Back in December 2010 we mentioned Digia’s entry into the music scene with a new mobile app called Flow’d. The application enables users to connect with their favorite artists and in doing so, gives artists some nice tools to engage their fans. The app isn’t a new idea but rather an improvement to previous location based applications that adds more value to the existing concept.
There is one thing that parents love the most when it comes to kids and that's sharing the most memorable moments with everyone they know. The problem is you can take photos of the first step they take, their first giggle, etc but sharing them is a huge problem. Emailing helps, but the task is boring and doesn't really allow proper interaction. A service that lets you share all these moments as a journal is a need of many parents. Enter Intoloop Kids.
Publishing content online might be considered to be the easiest job for many but for those who mean serious business, pushing content online is a matter of great importance. Many bloggers out there would readily agree to this when they switch from writing for their personal blog to someone else’s. You have to adopt to a certain standard, the perfect writing style and tone of voice, just to name a few. We reviewed Wordy, a startup that takes up the responsibility of all your editorial nightmares by providing you a quick, standardized and cost effective solutions. Write, submit, pay and publish with confidence. Quite simple. Recently, they announced new pricing and features to their service.
The company that brought us Color, the photo sharing app for the iPhone, received $41 million in funding some time ago and we questioned if this was another sign of a tech bubble emerging. Color is essentially a photo sharing app that apparently got its launch all wrong. There's another photo sharing app coming from Sweden called Pixamid that seems to work in a somewhat similar way to Color, but the approach is completely different and I could easily argue that it will most likely beat Color at its own game. Pixamid leverages the users' existing accounts and builds on top of these - enabling smarter photo sharing. Pixamid is available for free in the App Store.
In this series, we study companies on how they market and sell their products or services. In the this post we'll be looking to interview Kalle Väinölä, the co-founder and CEO of Freedrop Innovations Ltd. The company is behind the Gamebook concept that golfers can use to make the most of their round. We covered the company in January when they inked an investment agreement from Anssi Vanjoki. As this is the first story in the series, all kinds of feedback is naturally welcome regarding the questions.
Out of the big and growing number of Russian e-commerce sites one stands out the most - Ozon. It's the oldest (founded in 1998) and the biggest on the market. In 2009 Ozon delivered 1,46M orders containing 6,636M items all across Russia and CIS and reached a turnover of $110M. Just when rumors started spreading that Ozon is loosing its marketshare, Ozon announced its figures for the last year and they showed a 34% growth. That is 13% higher than last year's but compared to its growth before the financial crisis, it still lags behind. Ozon's annual turnover for the last year is almost $148M. The figure pales in comparison with Amazon's $10 billion in turnover but compared with Wikimart, one of its closest competitors in the Russian market, whose turnover reached a mere $1.5M in 2009, Ozon is still the Amazon of Russia.
Mojang's Markus Persson, the lead developer of the hit indie game Minecraft, answered community questions in Reddit revealing a lot of interesting information about the game, but also the company. Perhaps the most interesting is the confirmation of the business potential of the game. It has sold more than 1.8 million copies of which 800 000 at 9,95 euro and over 1 million at 14,95 euros. While PayPal takes a small cut from all this, Minecraft has essentially generated over 20 million euros of revenue for Mojang.
A dissatisfied customer is the worst worry for any firm, which is why many companies or brands are willing to spend endlessly to ensure each customer is happy. The question is how you monitor whether the customers are satisfied or not? Leave comment cards or drop boxes? Quite ancient in my opinion and often many don’t have the time and convenience to put their thoughts to paper. Step in HappyOrNot, that sticks to simplicity; a smiley that says everything.
'Venture capitalism works like the solar system: when the sun moves, the rest follow',- said Lubov Simonova-Emelyanova of Almaz Capital Partners. The sun in this metaphor is Digital Sky Technologies (DST). The fund's sheer size and growing activity prompted other Russian investors to increase their investment activities. Russian venture capitalists are expected to make much more investments this year compared to 2010. The catalyst might have been DST's announcement of opening a new fund, DST Global2, which already invested in Groupon this January and is said to be negotiating a $100M-worth funding round with Spotify. Following the lead Almaz Capital Partners announced their plans to invest in four start-ups with the overall sum of investment comprising $30M.
Venture Bonsai, the crowdfunding platform we've covered in the past, has as of today, launched officially. Through the platform, any European based company can request begin a financing round and any investor from the region can take part in that round. The site is still invitation only, to keep the quality of the community high, but you can easily request an invite through a form on the site.
Seedcamp is coming up Stockholm on May 4th to find the gems of the region and connect them to investors and other people that can help them go forward. "We've seen a very strong group of startups coming out of the Nordics, and especially the technically focused teams are impressive", Philipp Moehring from Seedcamp stated. We recently covered GrabCad's success in winning both Seedcamp London and being accepted into TechStars, which should be a sign to everyone that the talent required is very much present at the region.
Experience sharing social startup, TruthFeed made entry to help users make better decisions as well as share their experience with a global audience. TruthFeed is easy to use, helps you with making the correct choices or decisions and it has made some updates. We covered the company earlier in this post.
When we called Uplause the Real World Massively Multiplayer Crowd Games, we weren’t wrong at all. The developers who create games for large events to enable the audience to collectively play interactive mini games. Uplause has recently made news with registering a milestone of hitting 2 million users.
According to Nokia Ääni, a new Nokia blog written in Finnish, Nokia has partnered to film and televise the Finnish snowboarding championships solely with the help of Nokia N8s. According to the blog post, all filming will be done on N8s between the 7th and 10th of April in Ruka, Finland. The filming will be done by a four man crew of Flatlight Films. This is the first time in history a full television show will be filmed with only smart phones.
Founder2be, a start-up that built a network that helps entrepreneurial-minded people find each other, has recently added some mighty force from overseas to its Global Alliance Program. First came the announcement of Startup Weekend joinning the network and this week Founder2be announced Your Story, the biggest online platform that shares stories about entrepreneurship in Indian, joining the Alliance Program. The program includes light-weight cooperation and promotion on both sides: Founder2be can help entrepreneurs find the team for their start-up and allied partners can further support the team to implement and develop their business. Founder2be's goal is to have at least one partner on all continents by the end of this year.
Skype has for the first time reacted to the public fury regarding their new Skype 5 update for the Mac. The app was released earlier this year and ever since it has received a lot of feedback, mostly negative, due to the large redesign many consider a step back from version 2.8. On Friday, April 1st mind you, Skype finally reacted to the feedback with a blog post.
We had mentioned Stardoll a couple of weeks ago regarding them counting days till they hit the 100 million member milestone. Another milestone that they hit over time was their 5th birthday. Yesterday Stardoll announced that they had been operational 5 years. It is worth noting that in 5 years, they have reached a 100 million members, something not many others are able to do.
Two guys named Dan Provost and Tom Gerhardt announced their second project on Kickstarter after their successful Glif-project. Glif, a simple accessory for the iPhone 4 was a huge success on the Kickstarter, a crowdfunding platform, where it raised $137 417 from 5273 backers. Their new project, the Cosmonaut, is a wide-grip stylus pen for touch screen devices.
This project too, has attracted immense interest in a couple of weeks. However, the more interesting part of all this is the experiment the gentlemen did with a pay what you want pricing concept. Backers of The Cosmonaut could choose whatever amount the wanted, but there were only 3000 slots available and they needed to raise $50 000 to go ahead with the project. Dan Provost recently published a blog post explaining what people pledged when they were given the freedom to choose what they wanted to pay for the product.
According to Kauppalehti (in Finnish), the Finland based ZenRobotics has announced that it has signed Jorma Eloranta as their new Board Chairman. Jorma Eloranta is the former CEO of Metso. ZenRobotics specialises in creating robots to better sort recyclable material for waste management companies. While the solution may sound traditional, it is all but that. The company has created a very sophisticated approach to the problem with machine vision and other sensors.
This is a series of posts, written in co-operation with the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs to promote entrepreneurs working with software. This post is about Teppo Kattilakoski, the CEO of Granite Partners. The company develops enterprise risk and security management software.
In this series, we try to dig deep into the backgrounds of the entrepreneurs and their companies. You can also win a ticket to Arctic15 by subscribing to the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs newsletter over here.