Enterprise EMEA conference in London

Enterprise EMEA 2017 will take place on May 23 in London. It is hosted by Widebridge Group, a boutique investment bank focused on M&A and capital raising for technology companies. Among the speakers and attendees there will be representatives from companies like: Microsoft, Gemalto, and SAP as well as investors from firms such as Atomico, Lakestar, Index Ventures, Dawn Capital, KKR, and Blackstone.

Enterprise EMEA is an invite-only conference focused on enterprise software. It is meant for leaders in enterprise technology to connect, show their ideas and talk about industry trends. Attendees include the top EMEA region enterprise technology firms from growth to later stage, decision makers of top EMEA enterprises, top VC and private equity investors, and M&A managers of the world’s biggest technology firms.

According to the organizers, there is a lack of enterprise software events which enclose the whole enterprise. Therefore the event will be focused on enterprise technology – for startups, investors, and the ultimate buyers of these companies to all meet to raise more investments, more knowledge exchange and more contracts.

Many firms which participated in the conference last year have raised large rounds of funding or exited with big acquisitions over the last 12 months, such as London’s Weaveworks, which raised $15 million last May from Google Ventures and Accel, or PNMsoft, which was acquired by Genpact.

Piwik Pro from Poland raises $2M

Polish product Piwik Pro has recently raised capital from the Warsaw Equity Group to promote a new marketing technology suite which will offer data-sensitive companies with 100% control of their data and compliance with privacy regulations.

Piwik PRO offers solutions in the field of web analytics based on Piwik – leading analytics platform of open-source type that c
an be downloaded and used for free. Unlike other solutions such as Google Analytics, Piwik provides its users complete control over their data and meets requirements of the strictest regulations on privacy protection in the Internet. For this reason, the project gains popularity in Germany and other countries where such regulations are strictly enforced. Piwik is used by 1.3% of all websites in the world and has been fully translated into more than 50 languages. The list of previous clients includes among others: HP, the European Commission, government agencies in Canada and New Zealand, international financial institutions, Accenture, Government of Netherlands.

Piwik PRO is the answer to demand for services for businesses and government institutions related to Piwik platform to analyze data on open-source license. The fundamental services are Piwik Cloud and Piwik Enterprise, which provide first-class services in hosting and consulting. Piwik Cloud is cloud hosting for those customers who want to retain full control over data brought by Piwik, while utilizing the possibility of keeping these data on secure servers of Piwik PRO. Piwik Enterprise is a service for users of Piwik, providing consultancy, support and adaptation of software to the needs of users who store data on their own servers.

This is one of the largest investments in the region to date. Funding is hard in Central Europe and it points to a way forward for tech-savvy and privacy-leaning startups in Poland and all Middle Europe.

Africa Ride will compete with Uber in South Africa

Uber may be prevailing in almost each country in the world, but it currently faces some big problems occurring worldwide with drivers feeling consistently short changed by the company.

Africa Ride is available on iOS and Android platforms and enables users to order private drivers, while proceeding the process of that driver in-app. In terms of operation it is very similar to Uber and its online finding drivers via an app. The crucial difference lies in real driver involvement in the business. Africa Ride empowers each and every driver by giving them ownership of a percentage stake in the business unlike the transportation giant.

Africa Ride app offers corporate accounts with weekly and monthly payment terms with the option to pay by wallet, and passengers can choose drivers according to the area they are in. It also offers personal customer care services disrupting the standard of speaking to an app that promotes trust between the firm and its clients.

Africa Ride operates in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Rustenburg. It is going to spread in the next few months to markets which have never used this type of service before.

Local firms fighting back and succeeding is not something we see often. International powerhouse brands permanently spread into African territories, conquering the market and truly putting solid stress on local companies. Africa Ride is looking for funding to hit new markets, but already has over 500 drivers in its system.

The biggest tech conference in CEE region

Already for the 11th time representatives of startups will be able to participate in the infoShare conference – the largest event for technology industry in Central and Eastern Europe. The event will take place on 17-19 of May in Gdansk, Poland. It will be accompanied by a Startup Contest, one of the biggest startup competitions in the CEE region. It is organized by the infoShare Foundation and Gdansk Business Incubator Starter. The winner will receive EUR 20 000 and will have a chance to win EUR 1 million. Startup struggles will be observed by over 5000 potential customers and business partners. More than 100 VCs and angel investors will attend along with speakers from companies like Google, Netflix, and Slack, and investment firms such as Inventure and Karma VC.

Last year there participated 200 startups from 13 countries. The international jury awarded the first place to Nexbio company, which is working on new methods for detection of crop diseases.

infoShare is an opportunity for young companies to raise funds too. Last year Saas Manager, creator of a platform for developers, won support in the amount of EUR 250 000. Many business representatives got interested in SaaS Manager before the announcement of the competition’s results. By the last day of the conference the company established contacts with companies such as Amazon, Intel, OVH or Startupbootcamp. And most importantly, the company started cooperation with FerberVC fund.

In this year’s competition there will also be provided additional prizes. Two of the best companies, in which there is at least one person from Poland, will receive so called wild cards to participate in the Pitch event in London. They enable innovators to present their offers to the investors in the UK. Microsoft will provide access to data processing in the cloud with a value of up to $ 120 000.

Romania has potential to become tech startup hub

Although Romania is one of the poorest countries in the EU, it has good chances to become the new continental hub for technology startups. Thanks to its unique culture, history, educational system and telecommunications infrastructure, the country has created a generation of entrepreneurs in technology industry who hope that Bucharest will become the new European startup capital.

Romania has been a member of the EU since 2007 and is now the second fastest growing economy in Europe. Well educated in the field of new technology talent base, low wages and operating costs make it an attractive location for international companies planning to use outsourcing. However, Romania also stresses its own technological startups, especially those whose development seems to be relatively cheap. The niche has been growing rapidly for 5 years and currently concentrates already about 170 startups. One of these startups is the company Accelerole, which is a branch of the global co-working platform TechHub. Romanian company gathers already about 100 technological freelancers and entrepreneurs.

Paradoxically, the technological boom has occurred thanks to some communist heritage. The previous system left a strong telecommunications network and the educational system largely focused on new technologies. The major advantage of Romania are also creative people, who are accustomed to working in difficult and demanding conditions. Another important factor that drives the technology boom in the country is high-speed Internet. Bandwidth of best Internet links make Romania the EU leader and the country has the 6th fastest network in the world. For comparison – the US occupies this ranking only on the 17th position. Such strong position of Romania in this field stems from the fact that it disregarded the stage of development of broadband networks and immediately set (like other countries of the Eastern bloc) fiber links. With rapid development of Internet network, Romanian users have had an advantage over their European peers. It is worth recalling that they attended education system which traditionally puts the emphasis on science. This culture of technology extends to women as well. Perhaps the biggest advantage over other EU countries is that Romania has a large percentage of women working in the sector of information and communication technologies. In this category, the country occupies the 3rd place in Europe.

The main obstacle holding the industry back is access to investment capital. However, to stimulate sustained growth, Romania needs more than foreign investment. It needs an internal marketing team. There are still many problems for Bucharest to overcome, yet there is a lot of potential here.

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