Business news in brief: Facebook buys Danish startup – The Post

Business news in brief: Facebook buys Danish startup

In other news: foreign investors buying Danish farmland, two Danish organic dairy producers merge and more Danes are hiding their wealth in offshore tax havens

The Eye Tribe’s technology allows users to control electronic devices with the movement of their eyes (photo: Youtube)
December 30th, 2016 1:51 pm| by Lucie Rychla
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Facebook’s virtual reality company Oculus has bought the Danish tech startup The Eye Tribe that develops eye-tracking software. The price of the acquisition has not been revealed. Shane Hugh Crehan, the current head of Facebook UK, has been appointed the new managing director of the company, while David William King (also from Facebook) will be the new chairman. The Eye Tribe was founded in 2011 by four students from the IT University in Copenhagen. The company develops technology that allows users to control devices, such as smartphones, watches and computers with the movement of their eyes. In spite of being awarded a prestigious innovation prize in January, the company has been struggling financially.

READ MORE: BetterNow named top undiscovered startup in Denmark


Non-agricultural investors buying Danish farmland
Foreign and domestic investors outside the agriculture sector are increasingly showing interest in buying Danish farmland, reports Finans. The price of Danish agricultural land has fallen sharply due to the recent agricultural crisis. One of the external investors is Blue Harvest, a Swiss-based wealth management company, which is already in the process of acquiring some Danish farmland on behalf of their clients. The company has identified potential investments worth more than a billion kroner. Other inquiries have come from external investors (outside agriculture) in China, Germany, Ireland and the UK.

READ MORE: Danish dairy farmers facing tough times

Two Danish organic dairies merge
The Danish organic dairy producers Øllingegaard and Naturmælk have announced they will merge under the name “De Økologiske Mejerier” to secure the future of organic dairy products in Denmark. The companies will continue operating as independent entities with their own productions and brands, but with a common management. Leif Friis Jørgensen, the head of Naturmælk, will henceforth direct the joint company. Naturmælk was founded in 1994 and gets milk from 34 farms in southern Jutland and Funen. Øllingegaard was founded in 1996 and co-operates with 11 farms in Zealand. The merger comes into force at the beginning of 2017.

READ MORE: Danes owe the state over 90 billion kroner on unpaid tax and fines

More Danes hide their wealth
Some 75,490 Danes are hiding their wealth in offshore tax havens and owe the Danish state billions of kroner in unpaid taxes, VAT, duties and other fees, reports regional newspaper JydskeVestkysten. It is nearly 17,000 people more compared to 2013, when 58,652 tax debtors were hiding their money in tax havens. Lizzi Krarup Jakobsen from the Danish tax administration (SKAT) has admitted it is a “big challenge to get the tax recovery process to work”, but she added that SKAT has already “taken a number of initiatives to solve the problems.” In November, Danish citizens owed the Danish state about 91.7 billion kroner in unpaid taxes, duties and fines.