F2P First - Yoga Retreat connects to heart rate monitors for game dynamics


Helsinki's Yoga Retreat could be described as sort of a "Farmville for Yoga", first launching as a Facebook game back when that made sense, and eventually moving to mobile as the market shifted. With that background it was easy to think Gajatri Studios have been playing catchup with their tropical Yoga retreat simulation game.

But with the launch of their Heart and Breath features, which plugs their game into heart-rate monitors, you could see they're just adapting and innovating with their described demographic of "women who pay with their own credit cards and are into simulation games, healthy lifestyle, well-being, yoga and high quality content."

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Under Armour acquires Danish fitness tracking app Endomondo


In acquisition news, Denmark's Endomondo has been acquired by fitness giant Under Armor in an $85 million deal. The product will continue to be developed under the Endomondo brand but with the acquisition, Under Armour has bought at least 20 million users as well as a fitness tracking platform that plays well with external devices like Android Smartwear and Pebble watches.

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5 reasons why uniting the Latvian startup scene is important

Editor's note: our writer Marija Odineca part of the Labs of Latvia team

Just in a month, on March 3, the Latvian startup community platform Labs of Latvia is launching. In our region we have seen a trend of location-based startup community platforms of various kinds,  including #CPHFTW, Øresund Startups, #SthlmTech in the Nordics and Startup Lithuania and Startup Estonia in the Baltics. Community platforms are great uniters, storytellers and entry points to their scenes. And I joined building one for my home scene, for all the right reasons:

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Stockholm's KnCMiner brings total funding to $29 million


After Creandum's huge $14 million raise into Sweden's KnCMiner only this past September, news broke that Accel Partners has led a new $15 million round into the company that sells and rents hardware for bitcoin mining professionals. In addition to this $29 million in funding rounds, KnC says it has generated over $100M in revenue since launch and re-invested most of its profits in the mining operation.

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Does Rewalon have a shot at gamifying corporate B2C?

Lithuanian Rewalon that debuted last year as a corporate micro-reward service is now expanding into corporate gamification sphere. Over the last year they have quickly gained traction and signed deals with significant B2B clients like Swedbank, American Express and Alfa Bank. Their new product, Challenger, is an extension of their existing corporate loyalty solution based on feedback gathered from clients.

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Jay Z acquries Sweden's WiMP and Tidal


Editor's note: This article originally attributed Aspiro to Norway - it has now been fixed to Sweden

Sweden's Aspiro, owner of music streaming services WiMP and Tidal have gotten a unique exit under their belt after being acquired by Jay Z's company, Project Panther Bidco, for SEK 464 million (€49.6 million).

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Symbal communications invests in multimedia platform Zkyon

Startup Zkyon, which is currently developing a service for creating new revenue for bloggers and newspaper publishers, has recently received a substantial investment from Symbal Communication, as reported by8till5.se.

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Health Accelerator starting up in Helsinki with Samsung partnership


Walk down the halls of the Slush startup conference and it's hard not to notice that there's a lot of health tech coming out of Finland. With GE Healthcare already bumping up against startups at their co-working space at their Helsinki campus, they'll be battling for startup affection with Vertical Health Accelerator, a new Helsinki-based accelerator that has partnered with Samsung Electronics.

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Seriously hits 7 million downloads with 1 million daily active users


Helsinki-based Mobile app developer Seriously announces today some nice round traction numbers coming out of their free-to-play title, Best Fiends, in the "match shiny things together" genre. Namely, Best Fiends has reached 7 million downloads with uses spending 400,000 hours in the game.

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Inventure keeps growing: Adds Daniel Lauren and Jonas Dromberg as Venture Partners


The true measure of a VC firm is their return on investments, but you can't help but notice that Helsinki-based early stage VC firm Inventure has been making more and more noise in the past year, both with the quantity of investments and the growth of the organization. Today Inventure announces they've added on two new Venture partners who are working on expanding Inventure's presence outside of their native Finland.

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E-commerce veteran Dan Nilsson unveils two new ventures

The Swedish e-commerce scene is about to become stronger than ever as the year starts with two new initiatives launched. On the one hand there is launch of groundbreaking measurement tool for e-commerce sector that will help with in-depth analysis of industry’s performance, the E-handel Index. And on the other hand there is creation of new e-commerce park of Sweden a coworking space and logistics center that aims to solve e-commerce companies problems related to logistics, operations or warehouses. What is notable is that the name of Dan Nilsson, founder of Ehandel.se and former entrepreneur behind Roliga Prylar / AlphaGeek, appears in both cases.

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Rovio hit with big departure: Laes steps down as EVP of Games

Talouselema reports that Jami Laes is leaving Rovio to start his own gaming company, stepping down as Executive Vice President of Games.

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Outracks' Fuse raises €2.47 Million for cross-platform apps

You might roll your eyes when you hear that another cross-platform mobile app development platform has raised a couple million, but Norway's Fuse, created by Outracks Technologies, is pulling from their deep knowledge of app development and phone hardware to make it easier for developers to make parallel versions of apps for iOS and Android.

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TechHub Riga aims for €40,000 to travel around the world


Latvia's oldest co-working space TechHub Riga has filmed a video to promote startup culture and gather some funds for TechHub Riga fundraising campaign. The story of the piece revolves around tech heroes based in Valley of Spirit conquering new heights of success by traveling around the startup world. You can view the piece here:

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Opera throwback Vivaldi launched by ex-CEO

It seems like Opera employees never leave Opera. In my travels to Oslo I've met a fair share of people who've left the company only to work on the technical bits of web rendering, or a mobile browser that provides better feeds, for instance.

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Safello expands local payments into Denmark and Norway


Bitcoin platform Safello announces today it's expanding to Norway and Denmark outside of its native Sweden to make buying and selling bitcoins more convenient. To provide this access Safello has focused on the local quirks of each country's payment system, allowing local bank transfers for Danes and Norwegians. Safello says that Norway in particular was lacking good options after its largest exchange, Justcoin, lost their bank accounts and had to shut down operations. Soon after Justcoin was acquired by ANX.

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Norway's Unacast a beacon for the future of advertising

Even if you're not bullish on any practical use of Bluetooth beacons, after meeting the founders of Oslo-based Unacast you'd probably want to put money into the company. With the cofounders working together at Norwegian music streaming service, WIMP, Kjartan Slette and Thomas Walle Jensen have taken their experience negotiating digital record deals (not the easiest market) and are now applying it to the beacon industry in a fast sales-first approach that's honestly refreshing to see from a young startup. From day one they've sold the idea while putting together the pieces.

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TransferWise picks up $58 million Series C round


London-based TransferWise (with Estonian roots) is looking like it's on a golden rocketship up after adding a $58 million funding round led by Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. TransferWise has now raised $91 million to date with name brand investors like Sequoia, Peter Thiel, Index Ventures, and Richard Branson.

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The top 5 Nordic bitcoin startups


By Marija Odineca
Edited: Allen

Despite the falling bitcoin price, the interest in crypto continues to rise and Nordic startups are definitely not lagging behind. Here is a list of top 5 Scandinavian bitcoin startups worth checking out.

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From Garage48 Hardware & Arts to orbiting the earth and London Fashion Week


Editor's note: This is a guest post by Garage48, an event we really admire taking place February 6th-8th

As the Garage48 Hardware & Arts 2015, biggest hardware and design hackathon in the Baltics, is approaching, we took a look back at the results of the first event.


If on average 1-2% of the teams from a hackathon end up as companies, remarkably altogether 6 teams from Garage48 Hardware & Arts 2014 are still working on their products a year later, yielding an almost 30% success rate. The companies already have a number achievements under their belt and even more ambitious plans. We talked to four of them about their journey so far and next steps.

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