Get our rare newsletters
Contact GoalEuropeIf you have questions or need a consultation, get in touch.
Last week a number of companies from Russia and Eastern Europe made it to the news and here is a brief roundup with links, comments and videos.
The interest to online shoe stores continues to heat up. Russian Ozon, (equivalent of Amazon) has received an approval from Russian Federal Antimonopoly Service to acquire Sapato, Russian online shoe store and the first team backed by Fast Lane Ventures and together with eVenture Capital Partners. However it is not in a hurry to complete the transaction, and is considering other options, according to Russian media.
In the meantime, Russian VC Yuri Milner is buying 4 percent of German Zalando (one of my favorite online shoes and clothing retailers, not least because of ever increasing selection and speed of delivery and returns). According to the German blog VentureVillage, the investment round, in which Samwer Brothers also participated, will open door for Zalando’s entering Eastern European markets, where Zappos, acquired in Amazon in 2009, has not yet entered.
Another story of Russian investors / Western Tech companies was posted by TechCrunch, reporting that Troika Dialog Ventures, Russian private equity firm sold its shares in Evernote to Sequoia Capital, and speculating a 10 x return on the original investment of $4.5 million.
Belarusian, Ukranian and Irish startup Profitero won IBM’s competition Smartcamp. It helps online retailers gather and analyze prices of their competitors, as explained briefly in this video by the company CEO and co-founder ex Googler Volodymyr Pigrukh.
Another participant of IBM Smartcamp is Skin Scan, from Romania, which developed an algorithm which allows diagnosing a mole based on an image. The user can photograph the mole, and send it to the company, which can predict with 70 percent accuracy rate the risk the mole represents. More details can be found here on GigaOm.
Russian Venture Company brought a number of Russian startups to Boston, to help them develop network with entrepreneurial community of MIT. What is interesting is that this tour comes hand-in-hand with an announcement by RVC about creation of RVC IVFRT LP, a venture fund of funds with $40 million in capital, co-located with RVC in Boston. Perhaps by supporting some of the VCs it may in-turn influence US VCs investment in Russian startups of the Startup Access program. Perhaps not, as the size of fund, created together with the Tatarstan Investment and Venture Fund is relatively small.
The participants of Startup Access included amongst others CloudBudget, an budgeting SaaS for SMEs, which has also been named a number one Russian startup by Pruffi in May 2011.
Skolkovo IT Cluster, Russian government accelerator is working on its European Roadshow, which is likely to be in London. Its organizers will be in London next week, so if you would like to attend or get involved in the process, please get in touch with me via the contact page.
In Estonia, a launch of a new Startup incubator has been announced, which led to a whole debate started by Allan Martinson, the managing partner of MTVP fund about the quantity of accelerators, and the need to consolidate the efforts for a relatively small startup community in Scandinavia and Baltic Rim.
More news from the Baltics, as Pult (showcase your cloud services on a TV screen) from Tallinn, Estonia and Trainingbook (viral motivator to live an active and healthy life) from Latvia have been selected for a seed investment by Seedcamp.
More news from accelerators.
Farmeron has completed 500Startups program, and we will be watching the rise of this Croatian company with interest.
Tex Drive, an accelerator run by ex Amadeus Andrey Kessel (in partnership with Springboard) has selected startups for its program. I will be talking to Kessel tomorrow, so will be publishing more news from the accelerator, hopefully soon. For now here is a list of the companies:
+44 (020) 3290 3544
vita at goaleurope dot com