Even though December is a traditionally slow month for tech news, it has brought quite a number of stories worth your attention from eastern Europe. Check out the most important headlines in our round-up and make sure you keep up with the pace of the region.
Startups, VCs, accelerators
- StartUp Europe Week has landed in Krakow.
- A Californian investor wants to “help Ukrainian startups attract investors from all over the world”.
- Built by a Romania-founded company, ArcaBoard is a real hoverboard—but it’ll cost you €18,000.
- Poland’s COOLOMAT wants to transform e-commerce for food products.
- Czech Republic-based startup Angee has started an additional crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for its home security and communication system.
- A Polish game studio is reconstructing Chernobyl in virtual reality.
- PioneersKyiv: App CRM startup walks away with first prize, industry experts discuss startup risks and post-war entrepreneurship.
- Russian startup N-Tech.Lab has won the world championship in face recognition MegaFace Benchmark.
- UAE-founded startup incubator FasterCapital has launched in Ukraine.
- Russian startup Skillaz has moved its HQ to Lithuania.
- Ukrainian-British TRData wants to be the “Bloomberg for emerging markets”.
- Polish startup accelerator Orange Fab Polska has begun to accept applications from Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine.
- Speedinvest and Paua Ventures: More cash to CEE startups.
Funding deals and M&A
- Ukrainian startup Prodvigator has attracted $250,000 in funding from Digital Future.
- Ukrainian startup Rentberry has attracted $845,000 in seed funding at a valuation of $3 million
- Russian startup Skillaz has raised €160,000 in funding.
- Lithuanian startup Vinted has scored $27 million to become the first choice for second-hand shopping.
- Lithuanian TransferGo has raised a record $2.5 million seed round.
- Stock photo marketplace Depositphotos has raised $5 million from EBRD and TMT Investments “to challenge market giants”.
- Russian 3D-scanning startup Cappasity has attracted $650,000 in funding at a valuation of $4 million.
- VC fund Target Global with Russian roots has invested $13 million in US-based startup Blue Apron.
- Russian VC fund Maxfield Capital has participated in a $1.45 million funding round for Finnish fintech startup MONI.
- Russian venture fund Titanium Investments has invested $1 million in an Israeli startup MUV Interactive.
- Russian investor Yuri Milner has participated in a $25 million funding round for Indian startup BlackBuck.
- Russian funds have invested in German companies Cuponation and Nestpick.
- Ukraine-founded fund Imperious Group has invested $350,000 in UK’s InstantAPI.
- Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has invested $2 million in an electronic pill startup MelCap and poured an undisclosed amount in Israeli messenger Blindspot.
- Russian-founded Parallels has sold its Odin Service Automation platform to Ingram Micro for “more than $100 million”.
- Russian OTA OneTwoTrip has acquired an airplane ticket search engine Corner.
Government and policy
- Russian lawmakers have proposed a new 18 percent tax on foreign-developed apps.
- Vladimir Putin has enacted million-ruble fines on Internet search engines for failure to protect the “right to be forgotten”.
- Russian president’s advisor has threatened to block Telegram for “de-facto helping” terrorists.
- Estonia has added 7,000 new ‘e-citizens’ thanks to e-Residency program.
- The biggest data center in Russia will be nuclear powered.
- Kazakhstan has moved to tighten control of Internet traffic.
- Russian censors said they’re ready to start blocking mobile apps on iOS and Android.
- With an eye on Russia, Estonia plans to upload much of its government data to computing clouds.
- Digital Albania and Digital Kosovo, agreement signed.
F**k it, we'll do it live!
Our biggest ever edition of TNW Conference is fast approaching! Join 10,000 tech leaders this May in Amsterdam.
- Russia’s first commercial computer chip will hit the market in early 2016.
- US video streaming service Netflix will start operations in Russia in January 2016.
- Russia’s CardsMobile and UK’s Tedipay have announced their intention to invest $9 million in a contactless payment project.
- A Russian newspaper has been ordered by a court to give a photoblogger free advertising, after stealing his work.
- Russia’s B2B-Center and China’s XBNiao have teamed up to develop cross-border B2B trade.
- Russian-founded payment system WebMoney has received a licence to issue electronic money within the European Union.
- Ukraine’s largest bank is now offering online retailers the ability to receive payments in Bitcoin.
- Uber to enter Ukrainian market, infrastructure ministry says.
- IKEA Russia has launched a startup accelerator.
- Yandex has released its Launcher, previously available in Latin America only, to Russian customers.
- Ukrainian IT companies have met in New York for the Ukraine: Rise of Tech Nation discussion
- Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab shakes up US leadership amid geopolitical concerns.
- A mysterious collector has opened the world’s largest private Apple exhibition in Prague.
- Yandex employee stole search engine source code, tried to sell it for just €37,000.
- Kaspersky Lab to cooperate with China’s Zhongguo Wangan on cyber security.
- Alibaba has resumed B2C deliveries to Crimea and began helping Russian companies sell goods in China.
In other news
- Innoventure wants to help Polish scientists take their scientific breakthroughs to market.
- Vilnius will host the Baltics’ largest bitcoin and blockchain conference in April.
- Russia’s development of its Glonass global navigation system is nearing completion and it is now undergoing final tests at the Defense Ministry.
- 20 tons of black market smartphones have been seized at the Pulkovo Airport in St Petersburg, Russia.
Good (long) reads from around the Web
- New Year online shopping in Russia 2015.
- Latvian Private Equity and Venture Capital Journal 2015.
- Prishtina Startup City Guide.
- Will Fintech Become A Buzzword Du Jour In Russia?
- How To Web, the startup ecosystem engine of Eastern Europe.
- Madberry CEO Dmitry Sverdlik: “I don’t see significant cultural differences between a Ukrainian team and a Silicon Valley team”.
- Making The Impossible Possible: The BeaconValley Global Hackathon.
- 10 innovative Central European startups you ought to know
- Report: Ukraine is now Europe’s leading software development powerhouse
- Let us introduce… ABC Accelerator from Ljubljana
- ABBYY’s CEO Sergei Andreyev: “The decline of the ruble against the dollar is helping us develop new products and technologies”
- Ukraine’s success stories: A look at the nation’s top innovators
- Russian kick scooter app is coming to Europe
- CEO of Lithuanian startup Vittamed: US, Europe and Malaysia are persuading us to build the first plant there
- Report: StartUS Connect Tirana Edition 1.0
- Meet a social network for Polish students that is doing better than LinkedIn and FaceBook
- Dmytro Shymkiv, Deputy Head of the Ukraine’s Presidential Administration: “We want the high-tech sector to become one of the pillars of this country’s future”
- Banks of the future are already here
- Lithuanian startups in 2015
- Yandex queries in review 2015
- Meet Vladimir Putin’s new Internet advisor, German Klimenko
Read next: How technology saved the life of my son