This article was published on June 30, 2014

June in Eastern Europe: All the tech news you shouldn’t miss from the past month

June in Eastern Europe: All the tech news you shouldn’t miss from the past month
Andrii Degeler
Story by

Andrii Degeler

Andrii is the Head of Media at TNW, with over a decade of experience in covering the European tech ecosystem. Talk to him about new and exci Andrii is the Head of Media at TNW, with over a decade of experience in covering the European tech ecosystem. Talk to him about new and exciting developments in tech, especially those involving vastly underreported industry niches and geographies.

The first month of summer has shown clearly that entrepreneurs and tech industry players are not attracted by blue seas and white sands but prefer to work hard, bringing more and more news from Eastern Europe for this round-up. Check the headlines and make sure that you’ve not missed anything of importance.

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

Startups, funds and accelerators

  • Startup Wise Guys has partnered with UK-based Notion Capital for its fall ’14 batch.
  • Russian internet bank Ocean has announced a new $10 million fund for FinTech projects.
  • Russian financial group Finam has teamed up with Skagit Investment to launch an international venture fund FinSight Ventures, which aims to raise $50 million to $100 million.
  • Slovenian Silicon Gardens has launched a micro fund programme backed by local and foreign investors to accelerate early-stage startups from Slovenia and the broader region to the international stage.
  • The first Central European Startup Awards winners have been announced.
  • Russian fund Buran Venture Capital has raised additional $15 million and extended coverage to Central and Eastern Europe.
  • Polish startup has hit its Kickstarter target of $69,000 within a week.
  • Estonian accelerator Buildit has presented first batch of five projects.
  • Russian language learning startup  LinguaLeo has launched in Turkey and appointed US industry veteran Dmitry Stavisky as CEO.
  • Ukrainian game studio West Games went to Kickstarter to raise $50,000 for “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. successor” Areal.
  • Bratislava’s creative space The Spot has announced Booster, a three-part programme for early-stage startups bound to launch this coming September.
  • Russian developers from Itseez have launched Itseez3D, an impressive 3D scanner app for the iPad.
  • AppInTop is a new Thailand-based Russian startup that automates mobile advertising chores.

Funding deals and M&A

  • Russian venture fund Maxfield Capital has invested more than $1 million in Israeli startup SpeakingPal, a mobile platform for language learning based on voice-recognition technology.
  • Slovak paywall solution provider Piano Media has raised a Series C round of funding from its existing investor 3TS Capital Partners and Gründerfonds.
  • Chicago-based Intersog has acquired Ukrainian IT outsourcing company SoftTechnics.
  • Croatian startup Bellabeat for parents-to-be has closed a seed round of $4.5 million.
  • Russian startup Kidbook, a creator and publisher of educational multimedia content for children, has raised a $300,000 seed round from a group of private investors.
  • Russian mobile app builder iBuildApp has raised $200,000 from Starta Capital and Nikolay Belikh.
  • Polish online marketing agency LeadR has been sold to the Polish angel investor Łukasz Wejchert.
  • Strawberry Energy has become the first Serbian startup to receive a €100,000 investment from Bulgarian venture fund Eleven.
  • Russian startup Knopka Zhizni (“Life Button”) has raised $1.3 million from FRII, a government-backed $200 million seed and early-stage fund.
  • London-based startup with Estonian roots, Transferwise, has announced a new $25 million funding round from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, Sir Richard Branson and other investors.
  • Russian venture fund TMT Investments has injected $200,000 into US startup Whale Path.
  • Czech company Videoflot has raised €1 million from  Y Soft Venture Capital and plans to reach out across the big pond.
  • Ukrainian bus ticket platform GillBus has raised $3 million to expand in Russia, South-East Asia and Africa.
  • Rocket Internet-backed Foodpanda has acquired Russia’s Delivery Club for alleged $30 to $50 million.
  • TMT Investments has invested $250,000 in Weaved, a startup which develops security software for devices connected to the Internet of Everything.
  • Russian AddVenture and Moscow Seed Fund have invested $300,000 in a food delivery service ChefMarket.
  • Slovenian hardware startup CubeSensors has raised $700,000 dollars in aseed round from the founders of BitStamp, the largest Bitcoin exchange platform in the world.
  • Hungarian cybersecurity startup BalaBit has attracted $8 million from C5 Capital.
  • Russia’s Internet Initiatives Development Fund (known locally as FRII) has announced two seed investments worth $450,000 each for startups Easy Ten and Hot Wi-Fi.
  • Russian venture fund QWave Capital has invested $1.1 million in LED lamps manufacturer Lunera Lightning.
  • Naspers has acquired a 30.7% stake in Russian kids goods online store for $20 million.
  • Polish VC fund Online Venture and Lithuanian Practica Capital have invested in Lithuanian startup Rewalon.
  • Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich has invested $10 million in Israel’s StoreDot.
  • Czech social media analytics startup Socialbakers has acquired EdgeRank Checker, a startup that provides insight for Facebook News Feeds.
  • Russian-American bite-size e-learning platform Coursmos has attracted $530,000 in funding from Russian VC Imperious Group and an unnamed angel investor.
  • Russian “Yellow Pages’ successor” website has attracted $11m in funding.
  • Russian hotel booking service has attracted $12m from co-founders.
  • Yandex has acquired major Russian auto classifieds website for $175 million.

In other news

  • Russian hackers have gotten 5 and 8 years in jail for online banking thefts.
  • Visa and MasterCard will participate in Russia’s new national payment system.
  • The Samsung Z, the world’s first Tizen smartphone, will go on sale in Russia in Q3 2014.
  • US-Israeli router developer Compass-EOS will launch R&D and sales office in Moscow.
  • Major Russian developer of mobile free-to-play games Game Insight has moved its HQ to Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • Pavel Durov, co-founder and former CEO of Russia’s biggest social network, has filed a lawsuit in against his former colleagues and VK shareholders over the rights for Telegram.
  • Yandex has started trading its shares on the Moscow Exchange three years after a NASDAQ IPO.
  • Internet business in Russia is a profitable enterprise worth 8.5% of GDP, according to Vladimir Putin.
  • Ukrainian game development studio Charlie Oscar that works on a steampunk turn-based strategy Gremlins, Inc. is moving to Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • Google Play Movies has come to 21 new countries, including Poland, Croatia, Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Slovakia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
  • Russian Yota will launch SIM with NFC support, allowing smartphones to be used as bank cards.
  • Russia’s leading online retailer Ulmart has officially announced its entry into a new field of activity: Ulmart Travel.
  • Russian Internet giant Yandex has rolled out a new feature for its cloud storage service Yandex.Disk that allows users to siphon their photos from Facebook, including the ones they’re tagged in, to a safe place in the cloud.
  • Belarusian game developer Wargaming has launched World of Tanks Blitz for iOS.
  • Czech antivirus vendor Avast has suffered an embarrassing forum hack.
  • Criteo, a Paris-based digital performance advertising company, has announced the official opening of its Moscow office.
  • Google has opened a campus for entrepreneurs in Warsaw, Poland.
  • Former Russian Microsoft employee has been sentenced in the US to three months in prison for stealing and then leaking company secrets.
  • A team of computer programmers from Poland has won the inaugural Hello World Open in Helsinki, Finland.
  • Russia will ditch Intel and AMD for ARM-based processors in government computers.
  • Participants in the Coursera crowdsourcing project for translation into Russian have reached the milestone of one million words translated.
  • Yandex has launched Yandex.City, a Foursquare-like review-based city guide service.

Good reads from The Next Web and beyond

Image credit: Shutterstock

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