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.
I guess Angry Birds think that the mobile platforms don’t give them a large enough empire to vent their wrath upon the pig army. Rovio’s sensational game has grown leaps and bounds so much that the mobile strategy is now just a smaller part of their expansion strategy.
Yandex is a giant and a veteran in Russian Internet. Its founding team has been developing the technology since 1989 and managed to innovate throughout the two decades of its existence to merit the status of Russia's number one search engine. Last week Yandex announced its unaudited financial results for 2010 and they look sweet. Unlike in 2009 when its revenue shrank by $26M, Yandex reported a 43% increase, reaching $410M annual revenue. Contextual ads make up 88% of that revenue. Online advertising has been growing exponentially in Russia throughout 2010, which is great news for Yandex who generates over 64% of overall search engine traffic in Runet (with Google having a bit over 22% of the market share). Estimates of Mail.ru Group's revenue for 2010 at the time of its IPO application were around $300M. The Group has not yet published its financial results for 2010 but if those figures are correct, Yandex's annual revenue might have surpassed that of Mail.ru's by over $100M. What's the reason for Yandex's current success?
Europe’s most popular music streaming service, Spotify is finally edging closer to cross the ocean and land into the US market with rumors of it attempting to sign deals with major labels in the US market. Last week Peter Kafka hinted that it might have struck the cords with Sony US. This will be a distribution deal and wouldn’t necessarily steer clear Spotify to invade the US market.
Seedcamp London has just announced the 20 teams it will invite to the one day event that will try to connect them to investors, mentors and advisors from their network. From Northern Europe, only two companies made the finalists - GrabCAD from Estonia and Huikea Experience from Finland.
When you succeed at first, you have every reason to expand and take up newer and bigger challenges. That’s exactly what Startupbootcamp is doing after the very successful first edition, which was launched as a quarter long program in Copenhagen between August and November, 2010. It brought 10 teams of 32 selected entrepreneurs from 12 different countries, face to face with 75 top mentors in the industry. All that came with thanks to Startupbootcamp’s co-founder, Alex Farcet who put a good number of months to find the right mentors to guide these entrepreneurs.
We're very excited to announce a completely new event format called Arctic15 that we've been putting together since late last year. The event, in its simplest form, will be the best way to launch your company in 2011. We love technology entrepreneurship and we want to support it in the best way we can. Therefore, Arctic15 will launch 15 of the most potential technology startups from the region together with world class keynote speakers. The event will be organised on 22nd of September in Helsinki, Finland. If you've been to our ArcticEvenings, you know Arctic15 will rock.
A little over a year ago we reported on a Finnish media startup called Indiedays. The company put together a fashion, beauty and lifestyle network of bloggers, all under the same address to leverage their traffic and build a new media destination. I talked to the CEO and co-founder Esa Suurio about their development in 2010 and how they were able to exceed their goals.
Envault has a lot to announce this January. They've signed a contract with a new CEO, brought on board new clients and also plan to fuel growth more in 2011 with an array of new products. Envault's new CEO is Jörgen Jansson, who has built an extensive career in Progress Software, CA and IBM. He has started his work at Envault and plans to extensively grow the reach of their products in the coming years.
Planely is a small Danish startup that has a big idea. They want to make flying more social. As everyone knows, flying has become somewhat of a routine for most people and there isn't really any joy in it left. One of the reasons is that you're stuck in a closed space for a certain set of hours and you can't really use that time to socialize. Planely is changing all this and trying to match air travellers between themselves based on their relevances. It's a bit similar to the concept of Dopplr matching your friends when you're travelling. However, Planely wants to do this with people you don't know yet, but there's something there that connects you. I had a brief chat with Nick Martin, the CEO and Founder of the company where they are now and where they're headed in the future.
It appears I have booked myself to news on Spotify. But let the truth be known that there is nothing of the sort and like any decent writer, I am just sharing what makes news. The latest from Spotify is its deal with Shazam.
We at Arctic Startup have talked about WOT or Web of Trust extensively and honestly love how it helps the online community. The safe surfing software keeps users protected from malicious links, spam, spyware, etc by warning them of such sites. The working is based around the idea of getting information from other trusted sources as well as from the online community.
The best thing about reviewing a startup is following up on what it has achieved since the first time you reviewed it. The idea to share progress, how it has improved and what direction is it heading on to, stands as an essential proof to why you actually reviewed it. Today we catch up on Ge.tt, the Danish startup we reviewed back in December 2010.
Too much of call or video oriented ventures associated to Niklas Zennström. You can watch our recent video interviews with him here and here. The Skype co-founder recently revealed his passion for fashion as his investment firm, Atomico Ventures made a $500,000 seed investment in Fashiolista.
Yandex, one of the biggest internet companies operating in Russia and the likes of Kazakhstan and Ukraine reported its 2010 revenue increase 43% compared to 2009. The giant reported revenues of 12.5 billion rubles in 2010, which equal to $410 million US. Yandex makes most of its revenue from contextual advertising, just as its counterpart Google does in the US.
Writing this as the presentation is still on going at stage here in the launch event. Brain Alliance, a Finnish PHP-oriented software and web development house has in co-operation with Sanoma, the largest media organisation in Finland, launched Brain.fi. Brain.fi is a service that enables e-commerce store owners to also sell their goods through the largest bidding sites in Finland - Huuto.net and Keltainenporssi.fi.
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.
The former Nokia executive has invested into GameBook, a developer of real time scoring information for golfers in the form of a mobile app. GameBook is a Finnish run startup and has very strong and high profile investors before Vanjoki already. Some of the previous investors include Mikko Ilonen (European tour player), Teemu Selänne and Elias Pietilä (famous Finnish iPhone developer - received an Apple Design Award as a student). Vanjoki will join the Board of Directors with his investment.