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VPN-Like Chrome Addon ZenMate Hits a Million Users in Six Months

VPN-Like Chrome Addon ZenMate Hits a Million Users in Six Months

Security and privacy online are hardly new worries, but the wave of spying revelations in recent times has put the issue firmly to the fore. It's no surprise, therefore, that a security and privacy extension for Chrome has proved to be popular – Berlin-based ZenMate has hit a million registered users just six months after launching. The software encrypts and redirects your Internet connection via a ZenMate presence in the cloud, which further encrypts and accelerates it. The company puts its popularity down to providing end users secure and encrypted access to any website, from anywhere, and it has been described as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) with easy location switching. As a browser add-on, however, it doesn't protect the whole computer. Read More »

Appear.in Q&A: Solving the Pain of Skype and Google Hangouts

Appear.in Q&A: Solving the Pain of Skype and Google Hangouts

Much time and effort has been expended over the past decade or more into making online meetings easier and more efficient. Now one Norwegian startup believes it has cracked it: appear.in can be integrated into a web browser (it currently works with Firefox, Chrome and Opera) and allows you to instantly have a meeting by just entering a URL – that's it. No software downloads, no logins, no setups. The latest challenger to take on Skype, appear.in was incubated with the help of Telenor, Norway's largest telco. Silicon Allee caught up with Ingrid Ødegaard, co-founder and head of marketing at appear.in, at the Le Web conference in Paris last month. Read More »

Task Outsourcing Platform Geoffrey Goes Live Across Germany

Task Outsourcing Platform Geoffrey Goes Live Across Germany

Most startups in Berlin are high tech - but not all of them. We wrote about Geoffrey (then known as AskGeoffrey, and pronounced “Jeff•ree”) earlier this year, and the service is now available to anyone in Germany. Geoffrey works for you: scheduling doctor's appointments, researching an upcoming trip, calling your landlord to discuss home repairs, etc. And it’s not just an army of AI-learned machines doing technological backflips in nanoseconds. Geoffrey is powered by real, local and bilingual people. Read More »

TechHub Opens Up Road to London with Berlin Launch

Berlin is a great place to found a startup – but it can be frustrating when it comes to growing out into the wider world. The news that TechHub is expanding into the German capital, then, will surely be welcomed by entrepreneurs here. Berlin will become the seventh location for the startup community and co-working space, which was founded three years ago by serial entrepreneur Elizabeth Varley and TechCrunch's European editor Mike Butcher. It will hopefully provide the opportunity for young companies to connect with entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and media in London and further afield. Read More »

The Top 10 Who’s Who of Polish Startups in Berlin this Week

The Top 10 Who’s Who of Polish Startups in Berlin this Week

The Polish tech scene has largely remained under the radar, partly due to the fact that there have been no major exits or no startup celebrities emanating from Poland. But with Estimote making a splash in Silicon Valley, Mike Sadowski leading the Websummit competition and the Applicake team building Base, that's slowly starting to change. In order to help you be better informed, I compiled a list of the top ten movers and shakers from Poland. Read More »

Bringing Tech to the Masses with the First Lange Nacht der Startups

Bringing Tech to the Masses with the First Lange Nacht der Startups

There's no denying it, startups have become cool in the past few years. They carry with them an overriding image of young, scruffy computer geeks working away at their screens all hours of the day and night, emerging a few years later with millions in their pocket. It's an image that fits Berlin's unique style perfectly. But most people won't fully understand the reality of founding or working for a young tech company. That is changing, not least thanks to events like the Lange Nacht der Startups (LNdS). Presented by Deutsche Telekom, Amazon WebServices and other partners, the event on September 7 will see the public invited to check out the tech scene for themselves, with 70 startups chosen from 170 applicants to exhibit their products and who they are. Read More »

Comparison Engine Versus Goes Mobile; Native Apps to Follow

Comparison Engine Versus Goes Mobile; Native Apps to Follow

Having seen impressive user growth over the past year or so, it was inevitable that natural language comparison engine Versus would look to mobile, which already accounts for a third of its traffic – and the Berlin-based startup has done just that with the launch of a dedicated mobile site. The new site will allow Versus users to make one of 38 million comparisons of gadgets, apps and cities from any smartphone. It comes three months after Earlybird led a $2.8m (€2.18m) Series A round which also included 500 Startups founder Dave McClure and angel investors Lars Dittrich and Dario Suter. Read More »

Coke Joins the Berlin Acceler-Train: But Will Fizzy Pop Plans Turn Flat?

Coke Joins the Berlin Acceler-Train: But Will Fizzy Pop Plans Turn Flat?

There has been a major influx into Berlin of accelerator and incubator programs, designed give startups a helping hand, a boost up, as they strive to establish themselves in the cutthroat world of consumer technology. But are there now too many in what is still a relatively small and immature scene? The latest big-name company to announce plans for an accelerator in the German capital is, rather bizarrely, Coca-Cola, but the drinks giant will find itself in good company. German corporate giants such as Deutsche Telekom, Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat.1, Bayer and Rewe have all climbed aboard the acceler-train, and they will compete with, for want of a better word, independent programs such as Startupbootcamp and the Berlin Startup Academy. Read More »

Moped Launches Desktop Messaging App in Pursuit of Businesses

Moped Launches Desktop Messaging App in Pursuit of Businesses

You build a great app, make it look slick and easy to use, and you put it out there and starting racking up users. But making money out of it is a different matter altogether. It's a challenge faced by many startups in Berlin, and one proven path is to start targeting your product at businesses. 6Wunderkinder has seemingly found success this way in recent months with Wunderlist 2, and now Moped is planning to reciprocate that. The messaging platform has launched a desktop app for the Mac as part of efforts to shift focus towards businesses and teams. The new app makes it easier to use Moped as the main method of communication within a team, without having to open a web browser and log in. Read More »

Aging2.0 – a global network of startups using smart tech to revolutionise the ageing process

Aging2.0 – a global network of startups using smart tech to revolutionise the ageing process

Digital natives, generation Facebook, the “net” generation – these terms are used with abandon to describe Generation Y, the age group that currently ranges from early teens to early thirties. These are the people who grew up with the internet, who could illegally download before they reached high school and who are also typically the Read More »

Berlin startup Archify shuts down namesake personal search service

Berlin startup Archify shuts down namesake personal search service

Berlin-based startup Archify is shutting down its namesake personal search service to focus on new project Blippex, a privacy-conscious public search engine positioned as an alternative to Google. Max Kossatz, Gerald Bäck and Walter Palmetshofer (who left the company last year) founded Archify in Vienna in 2010 and moved to Berlin after raising seed funding from big-hitting London Read More »

Axel Springer and hub:raum Bigwigs Set for Spoke-tacular Techbikers Ride

Axel Springer and hub:raum Bigwigs Set for Spoke-tacular Techbikers Ride

Axel Springer's Uli Schmitz and Fee Beyer of hub:raum are dusting off their handlebars and getting ready to saddle up for the Techbikers challenge. The pair are the VIP participants in the Prague to Berlin cycle ride, which is aimed at promoting relationships between tech scenes in the city as well as raising money for a good cause. Uli is head of the Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator while Fee is the program manager of Deutsche Telekom's equivalent. They will join around 40 startup folk for the ride from July 26-28, which is being sponsored by Google, Ernst&Young and SalesForce, amongst others. Read More »

Gründer-Garage Returns Together with Its Later-Stage Brother

Gründer-Garage Returns Together with Its Later-Stage Brother

The latest round of the Gründer-Garage competition for good startup ideas and its later-stage equivalent, the Kopf-schlägt-Kapital, have been launched, with a package from Google worth $60,000 (€46,800) at stake for the former. Both competitions are being run by the Stiftung Entrepreneurship (Entrepreneurship Foundation). Kopf-schlägt-Kapital (Head Beats Capital) is open to established companies which are less than five years old and which have a creative concept at their heart. Users will vote for ten finalists, from which a jury will select a winner. Read More »

Welcome to the Party! Microsoft Unveils Berlin Startup Center Plans

Welcome to the Party! Microsoft Unveils Berlin Startup Center Plans

Facebook, Twitter, Google and even Nokia have all been in amongst the headlines in Berlin in the past few years, yet we've barely heard a peep out of Microsoft. But the venerable old tech staple seems to have finally clocked onto the city's potential with the launch of a startup-focused Microsoft Center to promote dialogue and development among founders in Berlin. Based at Unter den Linden 17, it will house a mixture of IT innovation and dialogue when it opens later this year – Mircosoft Germany boss Christian P. Illek and Cornelia Yzer, Berlin's economics senator, announced on Tuesday the beginning of renovation work on the historic building, which sits on the corner with Charlottenstrasse. Read More »

News Round Up: You Is Now Adds to Berlin’s Accelerator Bloom

News Round Up: You Is Now Adds to Berlin’s Accelerator Bloom

This past week has been busy in Berlin - so we've put together a round up of some of the news you may have missed. That includes the Scout24 group's startup incubator You Is Now, which has added to the growing list of accelerators in Berlin with a new program featuring three teams. Warmmiete24, a platform identifying the extra costs of renting a place to live such as heating, event venue portal meinelocation.com and CleanBerlin, which allows direct booking of cleaners, will all take part in the three-month pilot project at You Is Now's Berlin offices. Read More »

Moped 2.0 Targets Small Businesses with Open Web Platform

Moped 2.0 Targets Small Businesses with Open Web Platform

Messaging platform Moped has been given a major overhaul, with version 2.0 aimed squarely at small businesses. The Berlin-based startup says its open web platform is ideal for teams with its integrated services such as Dropbox and the ability to work seamlessly on multiple devices across web and mobile. The latest product also boasts a redesigned user interface enabling users to monitor their inbox while writing messages as well as new features such as a Media Gallery. It is hoped the new Moped will prove attractive to users with its view of the world through the lens of a web service rather than as just another closed messaging app. Read More »

Xyo Launches Apps for Me – a ‘Google Now for Apps’

Xyo Launches Apps for Me – a ‘Google Now for Apps’

The team at Xyo – formerly Xyologic – have spent many months working to improve how we search for apps. To that end, they have used their recommendation engine expertise to launch Apps For Me; dubbed 'Google Now for apps', it's the first service allowing users to check out suggestions based on their Facebook likes. You can search for specific apps as well as app types based on your interests and those of your friends (according to what you 'Like' on Facebook). The algorithm allows the platform to find apps based on those interests – providing an initial recommendation that doesn't need any previous knowledge. Read More »

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