Munich attracts most venture capital in tech, EU atlas reveals

EU-best-ICT-hubsThumbA new EU study lists Europe’s top ICT hubs in different categories, represented on an Atlas of EU areas where digital technologies thrive, and details what drives this success. The report reveals that Munich is the number one EU city with regard to venture capital activities in the technology sector, followed by Paris and London. Germany also ranks first in the EU for research and patenting activities.

According to the report, most of Europe’s ICT activity is concentrated in 34 regions across 12 countries. Key causes of a high ranking on the list included relatively easier access to top universities and research centres, as well as greater funding opportunities.

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Facebook adds content restrictions to its 2nd Government Request Report

Facebook-Government-RequestsFacebook has released the second of its semi-annual Government Requests Reports revealing the nature and extent of government requests Facebook received and how it responded to them.

Covering the second half of 2013, the new report now includes information ‘not only about government requests for account information, but also about government requests to restrict or remove content from the service on the grounds that it violates local law’, the blog post reads.

According to the report, India ranked first in the requests for the removal or restriction of content, with 4765 applications. Turkey comes second with 2014 requests. These two countries are far ahead of the rest of the world in censorship. Pakistan, for example, comes third in the list with 162 requests.

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Egypt and Jordan lead Facebook use in MENA

egypt-facebook-emarketerFacebook, the leading social network which boasts over 1.25 billion monthly users around the world, doesn’t seem to be losing momentum. A continuing steep rise in the number of internet users in Egypt and Jordan serves to boost Facebook’s user numbers at a faster rate than any other social network. According to eMarketer’s estimations, the number of social network users in these two countries will rise by 22.6% in 2014 to 261 million, with 54.5% using Facebook.

The report also reveals that Egypt and Jordan top the list of countries with the highest FB user/internet user ratio in MENA, with 82% and 79% respectively.

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Statista confirms security breach, changes user passwords

statista-webrazziGerman online statistics portal Statista announced that ‘unknown people’ had illegal accessed to their customer database, and the company was forced to change the passwords of customers as a precaution. It claimed e-mail addresses and passwords might have been compromised during the breach, but credit card and bank details were safe as they are not saved by the company system.

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B2C e-sales will hit $1.5T thanks to growth in emerging markets

B2C_ecommerce2013Rapid growth of internet access and usage in emerging markets promise an ever increasing growth trend in overall business-to-consumer e-sales for the years to come.

According to eMarketer’s latest forecasts, global B2C e-commerce sales will increase by 20.1% in 2014 to reach $1.5 trillion mainly thanks to increasing adoption of electronic means to buy stuff in MENA and Asia Pacific. For example, B2C e-commerce will grow 25.1 in MENA in the same period. In 2015, sales in Middle East and Africa are expected to reach $39.6 billion.

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Social media analytics firm Socialbakers secures $26M funding for international growth

socialbakers-logo-webrazziSocialbakers, a globally well-known social media analytics and optimization company, has closed a $26 million Series C financing round led by Index Ventures. Existing investor Earlybird also participated in the round. This is one of the largest funding rounds for a social analytics company outside North America.

Third round came after a very successful year for Socialbakers, when the company added at least 1000 new corporate clients including Samsung, Disney, Universal and Discovery, and increased its revenues three-fold, according to the company announcement.

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Low adoption of digital payment hinders faster growth of e-commerce in the Middle East

middle-east-webrazziThe Middle East represents a rich but surprisingly underserved region in the field of e-commerce. Whilst the share of connected population rises across the region, lack of sufficient tools for digital payment hinders faster growth in electronic retail purchases. According to a report by yStats.com, B2C e-commerce currently accounts for less than 1% of total retail sales in the region. For comparison, the figure is 1.7% in neighboring Turkey and around 6% in the US.

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Social networks still struggle to build up full trust among UK users

UK-social-mediaThough purported to be predominantly related to US-based governmental wiretapping, the disclosure of the existence of the NSA’s surveillance activities across other continents, primarily in Europe, has done little to help social media giants already struggling to secure users’ confidence over privacy protection. This is most markedly see amongst British users where, according to the latest TNS BMRB report published by eMarketer, social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest still fail to earn the confidence of as much as 60% of users.

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