As of this summer, Yandex launched a programme to support Russian start-ups called Yandex Start. The project selects the most promising companies in the region for a one-day seminar to look for possible cooperation and acquisition. Successful applicants receive Yandex's technologies (as APIs), computing facilities and expert advice. Two Yandex.Start sessions were held last year in September and December and as a result Yandex acquired two start-ups WebVisor and Loginza. WebVisor provides visitor behavior analysis (mouse movement, clicks, text copying etc.) that will now be integrated with Yandex's own analytics tool, Yandex.Metrica. The company was founded in 2008 by a small team of entrepreneurs from Moscow.
Software as a Service has quite gripped the way we find solutions for numerous problems within our business and ventures. With the advent of Cloud Computing the question of deploying software outside the infrastructure of one’s own company has been resolved at large and many are leveraging services based on the cloud to their advantage. One such is Queue-it, a startup based in Denmark that utilizes the concept of SaaS to help prevent your website from crashing.
TrustPilot, a Danish company review site, has closed 5.5 million Danish Kronor (almost 740 000 euros) in funding from SEED Capital. TrustPilot enables consumers to review and rate companies based on their experience and service they received. The site has half a million users on a monthly basis and the user base is constantly becoming more international. The business model is simple and almost obligatory for companies. With a monthly subscription, companies can engage in the reviews and comment back regarding individual reviews. The service has signed up more than a 1000 companies to date.
There is quite a stir in the startup scene in Denmark with quite a lot of news coming in on newer services making entry into the web scene. The newest entry is Inseeto, a startup that amalgamates real state with Google Maps to help you browse what your next home or neighborhood be like. What makes it valuable? 3D visualizations of real state, which gives you more insight on the location you plan to move over to.
An image editing application for the Mac OSX, created by the Lithuanian developers Saulius Dailide and Aidas Dailide, Pixelmator has grossed $1M in sales in the Mac App Store. The application is on sale (currently) for approximately 24€, which means it has sold an amazing, over 40 000 downloads. The application is a relatively light weight alternative to the heavier image editing applications and features a lot of different basic tools for image editing as well as over 15 color correction tools and over 130 different filters.
Toggl is an Estonian online service that enables freelancers to jot down their hours for client projects. The service has more than 15 million hours logged so far. A premium version of the service was launched in 2008 and in 2010 the service reached break even. With about 9500 daily users and about 1600 of them paying, Toggl is onto a steady, but strong growth path. Toggls is also a testbed for a Garage48 type of service development initiative by Mooncascade called Sprint48. Mooncascade is an Estonian software development company, where as Sprint48 is a new kind of web development process where Mooncascade will try to create concrete results in mere 48 hours.
For the third time ever Mobile Dev Camp will take place on Saturday 26th February in Helsinki, Finland. The event is a special treat for 200+ developers, business people and proud geeks who want to find out the next big thing on mobile. Mobile Dev Camp is known for launching new platforms and products before they are out in the mainstream. For example, at its first event in 2009 the organizers presented Android platform when it was not even out in Finland. Last year Rovio and Windows 7 were the highlights. Back then few people knew about Angry Birds and no Window 7 phones were around. This year Applifier and Samusung Bada will be at the center of attention. On top of that, the event includes a competition for developers to create a simple and fun application for different mobile platforms in 48 hours. Each platform has its own category and a great prize, like a new Wave mobile phone in Samsung's Bada category. Best part: the event is completely free, though you should probably register to let organizers know how many people to expect.
We've covered Kristoffer Lawson's Travelling Salesman tour here on ArcticStartup towards the end of last year, as he drove more than 13500 kilometres around the Nordics to find startups and network with them. He started off in Helsinki in October, drove through to Norway, visited Denmark, took the boat to Iceland and on his way back came through Sweden back to Finland again in December. I sat down with him and shot a video about some of the stories and incidents he came across. Also, it's worth while to note that the Nordics still are a very fragmented area in terms of growth companies.
There is quite an issue when it comes to web designers and developers looking for a web hosting service. The issues come in numbers, from the additional cost of finding a quality hosting service, limitations of each add more problems to implementing an idea on the Web. To sum it up, it is the scalability that is the problem. Well, some smart folks in Sweden have given it a thought to bring us Startawebbhotell, a web based tool that enables web designers and development firms to run their own hosting service.
It seems that the coupon site sales have started in the Nordics. Some time ago Schibsted purchased 37,5% share of Letsdeal.se and now Sanoma News acquires a Finnish contender Offerium. Sanoma News CEO Pekka Soini stated that coupon sales online, through such services as Offerium, is currently one of the fastest growing online segments. Sanoma News wants a piece of that pie. The disclosure came through Sanoma News' press release.
Ututi is a start-up from Lithuania that has built an online portal for university students to share course and study materials. Every 10th Lithuanian student uses it and the service's Polish version has attracted plenty of interest too. I interviewed Jaro Šatkevič, one of the founders, who revelaed that the team is now working on an international version of the service - Ututi.com. 'After many talks with universities we realized that they need another Ututi. They wanted to have studies-oriented social networks for university community, i.e. discussions, file sharing between students and teachers, teachers' personal pages etc. That's how new concept of Ututi was started. Official beta version is planned in the end of February' - states Jaro.
The largest market globally is clearly the financial market where the demand is actually supplied and paid for by the goods themselves - money. TransferWise is a new startup from Estonia that looks to stir things up a little in the currency exchange market. Currently, the market is dominated mostly by brick and mortar organisations who charge high comissions or margins on a simple transaction.
Shopping in general is a nightmare for me, especially when it comes to buying products I am really not keen at purchasing. I guess it is here we need recommendations from those who we think are experts or at least have some experience in a particular genre. Bring that online and the idea of social shopping is transformed totally. Readily connecting with the countless shopaholics online and helping you make the best choice. This is where Wantlet comes in to answer your shopping wants.
After launching last year, DataMarket stepped into the web space as an important place to help one find essential figures and structured data from public and private services achieved another milestone today. DataMarket shared news on inclusion of more data and facts in a bid to become the Wikipedia of World Facts.
MidemNet Lab, whose winners were just announcned, is the second most important music event after SXSW, according to Kai Lemmetty, co-founder of GigsWiz. GigsWiz happens to be one of the five Finnish companies who took part in the MidemNet Lab startup competition. The competition featured 30 startups from all over the world showcasing their digital music innovations in the areas of mobile applications, industry services (B2B) and consumer services (B2C). Together with GigsWiz, the other Finnish (and also the only Nordic and Baltic companies for that matter) startups were Playmysong, Steam Republic, Geisha Music and SongHi. The only country to have more representatives was the US with 10 finalists. The winners this time round were Jammbox (mobile applications), Next Big Sound (B2B) and Shuffler (Consumer services).
Searching for an internship, a job or even a suitable graduate programme can be extremely time-consuming. And after hours of googling and bookmarking, you might still be far away from your goal and overwhelmed by all the information. About a year ago, five Danish guys started building a solution to tackle all those problems at once. The result is Graduateland - an online portal where students, universities and employers can easily find each other. The service operated in open beta for less than two months now and it has already attracted 15 000+ users, 35 000+ jobs, 7500+ internships and 500+ graduate programmes. Most of the companies advertising job openings are very attractive employers like Google, Apple, Skype, Porsche, JP Morgan, BBC, Carlsberg, Siemens and more.
TicBits is a Finland based iOS developer that has released the successful iAssociate 2 brain game. You may have not heard of it, but it's become very successful over on the other side of the pond. ABC has featured the game in their Good Morning America show as a brain sharpening game last summer.
2010 was the best year for Habbo Hotel and I thought this would be one news regarding Habbo Hotel for quite some time to come. But success is not stationary and it continues to move ahead. The world’s largest teen virtual community and social game, Habbo registered its 200 millionth user just with the start of January. Quite a news since its tenth anniversary.
We have been following Flowdock quite regularly since its launch back in 2009. Flowdock is an online collaboration tool for organizations and teams to effectively communicate with each other, pretty much like Yammer. It originated from the idea of having a tool to effectively manage the number of hours put up in a project, thus providing a platform to organize the organizations.
Zokem is a Finnish based market leader in the next-generation mobile analytics, providing its patented products to the leading players of mobile and media industries. Earlier today Zokem released an interesting report on how the various smartphones and operating systems perform in the US market. The gist of which clearly puts the likes of older Windows Mobile phones and the Symbian devices to have lost the battle in the US. Which isn’t surprising as users in the region have migrated quite quickly towards the iPhone, Android and the BlackBerry.