Ask.fm, the Latvian based social network that only let's you post when you are asked a question reached the 100 million users milestone last Monday. Since then, they have grown to 104 million users, as you can see on their page. They also announced that over 25 billion answers have been answers on the site to date, with over 1 billion being answered a month. That makes it one of the biggest social networks in the world, and they are just around the corner.
Many game developers and companies choose the safe route of releasing games which follow a well known pattern. Exceptional games, on the other hand, stand out because they break this cycle; They become widely popular thanks to unseen plots, game mechanisms and ways to win, with which they offer completely new angles from which to enjoy the gameplay.
One of my latest favorites in this category was The Last of Us by Naughty Dog, a console game tinted with dark realism which took the entire gaming community by surprise with its skillfully constructed script.
Being different can bring success, but there are no rules that says new games should always bring something new to the table.
This being said, I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to have more fresh approaches towards games but the issue seems to be both lack of inspiration and courage to try something new.
How to facilitate inspiration and who's to do it?
Helsinki-based AddSearch's thesis is that the standard Google-powered search for websites basically sucks. As they start adding more and more features to their product, you can see that no one really has looked at what features or material should be included in in-site search.
Should Spotify be a full-featured social platform or should it just be and API and library for others to develop off of?
Matti Lammisalo, unlike most Finns, hasn’t been flying to Spain on a regular basis only to participate in over-the-top partying. After many business trips, he recently moved to the Catalonian capital to open office for his company’s brand new Spanish branch, which aims to market and develop the Yossa nightlife app. Used by a growing thousands of Barcelonian clubbers and cocktail enthusiasts, the app’s launch in Spain this March was success story for a social Finnish app with now deals with 27 clients in Spain, including 20 big clubs.
Part of the next generation of Finnish gaming is Next Games - founded by design veterans from Rovio, Supercell, and Disney. The company hasn't shared much about anything since banding together in 2013, but now Next Games has announced it will be creating a mobile game based on AMC's The Walking Dead TV show.
IIn the world of today, advertising is everywhere. What is more, advertisers are doing their best to be as accurate as humanly possible in tracking down exactly who you are. They do so in order to make their ads more “relevant” and hopefully increase the probabilities of you purchasing their products.
Last month alone Estonia gained much startup momentum with the rise of the new tech hardware-only accelerator BuildIt and the equally hardware affiliated Garage48 event, which became the most successful of its kind to date.
The next month of April (23-30) will see the Estonian capital of Tallinn swarming with tech folks as the city will be hosting the international information and communication technology week.
The Malmö-founded social intranet startup Incentive announced that they will open for a new round of funding, to a total of no more then € 1.1 M (10 M SEK). A third of the amount is already signed, the rest is just made available, at a € 6.7 M pre-money valuation.
iPhone users - do you actually use the built-in reminder app that Apple gives you? Or do you set reminders though iCal? I noticed I don't, it just doesn't fit into my workflow (as much as I need reminders in my day to day life), and after talking to the Latvia-based Later App guys I realized I'm not alone.
But as a business decision, why enter the reminder space? It's heavily contested already with Apple's built-in products, and since they're dead simple to make, they're almost a dime a dozen like weather apps, for instance. "Reminders are big, says Davis Siksnans, co-founder of Later App. "Down the road we want to make more apps, but we wanted to go into this big category and see where it goes from there."
A battle between two major Finnish photographic-service retailers, which has been raging for the last 40 years, reached an end this week. The Lahti based photo shop, Eirikuva, has been acquired by Ifolor, Finland's largest photograph products manufacturer and retailer. They will be keeping the Ifolor brand in the process and the Eirikuva's production activities in Lahti will cease.
One of the more hyped companies still in stealth last year was Omnicloud - which rebranded to Jumpstarter as they announced a raise of €1.3 million and launched their private beta last fall. The service provides a one-stop shop to simplify getting new web projects online.
Zero Turnaround Closes $6 million In Funds Within Two Months and Seeks 40 New Employees In Boston Area
Since the introduction of Java programming as a language in 1996, developers have stumbled over and over again into practical obstacles that turn the essential, which is plain coding, into teeth grinding sit downs where headaches and bright ideas come to life.
One of the many programming related problems emerged with Java code with which developers have had to write the code on their own machines and then upload their code to remote servers for testing.
In 2006, Jevgeni Kabanov found a way to address Java’s core problem – the redeployment bottleneck.
Each week we will be giving a quick shout out to all the awesome startups growing and looking for new staff, so join me as we scan over the latest job posts we've had added to our Arctic Startup Job Board. Although we couldn't begin without highlighting that here at ArcticStartup we're are looking for an 'Ambitious Sales Entrepreneur' to join our team and promote our up coming Arctic 15 conference.
Even though the Arctic15 is only a few months away, we're not the only Spring conference in the region. Also keep your on your radar the straightforwardly named Nordic Startup Conference, an event looking to bring together the region from Copenhagen.
This isn't the normal app and web stuff we like to cover, but like Zen Robotics, it's cool every now and then to see innovations in automation, especially if they look like 1950's robot concepts. It's also the first announced investment from Finland's Inventure Fund II - the new €50 million VC fund launched in January - as well as Finnish Industry Investment. The two Finland-focused investors have carried out a €2.2 million investment into Mekitec, a food safety startup founded in 2006.
This January, Christian Seidelin, former CFO of Norwegian pharmaceutical company Nycomed, signed to invest 3 million Danish kroner (€400,000) into ActionPlanner. After exiting Nycomed, Seidelin had expressed his interest in investing capital into a startup, which led to his investment in Veloso’s ActionPlanner earlier this year.
What would have happened to the dot-com bubble crash if Pets.com could innovate like these Lithuanians?
Well, probably not much, but this company will get you thinking about how industries, like ecommerce, should start thinking about the bigger picture. The Lithuania-based Inside Warehouse team got their roots together four years ago in the ecommerce business, running a pet-related webshop targeted to pet owners. A Pets.com if you will. But taking a hard look at user acquisition they wondered where webshops really fit in.
The Adform team might not be actual “Vikings” per say, but in a modern perspective they’re getting pretty close; They’re hardened overseas travelers and witty businessmen, just like their red bearded ancestors.
Established in 2002 and originating from Denmark, Adform’s product is a cloud-based platform that allows advertisers to manage the entire add buying process, from planning, buying, optimizing, and analyzing.
As a refresher, we're building up Arctic15: Exit Path to focus on just that - every stage of the path for startup companies. As the event is picking up momentum, we are glad to announce two new speakers. At the beginning of your startup's path we're proud to have Jens Lapinski, a director at TechStars London. While focusing on a slightly later stage, we have an M&A expert and Managing Partner of Cartagena Capital - Falk Müller-Veerse.
With this announcement, we are also going to shut down the very early 2-for-1 ticket price in exactly 24 hours, so get yours now. Get a friend to join you and even if you do not have somebody in mind right now, do not worry, we will only ask for the name of the second attendee closer to the actual event. For a full list of speakers, head on over to Arctic15.com.