Invesdor receives an EU licence to boost cross-border crowdfunding in SME sector

Invesdor-logoInvesdor, a fast growing Nordic crowdfunding platform, has been granted a MiFID licence by financial authorities, to expand debt and equity crowdfunding services across all 31 EU and EEA countries. The Helsinki-based crowdfunding platform is the first one to receive this level of operational licence, part of the European Commission’s drive to harmonise financial regulations across Continue reading

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Startup Sourcing – our new research service

EU-Startups-ResearchEvery day, we’re getting contacted from up to 50 European startups that are aiming to get press coverage. Our team of experts has great in-depth knowledge, good contacts and many years of experience in the startup world. We have our eyes and Continue reading

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Startup jobs of the week: Fuuduru and Optimizely

Week after week, we’re introducing you to great career oportunities in the startup space. Well, not every week, since we paused during Easter holidays. But now we’re back with some awesome job opportunities for you. Grab your chance to become part of the success story of Europe’s hottest startups! For a complete overview of the best startup jobs, make sure to check out our job board. And here are the jobs of the week:

fuuduru-logoFuuduru, which is based in Amsterdam, helps connect people through food. Recommend chefs, restaurants and food lovers around the world. Share pictures and videos of your food with your followers. Get discovered! If you have front-end development experience Continue reading

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Rocket Internet Acquires Wayra Germany startup Volo

Rocket_Internet-logoWayra, Telefónica’s start-up accelerator, today announced its first large-scale successful exit strategy for a start-up from its Academy in Munich. Thanks to the professional support and preparation provided by Wayra, Volo’s Munich-based delivery service has managed to impress Rocket Internet. Continue reading

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Peter Thiel invests in Berlin-based Number26, the bank account of the future

Number26-logoFintech startups are hot and it is good to see that some great  innovative projects disrupting the finance industry get funded. The Berlin based fintech startup NUMBER26, that offers “the bank account of the future” just completed series A with 10 mln EUR funding.

The US investor Peter Thiel’s VC fund Valar Ventures leads the round.  The Swiss entrepreneur Daniel S. Aegerter is also joining this round. He led his startup TRADEX to one of the largest software exits of all time ($ 5.6 bn). The existing Continue reading

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BlaBlaCar acquires and Autohop

BlaBlaCar-logoBlaBlaCar, the world’s largest long-distance ridesharing community, yesterday announced the acquisition of, the second-largest service, as well as Hungary-based Autohop. It will integrate the businesses into its existing service to create a unified ridesharing Continue reading

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London-based brain training app Peak closes $7M Series A Round

Peak-logoPeak, the fast-growing mobile-first brain training company, today announced the closing of a $7 million Series A funding round led by early investors of Spotify Creandum, alongside existing investors DN Capital, London Venture Partners (LVP) and Qualcomm Ventures.

As Apple’s App of the Year 2014, Peak appears to emerge as the dominant player in the brain training app sector. Since launch last year, Peak has raised over $10 million.

Peak is uniquely designed to provide each user with a profound level of insight into their current state of cognitive function through a Continue reading

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A-Maze, the escape game

A true story about A-Maze, the Hague based escape game startup which has managed to gain advantage on a niche market. An interview by my colleague, Gábor Schneider.

Escape games or escape rooms might be familiar to almost everyone nowadays. This is a kind of game in which you and your friends – or whoever you join to – are locked into a room together and have to solve different mind-breaking cases to get out in a limited time. Usually these escape rooms look like a movie set based on specific topics.

This topic is pretty interesting to me, since this special and quite entertaining game was invented – or at least it had been brought to public – by Hungarian people. I have read an article about the unique A-Maze experience and decided to invite Ádám Kondor, a Co-Founder of the company for a Skype call. He was very sympathetic and eager to tell me about their story and future plans so let me share this with you.

Ádám told me that he first tried different kinds of escape games with his cousin and his cousin’s girlfriend in Hungary, back in 2012. It was a love at first sight for them, but Ádám lived -and still lives- in the Netherlands at the time and there were no escape games at all.

Since the trio had entrepreneurial ambitions combined with a true passion related to escape games, and they only had been waiting for the right idea and the right time.. this seemed to be the right choice.

At the beginning of 2013, Ádám, his cousin Dávid and Dávid’s girlfriend Beáta had a New Year’s resolution of making their own escape game company. Ádám lives in the Netherlands since 2010 and his cousin, Dávid also went to a Dutch university, so the “where” question got an immediate answer. There is also a non negligible fact that this kind of entertainment was completely missing from the Dutch market.

In the first few months they had to remain at their jobs but thanks to these kind of efforts they could manage to firm the company from their own equity, step by step. This time Ádám, Dávid and Bea organized and directed the games but to the date they have an organizer team of six people, contractors and a marketing intern working at the -very fancy- A-Maze office in Hague, Netherlands. They have 3 escape rooms with completely different sets, like a cold war era KGB room, an Urban Legend room and the Crazy Doctor’s room.

Ádám told me that the most difficult part was to gain the attention of local people, since the team did not have the right connections at the time and no one tried to do something like this before. Fortunately in 2013/Q4 and 2014/Q1 the A-Maze rooms became very popular and this escape game hype forced other entrepreneurs to create their own rooms with their own sets. Ádám has a very positive opinion about this, because this kind of entertainment gets even more and more popular this way, as he told me.

What’s the difference between A-Maze and other related companies? Ádám has a very strict and perspicuous answer to this question. They simply don’t want their rooms and this whole genre to be a part of mass entertainment, which could lead to worsen the experience a room can give to you. They invest plenty of time into planning every single details of a room, it’s mind-breakers and the interior/exterior of a game. These details and their attitude regarding to the genre makes them different from the competitors.

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Thermondo secures € 6 million from Holtzbrinck Ventures and Rocket Internet

Thermondo-logoThermondo, one of the pioneers of the digital revolution in the heat solution and installation market, raises fresh capital (€6 million) from Holtzbrinck Ventures and Rocket Internet as well as from the existing investors E.ON, IBB and Grey Corp.

The Berlin-based startup digitizes the process of the HVAC exchange – from lead generation, sales, installation to after-sales. Continue reading

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Interview with Dörte Höppner, Chief Executive of the European Venture Capital Association

Risk capital funds have been closing more deals in Europe recently. Investment activity in VC-backed European tech companies reached a four-year high in both deals and dollars in 2014. Also, U.S. venture-capital investment in Europe is increasing steadily, a recent report by Germany’s Earlybird Venture Capital has found. I was curious to know if this is a trend. I questioned Dörte Höppner, the boss of European Venture Capital Association (EVCA). The EVCA covers full range of private equity activity, from early-stage venture capital to the largest private equity firms, investors such as pension Continue reading

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