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.
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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
- Russian mobile acquiring company 2Can has attracted $5 million in funding from InVenture Partners, Almaz Capital Partners, and ESN Group.
- Russian mobile app developer IconicMobile has received $1 million in funding from British 515 Capital.
- Moscow-based startup Dashboard System has secured a $1.1 million seed round to develop its issue workflow solution for corporate boards, executive committees, and government organs.
- Russian physicians’ community Doctor At Work has landed a $3 million round from local VC funds Aurora Venture Capital, Bright Capital, and Guard Capital.
- St Petersburg-based startup Healbe has raised $853,000 (and still counting) on Indiegogo for all-in-one fitness bracelet.
- Russian-American startup iBuildApp, which allows users to quickly build mobile applications without writing any code, has raised $525,000 to expand in Asia and Latin America.
- Czech social media-based customer care services startup Brand Embassy has raised $1 million from Rockaway Capital and Spread Capital.
- TMT Investments has invested $200,000 in Ukraine-born startup KitApps, which is developing a conference app platform Attendify.
- Estonian startup ZeroTurnaround has landed $3 million in funding and is looking for 40 new employees in Boston area.
- Russian VC fund Almaz Capital Partners has participated in a $6.5 million round to fund If You Can, a startup that uses gameplay to teach children social and emotional learning (SEL) skills.
- Bulgarian video streaming startup FlippsMedia has landed $2.4 million in funding.
- Polish marketing automation platform SALESmanago has raised $1.7 million in funding in a round led by Rafał Brzoska.
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 My.com.
- 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 VK.com, 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.
- An overview of four studies of the Russian venture market released in March.
- Slovakia lags behind, but does it really matter?
- What’s next for Russian entrepreneurs?
- The Russian app market — lots of demand, not much revenue
- TOP 10 Russian Internet Companies, as seen by Forbes.
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