Web of Trust or WOT, the safe surfing software that protects surfers from malicious links, spyware and spam continues its growth that has been exponential in the last one year especially. The service recently crossed the 2 million registered user mark and out comes another update. The Web of Trust went past the 20 million download mark, quite significant since it took only a year to add another 10 million.
A few weeks ago we put out a post promoting the Mini Seedcamp event in Stockholm taking place on May 4th. Yesterday, it was announced that a record number of companies had applied to the event and Seedcamp also listed 20 of the companies taking part in the event. Like in other cities, there is a mix of companies from a wider region and this time as well, a few companies from elsewhere in Europe are attending the event.
RelationshipGames, a Finland-based start-up, has launch a new version of their game on Facebook. This edition has more features and game dynamics than the previous one. The game approaches relationships in a pragmatic yet playful way: lost or dying passion can be reinvigorated through a set of surprises, tasks and treats. RelationshipGames is built for couples. It spans online and offline worlds: players get virtual cards with tasks to be performed offline. Once a task is completed players get virtual points, which can later on be traded for a real life reward from their partner. The tasks players are expected to perform revolve around romantic ways of surprising one's partner, like giving them a surprise call at work or chilling champagne for when they get home. Players can also get points by answering questions about their partners. Players' missions, rewards and test results are stored in a game diary similar to a news feed and players can choose whether to share their game activities in Facebook, or keep the game private between themselves.
We talked about Zerply, a California based startup with roots in Northern Europe that aims at letting you present yourself in a more professional way with profile pages that integrate with numerous other social profile that you already have. The startup announced the release of their endorsement widget. The widget lets you display your tags on any website so visitors can get an idea on who you are and more easily endorse you.
For the past 3 weeks or so we've been promoting Applifier and their recruiting needs. Applifier is one of the fastest growing Finnish companies and like many of its kinds, one of the hardest things to do to support the growth is to find the right people. We've come up with an interesting promotional product and we think it's a good fit for companies looking to find the best people for their company.
Just before Easter, Rebtel has announced that they are moving into the international SMS space with the launch of the ToIP (Text-over-IP) service. With this two groups of clients can take advantage of cheaper international SMSs. First, obviously the consumers using Rebtel's services are one group, but also app developers who require sending of international SMS as part of their service can also take advantage.
Yandex has success written all over it when it comes to being the leading search engine and the most visited site in Russia with over 21.5 million average monthly users. When you are this big, there is little reason why you won’t try different things. We have been talking about the Russian Internet company and news has always been different. From providing aspiring entrepreneurs with mentoring at Yandex.Start to funding the same with Yandex.Factory. In its latest release, Yandex announced the launch of Yandex Maps, with map of Moscow and Moscow region being the first to be rolled out earlier.
There has been a lot of debate over the Nokia and Microsoft Partnership, especially regarding when Nokia will start the production of the Windows Phone 7 devices. While the exact dates are yet to be announced, Mobile Review revealed that we can expect at least 4 devices in early 2012.
Another area Nokia and Microsoft are having a challenge in agreeing is the naming convention of the new phones. It will be difficult for both to modify their existing conventions to please the other, but at large the Nokia Windows Phone devices will be carrying a "W" prefix. This will be the link factor for the Nokia phones running on the Windows operating system.
Angry Birds is set to get another title to boast about in its collection as Rovio announces the launch of Angry Birds Magic. The game is set to launch on Nokia smartphones powered by the current Symbian Anna update.The game will be released at WIMA NGS conference next week.
While Garage48 is still a little under a month away from the African Safari, the event at Tallinn last weekend has had the curtains dropped. The event saw over 120 people working hard in 18 teams to give their ideas a touch of reality. Garage48 is a weekend type company development project, where people of different crafts get together to work on projects for the duration of 48 hours. After the weekend, teams present their results in front of an audience.
Finland based Intera Partners has raised a 200 million euro fund to be invested into promising and growing Finnish companies. The now raised Intera Fund II is Intera's second fund. Investors in the new fund include high level international organisations, among others, Sjätte AP-fonden from Sweden, LGT Capital Partners from Switzerland and Standard Life Group's SL Capital Partners from Scotland.
Weekend events that concentrate on creating a start-up idea and building a prototype are becoming quite popular in Nordics and Baltics. The latest addition to the recently held events is Startup Weekend Lithuania. It was held for the second time in Kaunas and gathered around 200 guests. One of the key organizers, Justinas Katkus, shared with us the event's outcome. Throughout the 54 hours that the event lasted, 17 teams were formed and at the end 6 best projects were chosen.
Nokia has just taken a big step forward with its Ovi Maps. Instead of going the obvious way of adding a Google-type Street View to its service that other similar kinds of mapping services have done, Nokia has added 3D aerial view to it maps. This enables anyone to go about a certain cities and fly around and see what the cities have to offer. It has to be said that 3D in this way is more picturesque and for sure something different to the more traditional "Street View".
Fenwick and West have published another study full of interesting information regarding angel investments in the US. In the study titled Angel and Seed Financing survey in the internet/digital media and software industries they analysed the size of the rounds in 2010 as well as who lead the rounds among other things. There are some interesting findings here that possibly signal of new things in the horizon.
Probably the biggest issue with fresh graduates is encountered when they need to market themselves appropriately for jobs, even for internships. Especially when it comes to the digital space, where recruiters are more interested in practical work rather than the traditional resume. Students at Hyper Island, a Sweden based organisation focusing on better education in areas all things "digital" have created Intern Store, a method to market themselves in an efficient way for companies to recruit them.
The three largest parties to gain power in last night's Finnish parliamentary elections have dramatically different political agendas. Fortunately for entrepreneurs, employment and entrepreneurship is one of the areas with the fewest differences overall. However, there are differences and depending on how the new government will be formed - these might have significant effects on entrepreneurs and their incentives as well. Below are some of the key areas of change these three parties are trying to achieve (from an entrepreneurial point of view).
Yesterday Finland held its parliamentary elections where it chose the representatives to drive Finland forward for the next four years. National Coalition Party (NCP) took the position of the largest party with 44 seats of the 200 seat parliament while Social Democrats, a former opposition party, took 42 seats. However, the rise of the True Finns in the largest gain of seats in Finnish history, from 5 in 2007 to 39 last night, signals change in many ways. While we don't usually cover politics in this great detail, the rise of the True Finns could also effect startups and growth entrepreneurs in a very significant way.
Just earlier this week we announced that Steve Huffman and Daniel Kaplan are coming to Arctic15. Today we have the pleasure to announce that the CEO and founder of one of the most exciting companies in Europe currently, Jens Begemann, is coming to Arctic15 as well. Jens Begemann is the founder and CEO of wooga, Europe's largest social games developer and the number four globally. Previously, he worked as the Chief Product Officer at Jamba (Jamster).
Finnish Ministry of Employment and the Economy yesterday announced their first study (better late than never) into the growth company ecosystem in Finland. Like said, it is first of its kind, but this will become an annual look into the effect these companies play for the Finnish society. The study is downloadable online (in Finnish) for free, but we'll go through the main points here and what this might potentially mean in the political sense. The focus of the study is on employment and how many people these so called growth companies can employ. It turns out that during 2006 and 2009, 691 companies created around 50 000 jobs. 50 000 jobs in Finnish terms in just three years is huge, but 691 growth companies by any standards isn't a lot.
Russian firm, Yandex is waking up to assist startups with funding with the initiation of Yandex.Factory. Yandex.Factory is a startup investment program that will provide funding to startup projects in Russia as well as those from the International arena and this investment is by no means small.