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So, Friday was too busy and admittedly hot. Monday begins with rain and temperatures more conducive to working and blogging. So here is a brief roundup of the startup news from Eastern Europe.
Jelastic, the Ukrainian platform as a service for Java in the cloud has received $1 million grant from Skolkovo, Russian innovation incubator founded by the Russian government. Skolkovo IT cluster, covered by us previously here, backs projects from seed to growth stage, and depending on the stage will require an investment from the private sector (VC, angels) before it decides about its contribution. As the leading Russian venture funds Almaz, Runa Capital and Foresight Ventures invested over $2.5 million in Jelastic, the government had to join the party, as per the original intent.
According to EWDN, Russian Venture Capital firm Aurora invested in Russian XLander, a social network for travellers. The investment, speculated to be between $1.2 and $1.8 million was exchanged for 25 percent equity in the company. The social network is said to have attracted 300,000 people.
Social Jukebox from Hungary Mixgar has raised $80,000 from Phoenix Investment handled by InvestLifePLC. The startup which won IDCEE competition last year. Its Scandinavian competitor Playmysong has released its Spotify app allowing better selection of music at the house parties.
Product launches and new releases
BusyFlow, the Lithuanian company which brings the feed of various productivity apps into one single flow (and sends the updates back to the respective applications) has released an iOS mobile app. Download it here.
PayLane.com, online payment processing provider from Poland has announced integration of its solution with WordPress, OpenCart, Zen Cart and PrestaShop. It currently offers to process payments in currencies from 50 countries, and partners with Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Paypal.
The first startup incubator Innovation Center Kosovo was launched this summer, as I reported last week.
A Ukrainian publication called Pravda selected top Ukrainian startups. They included familiar to us FindGuru (online courses search and social network), Runfaces (video-based social network), voice-based social network called Hubbub, apps Jets (airplane seat selector), Activegift (an effective gift selection service), and RollApp, a tool that allows use any software via browser.
More Ukrainian news came up just today on TechCrunch, covering EnableTalk by QuadSquad. The team developed gloves which help translate sign language into spoken words. Alas, it runs on the Microsoft Windows mobile, as reportedly Windows Phone 7 does not offer access to Bluetooth stack.
Bulgarian accelerator Eleven.bg has closed its applications having received 490 submissions from 30 countries. Top country is of course Bulgaria, followed by the 5 eastern European countries which do not have accelerator program internally. They included Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Armenia and Macedonia. Tomorrow the shortlisted 25 candidates for the acceleration program will be notified. Google is also a partner to this program, which offers 25,000 Euro for 8 percent of the equity in the Bulgarian legal entity.
Polish designer marketplace Showroom reported results of its integration of Facebook Open Graph, the results are inspiring.
TechHub Riga’s Andris Berzins joined a Scandinavian VC Creandum as an investment advisor.
And finally, Polish image recognition startup SaveUp has been criticized by the Polish tech blog Antyweb and others for running ads with a semi-naked woman. You might find a weak link between the nakedness and the idea that SaveUp makes prices transparent, but I would rather see a man on that photo.
Have a good week.
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vita at goaleurope dot com