Disney's Matthew Grossman has confirmed to Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that they have acquired the Finnish gaming company Rocket Pack. There was no confirmation or disclosure of any other details of the deal. First rumours of this began to surface last night on Twitter, but they were hard to confirm. The company was acquired relatively quickly, just a year from its founding.
Wikimart.ru is Runet's leading platform for online stores. Set up in 2009 by two Russian graduates from Stanford MBA, within a year it attracted over 2200 merchants and raised $5,7M finding from a group of Western business angels and Tiger Global Management. This week Vedomosti reported that Tiger Global invested another $7M into the venture. According to Kamil Kurmakayev, one of the founders, Wimimart was approached by a number of other investors, including Accel Partners and Index Ventures. The reason the company chose Tiger Global was simple: the group did not try enforcing their own vision onto the start-up or dictate how things should be done. Previous investments have been spent on expanding the operations, online marketing and SEO. This investment means Tiger Global has over 50% stake in Wikimart.
According to a blog post by GigaOM, Blaast has raised financing from some top tier investors. Blaast is a Finland based startup creating a cloud based mobile platform to change the way we think of user experience on mobile devices, says Joonas Hjelt the CEO of the company. We reached out to him to learn more about the situation as there is no official press release or announcement itself. According to the GigaOM article, investors include Ambient Sound Investments among others.
Russia’s largest online payment system, Yandex.Money announced the integration of Bank Cards into users’ existing Yandex.Money accounts. This integration would enable users to make payments with their cards and not actually giving away details, which often raises the issue of trust. Of course other than relieving users of the trouble when it comes to typing the card keys.
It seems Facebook has finally enabled their Places service in Finland. Facebook members are now able to check-in to different venues using the mobile apps. The feature could be significant for a few different reasons. This enables companies to offer deals for customers, a somewhat similar approach announced by a Finnish startup Dealium last week. There was no bigger announcement of this on Facebook's side which isn't surprising at all as they roll out new features in the US and slowly expand these to other countries.
Dealmachine has come a long way since summer 2010. In June the start-up's founders Timo Herttua, Valtteri Pihlajaniemi and Tuomo Riekki had only adjectives to describe their vision of the service, which was to be an easy-to-use and fun CRM solution. The service was put together throughout the summer and in August Dealmachine was among the finalists of the Summer of Startups programme. The product's first version was launched in September and the start-up won Slush 7 pitching competition and AaltoVG Bootcamp later that autumn. Last December Dealmachine closed an unattributed six-figure angel round and now it is about to release the second version of their product, which promises to be simplified and majorly revamped. We met with the founders to get an exclusive sneak peek of the new version of the product and learn more about the people behind Deal Machine.
This isn't your traditional post about a startup per se, but a post about a cool experiment some Norwegians came up with. They wanted to uncover the numerous WiFi networks in the city and make them visible. Cities are continuously experienced in different ways as the amount of devices relying on WiFi networks increases. This experiment is part of YOUrban, a broader research project from the Oslo School of Architecture and Design.
WiMP, Scandinavia's latest music streaming service will open itself to the Swedish users, beginning March 3rd. This would allow users to signup for the service for 30 days to listen to free music. The service will offer users a quick and easy way to access a countless songs in its archive and has been specifically customized to cater to the Swedish music lovers.
There are a countless sites and services online that cater to helping you plan a trip, book hotels or even find what places are interesting to visit while you are in a city. And I guess there will be many more surfacing as we see the approach shift from global to very local. Our attention today is at Globified, the latest startup catering to your travel needs.
Ganttic is a visual resource management tool from Estonia. The service was called Yutiti earlier when it was still in beta. The service is created by WoodWare Systems, founded in 2005 and the first version of the current service was brought out under the name Yutiti in 2008. Today however, Ganttic is out in the public since July 2010. The service is also betting heavily on visual aids to help plan resources, just as Microproject, another resource planning tool from Sweden we covered some time ago.
Lainaaja.fi (direct translation: "lender.fi") is slowly building traction in Finland. The service opened end of last year and it has attracted loans worth of tens of thousands of euros. The concept is simple. Anyone can apply for a loan on the site and lenders, regular individuals, can give offers based on the suggested terms the borrower is asking for. Essentially, it's a crowdsourced way to borrow money and for the lenders, it's a way to make money by borrowing with good rates. Most of the rates on the sites are between 15 and 20 percent, so relative to other "investing opportunities" out there, the return is good.
Netcycler is the Finland based startup that developed an online service to help people recycle their goods. In the most basic form, it helps to do this with two people who find something else they're willing to exchange their own good for. This also works on a larger scale, where you may be giving someone else your good and receiving a good from a third person. Last week, the company announced they're opening shop in UK.
Money, web and music often do not go together. A new Swedish start-up has set out to change that: Menyou offers a platform for uploading, selling and reselling audio-visual content. Anyone can upload their masterpiece onto Menyou and other users can purchase or resell it, getting a small cut from the generated profit. Every time an item is sold or resold, the artist gets most of the revenue and Manyou takes a small cut from the overall transaction. The platform was being developed since 2009 and the website's open alpha version has been live since October 2010.
Earlier this week Grey Area announced a whopping 1.9 million euro series A round from Index Ventures, London Venture Partners and Initial Capital. This is one of the largest single rounds into the Finnish gaming companies in the recent years for sure. What makes this all the better for the whole country and Northern Europe for that matter, is that the financing came from overseas from globally respected investors. Ben Holmes from Index Ventures outlined four reasons why they invested in Grey Area. I think this is a good read for all entrepreneurs to keep in mind if they are looking for venture capital.
HeiaHeia, the Finnish originated service to help those exercising keep track of their developement, has announced the launch of their corporate white label service. The corporate version leverages features from the current service, but will be sold to clients through a SaaS-model. The launch of the corporate version will have no effect on the consumer service and it will stay free in the future as well, according to a blog post by HeiaHeia.
Fortumo seems to expand day in and day out. It was only last week when we shared news on Fortumo all set to integrate Bad Piggy Bank with Angry Birds to help Angry bird users make purchases or pay for updates via their mobile carriers. Earlier this week it had more news to share and this time it was Fortumo’s partnership with BilltoMobile.
There is a growing number of sports-related apps coming out of the Nordics and Baltics. Endomondo is one such service that has been quietly getting the world hooked on their sports-tracking app since July 2009. The app is designed for people who run, cycle, bike or do any other sports that involve movement across distances. Endomondo converts your phone into a sports tracker-cum-personal coach. Using GPS the app tracks time, distance, speed and calories burnt in real time, generates a map of the work-out route as well as provides audio feedback. Endomondo app has been downloaded more than 2M times and their website has attracted 800 000 registered users.
I want to be fully honest about this, but I'm really thrilled to be sharing information like this so openly about the venture capital business with the help of Nexit Ventures about the mathematics behind the venture capital business. While it's pretty straight forwards on a basic level, it's great to get these figures actually with comments from an actual investor. In this post, we'll look at the fundamental financials and why venture capitalists are looking for certain growth figures in the way they invest.
We've talked about Tuxera quite a long time back at Arctic Startup. The Finnish based company is the industry leader when it comes to providing NTFS, exFAT, HFS+ and other file system solutions that guarantee Windows, Mac and any electronic device interoperability. It had been quite a long time since we last talked about, hence we thought it would be good to follow up on the current situation with a brief interview. And it's good that we did - Mikko Välimäki, CEO, revealed that they multiplied their revenue 7 fold last year (which would mean it's closer to half a million euros based on the public records)*.
There has to be a bit of Skype in every communication. It might sound a bit exaggerated given that quite a massive chunk of the world is yet be online or take advantage of the latest innovations in technology for effective communication, but talking about Skype for the moment, it registered another milestone.