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STARTUPS

Swedish unicorn app Truecaller sheds jobs

Swedish caller ID app Truecaller has confirmed to The Local that a number of consultants and full time employees have been made redundant by the firm, which is one of the country's most successful startups.

Swedish unicorn app Truecaller sheds jobs
Truecaller co-founder Nami Zarringhalam. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT
“We have let a number of consultants and few full-time employees go recently which is natural to any company in a high growth stage,” Kim Fai Kok, Director of Communications for the company told The Local on Friday.
 
His comments came after an anonymous source emailed The Local suggesting that as many as 35 people had been fired due to “financial problems” at the firm.
 
Fai Kok did not immediately respond to a question about whether or not that figure was accurate.
 
The Nordic startup is a unicorn, which means its valuation has exceeded $1 billion dollars. It reported having 150 million users in July 2015, mostly in India.
 
Launched by Alan Mamedi and Nami Zarringhalam in 2009, the Truecaller app works by bringing together global directory services with crowdsourced information from users in order to create a database of phone numbers. This allows customers to be informed about who is calling them.
 
It also uses data analytics to offer services such as predicting who users might want to call based on their location or the time of day, as well as tools designed to block spam and generate automatic text messages.
 
The company makes its money through in-app purchases of its premium features as well as advertising.
 
Last year it scored venture capital funding from Skype co-founder Niklas Zennström's Atomico investment firm. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, an investor in US messaging companies Twitter and Snapchat has also invested in the company.
 
The company reported sales of 6.7 million ($788,000) in 2014, Swedish media reported on Friday, alongside losses of almost 85 million kronor.

MALMÖ

Malmö games start-up wins Supercell backing

The Finnish mobile games giant Supercell has invested 35 million Swedish kronor ($2.6million) in a Malmö games startup, in a further sign the city's games incubators are attracting international attention.

Malmö games start-up wins Supercell backing
Some of the Bouncy Tins designed by Luau. Photo: Screen Grab/Luau Games
Malmö's Luau Games, based in the city's Minc Incubator, has so far developed just one game, the as yet unreleased platform game Bouncy Tins. 
 
The game, which features “tiny robots trying to make their way to freedom”, is designed to be easily played with a single finger on a mobile phone. 
 
“I am super proud that we have gained the attention of the world's absolute best mobile games developer,” Luau co-founder Stéphane Stamboulis told the Sydsvenskan newspaper. 
 
“The plan is to develop a new mobile game, which will probably be on the market in around a year.”
 
 
Stamboulis and his co-founder Michel Savariradjalou, so far the company's only employees, plan to hire ten colleagues over the next six months. 
 
The two Frenchmen previously worked as art directors at the Malmö offices of the Swedish games giant King. 
 
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