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This article was published on May 31, 2015

Tech news in Eastern Europe: What happened in May

Tech news in Eastern Europe: What happened in May
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.

Tech news stories originating from Central and Eastern Europe have become more of a mad torrent than a shallow stream. This month alone, we’ve tracked funding and M&A deals worth more than $300 million, as well as dozens of new laws and software developer you’ve got to check out. Here are the highlights you may have missed from this month.

If you think 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 [email protected].

Startups, funds, accelerators

  • Lithuanian startup Widerfi has joined MassChallenge, the world’s largest accelerator
  • Czech startup Skypicker developed an algorithm that finds discount flight tickets ‘hidden’ on airline websites
  • Ukrainian software developer Readdle released its Spark email client
  • Ukraine-born startup CheckiO announced a new “coding game,” Empire of Code
  • Russian Venture Company launched GenerationS 2015 accelerator, with the program taking place in Moscow from July to November
  • MVP Academy Demo Day showcased a wide variety of Romanian startups
  • Russian startup developed a GPS dog tracker that spots your pet’s location and monitors obesity
  • Estonia’s Bold Gadgets launched keychain phone charger on Indiegogo
  • Ukrainian startup Ecois.me has launched a $50,000 Indiegogo campaign for its intelligent home energy monitoring system
  • Russian-Canadian biomedical startup Darta Systems launched the Emvio Watch, a gadget that “measures stress and makes everyday stress management easier”
  • Russian online language learning startup LinguaLeo has fired 30 percent of its staff due to the tough situation in the country’s economy
  • Messenger Telegram created by VK.com founder Pavel Durov has hit 62 million monthly active users
  • Estonian startup Taxify has introduced mobile carrier billing for cabs
  • Ukrainian-born private jet hire startup JetMe released a new tool called “Name Your Price” to allow users to choose how much they’re willing to spend on a flight
  • Russian Venture Company will pour some $20 million in a new space-focused fund
  • Russian-born venture fund Flint Capital has raised further $50 million and entered the US market
  • Bulgarian Kanbanize has developed a management platform where teams can collaborate and visualize their progress

Funding deals and M&A

  • Qiwi Venture has invested $150,000 in mobile payment app AnyBalance
  • Slovenian startup ULU has attracted €500,000 from Chinese Fang Group
  • Estonian farm management startup VitalFields raised an additional $1.2 million in funding
  • Russian-Israeli startup Medviser received $500,000 in funding from Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich
  • Russian startup LinguaLeo has attracted $500,000 in funding from Social Discovery Ventures and Runa Capital
  • Croatian startup Oradian raised seed funding for its microfinance platform
  • Russian-Israeli appointment scheduling service Gbooking has attracted $425,000 in funding at a valuation of $3.4 million
  • Ukrainian e-commerce service Skidka.ua has landed $250,000 in exchange for a 10 percent stake in the company
  • Russian online loan service MoneyMan has attracted $6 million in funding
  • Controversial Russian-made fitness tracker HealBe GoBe has attracted $3.5 million in funding
  • Warsaw-based medical booking platform DocPlanner announced a $10 million Series B funding round
  • Russian travel startup Level.Travel raised about $610,000 in funding
  • Estonian-born Pipedrive raised $9 million in Series A funding
  • Russian social media monitoring system Kribrum received a $960,000 grant from the Skolkovo foundation and InfoWatch
  • Polish SaaS startup Sugester raised €250,000 in funding from Inovo at a valuation of over €1 million
  • Ukrainian startup AdTena landed $60,000 in funding from local angel investors
  • Ukrainian startup Chargies, which combines the ideas of Yo and Tamagotchi in its mobile app, raised $100,000 from Noosphere Ventures to enter the US market
  • Ukrainian mobile marketing startup Clickky has attracted $2 million for global expansion from Moscow-based venture fund iTech Capital
  • Romania-based travel technology firm dcs plus landed an undisclosed amount in funding from Earlybird VC
  • Russian fund RBV Capital invested $5.2 million in MRI visualization company Image Analysis
  • Lithuanian Practica Capital invested €200,000 in local space technology startup NanoAvionics
  • Russian venture fund Vaizra Investments participated in a $50 million round in Robinhood and poured some $500,000 in Israeli startup Optishell
  • Russian security specialist Group-IB has reportedly secured $4 million in funding from FRII
  • Russian payment operator Qiwi has acquired two local players, money transfer system Contact and payment processing system Rapida, for $167 million in stock
  • Russian retail analytics solution provider RetailNext has secured a $125 million funding round for global expansion

Laws and governments

  • Lithuania has officially become an Internet oligarch
  • Contrary to previous reports, Russia is not building its own mobile OS but plans to give grants to developers to port their apps to Tizen and Sailfish, as well as work on a localized version of the latter
  • Buzzfeed published a story claiming that Cisco altered sales records in Russia in order to “dodge sanctions and provide equipment to Vladimir Putin’s military and security services”
  • Russian think tank claims to have developed software that will search Russian social media posts for signs of plans by political opposition to the government to stage unapproved protests or meetings
  • Russia warned Google, Twitter and Facebook on law violations
  • Republic of Estonia has invited the world to apply for Estonian ‘e-Residency’ online
  • Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office has blocked access to three websites selling imported food banned in the country
  • Russia has debuted its own CPU as it aims for US tech breakaway
  • Hungary will offer tax payment delay on Internet network development in 2016
  • Russia and China have signed a cyber-security deal, pledging not to hack each other

In other news

  • Mandriva has filed for bankruptcy in France and moved all development to Russia
  • Turkish freelancers are protesting against changes in the way the company works with search assessors
  • Social investment network eToro launched in Russia
  • Clutch has identified top mobile app developers in Poland, Ukraine and Russia
  • Flying car prototype crashed in Slovakia. Fortunately, the pilot and inventor Štefan Klein suffered only light injuries
  • Yandex has reportedly shut down its Android-based mobile OS project Yandex.Kit
  • Estonia is backing up its entire government dataset, and also devising ways to operate through the cloud in the event of an attack by a foreign nation
  • Yota Devices launched an Indiegogo campaign for its dual-screen smartphone YotaPhone 2 and has already raised more than $225,000
  • Yandex’s browser entered beta, added a strong focus on privacy outside Russia
  • Ukrainian GSC Game World, known as the developer of S.T.A.L.K.E.R., announced its next title, “Cossacks 3”
  • Poland-based company Security Explorations revealed seven vulnerabilities in the Google App Engine

Good (long) reads from around the Web

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