Deeptech/Software & SaaS/Analysis/ The 10 fastest growing open-source startups in Europe A new report by Runa Capital has gathered the fastest-growing open-source startups hosted on GitHub — here are the European teams that made it By Sadia Nowshin 1 February 2023 The Penpot team The Penpot team \Deeptech Atomico leads $11m Series A for Romanian pet tech Digitail By Zosia Wanat 12 January 2023 Deeptech/Software & SaaS/Analysis/ The 10 fastest growing open-source startups in Europe A new report by Runa Capital has gathered the fastest-growing open-source startups hosted on GitHub — here are the European teams that made it By Sadia Nowshin 1 February 2023 European universities are leading the world when it comes to turning out founders of fast-growing open source startups, according to a new report. The research from Runa Capital found that France’s Epitech IT school was the academic institution with the most alumni running fast-growing open source startups. Epitech produced five founders that featured in Runa’s open source index, which monitors the open source startups with the biggest annual growth in GitHub “stars” — a bookmarking system for developers on the popular open source platform. Runa says that while GitHub stars aren’t a perfect metric for measuring growth, they do reflect a startup’s “preeminence” in the open source community. The next most-represented universities were Canada’s University of Waterloo with four founders on the list. The US’s Harvard and Berkeley universities, and Europe’s Delft University and Imperial College London all had three founders in the fastest-growing index. Other findings Of 81 founders in the list just 4% were female. Meanwhile, four European startups ranked in the overall top 10, with three from the US, and the rest coming from Israel, India and China. In the overall top 50, the US dominates the list, taking almost 40% of spots (19 out of 50), while 15 of the startups came from Europe. Runa Capital’s report also found that nearly half of the top 50 companies in the list raised capital in 2022 — and startups in the US, UK, Germany and France accounted for 79% of the funding for those on the ROSS Index list. Here are the top 10 fastest-growing open source startups from Europe 1. refine HQ: Turkey Founded: 2022 Place in the overall list: 3rd Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 395% Refine offers an open-source library to save developers time when building web apps and allows customisation rather than having to choose from pre-set code components. Last year, it raised a seed round of $1m. 2. Safing HQ: Austria Founded: 2017 Place in the overall list: 4th Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 345% A free open-source app firewall, Safing’s software reveals all of the connections that apps are making with each other without the user’s knowledge, as well as offering the user control over which ads and domains are blocked. 3. Nhost HQ: Sweden Founded: 2019 Place in the overall list: 5th Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 300% Nhost configures app databases and backends using GraphQL. It raised a total of $3.1m in seed funding in two rounds, one in 2020 and the second in 2021. 4. Penpot HQ: Spain Founded: 2019 Place in the overall list: 9th Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 202% Offering a web-based, open-source design and prototyping platform for cross-domain teams, Penpot’s software only needs a modern browser to run, eliminating the need for specific operating systems or installations. It raised an $8m early VC round led by Decibel in September last year. 5. Medusa HQ: Denmark Founded: 2021 Place in the overall list: 12th Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 183% A development platform for ecommerce merchants looking for an alternative to Shopify, Medusa offers site customisation options as the needs of the company develop, plus connects to the APIs of payment providers and content management systems. Last year, it raised around $8m in seed funding led by LocalGlobe and Dawn Capital. 6. NuxtLabs HQ: France Founded: 2017 Place in the overall list: 15th Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 175% Offering a developer-focused website design software that automates repetitive tasks and increases the speed that sites load, NuxtLabs raised a $2 seed round from Kima Ventures last year. 7. Coqui HQ: Germany Founded: 2020 Place in the overall list: 22nd Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 152% Coqui is an AI-powered voice generator, creating emotive and realistic voices for uses such as video games and dubbing. Users can either choose from a list of voices or generate one themselves, and can edit the voice down to single characters. The company didn’t confirm if it’s raised any money yet. 8. Apify HQ: Czech Republic Founded: 2015 Place in the overall list: 28th Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 133% Apify offers a platform for developers to build web scraping software and automation tools to imitate digital tasks. It offers a range of scrapers, from Twitter to Google Maps to global weather forecasts, and has raised a total of $1.3m in seed funding across four rounds, plus a $12k grant from Y Combinator. 9. NetBird HQ: Germany Founded: 2022 Place in the overall list: 29th Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 128% A no configuration VPN provider, NetBird connects up to 20 machines and devices into a private network. It raised £200k from Antler in April last year. 10. OpenReplay HQ: France Founded: 2018 Place in the overall list: 32nd Annual growth rate of GitHub stars: 124% OpenReplay provides an insight into a website user’s behaviour by “replaying” their actions that businesses can self-host to keep information within their own infrastructure. It raised $4.7m last year, led by Runa Capital. This article was updated on 1 February 2023 to remove Safing’s incorrect fundraise amount. Sadia Nowshin is editorial assistant at Sifted. She tweets from @sadianowshin_ Related Articles An alternative to Deliveroo and Just Eat: Food ordering app Flipdish raises €40m By Amy Lewin Click here to read more My name is AI, how may I help you today? Sponsored by Microsoft Click here to read more The biggest mistake I’ve ever made: Mistaking confidence for competence Sponsored by Oracle NetSuite Click here to read more 11 startups solving hybrid work, according to VCs By Connor Bilboe Click here to read more Most Read 1 \Healthtech Is Daniel Ek’s new body scanner worth the hype? Sifted tried it out 2 \Venture Capital VC diversity needs to change — and white men need to take responsibility 3 \Venture Capital New €3.75bn European Investment Fund pot to back late-stage VCs 4 \Sustainability Counteract closes £15m fund for carbon removal solutions 5 \Mobility Was the $5bn that VCs plugged into escooters worth it?