The sthlm.js group has kind of grown out of hand.
One of the most infuriating things on the Internet today is regional and national legislation when it comes to digital content. For gaming the always excellent Rock, Paper, Shotgun coined the term ‘No Oceans’ to campaign against the annoying habit of companies to restrict launch dates by region. The Internet has no oceans, so why are we restricted from downloading or accessing something purely based on what piece of land we stand upon?
Those following Helsinki's startup scene have likely had Ovelin's Guitar Bots up on their radar for some time now. Following their success of the guitar chord teaching app, WildChords, the company changed direction slightly to target an older guitar-playing audience, rather than sticking with the target demographic of the cute and cuddly animals in WildChords.
If you want to take your new company out to burn some rubber, you might want to consider the StartupHighway. CEE region focused accelerator program announced a few days ago of an extended partnership agreement with major Lithuanian VC, Practica Capital. This means a new €200,000 fund for future investments in accelerated startups.
It looks like everyone is jumping on the startup ship. From governments, to corporations, to media, people are getting excited by what by now looks like a movement.
Editor's note: The trip to Prague was paid for by Wayra CEE, but the information and thoughts herein are my own.
Seeing how the startup culture works in other countries is always interesting, we often compare the ArcticStartup region to USA or the UK but what about our neighbours? We write about Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, who are a part of the CEE, but we rarely have the opportunity to take a look at the whole region.
Stockholm's sweetheart startup, Tictail, announces today that it has raised €5.3 million in Series A funding led by New York-based Thrive capital and followed London's Balderton Capital, Berlin's Project A Ventures, and Stockholm-based Creandum.
"Alone money doesn't create value, its how you spend it. It's more of a milestone than anything else, but we're super proud to have crossed it," says Tictail CEO Carl Waldekranz.
Big IPO news for the region. Despite press rumors saying they would hold off from their IPO for the time being, Stockholm-founded King has officially filed with the Securities Exchange Commission, meaning their IPO will move forward. They plan to raise up to $500 million through the IPO. JP Morgan, Credit Suisse and BofA Merrill Lynch are the lead underwriters. The company plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker KING.
Startup Pastry Sweden, which is behind the popular site skickatårta.se, that allows home-delivery of cakes and pastry, has secured 5 Msek (€ 550,000) from Industrifonden, a state-owned investment fund.
Listen, if you're reading ArcticStartup, you've got a solid interest in startups. In fact, I bet whenever you see news of funding rounds into companies you believe in, I bet you wish you could also hop on that train to Moneytown (or buy your ticket to learn more about the bankruptcy process!).
Crowdfunding offers that beautiful opportunity, and now Scandinavians will have a chance to meet, hear, and invest in companies live in Trondheim at Technoport, a three-day tech conference running the 28-30th of April looking to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, industrialists, and other doers.
Estonia has seen its fair share of startup buzz, but recently it’s been happening in the name of hardware. Estonian BuildIt, one of the first startup accelerators with a focus on physical devices, is accepting applications from 6-12 teams for its first 1st program taking place in April 2014.
Edit: King has now officially filed for IPO after publishing this article.
According to rumors, Sweden looks like it's going to be net neutral when it comes to tech IPOs in the near future. Game developer King might be putting off their speculated public offering, while it looks like Spotify is recruiting a U.S. financial reporting specialist to get ready for a share listing.
Setting up a startup company can prove to be too overwhelming for many potential entrepreneurs who are too unsure of their success to take the necessary first steps. Estonian Garage48 has set out to change this mentality by organizing weekend-long conferences where team effort, positive attitude and motivating deadlines combined will create tangible results.
February 7-9, 2014, marked perhaps the most successful Garage48 event in its 4-year long history, and the first of its kind. The Garage48 Hardware & Arts was held in the city of Tartu, Estonia, and hosted over 130 members from the creative communities of engineering and design, making it the biggest Garage48 event so far.
E-learning startup Area9 announced earlier that they had been acquired by McGraw-Hill Education. Terms of the deal were not disclosed officially, but rumored it could be as much as 1 billion DKK in total by Børsen (over €130 million).
I wonder how much of this investment cash they're going to hold in Bitcoin? Stockholm-based Safello, a Bitcoin reseller, has reportedly received $600,000 (€437,000) by several Angels and bitcoin enthusiasts, including Erik Voorhees, Roger Ver, Nicolas Cary, and Victor & Victor, TechCrunch reports.
At ArcticStartup we like to cover scalable growth startups - the type of online companies that build one product and sell it hundreds of times over. In our experience, online media is not the most scalable product in the world. It takes huge resources ever day to pump out new content to keep 'customers' sold on your product.
Surprised to see a company raising an €1.8M round that is targetting Karaoke? Perhaps you will be even further surprised to find out that the worldwide Karaoke market size is over €10 billion, according to Samu Keränen, the CEO of SingOn. At this point, your first surprise should be fading away, and we can start talking about the company.
Hey technical folks: check this out. This April the first, second and third, Nordic APIs is going on tour to Copenhagen, Helsinki, and Oslo with half-day events. The goal of the event is to discuss both Private and Public APIs, best practices, and other deep knowledge into how you should pass data around.
Last fall I attended a NordicAPIs event in Stockholm, and even though I was pretty clueless to the finer points of REST and SOAP, I still met good contacts, found the speakers interesting, and the event well managed. For you folks debating your API strategy, you should get even more from it. For the buzz from that last event, check out our post here.
Tech geeks who like to be the center of attention are always interested in high performance speakers. The markets have many variations of these boom blasters, but Finnish startup Unmonday launched their multi-channel ceramic wireless speaker some months ago.
Since then, the speakers have gone along and prosperous journey filled with positive reception and now, well, within a few days, we can expect to see them retailed in selected Apple stores around Europe. Apple has highlighted their liking to the speakers and this might take Unmonday far indeed.
Time is money, but so is data, at least when it comes to commerce. When collecting end user/customer information, it’s good to understand how fundamentally different data collection is between online and offline customers. E-commerce simply implements analytics and follows consumer activity and the result is raw knowledge which can be used for development, unlike brick and mortar retailers who deal with customers in flesh and blood. This requires hardware, and hardware means more hassle.
Helsinki based Innorange specializes in the latter. A week ago they announced three significant changes in their company; A new CEO, a new board and a closed €300 000 investment round from private investors.