The United States Supreme Court has upheld that corporations are people, but that does't mean that Facebook and LinkedIn have created the right homes for them, If you're trying to find a specific product, competitors to your company, or find companies to work with, what do you do? You can google ambiguous search terms, try to dig through LinkedIn, or you can search through business directories with limited success. Oslo-based Comanybook is trying to bring companies together by intelligently gathering information and putting them all under their own social network of sorts.
This summer, Companybook soft launched in the UK, Sweden, Denmark, and their native Norway. The advisory and venture company, Ignitas, has taken a stake in the company as a management-for-hire arrangement over at least the next two years. Ignitas' Gard Jenssen has taken a role as CPO/CMO.
Runa Capital, a Moscow-based international venture fund, has invested $5 million in the educational startup at an undisclosed valuation.
Dnevnik.ru was established in 2007 as a free, nationwide school network. The site currently serves 21,000 Russian and Ukrainian schools, attracting over 4 million pupils, parents, teachers, and school administrators – up 1 million in the past 9 months.
The site offers realtime information about class schedules, grades, and homework assignments, an electronic document exchange platform, a large educational resource center, as well as a range of social networking and messaging functions.
As the signal to noise ratio decreases on larger social networks, more and more startups are beginning to take a stab at creating much more private networks. Path is one big example of a social network for just your close friends, while others like Pair and Cupple (now currently operating out of Copenhagen) are building apps that allow couples to privately share messages, pictures, and checkins with each other. Continuing this trend is HeyWe, a private sharing app for families. It seems to hit all of the key pain points that parents and children have, or at least the easiest ones solved by mobile.
HeyWe is the first product built by the Oulu, Finland based startup, Cosmic Gecko. To build the product CEO Jyrki Matero leads a team of 15 people listed on their webpage (including three trainees). On top of HeyWe, the company also lists Cosmic Gekko Arena, a free location-based game, in development.
HeyWe has just launched on App Store, Google Play and Nokia Store, making it open to families with a mix of phones.
Just taking a look at Draugiem Group's Riga modern headquarters you get the sense that the company is still thriving and not slowly dying off, like every other regional social network has after Facebook started dominating the planet. Draugiem.lv still has the most active users for any social network in Latvia, counting 1 244 872 users to Facebook's 327 940 and Twitter's 62 000. Latvia only has a population of 2.2 million, giving Draugiem a very high penetration rate.
Perhaps one way the social network has been able to stay on top has been its focus on fostering the development of several startups, which have turned into their own companies. The Draugiem Group now consists of 14 companies and over 100 employees, providing a range of solutions from SMS marketing telemetry and GPS devices, web applications, and even a television platform with social media integration.
The group's companies include Vendon is one of their companies you might recognize, while others, like Friendly Bracelets make you wonder what they're doing in the bracelet game. But hey, they're diversified and they're doing well. The Draugiem Group's turnover is around €14.8 million.
We have long lived with the word e-commerce and it won’t be wrong to request for a change in the naming convention, especially regarding social networks. Probably something like social commerce would do the trick. This is largely owing to Facebook, the network that has made brands more social. MySellr, is an Indonesian startup with Swedes on board, that tends to make the connection more important.
The startup provides an application within the largest social network, enabling anyone to start a fully functional e-commerce website from their fan pages on Facebook. This basically takes the challenge of distribution out of the question as you're around a lot of people. 800 million to be exact.
Skype seems to have speeded up its release of the version for the Mac and the latest update of Skype brings the much needed Facebook integration with Skype 5.4 Beta for Mac. This is similar to the Skype for Windows, and the news is definitely a big plus for Facebook users who own a Mac. Pretty much completes the Skype, Facebook and Mac triangle.
The update will enable Skype users to send instant messages and connect with their Facebook friends, right from their Skype client, giving them the true experience of one stop communication. The update lets users:
Ever wanted to discover what clubs, cafes and bars your town has to offer and what kind of people hang out in those locations? On Barisma you can find those answers. The Finnish start-up has been developing the concept and the website since 2009 and now it has gone live. For users Barisma is a search engine for venues with social networking features. You can either casually search for venues, discounts and people without registering, or engage with a service further by creating a profile, uploading rich media, commenting on content and connecting with new friends. For venues the website offers a marketing channel where bars, clubs or cafes can create and maintain their profiles, interact with their guests online, promote their events and offer discounts for Barisma members.
This is definitely making things for Spotify as (unconfirmed) reports rolled out that Facebook will be launching a music streaming service. This is expected to be launched in the first week of June. The service is currently being tested and upon launch will have users of the social network seeing a Spotify icon just beneath the Photos and other links on the left hand side.
The next generation professional network (to be), Zerply is going beyond its private beta and coming out for the public. And while this news is worthwhile another one is of Zerply heading over to 500Startups. This means they will be a part of the 500 Startups accelerator program in the Valley, bringing them closer to the big names in the region along with accelerating their learning during their 4 months.
When there is a platform available to ensure maximum user engagement, there isn’t really a point why it shouldn’t be fully leveraged and Sofanatics has everything to give to sports fans they need. We've written in the past about their latest improvement to the service, the stadium feature, which is one of the reasons for the wide usage relating to this post as well.
Social networks generally bring the idea of making friends to people's minds, but that trend has rapidly evolved. Businesses are beginning to user this for marketing and engaging their customers to help build a better brand image and professionals have taken this up to collaborate with others across borders. There is no end to possibilities on the web and it has made things a lot more efficient, at least in terms of communications.
We talked about TruthFeed sometime back and its introduction of new features that included the Twitter Bot and the Historical Development. While we personally believe in doing our bit of reviews on startups and tools it is always a good idea to get in touch with people behind and interview one of the team members. We therefore decided to get in touch with TruthFeed’s founder; Johan Haataja to learn his part of story on the newly introduced features and TruthFeed itself.
Foodie.fm, the startup we reviewed back in February last year. Foodie helps you with grocery shopping in a reverse way; lets you add a meal to your cart and breaks it into the ingredients that you need to prepare the meal. The value of the application is clearly in its ease of use - it basically combines your cook book with recipes and your shopping list.
We talked about Zerply, a California based startup with roots in Northern Europe that aims at letting you present yourself in a more professional way with profile pages that integrate with numerous other social profile that you already have. The startup announced the release of their endorsement widget. The widget lets you display your tags on any website so visitors can get an idea on who you are and more easily endorse you.
Back in December 2010 we mentioned Digia’s entry into the music scene with a new mobile app called Flow’d. The application enables users to connect with their favorite artists and in doing so, gives artists some nice tools to engage their fans. The app isn’t a new idea but rather an improvement to previous location based applications that adds more value to the existing concept.
There is one thing that parents love the most when it comes to kids and that's sharing the most memorable moments with everyone they know. The problem is you can take photos of the first step they take, their first giggle, etc but sharing them is a huge problem. Emailing helps, but the task is boring and doesn't really allow proper interaction. A service that lets you share all these moments as a journal is a need of many parents. Enter Intoloop Kids.
Experience sharing social startup, TruthFeed made entry to help users make better decisions as well as share their experience with a global audience. TruthFeed is easy to use, helps you with making the correct choices or decisions and it has made some updates. We covered the company earlier in this post.
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.
I know who to follow religiously when it comes to getting the latest news, a really nice video or an upcoming event on the web. But often it gets a bit monotonous as the same person usually ends up giving the same bit of news. Likewise, following all your friends’ recommendation (individually) is a near impossible task and thus we rely on services that help us filter the most happening stuff from the plethora of friends we all have on numerous social networks and forums. Utopic is one such service emerging in the startup scene to help you with finding the hottest topics among your circle of friends.
A couple of weeks ago we brought to your attention Founder2be - a tool for finding fellow entrepreneurs to work on your start-up idea. Turns out many of you embrased the concept, giving the start-up an impetus to tweak the service and deliver some exciting updates. Having got some feedback, the team behind Founder2be sat through a weekend of coding and as a result the service has a lot more social features: from commenting on and rating ideas to improved profiles. Oliver Bremer, founder and CEO commented: 'In addition to enabling people to specify their skills and how much time they can contribute to a project, we also included in a field where they could choose how big a financial contribution they could make given the right team and idea. The surprise was that already after 48h, there was over €100,000 in the system!'
Big day yesterday for Applifier as the cross promotion bar on the popular social network, Facebook closed $2 Million in seed funding and announced its expansion into web based gaming as well. We reported just a couple of weeks back of its plans for expanding into the Silicon Valley, speculating what news it might have for us by spring. All those news are important, but there's another worthwhile mention; the addition of the retargeting to Applifier's cross promotion bar.
Lets watch TV together, it could be anything, your favorite drama or something as addictive as a Football match. But don’t you think the idea of getting ready and walking to a friend’s place sounds a bit too tiring? And where’s the fun in all that when you have already watched a countless games together? How about jumping on the Internet bandwagon and having a more social experience? That’s what formed the basis of the launch of Sofanatics. The startup was launched back in February giving users a platform to cheer for their teams.
Estonian entrepreneurial hype is clearly on the rise. The new start-up we're bringing to your attention today is MyHistro - a social network centered around stories. Now, you might be sceptical as to whether the world really needs another social network but hear this out. The start-ups founder, Jaanus Vihand, claims MyHistro is not a competitor of Facebook, MySpace or any other social network out there but it's a complementary service that knows no comparison for now. The point of MyHistro is to create multiple stories from your life by placing events on a map and a timeline. If your friends were part of those events, they can add their own impressions to your stories and thus create joint narratives. You and your friends can later replay the stories and reminisce about old times.
TruthFeed is a new social startup emerging from Helsinki, Finland that provides users with a platform to share their experiences with a global audience. The idea is to help people take informed decisions based on the overall experience others have had. Think for a minute, you are planning a trip to Helsinki, Finland and you have absolutely no idea what places to visit, what startups operate in the region or who are the top tech bloggers [other than those at ArcticStartup..] you can head over to TruthFeed and learn about all that. How?
We just wrote about Xiha closing a $1m seed round as well as adding Jyri Engeström (Ex-Jaiku/Google) to their board. If that's not enough now the multilingual, cross-cultural social network comes out with its own developer program. A developer program is nothing revolutionary in itself, but shows that Xiha aims to innovate right on the heels of the fatter cats like Facebook by giving developers access to their APIs and facilitating embedding new products into XIHA Life.
XIHA developers will receive premium support, including customizing API calls to their needs and help with the integration to maximize the success of their app. Once the integration has been finished, XIHA promises to actively promote the new applications.