Estonian Weekdone is launching their task management app with a major upgrade based on a company management methodology used by companies like Google, Zynga, Intel, Oracle and LinkedIn among others.
The need for a fresh app launch came after Weekdone’s users expressed demand for a feature covering long-term goals and productivity.
How much of your life do you spend interacting with your email? A decent percentage, most likely, but despite that, I imagine you don't really use any tools to make that relationship any better. A Stockholm-based company created by ex-Stardoll employees recently received an undisclosed amount of funding from MOOR Capital, Kaj Hed's private VC firm, to tackle the great problem of email..
Despite Finland's gaming prowess, the country's gaming studios only seem to be testing the water when it comes to taking advantage of their download numbers to help push new games. Looking around in Finland Rovio has their Rovio Stars publishing platform, which is slowly but steadily pushing out new games, and Fingersoft is catching up with their first international release - Pick a Pet from SixMinute, a Dublin based game studio.
A new initiative to help more Danish startups reach international success has been announced. The program, initiated by the Danish government, has support by some of the most successful recent startups. Called Geist, the entrepreneurs have given the Danish authorities 10 recommendations which should enable them to better help startups. The aim is that more startups expand internationally.
Truecaller is hopping on the Android Wear train, announcing today it's developing an app that will bring their services to Android wearables, like smart watches built off Android. It seems like a natural fit - the Stockholm-based company crowdsources users phonebooks to help you find the name behind the number that's calling, and to crowdsource spammy numbers.
We've covered Adtile a decent amount in recent months, and we think that the company is heading in an exciting direction - which is just one of the reasons we use their ad platform on ArcticStartup.
With the recently announced $4.5 million (€3.3 million) Series A from private investors, the company aims to build an "app store" for what we think may be the way we will see ads in the future.
Furniture isn’t exactly the industry that finds itself under ArcticStartup’s looking glass on a daily, or even monthly basis for that matter. However, there are signs that indicate the birth of a new global brand and that in the very centre of the signs we see the acquisition of a Finnish start up you might remember from Slush last year: One Nordic Furniture Company.
Now, signs and suspicions are no more; the furniture e-commerces are soon joined by a new brand, Hem, which is a result of a long strategic business expansion led by online design giant Fab and joined by MassivKonzept and One Nordic.
But how did One Nordic end up being the last missing piece of a furniture coalition made up of cash-stacked startups? Did they just happen to be in the right place at the right time or does it all come down to exceptional entrepreneurism?
Norway's Soundrop has gone through a few pivots since it released it's first product back in 2011. At the time it won Startup Weekend Oslo and was riding on the Turntable.fm craze of social listening rooms - which it plugged into Spotify. After pivoting its listening rooms in October of 2012, it then started expanding to mobile, Facebook, and Deezer. With their listening rooms in place, in early 2013 Soundrop realized that putting musicians in their chat rooms and driving the playlist created a fun social experience for artists to connect with their fans.
It seems many fitness app enthusiasts have had the inscrutable dream of tracking exercise distances via smartwatch, and who’s to blame them? Bulky smartphones bouncing from one side of the pocket to another can piss off any jogger, but hey, it’s not like they have a choice.
Or do they?
Oslo's Cxsense (pronounced see-sense) yesterday listed its shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange, listed with a market value of NOK 478 million (€56 million). Cxsense combines the big data and advertising world by helping publishers personalize content and target advertising. With the money raised by the listing the company plans to make strategic acquisitions.
With Helsinki's Supernauts finally launched globally, we're taking a look at how people are using Supernauts in contests and their own worlds to build crazy things. Take, for example, the top image by user 'ajajaj 69' who built two Supernauts riding a shark.
Here's a few more we picked up on their Everyplay page.
Assuming you’re in need of a new insurance, credit card or a personal loan for example, would you know straight away where to find the most cost-efficient alternative for you? Price comparison is probably what you’ll want to do, but how and where to do that?
For a long time apps have been brushing up on the edges of psychology, like your to-do apps and other motivational trackers. But somewhat recently we're seeing startups, like Hoa's Tool Shop and now Norway's Mindfit trying to solve grander problems, such as working as your in-pocket psychologist or therapist to help adjust your emotions and day-to-day life. Two sisters have recently launched an app out of Trondheim, Norway that attempts to act like a mini psychologist in your pocket to help you become more aware of the positive things happening in your life.
Talking to Norwegian entrepreneurs over the years we've heard two things about the state of their early-stage funding. We've heard that there are no investors, or if there are, they're government backed funds managed by people with backgrounds in Finance or the Norwegian government - not exactly smart money. Every nation's entrepreneurs cry loudly about how little money is available, but the data backs it up. According to the Norwegian Venture Capital Association, in 2013 only €2.2 million was invested by Norwegian PE firms into Norwegian companies. Finland, a roughly equally sized country, had double that.
Now we've received word that Alliance Venture Capital, an Oslo based firm, is bringing in a network of former IT entrepreneurs and managers as a network and has announced a NOK 510 million (€60.63 million) fund to focus on early-stage investments in IT called Alliance Venture Spring which will invest 2-5 million NOK (€240,000- €600,000) into companies primarily in Norway.
It’s not every day we see Tekes being approached with a €10 million investment request, not to mention seeing that requests being approved. However, big money is needed to run complex systems, and since it’s airport management software in question, the large investment makes more sense.
In acquisition news, Denmark had a busy weekend after two companies announced acquisition - Libratone, a maker of high-end wireless speakers, and Assemblage, a startup making real-time collaboration apps.
In nice news for a Swedish company, yesterday music-tech startup Soundtrap created by Playwerk was up on stage at Google I/O to make an announcement of their updated music collaboration site. We haven't covered the company yet, so this affirmation by Google gives us a good excuse to dig into what they're doing - a polished cloud-based platform that allows musicians to collaborate and jam together on the web.
Big news from Templafy: the template management startup from Denmark is leaping up the early stage business stairs with a recent $2.5 million investment led by SEED Capital and Sunstone. Though still in its early form, the ambitious startup is looking go global as soon as possible, an optimism largely shared by the backing VC’s.
I've been hearing a common theme from bureaucrats and economic development folks at Helsinki's startup events - that we need to make Helsinki the hub for the East-meets-west startup scene. We can talk about our closeness to St. Petersburg, or our that Helsinki has "access to western markets" or whatever, but while those are nice-to-haves, what really motivates startups from Russia and Eastern Europe to pick up and start in a new place is access to cash.
A new Vigo accelerator and investor, Helsinki Ventures, is now seeking out the new wave of Russian and CIS startups that are highly educated and skilled, but sometimes lack the commercial know-how for western markets. Their plan is to take early stage startups, get them set up as Finnish companies therefore giving them access to the fast Tekes cash available through their Vigo accelerator connections.
Seriously, a Helsinki-based game and entertainment studio that has yet to release what they're working on, sent us a different press release than most. In it, they describe that they've made a few more key hires, fleshing out their team to 12 people (and one intern) and buried in there they mention that they've raised €1.9 million from Sunstone Capital and Upfront Ventures, also adding Daher Capital as a new investor. Seriously’s total seed raise stands at €3.7 million before getting anything on the market.
Without knowing their idea or roadmap, all I can say is such is life these days if you're basically an ex-Rovio team looking to build off of what made Angry Birds pop.