Let’s talk about online ads for a second. They are absolutely everywhere but most visitors don’t click on them because they are annoying, irrelevant and intrusive. While most publishers without millions of visitors get no more than a couple of bucks for perhaps a coffee. Overall, the only real winners are the companies in between, dealing the traffic and getting most of the advertisement revenue.
Influads, a Copenhagen based company is aiming to change all that by creating the worlds first completely free ad network. They have launched in 2011, got pre-seed funding from Kima Ventures and built a profitable company with over 700 publishers worldwide.
If you were thinking about moving to Denmark to set up a company, you now have an interesting program to apply to. LaunchPad Denmark is a new government sponsored accelerator program designed for entrepreneurs within or outside of the European Union to get set up in Denmark get professional coaching and training, access to capital, cash prizes, sponsorships, and access to Denmark's entrepreneurial community.
Starting March 18 participants can register for the competition and upload their business plans, video pitches and give information about their motivation to come to Denmark. In total, 30 entrepreneurs will be selected.
Microsoft Owes Denmark $1 Billion While Google, Facebook And Others Do Everything They Can To Avoid Taxes
In the recent news it was uncovered that Microsoft owes Denmark 5.8 billion Danish Crowns (Around $1.015 Billion) in back taxes as a result of Microsoft’s acquisition of Navision in 2002.
According to the Danish tax authorities, following the acquisition, the Navision’s money making assets were sold to Microsofts Irish subsidiary below market value. That company is in turn owned by companies in Bermuda and the British Virgin Islands. Which is why Microsoft is often targeted by tax authorities worldwide, as their network of affiliated companies worldwide makes it extremely easy for them to channel profits into tax havens where the corporate tax is virtually non-existent.
Every now and then a startup pops out of the woodwork that we should have covered by now. Copenhagen-based Click A Taxi now covers 50 countries, a steep jump from the nine countries it previously covered. The service is still labeled as beta, but it should be noted that the company is working with over 2,000 taxi companies. Scaling up to 50 countries is obviously a challenge, but the company says they've been working hard over the last nine months to meticulously map cities in 50 countries.
Klaus Nyengaard informs us he has stepped down as the CEO of the London-headquartered but Denmark-founded Just Eat, the world's largest takeaway service. Just Eat has grown rapidly during his tenure, expanding from 35 employees mostly in Denmark, to over 1,000 employees with operations in 13 countries, including "more difficult" markets, such as Brazil. In 2012 the company was profitable and is now generating over €750m in food orders for its restaurant partners
What time is it in Denmark? No one's sure, because their watches haven't shipped yet. Leikr, the GPS sports watch we mentioned briefly on our Crowdfunding roundup has hit their ambitious quarter of a million dollar goal three days before their deadline, coming to a final backing of $267,389.
SEED Capital points out that this makes them the biggest Danish success on Kickstarter.
Iceland is getting hooked up to Denmark with an upgraded submarine cable connection, which promises faster speeds and greater redundency. Iceland has been growing as an attractive location for datacenters in recent years. The island is conveniently located between Europe and the North America, and is able take advantage of geothermal energy for renewable energy, as well as its icy weather for cheap server cooling costs. In 2011 the Icelandic government has made the region even more attractive to data centers by giving VAT exclusions.
As Trustpilot nears 7 million reviews, this morning they picked up a €10 million funding round led by Index Ventures and joined by existing investors SEED Capital Denmark and Northzone. The company was founded in 2007 and we last covered them a little over a year ago when they raised €3.3 million from SEED Capital and Northzone. At that time they had 5.4 million reviews for 81,000 businesses, compared to their 6.9 million from 100,000 merchants today.
The Danish review portal allows businesses to request reviews after a sale, engaging customers and ensuring quality service. Each review is connected to an order number, making sure reviewers are actual customers and helping businesses pinpoint customer satisfaction problems. Trustpilot has also shown that displaying reviews can increase conversion rates by more than 20%, providing additional value for businesses.
About two years ago Michael Bodekaer and Lieve de Lint shared with us a new way to work in the 2010 Lifestyle Design Experiment - Building Startups in Paradise. This year was nothing short of amazing with more passionate entrepreneurs with remarkable projects. Project Getaway provides the perfect environment for learning, improving your business, and staying productive while having fun.
This event brings awesome ideas to life by truly inspiring people, while building lifetime connections. This year’s batch of location independent entrepreneurs brought on the entrepreneurial spirit with businesses varying from tools that help you get into a surfing wet suit faster, high tech medical devices for ophthalmology, to email apps for Windows with smart features and minimalist design, and much more.
Danish entrepreneurs: take note that Denmark has now released basic public data able to be used freely to be build commercial products on top of. The information includes various core information about individuals, businesses, real properties, buildings, addresses, and more.
This seems to be a trend occuring in the region. Finland offers public geographic data, and last March we covered Estonia doing the same.
You probably don't need numbers to tell you this, but streaming music is on the rise in Northern Europe. WiMP, Norwegian streaming music service, just published results of a survey it conducted in their current markets, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.
According to their results, Norwegians are the most likely to have access to a streaming service at 61%, while 56% say they do in Sweden, 35% in Denmark, and 16% in Germany.
As devices and platforms get more fragmented, it can get difficult to tell potential users where they can find you. Copenhagen-based Splitter has built an easy-to-use service that automatically detects information about who clicked your link and sends them off to the right direction. Their main product, AppSplit, is built for sending users to the correct App download locations. Instead of advertising three or four different download locations, his way you just need one URL or QR code to send Android users correctly to the Google Play store, and iPhone users to the App Store.
Throw away your televisions, Netflix is coming to town. That is at least if you're living in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, or Finland. The U.S. based streaming service offers a deep catalog of movies and TV shows for a flat monthly rate. More specific details about pricing and content will be announced closer to launch, which is slated to be be in late 2012.
You can say the same nice things about Netflix that you can also say about Spotify. Almost all the content you're looking for is just sitting there in front of you, so you don't even need to open up your torrent client to "borrow" it off the internet. In addition, Netflix supports devices such as PCs, Macs, Smart TVs, game consoles, Blu-ray disc players, smartphones and tablets.
At ArcticStartup, a good chunk of our attention is focused on Arctic15, our yearly conference for the Nordic and Baltic startup scene. Getting the word out about our event, promoting good conversation and networking during the event, and providing lasting value are hot topics on our mind. Conferize, a new Copenhagen-based conference and event platform looks like a promising service for the whole event industry.
Conferize just officially launched its public alpha last Thursday, although it has been live in pre-alpha stage for some time. Put simply, it's one point of destination for all things related to conferences. The service helps you find conferences based on your interests, helps you find people who are attending which events, it helps you follow speakers and industry leaders so you can always stay in the loop.
Earlier this week iZettle sent out e-mails to their users in Denmark, Finland and Norway that Visa Europe has cancelled their contract in those countries. Since then iZettle has been working on restoring the status of that contract so that it could continue to accept payments with Visa cards in those countries. The story has multiple weird twists, such as why hasn't Visa Europe cancelled the contract in Sweden which is iZettle's home market?
On Monday's blog post iZettle has not commented on the specifics of the agreement and why Visa Europe decided to cancel it. Since then we have learned that it has to do with Visa Europe's policies regarding security standards. Then again, this is where the story gets harder to understand.
ArcticEvening Copenhagen was organised last night at the to-be-emptied Nokia premises just out of the centre of Copenhagen. The evening was full of interesting discussions and presenters included Kristel Verhasselt of Magento as well as Jussi Koskinen of PayPal. Our main event was a fireside chat with Tommy Ahlers who made my job as an interviewer extremely easy, sharing a lot of advice to the audience with just a few questions.
As said, the event was held at the Nokia Campus premises, a place that will be emptied by the end of June. The space looked eerily empty already, but its future isn't as bad as one might think. In September, a university will be taking over the facilities and in doing so Nokia is also donating millions of DKK worth of gear to the university.
In April we did a bigger story on Danish entrepreneurs' movement against what they called the iværksætterskat, or Entrepreneurs' tax. The tax got its nickname by levying an additional 25% on any shareholder with less than 10% ownership of a company, which is typically a startup company.
This made the marginal tax rate roughly 67% for any investor or entrepreneur who fell into the bracket, making it extremely difficult for Danish entrepreneurs to attract capital, exit, or keep up with their taxes whenever they received an investment. Now, the Danish government has put in a proposal to finally remove the tax, after being in place since 2010.
Every now and then we get sent a press release for a service that just grinds you in a certain way. Maybe it's the lack of coffee I've had this morning, but Secret Diamond Club, an exclusive dating site coming out of Denmark, does just that.
Users can browse around the flash-based site a little bit, but for a guy to contact any women, you must pay between $10 000 and $100 000, based on how wide of a network you would like to search. Women have it a little bit easier, they must only between $10 and $50 a year based on how attractive their pictures are to a panel of men and women.
ArcticEvening Copenhagen will be organised in exactly two days time! We're going to have an awesome event at the Nokia Campus. Tommy Ahlers from Podio will be present to talk how they got acquired by Citrix and how the agreement was reached behind closed doors. In addition to Tommy, we'll have Kristel Verhasselt of X.commerce share examples of how they have helped entrepreneurs capitalise e-commerce online.
We're going to have some free drinks and snacks available, courtesy of Nokia. All you need to do is sign-up through the form below and secure your free ticket to the event to network, but also learn new things. Doors will open 6pm on Thursday the 31st.
Editor's note: This post is part of a series of posts published in co-operation with Elance, the leading source of outsourcing talent in the world. Elance is also supporting our ArcticEvening Copenhagen on May 31st.
Vivino is Denmark-based startup that is looking to change the way people enjoy wine around the world. According to one of Vivino's investors, Niels Vejrup Carlsen of SEED Capital, the global wine market is four times that of the music industry and Vivino is aligned well to take on that market. The company raised a round earlier this year from SEED Capital in Denmark to go global with their new mobile app.
The new version of the mobile app allows users to get information and recommendations on almost any wine. The app already boasts a database of more than half a million bottles. The app is free and available for Android and iOS -based devices.
The Vivino app works so that once consuming a wine, you can take a photo of the bottle and then register it into your library, where you can rate it and remember it the next time. The website also has social extensions allowing you to follow the most savvy wine enthusiasts and see what they are enjoying. Each wine in the system is also ranked within the winery, region as well as globally.
I'm sure many readers of ArcticStartup wish their regional startup news source was called TropicalStartup instead, but at least it's getting to be summer. But this fall when the cold North winds start to blow, Danish entrepreneur Michael Bodekaer has put together an entrepreneur getaway in Bali, providing all the necessities for you to get some work done in a stress-free environment. This year's Project Getaway runs 16 September to 16 October with participation costs starting at $56 a day put to $178 depending on the Villa you select. The event is non-profit, reducing the costs.
Just-Eat, the Denmark originated company opertaing online takeaway sites has announced a $64 million (€48 million) C-round investment led by Vitruvian Partners. Former Just-Eat investors Index Partners, Greylock Partners and Redpoint Ventures also took part in the round. We've interviewed Just-Eat CEO Klaus Nyengaard on Unfair Advantage as well as covered the company before on ArcticStartup as well. We talked to him again on the new investment the company raised.
Nyengaard raised three different reasons, when we asked why the company went for such a large round. Firstly, Just-Eat sees the online takeaway services continuing to develop in the coming years. Nyengaard stated that in such a high growth industry and environment, "it is always a good idea to have a strong balance sheet".
CanvasDropr, the collaborative media-sharing platform from Denmark, is somewhat pivoting its platform to focus on the B2B aspects of the service. CanvasDropr provides what could be described as GoogleDocs for rich media, like images and video, allowing users to collaborate around visual content like what other services already do with text.
Files are shown visually when dragged onto the canvas, and all connected users can see when someone edits an element or makes changes, such as annotations, texts, movements, or drawings.
In our 15th episode we talk to Tine Thygesen of Everplaces, Copenhagen, Denmark based startup. We discuss location based services and how Tine got into entrepreneurship through her first startup in the e-commerce space in Australia. After selling that to an Australian company she came back to the Nordics to take on more entrepreneurial challenges first with Venture Cup Denmark and later with 23 Video before starting her own company Everplaces. She is also one of the founders of Founder's House, a co-working space in Copenhagen that now has 17 startups and some 70 people working there.
Admazely, a new Copenhagen-based startup, seeks to help small and medium sized webshops to take advantage of advertisement retargeting to help drive unsuccessful sales back into a webshop where they saw the item. This practice has helped larger e-commerce retailers boost click-through rates by as much as 600% by tracking webshop visitors, identifying they did not complete a transaction, then showing them an ad on a third-party website for that particular shop of product.
This particular style of advertising is successful, but has huge barriers to entry for smaller players to get into. Perhaps due to this, Admazely was alble to grab €600k in seed financing in a round led by SEED capital with business angels Martin Bochineck and Christina Rind participating.
Vivino has recently launched the second version of their wine app that allows users to get information and recommendations of almost any wine. Aside from providing database of around half a million bottles, the Danish startup has a pretty useful angle on the wine concept. The wines you most want to buy again are the ones you've already had -- like at a party or at a restaurant. You could rant and rave about a wine, but the next morning or a week later you've likely forgotten the name, or even if it was a red or white.
The 11th edition of The Global Information Technology Report 2012: Living in a Hyperconnected World was released by the World Economic Forum with a special focus on the transformational impacts of ICT on the economy and society. The Nordic countries rang in high on the list, withs Sweden ranking first, followed by Singapore and Finland. Denmark came in as fourth on the list, while Norway placed seventh-- one place higher than the United States. The report assessed 142 world economies to assess the impact of ICT on the competitiveness and well-being of the nation.
Would you start a high growth company if you knew that if you were to make it to exit, the government could levy a 67% tax? Or would you make any early stage investment in a company facing the same rates?
This is the question pondered by Danish entrepreneurs and angel investors looking at the porteføljebeskatning, or portfolio tax. The tax in question targets an additional 25% on any shareholder with less than 10% ownership of a company. This brings the marginal tax rate up to 67% for an entrepreneur exiting a company, and the same rate for an Angel investor investing in what is a very risky asset -- high growth startups. It's high price on Danish entrepreneurship have earned it the perhaps more aptly named "entrepreneur tax" or iværksætterskat.
Everplaces is a new way to curate and save the favorite places you visit (or want to visit). The service is launching globally today from Copenhagen, Denmark. We talked to Tine Thygesen, one of the co-founders of the company about the company's plans and where they want to take it. Needless to say, they're still far from the bigger vision they want to achieve, but after playing around a little and using the service - it does bring a nice breath of fresh air into the location based space of services. As of today, the service launches with an online service as well as a mobile extension to help save those places while on the go.
One aspect of the bigger vision the company is after is to make sense of the masses of location based information out there. "Quality over quantity" as Thygesen herself put it. The basic function of the service is to curate the best locations all over the world through social connections. In the end, you would end up with interesting places to visit, each tagged under a descriptive tag.
The Danes seem to be good at their file transferring services. A while back we covered the Atomico investment in Ge.tt, a smooth and simple file sharing service for those times you need to quickly send a file greater than 25mb. But for creative agencies or any other business that needs to move large files online, you don't want a quick one-off service like Ge.tt. You want a full-branded approach that solves more problems and lets your clients know you're the real deal.
Filecamp out of Denmark launched a few weeks ago and seeks to become the go-to web-based file sharing service for creative agencies and other businesses. They offer a simple service with a nice set of features; Filecamp allows custom branding, online proofing and approval tools, an easy web interface to handle permissions, and of course some space to put files online.