Category Archives: Estonia

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.

Startup bank N26 expands into 9 European countries

The company, formerly known as Number26, now offers accounts in 17 European countries. Bank-based mobile application extends its services to Belgium, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Slovenia.

Like the Atom Bank in the UK and GoBank in the United States, N26 is a fully mobile bank. Opening an account takes only eight minutes and this can be done by downloading the application on your device running iOS or Android. Customer identification is performed by a video call and requires to show your passport. After verification, the customer can transfer money to a free bank account and receive a MasterCard card.

The Bank currently operates in Germany, Austria, France, Spain, Italy, Greece, Ireland and Slovakia. In France, the use of bank services is currently limited, but probably will be again fully open in February.

N26 has received a banking license in July and has acquired over 200 000 customers in eight markets. The Bank says that its goal is to provide services to all Europeans over the next few years.

Who are Internet users in Europe?

Gemius analysts have just recently published data on the number of Internet users in Central and Eastern European countries and calculated their internet penetration rate (they checked what percentage of the population are Internet users in a given country).

There were taken into account European countries, where Gemius conducts Internet research: Denmark, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Serbia, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Bulgaria and Romania. The data comes from 2015 and refers to population aged 18-69 years (with the exception of Bulgaria, for which data refers to 15-69 years old people).

GemiusAccording to the estimates, the audited country where Internet users represent the largest percentage of population is Estonia. 86% of Estonians are active in the network. In the forefront there are also the Czechs and the Poles. Only every fourth citizen of these countries at the age of 15-69 years did not use the Internet. In turn, the country which recorded the lowest percentage of Internet users, is Romania – 58%.

Internet users in Europe

Countries, where you can observe the greatest gender disparities in structures of Internet users, are: Serbia, Croatia, Romania and Latvia. In Romania and Latvia, males account for 53% of Internet users. On the other hand, in Serbia and Croatia women outclass men by even more percent points. Serbian females account for 56% of Internet users in their country, while Croatian females for 54%.

On the other hand, Moldova is a country where people aged 15-24 constitute the largest group of Internet users – 29%. In Ukraine the largest age group of Internet users are those aged 25-34 (29%). Every fourth Czech person using the Internet is 35-44 years old, every fifth Latvian is 45-54 years old and one in five Estonians is 55 years old or more.

In all the analyzed countries the greatest share in population of Internet users are people with secondary education. The leader of these countries is the Czech Republic, where representatives of this group are 67% of network users. The country with the highest proportion of Internet users among people with higher education is Ukraine – 4%. Meanwhile, the country with the lowest percentage of Internet users with university degree is Slovakia – 21%.

Taxi booking app in Europe

Taxify expands to Serbia

Taxify, the leading taxi booking application in Northern and Eastern Europe is launching in Belgrade. Taxify is an Estonian based fast-growing mobile app, which allows to book a licensed taxi at the push of a button. Since late 2013 Taxify has grown to 10 countries around the world and attracted funding from multiple international investors (AdCash, RubyLight, TMT Investment, Pipedrive etc).

Taxi appThe new app helps people avoid long waiting times and “pirate” taxis by connecting passengers directly to verified drivers in their area. After confirming your order you can see the taxi moving on the map and you will receive a notification on its arrival. At the end of the trip you can give feedback about the driver to improve the quality of taxis available in the app.

In Serbia service is launching with 100 licenced taxi drivers and according to Dejan Bizinger, the Country Manager of Taxify in Serbia, it is looking to double the coverage in September. Dejan Bizinger comments:

“Considering the size of the market and the smartphone penetration, we see huge growth potential and demand from customers’ side. Moreover, we see that Belgrade has the same problems in the taxi market as we have seen in the Baltics – the quality of cars is unpredictable and there are a lot of inefficiencies which cause long queues on peak hours. By enforcing strict quality standards to our drivers, we are able to tackle these inefficiencies and provide best quality service to Belgrade taxi customers.”

Taxify Beograd

For drivers and taxi companies, Taxify is a great way to find new customers at a very low price. It is not just additional marketing platform, but also fully featured dispatcher software which will bring taxi services to a different and better level. Taxify also aims to help traditional taxi companies and taxi drivers fight the growing threat on their business from independent driver service offered by Uber and the like.

Besides Serbia, Taxify currently operates in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Georgia, Mexico, the Netherlands and has recently launched the service in Czech Republic.

Taxify was recently nominated for The Best Smartphone App 2015 in the contest organized by Mobile Summit Estonia.

Available for Android, iOS and Windows Phone devices, Taxify is free to download from Google Play, AppStore or Windows Phone Store.

DISCLAIMER: Dejan Bizinger, CM of Taxify is also part of the SEEMEA team.

13 million people in the EU do not have a job

Nearly 13 million people in the EU are unemployed for over a year – according to the latest quarterly review of the European Commission on employment. The economic recovery, which began in the spring of 2013, is still quite unstable and the prospects for employment are uncertain. However, in most sectors since mid-2013 employment increased  by 0.2% in the first quarter and 0.3% in the second quarter of this year. Especially in the second quarter of this year, employment increased in a significant number of Member States. The increase in employment was recorded in Spain – by 0.7%, Portugal – 0.9%, Estonia – 1.2%, the UK and Poland by – 0.5% and Italy – by 0.2%. In case of France, employment has not changed for the third quarter in a row.

There increased the number of hours worked and for the first time since 2011 there has been a slight increase in the number of full-time employment contracts and an increase in youth employment. However, many new jobs are part-time work or temporary work, and the unemployment rate still slightly deviates from the highest level recorded in the past. In August, the unemployment rate in the EU was 10.2% (nearly 24.6 million people) and in the Euro area countries it was 11.5% (approx. 18.3 million people). Long-term unemployed represents a large and growing group of all the unemployed – nearly 13 million people remain out of work for over a year. In addition, one third of the unemployed are unemployed for over two years.

The situation in the labor market improved for young people because in most Member States the unemployment rate in this group has decreased significantly. In August in the Member Countries there were 21.6% unemployed people aged from 15 to 24, and in the Euro area countries – 23.3%. However, youth unemployment remains at very high levels in countries such as: Greece and Spain. Of those employed, almost half has a contract for a specified period and nearly one quarter works part time.

The European Commission suggests that Member States must take efforts to fill the assumptions of guarantee for young people and to help every young person in search for suitable employment or training opportunities, gaining experience or education dedicated to finding a job in the future.