Maija Palmer

There is no doubt that Arm Holdings, the UK chip designer, plays in the big league now. The Cambridge-based company’s designs are in most smartphones, and in coveted Apple products such as the iPad.

So it is appropriate that they have a weighty name for their new chairman. Sir John Buchanan, knighted in the recent New Year’s honours list, is chairman of Smith  and Nephew, which makes artificial knees and hips.  Read more

Maija Palmer

The frenzy to invest in mobile payments providers continues with Boku, the San Francisco-based start-up raising $35m, in a funding round led by Telefónica Digital. It will take the total raised by the mobile transactions company to more than $75m since 2008.

Investors in this round also included New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. Read more

Maija Palmer

A little bit of much-needed consolidation is finally taking place in the European Venture Capital industry. On Wednesday DFJ Esprit and Tempo Capital announced plans to merge their secondary investment businesses.

Tempo is a specialist in this market of buying existing venture capital investments, and DFJ has been dipping its toes in since 2007 when it bought out Cazenove’s venture capital fund. Read more

Maija Palmer

Whatever the state of consumer confidence in Europe, venture capital investors are betting the people will keep shopping, with three e-commerce start-ups receiving new funding in February. The investment thesis appears to be that you can never have too many shoes, baby items or eco-friendly hammocks.

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Maija Palmer

Companies are not exactly beating down Icann’s door to get their hands on a new .anything domain name, it seems.

One month into the application process, just 100 companies have so far registered to apply for  a new top level domain name such as .coke or .london.  It is the first indication of what the uptake will be like of the controversial expansion of internet names by Icann.   Read more

Maija Palmer

Skolkovo FoundationA delegation from Russia’s proposed ‘Silicon Valley’ development, Skolkovo, came to the UK this week in an effort to persuade UK businesses to invest in the high-tech hub being built on the outskirts of Moscow.

They faced awkward questions, however, about the political landscape that companies might face if they transferred operations to Russia. Denis MacShane, Labour MP for Rotherham, wrote to Lord Green, the trade minister, criticising the UK’s Department of Trade and Industry for hosting the conference, and pointing to the difficulties that many UK companies had faced in Russia. Read more

Maija Palmer

The small detail in a planning application has led to speculation that Google might be opening its first retail store, at its European headquarters in Dublin.

Google is revamping the Montevetro office block on Dublin’s Barrow Street, and the plans submitted to Dublin City Council include a provision f0r some retail space in a snazzy new, attention-grabbing mezzanine development. Could this be an experiment by Google to see if a physical store – where they could demonstrate the workings of Chromebooks, or display Android phones – would work for them? Read more

Maija Palmer

Kaspersky Labs is one of a group of European IT security companies that has been talking about floating since at least 2007. But Eugene Kaspersky, the company’s founder and majority shareholder, has now announced the company is planning to stay private after all.

He is buying back the 20 per cent stake General Atlantic bought in the company a year ago, and preserving all the freedom and flexibility that unlisted status affords. Read more

Maija Palmer

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One thing Facebook’s IPO filing documents make clear is that the company is taking privacy risks seriously. Privacy is mentioned 35 times, mainly as a risk factor.

The company acknowledges that media coverage of privacy lapses, for example, could affect profits. Read more

Maija Palmer

There was more bad news in France for Google on Wednesday as a Paris court decided that the internet company had abused its dominant position in online mapping tools.

The decision comes as we await the bigger decision by the European Commission over whether Google has behaved anti-competitively in the search market. Read more

Maija Palmer

Online shopping and renting out spare capacity in flats and cars appeared to be the investment themes in Europe in January, with consumer-facing internet companies once again getting the majority of the money and attention.

Berlin was the fundraising hot-spot with at least four start-ups raising money, from $50m for SoundCloud to a more modest $1.4m for Gidsy.

This is the first of a series of monthly updates on the early-stage technology companies raising money in Europe.

 Read more

Maija Palmer

Venture capital investors appear to be growing increasingly wary of European companies. In 2011, they put just E4.4bn into 1,012 start-ups in the region, a 14 per cent drop from the previous year, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.

This was the lowest annual deal count since Dow Jones began tracking investments in Europe in 2000. Read more

Maija Palmer

Add an ImageNorwegian public sector organisations will be banned from using Google Apps after the Norwegian data protection authorities ruled that the service could put citizens’ personal data at risk.

The data protection authority said Google Apps did not comply with Norwegian privacy  laws because there was insufficient information about where data was being kept. The decision came from a test case in Narvik, where the local council had chosen to use Google Apps for their email. Read more

Maija Palmer

Facebook has taken the unusual step of making public the names and personal details of five men it believes to be behind the Koobface computer worm that attacked hundreds of thousands of computers through the social network’s profiles.

The alleged gang appear to be living in St Petersburg and were tracked by Facebook and a team of researchers over three years. Read more

Maija Palmer

Google appsGoogle’s enterprise unit is jubilant after snaring its biggest customer win to date, as BBVA, the Spanish bank, said it was going to migrate all its 110,000 employees onto Google Apps.

It’s about twice the size of Google’s next biggest customer wins with Rentokil and Ahold, and there is kudos in having a security-conscious bank place its trust the company’s cloud offering.  Read more

Maija Palmer

Marvell, the US semiconductor company, has bought Xelerated, the Swedish maker of networking infrastructure chips, in a deal understood to be worth around $100m.

Meanwhile, UK-based Picochip was bought by Mindspeed Technologies, a US chip vendor, in a deal valued at up to $76.8m, including a $51.8m in cash and shares and up to $25m earn-out.   Read more

Maija Palmer

Tech news from around the web:

Yahoo, the struggling internet company, is on the verge of appointing a new chief executive, writes Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, with Scott Thomson, president of eBay’s PayPal business, expected to get the nod. An announcement could come as early as Wednesday. Yahoo has been without a permanent CEO since firing Carol Bartz last September. The company has been run by its board and Tim Morse, its former chief financial officer, while looking at a range of strategic options including a sale of all or part of the company. Read more

Maija Palmer

Chaos Computer ClubKarsten Nohl, the celebrity mobile cryptography expert, has been at it again. Two years ago he caused a stir by showing that the secret code that protects GSM mobile handsets was easy to crack, leaving phone calls open to interception by third parties.

This year, he is due to show that handsets can also be hijacked to make unauthorised calls and send text messages, running up huge bills without their owners’ knowledge. GSM networks, which are vulnerable to this flaw, are used by around 80 per cent of the world’s mobile users. Read more

Maija Palmer

ICO logoThe rhetoric over cookie legislation ratcheted up a notch on Tuesday, as the Information Commissioner’s Office told companies they “must try harder” in working out how to comply with the new rules on online privacy.

Christopher Graham, the commissioner, suggested that very few companies had yet come up with ways to get permission from online users to collect their details, as required by the new law. Read more

Maija Palmer

Navx logoWhile we await the big decision by the European Commission on whether Google is behaving anti-competitively in the search market, there are a few smaller battles to watch, which may also prove significant.

Navx, the French location data company, is seeking €23m in damages from Google in the Paris Commerical Court, for alleged abuse of a dominant position, related to a dispute between the two companies over an Adwords contract.

The €23m is not, in itself, a huge amount of money for Google. But if Navx’s case is successful, it could open up the floodgates of other claimants who feel they have been treated unfairly by the Adwords system. This is certainly what Jean Cherbonnier, chief executive of Navx, would like to happen. Read more