We don't promote a lot of events like this, but when we do you can be sure they're worth taking a look at. Two events we'd like to bring to your attention (and you can win a ticket to the Inspire conference, read more details below) today are the Inspire conference and the Startup 2.0 event aimed at mobile apps. The Inspire conference is organised in London between 7th an 8th of June where as Startup 2.0 is organised in Bilbao, Spain between the 17th and 18th of June.
Vendep has announced their first investment in US today. It is into a California based company, v-Pitch. v-Pitch helps companies digitize their sales efforts and in doing so, adds analytics to better qualify leads for businesses. Vendep on the other hand is a Finnish investor that instead of investing capital, invests technological resources into companies. Vendep employs 13 people in Finland and 140 in India.
Endomondo, a sports community based on real time GPS tracking for trekking, cycling etc has registered another milestone. The Copenhagen based startup was among the 25 developers selected to showcase their talent at the ongoing Google I/O conference. Endomondo Sports Tracker, the mobile app that transforms the mobile device into your pocket trainer can also boast of being the one out of the 100,000 or so apps in the Android Market to be invited for the same.
Facebook and Web of Trust (WOT) have today announced that they enter into partnership to protect Facebook's users with the WOT technology. WOT is a Finnish startup that has more than 20 million users globally and these users have rated more than 31 million websites. In essence, it's a crowdsourced way to rate malicious and threatening websites that aim to harm users. The WOT technology will be rolled out as a new feature in Facebook in the US today at 8pm EET and globally in about a week's time. This is a huge win for the Finnish company.
This week details of Yandex's terms of IPO resurfaced everywhere. Though the company refused to comment, it is now clear that Yandex would be enlisted on NASDAQ early this summer and is estimated to raise up to $1.148M by offering around 52.2M shares (or 16% of total issued shares after IPO) at a price of between $20-$22 per share, Quintura reports. Yandex's market value is estimated to be around $7 billion, which is $1 billion more than Mail.ru Group's valuation. However, exact pricing figures would be revealed later this month.
Ever had to hire someone and as a technologist you go in search of tools that could help you? Skyhood is now offering Rekrysoft (all in Finnish at the moment, unfortunately), a SaaS-based application to help companies better handle the recruiting process. The application emphasizes ease of use, and in the process puts focus on decision making and communication. Towards the bottom of this article you can find out how you can sign-up for the service.
As announced earlier, we're organizing an Elevator Pitch Competition for all startups and growth companies in the Baltic and Nordic countries on June 3rd in Tallinn. The applications are due tonight May 12th at 8:00 PM EET.
We'll have a pan-Nordic/Baltic VC jury, so this is a perfect opportunity to put yourself on the radar and get valuable feedback on your pitch from an experienced jury. We also have great prizes for the winners, and of course coverage on ArcticStartup.
Getting anything for free is usually a pretty good deal, but getting the hit game free from the Google Chrome store is an even better deal! The hit game is available to anyone through Google Chrome Webstore. The Chrome App Store is a service for the users of the Google Chrome browser and the applications can be run within the browser. This also signals a change for Rovio, the company that created Angry Birds as this is the first version of the game in a browser based format.
The Helsinki, Finland based mobile gaming company Grey Area announced the expansion of their Shadow Cities game to Sweden today. You can download the game from the Swedish App Store (here). This has been an anticipated move as there were leaks (and tweets) about such a launch already earlier this year. Sweden is the second, so called, test market for Shadow Cities before it plans to launch the game globally. Together with the announcement of the opening of Sweden for the game, Grey Area has updated the game client with lots of tweaks and improvements based on customer feedback.
It couldn’t have come at a better time than this. We had been anticipating the official word on the Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype since early morning and word has been rolled out that the acquisition has been finalized and done with. The rumored buyout price was $7 Billion and the tech community across the globe thought it was far fetched. Here’s a shocker; Microsoft paid a healthy $8.5B for its acquisition of Skype, giving it a total control of the company, even the $686M debt on it.
Conor Venture Partners, Partnerinvest Norr and Innovationsbron will invest 1 million euro into BehavioSec, a Sweden based security startup to accelerate its growth and internationalisation. BehavioSec is a spin off from Luleå University of Technology and the company was founded in 2007. Previously, the company had been funded by Lunova, PNF Venture Capital as well as Norrlandsfonden and they all participated in the new investment round as well.
We have been keeping track on the progress of Voddler for a long time at Arctic Startup and perhaps the best possible mention came when we talked about the movie streaming service hitting past 300,000 user mark back in 2010. The service has now scaled to over I million users as 13 year old Phillip became its 1 millionth user. This is quite an achievement given that the movie streaming service had removed the need for invite based registrations and opened for all in 2010.
We covered Flattr in our review last May. In short, the service is way for content producers to get paid through micro-donations by individuals like you and me. Or more accurately, it was that service since last Sunday. Yesterday, Flattr began making some important changes to its service that will put it on a different path of development.
We reported a few days back regarding the possibility of the VoIP service, Skype being acquired by either Facebook or Google. While that rumor was still blazing across the Web new rumors add up, with the latest hinting at Microsoft being a very strong contender in the race to acquire Skype.
Three independent “daily deals” -sites, Cherry.ee, Beta.lt, Grupinis.lt, have today announced a merger to create the largest internet coupon site in the Baltics. The newly created company has over a 50% market share in the region and had a turnover of 0.94 million euro in March 2011. The three companies were all owned by their founders and angel investors. The merger was completed through a stock swap.
We’ve been expecting this sort of activity to take place and it’s great to see companies with similar interests partner to improve customer experience.
You may have seen these ads all over the internet when browsing for content online. InfluAds has grown extremely fast in the last 14-15 months is has been out. I had a brief chat with Anibal Damiao, the founder and CEO of the company, where they are today. In short, InfluAds is an advertising network run from Scandinavia with 97% of their customers in the US.
Microsoft BizSpark European Summit released the names of the 14 finalists from the whole of Europe. The competition involved hundreds of startups from all over Europe and making it to the top means that the selected startups had great potential to impress the selectors. Each of the finalists had to battle their way to this spot against numerous companies and two qualification rounds to grab a chance to pitch their ideas live in front of an audience of investors and a panel of expert judges. This final event will be held on June 14, in Brussels. Impressively, 4 companies are from the Northern European region.
This week saw the launch of the first phase of the EU's five-year plan to modernize and unify Internet's infrastructure across Europe, reported the Wall Street Journal. The project is called the Future Internet Public Private Partnership program (FI-PPP) and it is worth €600 million. European Union is investing half of that money, the rest would come from the member states, research institutions and private companies. Already 158 partner organizations and companies have signed up for the initiative, together with 23 countries and 18 academic institutions. According to Neelie Kroes, European commissioner for the digital agenda, the aim of the project is to address the challenges holding back internet development in Europe.
ArcticStartup covered PremiumFanPage back in January when it was launched at the CES ‘11. The venture is the brainchild of Jani Penttinen, CEO and founder of XIHA Life and is based on XIHA’s multilingual social media platform. This means your content on numerous social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, blogs can amalgamate at one single fan site via a platform that offers real time translation.
Lifeline Ventures, the Finnish early stage Vigo accelerator keeps on pumping deals through. This time they're announcing an investment into a completely new startup called Grand Cru. This is the investment we were speculating earlier this week in ArcticStartup based on their founder's, Petteri Koponen's, tweets. I got in touch with the founders of Grand Cru to dig a bit deeper. However, it was not an easy task. As I asked for screenshots on their development work, all they sent me was that guy in the picture. Either they're cooking something very wicked or they have a twisted understanding of the word humour.