Helsinki-founded Kippt is strengthening their web-based bookmarking service as more of a central bookmarking platform with a new focus on developer tools to create and promote Kippt-based apps. Co-founder Kaari Saarinen tells us they've now launched their new API, a developer site, and an app gallery.
Their developer tools section highlights 13 apps in their App Gallery that plug into Kippt's service, including home-built desktop and mobile apps to use Kippt with, as well as apps like Pocket that offer Kippt integration. In adition, their developer tools offer libraries put together by third party developers.
Sunstone Capital has now added Max Niederhofer as a partner in its Copenhagen office, after leaving his position as Vice President in Accel Partners' London office.
Niederhofer has been working the last 11 years in growth companies in Europe and the United States as both an entrepreneur and investor. He started and sold Qwerly, a data marketing business, and as a Principal at Atlas Venture, he has been involved with companies like DailyMotion, Seatwave, and Moo. His personal investements include Last.fm, among others.
Enevo Grabs € 2 Million From Lifeline Ventures And Finnish Industry Investment To Improve Waste Management
Garbage might not be the first choice for an industry that young entrepreneurs dream about. However, when you think about the fact that waste management is a $1 Trillion global industry, of which 30-50% is purely logistics it then certainly becomes a much more attractive area to try and disrupt.
Today, Helsinki based, Enevo announced a €2 million investment from Lifeline Ventures and Finnish Industry Investment to do just that. Their idea is fairly simple and has been tested in the local market. The investment will be used to fuel worldwide expansion and deliveries.
I don't enjoy writing articles where I become somewhat of an advertising mouthpiece, but even more than that I hate banking fees, so here we go. Transferwise is giving away $100,000,000 worth of free international bank transfers to European startups, making it more cost effective to pay employees or suppliers abroad, attend conferences, or set up overseas offices.
Transferwise is a London/Estonia based startup that cuts down the huge costs associated with sending international wire transfers through banks. The company is regulated by the FSA and HMRC, and gives average people access to the mid-market exchange rate by using peer-to-peer technology that matches up money transfers.
Do three dots make a trend line? Helsinki seems to be the home of adding overlaid "tags" on an image after Publishzer released its image tagging solution for fashion bloggers they call a "Mag Tag". Now they join Kiosked and Thinglink's solutions for driving more engagement in images.
In case you missed our past article, Publishzer offers The Fashion Mags, a platform for building embeddable magazine-inspired spreads. As their name implies, they're targeting the demographic of fashion bloggers who want to lay out their images nicer than your standard blogger template.
Swedish HolidayPhone Attempts To Solve Roaming Costs By Shipping Local Sim Cards, Supports 27 Countries
The problem that HolidayPhone is tackling is a familiar one: the cost of phone calls, sms and mobile internet while traveling abroad. In a short span of 6 years, we have become accustomed to always being next to our trusted mobile phones. Most of us are constantly online, so when we are forced to pay outrageous bills for phone calls and internet abroad, we rage. This results in great startups that try to disrupt the space.
Indeed, many companies from the region have set their sights onto solving this problem or parts of it. Ukko Mobile is creating a single data-only sim card that would work in the whole of Europe, Rebtel is solving the problem of expensive calls through VOIP and Goodspeed created a device to enable flat-data fees in countries where you travel to.
After writing about the Nth social whatever, I believe any thinking man has to start questioning the real world impact of some startup companies. Naturally I suppress these thoughts before I get in too deep, but I was happy to find a press release from Sibesonke, an Espoo-based company that has partnered with the Tanzanian Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Cooperatives, and the Tanzinian Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development.
Together they're taking the Finn's mobile prowess to build a cross-platform news source for basic mobile phones to help Tanzanian farmers. The aim is to provide farmers with real-time weather forecasts and livestock management tips to help small-scale farmers increase their yields, helping provide food security for eastern Africa.
Editor's note: this is a sponsored post by UK Trade and Investment
The other week UK Trade and Investement brought together a few speakers in Helsinki to talk about the startup opportunities in London's Tech City. To get one Nordic entrepreneur's honest opinion about the scene, we talked to Johan Brand from We Are Human, Kahoot, and Nordic Connection. He's Norwegian national, but has made London his base for launching startups, for a number of good reasons he lays out.
We'll cover his education startup, Kahoot, later this week, but until then, here's some of his logic for setting up shop in London.
Like any other business, the sports, health, and wellness sector needs new customers walking through the door all the time. But due to their hands-on nature, traditional advertising works poorly; the personality of a tennis instructor or the quality of gym equipment is tough to put in a newspaper advertisement.
So to increase more leads for their sports partners, Helsinki-based SportSetter offers something that feels a little bit like the lead generation offered by daily deals companies, but with much less of the downside for small businesses. Today they also announce that they've raised €400,000 in Angel funding.
Editor’s note: This guest post is written by Kostas Papageorgiou, a copywriter who helps startups engage and grow their audience with content marketing.
Getting into an acceleration program is no east feat. And with 250 applications fighting for one of eight places - the competition can be tough.
Among those accepted into Startup Bootcamp's Health XL program is NurseBuddy. A startup from Turku Finland that helps nurses manage their day-to-day activities using a tablet. They also happen to be the only Nordic representative in the program.
“It's an awesome opportunity to get accepted into the program - and it will be a great reference for us in the future,” said co-founders Ville Tapani and Simo Hännikkälä.
Editor's note, this is a sponsored story by Greater Helsinki Promotions.
As a reminder, tonight at 17:00 in Helsinki is the Neurogaming event featuring Zack Lynch, the go-to guy on the industry. As a bonus reason to attend, they're also giving away two Necomimi Brainwave Cat Ears, which you can see in the top image. It's also an excuse to check out University of Helsinki’s brand new 'Helsinki Think Company', a new co-working space right in the city center that will officially open its doors tomorrow.
Space is limited, so to attend the free event, send an email to email@example.com right away!
As a teaser on the subject, we got in touch with Deepa Iyengar, one of the founders of Mindgames, and Icelandic developer of games harnessing brainwave headsets.
It's been another exhausting week - I think everyone has been battling some sort of cold. The friday wrap-up is here, meaning the weekend is officially here! If there is any other news jobs or events in the region that we should have on our radar, let us know in the comments.
Jongla, the Helsinki-based messaging app aimed at the youth market, adds more features like group messaging and Moomin stickers. Will they be able to break into Kik and WhatsApp's market share?
Finland turns to venture funds to rescue economy (Bloomberg)
Editor's note: This is a sponsored post to alert you to the crowdfunding options in the region. Research before investing - early stage companies are high risk.
We are back with our crowdfunding overview of the Nordics, bringing you the most interesting cases from FundedByMe and Invesdor. If you are still not on the wave of equity crowdfunding, then here is your chance to get acquainted with the possibilities in the region.
While many are waiting for the equity crowdfunding enabling JOBS act to pass in the USA, everything is already up and running in the nordics. Besides, we have recently heard from reliable sources that the JOBS act is not as certain to pass as many would think. Which would put the Nordic equity crowdfunding initiative in the spotlight, especially considering that it has already raised nearly €2.5 million in a very short lifespan.
If you attend the Arctic15 last October, you might remember Datatracker from Iceland in our pitching competition. Datatracker is being developed by the cloud service company Kaptio, which focuses on helping companies adopt Salesforce, Heroku, AWS, and Zuora. Now they tell us they've put out Opptimal, an app that works with the standard Opportunity object in Salesforce, but provides visualization in pipeline stages, like Trello or Pipedrive.
Editor's note: This is a sponsored story by Greater Helsinki Promotion, but neurogaming is pretty interesting. Join us April 8th for an interesting talk!
The purpose of gamification is essentially to motivate the brain to enjoy doing a task that shouldn't be entertaining, but somehow becomes fun when reward and a sense of accomplishment involved. Think Farmville. Virtual farming should not be popular, but once they add in that got that sense of accomplishment, you're hooked.
With the help of some extra technology it's possible to gamify the basic functions of the brain, like concentration. Consumer brainwave readers aren't some pie in the sky idea, they're already on the market, and some can plug into your smartphone.
iZettle Takes A Further Step Into The POS Market: Supports Cash Drawers, Printers, Introduces New Software
If you have been following the developments in the mobile payments scene, you would notice that the competition is fierce. For instance, just recently iZettle and Payleven launched a new Chip & PIN device that will support all major credit and debit cards. However with extremely similar services, offerings and prices, these companies need to find ways of differentiating themselves.
Today, iZettle announced that they will now support Star Micronics’ range of MFI certified desktop and mobile printers. This allows their users to connect wirelessly to cash drawers and printers. Which in turn makes iZettle into an almost complete POS solution for small to medium enterprises. For those of you that do not analyze POS and printer manufacturers on the daily basis, Star Micronics is well known for being the supplier of choice for Apple stores worldwide.
The competition amongst accelerators in Europe and our region in particular is increasing, given the amount of choice that is becoming available. So it is no surprise that everybody is stepping up and trying to improve their offering. After all, an accelerator is also a business and needs to try to get only the very best.
To do this, the Lithuanian accelerator StartupHighway just announced that they are improving their financial deal by decreasing the equity stake from 10% to 7.5% while keeping the investment amount at up to €14,000.
Rovio has posted their 2012 financials which stated what most expected: Solid growth, and an increase in merchandizing. It doesn't need to be said, but in 2012 Rovio was busy with game development and merchandizing. They launched four titles Angry Birds Space, Amazing Alex, Bad Piggies and Angry Birds Star Wars, which helped them hit 1 billion total Rovio game downloads last May.
Taken straight from the press release, the significant digits are:
Are you interested in startups so much you want to work at a startup about startups? ArcticStartup is looking for one or two interns who want to get their hands dirty and make awesome connections in the Nordic and Baltic startup ecosystem.
We need more manpower on several fronts: news, events, research, and then help putting into action a few long-term ideas we have. On a more concrete level, this will mean help with interviewing and writing a few articles a week, planning and supporting events across the region, improving our startup database and reports, and some biz-dev tinkering.
Scoopshot is one of my favorite startups to watch in Finland. I'm a news junkie and it's a service that just seems like it should be plugged in everywhere. The concept is pretty simple. Scoopshot allows the crowdsourcing of photos or videos for news sources by allowing users to take photos of newsworthy events, like firemen putting out a fire, and then allowing journalists to buy those photos. On the flip side, journalists can ping users of a news event happening, and users can run to the event and take photos or videos to sell.
It's giving news sources the chance to compete with Twitter and other social media, where news pops up fast. The authenticity and rights issues becomes tricky when using unverified photos floating around on the internet, so Scoopshot adds value to the table worth paying for.