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Polish social-network giant offered to sale

Owners of the social networking site NK.pl (previously operating as nasza-klasa.pl), headed by the fund Excolimp, are getting prepared to sell the website. Proposal offers have been submitted to the biggest Polish online publishers: Grupa Onet and Grupa Wirtualna Polska.

 NK.pl owners already conducted an audit of the website and of the managing company and presented their purchase offers to potential buyers. This group included Grupa Onet and Grupa Wirtualna Polska. Rumors say the deal is almost agreed – the website will be taken over by Onet together with Krakow Ganymede company, engaged in production of games. Representatives of Grupa Onet and Grupa Wirtualna Polska do not want to refer to this information.

 NK.pl in 2008-2011 was the most popular social networking site in Poland, visited by up to 12 million users per month. Thus, in subsequent years it gradually lost popularity, mostly for Facebook. This year the website is visited by only 6-7 million users per month and the trend continues to be downward: in February it was 6.6 million and in August – 5.6 million. In autumn of last year,  NK.pl conducted considerable reductions, eliminating research department and advertising sales agency. The website decided on automated advertising sales, and in spring of this year it began cooperation with the ad network IDMnet.

Currently, 73% of NK.pl shares is owned Excolimp which bought them in mid-2010, and the remaining part is owned by the website founders.

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Belgrade Venture Forum

For the 3rd consecutive year, in Belgrade will be held big international venture conference oriented toward new technologies, new media, investors and startups called Belgrade Venture Forum (BgVF).

BgVF is the largest investment forum in the region, dedicated to promotion of entrepreneurship and investments in innovative companies and ideas. Many notable speakers and investors will take part in this events, among them are Luigi Amati (CEO at Meta Group), Dmitry Chikhachev (Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Runa Capital), Maxim Gurvits (Partner at Teres Capital), Dylian Dimitrov (Founder at Eleven Startup Accelerator), Jure Mikuz (Managing Director and Partner at RSG Capital) etc.

Belgrade Venture Forum

Belgrade Venture Forum announced that among 133 applications, independent investment jury has handpicked 33 best projects from 11 countries and gave them opportunity to pitch their ideas in front of potential investors.

A-LINK SAVJETOVANJE / ASW ENGINEERING / BALANCIQ / BIG SCREEN TOOLS / BIOIRC DOO KRAGUJEVAC/ CITYZENIC / CODEWELL UNLIMITED DOO / COFA GAMES / EDGAR / EMEDY / GEOKRULJ D.O.O. / HOMIEE / HYDRATECH / IMPULSE / INFORA RESEARCH GROUP / INSHAPE / LABSII / MEDIAWORKS D.O.O. /MICROSYNTECH / PITCHSTACK / PROSPEH D.O.O. / PROWORK DEVELOPMENT / SEMNE DESIGN SRL /SENSE / SPECTATOR / TENDER5 & CO. D.O.O. / TIMEMACHINE / TOURISM4ME / USABILITYTOOLS /VETERINARSKA STANICA KOKER / VICTOR PRODUCTION LLC / VRTII CORP. / YANADO

We can say that in the period of 5.11-7.11 Belgrade will be center of VC industry in this part of Europe. Event will be held in hotel Metropol Palace. Regular ticket price is 235e and organizers offer discounts if you buy several tickets. Event organizer is Serbian Venture Network.

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The Hungarians are furious about the new Internet tax

Thousands of people protested in Budapest on Sunday against introduction of a tax on the Internet and data transfer planned by the government.

Last Tuesday the  economy minister Mihály Varga announced that the Internet providers will pay  a tax on the transfer of Internet of their clients in the amount of HUF 150 (EUR 0.5) per each gigabyte. This means that the Hungarians can pay up to twice higher bills for Internet.

In protest, thousands of Hungarians gathered on Sunday evening at the building of the Ministry Of Economy and the building of the ruling party Fidesh. The demonstrators raised up smartphones and launched them at the same time.

The protesters have gathered together on Facebook, where they founded the group “Against internet tax”. Since Tuesday it has been liked by 191 thousand of Internet users. They argue that the planned action will limit the fundamental rights and democratic freedoms. The organizers of the protest gave the government 48 hours to withdraw from these plans. If this does not happen, on Tuesday they will start another protest.

The government wants to tax data transfer on the network next year. The plan assumes that the internet providers will pay EUR 0.49 for each gigabyte of data, which according to estimates by the Ministry of Economy will raise the budget with additional HUF 20 billion per year. Viktor Orbán’s government’s plans are criticized by the internet providers, the opposition, Internet users, trade unions and the European Commission. In their opinion it is a bad idea by which internet rates will rise. It will also impact negatively on the economy, because the Hungarians now use the Internet less than the EU average.

 

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The Poles purchase more via the Internet than the Americans and the Germans

62% of Polish internet users can be called “digital consumers”, that is people seeking online information about products that they are going to buy or just buying online – according to the global survey of EY.

The percentage of “digital consumers” among Internet users in Poland corresponds to the world average. The highest rates were recorded in India (75%), China (70%) and the Netherlands (70%). And the lowest – in Switzerland (45%), Belgium (47%), Austria (47%) and US (50%).

84% of Poles likes to shop in the Internet and 82% said they currently visit e-stores for pleasure, looking for inspiration to purchase. The most unpopular element of shopping online is the cost of delivery – according to a study by TNS Poland.

More than half of Polish Internet users (54%) believe that online shopping is at least as (if not more) safe as traditional shopping. A little more confidence in shopping online have men (58%) than women (51%).

The greatest difficulty for online buyers are delivery costs (65%) and problems with matching to the working hours of courier companies (50%). In the opinion of many buyers the pictures and descriptions of products are often not sufficient to decide to purchase (65%). Slightly fewer Internet users pay attention to other matters: more than 40% believe that submitting contact information in the fields in online shop pages is a pain, and more than one in three people (36%) believe that there are not enough online shops where you can buy products of the different categories.

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Netflix aims to have 100 million users outside the United States. It may enter to Poland in 2015.

In 2020 Netflix wants to have 104 million users in markets outside the United States. In Poland, the service may be launched in the first quarter of 2015.

After 7 years from the start in a particular country, Netflix will be present there in every third home – such an ambitious plan has been announced at the conference CTAM EuroSummit by Reed Hastings, chief of the service. Hastings was referring to markets outside the United States, where Netflix has been launched. On the basis of these predictions, it can be calculated that in 2020 the service will have about 104 million users living outside the United States. According to these estimates, in six years the highest number of users will be in Brazil (24.4 million), Germany (11.3 million, the service there was launched only in September), Mexico (over 10 million), the UK (9.5 million) and in France (8.3 million).

Currently, the largest number of the service users, a population of 36 million, lives in the United States. However, Netflix is still looking for new markets – in addition to those of Germany and France, it has been launched in Luxembourg, Belgium, Austria and Switzerland.

In some countries the viewers are disappointed because they are unable to find a few of their favorite TV series (for each of the markets Netflix resources are slightly different due to local agreements on emission rights and copyrights).

According to unofficial information, Netfix may enter to Poland already be in the first quarter of 2015. Polish broadcasters and TV operators are worried that Netflix can dominate Polish VoD industry and lead to significant reshuffle in the market.

When Netflix started in 1998 as a DVD rental service ordered by e-mail, it was hard to imagine that in the future it could beat market video services giants, like HBO. Also significant is the fact that the success as a video streaming service, Netflix achieved in just seven years, from the time when it began to deal with this activity in 2007.