Socialbakers grows stronger in Facebook analytics via the acquisition of EdgeRank Checker

logo-socialbakersSocialbakers, a leading social media analytics and optimization company, announced that it acquires Chicago-based EdgeRank Checker, a provider of social analytics for Facebook’s News Feed. The acquisition, which follows the $26 million Series C funding received from Index Ventures, is expected to bolster Czech-based company’s global position by adding ERC’s expertise and strong client base that includes over 700 ‘Fortune 500′ firms and major entertainment companies.

Edge Rank Checker will continue to be offered as a separate product to almost a million monthly visitors to Socialbakers’ website, and will be provided as a module in future releases of Socialbakers Analytics. The ERC personnel will also be joining Socialbakers’ team in the US.

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80% of Arab world unbanked, promises huge growth for e-payments

MENApayfort-raporWhile the internet penetration and e-payment rates are relatively low in the Arabic-speaking world, online shopping has been showing remarkable growth thanks to increasing credit card penetration and high percentage of the youth in total population. Fueled further by internet penetration of over 35% and over 30 million online shoppers, the e-commerce grew by 45% in 2013.

According to a report released by Payfort during ArabNet Digital Summit 2014, an online payment provider in the Arab region, e-commerce volumes are expected to continue rising in next three years as a result of increased internet and credit card penetration in markets such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, where only 14% and 4% of the population are transacting online.

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Africa, India, the Middle East will lead the mobile boom in next 5 years

ericsson-mobility-coverThe world is already very close to reaching 100% penetration in mobile connection, according to Ericsson’s sixth Mobility Report. It says there were 6.8 billion mobile lines globally in Q1 2014, or 9.3 mobile lines for every 10 people, and it is growing fast mainly thanks to the boom in sales in Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. By the end of this year or  in early 2015, the number of mobile lines is expected to surpass world’s population.

The Report says that new mobile subscriptions was around 5 million in Europe and North America in Q1 whereas Asia-Pacific, Africa and the Middle East contributed more than 96 million in the same period. The boom in mobile subscriptions in said regions is partly driven by the availability of smartphones that cost less than 100 dollars per piece.

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Digital ad spending booms in Europe, with Russia and Turkey showing highest growth

digital-europeDigital advertising market in Europe seems pretty confident in contrast to other sectors’ timidity in spending. Latest IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) report shows that the digital ad spendings have boomed in 2013, rising 11.9% to €27.3 billion ($36.4 billion). Mobile advertising, though, showed the most dramatic growth with 128.5%.

As a result of the incredible growth, mobile ad spendings has for the first time reached double-digit figures, making 11.5% of all digital ad expenditures in Europe. Another first is that the ad investments in online video has surpassed €1 billion mark, totaling €1.19 billion.

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Spotify hits 10M paying subscribers, 40M active users

spotify-celebrate-10millionMusic streaming service Spotify has released new numbers that confirm its leadership position in the extremely competitive global music market. It claims that it has now over 40 million active users, 10 million of whom are actually paying for the service. It has expanded to additional 36 markets in 2013, bringing the total to 56 as of today.

According to the announcement, Eminem has been the most streamed artist of all time, and ‘Wake Me Up’ by Avicii is the most streamed song on Spotify. Since its launch in 2008, Spotify has driven over $1 billion dollars to rights holders.

Users have created over 1.5 billion playlists in total so far, collectively creating or updating over 5 million playlists each day on the Swedish-born platform. “We’ve had an amazing year, growing from 20 markets to 56 as people from around the world embrace streaming music. 10 million subscribers is an important milestone for both Spotify and the entire music industry,” said Daniel Ek, CEO and Founder of Spotify.

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Smartphone penetration leaps in oil-rich parts of MEA, still low region wide

smartphone-webrazzi-meaTwo different researches revealed that the smartphone penetration in the Middle East and Africa has leapt this year, mainly due to significant rise in oil-rich countries. Lebanon, which is not in this category, show the most impressive growth though, almost doubling the penetration of smartphones in the country from 36% to 63% within a year.

According to Ipsos MediaCT predictions, penetration was highest in Saudi Arabia (79%) and the United Arab Emirates (72%) in 2013. Egypt, on the other hand, has the lowest penetration figure among the researched countries, with 6% of the population using a smartphone in 2013, up just 1 percentage point from 2012.

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Tablet users in EU-5 will surpass 100 million in 2014

tablet-europeTop five tablet PC markets in Europe will continue to grow steadily in next 5 years, with the user base almost doubling by the end of 2018. The number of users in the U.K., Germany, France, Spain and Italy will surpass 100 million this year, whereas it’s predicted to reach 146 million half a decade later.

The U.K. and Germany will keep their ranks as the largest tablet markets in the EU, with 52.3 million users amassed by the end of 2014. This makes more than half of the expected 100 million in all 5 top EU markets, according to eMarketer report.

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Rovio’s revenues almost unchanged in 2013, half coming from consumer products

rovio-logoAngry Birds maker Rovio has announced its financial results for 2013, revealing an impressive year in terms of operations and novelties, but with a drop in net profits by half. Finnish company reported a full-year revenue amounting to €156 million, which is only €3.8 million higher than the previous year. Net profits, on the other hand, fell from €55.5 million in 2012 to €26.9 million in 2013.

The company said 2013 was a ‘foundation-building’ year for them, opening up to new business areas that range from animation to Activity Parks. 

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UNESCO advises to go mobile to improve literacy in developing countries

unesco-reading-mobileFacebook and Google, who both have been investing huge in drones to bring mobile connection to the underdeveloped regions in the world, happen to share same ambitions with UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization: To grow the use of mobile devices across the world.

A new report by UNESCO says that mobile devices, especially the most basic ones, can be perfect tools to promote literacy among people living in the poorest parts of the world.

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Tech startup’s guide to European accelerators and incubators


For most of the visionary but broke and inexperienced tech entrepreneurs, accelerators and incubators are still the most viable sources of mentorship and cash to pay for electricity and pizzas. Though they keep growing in number and the size of funding for startups continues to increase, they are still scarce, given the huge number of entrepreneurs out there seeking tech funds.

Acceptance rates to accelerator programs are really low, even lower than average in Europe. So, it is crucial to do your homework and carefully study which accelerator offers the resources that play to your best advantage, and how you must pitch to them.

To make the task a bit quicker we compiled a list of startup accelerators and incubators in Europe with short descriptions of each. Be sure to take a look at them all to have a better idea.

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