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2 min readOct 25, 2018

Swedish startup Friendbase wins Startup Istanbul Challenge

Last weekend saw the annual final of Startup Istanbul; 100 startups that had been handpicked from 93 000 applicants from over 140 countries competed to win the event. Friendbase, as the only Nordic company selected, went on to the Top 10 after the first round, and following a second round of pitching which also saw a Q&A session from the jury, Friendbase was selected the winner of the whole event.

Deborah Lygonis, founder and CEO of Friendbase says the timing couldn’t be better. “Winning the competition means a lot to us. To have such an esteemed jury select us is a huge acknowledgment that the timing is right for our concept. We now have busy days ahead closing the ongoing funding as well as enabling new features in the platform.”

The jury consisted of Fethi Sabanci Kamisli ESAS Ventures, Asra Nadeem DraperU Ventures, Marko Srsan Techstars London, Kei Hareyama Rock Climbing and Sten Tamkivi Topia.

Friendbase is growing rapidly in the Middle East with one employee on the ground in Istanbul already, and more to come over the next couple of months when their new office opens there.

About Friendbase
Friendbase is a virtual world for teens where they can meet new friends and play games. The company has recently initiated a research project with University West aiming to build new tool sets for the social gaming industry, using gamification and AI to create positive reinforcements of decent behaviour online in an attempt to make the online world a friendlier place.

For more information please contact Deborah Lygonis at or +46 708 330089.

About Startup Istanbul Challenge

Startup Istanbul Challenge 2018, organized for the sixth time by Etohum which is one of the most prominent accelerators in the world, according to Global Accelerator Report. Etohum, which was founded by Goril A.Ş in 2008, is an investment company pursuing to bring together successful entrepreneurs who create added value in the fields of internet and technology and companies, angel investors and professionals. In accordance with this purpose, Etohum started to organize large scale events like Startup Turkey and Startup Istanbul. Etohum also provide the entrepreneurs, who have new business ideas and wants to establish their own companies, capital, management, marketing and consultancy and mentoring service. With the Investors Club accredited by Undersecretariat of Treasury at 2013 Etohum, as being the leading accelerating program and early stage investor of Turkey working for to increase the number of internet companies and improve the ecosystem of internet in Turkey.



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