The latest innovative tech coming out of Europe

  • New UK blog publisher launches

    Media stories tend not to be our staple fare here at TechCrunch, but it’s worth mentioning the launch of a new professional blog publisher in the UK, MessyMedia, and welcoming them to the blogosphere. I wrote an article over two years ago for the Financial Times about what I thought at the time would be the rise of blog publishers in the UK. Others noticed the trend too. But today there… Read More

  • Scribblesheet launches citizen journalism site

    Scribblesheet, a citizen journalism portal, goes live today. The London-based self-funded startup from co-founders John Ndege and Brian Oula, is a brave attempt to reproduce the success of OhMyNews or Newsvine. I fear they will get nowhere near those sites, but let’s hear them out. Ndege says: “Our strategy is to create a site where people can write their opinion on something… Read More

  • Virgin Digital downloads for the last time

    The dangers of hooking yourself up to a DRM-enabled music rental store which could go bang at any moment are highlighted today with the news that Virgin Digital customers will lose all their music when the store closes its doors next month. Virgin Digital was a two-year old Windows Media-based alternative to Apple’s iTunes, but it stopped selling one-off downloads last week and next… Read More

  • Trutap rasies another £3m in funding

    Trutap, a recent entrant in the TechCrunch40 competition which markets a social media client software for mobile phones, has raised another £3.23m ($6.5 million) from The Tudor Group and angel investors. The offers software blog posting, IM, group SMS, web photo-sharing and access to existing social networks. Last year it raised £600,000 ($1.2) angel funding, with £3.23m ($6.5m) from Tudor. Read More

  • Blyk launches ad-supported mobile network

    Blyk, the mobile virtual network operator offering free phone call minutes and messaging in return for sending customers advertising, launches in the UK today. Renting airtime from France Télécom’s Orange network and targeting only 16-to 24-year-olds, the network will target the ads based on a detailed profile customers will fill out on their website. It’s ironic timing. MySpace… Read More

  • Tech and mobile events of note

    It’s highly arrogant. Utterly selective. And slightly random. We present for your enjoyment our selection of the best web and mobile events coming up in the UK and Ireland (with the odd wild-card thrown in here and there). To flag up your event for consideration, just get in contact.
    Tuesday, September 25
    Mobile Transactions Forum 2007
    A 1 day event for payment companies, retailers… Read More

  • Get Bob Dylan to read out your message on Facebook

    UK Facebook application specialists Techlightenment have won the account to create an application for one of the legends of modern music: Bob Dylan. The application was created for Bob Dylan’s forthcoming single and his recent album for SonyBMG. Users fill out ten boxes with words they want Bob to read out on his boards during one of his most famous tracks, Subterranean Homesick Blues. Read More

  • Vodafone in mobile web storm

    An almighty row is breaking out between Vodafone and mobile startups, who claim the giant is hobbling the mobile web for its own gain. The chorus of disapproval is being lead in the main by Luca Passani (pictured), the architect behind an open source mobile project known as WURFL. In a long public statement written yesterday, he – and four other leading mobile web players who have backed… Read More

  • Free to pitch at Le Web 3

    LeWeb3 is now firmly established as Europe’s ‘answer’ (if you will) to any number of startup and Web 2.0 events in the US. Held on December 11/12, it offers a platform for Europe’s hot new start-ups to present their business and technology to some of the most influential players in the technology market. Last year’s program had, it must be said, mixed reviews due… Read More

  • Business social network beta launches. Why?

    London-based entrepreneur John Horsley has launched the beta of business-networking site Marzar (slightly ironically at a Web2NewYork networking party yesterday, in fact). Horsley says Marzar is an ‘enterprise 3.0 business networking and collaboration tool’ for the global business community. Marzar’s vision is to, “build an environment for business people to work… Read More

  • True Knowledge wins funding for search product

    Early stage private investor group Octopus Ventures has put around £600,000 into True Knowledge Ltd, a UK startup which claims to have a revolutionary search product. Currently in private beta, True Knowledge says their product is capable of intelligently answering – in plain English – questions posed on any topic, and dramatically improves the quality and accuracy of results… Read More

  • Investors acquire Russian e-lance site

    Some interesting movement coming out of Russia yesterday. The leading Russian online recruitment website HeadHunter and private equity investor Digital Sky Technologies have each acquired 20% of, an online workplace for freelance specialists not unlike, for an estimated sum of $0.4 million. Free-lance has some 100,000 registered users. Digital Sky Technologies… Read More

  • iPhone UK: The news so far

    [Above: Steve Jobs, Apple and Matthew Key, CEO, O2] So here are the basics about the iPhone launch in the UK, as announced by Steve Jobs in London. It was a pretty utilitarian affair with a predictable demo by Jobs of the iPhone’s features, an announcement about the carrier, a chat from the O2 CEO and some Q&A. Almost everything was predicted beforehand, except the rather clever… Read More

  • iPhone UK launch live blog

    [Note: This is the 'as live' blog I did for the Apple launch today, even though the London Apple Store, which usually has WiFi, did not have WiFi today. Go figure. Not only that but the venue was shielded from any mobile signal. I had to leave to get WiFi straight after the launch. Apple needs to "sort itself out" in this respect and... well, I'm being as polite as I can right now... Read More

  • TechCrunch40 startups from our side of the pond

    There is one Irish and one UK startup presenting at TechCrunch40 this week: Ireland’s Cubic Telecom is creating a global Mobile Virtual Network (MVNo) to drastically reduce international calling rates by lowering mobile roaming and call charges. Founder Pat Phelan is a well known communications blogger in Ireland who “wants a world in which anyone can pick up their mobile phone… Read More

  • Live from London: iPhone launch

    I’ll be attempting – Wi-Fi willing! – to live-blog the Apple iPhone launch in London on Tuesday morning. The full-blown live blog will be over at sister site CrunchGear (for the gadget obsessed) but it will also be reproduced here (on this post) for your entertainment, delectation and information. Tune in from 9.30am GMT… Read More

  • Mashup Demo event for startups

    TechCrunch UK is backing a pitch-style event for startups in October called Mashup Demo. Mashup is a regular event in London looking at digital business, but this is their first ‘demo’ style event. It’ll be on the afternoon and evening of 2 October in London, presenting 15 companies who will each get a 5 minute slot. It costs £35 to attend, and £350 to be a demo company… Read More

  • O2 wins UK iPhone? Fever mounts

    Until an Apple person stands up in front of a bank of journalists and bloggers tomorrow and utters the name of the carrier to win the iPhone, we won’t know for definite. However it is hard to ignore the wave of stories out today naming 02 as the network, with Carphone Warehouse as the independent distributor. These chime in with our own story that 02 won the iPhone deal some weeks ago… Read More

  • Microsoft loses EU antitrust appeal

    Microsoft has lost its anti-trust appeal against the European commission. The court of first instance, Europe’s second-highest court, has upheld its March 2004 ruling decision to fine Microsoft a record €497m (£345m) for abusing its dominance of the software market and force it to share critical information with rival companies. Brussels is now free to pursue other cases against… Read More

  • UK, Ireland grow as Web 2.0 goes global

    The growth in venture capital investment into Web 2.0 companies is rising in the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe, even as it slows among early investors in Silicon Valley. The UK is at the hub of this activity with a record seven deals at the start of the year, accounting for $22m invested. And Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands have each seen their first Web 2.0 deals completed in the… Read More