When working in any sort of administrative body or getting your hands dirty in management or just typing away as a media footsoldier, you’ll find that we all share one point in common; electronic devices revolving around data. To be honest, working pretty much anywhere these days requires some kind of an IT department. Public or private, huge or small, it rarely makes any difference; Information and technology is the very definition of a basic building block of our economics, and that’s why IT is an industry withholding countless of professions, each providing services for very specific needs.
Today’s question is; How do get a hold of the right IT guys you need?
As firms go global, there is a need for more meetings that include people from multiple continents; sometimes even large meetings with attendees that span the globe. Yet companies are also cost cutting like mad; business class flights are a no-go for all but the most senior executive, and one would think that the expense of flying across the globe for a meeting or two would deter companies from doing it. Indeed, if there was an alternative for deep, content- and interactive-rich virtual meetings, there would likely be a market for it.
Last month we announced that Fonecta, one of the most active startup acquirers in Finland is going to start making minor investments. Today, they have announced their first and it goes to the online marketplace startup - Vuole that has developed the Savalanche e-commerce platform.
Eight years ago a small conference of two days rounded together no more than 130 participants in the Lithuania capital of Vilnius.
During those two days, 11 speakers went up on stage in the name of exclusively Lithuanian blogging while the world went about its own business, barely noticing the existence of such a conference. In hindsight, and with a little bit of detective work, we can all work out what happened next. Yet it’s hard to think anyone would've guessed how such a small conference made for local bloggers would eventually grow to become literally the largest tech community gathering in the Baltics.
Denmark's takeaway giant Just Eat announced this morning it plans to raise £100 million (€119 million) by listing its shares on the London Stock Exchange this April. Just Eat has seen fairly rapid growth since being founded in 2001. The company says it operates the world's largest online marketplace for restaurant delivery, and now operates in 13 markets, including UK, Denmark and France, as well as "tougher" markets like Brazil.
You've probably seen us referencing and embedding BuzzTale, especially at startup events like Slush and more recently TechChill Baltics. There's good reason, the Riga-based startup has close ties to both events; BuzzTale was part of the Helsinki-based accelerator, Startup Sauna (whose parent foundation also funnels money to run Slush) and had their demo day at last year's Slush event. And with CEO Andris Berzins as one of the founders of TechHUB Riga, their event TechChill Baltics is close to home.
Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post for DNA Engine written by Mathieu Molinero, Head of New Markets at Deezer.
The music streaming revolution has started 5 years ago and keeps growing years after years, bringing growth once again to the music industry (+44% in volume and + 59% in total value in 2012). This revolution is at the expense of physical sales with the appearance of new technologies and new devices like smartphones and now tablets. Music streaming is also a new way of consumption that totally corresponds to our modern society : access to millions of songs, anytime, anywhere, on any device for the price of 8 tracks on legal downloading platforms (9,99€).
Things have been happening lateley over at Stockholm-based safe payments provider Klarna. The company has just announced it raised €90 million from existing investors, including Sequoia Capital, General Atlantic, and Atomico in order to buy SOFORT, the direct banking company. Together, the two companies formed Klarna Group.
Planes full of eager entrepreneurs, investors, and tech enthusiasts touched down in Austin, Texas last week for the 21st annual SXSW Interactive Festival. Amid the endless networking events and boozy late-night parties, a strong showing of Nordic startups and government organizations participated in panels, pitch events, and trade show exhibitions.
The new Copenhagen-based Startup Bringrs receives initial funding from Jesper Søgaard and Christian Dam Rasmussen, the founders of bettercollective.com. The investment is said to be in the six-figured euro size.
Applifier CEO Jussi Laakkonen sounded a little groggy when he first answered the phone, but his mumbling turned into the fast, clear, and somewhat sarcastic sales pitch we've gotten to know him for by the end of the call. It was 6:00 AM in San Francisco, and the news just broke that his company, Applifier, had been acquired by Unity, the game engine. Laakkonen woke up about two minutes before we gave him a ring.
"Oh, you know, it's another step in the journey," mumbles Laakkonen at the beginning of the call.
Applifier's main product is Everyplay, a tool to allow players to record gameplay to share with friends on social media or Youtube. Everyplay goes deeper than a simple share button, however. The platform creates its own cross-game social network where you can see the videos your friends are sharing, or catch what the more popular videos from all games are.
Applifier and Unity apparently go back some time. In 2009 it wasn't really clear if Unity was going to make it or not as a game engine and Laakkonen did sort of an endorsement of Unity; a developer was talking about doing their own game engine, and Laakkonen told them, "don't do your own game engine, use Unity." Someone from Unity ended up hearing that and they ended up forging a relationship. Unity also happened to be the first to demo Everyplay.
To Laakkonen the acquisition makes sense. Developers have two life or death questions. "How do we create a game that's really good and cross platform [which is the problem unity solves]. The other question is how do you connect gamers and how do you help them discover. That's the problem we've been working on."
With a solid integration into Unity and with more resources to scale up the platform, we should see Everyplay integrated into more games.
"We don't fell like its a sale or anything. I see this as a merging teams." says Laakkonen. "Now we have 400 more colleagues to help grow."
Editor's note: This is a guest post by Tom Laine, CEO at Innopinion and Teemu Polo of Soljuva Technologies and Starttaamo
This is your guide to Oulu.
A major success story for Denmark started in 2001 when Danish food service website Just Eat launched for the first time. 5 years later they expanded to the UK and continued to add one country after another into their network. Today Just Eat operates in 13 countries worldwide and has 40,000 takeaway restaurants under their banner and they generate a revenue of £700 million yearly for the restaurant industry. They're huge.
But could it be that in all their expansionism and transformation into a mega sized firm they forgot top keep an eye on their own back yard?
Alright, welcome back to the jobs post. Your weekly roundup of all the latest open positions posted to Arctic Startup's Job Board. It's a busy week with a lot of new places spread out over Finland, Estonia, Denmark, and in the case of two companies, 'anywhere'.
Back when Myspace was the place to be for American teens, regional social networks sprung up all over Europe. One of the last to still keep a foothold against the rise of Facebook is Latvia's Draugiem, which in 2012 still had a larger market share than Facebook. More current numbers were tough to find, but clearly Facebook is the place to be for Baltic teens these days. In response, Draugiem group has pivoted some of its efforts into supporting new in-house startups. One of theses startups that's gaining good traction in the States is Printiful, which launched July of last year.
Strict workplace regulations are understandable when the nature of the data is rigorously confident, but actually prohibiting all cloud based applications seems a little harsh. That being said, California-based cloud notetaking tool Evernote's latest survey results are fairly surprising; according to their survey, every third Finn working in IT is not allowed to use any form of third party cloud services, such as Google Drive, Dropbox and Evernote
In the realm of freelancing it seems that paperwork and the legal gymnastics required to dot all the i’s and cross all the t’s is one of the most painful and frustrating parts of the job. Arturs Kirtovskis and Karlis Bikis, two of the four man team from Latvia behind Officialize.It think they have come up with a way to simplify the process and take the pain and hassle out of forming a contract.
While Facebook didn't exactly "create" the term social media, it certainly did bring it to mass attention. Ever since its birth, the world wide web has emerged a broad variety of social media services specified for different target demographics. A few quick examples that pop into my mind would be LinkedIn for business networking, the hugely popular teen web site Habbo (which comes from Finland by the way) and image enthusiastic Pinterest.
Alumniplus will be jumping into the category of target group specific social networking sites, and as the name suggests, they're going after the university alumni all around the world.
Today the first meet up, the first town hall meeting, for the Copenhagen startups scene was held at Børsen in Denmark.
When you're young you trip and fall, it's not such a big deal. You simply get up with maybe a nasty bruise if you're unlucky, and move on with your life. For the elderly, this couldn't be any less true. A single tumble can be a matter of life and death.