Seeing that our last weeks article on bitcoins did not give LocalBitCoins the attention that it deserved, we felt another article on one of Finland’ s major bitcoin scene players, LocalBitcoins, was in place.
So we set out to amend that and had an interview with CEO and founder of LocalBitCoins - Jeremias Kangas and boy were we impressed. The company was started by Kangas in 2012 and for a year he was bleeding money and kept it afloat using his personal savings.
Bit by bit, quite literally, the company was growing and eventually hit profitability. At which point it made sense to start recruiting and now the company has grown to an impressive daily volume of 1400 - 3000 bitcoins per day. That is EUR 1.35M - 2.43M at todays bitcoin value.
What’s the first name that pops into your mind when asked to name a furniture company? I know I thought about Ikea. And I’m guessing so did you.
The Swedish megagiant is the first place where middle class folk head to when charged with the task of furnishing their homes. It’s pretty obvious why they are so popular, seeing that they offer something you can call design without too much shame, all while respecting the vulnerability of your wallet.
Having an afternoon coffee break? Rovio's 'Mighty Eagle' Peter Vesterbacka is now live steaming with Rhett Allain, Physics professor at Southeastern Louisiana University and author of National Geographic’s Angry Birds Furious Forces!: The Physics at Play in the World’s Most Popular Game. It looks like an interesting topic, and I've been meaning to see how live streaming content works on our blog, so sit back and let's see how they dive into this popular interpretation of physics.
The event is being streamed at 13:30 Helsinki time though the U.S. State Department's Digital Diplomacy Live. More information can be found here.
Swedish outfit DoReMIR seem to like keeping the description of what they do quite vague by saying they develop “music intelligence technology”, now intelligent technology immediately gets me thinking of Skynet but intelligent music? I imagine that’s going to lead to ‘The Sound of Music’ suddenly turning and launching an attack on our hearing. Then there’s the boast that they “enables users to more easily than ever before capture and digitize their musical creativity”, now that just sounds like they enable recording onto a digital 8-track or similar, how would you make that easier?
Well it turns out what they actually do is pretty cool, and interesting enough that they’ve just raised $1 million to do more of it.
Had Luke Skywalker come crashing down on planet earth instead of Dagobah, he might have found something quite different than an green old jedi dwarf when roaming around looking for Yoda. The Estonian-based Y.O.D.A cases now on Kickstarter were probably what he was least expecting. Not that he would've been horribly disappointed though. With a new handmade touchscreen/laptop case equipped with carbon fiber protection in his hands, he would've made a run through the closest smartphone retailer and fly back into outer space with more swag than any millennial old Jedi gnome could have given him.
A few weeks ago, 19-year-old Bitcoin entrepreneur Ludvig Oberg mentioned in a Swedish newspaper that soon Stockholm would welcome its first Bitcoin ATM. That time has come; ArcticStartup has been told that an ATM, run by Stockholm-based Bitcoin reseller Safello, will be launched on December 9.
The ATM is set to be revealed on Monday at 18.00 at STHLM TECH’s Meetup in the Hilton Slussen Auditorium before an audience of several hundred, and will be run using Safello’s services.
Now's a good time to be an entrepreneur in the Nordics and Baltics as more funds seem to be closing, meaning investors may be fighting for early-stage companies. Somewhat recently Creandum closed Creandum III, Atomico raised €476 million, and Vision+ raises €50 million for their revenue share fund.
Today Northzone announces its first close of a new technology investment fund, dubbed Northzone VII, with €150 million secured. The target size of the fund is €200 million.
Pop your bottles of Champagne, Grand Cru has now launched their long awaited title, Supernauts, in the Finnish app store, allowing Finns to finally build their own little worlds in something close to a Minecraft meets Clash of Clans dynamic. "The next Supercell" or "The next Rovio" comparisons have gotten tired after the million articles written by foreign press after Slush, but with the quality of the Grand Cru team, Helsinki is hoping on a third repeat success when the game is launched internationally.
First they were Mancx, a website that sought to provide the best Q&A service possible for business users. Then they pivoted and became Coworks and along with a new name took on a whole new challenge. They entered the market for matching freelancers with businesses, instead of just knowledge they were looking to bring people together. Their strategy to do this in a new way was to use people’s own social networks to provide recommendations on which freelancers to hire. Now they’re changing track again, so what’s new?
When Supercell announced the sale of 51% of their shares to Gungho and Softbank for $1.5 billion we suspected that we would see some of that money trickle down to benefit others in Finland. At the time we thought that might be other startups, local restaurants and pubs. Well perhaps that is happening, but what we have learnt has surprised and given us a wonderful sense of Christmas cheer.
The Startupbootcamp Mobility program kicked off its Investor Day at Copenhagen's City Hall last Thursday, bringing together a number of investors, mentors, and corporate sponsors together with Denmark's lovely Crown Princess to see some pitches and inspiring talks. Nine of Startupbootcamp's graduating teams were up on stage, all tied somewhat within the "mobile" sector.
Startupbootcamp is one of the largest European startup accelerators, with programs running in Dublin, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Berlin, Copenhagen, and Israel. Each area has a slightly different focus, with Health in Dublin and Mobility in Copenhagen, for example. All of their programs run three months, and provide €15,000 per team.
Missed Slush this year? Or were you one of the 6,000 but you didn't get the chance to ask high profile investors about the trends they see in 2014? Here's a video of the investor buzz picked up at the conference, interviewing investors like Kristian Segerstråle, Co-Founder and Partner at Initial Capital; John Malloy, Founder and General Partner at BlueRun Ventures; Timo Ahopelto, Partner at Lifeline Ventures; and Sten Tamkivi, EIR at Andreessen Horowitz.
Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post by Cedric Kamtsan, Business Director at DNA's Handset and Subscription Business on the DNA engine blog.
The co-operation between DNA and Jolla has been awesome. More than twelve months of mutual journey was culminated on Wednesday 27.11. approx. 7 p.m. when the world’s first Jolla phone was sold to a customer. The atmosphere at the event was off the roof. It was nice to see such a large gathering of media buzzing around the DNA <3 Jolla tent. We at DNA highly value the possibility of being involved in building the next Finnish success story with such a great potential.
DNA has been involved in the development process of the phone, bringing in the end-user viewpoint to maximize the user-friendliness. Personally I’m extremely satisfied with the gesture based Sailfish operating system that runs smoothly. Jolla is a perfect match for those who want to stand out from the masses with a handset that can be modified to match the user’s preferences.
The company was founded by Thomas Björk, Jesper Lazarotti and Morten Weber in 2003. CBIT bootstrapped themselves to their success today and reached cash breakeven of nearly 2,7 euro million. Ever since founded CBIT has been growing organically. Currently they have 600 regular customers in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Germany.
Badland, a premium mobile game title from Finnish developer Frogmind, was first launched onto the App Store back in April. Now as the year draws to a close the game has been released for Android and Blackberry and we've spotted an interesting new development in its monetization strategy.
Volvo is getting into the self-driving car game, initiating what they're calling the world's first large-scale autonomis driving project, where they'll have 100 self-driving cars using public roads in everyday driving conditions in Gothenberg, Sweden in a joint project with Volvo Car Group, the Swedish Transport Administration, the Swedish Transport Agency, Lindholmen Science Park and the City of Gothenburg.
In a press release today the Danish Ministry of Business Affairs and Growth (Erhvervs- og vækstministeriet) announced an agreement between the partners behind Growth Plan DK (Vækstplan DK), to launch a new loan system for entrepreneurs, ahead of schedule.
We heard about Vækstplan DK back in April, and the news now is that the ‘Vækstlån til iværksættere’, designed to improve access to finance for entrepreneurs who have a financing gap of 2 million DKK (€270,000), planned for 2015, will be available much sooner. The Government, Left, Liberal Alliance and the Conservative Parties have agreed to launch the scheme this year.
Hyperspace Yard, A new Finnish game studio just put out their first title, dubbed Division Cell today on the App Store and on Google Play. The game offers fresh puzzle dynamics wrapped up in a smooth packaging of visuals, music, and narration to get players through sometimes complicated puzzles.
The gameplay revolves around tapping aymmetric polygons to expand or shrink their borders in order to create all equal sized shapes, or "create harmony" as the game calls it. For instance in the screenshot to the left, if you were to tap a polygon, it would expand on the borders with the white buttons. If the buttons were black, however, that face of the polygon would contract. You tap around against the clock and a move tracker until you get equal sized shapes to win some some stars. An HTML version of the game can be found here, to get hands on with the dynamics.
Since the time Addwish was founded in 2009 the company has been bootstrapping. In this period company founders Brian Peterson and Kasper Refskou Jensen were remaining in their respective jobs. However, Addwish first outside investment will change things.
There’s an old saying in show business that goes something like, “Never work with children or animals.” That’s fine advice if you work in film or theatre, but if you’re a parent or pet owner you gave up making that choice didn’t you. So what do you do now? You’re stuck with these wild, uncontrollable, messy creatures; rolling in puddles, eating and sniffing whatever they find lying on the ground, and the pets are even worse. You can’t always keep them in sight and you don’t want to crush their spirit of adventure and discovery but letting them run loose isn’t a realistic option either. Along comes Wonder Technology Solutions, a Swedish company that laughs at old show business sayings and reminds you that there’s plenty of good business in parenting with their product Trax.