The final month of spring brought quite a few exciting news stories from tech startups and established companies in Central and Eastern Europe. In this round-up, we have put together the most significant tidings to keep you on top of things.
Startups, funds, and accelerators
- Slovak capital fund management company Neulogy Ventures has launched two new funds of €23 million in total to invest in early stage startups.
- Serbian startup COFA Games has joined Startup Sauna accelerator programme in Helsinki.
- Top executive from Russian payment giant Qiwi has launched a $30 million venture fund for local startups.
- Bulgarian seed fund LAUNCHub has announced its new batch consisting of one startup from Romania, four from Bulgaria, and one from Slovenia.
- Russian VC fund Frontier Ventures with $50 million under management seeks to attract another $50 million from 5 to 10 new investors.
- Prague-based accelerator StartupYard has announced the names of the seven teams in their spring 2014 mentoring programme.
- Romanian tech conference How to Web has launched MVP Academy, a pre-accelerator programme for young entrepreneurs.
- Global Impact Competition CEE 2014 has announced its winners — Stepsss and Harimata.
- London-based Seedcamp has announced its new batch of seven startups, four of which represent CEE countries.
- Polish company Next.Step has launched a $100 million fund to invest in Ukrainian startups.
- Ukrainian startup Hashtago has joined the biggest tech acceleration programme in India, GSF Global.
- Polish-Ukrainian digital sports data technology startup BETEGY has signed an exclusive 3-year licensing agreement with Chinese lottery operator.
- Croatia’s first incubator ZIP has started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for its pre-acceleration program.
- Bulgarian fund LAUNCHub has €200,000 to invest in Bitcoin projects.
- Polish Vocabla, a startup geared towards students of English, has sailed past 400,000 users mark.
Deals, deals, deals
- Ukrainian startup Kaznachey (Rus. “Treasurer”) has landed $200,000 in funding with a total valuation of $1 million.
- French-Russian nanotech company Crocus Nano Electronics has raised $60 million to complete its next-gen memory project.
- Bulgarian startup Flipps has landed $2.4 million in funding from Earlybird Digital East Fund and its existing investor Tim Draper.
- Russian mobile payment and transaction processing provider Net Element has raised $11.2 million in funding from Cayman Invest SA.
- The Grishin Robotics fund, headed by director general of the Mail.Ru Group Dmitry Grishin, has purchased a minority stake in Orbotix, a manufacturer of robotic toys.
- Romanian startup Style Jukebox has secured “up to €200,000” from Bulgarian seed fund LAUNCHub.
- Hungarian startup Tresorit has received $3 million in Series A funding from Euroventures, its existing investor.
- London-based Russian fund TMT-Investments has invested $200,000 in Israeli project Drippler.
- Russian VC fund Runa Capital has made a big exit as Microsoft acquired French startup Capptain.
- Romanian startup docTrackr has announced its acquisition by American SaaS technology provider Intralinks for $10 million.
- Russian search giant Yandex has participated in a $4.1 million capital injection in SalesPredict.
- Estonian taxi dispatcher management programme Taxify has secured $100,000 in funding from several business angels.
- Russian retail intelligence startup CrowdSystems has raised a $1 million Series A round led by InVenture Partners.
- Romanian online marketing enterprise Conversion Marketing has acquired Conectoo, which was started by the How To Web founder Bogdan Iordache.
- Russian e-retailer Ulmart has acquired a ‘close to 50%’ stake in Spotify-analogue music service Zvooq and e-book library Bookmate.
- Russian e-commerce store creator Ecwid has raised a $5 million Series B round led by iTech Capital.
- Russian fund DST Global has led a $210 million investment round for India’s e-commerce giant Flipkart.
- Romanian startup TJobs has announced a ‘seven digit investment’ from Earlybird VC’s Earlybird Digital East Fund (EDEF) and iEurope Capital’s Fund II.
- Russian venture fund Maxfield Capital has invested more than $1 million in Israeli language-learning startup SpeakingPal.
- Piano Media, the Slovak paywall solution provider, has announced a Round C funding from its existing investor 3TS Capital Partners and Gründerfonds.
- Belgrade/London-based SaaS startup TruckTrack has launched the beta version of its app and raised a €260,000 seed round.
In other news
- Russia’s President has signed an ‘anti-blogger’ law that brings popular bloggers under the same legislation as media organisations.
- Microsoft, Oracle, and Hewlett-Packard may stop working with Russian banks and companies to comply with US sanctions over Russia’s actions in Ukraine.
- Major Russian online retailers Ozon and Ulmart seek to shake up the country’s e-book market.
- Russia will shut down 11 American GPS stations on June 1 at least temporarily, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin announced.
- Kirill Makharinsky, the co-founder of Ostrovok, the ‘Hotels.com for Russia’ which has raised $38.60 million, has departed the company.
- Russian sellers will be able to legally trade on eBay starting from September 2014.
- Subscription music service Rdio has added 9 new countries across Europe and Asia, including Croatia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.
- Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has strengthened his grip on Mail.ru Group by amending its shareholder agreement.
- Intel plans to set up its research division at Skolkovo ‘either in 2015 or 2016,’ despite international sanctions on Russia.
- Russian mobile game publisher Game Insight has moved its headquarters to Vilnius, Lithuania.
- IT outsourcing company Luxoft has announced a plan to move about 500 software developers from Russia and Ukraine after Western clients cited risks stemming from political tensions.
- Estonia’s government has launched an e-citizenship program so that anyone can apply to be an Estonian citizen without showing up in the country.
- Ukrainian gamedev company 4A Games (creators of Metro 2033 and Metro: Last Light) has announced a plan to move its headquarters from Kyiv to Malta.
Good reads of the month
- Celebrating the .RU – A look back over two decades of the Russian Internet
- 8 CEE startups to find your perfect match
- $900M in, $2.3B out — The Russian venture industry in 2013
- What’s up in Bosnia?
- Sputnik: state-sponsored search to keep Russians safe
- R.O.W. With Butch: Despite a dark past, Sarajevo’s tech scene emerges
- The 10 newest Estonian startups to watch
- From Russia with concern: Cisco’s audits raised red flags about resellers
- Ukrainian crisis hasn’t stopped these five startups
- Indian IT companies look to eastern Europe for talent, captives
- Far from politics, Russian money still fuels US startups
- Ozon CEO Maëlle Gavet on why she just raised $150 million, and what’s next for the “Amazon of Russia”
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