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Trying to catch up with the news about eastern European technology entrepreneurship and venture investment, I hereby release, our first weekly news digest.
Speedinvest, a Super Angel fund based in Austria, closed 10 million US dollar fund to concentrate on early stage investments in central and eastern Europe as reported by TechCrunch. The fund will invest up to 500,000 US dollars into web and mobile technologies and will enable entrepreneurs to work out of its Silicon Valley offices.
Raindance British Film Festival has partnered with Filmaster, a Polish movie recommendation service, that provides its visitors with a mobile application developed by Filmaster to keep up with everything that is going on at the Festival. See more on Gigaom and Filmaster’s blog.
In the meantime, Synopsi.tv, another movie recommendation service from Slovakia, has released its closed beta version.
Russian Surfingbird.ru, a recommendation engine, raised 2.5 million US Dollars from Russian and French business angels. It works a similar way as Stumbleupon, allowing users to add, browse, rate links and get recommendations of other interesting content on the web. The algorythms work well with other languages and the company is planning to enter European markets.
Search engine, Blekko, raised funding from Russian search engine, Yandex, which brings Blekko’s total funding to $55 million. Yandex’s CEO, Arkady Volozh, will join Blekko’s board, as reported by TechCrunch and Mashable.
Croatian Farmeron, Cloud ERP tool for farmers, has raised undisclosed funding round from 500 Startups. 500 Startups provides early stage companies with funding ranging from $10K to $250K via seed investments.
Events and Competitions
Yesterday, Startup Sauna Warmup took place in Riga, Latvia. The winner was a Lithuanian startup Inbelly, which enables customers to evaluate the quality of food products based on crowd’s input. Ideally, it would work best if one can photograph a bar code in the shop and use it to see if the ingredients in it are safe. Unfortunately, it does not look like this is what the company offers (yet). The runners-up were Estonian Qminder, the mobile app which solves problems of queue management; and Latvian Offeteria, the network that provides more clients to cafes and cheaper and better offers for working. Jevgenijs Kazanins, the CEO of Latvian Campalyst expressed his dissapointment via Twitter that Latvian startups did not get through to the Startup Sauna.
This weekend, the Startup Weekend takes place in Minsk, Belarus, where entrepreneurs will form teams and build businesses.
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