Sports Tracker is probably the best application ever built, solely for the Nokia phones. It has millions of users world wide since its launch in 2007. Ever since 2007, they have only supported Nokia phones, understandably due to their background. The company announced yesterday that they will be launching iPhone and Android versions of the popular application in the near future. The development is almost ready and the apps will head to final testing soon.
Sportlyzer, an Estonian start-up that offers a sports web application, has just made their service available to the general public. Currently anyone can create a profile and use all of the features for free. The last time we wrote about Sportlyzer their team shared all the hard work they have been putting into developing the product. Now we can see what fruits their work will bear. So far the released product promises to add a lot of value for the people wanting to get fit. Apart from tracking workouts, Sportlyzer helps create a diverse training plan and give advice according to your individual training history. You could either use the tool to add fun and diversity to your training routine or to compete with your peers.
Zokem continues with its expansion and moves into ensuring that it becomes the largest source of mobile market research globally. Recently the company announced its partnership with Cint, a firm focused on providing SaaS based solutions for market research industry. The partnership will help Zokem’s Mobile Life panels expand further into the Western markets by utilizing Cint’s Thumbspeak.
I turned to Nexit Ventures for opinions on 2010 for the venture capital industry. I received both comments and a lot of good research data regarding VC investments in the US. The data is based on Fenwick's recent survey on Q4 VC activity. In short, 2010 was a good year for venture capital. Almost all metrics were pointing higher, except for one: raising funds for venture capitalists was still difficult and was at its lowest since 2003.
This is a series of posts, written in co-operation with the Finnish Software Entrepreneurs to promote entrepreneurs working with software. The first post is about Jussi Muurikainen, the CEO of Balancion. Balancion is a personal finance management application that integrates with banks.
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.
Mail.ru Group recently reported a fiscal year revenue growth of 63,5% in 2010, reaching $324M. The Group's net profit was reported to be $76.7M, up from $47.2M in 2009. Dmitry Grishin, co-founder and CEO, explained that the growing revenues came as a result of the Group's ability to benefit from a growing potential and engagement in the Russian Internet market. Other likely reasons are the general economic recovery and a strong shift among advertisers towards online ads, which were the biggest source of Mail.ru Group's revenue. They made up $124M of the overall sum (up from $75.9M in 2009). MMO games brought in almost a third of the overall revenue - a whopping $99.8M, up from $61.4 in 2009.The overall number of unique monthly visits to Mail.ru Group's properties amounted to 27,2M in December 2010, 21% more than in 2009 but still slightly less than Yandex got that year.
Amazon has joined the Android app race with their own store in the US, according All Things Digital. The store isn't available at least in Finland and an attempt to access it simply redirects one to the Amazon front page. Amazon is claiming that since it's a retailer already, it can do a better job in selling apps than Google itself. For developers, it adds fragmentation as there are now at least three sites one has to be present in if you want to reach the masses, The Google Android Market, Amazon App Store and the Baltics originated GetJar.
Students in Finland have come a long way in a few years. Last night, Finland saw one of its most impressive events in support of growth entrepreneurship - all organised by a small group of passionate students. What makes this all the better, is that the event was covered by numerous national media and the panelists at the actual event included the hotshots of Finnish business environment; a mix of very influential business people and a group of startup entrepreneurs. The event was called "Finland Post Welfare", questioning the things Finland should work on to sustain its welfare status. It was put together by Aalto Entrepreneurship Society.
We live blogged the event last night in English as the event itself was held in Finnish. As it's not the best use of anyone's time to suggest that you go through the logs - we'll do our best to summarise the event in this post.
We live blogged the Finland Post Welfare from Finlandia Hall. Below, you'll be able to find the log of the live blog. We'll have a summary of the event available on ArcticStartup tomorrow morning.
Behind every successful company there are years of hard work. Each founding story is unique and fascinatingly interesting, especially when you talk about Internet businesses emerging from the Soviet Russia. Forbes has recently published an exclusive interview with Yandex's founding fathers Arkady Volozh (CEO) and Ilja Segalovich (CTO). Today Yandex has 28M unique monthly visitors and more than 80% of Runet's audience uses the website to search for information online. The company is set to file for an IPO sometime this year and its potential value is estimated in billions. Where did this success come from and how did it all start? Those were some of the questions the article answered.
I haven't seen any Wikileaks revelations regarding startups, not that they should have too much in common in the first place. However, I've just come across a US Embassy cable regarding the video streaming and rental service Voddler via a tweet from Mikko Hyppönen, the CRO of F-Secure. In doing so, the cables reveal some interesting figures from 2009 regarding the service.
Lasse Männistö and Taneli Tikka came out yesterday with a three point suggestion to renew the governmental work regarding startups and growth companies. The timing is intentional and perfect, later tonight Aalto Entrepreneurship Society will host a panel discussion with some of the most renown business men and women Finland has. Taneli Tikka is one of the more acknowledged Finnish serial entrepreneurs and Lasse Männistö, a member of the Helsinki City Council, is a candidate running for Finnish Parliament.
The recommendations can be read on Lasse Männistö's website, for example, but we'll summarise the points and other discussion it has sparked. Like we've written before, Finland will see its parliamentary elections in April and many startup entrepreneurs would like to see the topic included among the other important discussion items. Many, rightly so, believe focus on startups is one of the key ways to improve the economy in the long term.
Independent Finnish game-developing start-up Ookoohko has recently published their first title Get Outta My Galaxy. It's a 3D action game with puzzle elements for iPhone and iPod Touch (an iPad version with extra features is one the way). The game is set on multiple planets where you get to control a fat four-armed creature called Waka whose peaceful existence is disturbed by various aliens (called Wikus). Being a grumpy anti-social creature, Waka needs to go all around each planet and slap the aliens to send them back into the open space. Apart from aliens, Waka needs to deal with different plants that hurt him and solve puzzles to open doors. You control Waka by simply tilting your device to various directions and you can slap aliens by tapping anywhere on the screen.
Finnish business magazine Talouselämä has published a story on Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds, where they state that the company is seeking to go public in New York. Rovio Board Chairman Kaj Hed, father of Mikael Hed, the CEO, has stated that the $42 million in financing it announced last week was the first step towards this direction. In the story, Kaj Hed also discloses that they were pretty much able to choose their investors and state the terms of the deal - something not many startups get to do in their lifecycle.
Inform-mobil (IMMO), Russian mobile content and service provider, has recently published a list of top 10 most sold Java mobile games in Russia. According to the list, the most downloaded title was Who Wants To Be A Millionare? 2010, followed by two racing games Dakar 2010 and Need For Speed Shift. Most of the games were produced by global game publishers like Glu Mobile, EA Mobile and Disney. However, compared to similar lists IMMO has been publishing over the years, the number of most downloaded games by Russian developers has increased from one in 2008 to four in 2010. Russian game developers behind the four out of ten most popular mobile games for the last year included Herocraft, Net Lizard and INT Corporation. Most of those companies were founded in early 2000 and have developed dozens of games over the years.
Sofanatics, the Finnish startup that is aiming to become the best way to chat about sports, debuted their new chat interface earlier this week in the Bayern Munchen vs. Inter Milan Champions League match.
Stardoll states itself as the largest online community for girls who love fashion. Indeed, it's getting very big. Last night we caught a retweet by Henrik Torstensson, a former SVP of strategy at Stardoll, stating that Stardoll is getting close to acquiring its 100 millionth member. We got in touch with Stardoll and they stated that they're not there yet, but getting close.
Zerply is California based startup, that has its roots in Sweden and Estonia, through its co-founders. Zerply aims to be the best way to present yourself in a professional way. What they currently have available to the public, is bunch of very stylish profile pages which integrate relatively seamlessly to other online services. However, there's a lot more in store according to Christofer Karltorp.
Podio, a Copenhagen-based start-up, is about to officially open up their service to the public. As a build-up for the launch, Podio's team will be relocated to San Francisco between March 21st and 25th where they would host workshops, meetings and networking sessions. The website will be launched on March 24th. Podio has been reappearing in media's headlines ever since they came out of the stealth mode last September. Their mission is to change the way people work and what they offer to that end is a comprehensive enterprise software. Their platform includes all possible tools you might need for your work: from calendar to messaging to contact and task management and more. On top of that, users can easily build their own apps or use those built by others from Podio's appstore. Podio is free for small companies (up to 10 users) and chargers a subscription fee for larger enterprises. Even though the service has been operating on invite-only basis so far, they have managed to attract over 6000 companies, a couple of hundred of which are paying customers.
Bonnier has been one of the Nordic front runners amongst the media companies, researching and trying to put together pieces on how to best harness new technology for the media industry.
Back in 2009 and 2010 the Bonnier R&D department came out with a concept called Mag+, a new way to experience media on a tablet. Later on, Björn Jeffery now Director of Digital Commerce at Bonnier Digital, started a Brickmark as part of Bonnier Digital. Emil Ovemar joined him and together they developed the focus of the new company; new digital products and services. We interviewed Emil Ovemar about something new they're working on, called Toca Boca.