Mobile games can do a lot of things right, but it's rare to find one that nails "live" multiplayer. Fun Run, built by Norway's Dirtybit, grew to a solid international success with over 45 million downloads thanks to how well they pulled off real-time 2D racing. The game's short, quick races made it easy to challenge your friends, allowing the game to grow virally through high schools (hopefully after class let out) to see who would end up on top of your friends' leaderboards.
Reverse Pitching Sparks Interest in the Region - Large Corporations Take First Steps Towards Startups
Recently ArcticStartup organized Reverse Pitching, providing an opportunity for big corporations to reach out to startups. We were very positively surprised by the interest in the idea where we put the big ones on stage pitching, while startups would be listenining and asking questions afterwards. As a proof of that interest, the event gathered more than 200 passionate startup entrepreneurs who, when asked if there were “any startups in the house?”, loudly cheered.
We've probably written enough about getting noticed at startup events in the leadup and takeaway from Slush, but did you see that electronic namebadge that a handful of people were wearing? If you did see it, you probably stopped the person wearing it to ask about it, and you'll be happy to know that Tagsu is now on Indiegogo due to popular demand.
Klarna has been one of the biggest success stories from the region for a while yet. Rightfully so, as the company has revenues of over €178 million a year (2013) and has total funding of close to €250 million. The latest being in March this year from Institutional Venture Partners (IVP),Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic and Atomico.
Many companies use the 'interactive' buzzword in describing their product, while struggling to explain what it means practically. With a growing number of data visualisation solutions on the market, we were not particularly interested when we first heard ZoomCharts pitch 'the world's most interactive data visualisation software'. But stick around - I am about to show why their demo let us and Imprimatur Capital, whose investment in the company now amounts to EUR 700,000, reconsider.
After picking up a massive $60 million from names like Sequoia and Atomico, Truecaller has announced a big update to their android app in order to make dialling and calling more intelligent and useful. The updated app is part of a broader move to make their platform your way to make every call, rather than just a “who the hell was that?” number lookup.
Infogram has gotten their infographic tool used at publications like the Washington Post and other major media houses, but the acquisition looks like it will be used to stay on the forefront of this medium.
For most part of the year, the startup community is hard at work. So hard, in fact that any occasion or an event, social or not, is somehow related to work. This year, we want to break that tradition a little bit and invite everyone for a nice Christmas party together. Get your tickets fast.
We have written previously that Finland was going through the five stages of grief when it comes to Nokia, and I think we have just reached 'acceptance'. People and companies are moving on and looking at what to do next, not surprisingly some are going after the same markets. For instance there is now three companies doing tablets. If this is the right type of acceptance or not - time will tell. Perhaps it's the cold.
I suppose a good music producer is like a good startup mentor - you just might pay to get a good one. With that in mind Oulu, Finland based NetSono has launched a producer finding tool to their beta-launched platform for bands, Band on the Web, that aims to hook you up with an experienced person behind the Soundboard for feedback and potential collaboration.
The producer service is launched with Finnish household names Leri Leskinen, Hiili Hiilesmaa, Riku Pääkkönen and Jussi Jaakonaho who have worked with bands like HIM and Nightwish to the highly popular Vain Elämää (the Finnish version of the TV format The Best Singers).
Tine Thygesen has announced that she is leaving Everplaces. In a post she announced the decision, and also that Everplaces will split into two different startups, one with a B2C focus and one with a B2B focus.
Evernote does a lot of things well- I’m writing the draft of this story in Evernote, for instance. But it can’t be all things to all people, especially for creatives that think and record more visually than a word-based interface.
Stockholm-based Curator was designed to be that visual grid where you can bring in those websites, text, and images together, sort of like a private Pinterest more built around your notes. While the app was only first launched a year ago on iPad, it’s gathered good momentum hitting over 100,000 downloads an has reached the top 10 productivity apps in 76 countries around the world.
Slush has grown to such a large conference that in order to be memorable, you need to stand out. To help our Arctic Startups succeed and we republished our Hacking Conferences article by Dmitri Sarle, who took on Dublin Web Summit this year like a pro. Yet we still see a wide gap in the degree to which startups are prepared for #Slush14 and are successful at getting their word out.
On Friday Nov 21 TechHub Riga hosted its opening event. Latvia's central startup hub has moved into a new bulding, twice the size of their previous office and able to fit in around 150 people. Among other announcements, Andris Berzins is stepping down as TechHub chairman and letting Ernests Stals take over the lead. Ernests is a logical choice, considered he was at the inception of what is now TechHub Riga as once started as Open Coffee Club and later grew into regular startup evenings. In addition, another member is joining the board of TechHub Riga - Raimonds Kulbergs, who left Big 4 consulting to build Funderful, the startup behind TechHub Riga fundraising campaign.
As evidenced by yesterday's article on Sharetribe, the "sharing economy" is going everywhere. One new startup now out of Copenhagen's Startupbootcamp is Sharingear, sort of an AirBNB for touring equipment that should make it a lot easier for bands to hit the road and make some money.
A lot seems to be happening on the tech side in construction work industry. Recently GenieBelt announced that they would be launching worldwide. Now Fieldly, a startup that works with helping field workers keeping track of progress and project management, has announced their first costumers outside their home-base, Sweden.
Over Slush, Sharetribe announced that they've picked up a solid $1 million from Finnish kingmaker VC Lifeline Ventures, Reaktor and Tekes giving them good cash to support their platform which allows anyone to run peer-to-peer marketplaces for buying, selling, or renting goods.The company's platform has seen good growth lately, used from everything from peer-to-peer surfboard rentals to helping find caretakers for pets. Previoulsy Sharetribe raised money from Reaktor Polte and Tekes, the Finnish government funding agency.
What do you value more? An experience, or a physical gift? Chances are you've already got enough stuff in your apartment, and what you'd appreciate doing something fun and exciting instead. As a startup founder and curator of experiences, it makes sense that I met Tinggly founder Linas Ceikus at the Surf Summit, an after-event from the Dublin Web Summit taking 100 entrepreneurs out to the west coast of Ireland for surfing and other adventures.
Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post by Pipedrive.
Sales is a bit of an involuntary passion of mine. Partially because I was raised in a family of entrepreneurs, my mother was one when it was virtually banned in the USSR, partially because I somehow ended up doing sales for most of my life.
When it comes to sales, there was pretty much everything: real estate sales, retail sales, online sales, corporate sales, cold calling and my favourite - door to door sales.
As someone that can't really play an instrument, I can get lost in music apps that helps you easily make catchy beats like you somehow know what you're doing. That's the fun part of Disco Fingers, a newly released iPad app that lets you crunch out tunes, throw in some voice filters, and share them with the community or your friends.