Samsung Galaxy S5 comes with free Deezer music in Europe

samsung-deezerSamsung and Deezer have teamed up to offer the premium music service to Galaxy S5 users. Those who buy the new flagship device by Samsung Mobile will have free access to Deezer’s Premium+ package for a period of 6 months.

Deezer is primarily seeking to beef up its customer base by offering a long trial period for buyers of the rather pricey Galaxy S5. After six months, the users will have to pay the standard fee if they want to continue using the service.

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Hoccer, the ‘secure’ version of Whatsapp, gets $50M from German investors

hoccer-logoGerman messaging app Hoccer raises a second round of funding with €50 million from Dirk Stroer, the CEO of Media Ventures GmbH, raising its valuation to a total of €100 million. Now with 51 percent of the shares in the Berlin-based company, Stroer is convinced that the security and anonymity Hoccer offers users will give it a competitive edge in the market, currently dominated by WhatsApp. He predicts that the demand for secure messaging will grow dramatically in the future, only serving to increase demand for the app.

Hoccer’s Berlin-based team of 15 is currently running two apps, Hoccer Classic and Hoccer XO, but these will soon be combined into a single messaging product, German blog VentureVillage reported. The resulting product will provide multiple features, for both B2C and B2B markets. The present versions grew by 2.5 million downloads in February alone, suggesting Stroer’s optimism is warranted.

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Twitter is said to be removing accounts to reverse Turkish ban [updated]

Twitter_HOTwitter who is banned in Turkey yesterday on the grounds that it ignores to remove alleged ‘illegal’ accounts in compliance with the sentences of Turkish courts, is said holding talks now with Turkish government authorities to lift the blocking. Anatolian News Agency reported today that the micro-blogging site has already started removing gradually the said accounts while the talks between the authorities and Twitter’s lawyers continue.

The news agency said that one of the accounts that was subject to ‘precautionary blocking decision’ of Samsun 2nd Court of Peace has already been removed and some other are expected to follow soon.

Yet there is no official announcement from neither side about the reversal of the overall ban, and the site is still blocked nationwide.

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Opposition websites blocked in Russia because of ‘illegal content’

kremlin-net-banRussian authorities have blocked the websites that are critical of President Vladimir Putin’s policies, including those run by well-known Kremlin opponent Alexei Navalny and world famous chess star Garry Kasparov.

The prosecutor general’s office in Russia ordered Russian ISPs to block grani.ru and ej.ru too. It said  the websites “contain calls for illegal activity and participation in mass events conducted in violation of the established order”.

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TechCrunch Disrupt Europe goes to London in mid-October

TCdisruptEU14There is possibly no single living soul in the digital world who has not gotten swept up by the myriad ideas created during TechCrunch Disrupt conferences in San Francisco and New York. Last year TC executives decided to hold a European equivalent event in Berlin, with huge success. On 18-21 October 2014, TC Disrupt Europe will descend on an equally important hub of the tech ecosystem in Europe – London.

Increasingly connect to European bases like Berlin, as well as the US and Asian, London has been the favoured headquarters for over 15,000 startups established between 2012 and 2013, according to the Deloitte Technology Fast 50. It is remains one of the few cities whose tech industry has been hit least by the global financial crisis, with 27% of all new jobs coming from the tech and digital sectors in 2012, according to UK government body Tech City.

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VP of Intel tells how the company takes on the future with a fully-fledged Internet of Things

intel-edison-webrazziWithin a period of 10 years, the number of ‘things’ that are connected to the internet and able to talk to each other as well as the use are estimated to be around 30 billion units. Mobile World Congress 2014 was an opportunity to get plenty of insights into this interconnected future. Intel, the largest producer of processors, has been very busy exploring the myriad possibilities, not only with the silicon Edison processor, but also with regard to software, solutions and services.

Ms. Ayse Ildeniz, the Intel VP of new devices joined us during the Congress and explained Intel’s approach to a future full of connected devices and services.

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Swedish ‘indie retailers’ platform Tictail raises $8M, prepares to open NYC office

tictail-logo-webrazziSwedish e-commerce platform Tictail has raised $8 million funding in Series A led by Thrive Capital. Company also announced the number of stores opened via the platform reached 35,000, representing a sharp rise from 23,000 in summer 2013. The money will, of course, be used in international expansion, to start with the opening of an office in New York.

Tictail provides a very easy-to-use platform for ‘indie’ retailers and brands to open their full-fledged but affordable-to-maintain online shops in seconds. Store owners on Tictail can customize their pages using tools and apps provided by the company.

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British SportPursuit gets $8M in second round, eyes Scandinavian markets

sportpursuit-logo-webrazziSweden’s population, the largest in Scandinavia, is around 9.6 million by 2013 figures. And almost half of its 7-70 years old people are members of sports clubs, most being active members, that is, exercising the particular sports themselves, not only watching and supporting it. This kind of love applies to all Scandinavian countries, which, apparently, is the stimulus for UK-based flash sales website SportPursuit who eyes the region for growth after receiving £5 million (around $8.2 million) in Series B funding.

The investment is led by London-based DFJ Esprit with the participation of Silicon Valley Bank and four individual angel investors, according to TechCrunch. This increases the total funding raised so far to 6.4 million.

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Gram Games raises $600,000 from Hummingbird Ventures and angels in round A

gram-games-logoIstanbul-based mobile gaming studio Gram Games secures additional funding for the growth of Railroad Gangs, its new free-to-play social strategy game for iOS. Round A funding of $600,000 is led by the company’s previous angel investor, Hummingbird Ventures. Additional funding came from serial business angels Fabrice Grinda, Jose Marin and Tunc Yalgin.

Founded in 2012, mobile game development studio Gram Games has a team of industry professionals focused on creating engaging games for mobile platforms, particularly targeting high-frequency players.

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Intelclinic’s bio-track device will be on limited sale around May this year


intelclinic-webrazziIf startup competitions are good for something, that would be saving the potential investors and supporters the pain and time sorting out the best among the zillions of projects. That’s how it worked for Inteclinic, a developer of bio-track devices for a better sleep, when it was crowned as the champion at LeWeb Paris Startup Competition last December. They went out for a $100,000 funding via Kickstarter, and ended up with more than $400,000 partly thanks to LeWeb victory.

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