selected: 9 startups
from: 4 countries
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CEE Startup Week: Shopping spree on Czech startup scene

So far the new year has been very successful for the Czech startups. One has already got two investors this week and another started buying competitors.

The first one, Bazarobot from Hradec Kralove, is a logistic startup, that comes to pick up your old stuff and sells it on auction server like eBay or Aukro. Team around Lubor Nosek started this project in July last year and by the beginning of December they left a beta version. Now, after three weeks of running, they got two seed investors. Martin Kasa (founder of Kasa.cz, one of the biggest czech e-shop) and Adam Kurzok (founder Lunchtime.cz and Pizzatime.cz) want to help this interesting project with advices and optimalization.

“I talked to 13 investors but these two guys were the most operational. They offered me smartmoney, and that’s what I wanted,” said Lubor Nosek for server Tyinternety.cz. The main goals for Bazarobot this year are to expand to some countries in Central Europe and to sell at least 30 thousands pieces of stuff.

Expansion is also the main goal of another Czech startup Skypicker. Team from Brno bought last week their Czech competitor WhichAirline.com. Skypicker is a search engine for cheap and lowcost flights.

At the end of last year they got few milions of seed money and their goal for the near future is to be the number one in the world of flight booking systems. Skypicker’s turnover has reached 10 milions Czech crowns. Thanks to the new acquisition it can be now more than five times higher.

GroupM went shopping to Germany

Great news for Berlin’s startup scene: GroupM, one of the world’s largest advertising companies, announced the acquisition of plista, a German startup specialized in digital advertising. The announcement was made jointly by Rudiger Wanck (GroupM) and Dr. Dominik Matyka (co-founder of plista).

One of our Berlin-based sources with a little bit more backround info told us that the sum plista will be acquired for is in the range of € 30 million. This is huge – given the fact that plista’s revenue in 2012 was “only” about € 3.9 million.

2013 in Hungarian startup world

2013 brought a huge drop in the number and especially the value of investments. According to data from Startups.hu, technology entrepreneurs managed to close deals worth only of $3.1 million (€2.3 million) in 12 deals. Compared to the $11.4 million (€8.1 million) total of 2012, this is a 60 percent drop in investments. Investors complained about the lack of high quality projects worth investing in, while startups blamed investors for unacceptable termsheets, practices, and 4-6 month long evaluation periods.

In September 2013 state officials called upon the well known stakeholders of the Hungarian startup ecosystem to form a working group dubbed as the BudapestHUB. Their aim is to establish a supporting entrepreneurial environment in the coming years, with the State acting as a catalyst and clearing obstacles along the way. In November the working group published a paper titled “Runway 2.0.2.0” (available only in Hungarian), outlining their ambitious goals for the coming years. And that isn’t all, folks. You could find the complete review of last year on SiliconGoulash.com.