Mon, November 23, 2020, 2:00 PM GMT+1·4 min readTachyum™ Inc. today announced the formation of I4DI (Innovations for Digital Infrastructure), a partnership of innovative EU and global technology leaders brought together to develop European-based supercomputing solutions to advance the region’s capabilities in solving the performance, power and efficiency issues challenging the industry today.
In addition to Tachyum, fellow founding members PosAm and Towercom are lending their expertise, along with partners SAV (Slovak Academy of Science) and MIRRI (Ministry of Investment, Regional Development and Informatization) who are bringing their relevant capabilities and experience to the development of the National Supercomputing Centre (NSC) in Slovakia.
This Slovakian universal computing center will showcase the world’s first universal processor Prodigy, capable of switching seamlessly among hyperscale, AI and HPC workloads. Its class leading performance, efficiency, and cost is expected to garner international attention while accelerating migration of Prodigy-based solutions to public and private cloud infrastructures. Other companies in storage, networking, rack manufacturing, power, software, services and telecommunications spaces – many with manufacturing capabilities in Slovakia – are expected to join the consortium in the near future.
"By launching a partnership among leading European and global technology companies, we are able to transform the region’s capabilities from consumers to producers of supercomputing capabilities that will transform the AI landscape," said Dr. Radoslav Danilak, Tachyum founder and CEO. "With half of worldwide GDP growth over the next decade expected to be derived from AI, it is imperative to develop supercomputing capabilities like the NSC to improve not only the Danube Valley, but the EU as a whole.
Source: Yahoo Finance
Saldo Finance Plc, a Finnish fintech company creating responsible lending solutions, has announced plans to double its product development team in Vilnius over the next year. With 7 people already working in the company’s Vilnius office, Saldo also expects to start lending operations in Lithuania in January of next year.
Established in 2006, Saldo is an international loan provider, offering flexible loans for both consumers and businesses. The company has developed a fully automated lending system, with onboarding, credit decisions and money transfers all streamlined to the benefit of the end-user. “Saldo’s strength is our highly automated scoring system, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to assess customers’ solvency and guarantees an immediate and responsible loan decision,” Jarkko Mäensivu, CEO of Saldo Finance, explains. Full automation means Saldo can instantly provide personalized loan offers for individuals and SMEs alike.
Unlike many other startups with multiple funding rounds, Saldo became one of Finland’s largest fintechs by growing organically and funding expansion by reinvesting previous profits. With more than 500,000 customers and a €54 million annual turnover, Saldo successfully entered the Swedish consumer lending market in May, and expects to start lending operations in Lithuania in January 2021.
In Lithuania, Saldo will offer consumer loans first and then move to testing SME loans in the local business environment. “Lithuania offers great access to information that we use to conform our credit decisions, such as data from the Bank of Lithuania and the State Social Insurance Fund Board, as well as clear regulation for responsible lending and one of the lowest levels of private indebtedness in Europe,” says Jarkko Mäensivu. “This made Lithuania the obvious place for taking the next step in our growth strategy.”
Saldo’s decision comes at a time when borrowing from alternative lenders is on the rise. While the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an overall decline in the consumer lending market, consumers are using alternative financing solutions increasingly more often than borrowing from banks. And with approximately 35% of Lithuanian households expecting their expenditures to grow next year, Lithuania’s consumer lending market is poised for recovery.
Leading Swiss digital companies, Isobar and Namics – A Merkle, which has been operating in Serbia since 2014, have merged into a single company and will operate as Merkle, it was announced today.
As the Namics’ Belgrade office said in its press release, the integration will lead to the creation of new jobs and the possibility for Serbian software engineers to master specific new IT skills.
“We will have 40% employees by the year-end and we are looking at a similar growth in 2021 as well”, said Philipp Gort, the Managing Director of Namics in Belgrade.
According to him, the integration plan entails new jobs for Serbian software experts and the possibility for them to develop professionally in various IT fields.
“Merkle is known globally for its data-based business solutions, so databases and user experience will be some of the segments in which we will have additional expertise,” Gort says.
Gort also reminded that the office in Belgrade is the first and only Namics’ office outside Switzerland and Germany.
“From the excellent knowledge that students acquire at faculties here such as the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the Faculty of Mathematics to the expertise and business ethics, the Serbian IT market has proven to be very promising. This integration will enable us to further develop the digital sector in Serbia on an international level as well,” he said.
Source: Serbian Monitor
Cisco Systems is acquiring Banzai Cloud Zrt, a software company that specializes in end-to-end cloud-native application development, deployment, runtime and security workflows, Cisco says. Poke around the Banzai Cloud website, and you’ll find detailed information about the company’s Kubernetes expertise. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Banzai Cloud in 2018 raised $2.5 million in seed funding led by PortfoLion, a Central European venture capital and private equity fund. FastVentures and Euroventures of Budapest also participated in that round. The latter is an angel investor that has backed Banzai Cloud since its foundation in 2017.
The Banzai Cloud team will join Cisco’s Emerging Technologies and Incubation group, where they will assist in incubating new projects for cloud-native networking, security and edge computing environments for modern distributed applications, according to a blog from Liz Centoni, senior VP and GM of IoT at Cisco. The acquisition is expected to close by the end of Cisco’s second quarter of FY’21, she added.
Banzai Cloud, founded in 2017, is based in Budapest, Hungary. The company’s branded product and service offerings include:
Europe 4.0: Addressing the Digital Dilemma, which was launched today. The country’s AI adoption compares to the one in Malta, Estonia and Cyprus, although countries in the EU14 dominate the artificial intelligence landscape.
The report explores Europe’s digital options for boosting competitiveness, inclusion, and convergence. Digital technologies are transforming economic opportunities, a trend being accelerated as businesses and workers respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The potential to raise productivity and to expand opportunities for firms that are small or in less developed locations is real. But it is not being fully realized, the report states. The evidence shows a tension in the region’s presence in the digital space and in building a vibrant digital economy that benefits more people. Those technologies where European firms are most competitive are those where the benefits are most concentrated in larger firms and existing production hubs; those technologies with the greatest potential for inclusion are those where European firms are less competitive.
“Europe is a global leader in a number of operational technology fields such as smart robotics and 3D printing. But it lags in the spheres of transactional technology, such as online retail and ride-sharing, and informational technology, such as cloud computing and social media. The Europe 4.0 report suggests Europe can pursue opportunities to use technology to do more as countries seek greater market inclusion, competitiveness, and convergence,” Gallina A. Vincelette, Director for the European Union Countries at the World Bank.
Despite its advantages in operational technology, however, Europe also faces challenges in this area, including the fact these technologies tend to foster geographic concentration. It can also make it more difficult for smaller firms to compete without access to high cost advanced technologies.
“Encouraging the use of digital platforms can foster job creation,” said Vincelette. “The report shows that nearly two-thirds of firms in Europe that implemented digital platforms in their businesses experienced an increase in employment growth over the past three years. These benefits have been reinforced during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more reliance on technology and home-based work reducing operational costs and increasing competitiveness and market inclusion. In the context of the pandemic, digital connectivity has become an essential public good and prerequisite for business and operational continuity.”
According to Fabrizio Zarcone, World Bank’s Country Manager for Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia “a young, energetic and indigenous private sector successfully competing internationally in areas such as machine-building and IT has emerged in Bulgaria before the pandemic. It demonstrated the potential of Bulgaria’s economy that has not yet been fully realized, therefore more streamlined efforts by policymakers are needed to strengthen the institutions and improve essential services delivery”.
While the report notes that transactional technologies have the biggest potential to boost market inclusion and geographic convergence in the region, only one in three small and medium enterprises in Europe use these platforms; few of those firms are globally competitive.
According to the report, Europe can make progress on its digital agenda by embracing new technologies in ways that can boost simultaneously economic competitiveness, market inclusion, and geographic convergence. Reforms and investments focusing on scaling markets, shaping the commercial use of data, and smoothing the adoption of technology will help Europe achieve their triple digital objectives without compromising its social values. Completing the digital single market and closing gaps in infrastructure, skills, and logistics can help scale markets, while addressing challenges posed by AI and boost the commercial use of data.
Finally, investments in frontier innovation, support to research and development, and capacity-building initiatives can help small firms and firms in lagging regions adopt technology more quickly.
Cluj-Napoca based software developer Cognizant Softvision, founded by local entrepreneur Laurentiu Russo in 1994 and bought by the US group Cognizant in 2018, has reached 2,000 employees after it hired 400 software engineers this year and opened new studios in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Timișoara, Iasi, and Baia Mare.
"Reaching 2,000 employees is an important milestone and a strong indicator of our commitment to growth in Romania, especially in a year in which we have all faced the COVID-19 situation," said Mihai Constandis, Country Manager, Head of Eastern Europe Studios, Cognizant Softvision.
Cognizant Softvision Romania has expanded its business with over 40 new customers in the last ten months, in areas such as financial services, healthcare, education, and consumer goods industries, as companies are looking to improve their digital offering, especially following COVID-19.
Swedish video game holding company Embracer Group said on Wednesday it has indirectly acquired 95% of the shares in Romanian software outsourcing company Quantic Lab for 4.75 million euro ($5.64 million) in cash.Embracer is acquiring 100% of Sweden-based Nordic Games Stockholm AB, which owns 95% of Quantic Lab, a company specialized in quality assurance for gaming and applications, Embracer said in a press release.
The transaction is not subject to any further condition and is completed as of November 18, the company added.
Quantic Lab will continue to operate as an independent gaming quality assurance (QA) and software outsourcing company directly under Embracer, with Stefan Seicarescu continuing in his position as CEO of the company. Seicarescu owns 5% in Quantic Lab.
"As quality assurance is becoming ever more important for all industry participants, Quantic Lab has a key role to play," Embracer Group founder and CEO Lars Wingefors said.
Cluj-based Quantic Lab, founded in 2006 by Seicarescu, provides QA services for gaming platforms ranging from consoles to mobile, with testing services for the full game production cycle, including among others localization tests, gameplay testing, and UX/UI experience testing. The company has more than 60 active clients and 390 employees in three office locations in Romania.
For 2020, Quantic Lab estimates a net revenue of 5.7 million euro and an operating EBIT of approximately 1 million euro, according to the press release.
Also on Wednesday, Embracer Group announced that it has agreed to acquire 100% of US-based Snapshot Games and its wholly-owned Bulgarian subsidiary Snapshot Games Sofia. The transaction is expected to be completed within the next few days.
Embracer Group is the parent company of businesses developing and publishing PC, console and mobile games for the global games market. Embracer Group has an extensive catalogue of over 190 owned franchises, such as Saints Row, Goat Simulator, Dead Island, Darksiders, Metro, MX vs ATV, Kingdoms of Amalur, TimeSplitters, Satisfactory, Wreckfest, Insurgency and World War Z, amongst many others.
Source: SEE NEWS
Bolt, the biggest European competitor for American mobility group Uber, has expanded its software development team in Romania by 25% this year, to 50 people.
Next year, the company targets an increase of 30-40%.
Romanian specialists are developing new solutions, functionalities of the platform and applications and services for all European Bolt subsidiaries.
This year they were involved in projects to launch food delivery services and electric scooter rental in several cities on the continent.“Currently, we are 50 colleagues in the division - half are working on the geographic map systems necessary for the mobility application, and the other half are working on the Bolt Food application,” explained Horia Coman, head of the Bolt software development division in Romania.
The whole team in Romania is currently working from home. Bolt is present in Romania with passenger transport services, product transport (Bolt Business), electric scooter rental, food delivery (Bolt Food), and the software development division that serves all of its European subsidiaries.
Bolt services are available in Bucharest, Cluj, Timisoara, and Constanta.
Romanian company Dcs Plus, which develops software for the tourism industry, has opened an office in Gurgaon, India.
Gurgaon is recognized as the second biggest technology city in India and has emerged within the top 5 tech cities in the Asia Pacific region.
The company’s new office there will allow the travel tech provider “a greater strategic speed and flexibility in serving the needs for technical developments of customers.”
The core product developments will continue to be managed by the HQ team, while the Gurgaon team will work to sustain and shorten the development cycles with additional resources for third party integrations and custom developments, the company explained.
It is the company’s fifth subsidiary after the offices open in Brazil, United Arab Emirates, and Singapore.
“In the tourism industry’s current context, technology can play a crucial role in accelerating recovery. Dcs Plus needs to support the needs of a post-Covid world. With the talented team in Gurgaon and the experienced Bucharest team, we aim to support our clients’ technical needs and develop products faster,” Cristian Dincă, the founder and CEO of Dcs Plus said, quoted by Start-up.ro.
Dcs Plus was established in 2002. Its solutions are currently present in more than 50 markets worldwide.
CashDirector, a scaleup accelerated by EIT Digital, raises €3m to boost international growthMonday, October 12 2020
Polish scaleup CashDirector offers an AI-based Digital CFO solution designed for SMEs that integrates with any bank’s online channel, allowing them to provide financial management services to small businesses at an affordable price.
Through CashDirector, banks obtain valuable touchpoints and leads, can accurately evaluate risk and offer personalised on-demand products in an efficient manner. The Digital CFO platform also allows businesses owners to save time by automating daily finance management, understand their cash-flow needs in real time, and interact online with their bank to balance short-term deficits or get funding for a business opportunity.
CashDirector has successfully proven its value proposition in the Polish market, serving over 100,000 entrepreneurs and SMEs as customers, and has established strategic partnerships with mBank, BNP Paribas, Millennium Bank and Nest Bank. In addition, CashDirector has begun its international expansion through two banks based in Belgium.
With the new funding round, CashDirector aims to consolidate its position in Poland and accelerate its growth plans across Europe, focusing initially on the Benelux region as well as France and Germany. “We are thrilled to welcome EEC Magenta, one of the largest and most experienced Investment Funds in Poland, as one of our investors supporting us in our global expansion strategy” - says Rafał Strzelecki, CEO and founder of CashDirector.
CashDirector was identified by EIT Digital through its flagship pan-European competition for deep tech scaleups in the digital space, the EIT Digital Challenge. The company was among the 25 finalists in the 2019 edition of the competition. It then joined the EIT Digital Accelerator, team of financing experts began to work with CashDirector in preparing, launching and organising this fundraising round.
“The EIT Digital Accelerator delivered invaluable support during the fundraising process: in addition to providing critical feedback and advice, their coordinated efforts allowed us to meet with key Venture Capital and Corporate Venture Capital funds from across Europe in a very short period of time.”- added Patrycja Strzelecka, CCO and Co-Founder of CashDirector.