And the award for best Security or Privacy startup goes to… Drumroll…ZenMate!
Yes, we won The Europas, the awards ceremony created to recognise the best tech startups in Europe. Unfortunately, we have been much too busy working on our mobile apps and the FireFox version to give this proper recognition here on our blog. But now that we've found the time, we are happy to say that we are part of the vibrant and brilliant Berlin startup scene that also took some of the other awards that “celebrates the most forward thinking, progressive and innovative tech companies across over some 20+ categories”.
“From Berlin, ZenMate encrypts users’ internet connection to protect their privacy while browsing – crucial in the age of the NSA and GCHQ…”
explained the judges as to why they chose to give the award to ZenMate. Even if that is stated a bit broadly, that’s what we try to do. We were up against some heavy competition. Companies like Cyberghost, ThetaRay, Wallarm, Digital Shadows and our colleagues from Cologne - Lavaboom. They all provide great services even if the approaches are fairly different. We are proud to win an award in such an illustrious circle.
It seems that privacy and security is occupying the mind of a lot German startups. We are one of the fastest growing startups of the Year which shows the importance of this sector. Another Europas Awards went to Telegram, a Berlin based company that provides an encrypted alternative to whatsapp. It is no coincidence that this topic is repeating in the German startup scene. After all, recent history has taught the Germans well and now it is one of the most progressive places in the world in terms of freedom of privacy, freedom of expression and data protection law. And Berlin with its very revolutionary spirit always bubbling under the surface, is the perfect environment to be inspired and work on these kinds of things.
The Vibrant Scene of Berlin Startups
Innovation is a keystone in the Berlin startup scene these days. Another big winner of the Europas Awards was Soundcloud, the music streaming platform. The nominees for Best E-commerce startup included Delivery Hero, a hot international online food ordering startup that is also located here in Berlin. In the Best Social Mobile Startup, the prize went to the Berlin-based EyeEm, a unique marketplace where photographers get paid and amazing photographs are published, all against the might of Instagram.
The “silicon allee” of Berlin is growing fast. According to Dow Jones Venture Source, which supplies venture capital data, in the second quarter of last year Germany received £228m in new venture capital for 67 deals, mainly in Berlin technology companies. In comparison the UK won £176m for 77 deals. Berlin is now believed to be attracting about £836m a year in start-up investment. Google’s office in the city is expanding fast and Microsoft is also quietly investing in Berlin start-ups.
We are delighted to be a part of that, and we are proud to get the recognition with the latest Europas Award. But first and mostly, we are happy with our growing number of users – the real award we get on a daily basis.
We really want to thank everyone that helped us to get to this point. We appreciate your commitment and work very hard to satisfy your expectations. We will keep on making the internet a safer place for everyone since this is the goal we really want to achieve.
So what do you think of Berlin now that you know there is so much more than just sightseeing?