In the startup world everyone is physically connected to their laptop - and therefore Skype - but looking outside our bubble people communicate differently. Conference calls are still a major part of the communication landscape because pretty much everyone has access to a phone, but not too much tech has been infused into the industry. Norway-based Confr says they hope to challenge the big global telecom players that deliver old school and expensive solutions to businesses, and to create something that should just work efficiently.
If you woke up this Monday morning thinking for one second that life sucks because you gotta get up to do work, you're wrong. This life is amazing because you're invited over to watch a test of the world's largest amateur rocket engine with good folks over at Copenhagen Suborbitals, who are testing their HEAT 2X booster on March 1st.
Let’s get one thing straight - advertising sucks. Not because it is bad on a moral level or because it is annoying. It is bad because it is just boring and outdated. The little innovation that did happen in the industry mostly revolved around better ways of tricking you into seeing ads. But then we saw this video:
An exceptional workday demands for an exceptional update. While we're waiting for the soon-to-be MVO pizza party, we decided its time to smash you in the face with the latest news, events and job promotions that have reached our editorial ears during the week.
Editor's note: Mad props to our intern Rafael for his photo editing skills. To make it clear, we don't pay him for his photoshop skills... actually we don't pay him at all.
Editor's note 2: Yet.
This 5 part series of articles by Joseph Barron on pocketgamer.biz takes a detailed look at game development in Malmö and Copenhagen with interviews and thoughtful observation of the industry, the cities, and their inhabitants.
It's been amazing so far," says Linda Liukas of the new programming book for children, Hello Ruby, which was put on Kickstarter this morning. "In 3.5 hours it reached its [$10,000] goal. Let's see what happens next."
When we received a press release with the title Trolls vs. Vikings I originally thought it would news about something other than a new games developer announcing the release date of their first game. I thought it was going to be about recent unpleasent news from another corner of the gaming industry, so you can imagine my relief upon reading of a fun new game that will be out soon.
Here's the story of Swedish startup BannerFlow - they've been major players in a new online marketing solution that has changed the rules of the ad creation game. Their success is the proof that the online ad industry is unquestioned and old fashioned and that it needs a complete makeover.
And BannerFlow has taken a head start that will be hard to beat.
A few years back, Daniel Jacobsson, co-founder of BannerFlow, worked as a designer in a Maltese online casino company: Betsson. When tasked with international ad campaigns, he got more than frustrated with the inefficiency surrounding the job.
Whenever you are trying to scale, it is often a good idea to provide the necessary tools for your users to help you in the task. It is also important to find ways of making them stick to your solution and not go shopping for alternatives.
In the case of iZettle vs. Square vs. Payleven vs. Sumup, there is an all-out battle for ground. Whether that is geographical, technological or commercial. First there was the issue of accepting all the major credit cards, then they were all trying to go after chip & pin cards, finally it is the battle for the mobile app market.
Namely, allowing developers to use their payment platforms natively within the apps. iZettle announced today that they have released the SDK for iOS, allowing you to take in-app purchases using iZettle. The SDK also allows to return post-payment information to the app, in order to update inventory, accounting, print receipts, enter data into CRM, etc.
In 2013 Suomen Verkkomaksut (or Finnish Web Payments) took a basic step towards internationalization by rebranding as Paytrail. Today they have some cash to help expand their web payment platform internationally by announcing they've raised €800,000 in financing from 20 investors, led by Central Finland-based capital investment firm Midinvest Ltd. Paytrail has raised €1,700,000 euros since starting operations in 2007.
There's a few GPS tracker-meets-basic-social-network apps out there, allowing users to track their runs and cycling, as well as keep in touch with their friends workouts. While there are some international competitors out there, like the Nike+ running app, from our region these apps include Copenhagen-based Endomondo, Helsinki-based HeiaHeia, and Helsinki's Sports Tracker. Here we take a look at their monetization strategies.
The term “smart home” first appeared in the early 30’s. The technology boom proved to be too young at the time to revolutionize our household lives, but today, smart homes are more practical and discrete than their clumsy, noisy and inefficient counterparts of the past.
Perhaps one of the easiest approach towards a simple communication between you and your house can be provided by Norwegian startup Viva. Their service promises that a few simple procedures can help you take your first steps into turning your home smart, without the need of electricians or broad technological understanding.
The hype surrounding 3D printing has only grown since it moved from only being a theoretical idea to a physical product consumers can now buy. However one of the main issues holding back widespread adoption has been the difficulty in creating the 3D blueprints that are needed to have something printed. The creation of databases full of pre-made designs has helped a lot in this regard but that can still leave a user with the time consuming process of searching for the right design to match their needs. Volumental have another idea, one that lead to a successful Kickstarter campaign and more recently a partnership with Softkinetic, makers of next generation 3D cameras.
Finnish game studio PlayRaven announces today the company has raised a €1.7 million seed investment. Investors in the company include Creandum as well as Supercell seed investors Jari Ovaskainen and London Venture Partners, as well as other private investors.
Casual followers of the Nordic gaming ecosystem know that titles like Clash of Clans and Candy Crush Saga are making "a lot of money", but other than "they're up there" what does Nordic gaming's presence in the App store actually look like?
When it comes to time tracking and productivity apps Mobile Worker for Android aren’t the first we’ve covered here at ArcticStartup. I covered one Norwegian’s iOS app Timely in December, and we’ve written about Estonia’s Toggl, available on iOS and Android, a few times as well. This might be the first such app we’ve covered that’s arrived out of Lithuania though, so let’s take a look at it.
Editor's note: this is a sponsored post by UK Trade and Investment
Whenever somebody asks me why Nordic/Baltic startups are performing so well, one of the main arguments tends to be the fact that they simply have no other choice. Coming from relatively small home markets, they simply have got to think global from day one. If you are in Finland for instance, you can probably conquer your home niche market in a matter of months if not weeks. This, forces companies to think about expansion early on and hence global success too.
Not long ago, I remember writing something about an exceptional startup reaching, breaching and exceeding their goals. The group of bright minded Danes who make up Airtame have been busy adding more and more perks into their particularly successful crowdfunding campaign in IndieGoGo. First at $200,000, then at $350,000 and then all the way to $1 million, Airtame has been reaching their extra goals one by one, long before their campaign reached its end.
Their original goal of $160k seems almost like a joke by now.
How did this happen?
Pixolane had a rough time releasing Rust Buccaneers. Development on the sea based arcade shooter began in 2009 and was originally meant to be published by a third party publisher in 2011. That publishing deal was cancelled and at that point Rust Buccaneers might have begun to, well, rust. However the Finnish indie games developer didn't let that happen.
“The game was more or less on hold for years, but after some really hard work we were able [to] finish the game in a one room office with only two people working on it on our spare time. We never gave up”, said Pixolane co-founder Thomas Wahlberg. With development completed, the team self published on the PlayStation Network in Europe just before Christmas, and we've been playing it in the office this week.
When talking about looming public offerings from the region, Swedish gaming giant King is the only company's saga on people's minds. But perhaps because we've been talking about preparing for an IPO since September of 2012 when they raised €46 million, we can't forget that soon Copenhagen-founded Zendesk is still planning on getting listed.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has now hired Goldman Sachs to lead their IPO duties, suggesting that an IPO may be coming sooner than later.