Cologne is home to one of Germany’s most successful start-ups. While few have heard of the company named eyeo, millions of people worldwide use their most popular product, Adblock Plus. The browser extension that blocks annoying online ads has over 100 million active users, about the same number as LinkedIn. Adblock Plus started as a hobby project by Wladimir Palant in 2006 to give users an easy way to block ads. Less than a year later, Adblock Plus was the most downloaded Firefox add-on; a position it has retained ever since. By 2011, the enormous number of users required a more professional set-up. Together with Till Faida, Palant founded eyeo as parent company for Adblock Plus.

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