Tradeshift, the Danish firm that has been in reports quite often here at ArcticStartup is making itself more useful with the announcement of bringing their applications to developers. To put it out more clearly, this would enable developers to build applications within the Tradeshift ecosystem.
Fluid Interaction is a Finland based startup that has just released an innovative Twitter client called Different Tack. The client is currently available for Nokia devices and they plan to make Android and iOS versions of the app available soon.
The app creates a new "infographical" presentation of the Twitter stream. The innovation of the app is in the user interface and the user is able to read the tweets by simply scrolling a turn dial on screen. According to the team, the "innovative UI is based on deep understanding of human perception and cognition".
According to VentureBeat, Rovio has announced that their Angry Birds Rio game has now been downloaded an astonishing 10 million times in just 10 days. This surely makes Angry Birds Rio the fastest game to reach 10 million downloads on a mobile platform. Overall, the company has enjoyed over 100 million downloads for its games in the past 16 months.
Zokem continues to make concrete its position as the leading mobile app and internet usage analytics firm to help improve research related to the same category. Zokem has been tracking audiences, publishing reports on current trends giving both content publishers and advertisers in depth insights on mobile users. The mobile analytics firm recently published a new set of research reports named the Zokem User Experience Tracker that is focused at the quality of device and the network.
Vigo accelerators in Finland are planning to start building funds to further improve their possibilities in helping with startups. This has been approved by a Tekes news release (in Finnish) and in a panel discussion last week regarding Vigo accelerators. Vigo accelerators are a new form of government effort to enable growth and development of startups into the right direction with the help of serial entrepreneurs (running the accelerators).
This week Toivo Annus, founder of Ambient Sound Investments and an angel investor from Estonia, challenged start-up communities in the Baltics to create a public service application that would attract 100 000 active monthly users from Baltic states by March 2012. The winner would get a $20,000 cash prize with no strings attached. The initiative is driven by Toivo's frustration with the fact that few start-ups in the region aim high and by his desire to encourage entrepreneurs build truly useful applications for a wide audience. The three main criteria for submissions are to make use of public data, to reach said number of users and to offer high value for the public like help save lives, reduce government spending and engage users in a meaningful way.
We've talked about the legendary Death Rally set to invade the iOS devices back in January. As per our last reports the game was set to release in March and as promised it is now available for download. It runs on your iPhone and the iPad. You can download the game here, just in case you aren’t keen at reading any further.
Online gaming and social gaming are the two biggest blocks of the gaming market in Russia. The market's overall worth has been growing by roughly $20M a year since 2008, reaching $250M in 2010. The 20-30% growth is expected to continue in the following years, estimates RIA Novosti. Between 3-5M people actively play online games, mostly MMORPG client and browser-based games. Even more people - between 10-15M - play social games on local social networks like Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. Large as they might seem, those numbers pale in comparison to the number of online gamers in Europe or US. Russia is lagging behind due to its slowly developing Internet connections (especially in the regions), forbidding price of unlimited data plans and undeveloped online payment systems. At the same time, all of those are changing to the better which is why online gaming market is set to grow to $400M in 2012. Other facilitators of growth include social networks' growing audience together with a growing number of successful online games.
Applifier has just announced that they have launched "Games On Applifier", essentially a Facebook app to help users discover and find new interesting games. Applifier is Facebook's largest cross promotion network with 55 million monthly active users (MAU). Previously, Applifier has enabled game publishers to promote their games through their banners, but this takes game discovery and recommendations to a completely new level.
CrowdCulture is a new initiative in Sweden, which looks to bring a new way of creating culture. The concept combines private money together with public money to fund the creation of culture. It works in a simple way. There are projects in the service, which individuals can fund, the public will then double all the private money in the fund to bring more leverage.
Sulake has today announced their figures for fiscal year 2010, as well as some changes to their ownership of online properties. In 2010, Sulake turned over 56,2 million euros, which is over 20% more than in 2009. EBITDA for 2010 was at 5,4 million euros profit for the year was at 1,6 million euros. In addition to announcing their financials, Sulake has stated that they have today sold IRC-Gallery to Somia Reality Oy, which is run by a few former IRC-Gallery employees and funded by Lifeline Ventures and a few individual investors.
NetClean, a Sweden based company uses image recognition in a new manner to tackle a difficult problem - child pornography. The company has a new approach to the problem and instead of using traditional image recognition, which has its problems, it has partnered with local law enforcing agencies and organisations to fight the problem.
Skype is setting itself to become a center of all attention as it comes to the classroom. The idea is to connect teachers beyond classrooms with its online directory. Again this isn’t about teachers only, but rather bringing a global experience to students as well.
Yesterday we released the first part of the Muxlim Founder and CEO, Mohamed El-Fatatry interview. In the interview, El-Fatatry talks about the creation of their business and how they went on to grow it. In the second part of the interview El-Fatatry explains how they realised a completely new business area after discussions with Coca-Cola.
Ok, we admit it - this is a bit light on news, but it deserves to be shared. One of the best metrics for the success of Rovio's Angry Birds has been the amount of user generated content people have created after being inspired by the game. There have been a lot of different products inspired by the game too. However, this is perhaps the best user created film on the game to date. It's very high quality, but also very timely - with the crisis in Libya.
In our previous story with Nexit Ventures we talked about how 2010 was a good year for venture capital in the US. This time, we're digging into the state of the venture capital industry in Finland. I again, turned to Artturi Tarjanne for some research data on the situation. Overall in Finland, 97 million euro worth of venture capital investments were made. This is little over 4% increase from 2009 when 93 million euros worth of VC investments saw day light.
Organizing a travel plan or a trip is a definite nightmare. Perhaps this is one of the main reasons why we are always seeing one service after another attempt at tackling the problem. Planify is one more that emerged as the winner of the Garage48 Riga. The idea? It emerged from need as the Silver Hage, Co-founder of Planify made plans for his Tokyo trip and couldn’t find any tool useful enough. This led to the creation of Planify.
We haven't covered Muxlim at ArcticStartup in the way it deserves to be covered. So, what better way to do it than have a talk with the founder and CEO of the company, Mohamed El-Fatatry. El-Fatatry isn't your usual startup founder in Finland. He's of Egyptian background and went on to start the world's largest muslim-oriented site when still in school. Muxlim grew immensely fast in the early days they didn't really have any competition. One of the drivers of their growth can be attributed to excellent media coverage.
Where do you search for advice when you need to buy an expensive piece of some very specific equipment like ice climbing axe or a soft shell jacket? Looking for that kind of niche information online can be time-consuming and hard. You often end up jumping from site to site, trying to piece together the scattered pieces of information out there. Tribevine, a Finland-based start-up, addresses that problem with a product information community they built around outdoor and extreme sports. Tribevine uses the wisdom of crowds to create reliable and objective reviews of skiing and climbing equipment and present those in a structured and intuitive manner. The website has been operating in closed beta for the past six months. Its main users so far have been a couple of hundred professional athletes who reviewed loads of products. Next week Tribevine will launch their website into public beta to expand their userbase and grow traction.
Big news coming out from Britain. Passion Capital, a new investment company has just announced that they've closed a $60 million fund from both private investors as well as the UK government. Private investors put in $20 million and the British government upped the ante with a $40 million. Passion Capital features three partners, Stefan Glaenzer, Eileen Burbidge and Robert Dighero. The trio is among the most high profile angel investors in Europe.