping is a great option for entrepreneurs who want to gain more control over their business. The founders have also acknowledged that bootstrapping has helped as a way to become more efficient and focused by prioritizing the essential elements needed for their company to be successful.

There are a number of useful articles on EU-Startups. thinking about bootstrapping or. the option of raising funds for your business. And if you want to weigh the the pros and pros of bootstrapping vs. the raising of Venture CapitalOne interesting fact is that EU-Startups was originally bootstrapped and is still sort of being until today.

Inside the European startup community there are generally many companies that have been boot-strapped throughout their journey and been able to achieve great successful. We noticed that many startups were bootstrapped initially, but went on to receive capital from VCs. While some startups were completely bootstrapped until they finalization. Here’s a list with 10 bootstrapped startups from Europe:

Ecosia Proposed asA technology for a good business that provides a carbon neutral search engine which uses the majority of its profits for planting trees. Ecosia’s business model is similar to other search engines. Their revenues come from advertisements. However they’re more focused on planting trees rather instead of making money. They’ve been able to create a sustainable businesswith steady and healthy growth, without spending a lot of money and making an effort to be impact-driven. They’re a successful company and utilize earnings to grow trees. They they have managed to strike an equilibrium as a social-benefit business. By 2021 the company has 15 million users and planted more than 130 million trees which makes them among the largest tree planters worldwide. They have never conducted major fundraising round. The founder has made the technologyness to surrender his shares and make Ecosia into a steward-owned company. This will ensure that Ecosia can’t be sold to a third-party and also they can’t take any profits from it, which wouldn’t have been possible without external funds.

Typeform is known for their elegant UX and ease of creating interactive and interesting surveys. Typeform is a platform that is accessible via the internet to collect and share information in a friendly and human manner. It was established in 2012 and have their headquarters in Barcelona. when they were just starting out The founders of the company bootstrapped the projectfor several years. Typeform is among the most successful startups that has come out of Barcelona. The company went to raise over EUR42.9 million in funding from VCs.

Sumup Fintech startup based in London. SumUp provides the latest mobile point-of-sale products like mobile-powered card readers, as well as other sales technologies to help merchants and small-scale businesses. paid. With their current size it is likely that you’ve interacted with one of their payment card readers while you were paying at a cafe or dining establishment. SumUp was established in 2012 and is currently valued as EUR26B and have completed 6 acquisitions. More than 3 million companies around the world have a presence on SumUp. Before launching a bigger VC round SumUp has been boot-strapped for an extended time by the founders.

Mojang Studios– You may not be aware of whom Mojang Studios is but you surely know about Minecraft which is among the most loved games of the current generation. Mojang Studios is the creator of Minecraft. The company was founded in 2010 and have their headquarters in Stockholm. They were purchased from Microsoft at a price of EUR2.1 billion. Prior to the acquisition they were funded by bootstrapping. That means that the deal with Microsoft resulted in a huge sum to Majong Studios founder Markus Persson.

Web Summit– Based at Dublin, Web Summit is one of the most successful tech conference organizers. Each year, the Web Summit is one of the biggest tech events in the world and is held at Lisbon (previously situated in Dublin). Web Summit was launched by the year 2009, and it has created other renowned tech-related events including North America and Asia. Web Summit started as a local event that became popular in the United States and Ireland to today boasting 100,000+ participants from over 170 nations who attend the event every year. Web Summit has been launched the year 2009, and then as they grew, so did the number of attendees.

Hotjar –Founded by the company in 2014. Hotjar provides tools to businesses that operate online to enhance their user experience and research. With the founders of Hotjar being from Malta Hotjar was always a remote business. Since their beginnings they’ve made a profit and have been cautious and prudent with their money the profits they earn return to the company and they do not give dividends to their shareholders. Despite being pursued by eager potential investors, they’ve kept away from investing in outside companies.

Gymsharkwas established by Ben Francis in 2012 Gymshark today is an e-commerce fitness clothing brand. Gymshark was founded by founder Ben Francis’ mother’s garage where he mailed made to sew items. Gymshark has been able to achieve its success due to the growth of influencer marketing. In the year of 2019, the business was named the best private business in the UK that had the fastest-growing profit and revenues that exceeded EUR295 million. The company was entirely self-funded until 2020 , when they had partially left the business by selling a stake of 21% of the business at the valuation of a unicorn.

MessageBirdwas founded in 2011 and located in Amsterdam, MessageBird is a cloud communications firm that provides omnichannel communication between companies and their customers. From 2011 to 2017, MessageBird was a bootstrapped company and said to be profitable since its inception. However, they began to seek VC funding in the year 2016. Since then, and to today, they’ve been able to raise more than EUR944 million in capital.

Cultural Trip – Culture Trip is a travel-related e-commerce brand that specializes in the publishing of contents and provides a single site for customers to find inspiration for their travels and book tripsThe company was established at the end of 2011 London the company has since increased to over 300 employees in London, New York, Shanghai and Tel Aviv publishing 80,000+ pieces of content. The first four years of Culture Trip were funded by bootstrapping. At first they worked in hotel lobbies, and were testing and experimenting until they realized an explosion of viral growth. They’ve since managed raising EUR87.5 million in funding from investors.

Loyal Gurus The Loyal Guru platform is customer information platform that offers marketing automation that utilizes AI to make each customer interaction more efficient and build brand loyalty. Since their inception on the 1st of January, 2016, they realized it was essential to establish an enduring business model right starting by securing the trust of their customers. Prior to going out to seek capital from VCs they were able to break even for two years. They’ve gone on to collect EUR2.3M after four years of bootstrapping. Thanks to the VC funds they have raised they have been able to grow faster within LATAM as well as Europe.

Darren Trumbler

Darren Trumbler

Darrent is a digital marketer, tech enthusiast & blogger.

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