This July Green Innovation Incubation Centre (GIIC) was launched in Riga. The project is carried out by Riga Technical University (RTU), Latvian University (LU) and Norwegian industrial development corporation SIVA. The latter brings 90% of the money to the table while 10% is co-financed by Latvian government. With their second admission contest still running till Monday, I have visited the incubator on Pulka street 3 and peeked into the daily life of their first batch.
For ArcticStartup, the community in the Nordics & Baltics has always been the reason of why we are doing this. Thanks to you, we have been able to grow, expand to several countries, start running events and conferences, and to cover the news in the region.
Tictail, the Swedish ecommerce platform, has finally launched something like a directory of stores for customers to browse through to allow shoppers to dig deeper into Tictail than finding one store link at a time. A web version is in the mix, but Tictail has first launched this concept on iOS which points to the trend that how people are shopping online is rapidly changing. Around 50% of the traffic on Tictail stores is mobile, and 40% of their purchases are made on mobile. It won't be long before they see a majority of purchases happening on mobile devices.
Mårten Mickos has another solid exit under his belt. As the Finnish CEO of MySQL he helped build up the database system from an open-source project to a $1 billion exit to Oracle in 2008. Last night the news broke that Eucalyptus Systems, the California-based company he was appointed CEO in 2010, has been acquired by HP.
HP has been growing up its cloud services lately under the HP Helion brand. Mickos will join HP as senior vice president and general manager of the Cloud business, reporting to Meg Whitman, chairman, president and chief executive officer of HP.
All you travelers going through HEL (Helsinki's airport) likely already take advantage of the Alepa grocery store located when exiting Terminal 2 in order to pick up some food for that empty fridge at home. But in that rush to get home, in my experience this means grabbing some quick calories to scarf down - not a proper shopping trip.
Editor's note: This article incorrectly listed Sweden as a country Coinbase is launching in.
What are they putting in Swedish school lunches these days? A few months ago we wrote about 17 year old Joel Hellermark's video-sharing startup, Sample, and now we hear that 17 year old Swede David Gabor launched his own social photo-sharing app, targeting small businesses of all places. His product, called TeamPics, creates a private Instagram for your workplace allowing you to share funny office moments, idea sketches, or whatever else you want to quickly snap and share with your team
Editor's note: This is a sponsored story for UKTI.
The Wall Street Journal reported last night that Microsoft may be eyeing an acquisition of Mojang, the Swedish creators of Minecraft, in a deal valued around $2 billion that might go down as soon as this week.
The Wall Street Journal hasn't built a name out of throwing unsubstantiated rumors around, but the news still sounds surprising. Despite Mojang's success they've stayed close to their indie roots and have left plenty of money on the table for the sake of building the game they've wanted to build, while still throwing around an anti-corporate attitude. In Markus "Notch" Persson's latest blogpost on his blog, dated June 14th, he writes:
Editor's Note: This is a promoted jobs post by Adtile.
Everyone is seems to lean towards the "hate" side of their love/hate relationship with the advertising industry, so why would you want to work in it? Well, Helsinki/San Diego-based Adtile is moving fast with an outside take on the advertising with a plan to make the industry better for everybody. The company recently closed their series A, and is now looking for a backend developer.
Finland's national basketball team had an emotional up-and-down this world cup, winning the wildcard for their first ever entry to the tournament and then battling through some close games before losing to New Zealand, missing a chance to go forward in the second round. Their loss killed any chance for a made-for-TV movie, but it captured a nation and recently turned Finns into basketball fans.
For years, when asked about the comparison between the Stockholm and Helsinki startup scenes, we said something along the following lines:
Stockholm has a very strong scene, but it is fragmented. There are several groups in and around the city that tend to stick to each other but do not really welcome anybody from the outside. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as these groups have very strong startups in them and Sweden is extremely good at creating strong companies. We just wish the scene got together a bit more.
If you can't beat them, should you join them? We get press releases weekly about new to-do apps or productivity trackers, but most seem to require you to change up your workflow to keep your productivity tracker up to date. Despite that, many of us are living within popular productivity products like Evernote every day, which is convenient and gets the job done, but is still a mess. For those of you working in Evernote already, Danish startup Swipes seems to nicely bridge between your current workflow, while still making you more productive.
Swedish crowdfunding platform FundedByMe announces today that it has raised funding from Singapore-based Link2Ventures. The amount of funding was not disclosed making it tough to know what to make of the news, but with the funding FundedByMe will be looking for expanding throughout Asia Pacific, growing beyond its Singaporean office opened in 2013. Outside of Sweden, the company has operations in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Italy, Germany and Singapore.
More hardware funding and bitcoin news - this time from Sweden. KnC Miner, a creator of state-of-the-art chips for bitcoin mining machines, has just raised a huge $14 million (€10.81 million) Series A from Stockholm-based investor, Creandum and GP Bullhound. This adds them to the list of other name-brand bitcoin companies that have raised eight figures lately, including BitPay, Coinbase, and Xapo.
Life tracking seems to be on the rise following this morning's news that Beddit has brought their total funding to $8 million (€6.18 million). Now Stockholm and San Francisco-based Narrative Clip (formally Memoto
) announces it has raised $8 million in brand-new funding. The round was led by led by Khosla Ventures and followed by existing investors True Ventures andPassion Capital.
The Finns behind the crazy sleep-tracking technology, Beddit, announce they've raised investment from Inventure, bringing their total funding to $8 million (€6.18 million), including their $500,000 seed round and most certainly some prior funding. With the funding the company says they will be strengthening their distribution channels in the U.S., as well as pumping more money into their R&D program.
Huimio, the creators of the Tunemio mac and now globally launched iPad app, announce they have raised roughly €95,000 led by digital services provider and investor Reaktor, as well as a few private investors. Their app can be likened to a Sports Tracker of music practicing, and seems like a good tool for any aspiring musician.
Bitcoins are getting broadcast to TVs everywhere in Finland. Well, not exactly, but a new project called Kryptoradio is starting to use Finnish TV station Digia's DVB-T transmitters to transmit bitcoin transactions, blocks, and currency exchange rates in real time. The pilot is now in place, allowing 95% of Finland's population to get unidirectional bitcoin information without an internet connection.
It wouldn't be a far-reaching statement to say that Taneli Armanto kicked off this crazy mobile gaming industry that Gartner expects to hit $17.1 billion in 2014. As a Design Engineer at Nokia back in 1997 Armanto created the legendary game, Snake, which got people killing time with their phones for the first time to move an ever hungry, ever growing snake in monochrome glory. Since then, Snake was featured in over 400 million Nokia phones and is one of the most popular games in history.