In 2021, VCs invested over $139 billion into European and Israeli tech companies, with enterprise and deeptech (E&DT) accounting for approximately 67% of all investment rounds.
The modern world's most pressing problems require multifaceted solutions, and the answer is rooted in merging science, engineering, hardware, and software. The result is deeptech solutions that use extensive (scientific) research to bring innovative products to the market.
MediaMotorEurope (MME) is a Horizon 2020 project that is focused on nurturing deeptech solutions in the media and creative industry. During the programme, more than 60 startups went through three support cycles to develop their deeptech solutions for today's most prominent media challenges, including:
- misinformation and fake news
- accessibility and inclusion
- human-machine interaction
- protection of personal data
- transition towards a data-driven media 4.0 market
At the end of each support cycle, MME hosted a pitch competition: #MediatechOnStage. Let's look at the three winning startups, the problem(s) they addressed, and their deeptech-based solutions.
Founders: Adriana Taseva, Damyan Stanchev, Martin Stoev
AdHash is a self-hosted advertising platform that allows publishers and advertisers to serve ads, manage campaigns, and collect performance data without involving third parties.
By focusing on solving the ad industry's most pressing problems – unavoidable opacity, astronomic fees, and proliferating ad fraud – AdHash aims to prevent up to $320 billion in annual losses that the industry is currently suffering.
''The nearly $400 billion global ad industry currently loses close to 70% on middlemen fees and an additional $30-$40 billion annually on fraud,'' Martin Stoev, AdHash co-founder and CEO, has calculated. ''Our technology is built to eliminate middlemen that are charging fees and minimise fraud risks to prevent these losses before they happen.''
AdHash has a commission-based business model.
Launched in 2018 and followed by thorough R&D and beta-testing, AdHash currently has close to 300 clients and it's expanding internationally. In 2021, the startup secured a $1.34 million seed round to further develop its product and scale its client base internationally. AdHash is currently raising Series A.
Since its graduation from the MME programme, AdHash has released a new version of the platform, grown its user count by 50%, and achieved a 50x increase in volume on the supply side.
Founders: Lance Newhart, Paul Calleja
GlobalM is a Broadcast-as-a-Service solution with a distributed video network optimized for internet streaming via the shortest route possible, ensuring low latency and maintaining high-quality delivery.
''By replacing expensive satellite and fibre optics with our patent-pending technology, GlobalM helps media outlets and broadcasters immediately reduce live content production costs by as much as 80%'' explains Lance Newhart, CEO of GlobalM.
The total market the startup addresses is estimated to exceed $3 billion annually, according to a recent study by IMD Business School. This encompasses a variety of network connectivity and transmission services for media outlets, sports federations, remote production, hybrid events, and more.
GlobalM was launched in 2019. Currently, the startup is growing and signing multi-year contracts with sports federations.
After graduating from MME, GlobalM was accepted into the Comcast NBC Universal SportsTech programme and began pilot projects with Comcast partners and entities, including NASCAR and The Golf Channel. From over 1000 tech providers from across 80 countries, GlobalM was the only technology provider outside North America chosen to join this prestigious programme.
Founders: Elena Tairova, Daniel Maricic
Kelp.Digital makes it possible to protect the copyright of digital content, such as photos and videos, by making it machine-readable and traceable. The startup has built an infrastructure to enforce IP protection, proper attribution, and monetisation of digital content.
Kelp.Digital tackles the digital era's lifelong problem – the content we share online is vulnerable to theft. ''In fact, approximately 3/4 of images shared online end up being stolen,'' says Elena Tairova, co-founder & CEO of Kelp. She stresses that with the spreading excitement around NFTs and Metaverse technologies, these numbers have grown as more people are eager to participate in the creator economy, but IP protection remains ignored.
In 2021, Kelp.Digital built and tested its Alpha version, working with around 100 professional photographers to validate their technology. Now, they continue developing the underlying technology, Anagolay Network, a P2P Network designed to verify authorship and ownership to make it more flexible, robust, and reliable.
Fresh out of the MME programme, Kelp.Digital was accepted into the Web3 Foundation open program, and the team expects this to assist in moving forward with launching its solution powered by the Anagolay Network technology to the public.
MediaMotorEurope is a Horizon 2020 project delivered by VRT, Media City Bergen, THERMI S.A. - Business Incubator, Cluster Sofia Knowledge City, Athens Technology Center, FastTrack VC, and F6S.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 871552. This content reflects the views only of the Consortium, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained in it.