Lithuanian Rewalon that debuted last year as a corporate micro-reward service is now expanding into corporate gamification sphere. Over the last year they have quickly gained traction and signed deals with significant B2B clients like Swedbank, American Express and Alfa Bank. Their new product, Challenger, is an extension of their existing corporate loyalty solution based on feedback gathered from clients.
Editor's note: This article originally attributed Aspiro to Norway - it has now been fixed to Sweden
Sweden's Aspiro, owner of music streaming services WiMP and Tidal have gotten a unique exit under their belt after being acquired by Jay Z's company, Project Panther Bidco, for SEK 464 million (€49.6 million).
Startup Zkyon, which is currently developing a service for creating new revenue for bloggers and newspaper publishers, has recently received a substantial investment from Symbal Communication, as reported by8till5.se.
Walk down the halls of the Slush startup conference and it's hard not to notice that there's a lot of health tech coming out of Finland. With GE Healthcare already bumping up against startups at their co-working space at their Helsinki campus, they'll be battling for startup affection with Vertical Health Accelerator, a new Helsinki-based accelerator that has partnered with Samsung Electronics.
Helsinki-based Mobile app developer Seriously announces today some nice round traction numbers coming out of their free-to-play title, Best Fiends, in the "match shiny things together" genre. Namely, Best Fiends has reached 7 million downloads with uses spending 400,000 hours in the game.
The true measure of a VC firm is their return on investments, but you can't help but notice that Helsinki-based early stage VC firm Inventure has been making more and more noise in the past year, both with the quantity of investments and the growth of the organization. Today Inventure announces they've added on two new Venture partners who are working on expanding Inventure's presence outside of their native Finland.
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.