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Better late than never: blogging on vacation is a tough challenge, and news kept coming in. So I publish it here just to respect chronology of our startup news digests from CEE and Russia.
Despite the holidays, we didn’t miss out on Prisma’s success, the image processing app, which to date, got 10 million downloads in just 5 weeks on iOS only! Judging by the founder’s Facebook feed, they’re in negotiations with Facebook (and apparently other tech giants).
Another big news is that Lithuanian Transfergo, a competitor of the Estonian TransferWise, raised $3.4Mshortly after Brexit vote.
Polish startup Brainly, which is the world’s largest social learning platform for students, acquired its main US competitor OpenStudy. In May the startup closed a $15 million Series B round led by the global Internet and entertainment group Naspers. The investment was successfully used to boost Brainly’s global growth and consolidation on the US market. Now both platforms share the joined community of users, but work under separate names and have independent sites and mobile apps. More information.
Ecoisme, a home energy monitoring technology startup from Ukraine, won E Prize for Innovation 2016 on annual EEI convention in Chicago. Ecoisme develops a smart energy system that allows users to track energy consumption of any device in the household. That results in energy savings of up to 30%, and even more with solar panels.
The E Prize for Innovation means that the company became a member of Edison Electric Institute, the biggest association of U.S. and international electric companies as Affiliate Members, who provide electricity for 220 million Americans. Read more at EEI website.
Also, the startup got €100,000 as the winner of the 2016 EDF Pulse Award in the ‘Smart Home’ category.
Insly, an insurance software startup from Estonia, banked €1M in seed funding led by angel investors from the UK, US, Estonia, Switzerland, and Germany.
Insly has spun off from IIZI Group , one of the most successful insurance broker groups in CEE region. The platform offers the solution to manage the brokering process: policies, sales, customer billing, reporting, and CRM, and delivers itself through Google Cloud. It replaces manual work, decreases the number of spreadsheets, and thus eliminates error from brokers’ daily work. The funding will be spent on marketing - with a focus on UK and Poland - and on increasing the development team. Details here.
Amodo develops Connected Customer Platform for insurers. The platform collects data from various connected devices, including smartphones, smart homes and cars, and uses complex risk- and behavior- analysis algorithms to build customer profiles, and this way to help insurers calculate risks. Details here.
An intelligent search assistant Findo, headquartered in California, has raised a $3 million seed round from Moscow-based ABBYY, the leader in text recognition and scanning software. The company released its first product for iPhone and the Web. Findo uses natural language processing (NLP) to understand a very general search query and helps find the necessary file searching user’s personal cloud, notebook, Dropbox, Evernote, Gmail, Outlook, etc. from one place. More on VentureBeat.
The startup from Moscow connects car owners and advertisers. Driving around with a sticker, the driver earns points which can be cashed out. In Russia, StickerRide already runs campaigns for Procter and Gamble, Marvel, MTS - mobile operator. The largest campaign counted 700 cars. There’re similar platforms in the US (carvertise.com and wrapify.com) and in the UK (carquids.com), but the startup is also planning to have a bite there and run campaigns for big brands. More on the topic.
Moscow-based startup Chefmarket secured $1.3M from Mitsui with the participation of QIWI co-founder Andrey Romanenko and Russian venture fund AddVenture.
Chefmarket.ru delivers meal kits - sets of ready-to-cook groceries - based on recipes from famous Russian and Western European chefs. The service currently covers Moscow, Nizhny Novgorod and Saint Petersburg. The estimated market share of Chefmarket is about 50% with over 60,000 meals delivered per month. Details here.
BudgetBakers, a Prague-based fintech startup, raised €290K in seed funding from Petr Zamecnik, a startup investor, and Ivan Svitek, former CEO of HomeCredit and GE Money. Michal Kratochvil, former Managing Director of Accenture in Central Europe, is the startup’s new CEO.
BudgetBakers develops a next-generation expense tracking app that allows customers to manage all of their personal finances in one secure cloud platform. This year the company plans to release a full-featured suite accessible via web, Android and iOS, and cooperate closer with consumer banking in Europe. Details here.
The startup from Latvia Dripit, a marketing optimization solution for e-retailers, graduated from Startup Sauna accelerator raising €100K in funding. Dripit uses maths and game theory based algorithms to analyze the performance of marketing campaigns in four categories - acquisition, retention, stock, and customers, and avoid waste of the marketing budget. More.
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