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I have two weeks to catch up on. Let’s see.
Runa Capital backed Russian online language learning company LinguaLeo with $3 million to help expand globally.
Big exits took place in Poland and Czech Republic recently as the leading online portal Onet.pl has been sold to Ringier Axel Springer for a 217,5 million Euro, majority of the second biggest Polish dailiy deals business Gruper was sold to Grupa Polska Presse, and Czech online supermarket Mall.cz was sold by MCI Capital and other investors to Allegro Group, estimating the value of the holding company Netretail Holding at 220-230 million Euro.
AFK Systema bought 55 percent equity stake in Russian online multimedia portal Stream.ru (formerly known as Omlet.ru) for $15 million, while Russian medical professionals portal mirvracha.ru raised $1.4 million from Japanese M3 Inc, reports EWDN.
HackFwd Pitch in Berlin featured a number of Eastern European startups, although they did not win the pitching competition. For the record, they were:
Seedcamp Zagreb showcased a number of Eastern European startups. In addition to mash.me, there were:
There is a new English resource to follow startups in South East Europe, as Vukasin Stojkov launches StartIt, backed by the Serbian government.
Digital Catalyst Fund launched in Romania with participation from Brainient’s Emi Gal. It is an accelerator which aims to help founders find a CTO and technical resources, as well as seed funding. Three out of nine board members of the accelerator are academics, but still it got a generous coverage by Milo Yiannopoulos at Kernel.
In Estonia there is a new accelerator GameFounders with focus on game development, which offers between 10,000 and 15,000 Euro for 9 percent of the equity, and in Bulgaria two accelerators backed by EIF Jeremie fund have started application process.
I have just learned that Latvia’s largest social network Draugiem.lv has its own incubator. Draugiem.lv is ahead of Facebook as number 4 most visited website in the country, boasts 1.4 million registered users, $18 million in revenue and a swanky office to attract tech entrepreneurs. Watch out, TechHub Riga, you have a contestant with cash on their hands. Draugiem Group already consists of 14 companies and is open for new ideas and projects.
Russian social alarm clock Budist now offers to wake up Russians not only in Russia but also around the world, Ukrainian Jelastic launched its Java PaaS in Japan, and Polish online payment company Paylane launched in Ireland. Estonian Plumbr released a tool to fight Java memory leaks.
A bit old, but still first time on GoalEurope is a partnership between Erply and PayPal, which brings PayPal payment option to the offline stores, as reported by Arctic Startup.
I covered Polish startups I met at Cracow Startup conference Bitspiration here.
Estonians got quite a bit of coverage this week. Ben Rooney quoted many familiar names in his story The Many Reasons Estonia Is a Tech Start-Up Nation in Wall Street Journal Tech Europe. Also in Arstechnica the prominent Estonian venture investor Allan Martinson gave a convincing explanation about #estonianmafia phenomenon, or why it has so many globally-focused startups which are going places. It is because people are desperate to make money and you can’t get rich on a salary, and because of the crisis which forced many people to start their own businesses two to three years ago.
Russian RBC Daily summed up a few facts about Russian internet economy (in Russian), which reached 1.4-1.7 percent of the country’s GDP.
Russian startup based in Illinois, US called BayRu was covered by FastCompany. The business enables Russians buy from eBay and Amazon, and ships purchases to Russia. It expects to earn $40 million in revenue this year. The company also released figures that Russians spend $700 million on online stores outside of Russia.
Dalia Lasaite wrote a guest post on how winning Seedcamp NY helped Campalyst for The Next Women.
And finally, here is a video “Hungary: the world of potentials”. Just ignore the happy couple and concentrate on the text, as it may be of interest what technologies have been invented by Hungarians in the past century.
And that’s about does it for this week.
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vita at goaleurope dot com