Bad news first – Telefonica’s Wayra CEE (based in Prague and aimed at startups from Central East Europe), one of the best accelerators in CZ, is shutting down. The closure will take place at the end of March -when the current program finishes- and the telco says that the reason behind it is “to focus on the strategic regions in which Telefonica operates”. CEE region should be handled by Wayra Munich.
Croatian startup TeddyTheGuardian making a smart teddy bear is making a lot of progress, including raising a seed round of $400,000, and it has also generated $716,000 in preorders. Teddy the Guardian measures a kid’s heart rate and temperature when they squeeze the bear’s paw. It’s a lot friendlier and less threatening for kids than other ways of getting vital signs. It’s about making health care more humanized.
Neulogy Ventures adds an investment in Slovak Vectary, which is developing an online tool for 3D modelling of complex structures. The investment was made in syndicate with a group of angel investors, Danube Ventures and 3TS Capital.
Russian VC SBT Venture Capital is betting on NFC and investments abroad. The three -year old Montreal-based firm Mobeewave has secured a $6.5 million funding round led by SBT VC, an investment arm o Sberbank. Mobeewave turns any NFC-enabled phone into a secure contactless mPOS terminal to receive payments from ApplePay, contactless cards or NFC wallets without the use of any additional hardware. The company says the funding will support new market openings worldwide. SBT Venture Capital says the investment is the firm’s first big bet of 2015.
Slovenia’s shuttle transport booking startup GoOpti is looking for capital after 4 years of bootstrapping for European expansion. GoOpti lets users book low-cost transportation (private shuttles and whatnot) to airports, ports, train stations and other places, including smaller towns that are typically poorly connected by public transport. In the next 3-6 months, GoOpti will expand to new cities in Slovenia and Croatia. In 12-18 months, GoOpti should be active in 3 cities in Italy and 2 in Austria, according to interview of Tech.eu with company founders.
Hub:raum Krakow, business incubator of German Deutsche Telekom, announced its 6th investment – to KoalaMetrics – “Psychographic profiles of your mobile users”. Solution provided by KoalaMetrics analyses data used by telecoms and m-commerce platforms, improving customer experience for mobile users. By combining thousands of data points about cross app usage, KoalaMetrics claims to reach 94 % accuracy rate in predicting users interests, behavior and intents. KoalaMetrics was founded by Kamil Burczyk, Kamil Stanuch and Mateusz Pluta.
One crazy news… Domainer Rick Schwartz Sells Porno.com for $8,888,888, the 4th highest reported domain sale of all time to a Czech company (porno means porn in Czech and also in German). According to the Whois, the registrant resides in Prague, Czech Republic. Personally, I’m not impressed with the adult online business. The price looks crazy high. Rick is a smart investor/speculator. This is the 5th time Schwartz has closed a publicly-disclosed seven-figure domain sale with Porno.com joining Property.com ($4 million + 5% equity in 2009), Candy.com ($3 million + 12% equity in 2008), eBet.com (for $1,365,000 in 2013) and his first one at this level – Men.com (at $1.3 million in 2003). While Schwartz has booked some of the biggest sales in industry history, he is not a frequent seller, having let only 20 domains go over the 20 years he has been in the business.