Clear Returns, a provider of cloud-based software that is designed to increase profits for online and multichannel retailers, has been crowned Europe's best young start-up in the EU Tech All Stars competition.
The software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution provides online retailers with real-time information on their products and customers. Specifically, it analyses data to pinpoint problems with the returns process in order to minimise spend and improve customer service.
The Glasgow-based company, founded in 2012, beat Netherlands-based antibacterial plastic manufacturer, Parx Plastics, and Bristol-based photography app developer, Triggertrap, in the final of the EU's Tech All Stars 2014 competition.
However, the three finalists all received 20,000 in Google Cloud Platform services and access to Founders Forum, where they were encouraged to network with other potential investors and successful entrepreneurs and speak to Google chairman Eric Schmidt and YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley via tablet-based telepresence robot.
Clear Returns CEO Victoria Brock said: "It's a critical time in the growth of our business and the competition has been invaluable in helping us get to the next stage in our startup journey."
Presenting the Tech All Stars award at the Founders Forum event in London, European Commission vice-president Neelie Kroes said: "Europe has the talent. It needs founders like you to believe it. It's you who can come up with the good ideas and shake it all up. Start forging tomorrow's economy. Create the jobs. Change the world. Because that's what startups and entrepreneurs do."
She added: "We don't need a Silicon Valley, we have our own (...) we have a few dozen 'Valleys' spread all over Europe, we have Start-up Europe. We have so many ambitious young men and women who are innovative and creativethe app economy in Europe is booming like hell."
The three finalists were selected after the top 12 start-ups in the Tech All Stars competition pitched their ideas on Wednesday night to a panel of judges from venture capital firms like Accel Partners, Index Ventures and Balderton Capital.