Google announced last Friday that they will be shutting down Jaiku and Buzz, which comes with little surprise as the web giant focuses its attention on its new social network, Google+.
Jaiku, the Helsinki based mobile social service that allowed you to send short updates to your friends, was acquired by Google in 2007. But after gaining over 40 million users on Google+, Google has shifted away from Jaiku, which never gained much traction after its initial core of users.
You might remember our coverage of BrowserTexing last August. BrowserTexing is the Danish Android app that allows you to text from your phone number in your computer's browser. This makes it an valuable service for people who send a lot of text messages, group sms messages, and people who would rather type on their keyboard while leaving their phone in their pocket.
Location-based applications have already become a huge part of smartphone users' lives, but are currently only about as accurate as the distance you can throw your iPhone. Thanks to a Finnish startup, location-based services are soon going to see a big update in accuracy.
Today, Walkbase announced the public beta of their indoor positioning platform for mobile applications. The service's cloud based room-level positioning API will now be available for developers to use, ushering in a new era of location based applications and advertising for the Android platform.
iZettle, a Sweden based company looking to crack the social payment problem, has closed an 8.2M euro investment from Index Ventures, Creandum and Charles Dunstone, CEO and Co-founder of The Carphone Warehouse. The round was lead by Index Ventures. iZettle's solution is very similar to that of the US leader's in this space, Square. They have an iOS app that users are able to download for free and then use that app, together with a small chip-card reader, to accept and pay for goods and services with your credit card.
I miss out on knowing what I planned last year. How much of it has been achieved and what hasn’t been? While a personal diary with all records and an online to to list there is nothing like a letter from your own self dated from last year. Letter2Future takes care of that.
The startup hails from Lithuania and is a non-commercial project aimed at helping you send your letter to the future. “Thoughts materialize better on paper” is indeed a wonderful phrase and ensures whatever you thought or planned is available anytime without risk of being forgotten or altered. The startup enables you to compose a letter today, on anything you want write, be it a plan, a promise that you make today or just share with your beloved how much you love them today. Once written you can assign a future date when the letter is to be delivered. Great, there is some more news to make it better.
Lacking a better metrics from official sources, the data analysts at Xyologic have put together statistics on the top paid and free apps in the Android, iPhone, iPad, and WP7 marketplace. These numbers can't be relied upon completely, but should prove themselves to be fairly sound when discussing what's happening at the top of the marketplaces.
Our first coverage of these data-sets will look at what's happening in the paid and free iPhone marketplaces in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden, using data from the month of August. Games accounted for about 59% of paid app downloads in the region, with anywhere from 57.1% in Finland to 61.3% in Sweden. This is quite apparent when looking at the top paid app lists, with the following four games consistently in the top 5:
A couple of weeks ago we covered Rebtel and their improvement to their iPhone application. Little did we know that last week they came out officially with a whole lot more than just free calls between iPhone users, as we titled the post. Rebtel has announced some cool new technologies to their application as well as making the free calls platform independent.
For the past couple of days I've been looking at different online solutions to setup a very simple online storefront to sell one physical item on behalf of our rugby club. While it may seem an easy and a quick task to do, it's surprised me with the amount of things I have to look into, not to mention the amount of insufficient solutions on the market. The work of setting up this storefront has opened my eyes to the fact that there's still a lot of room to set up a startup in the e-commerce space.
I'm not saying there aren't good solutions on the market, but most of them are aimed at those who want to run e-commerce sites full time with hundreds of SKUs. My guess is that if you look at only sports clubs, there are probably thousands of them who have about 10 SKUs they'd like to sell online, just in Finland.
While the increasing number of innovations from small R&D companies have made our lives easier, the process to legally register new products has become much more complex. Between 2003 and 2008 the number of patent filings has nearly doubled to 6.37 million filings per year, making it difficult for companies to research prior art before filing their patent application.
Some online tools like Google Patents have made aspects of this process easier and cheaper, but still lack the depth and quality of an expensive patent lawyer. The Estonian startup, CrowdIPR, seeks to bridge this gap by introducing crowdsourced knowledge from technology experts into this specialized area.
Thinglink has announced a printable version of its image tagging service called Rich Media Notes, which gives owners of NFC enabled devices the ability to interact with physical objects such as posters, flyers, photos and other print media.
Arctic15 was held almost a month ago and we decided to summarise what the 15 awesome finalists actually pitched and released on stage. This is a little bit of a promotion to our upcoming videos of all the pitches we're beginning to release soon on ArcticStartup from our event. So browse through the 15 finalists presented below in alphabetical order, presented in their own words.
Run by Finns, from all over the world, GamesMadeMe is looking to ride the HTML5 tech wave all the way. Their first game, Dollar Isle, is now out. There's a lot more in the pipeline and we talked to Juha Paananen, one of the founders and also the CEO of the company, to learn more. Paananen himself lives in Singapore. He used to work there, but decided to start working with a startup as the chance came up. The company is relatively young, it was founded in May this year and it's registered to Finland. They've also raised a small seed round from Lifeline Ventures.
The path to becoming an entrepreneur anywhere is wrought with obstacles. Most of the concerns come down to money and time but if you happen to live outside of your home country you also need to think of visas. One often hears horror stories about getting an entrepreneurship visa to the US. Here is my experience with Finland.
The story starts similar to many foreigners: I moved to Finland from the safety and comfort of my home country because of my girlfriend. I was lucky enough to find work despite my non-existent Finnish in a big international company. All was good until I started being more and more interested in entrepreneurship. Besides, things at work were not going so well, there was a lot of hushed-up talk about job cuts.
‘The future of print is digital’, we think the phrase has become obvious and clichéd but Issuu’s vision has become a striking reality. Today the Danish startup allowed its users to transform their print documents into ads with AdPages.
The AdPages service brings a concept similar to promoted tweets on Twitter just that it brings the same to documents across its platform. Users can promote their documents in special promotion slots on other related documents’ pages. Advertisers can set daily spending for ads and are only charged whenever a visitor clicks on the ad slot on the site. Meaning you don’t pay for impressions but clicks, which ensures users visit your product (a document in this case).
If you've ever been to a conference you know how important the buzz around it is. You need to follow tweets to check what people around you are thinking or view check-ins to see who's actually attending. The same applies to a lot of events, be it concerts or sports events. The problem is, though, that there is a growing number of ways to interact with others around an event but no single platform that would combine all of that rich content. Gignal has an answer for that. Founded in Denmark by Natasha Friis Saxberg, the start-up offers a social media billboard for events that presents all social buzz around the happening in one place (check-ins, tweets, comments, pictures and videos).
Bloomberg is reporting today that Rovio has announced it is preparing for an IPO in 2012. “We’re not ready to file for an IPO tomorrow. Maybe a year from now.” Peter Vesterbacka, the Mighty Eagle of the company said on Bloomberg TV. He also went on to state that the company is insanely profitable. The valuation of the company is more than a billion dollars, sources close to Bloomberg state.
BBC’s Global iPlayer iPad app, originally launched in July in 11 European countries, is now available in Finland, Sweden and Denmark. For 6.99 €/month or an optional annual subscription of 64.99 €, users will get access to BBC’s extensive archives from the last 70 years of broadcasting.
Finland has one of those peculiar western cultures where failure isn't tolerated. Failure isn't tolerated socially nor is it tolerated in the society at large. One of the most common outcomes of starting high growth businesses is that most of them go bankrupt. This means, that failure is at the core of high risk entrepreneurship. This is something that hasn't been accepted in Finland and the National Fail Day (in Finnish), celebrated today, is the first public awareness act to change this.
The annual Game Developer Conference Online is on its way on the new continent. Every year the conference also looks at the gaming scene to award the best online games out there. This year, Mojang with their Minecraft game and Grey Area with their Shadow Cities mobile game were victorious and won their categories. Mojang actually took home two awards (little over 6 months ago they took home 5 awards at GDC).
The conference is probably amongst the more reputable ones out there. It's attended by thousands of people and the top gaming companies of the world. Therefore it's a great place to be winning.
Radio is one of the few mass media technologies that has not been widely explored by start-ups. While many companies build services around music and news, few combine both in smart ways. Tuubio, a start-up from Helsinki that has been in stealth mode for the last 5 months, has just launched their service - a personalized radio app. For the moment it is available only on Android phones or tablets with a browser-based client and an iOS app coming up soon.