For years, when asked about the comparison between the Stockholm and Helsinki startup scenes, we said something along the following lines:
Stockholm has a very strong scene, but it is fragmented. There are several groups in and around the city that tend to stick to each other but do not really welcome anybody from the outside. This is not necessarily a bad thing, as these groups have very strong startups in them and Sweden is extremely good at creating strong companies. We just wish the scene got together a bit more.
If you can't beat them, should you join them? We get press releases weekly about new to-do apps or productivity trackers, but most seem to require you to change up your workflow to keep your productivity tracker up to date. Despite that, many of us are living within popular productivity products like Evernote every day, which is convenient and gets the job done, but is still a mess. For those of you working in Evernote already, Danish startup Swipes seems to nicely bridge between your current workflow, while still making you more productive.
Swedish crowdfunding platform FundedByMe announces today that it has raised funding from Singapore-based Link2Ventures. The amount of funding was not disclosed making it tough to know what to make of the news, but with the funding FundedByMe will be looking for expanding throughout Asia Pacific, growing beyond its Singaporean office opened in 2013. Outside of Sweden, the company has operations in Finland, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Italy, Germany and Singapore.
More hardware funding and bitcoin news - this time from Sweden. KnC Miner, a creator of state-of-the-art chips for bitcoin mining machines, has just raised a huge $14 million (€10.81 million) Series A from Stockholm-based investor, Creandum and GP Bullhound. This adds them to the list of other name-brand bitcoin companies that have raised eight figures lately, including BitPay, Coinbase, and Xapo.
Life tracking seems to be on the rise following this morning's news that Beddit has brought their total funding to $8 million (€6.18 million). Now Stockholm and San Francisco-based Narrative Clip (formally Memoto
) announces it has raised $8 million in brand-new funding. The round was led by led by Khosla Ventures and followed by existing investors True Ventures andPassion Capital.
The Finns behind the crazy sleep-tracking technology, Beddit, announce they've raised investment from Inventure, bringing their total funding to $8 million (€6.18 million), including their $500,000 seed round and most certainly some prior funding. With the funding the company says they will be strengthening their distribution channels in the U.S., as well as pumping more money into their R&D program.
Huimio, the creators of the Tunemio mac and now globally launched iPad app, announce they have raised roughly €95,000 led by digital services provider and investor Reaktor, as well as a few private investors. Their app can be likened to a Sports Tracker of music practicing, and seems like a good tool for any aspiring musician.
Bitcoins are getting broadcast to TVs everywhere in Finland. Well, not exactly, but a new project called Kryptoradio is starting to use Finnish TV station Digia's DVB-T transmitters to transmit bitcoin transactions, blocks, and currency exchange rates in real time. The pilot is now in place, allowing 95% of Finland's population to get unidirectional bitcoin information without an internet connection.
It wouldn't be a far-reaching statement to say that Taneli Armanto kicked off this crazy mobile gaming industry that Gartner expects to hit $17.1 billion in 2014. As a Design Engineer at Nokia back in 1997 Armanto created the legendary game, Snake, which got people killing time with their phones for the first time to move an ever hungry, ever growing snake in monochrome glory. Since then, Snake was featured in over 400 million Nokia phones and is one of the most popular games in history.
It seems like just the other day we were writing an IndoorAtlas funding story - the company raised €3.3 million in June. But early this morning news broke that the Oulu, Finland and Mountainview, California company has raised $10 million (€7.61 million) from Baidu, China's leading search engine. With the funding, Baidu gets exclusive access to IndoorAtlas' indoor positioning technology in China.
It's good to see industry players start taking a more active role with startups, such as recent news of Finnish energy giant Fortum buying a 13.6% stake in wave energy startup Wello as they transition from development to commercial piloting.
Data roaming in around the world is stupid expensive. On a recent trip to the States I turned on mobile roaming only a few times to quickly check Google Maps or to hop on and off Whatsapp, and boom - I get a text message from my Finnish carrier telling me that I've hit €60 in roaming fees already.
Despite the slow pace of the legal system, lawyers, programmers, academics, and general hackers are developing new solutions to help common folk and professionals to navigate the law. We've seen a few of these legal hacking projects pop up in the region, with a few notable ones popping up in Sweden including Matval (which we've been playing email tag with to get an article out), Swiftcourt, and Precisely - the startup by the new Stockholm Legal Hackers meetup founder Robert Gullander.
With a name like Shark Punch and a team of ex-Rocket Pack founders recently freed up after being acquired by Disney in 2011, we were curious what was happening over at the game studio. So after firing off an open-ended email we were over at their Hakaniemi, Headquarters the same day to check out their first title, The Masterplan, which is being released as a Steam early-access on September 15 after quickly getting through Greenlight - PC game distributor Steam's democratic voting process for getting indie games onto their platform.
We know Estonia as a progressive and tech savvy country. Skype, #estonianmafia, favourable tax policy for startups, electronic ID, and internet declared as human right. What other tech news could possibly make us wonder? Well, there’s a 600 years old castle in North Estonia called Malla Manor that is set up to become a Bitcoin innovation centre, according to Finnish silver investor and Bitcoin entrepreneur Risto Pietilä.
Genetics testing is certainly on the rise. Companies with large advertising budgets like 23 and Me has started to become somewhat of a household name in the States, and hospitals and individuals alike are digging into the new technology to see what timebombs might be hiding in our genes.
New changes over at Rovio. Mikael Hed, Rovio's CEO for the last five years and son of Kai Hed, Rovio's controlling shareholder, is stepping down as CEO and will be replaced by Pekka Rantala. Reasons as to why the change in leadership was not mentioned in the press release.
We might start seeing more smart trashcans out in the world with today's news that Espoo, Finland-based Enevo raising a solid $8 million (€6 million) round to strengthening their ties in North America and Europe, with their eye on the Middle East and Africa. The round includes names like Earlybird, Lifeline Ventures, Finnish Industry Investment, Draper Associates and Risto Siilasmaa, among others.
As the story goes, back in 2010 Aalberg Audio co-founder Rune Aalberg Alstad was out with student friends in Trondheim, Norway and arguing with fellow guitarists about the best effects pedals on the market at that time. But Alstad argued that they all shared a common flaw - you've got to move to a fixed position on the stage to change the effects.
“At that moment it was like the sky opened up and the ideas for a remote controlled pedal just came pouring in,” says Alstad who shared with us the a classic back-of-an-envelope blueprint from that night:
Editor's note: This is a sponsored story for Pipedrive
Many startups struggle to do sales well. They begin with a great idea and build a product to make their vision a reality, but without selling their idea or product, the startup may die. Perhaps nobody knows this better than the Estonian Startup - Pipedrive, as they not only come from a sales background but the tool itself has become an extremely popular sales management CRM. They share some tips with readers: