Catch up on a month of tech news from Eastern Europe: March

Catch up on a month of tech news from Eastern Europe: March

Even if you’ve been watching the tech scene of Eastern Europe closely, there’s still a chance you’ve missed something important as the news from that part of the world is relentless at the moment.

Check out the headlines from March to get an impression of what’s been happening; the past month can be characterized by an unusual amount of news stories from Russia, while tech scene in other countries was much less active.

If you think I have missed something, or would like to draw my attention to an important story, feel free to ping me in Twitter (@shlema) or by e-mail at

Startups, funds, and incubators

  • Polish company Startup Support has launched a program for Ukrainian startups, under which the latter can relocate to Poland and secure up to $500,000 in funding.
  • Russian fund FRII supported by Vladimir Putin has announced opening of six new “part-time” startup incubators.
  • Polish government has announced a $100 million fund to support Ukrainian startups.
  • Bulgarian startup accelerator LAUNCHub has announced its new batch.
  • Ukraine-originated startup Petcube has released its iOS app, which allows users to play with pets remotely.
  • Estonian startup Taxify has launched in Latvia and announced plans to expand in the US.
  • Russian Yandex has acquired low-power mobile geolocation startup KitLocate.

VC funding deals

In other news

  • Russian MPs and ministers are no longer allowed to use iPads in their work.
  • Russian Internet giant Yandex has decided to show Crimea as part of Russia for Russian users and as part of Ukraine for Ukrainians in its maps service.
  • Estonian mobile payments company Fortumo will spend €1 million to cover developers’ costs to integrate its payment solution into Windows Phone and Windows 8 apps (up to €25,000 per developer).
  • Mail.Ru group has released a new version of the ICQ app for Android with VoIP capability.
  • Yota Devices, which revealed its double-screen smartphone earlier this year, has sold a 25% stake to Russian state corporation Rostech.
  • Mail.Ru Group has launched four multiplayer games under its international brand
  • Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov has sold his shares of Apple and Facebook focusing on Chinese technology companies.
  • Russian Ruselectronics has announced a plan to invest $35 million in the development and manufacture of local hi-tech products between 2014 and 2016.
  • Adobe has cut its Russia staff by half and decided not to pursue criminal proceedings against illegal distributors of its software in the country.
  • Shares of Russian companies such as Yandex, Qiwi, and Mail.Ru Group on NASDAQ went down as political situation tightened.
  • Mail.Ru Group has bought a 12% stake in Russia’s biggest social network, increasing its total share to 52%.
  • Russian e-commerce leaders Ozon and Ulmart are both looking for additional funding.
  • Russia’s online video market has become the biggest in Europe.
  • Russian e-payment company Qiwi has announced its results in 2013.

Good reads

Image credit: Shutterstock

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