To consumers HeiaHeia seems like a consumer product - you see friends sharing their runs and workouts through the service, and the product feels like a social B2C product. But as we wrote last summer, HeiaHeia's business model is targeted towards companies and organizations that wish to proactively lower their healthcare and insurance costs by encouraging more active lifestyles.
For companies like HeiaHeia that have some sort of B2C angle but are doing B2B sales, Raisanen says is important to understand that is that a lot of the things that work on the B2C side doesn't apply to B2B. It's a tricky situation to be in. The service they provide is very dependent on the individual getting excited about it, but at the same time it's a B2B purchasing decision.
Here is a story and startup advice from Zendesk, a “startup” from Denmark that has over 25 000 enterprise customers, serving over 100 million people which has raised over $85 million dollars in VC money and has possible plans for IPO this year.
At this years Arctic15, organized by ArcticStartup, Mikkel Svane shared an amazing story of how the company was started over wine and cigarettes The presentation is filled with inspiration from the Zendesk journey that also aims to provide you with some insight of how to build your own startup. Svane also shares his thoughts on the megatrends in the industry as well as the key principles that you can apply to your startup. Without further adieu here is the video:
Here's a little bit of news that gives us a chance to talk about one of the biggest advertising platforms coming out of the region. Videoplaza has partnered with Brightcove to bring HTML5 video monetization support to Vidoplaza's video ad managament platform. They point out that in the past year, viewership of ad-supported, rights-managed video content on smartphones increased nearly eight times, and tablets have become the go-to mobile devices for viewing episodic video content.
We haven't covered Videoplaza in about a year, but they're one of the big ones. In February of 2012 they raised $12 million from Qualcomm Ventures and Innovacom for their sell side ad management platform used to monetise video across PCs, mobile devices, tablets, game consoles, IPTV and Smart TVs. Videoplaza is now headquartered in London with development in Stockholm.
Have you ever considered it strange that despite the fact that most of us have a screen in their pocket, it's still sometimes hard to see the slides on the screen during presentations? I never put the two together, but the Copenhagen-based team behind Canvasdropr has released Presentation.io to synch up the stage with your phone, tablet, or your pocket. The end product is immediately useful, and visibility aside, having the presentations synched adds a new layer of functionality.
This new product has its roots in CanvasDropr. Last year they added a presentation mode to the whiteboarding tool, which synced the presentation across all devices connected to the whiteboard project. Catherine Andersen of Presentation.io tells us that a number of their customers started reaching out and asking if it was a separate product because they liked the functionality, and they wanted to use it with their PowerPoints, PDF files, and so on.
Editor's Note: This is a Guest Post by Antti Virolainen, CTO of Sharetribe.
How can you spend a year traveling in some of the most beautiful places on earth, and at the same time, work full time on your startup and push it to the international markets?
This is a story of a year in my life as an entrepreneur, working full time as a CTO of my early stage tech startup Sharetribe (earlier known as Kassi). It’s probably not your average story though. The year included backpacking through South America, crossing the Atlantic Ocean by ship, hiking and riding on the Andes, surfing on three continents, learning a new language for sales presentations, climbing volcanoes in Indonesia, participating in a startup incubator program in Chile, living in an entrepreneurial community in the tropical paradise of Bali, and much more.
Estonia-based Sportlyzer announces they have grown into more of the sports club software sector. The startup allows you to log training data, collaborate with your coach, while still keeping the social features to share trainings with friends. But recently they've been updating the service to make Sportlyzer more useful for coaches, even if their endurance athletes do not track their workouts on Sportlyzer themselves
Tõnis Saag, Sportlyzer CEO explains on their newsletter, "Digging deeper into the reality of training management, we can see that majority of these plans and data is spread between paper notebooks and spreadsheets, which makes longitudinal analysis and comparison of athletes very difficult if not impossible!
The second batch of AppCademy is kicking off in just one week. AppCademy is a version of a seed accelerator that is a part of the AppCampus program, providing teams with education and mentorship in addition to the money and marketing benefits. Unlike the rest of the program, the teams get to visit Finland for four weeks, where they will go through extensive 1-on-1 coaching sessions, lectures and training sessions by Microsoft and Nokia.
The first AppCademy was held in November 2012 and according to Paolo Borella, the director of AppCampus "[it] was a great success, we learned a lot and got positive feedback from the alumni of the first batch. From that feedback we're stepping up efforts and launching 4 camps this year, where we'll invite the most promising AppCampus teams. To these teams we offer some sponsorship in airfare and lodging for the camp."
Spotify has just overhauled its iPhone app interface, making it more similar to their Android version. Gone now is the bottom bar that was responsible for much of the navigation. Instead now everything has moved over to the side bar accessable by a button on the top left.
The app feels fast and responsive, making this update an nice addition, even though it takes some getting used to. Despite these updates, the app is still missing some features like Related Artists, and the search results still force you to dig down into tracks, albums, and artists, which is tricky when you only know half of a song's name, but you do know the artist.
The story of the Finnish crowdfunding company Mesenaatti.me is an interesting one. They were not planning to launch until later in 2013, but thanks to a series of events that took place in 2012 they were basically forced into it. The market was asking for it, they listened and have already successfully funded 5 pilot projects.
We got together with Tanja Jänicke from Mesenaatti.me to talk about their story and plans for the future. Jänicke revealed that originally when they launched a informational website on the 23rd of August 2012, it was simply to announce their plans and to get a feel for the market. The idea was not to start any crowdfunding projects just yet.
Mojang, the Swedish developers of Minecraft, last week put on Mojam 2, a hackathon and charity event that brings together Nordic games and a good cause. What more could you want? Like last year, Mojang and their friends sat down for 78 hours to hack away at some games, all while livestreming their process.
The money was raised and games distributed through the Humble Bundle, which features a pay-what-you-like model. For this charity event, all of the procedes went to The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Block by Block, "a wonderful collaboration between Mojang and UN Habitat to bring youth into the urban planning process for better cities."
Yesterday the video below was floating around the web, with tech, sports, and music giants talking about how and why they got into programming, with the goal of motivating kids to open up their favorite text editor and saying hello to the world. But in Estonia, this dream shared by Zuck, Gates, and Will-i-am already exists. An initiative called ProgeTiiger (or Programming Tiger) has been taking programming curriculum into Estonian schools, reaching children as young as kindergarten with basic programming and robotics. The goal is to continue Estonia's dominance when it comes to technology, programming, and the e-estonia initiative.
"If you read the articles about Estonia, yes, we have lots of startups per capita, but we need more working hands and we have to change the attitude towards technology," says Ave Lauringson, Product Manager of ProgeTiiger.
If you haven't been paying attention to The Pirate Bay in the past week or so, you're missing out on a bit of swashbuckling pirate tricks and stormy seas... you know, the normal pirate life. We'll give you a little history because we haven't covered them since Elisa, the Finnish operator, was required to block the bittorrent site, among others around a year ago. The Pirate Bay was founded in Sweden in 2003, making it a decade old now. A documentary on the history of the site has been released, called TPB AFK, and is available to be watched for free.
In Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress? AVUXI has got the town figured out, whether you're looking for a eating, shopping, partying, or popular places to take photos. The startup uses a "heat map" style design to map cities that is currently available as a web application, with a mobile app coming soon. But rather than waiting for their app to drop, we figured we'd bring you show you this company because a few of our readers may be attending the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, where AVUXI is currently live.
It seems that a lot of companies in our region are setting their sights onto the banking industry. After all, according to Gartner the worldwide mobile payment market will be worth $617 billion with 448 million users by 2016. That is just the mobile part of it. So if you grab just a small piece of this market, you are definitely doing something right. Today, uBank of Russia announced an $8 Million Series A funding round from Runa Capital, helping them to accelerate their growth in the region.
The main concept behind uBank allows to make all sorts of payments and transfers directly from mobile devices or PC's. This includes paying for bills and transferring funds. To source the money, users can attach multiple credit cards of different banks, thus basically uniting them all under one account. There is a 0% commission for topping up the account as uBank monetizes through making partnerships where they charge a commission fee and also by providing banks with a mobile banking solutions for their customers.
“I believe the single most valuable asset for any game developer in today’s market is knowledge,” explains GameAnalytics’ Founder and CEO Morten E Wulff. “During the last year I’ve met representatives of more than 100 game studios from all over the world and every single one is struggling with both increasing user acquisition costs and low retention rates. When they do strike gold, they don’t always know why. GameAnalytics is here to change that.”
And to have the means to change that, Copenhagen-based Game Analytics has raised $2.5 million (€1.9 million) from Sunstone Capital, CrunchFund, and a list of angels, including Jimmy Maymann (CEO, Huffington Post), Tommy Ahlers (former CEO, Podio, now part of Citrix), René Rechmann (CEO, Goviral) and Anil Hansjee (exGoogle M&A). Out of those angels, the name that's really interesting is Ahlers - which suggests that the Podio acquisition money is starting to circle back to Danish startup community.
Everyone has a different story on how they became an entrepreneur. Niklas Adalberth, founder & Deputy CEO of Klarna began his career in a somewhat interesting fashion. Thanks to his Photoshop skills, as a youngester he was able to start a successful ID forgery business which allowed teenagers access to tobacco and alcohol. Of course this is not something he is particularly proud of, but it did teach him a lot: starting a business is fun, not very hard and everyone can do it. Of course it also taught him that it is never worth being on the wrong side of the law. Here is a video of the whole story:
More and more digital artists are thinking in the third dimension thanks to the increased demand for rendered images, video game assets, and an the growing 3D printing industry. You'll find marketplaces targeted at one sector or another, but considering the overlap between 3D models, Vilnius-based CGTrader has put together a marketplace that is now focused on CG models, but plans to tie everything together.
Last week they announced a €185,000 funding round led by Lithuania-based Practica Capital, although the deal was closed about 2 months ago. With the funding round CGTrader plans to expand their team and add many new features to expand their reach and make their community more active.
Greg is away in Spain on a "business trip", enjoying the sun and getting to know the Finnish Start-Ups over there. Kinda smart to remain a Nordic startup but work from somewhere with a slightly warmer climate and cheaper conditions. Basically I get to fill in for him and write this weeks Friday Wrap Up. It was definitely a good week for the region. We covered two new seed rounds by Froont and Avansera, learned about failure, and witnessed crowdfunding success by Climbstation. We are also anticipating some good events and have a great lineup of internships and jobs for you guys to check out.
After investing into three companies (VALO, FUSION, and RBN), a finnish IT company Reaktor announced a new investment arm of the company - POLTE. Just last week, they made their first investment into Ninchat and today they came out with the news that they invested into Avansera and their shopping list app - OstosNero. They claim that they will be able to save up to 40% on groceries and other fast moving consumer goods.
When we last spoke to Oskari Kettunen, the head of the POLTE project, he did mention that they are evaluating many companies and that the pace will be fast. However we did not expect it to be this fast. This time around, the total investment is undisclosed as the seed round has multiple angel investors on board that prefer to stay anonymous. Still Kettunen was able to tell us that their share of the investment is €55 000. As usual POLTE will also provide the experience and knowledge of the Reaktor team.
As Helsinki solidifies itself as the european gaming capital, PlayHaven, a lifetime value maximization platform for mobile games has hired Rovio SVP of Marketing Ville Heijari to start PlayHaven's international expansion. PlayHaven offers game companies the ability to acquire users, understand performance, and monetize through their platform that offers internal cross-promotion, virtual goods, rewards, and user segmentation. This sort of targeted technology and consulting for games is a growing industry up here, with Copenhagen-based GameAnalytics recently raising $2.5 million (story to come) and Helsinki-based Metrifiy also in this area.