Author: Kris Hróbjartsson (Page 2 of 13)

TripAdvisor acquires Bókun

Bókun Partners were today notified of the acquisition of Bókun by TripAdvisor.  The company sent out an email detailing the acquisition.

“As the industry leader, our opportunity in this space is enormous. We’re committed to taking the experiences sector far beyond its current online penetration of just 20%, and Bokun will play a critical role in this mission,” commented Dermot Halpin, president, TripAdvisor Experiences and Rentals said in a statement.

“We’re thrilled to join the world’s largest attractions, tours and experiences business,” commented Hjalti Baldursson, CEO and co-founder, Bokun. “TripAdvisor gives us the opportunity to serve customers in every corner of the world, and we’re excited about the significant growth that’s to come.”

The following is an excerpt from the email sent to Bókun Partners.

Dear Bokun Partner!

I’m extremely happy to announce to you, our Bokun Partner, that as of today, Bokun has been acquired by TripAdvisor.

We all know TripAdvisor and its global reach and strengths. It’s the world’s largest travel site!

By the acquisition of Bokun, TripAdvisor is expanding its offering for the global tours and activities and attractions sector by providing suppliers with technology in addition to being the industry’s largest distribution channel.

To me, the devotion of TripAdvisor to the industry is obvious, and I’m proud that Bokun will be participating in shaping the industry, along with our partners.

Our joint plan is for Bokun to be a one stop shop for suppliers and resellers of in-destination services (tours & activities and attractions). Our aim is to be the best and the largest software supplier for the industry on a global scale.

In order to achieve our goals, we’ll put more resources into development both for suppliers and resellers, along with integrating with the support and sales team of TripAdvisor for added service and support.

The Bokun headquarters will remain in Iceland and the current management will continue to lead the company, although we’ll work closely with the global team of TripAdvisor.

Bókun was one of the first travel tech startups to embrace the tourism boom in Iceland. Details of the acquisition are still under wraps, but we’ll update with more info.

No VC funds were investors in Bókun.

Kara Connect raises €1.5m led by Crowberry Capital

Kara Connect, the communication and business platform for health and educational professionals, just announced a €1.5m (180m ISK) funding round led by Crowberry Capital, with participation from individuals.

,,Kara plans to revolutionize access to health services and therapy,” says Jenný Ruth Hrafnsdóttir, GP at Crowberry Capital who takes a seat on the board of directors of Kara. “The company has already shown amazing traction and great results with speech therapists who are using the Kara platform. We believe that Kara Connect is on trend and the founding team is passionate about building a global business.”

Kara Connect is a business and communications platform that allows professionals to easily connect with clients, improving access to professional healthcare and extracurricular educational services.

The funding will allow Kara Connect to expand into Scandinavian markets. The company, which is founded in Iceland, has already seen more than 1000 Icelandic clients complete more than 9000 hours of teletherapy sessions with dozens of specialists that use Kara Connect.

“Rapid advancements in technology and increasing work-loads pose great
challenges for specialists providing their clients with therapy and support,” says CEO and founder Thorbjorg Helga Vigfusdottir. “Kara offers them a secure virtual office as well as a state of the art teleservice platform,“

Thorbjorg adds: “Our goal today is to break into sales and marketing in Scandinavia, as well as developing the Kara software even further.“

Kara Connect has previously received grants from the Technology Development Fund.

The featured image is of Crowberry Capital and Kara Connect signing the funding documents.

AirServer creator App Dynamic signs deal with Intel

Intel has started a collaboration with Icelandic tech company App Dynamic, the creators of screen mirroring software AirServer. The app, which allows people with any device to mirror and share their screen on a display, will be prominently featured on Intel’s new meeting room tech: Intel Unite.

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The ten companies that pitched at Startup Tourism 2018

Startup Tourism had its demo day yesterday, Friday March 23nd. As usual, the companies that went through the accelerator pitched to a room of investors, tourism industry executives and others. In addition to the pitches, founder of Couchsurfing Casey Fenton, gave a keynote.

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Introducing: Northstack Job Board

Today we’re very excited to announce our newest venture: The Northstack Job Board.

The Northstack Job Board will be the one stop shop for jobs in startups and tech in Iceland, making entry into the sector hopefully more open and inclusive to Icelanders and foreigners.

The tech sector is international, both in terms of business and human capital. The tech sectors clients are international. The investors are international. And the people building the companies are increasingly international.

Finding jobs in the sector should be as well.

One of our main goals at Northstack has always been to make the tech and startup scenes more accessible, more transparent, and more open to the people outside of it.

We’ve done this by writing about and analysing the ecosystem, hosting open meetups for people to mingle, but the biggest move was probably when we switched completely to English.

With this launch, we’re making another contribution to building a better, more diverse, tech ecosystem.

We’re honored by the companies that joined as first advertisers, which range from established companies to fledgling startups. We hope that Northstack Job Board becomes the place where people outside tech find their entry into tech, or where people outside Iceland find their entry into Iceland, or people simply find a good job (and companies great people).

Check out Northstack Job Board now (we recommend signing up for the job alerts!)

P.s. to celebrate we’re hosting a party with TeqHire (Facebook link)

Berlin based Klang Games raise $5m investment

Klang Games, the Berlin based, Icelander founded gaming company, just announced a $5m investment from gaming VC Makers Fund, as well as Firstminute Capital, Neoteny, Mosaic Ventures, and Novator. Gamesindustry Biz reported. The company was previously backed by notable Icelandic tech veterans David Helgason (Founder of Unity) and Adalsteinn Ottarsson (previously CCP, now Sr. Development Director at Riot Games).

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Meniga awarded Best of Show at Finovate 2018

Icelandic fintech company Meniga was recently awarded Best of Show at the Finovate fintech conference in London. The company has previously received the award in 2011, 2013 and 2015.

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Valka raises capital, NSA Ventures and Frumtak exit the company

NSA Ventures and Frumtak have sold their 37% share in food processing tech company Valka. New shares were also issued in the transaction, to current shareholders. The shares were sold to a group of current investors – Fossar, Vogabakki, Vortindur (the holding company of founder Helgi Hjálmarsson), and other investors.

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Genki Instruments just launched an Indiegogo campaign for their first device, Wave

Genki Instruments officially launched an Indiegogo campaign for its new device, Wave, today. Wave is a ring that lets musicians control sound, shape effects and send commands with the motion of their hands. Genki Instruments, who are on a mission to make technology and music feel more natura, was founded by electrical engineers Ólafur Bjarki Bogason and Daníel Grétarsson, with designer Jón Helgi Hólmgeirsson and COO Haraldur Hugosson joining later. Genki went through the Startup Reykjavik accelerator in 2015

“Wave adds a new dimension to musical creativity,” says Bergur Þórisson, recording engineer and producer for musicians like Björk, Sigur Rós, Damian Rice and Jóhann Jóhannsson. “It took me a while to realize that the best thing about Wave is not only that it can replace some of the tools you already have to control stuff when you are making music, but that it can make you control stuff in a completely different way, therefore making decisions that you would have never made without it.”

Bergur is one of the musicians that the Genki team has collaborated with closely during the development of their product. “It’s a cool tool for all creatives and I can definitely recommend adding it to your workflow, whether you use it to replace your old techniques or invent new ones.”

Another is David Mash, a former Senior Vice President at Berklee College of Music, who commented: “Wave is an innovative new way to add expression and nuance to electronic performances! Wave is simple to use, and gives me powerful control right from my fingers without having to take them away from my instrument.”

You can read more about their device, the Wave, at their Indiegogo campaign page.

Three new employees at NSA Ventures

NSA Ventures, the government owned evergreen venture fund, has hired three new people – a director of finance and two investment managers. These hires follow big changes at the fund, when Helga Valfells (then CEO), Hekla Arnardóttir and Jenný Ruth Hrafnsdóttir (investment managers), left NSA Ventures to found Crowberry Capital. Following their departure, the board hired Huld Magnúsdóttir as the new CEO of the fund, who has now built up her team.

Ólöf Vigdís Ragnarsdóttir

Ólöf Vigdís Ragnarsdóttir joins NSA Ventures as an investment manager. She graduated with a law degree in 2001 and since then added a MS degree in marketing and international business. She worked at the Icelandic Patent Office for eight years, and since 2012 she’s been at the University of Iceland as a lawyer at the science and innovation department, chairing the Intellectual Property committee and taking part in the forming of startups coming out of the University.

Örn Viðar Skúlason

Örn Viðar Skúlason also joins NSA Ventures as an investment manager. For the last nine years he’s been the CEO of Proact, a wholesale company in Iceland. Before that he was a director at the corporate banking department of SPRON bank, and held various management positions at SÍF and Icelandic Seafood.

Friðrik Friðriksson

Friðrik Friðriksson joins the fund as director of finance. He has a long history in the telecom industry, as a director at Síminn between 1997-2005, and then director and later CEO of Skjárinn, which merged into Síminn in 2015. He’s served on various borads, including as chairman of the board at CCP in 2001-2002, Matís from 2007, and recently joined the board of Vaðlaheiðargöng hf.

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Nortstack – Reporting and analysis of the Icelandic startup scene