Tim Bradshaw

Spotify’s international expansion after launching in the US last year is reflected in big leaps in both revenues and losses for 2011. The digital music service’s annual report, recently filed in Luxembourg, showed its revenues more than doubled from €73.9m in 2010 to €187.8m. But at the same time, losses grew by 59 per cent to €45.4m last year. Read more

Maija Palmer

The mobile phone is emerging as the technology winner in the Olympics, with more and more stats to show that this is how vast numbers of people are finding out information about the games.

Google published some data on Tuesday showing that Olympics-related searches over mobile phone increased 10-fold in the first week of the games, and mobile is trumping any other technology at key moments. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

“Growth continues” at Google+, up from the 170m users announced during the last earnings call, Bradley Horowitz, Google’s vice president for product management, said at London’s Le Web event on Tuesday.

But he acknowledged that Google’s social network still had some way to go.

“I don’t think we’ve hit that hyper growth phase,” he said, while pointing out that Google+ had still managed to reach the scale it had faster than many social networks. Read more

Maija Palmer

After the excitement of Facebook’s $104bn IPO and the subsequent fall in its shares, something more modest is coming onto London’s alternative investment market.

Incadea, an Austrian company that provides software for BMW and other car dealerships, will raise around £17m on Friday, in a stock market float expected to value the company at £47m.

It’s a lot smaller than Facebook, but it is a rare technology listing in London, where the tech IPO market has been considered closed for a long time.  Read more

Maija Palmer

Funding Circle, a UK-based online marketplace where individuals lend directly to small businesses raised $16m of Series B financing from joint investors Index Ventures and US-based Union Square Ventures. This brings the total amount raised by the company to $21m.  Launched in August 2010, the company now facilitates around £1m in loans each week. The company is planning to use the funds to double its staff over the next year.

Dragonplay, a Tel Aviv-based games developer raised $14m in a Series A funding from Accel Partners.  Dragonplay specializes in makes card, casino and board games for smartphones and social networks and is best known for Live Holdem Poker Pro, which has more than 2m monthly active players.  The company will use the investment to expand its portfolio of games. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

One of the more innovative approaches in the plethora of efforts to persuade more people to pay for more content online is “social micropayment” firm Flattr.

Acting something like an online tip jar, Flattr reverses the usual payment process by giving people a way to pay for content after they’ve consumed it, rather than before they know what they are getting. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Investment continues to pour into the soaring Russian internet market, which recently overtook Germany as Europe’s largest by users.

The latest mega-deal sees, a Russian online classified site along the lines of Craigslist, raising $75m from local private equity firm Baring Vostok and global venture capitalists Accel Partners, alongside existing investors Kinnevik and Northzone. Read more

Maija Palmer

The complexity – one is tempted to say complete muddle – of the European patent system was highlighted on Wednesday when Nokia and HTC won a key victory in their intellectual property battle with IPCom.

IPCom, which is based in Germany,  has waged a battle for several years to get mobile handset companies to pay it royalties for some technology it owns related to how mobile phones connect to 3G networks. Some handset makers have bought licences from IPCom, but Nokia and HTC strongly denied the validity of the patents and refused to pay up. Read more

Maija Palmer

As UK companies scramble to comply with new laws requiring them to disclose and get permission for all the cookies they use, a new study has found that more than two thirds of all the bits of tracker code on websites are from third parties. Which means they are essentially for delivering targeted advertising or analysing behaviour across the website.

It helps explain why compliance with the new cookie laws has been so slow and difficult for many companies. It is very likely they don’t want to broadcast to the world just how many different organisations are grabbing data about their customers.  Read more

Maija Palmer

London’s Tech City project got a big boost on Thursday when Google officially opened Campus,  its first hub offering start-up technology companies desk space and mentoring.

Opened to great fanfare by George Osborne, chancellor, the seven-storey building will house 100 start-up companies and organisations such as Seedcamp, the technology incubator, and TechHub, the original provider of co-working space in the Shoreditch area. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Although Angry Birds, by Rovio of Finland, is the best-known videogame to come out of Scandinavia, it has a close rival in Sweden’s Minecraft - a game Sean Parker loved so much he flew all its developers to London for a party. Read more

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

Behind Monday’s headlines of Misys’s board accepting a £1.27bn cash bid from Vista Equity Partners, the perennial takeover target also updated the market on recent trading – and the figures were not exactly glowing.

Third-quarter revenues fell by 12 per cent year-on-year fall to £89m, which the London-based group attributed to customers procrastinating over software licence purchases. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

PeerIndex, Europe’s answer to Klout, has raised a Series A round of funding to build out its “social influence marketing” platform.

Investors in the $3m (£1.9m) financing include specialist firms Anthemis Group and Antrak Capital and a handful of individual angels, including Tom Glocer, former chief executive of Thomson Reuters, and Sherry Coutu, stalwart of European tech firms including Lovefilm and Artfinder, and a LinkedIn board member. 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

Last month Mark Thompson, the BBC’s director-general, pointed the finger at the Iranian authorities for allegedly intimidating employees at its Persian service.

Now the corporation’s chief is taking things a step further by accusing Iran of masterminding a “sophisticated cyber-attack” that involved jamming satellite feeds in an effort to wreak havoc with broadcasts into the country. 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

Tim Bradshaw

Spotify is to open its doors in Germany this week in the digital music service’s biggest launch since coming to the US last year.

It is the latest example of a digital music firm growing its global footprint as record labels become increasingly bullish on subscription services.  Read more

Tim Bradshaw

A recent FT series on the state of the UK’s tech industry asked if Britain had what it takes to  go head to head with Silicon Valley in building great new global companies.

Financing, ideas and ambition were the three areas where British start-ups are often seen as struggling, but news from Songkick, a social network for gig-goers based in Shoreditch, shows that the UK can succeed in all three.

Songkick has become the first UK company to receive an investment from Sequoia Capital, one of Silicon Valley’s best-known venture capital firms having formerly invested in Apple, Google and YouTube to name but a few. 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