Editor's note: This is a guest post by Eric Seufert
In late January, something completely commonplace happened: a random blogger wrote a scathing indictment of free-to-play. In this specific incident, the blogger was complaining about EA's latest Dungeon Keeper game, but the game in question wasn't really important: he used the same tired arguments and comparisons that every anti-F2P blog post before his had.
First King, then Just Eat, and now Reuters reports that cloud help desk company Zendesk has filed for an IPO of up to $150 million, (although this number can change as this initial IPO size is used to calculate registration fees). The company plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the peaceful and stable ticker symbol, "ZEN". Zendesk was founded in Copenhagen in 2007, eventually moving to San Francisco.
Ever found yourself looking for a job? Moreover, did you feel like finding a good quality position that matches your talent was sometimes painfully difficult?
Together with graduates from Uppsala University in Sweden, Adrian Swartz, co-founder and CEO of Cruitway, came to the conclusion that both questions had the same affirmative answer. Additionally, not only was this true for countless of other students including him, there also didn’t seem to be any effective solution out there that really solved the matchmaking issue.
Snapchat asked and answered the question of whether self destructing photos had any wide-scale purpose in society. But what about text? Erik Graf, a developer that has worked on Stockholm-based Guidepal founded his own company with his cousin Thomas Graf, called Textwave, to work on this sort of ephemeral text messaging for Android and iOS. "The project started as a reaction to the fact that Facebook and all of the big companies store all of their users information. Our goal is to create a platform where people can be open and say whatever they want to each other," says Erik Graf.
Wednesday is nearing it’s peak and the work week will be half way done. Speaking about work, it’s time to round up all the open jobs out there.
It’s good to keep it mind that it's free to post a job, but if you would like to promote a position or plug into our social media, you should get in touch at email@example.com
Just the other day I was thinking, "Whatever happened to Senseg? I should follow up." Luckily they reached out before I could forget, announcing a $6 million (€4.35 million) investment round led by NXP Semiconductors N.V., and followed by existing investors Ambient Sound Investments and Finnvera Venture Capital. Even though I've been saying this for a while, with this funding, perhaps Senseg's technology will become the next big thing for devices.
The Unified Remote app, which allows you to control most functions of your PC through your phone, has recently become available for use on iPhones, iPads, iPod Touch and Macs.
Swedish publishing giant Bonnier has been putting a greater and greater effort into investing, supporting, and acquiring ICT companies in recent years, and is today announcing the second run-through of Bonnier Accelerator, and has applications open until May 2nd.
No equity is required to participate in the program, and you can see from the details that really Bonnier is looking for dealflow for their investment arm. The program runs three months, and the entrepreneurs will move into the Bonnier offices starting September. In December, participants will pitch their businesses again to the jury, and Bonnier will decide whether to invest or not, with the particulars negotiated between the participants and Bonnier.
This seems to be the circle of life for productivity apps. At first, someone creates a simple and beautiful iPhone or Mac app, which is lauded for its ease of use. Then as more and more features creep into the app (making it great for power users, but alienating to new users), someone else comes around builds a simpler version of the core product. Wasn't Evernote once that simple and beautiful note-taker in town? Now Helsinki-based All Notes has launched today to gun for that easy-to-use spot.
These days photos with text on them is the new medium of communication. Heading over to Reddit all you see are pictures with text. On Instagram it seems anyone younger than 20 is throwing all sorts of typography over filtered pictures. There's obviously a need to put words on pictures.
Newly founded Standard Ventures, an all stage VC investment firm based in Stockholm, has done some research on what you could consider their competitors and as a result they’ve rounded up a list of the top 100 investors involved in the Nordic tech boom. The list includes various big players and funds, including Venture Capital firms, investment companies, incubators, angel networks, corporate venture and government agencies.
Rotten Wifi, a new app from Lithuania, has some grand aims to grade and publicly shame all poor wifi networks around the world. It launched on iOS today and there are plans for Android and web versions to be out next month as well.
Remember a couple of video guys in blue hoodies running around Slush and their related events? Ympact was on their first stop in Helsinki to produce a startup documentary to tell the story of startup founders and ecosystem builders. The goal of their project, after touring a few more cities, is to help push young generations into becoming entrepreneurs.
Here's their Helsinki video:
Startup Wise Guys, an Estonian accelerator that was behind startups such as VitalFields, WappZapp, EpicList and Cloutex. They have gone through three batches of companies so far: Summer 2012, Autumn 2013 and Winter 2013. However since then we have not heard much about their plans for the future and were suspecting that there would be a change coming.
So a few days ago, they announced that they will change their focus towards B2B commerce and adjust their program accordingly by launching "BusinessTech".
If you want an idea of how app development is going to change over the next couple of years, consider this. Seventeen year-old Swede Joel Hellermark is one of the first to come from a new era of app developers - ones that have actually grown up using mobile apps. "I started when I was 13. I had all these ideas about apps I wanted to create and I just thought I would do one myself."
Global stereotypes usually claim that Finns only care about vodka, but this isn't entirely true; Finland has a very evolved culture in beer drinking. That’s why an app that let’s you get hints for beers and also shows you where your friends are hanging out and what they’re drinking has solid potential to grow across the country.
If you’ve ever seen Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, you’ll agree that had the young queen lived today, Bloglovin would be one of her addictions.
If you haven’t, you’ll have to take my word for it; Bloglovin is all about fashion, lifestyle and pretty much all the small guilty pleasures and the big “little things” of life, something, if not Antoinette, at least Coppola is very fond of.
Bloglovin users will be pleased to hear that the company just raised a $7 million series A funding, led by European investor Norhtzone and joined by existing backers like Betaworks, Lerer Ventures, White Star Capital and Bassett Investment Group.
Just Eat CEO David Buttress describes himself as an “anti cooking activist” on his business card, and while amusing it tells you something of the bullish nature of a company determined to make an impact. Well if a successful stock market floatation can be used as a measure of impact, and we’re going to say that yes it can be, then Just Eat are definitely making an impact.
What are you doing May 5th to June 4th? Will you be pushing your startup full-throttle, or will you still be staring at the wall in your office, and heading home at 17:30 each day? Startup Sauna, the accelerator gathering the best seed startup talent from the Nordics, Eastern-Europe, and Russia to a Helsinki-Silicon Valley based program, is still looking for driven startups looking to turn up the heat over the five weeks of their Spring '14 batch. You'll have to get in your application quickly though: their application period is closing this Monday, April 7th.
We love a good exit story on ArcticStartup. Applifier's acquisition by Unity got the Helsinki entrepreneurs excited, and quick and eventually lackluster build-up to the Swedish-founded King IPO was fun to speculate on. For us in the media business, an exit puts a big fat dollar sign next to a company name, which drives traffic and likes.