Ever found yourself taking videos at work and hoped you could send it to your co-workers through an application specifically build for that purpose? I haven’t. But then again that’s just me: I never really was into video or text apps to be honest.
Numbers speak for themselves though; millions of users worldwide show us that quite a good deal of people are very fond of insta-sharing apps like WhatsApp, Meebo and Vine. This also applies when it comes to videos: Companies like Skype are bigger than ever and according to Google, YouTube currently sees around 100 hours of video content uploaded every minute.
If you read our last post about Coffee Stain Studios, you’ll know how game jams with no limits can bring to life the most unexpected and peculiar game concepts. However, what if the game jam already had a target market and audience, sort of a theme if you will? Wouldn't that increase the chances of coming up with something more relevant and consistent?
I’ll give you a theme for a game jam which you probably never though about: Create new gaming concepts for the Arabic speaking markets within and outside Sweden.
It is less than a week to go until Arctic15, and boy is it picking up speed. We already have a great investor line-up, an impressive list of speakers from the gaming, business, mobile and many other industries. As we are running out of tickets, one thing we were kinda lacking was - social network and technical speakers.
So we decided we are going big with that and are happy to announce that both Myspace co-founder, Aber Whitcomb and Ali Parr from Facebook will be joining us as speakers.
Editor's note: this is a sponsored post by Adtile
Despite the shifts in spending we see moving to mobile advertising, basically every ad you see on your phone are about as unsophisticated as a late 90's web banner. Meanwhile your phone is packed with sensors like magnetometers, touch screens, GPS, and motion sensors, making interacting with your phone a more context-rich experience if the hardware is leveraged right.
Are you part of a one; two or maybe even three-man startup team which is looking for an opportunity to do some high quality but absolutely free startup-related networking? Do you feel at home in public places? Do you prefer guerilla tactics over formal battle strategies? Are you ready to work hard, stay cool and swear an oath to do so in the future as well?
If yes is your answer (hopefully on all of the questions), then the Guerilla Office just might be your thing.
After covering their massive €40 million round the other week, iZettle is back in the news again, this time securing a partnership with Nordea, the largest retail banks in the Nordic countries with 800 locations. The deal makes iZettle the preferred mobile partner for Nordea, which will lead the bank's customers and small business owners to iZettle's mobile chip and pin payment solution.
"In a sense we're still a young company with a reasonably unknown brand," says Jacob de Geer, CEO of iZettle. "It's great that they've chose us as a preferred partner as an indication that we're doing something good."
Last week, a press release that we missed at first was the fact that Rovio has had a few management changes. The release focused on the fact that Pekka Rantala has been named as as Chief Commercial Officer, and gives a small mention at the end that Blanca Juti has been named as CMO from her previous position as EVP of Brand for Rovio
A new CMO begs the question though, what's up with Peter Vesterbacka, the company's longtime CMO?
Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, is going to have a solid presence at Arctic15: Exit Path this year as our Platinum sponsor. We've structured our conference to focus on business value for attendees, and Tekes has hopped on board with the concept, providing a mobile office to answer all the questions you may have about the grants, loans, and programs Tekes provides for innovative and growing Finnish companies.
Much like all other types of businesses, application developers have professional information they wish to keep far away from the reach of competitors. In order to protect this information, developers rely on passwords, ID’s and API keys. However, some apps require several layers of programming, which is why the amount of passwords required can be quite high. If all keys aren’t kept in one place, people tend to get confused and if they lose track of their key locations, problems could ensue.
We don't cover a lot of semiconductor news despite the massive amounts of money and hardcore engineering talent poured into the industry, mostly because it's tough for us to communicate what the innovations are. But it's good news that Helsinki-based VC Conor's portfolio company, AnaCatum, has now been acquired by Fingerprint Technologies for an undisclosed purchase price. Conor was founded in 2005 and this is their third exit, including Imbera and Sensinode.
When we last wrote about Epidemic Sound they were still bubbling up on Stockholm's startup radar - but only when it came to hype from startuppers. Instead they were spending their time killing it with actual customers; in October of 2013 they were already providing 70-80% of all music used on television in Northern Europe. Today they should be a name everyone knows as far as Stockholm or Nordic startups go, after raising a $5 million (€3.65 million) Series A in a round led by Creandum.
As our readers must be familiar, in early September of last year, Microsoft announced their intention to acquire Nokia's devices and services unit for $7.2 billion. Even with countless news articles written about the transfer, many Finns and industry watchers still have questions about what the future and overall strategy will be for the company. With this in mind, the talk we're looking forward to at our conference is Tuula Rytilä, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Microsoft Mobile Device Marketing, who will present our final keynote.
At Arctic15: Exit Path she tells us she will be speaking candidly about the integration, tell the story of Microsoft and Nokia's recent history, and will tell us more about the future as "One Microsoft in a mobile-first cloud-first world" in one of the first times Microsoft is publicly presenting about the acquisition in Finland.
When it comes to IT, "the world of tomorrow" seems to be the Internet of Things. Shortly, with the IoT pretty much any object, be it household or industrial, will be connected into an online network. Good examples could be hardware flavored smart-home apps such as Viva or smart lighting systems, like the one visioned by Sensinode.
We have our own ArcticStartup master slides we use for our presentations but still it seems that three quarters of the time I spend on building presentations is still getting things to look right, or figuring out how to insert a graph into a slide when we don't have a good master slide for it. With our conference, Arctic15, just around the corner, I've been making plenty of presentations which is why this "Instagram-meets-powerpoint" startup with Swedish roots look like something I could actually use.
With Arctic15: Exit Path just around the corner, we've crunched the numbers on the competition that gives the Arctic15 its name. To be clear, we're talking about the "15" part of the Arctic15, but "exit path" might be just as apt for these companies, as by judging by our past competitions our readers either have the luck or skill of picking some good ones. Each year at the Arctic15, we take votes on what are the region's fifteen best up-and-coming startups and put them up on stage, counting today's "big ones" like Pipedrive, Kiosked, The Eye Tribe, and Ovelin.
Those who live in Sweden use Mobile Bank ID to book doctors’ appointments, make bank transfers – and buy Bitcoins. Having adopted Mobile Bank ID to streamline identifying its Swedish customers earlier this year, Swedish bitcoin reseller Safello since integrated an identity document verification service to speed up the purchase of Bitcoins through their site.
Trip Hawkins, the man known for his involvement in the early days of Apple and founder of EA and Digital Chocolate, will be back in Finland on the 27th of May at the Arctic15: Exit Path, where you'll also have the chance to meet him one-on-one.
But who is Trip Hawkins really, and how did he become a big name in the gaming industry? Without us having done a true speaker bio yet, a quick reminder of Hawkins’ history seems to be in order.
Many entrepreneurs don't have the mindset that they want to build something beautiful only to sell it away. But looking at the numbers, only a few companies in the Nordics and Baltics seem to make it to an IPO every year, and it's not every day that I write about mid or later-stage companies that are entirely bootstrapped or are cashing out their investors from revenue.
Fingersoft, the Oulu, Finland-based developer of Hill Climb Racing, is expanding their role as a publisher with the laucnh of Tribeflame's mobile game, Benji Bananas's Adventure for iOS. The game is the sequel of Benji Bananas, the mobile game that's counted 35 million downloads.
As a quick game review, I'm going to do that thing where you play the first ten short levels and then tell you exactly how the game is played. So! In the game you play a jerk little monkey trying to swing between vines and trampoline hammocks to get as far as possible to the right side of the screen. The key of the game is to keep momentum, sometimes avoiding the vines in front of you in the hopes that there'll be one below you as you accelerate faster downwards, giving you more speed and distance on your next swing.
Rebtel, the Stockholm-based VoIP company, announced late yesterday that it has launched a new spinoff company, called Sinch. Rebtel offers competing services to Skype, and with this new platform will now be offering competing services to platforms like Twillo in a mobile-first communication layer for developers to plug into their apps.
The company says that Sinch will be based in San Francisco with offices in Stockholm, and is launching with $12 million in funding. Rebtel isn't crystal clear where the money is coming from, but says Sinch will benefit from a strong roster of investors including Index Ventures and Balderton Capital, who are investors in Rebtel.