What tech news happened in Eastern Europe this month?

What tech news happened in Eastern Europe this month?

The year 2015 is off for a relatively slow start in the Eastern European tech scene, but there was still enough news in January to navigate through.

To make things easier, we’ve put together the most important headlines of the month in a handy round-up.

If you think that something is missing, or would like to draw our attention to an important story, feel free to ping the author on Twitter (@shlema) or by e-mail at shlema@gmail.com.

Startups, fund, accelerators

  • Latvian extreme sports filming drone won the Best Robot/Drone title at CES 2015
  • Siberian high-tech company has teamed up with Singapore’s HaxAsia to launch local “fund-accelerator”
  • Bulgarian accelerator Eleven has presented 12 new teams
  • Latvia’s oldest co-working space TechHub Riga has started a symbolic campaign to raise €40,000
  • Moscow Seed Fund, which supports venture investors in financing small businesses in the science and technology sector, has concluded its first three-year investment cycle
  • Russian music service  Zvooq has launched full function free mobile music streaming
  • Ukrainian startup Branto has presented its all-in-one smart home orb
  • Polish education startup Brainly has announced expansion to North America as it passed the 40-million user mark

Laws and governments

  • MasterCard has agreed to transfer card processing inside Russia to the National System of Payment Cards (NSPC)
  • Russia’s media watchdog has issued a warning to an online news site for publishing a religiously themed caricature that lampooned “one of the faiths”
  • US high-tech and payment firms have blacklisted Crimea

Funding deals, grants, and M&A

  • Estonian advertising network AdCash has raised €20 million as their first investment
  • Russian investor Yuri Milner has participated in a $20 million series A funding round for WeLab
  • Russian startup GeoCV, which is developing a mobile app for creating 3D-models of interiors using mobile sensors, has received $100,000 in funding from Starta Capital and the Moscow Seed Fund
  • Rostelecom, Russia’s national telecom operator, has announced the acquisition of a majority stake in SafeData, a major local operator of commercial data centers, traffic exchange services and content delivery
  • Russia’s Vaizra Investments, the fund belonging to VK founders Lev Leviev and Vyacheslav Mirilashvili, has invested in startups Moovit and Boxed
  • Russian startup Livemap, which develops motorcycle helmets with built-in navigation systems, has received a grant of $225,000 from the Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science
  • Russian venture firm Runa Capital has led a $3 million funding round in US startup LendingRobot
  • UK-based Ukrainian startup Poptop.fm has received $30,000 in funding from Ciklum founder Torben Majgaard
  • Russian news aggregator Anews has raised a $2.7 million investment round from funds TMT Investments, Run Capital, 101 Startup and a number of private investors
  • London-based startup TransferWise with Estonian roots has received $58 million in a round led by Silicon Valley VC firm Andreessen Horowitz
  • Richard Branson’s Virgin Connect has bought Moscow region broadband triple-play operator Speedyline
  • Israeli gaming startup TabTale has acquired Serbian studio Level Bit

In other news

  • The Yandex School of Data Analysis has agreed on collaboration with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) on one of the main experiments at the Large Hadron Collider
  • Luxoft Personnel has released a study, according to which half of Russian IT specialists would consider moving to another country for work
  • Russian e-commerce leader Ulmart has reported 50% sales increase in 2014, revealed IPO plans for 2016
  • KupiVIP.ru has reported 44% year-on-year sales growth in Q4 2014
  • Russian dating site Topface has been hacked for 20 million user names
  • Mobile operators in Slovenia have fallen foul of net neutrality rules
  • Ukrainian Yunasko has reached a licensing agreement with a Chinese company for ultracapacitors cells and modules

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