Poland has the first media project in franchising

The platform of regional portals DlaWas.info is the first media project in franchising in Poland. The network currently has more than 60 regional portals and several more are just running.

Ultimately, the portal network DlaWas.info will operate in each district town in the country. Unlike traditional media portals, these earn profits not only from advertisements and sponsored articles, but also from the center of coupons, ticketing, food ordering, entries into models database and ads.

logoThe entire network is planned to count about 330 of cooperating information portals. The franchisee of the project DlaWas.info receives exclusive rights to a particular district so that portals and services offered by them do no compete with each other.

In the business model of DlaWas.info, operation of the portal is extremely simple and requires no technical knowledge. Moreover, at each stage the portal partner can count on help from the franchisor. It is a franchising business model with low entry costs and high development potential, because you only need a computer with internet access and a phone with a camera. The costs of accessing the network are very low in relation to what the franchisee receives. The franchisor passes all the knowledge on how to conduct a regional portal in the form of several hundred paged business manual (know-how). This is supposed to help to skip the arduous stage of learning from your own mistakes and becoming a leading medium in your region.

Latvia passes new innovation and startup tax law

The tax law has been developed by the Ministry of Economics in collaboration with Latvian startups, represented by Latvian Startup Association. According to the new legislation, a startup is a company with strong growth potential. The government aims to foster development of rapidly growing technological companies or startups and commercialization of research and innovative ideas, products, or processes. That is supposed to stimulate creation of new startups in the country, thereby support research and innovation.

This law refers to new startup employee taxation, relieving the tax cost for qualifying startups. A flat monthly tax of € 252 per employee will enable startup employees drag on a well-qualified workforce recruitment scheme. The government will remunerate all social tax, at the same time abandoning individual income tax for employees and corporate income tax for startups.

Apart from being less than 5 years old, candidate companies should obtain have less than € 200,000 in revenues in their first 2 years of existence, to have already affirmed € 30,000 in venture funding, to have already released an “innovative” product or service, and not be paying dividends.

The new law seems a great step forward and will definitely help startups in Latvia live out in a competitive market. The majority of an IT startup’s costs are salary, therefore this will double the effectiveness of investments, which will further encourage to invest more.

Maxima Grupe has acquired Barbora

Maxima Grupė, which manages retail chains in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Bulgaria and Poland, took over  – Barbora the largest e-commerce company in Lithuania, offering food and other products. The value of the transaction amounted to 1.4 million euros. Maxima Groupė acquired 100% shares of JSC Radas, which had owned 100% shares of Barbora.

maxima-logo                      logo-barbora

The developing startup Barbora conducted for Maxima courier services in Vilnius. It will now become integrated with other e-commerce services of Maxime in Latvia and Estonia.

Barbora is a leader in its field in Lithuania. It had been developed according to its business model, attracting loyal customer base and winning high consumer confidence. Now Barbora will operate as a separate business unit within the Maxima Grupe. Maxima’s management assured that the acquisition will not have a negative impact on the quality of service, product range and prices. There will be no changes in the management board either. Maxime Grupe wants to expand Barbora’s activities not only in other cities in Lithuania, but also through integration with Maxima’s e-companies, which already operate in Latvia and Estonia.

Israel – a “Startup Nation”

Israel for years has been generating an impressive number of innovations and startups. Israeli entrepreneurs are not afraid to take risks and the state supports them in this. Still, in the large set of projects it produces little global companies.

Innovations in Israel are, on the one hand, the result of reaction to the deficits due to unfavorable climate, hostile environment and lack of natural resources (beyond the newly discovered gas deposits). On the other hand – an abundance of talents and financial resources. A great example is the Israeli company Netafim (revenues of $ 0.8 billion) is a global leader in water-saving drip irrigation system. And Israeli companies excel in solutions in the field of cybersecurity like for example company Checkpoint. But these days maybe even the most notable global startup  from Israel is Gett. It is the biggest Uber competitor, and has plans to have more than 1bn USD in revenue this year. Recently, they got 300m USD investment from Volkswagen and named as the coolest startup from Israel. Present in 100 cities worldwide and used by 5000 leading  companies. Other companies in the list were also well-known names like Waze, Viber, Wix, MyHeritage among others. And many Internet users had their first IM experience with ICQ.

Ride-hailing service Gett

At the end of 2016. there was very interesting info about breathalyzer from Israel that can detect 17 diseases, including cancer.

Israel managed to create an ecosystem where innovation incubators, young companies, institutions, researchers and investors conduct synergistic activities, although the state regulations are not always helpful. Every year there are created hundreds of startups. The record year was 2014, when there was almost 1,000 young companies. Most companies start operations in the field of communication (28%), network solutions (32%) and IT (19%). Therefore most startups are projects in the field of advanced technology, which is definitely the specificity of this country.

Last year venture capital investments in approximately 700 Israeli technology companies reached $ 4.4 billion. That is 30% more than in the previous year and 20 times more than in Australia. However, despite the increasing number and value of investments, employment is not growing – technology companies provide jobs to 12% of the economically active persons. A significant barrier to growth is the supply of engineers and specialists, which in 50% have been employed by technology potentates.

Israel, the state with a population smaller than New York (8.5 million), on the technological Nasdaq has the greatest number (after the US and China) of its own companies. On a per capita basis the country boasts the world’s largest value of technology investments and also the largest number of startups, scientists, specialists and patents. Its technology sector creates up to 18% of annual national income and 30% of the value of exports. No wonder that Israel is often called a “Startup Nation”.

On research and development the country spends an disproportionate amount, compared to the average of OECD countries. Only South Korea spends a similar amount. The Israeli government every year spends $ 5 hundred million on startups which support companies in the area of research, development and technical innovation. It adds up to $ 7 for each dollar spent by private investors. This works like a magnet for technology companies, researchers and investors. In addition, in each research unit there is established a Technology Transfer Office, which supports scientists in patenting and commercialization of inventions and innovations. Such a policy also contributes to promotion of education – 45% of the population of Israel has at least a bachelor’s degree, which puts the country among the most educated countries in the world.

There is only one shortage about the Israeli government – regulations. In international rankings, such as 2016 World Bank “Doing Business” Report, Israel performs very poorly in terms of friendly solutions for running the business.

Programmers in Romania released from income tax

Europe lacks programmers, especially IT industry lacks those professionals – the problem face both: highly developed countries and those, that are chasing the forefront. Struggle for professional programmers is a fact, and with time the problem will probably grow. Therefore, companies and countries are developing strategies to give these employees an advantage in this race. An example is Romania, which releases the mentioned professional group from income tax.

The solution may be, of course, to invite programmers from other countries. But after a while, they can leave. A serious increase in the number of students in these field may, in turn, negatively affect the quality of teaching and level of skills of graduates. To give out diplomas will rather not improve the situation. Therefore, companies are increasingly trying to attract their employees to keep them for longer. This direction is followed by countries, just like Romania does it.

Romania wants to exempt from income tax all the programmers. Currently, such a privilege has only a part of them. This way the government wants to keep them in the country. Currently, in Romania, from the income tax there released those programmers, who work for companies whose annual revenue from software sales is at least $ 10 thousand per employee. These rules have been applied since 2004. Recently, the Ministry of Communications of Romania signaled that the state should take further steps to keep the IT experts in the country. The $ 10 thousand limit may be abolished in order to encourage start-ups, especially because IT is the best-paid sector of Romanian economy.