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Last week my laptop Sony Vaio fell gently from a side table to a carpet in a hotel I was staying in. As the fragile piece of technology refused to boot, last week has marked the end of the Windows period, and I entered a new life as an owner of a MAC.
A few people cheered my decision to switch but one thing is certain: the whole migration made me nervous and took a lot of time to adjust. Hence I went on a blogging holidays to a home-based MAC boot camp.
Yet, the startup world in Russia and Eastern Europe did not wait so here is what happened as I was switching from CTRL+ to CMD+.
Infographics SaaS startup Infogr.am from Latvia announced Series A investment of 1,34 million Euro from Berlin-based Point Nine Capital, Connect Ventures and HackFwd, as reported by TechCrunch. Founded by Uldis Leiterts, Raimonds Kaze and Alise Semjonova, Infogr.am won Seedcamp Paris 2012, got funded by Hamburg-based startup accelerator HackFwd and was used by over one million users to create over 1,7 millions inforgaphics. Its competitor Visually raised 5,9 million Euro from Crosslink Ventures, previous investor Giza Ventures, 500 Startups and others.
A 3D model marketplace CG Trader from Lithuania that we covered a year ago has received funding from Intel Capital and Practica Capital to add to 185K Euro from Practica raised in 2013. The size of the investment has not been disclosed, but Intel has put funding into two 3D model market places this month (another one being US startup makexyz), betting on the trend that 3D printing will become ubiquitous.
Intel Capital has also backed Russian Mango Telecom with 7,3 million Euro in funding. Mango Telecom provides telecommunication services such as virtual telecommunications and cloud-based services (in Hungary Virtual Call Center raised 500,000 Euro just a few months ago).
The direct competitor of Skype (developed in Estonia), Viber (developed in Belarus) is sold to Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten for 656 million Euro, according to GigaOm. I just hope that some Belarusian developers chose stock option as bonus. Viber has been bootstrapped, and has 300 million registered users.
In Russia, the online free classified company Avito received further funding from Kinnevik, Swedish investment company, valuing Avito at 1,3 billion Euro. Compared to that, the company’s revenue were ‘only’ 37 million Euro (hat tip to Tech.eu). Avito has previously raised 545,7 million Euro and might well be on the way to becoming Russian analogue of eBay.
Also in Russia educational startup YaKlass received 328,000 Euro from Almaz Capital and Vesna investment. What is interesting about YaKlass is that it helps create unique problems for teachers to use in school tests, to prevent a possibility of cheating. According to the company’s website teachers save 30 percent of their time using YaKlass, and the average school performance of the students increases by 15 percent.
Slovak Datamolino, a winner at Slovak Startup Awards, has raised 500,000 Euro to launch and market its character recognition technology to help extract data from paper invoices and simplify data capture of the accounting firms. The money came from Slovak Innovatinos and Technologies Fund after the startup was backed by Wayra accelerator with 40,000 Euro in funding.
And if you are still curious about my experience with MAC, well, if I must … it is fantastic. Fabulous sound and video quality, none of the useless Windows 8 ‘apps’, no ventilator noises, no silly rotating touch screens. It. Just. Works.
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