Europe

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 Avito.ru, 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