Roundup of news and ideas from the world of startups – Week ending 11th March 2018
News you can use
BlackBerry sues Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram over patent infringement: What’s the big deal?
This week, Blackberry (NYSE: BB), the tech giant that ‘invented’ smartphones, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook, whatsapp and instagram in the Los Angeles federal court. Blackberry’s move highlights a number of significant issues with patents, including monetizing their ‘value,’ the investment in portfolio of patents, and their role in protecting investments in Research and Development.
Android vs iOS : Opportunity for startups to port Apps – India is the world’s third-largest smartphone market, following China and the US. Out of the 30.7 million units shipped during Q2 2016, Strategy Analytics believes that 29.8 million of them (or an impressive 97%) run on Google’s Android. This data, however, masks the fact that Apple is not sitting idle. As per recent estimates, Apple India sales rose 17% to $1.8 billion in 2016-17 (link). While it is likely that App developers will continue to focus on Android platform, user demand for apps to run on iOS will also continue to grow. It is currently not easy or inexpensive to migrate Apps designed for Android to iOS (or the other way around). Developers who can take such designs and work on cheaper and faster ways of migrating them are going to find a steady market !
Takeaway.com acquires food delivery startup BG Menu – Takeaway.com, a Dutch-based food delivery app that already services many European countries, has acquired Bulgarian food delivery startup BG Menu for 10.5 million euros. BG Menu operates in Bulgaria and Romania – this acquisition will allow Takeaway.com to expand their operations to Eastern Europe. They already operate in Germany, Austria, Poland, Belgium, and The Netherlands. “With the acquisition of BGmenu we are adding a fast-growing online food delivery market with a sizeable population to our footprint,” said the CEO of Takeaway.com, Jitse Groen.
Startup shut and failed last week
Typecast.com, startup behind typography shutting down – Typecast, a browser-based app aimed to “take the pain out of designing typography for the web” announced in a tweet that it is shutting down. Typecast became a commercial product in 2013. According the to founders, the idea behind Typecast.com was based on the premise that the future of web design is a collection of small, niche tools. Typecast fulfilled a need: a browser-based app that takes the pain out of designing typography for the web.
Pet Care Startup Baroo Shuts Down – This week, Baroo, a Boston-based pet care startup, announced it was shutting down operations. Based in Boston, Baroo had over 100-person staff, including 100 part-time pet handlers who provide building residents with $20 dog walks, $70-a-night pet-sitting, and grooming services that run as high as $600. Founded in 2015, Baroo had raised $3.5 million in funding.
GoBee Bike throws in the towel in France – Bike-sharing startup GoBee Bike is giving up and shutting down in all French cities where it operates. GoBee Bike operates just like Chinese giants Ofo and Mobike. You open the app, you find a bike on the map and you unlock it by scanning a QR code. Once you’re done, you lock it again and leave it there — there’s no dock.And yet, the startup is blaming vandalism and says that the service would stop immediately. It’s worth noting that users will get a refund on their remaining balances and €15 deposit. This is a nice gesture.