Category Archives: Hungary

Google Launchpad Accelerator expands to Europe and Africa

If you are trying to develop innovative business in the field of IT and telecommunications, your corporate sponsor can now be Google itself. Launched in 2015 Launchpad Accelerator, initially addressed to the countries of Asia and Latin America, is opening up to new territories to include startups from Certain European and African countries. Now, entrepreneurs from these regions can join the 47 graduates and 31 currently participating startups.

There are very few companies that could match the reach and resources of Google, and now these resources can be made available for free to all those who want, through science, to solve real problems of their city, region or country. The program is organized by a global team of Google Developers for startups with a proven history of success in the marketplace, who want to reach the next million users.

The program begins with a two-week training in San Francisco, whose main feature are mentoring sessions with engineers and product managers from 20 Google teams and an international team of external mentors. Participants will receive financial support of $ 50.000, free access to paid Google services and help of local Google teams for six months.

For the new training cycle now there can sign up startups from Central and Eastern Europe – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, and Africa – Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. Of course, Google does not guarantee that it will accept all. On the contrary, the competition may be intense. In the program there also participate startups from India, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Applications will be accepted until April 24. Training will begin on 17 July. More information can be found on the Launchpad Accelerator website.

BlaBlaCar

BlaBlaCar acquired Autohop ridesharing platform

The world’s biggest ridesharing platform  BlaBlaCar has announced they acquired a Hungarian startup Autohop and, therefore, now they are present also in Hungary, Romania, Serbia and Croatia.

BlaBlaCar is present in 16 countries according to their main page country selection and based on Crunchbase data so far raised 110m usd in 2 rounds, from some of the the world A-list investors like Index Ventures, Accel Partners among others.

BlaBlaCar is headquarted in Paris and in July 2014 got the biggest investment that one French startup ever got – 100m usd. It enabled to fast open new markets or to acquire existing market leaders.

Markets like above mentioned are great because GDP is significant lower than the average EU GDP but the transportation costs are pretty much the same so we can expect further growing a ridesharing community. However, question is how much they will be able to monetize platform in those markets comparing to some wealthier markets.

We will see if some new ridesharing platforms will evolve in this market but anyway, having the biggest player in this industry present in this market can most likely mean only better conditions to travelers as community will grow more and big and safe environment is the most important factors in ridesharing platform.

Results of the ranking “Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA”

Deloitte has published the rank covering the fastest growing technology innovative companies  of the EMEA region (Europe, Middle East, Africa). The leader is the French company Weezevent. The average revenue growth rate of all the companies from the rank “Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA” was 1711%. For comparison, in last year’s edition it was 1403% and in 2012 it was 1549%.

 The winner of the current edition, as well as one and two years ago, is a company from France. This time it is Weezevent, which deals with online sales of tickets for concerts and events. Over the past five years, the company recorded an impressive revenue growth of over 43 thousand %. Central-European leader and the winner of the ranking of the “Deloitte Technology Fast 50 CE” is the Hungarian company Szallas.hu. This year it is located on the 66th place of the rank in the EMEA region.

Like last year, the most strongly represented country is France, from which there come 86 companies. Compared with the results of the year 2011, 2012 and 2013 – the composition of the national podium in terms of numbers has not changed. The second place belongs to Great Britain, and the third to Sweden.

This year’s edition of the “Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA” was dominated by companies of the software sector, which account for 42% the whole rank. There are two times less (21%) of Internet companies and the third place is occupied by companies of the telecommunications sector  (13%). Shares of these three sectors are almost identical to last year’s edition.

Ranking “Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA” represents the 500 fastest growing innovative technology companies in EMEA. The analysis is based on the percentage increase in operating income from the sale over the last five years (2009 vs. 2013).

Companies included in the ranking must meet the following criteria: develop or manufacture proprietary technologies and / or incur significant expenditures on research and development, have the ownership structure which excludes majority shares of strategic investors, established in one of the countries participating in the program, the period of time: min.5years, the operating revenue in each test was: min. 50 000 EUR.

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.