Smart-home startup Tado finalizes its Kickstarter bid with huge success

tado-screenMunich-based Tado is one company hoping to bring homes into the future with apps for controlling your heater and AC unit. It is not new on the scene, having been founded in 2011 and already releasing their heating app in May 2013. They started out focusing on the German, Austrian, and Swiss markets, but expanded to the UK the following year and went global after that. But what is interesting is that, despite solid financial backing, the company has just recently, and very successfully,  completed Kickstarter campaign to fund their latest project, an app that allows users to control their AC with their phones.

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Transportation search service GoEuro announces that it has raised $27 million in Series A

goeuro-screenGoEuro, a service that allows users to find car rentals, flights, and rail tickets, announces that they have raked in $27 million in a Series A round from New Enterprise Associates and current backers Battery Ventures, Hasso Plattner Ventures, and Lakestar, who all increased their investment in the company.

GoEuro, which launched in March 2012, kicked off its funding back in March 2013 with $4 million from Hasso and Battery and then followed that up with an undisclosed amount from Lakestar in January of this year.

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Over 100M now use Opera browser on Android

opera for android opera opera max opera miniThe number of people who actively use Opera browser on their Android smartphones has doubled, reaching 100 million, in just 12 months. Opera Software also claims its browser now connects more than 350 million people to the internet worldwide, according to a press statement.

Nearly 30% of all Opera users are active on Android and current Android active user numbers are twice as many as one year ago. Figures show that Opera has succeeded in low/medium level smartphone market with its data compressing browsers.

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Duckie Deck looks to make learning fun with apps targeted towards young children

duckie-deck-logoOne of the greatest challenges during the earliest child-rearing years comes from finding constant sources of entertainment for your child. In the past, you could just send them to play outside or buy them toys, but the current technological era offers new opportunities to play with your kids and a number of companies are looking to take tablets into a device for learning.

One such company is Duckie Deck, which emerged in 2012 as an app-developer from Poland specializing in games for small children.

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Twitter Advertising opens to 12 new EMEA markets

twitter-birdTwitter has announced today that Twitter Ads network is expanding to include 12 additional markets in Central and Eastern Europe. New markets are Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine and Portugal.

With the latest additions, Twitter Ads network will now be covering 35 EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa) markets. The company says the products will be available through direct sales support teams and reseller partnerships.

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Juniqe provides one-stop shop for art and design

junique-screenWhen you are looking to buy a print for your wall, it is generally pretty easy to do so. Same for iPhone cases, shirts, and other items. Frequently, however, you will need to search through different stores and prices can frequently be quite high. German startup Juniqe launched earlier this year in an effort to deal with this issue by offering a one-stop shop for finding all types of artistic items.

While there were businesses in this market, co-founder Lea Lange says that the founding team created the business because they wanted to create a portal for purchasing contemporary art at affordable prices. Lange, who most recently worked at Fab, began developing the company late last year with fellow ex-Fab executive Marc Pohl and friend Sebastian Hasebrink and then they went live in January.

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MailMag presents fresh, magazine-style take on e-mail

mailmag-gorselAnyone who has sent an email over the years can tell you that the basic formats of various services has not changed a whole lot in a while. Different services have upgraded their offerings and added features, but experienced internet users can use a new service with little difficulty. MailMag, a Turkish-founded player which just launched earlier this month, wants to do away with the boring email services and offers a new, magazine-style client that represents an update on the interfaces that we have become accustomed to over the years.

The basic features of MailMag will be pretty familiar to most people, but it comes in a more complete manner. That is to say that they offer a typical email section, but allow users to create their “magazine” and to swipe to access contacts.

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UsabilityTools positions itself as comprehensive service for UX testing

usabilitytools-coverThe impulse to start your own business does not always come to people at the same point in life. Some people are long interested in going to business for themselves, while others come to the decision suddenly, perhaps due to a bad experience at their current job or another event. Prior to founding UsabilityTools, Bartosz Mozyrko worked as a UX developer, but found that it was not always smooth sailing. Working on one major project, in particular, he found that he simply could not deal with the large number of subscriptions and various online tools needed to complete the task, so he finished the project and went about building his own, more comprehensive tool.

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Holtzbrinck Ventures gives up stakes in 7 Rocket-incubated startups, becomes a shareholder in the company itself

holtzbrinck-screenHoltzbrinck Ventures, a long-term, early-stage investor in Rocket Internet‘s companies, has decided to trade off its shares in 7 of Rocket-incubated companies for a 2.5% stake in the company itself.

There will be no cash involved in the transaction which is “valued on the basis of the last external funding round of the respective companies”, according to the press announcement.

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ViewFlux gains traction as collaboration service for web designers

viewflux-coverAs a web designer, you can produce the most perfect, feature-rich design but it would be for naught if the customer does not approve. For the guys at Romanian digital agency 5Tailors, finding a tool that would allow them to collaborate directly with clients and obtain real-time feedback proved difficult, so they made the logical move and decided to create their own. Jan Lukacs, who co-founded the business with Andrei Gadoiu and Alex Drimbe, says that the service, which has since become known as ViewFlux, began as an internal tool for their design studio but they later decided that it could have value as a separate service.

Having an established firm is one of the reasons that they have been able to develop ViewFlux without having to seek external investment. Despite no external funding, the service has proven popular since it launched last October, attracted 6K users.

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