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Blog about the web and startups, from Finland. By Timo Paloheimo

TwitBear launches into private beta – I’ve got invites

Twitbear logo

Three Finns, who clearly have a hard time in moving to Twitter from Jaiku have created a new service called Twitbear that gives the possibility to comment on Twitter messages.

The service, which moved into private beta yesterday,  is clearly not up to it’s full potential yet, but looks very promising. What Twitbear needs is the option to send the comments back to Twitter. I hope for their sake Twitter will not implement this type of commenting in the actual service some day.

I wish the team the best of luck. It’s great to see Finns creating services on top of Twitter.

Read more from Arctic Startup.

I have 5 invites to share with you. Claim yourself one by leaving a comment below.

UPDATE: No more invites to share. All gone.

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YouNoodle Scores for Finnish Startups

YouNoodle is a company that gathers information about startups and analyzing that data helps investors and other decision makers in their work of seeding promising new companies from the sea of mee-too’s and other rubbish. (I  wrote about them earlier) They have today realeased a new service called YouNoodle Scores.

A YouNoodle Score is a quantitative measurement, on a scale of 0 to 100, of a startup’s impact and importance based on its traction, activity, and buzz.

For further info, Sarah Lacy wrote a good post about YouNoodle Scores on TechCrunch.

I decided to check out the YouNoodle Scores for some Finnish startups and see how they are scoring. There are currently not that many Finnish compenies listed on the site – another place to submit your startup there… Especially because the YouNoodle score is also shown on CrunchBase (e.g. Floobs) However, for all the Finnish startups I found, the results can be found below.

YouNoodle Scores for Finnish startups

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Fruugo welcomes you to the jungle: Hands-on review

fruugo logo

Last night I joined a small group of Finnish bloggers and startups at Fruugo HQ in Helsinki for the first demo session of the service. We were also the first to get invitations to the public beta. Here are my initial thoughts.

What is Fruugo?

Fruugo is a Finnish startup unlike any other. They have started big gotten along investors such as Nokia’s Chairman Jorma Ollila and they aim at revolutionizing e-commerce. They sure have the resources for it. They are located in right of the center of Helsinki, where they employ close to 100 people.

Fruugo is what you get when you combine social shopping, a product finder, price comparison and a slick e-commerce site. They want to combine Europe’s (EU) webshops into kind of a huge mall, where it’s fun to shop or just hang around.

fruugo screenshot

Welcome to the Jungle is just a release name

The first beta release is called welcome to the jungle. They will have new releases in a fast pace, maybe even weekly and they will be named after (bad) songs.

The UI is colorful, but still simple. The service is really easy to use, although at this stage there are quite a lot of errors. Apparently they have a lot of features coming up in the future releases.

A lot of work done and a lot of work still to be done

The biggest task that Fuugo has done is prepare themselves for integration with a huge number of e-commerce platforms. Also they have done their work in trying to combine webshops from around Europe in a way that it doesn’t really  matter to the user from which country their goods will be delivered from. Having lots of different size webshops from different countries working on the same platform is by no means a small effort.

At this stage they have webshops mainly from Finland and Sweden, but they are opening up more countries in the near future. From the small selection of products they have on the site it’s hard to tell what will be the biggest benefits of Fruugo will be. But I can see that they are on to something big here.

More screenshots from Fruugo on Flickr.

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ArcticIndex – Database of Nordic startups Launches into Beta

ArcticIndex is the name of the Nordic Crunchbase that the guys at Arctic Startup have been working on. The site has now launched into public beta.

Right now anyone can register to add companies and people. The AS team with their development partner Kisko Labs have a good roadmap for future services, they are launching slowly.

I think ArcticIndex is a really great service that I will definitely use. I’m looking forward to two features that will make the service a whole lot useful.

  1. sorting of companies (and people) by type of business and geographically (which would mean no more updating of the List of Finnish Startups for me, Yay!)
  2. embedding of profiles open for anybody. They are now only using them on Arctic Startup, but it would make the service even more attractive if other sites could do this as well.

Every Nordic startup should right now go and add their data to ArcticIndex. But that doesn’t mean that they should neglect CrunchBase or TradeVibes.

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Finnish Muxlim Launches World’s First Virtual World for Muslims

Muxlim, the world’s largest online community, and is based in Finland, has launched the world’s first virtual world for muslims, Muxlim Pal. As the name implies, the virtual world wants to be the user’s virtual friend instead of a virtual representation of the user.

Muxlim Pal, which is “currently in prototype for testing purposes” was designed by Finnish digital agency FWD Helsinki and developed by Muxlim and Mahtava Development. The world is a browser based flash application with a 3D-illusion environment, i.e gives an impression of being a 3D-application without really being one. I have to agree that the technical implementation was a wise choice as 3D in flash is really primitive at the moment.

As far as can be seen from the screenshots, Muxlim Pal reminds me of Habbo, but with some uniquely muslim features. The characters are not as pixel-perfect as the surroundings, furniture and other items. But the isometric view gives a very Habbo-like feeling. From the screenshots i gather that Muxlim will make their money from virtual goods: clothers and furniture for the user’s to decorate their pal’s rooms.

From their press release:

Muxlim Pal allows users to create their own virtual friend who has a personal room within the world. Both can be customised, enhanced, decorated and developed by following certain actions or purchasing accessories and items. Muxlim Pal also permits brands to advertise their own products, as well as interact with users in different parts of the world.

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Finnish startups: Add Yourself To CrunchBase, Now

I know that the ArcticStartup guys are developing their own version of CrunchBase to cover Nordic and Baltic companies, but Finnish startups can and should add their information to CrunchBase right now.

CrunchBase is a free database of startup information developed by TechCrunch.  CrunchBase is propably the best database available for public information on startup and it’s a shame that most Finnish startups have neglected the service.One of the features they have is the ability to grab company information in widget form that I would like to use on this blog, if there only would be more Finnish startups listed there.

So, Finnish startups, if you haven’t done anything to increase your visibility today, go and add your company to CrunchBase right now. And then add yourselves to another similar service, TradeVibes too. No excuses, just do it! You’ll thank yourself later.

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Fruugo coming out today at Sime

Fruugo, the secretive and ambitious Finnish startup that I was the first one to blog about a year ago, is finally today revealing more details of their offering at the SIME08 conference in Stockholm. Arctic Startup already got some information from Fruugo beforehand. Apparently the rumors of their huge layoffs are pretty much exaggerated.

I’m looking forward into seeing some screenshots of the service later today or hopefully testing the service myself in the near future.

For background information on the company, see my extensive previous coverage on Fruugo.

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The List Of Finnish Web Startups

Ever since I started blogging about Finnish web startups, I’ve wanted to get my hands on a list of all of them. That obviously didn’t exist, so I had to compile it myself. I’ve compiled the list from various sources, mainly this blog and Arctic Startup. At this point the list will of course not contain all of the finnish web startups, just the ones I’m aware of. If you know a startup missing from the list, please leave a note in the comments or by using this form.

Also, if you can come up with an easy, but efficient way to bring the updating of the list into the public domain, please comment below.

The List of Finnish Web Startups
Read more…


Floobs Integrates With Kotisivukone

Floobs, the Finnish startup that enables users to create their own live TV channels on the web or mobile has integrated its services into Kotisivukone.  Kotisivukone is another Finnish startup who make creating websites really easy (Their name is Finnish for Home Page Machine). Their users can now easily add Floobs channels to their pages through a component.

The integration is done through Floobs’s API that is designed to make the integrations easy. Earlier the API has been used to integrate with Petsie, a social network for pets. Floobs will continue to focus in integrating their service to other sites. The API is open to the public and so far has also a custom module for Content Management System Joomla.

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Startups from Finland: MySites in Twitter Interview

This is the first in my Interviews of Finnish startups using Twitter. The idea is to keep things simple: One Tweet per answer, no editing.

First up is Ramine Darabiha from MySites. The method of interviewing through Twitter needs some more practice and some of the answers were more than just one tweet, but nevertheless a good concept that I will definitely continue using in the future.

The Twinterview with Ramine Darabiha from MySites

startupbin @mysites So, here goes: What is MySites? Read more…

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