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.
Talouselema reports that Jami Laes is leaving Rovio to start his own gaming company, stepping down as Executive Vice President of Games.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
By Marija Odineca
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.
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.
The beautiful thing about Gothenburg-based Saltside Technologies is that they throw away the assumption that if you want to grow into a valuable company, you need to be targeting the U.S., Europe, or at least the BRIC countries. With online classified portals operating in four "third tier" markets, Saltside announces today that they're raised a generous $40 million series C funding round to reinforce their market positions, look into new markets, and continue developing technology for their portals. To date the company has raised $65 million.
IT-security server Wecloud, which sells cloud-based spam and web filtering in a subscription model, has bought Danish competitor Simitu, in an attempt to boost productivity and expand as a business, as reported by Sydsvenskan 8till5.
When you think of education in the Nordics you might first think of Finland's PISA test scores, but Norway seems to be the one really capitalizing on EdTech. A good excuse to cover this is that Norway is representing itself with a pavilion at BETT, a London-based learning technology event, and with it they're sharing some numbers on the rise of Norwegian EdTech startups. With it they claim Norwegian educational technology has over 40 million users worldwide - a number that seems to easily top the rest of the region.
It's that time of the year again and you better be ready, as you only have 24 hours to become an Arctic15 attendee, before our most affordable tickets get executed. What would Jack do? The clock is ticking.
TechChill Baltics 2015 on Feb 10 has opened applications to pitch slots and startup booths. TechChill Baltics is an annual conference organised by TechHub Riga. Much like November Slush in Finland, TechChill welcomes startup folks to the Baltics in chilly February, when there is otherwise nothing much to do here. Last year there were more than 350 people attending, 48% of them startups, 12% - investors, and 13% - digital/media agencies and press. You can check what last year's event was like here.
Once you dig into the data you see some surprises, which I suppose is the whole operating principle behind Verto Analytics, a digital measurement service with Finnish roots that shared some data with us. Rather than relying on survey data or supply chain estimations, New York-based Verto claims to collect 3000 data points per customer per day of actual usage - giving them much richer and faster data than surveys like Nielsen or supply chain estimations. Multiply that 3,000 by the fact that some of their datasets cover 500 million devices per month it makes sense they've received backing by Finland's technical-focused VC's, like the ex-MySQL investors Open Ocean Capital as well as Connor Venture Capital.
Here's how the world changed in 2014:
By Charlie Richards
Seeking to reap the benefits of naturally low temperatures and plentiful green energy sources, KnC Miner is opening a hanger sized data processing center in Boden near Luleå, Sweden. Near to Facebook's own Arctic data operation, the crypto processor KnC Miners seeks to help power 'the internet of blockchains' from its new northern base.
A lot of online companies are completely location independent, especially if they do not have to do time-sensitive customer support, ship physical products or meet clients face to face. This includes most of the app development companies, affiliate websites, blogs, a lot of game developers and so on.
If you're moderately tech savvy you can easily get around advertising. On the web you can install an ad blocker to your browser, and television is so much cleaner on ad-free Netflix.
Over the christmas holidays, bored, and playing around with my phone's settings I went through and killed lock screen notifications in basically every app except for Whatsapp, and my life is so much better for it. Lock-screen notifications are this generation's new type of ad that disguises itself as as a service, but like any advertisement it's designed to distract you to from whatever it was you were trying to do.
Sweden is seeing a rise in successful e-commerce startups like Tictail and Fyndiq, which makes sense considering the country's retail success with giants like Ikea and H&M. To support the next wave of companies, a new center for e-commerce stores has opened next to Sweden's second-largest container port in Helsingborg.