MessageMe — a messaging app that launched in March with a little Facebook controversy thrown in — has raised another $ 10 million, according to an SEC filing earlier today. The Series A round was led by Greylock Partners; and as part of it, John Lilly, the ex-ceo of Mozilla who is now a partner at Greylock, will be joining the board of LittleInc Labs, makers of MessageMe.
Tag Archives: money
The seizure of funds of the largest bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, was triggered by an alleged failure of the company to comply with U.S. financial regulations, according to a federal court document.
Even with $ 145 billion in its back pocket, Apple isn’t above the odd bit of cost-saving. Following rumors that its new campus was $ 2 billion over budget, the company has revised its plans for the facility. While the UFO-style HQ is untouched, a secondary complex that was to be built along North Tantau Ave. has been pushed back to phase two — which means it’ll begin construction in 2016, just after people start working in the spaceship.
Filed under: Apple
Source: Apple (.PDF)
Kickstart Seed Fund (not to be confused with crowdfunding giant Kickstarter), has raised $ 26 million for a second fund to invest in Utah-based startups, along with others in the “Mountain West” region of the U.S. Since its launch in 2008, with a $ 8 million fund raised by Managing Director Gavin Christensen, Kickstart has invested in 24 companies, including two exits with Panoptic Security in November of 2012 and GroSocial in January of 2013.
Does it make sense to spend so much on already commercialized technology?
According to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, President Obama’s budget has nearly $ 13 billion set aside for energy-related spending–if you look just at the amount allocated for key R&D programs at the Department of Energy along with spending on tax incentives (there’s more if, for example, you include funding for Department of Defense related programs). Most of that money–$ 7.5 billion—is going to tax breaks of one sort of another. That is, money that goes to deploying technology we already have. The rest—about $ 5 billion–is for R&D and demonstration of new technology.
theodp writes “So, you’re a 10x developer or a 25x programmer, but not getting paid like one? Keep your chin up! BusinessWeek reports that Silicon Valley is going Hollywood and top software developers can now get their very own agent through 10x Management, which bills itself as ‘the talent agency for the technology industry.’”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Editor’s note: This is the second part of a two-part guest column by Zach Noorani.
Is angel capital an attractive asset class? Is the crowd capable of being good investors, willing to spend 20-40 hours doing due diligence per investment? These are critical questions to help determine just how big equity crowdfunding will become, right? I say no.
If you’re a cat person, you’ll think this is great and if you aren’t, you’ll probably think this is really weird. Purina Friskies cat food has issued a challenge for game developers to create the next great game for cats. Seriously, Purina is looking for developers to build game apps specifically aimed at cats. There
BlackBerry may be launching a new platform in certain markets to try to win back users, but it’s focusing on service additions in other places where the BlackBerry install base remains strong. Today it’s officially launching BBM Money in Indonesia, in partnership with PermataBank and Monitise to bring real-time mobile payments to BlackBerry’s platform-specific social network and messaging service.
A Russian mogul uses a science award to spread Internet millions among university biologists. Is he after a cure for cancer?
Russian billionaire Yuri Milner has been making money and friends fast in Silicon Valley. Now he’s doing the same in cancer biology labs.
The Nokia Lumia 620 is an entry level Windows Phone 8 smartphone that puts a polished mobile computing experience in your pocket without breaking the bank or compromising usability with awfully underpowered hardware. Its performance beats plenty of budget Androids but the trade-off is far fewer apps.
Yesterday I wrote about the ongoing CNET editorial independence issue. I said that the editors and journalists at CNET were part of the problem, and suggested that they either publish their (assumed) dissent, or resign, or both. A conversation began in the comments of that post, with some people saying that it isn’t reasonable to expect people to resign. From Danny Sullivan: I think a lot of CNET staffers probably aren’t resigning, Mike, because they have families to support, as well as themselves. It’s not exactly a great economy out there. I think what Greg did was very brave, but not everyone is that brave nor even able to make that type of move. Rof Hof: I don’t blame people in today’s publishing business for wanting to line up work first. Not everybody can be sure of being able to support their families, and when they’ve been screwed by their employer, they shouldn’t be expected to *immediately* screw themselves too. But don’t be surprised to see more leaving. There were similar comments on Twitter. These comments were often combined with statements my position wasn’t valid because I have made some money selling my business. As just one example, David Carnoy, Executive Editor at CNET, says: @arrington In your post about @CNET you neglected to disclose $ $ $ you made from selling out to AOL. Easy to walk when you had your BIG EXIT. And finally, some people have said that it’s only reasonable for people to resign if they have another job lined up. Hunter Walk, in a comment to the original post, says: Let’s see other journalists stand with their brethren and start a “free the CNET staffers” fund that can be tapped by any CNET journalist who wants to walk away but needs the money to do so. Mike, I’ll match up to the first $ 500 of your contribution I think some of these are valid points and worth exploring. First, sure it’s easy for me to say they should just quit their jobs when I’m not the one doing it and I may have more financial security than most or all of them. If I worked at CNET, had a family to take care of and had little financial breathing room I cannot say for certain that I’d resign. My family would certainly come first (and second, and third). It’s a fair point. Second, I agree that it
Microsoft will reap a windfall of revenue as soon as it introduces versions of its Office productivity suite for iOS and Android, but that window of opportunity is quickly closing, an analyst said today.
If users take to Facebook’s new search tool, the social network could be in line to haul in a lot of advertising dollars, say industry analysts.
YokimaSun writes to point out a Kickstarter project that may warm the cockles of your heart: “Fans of Emulation and Homebrew have not had much to cheer about over the years, the recent generation of consoles have all pretty much killed off any hacking by constant firmware updates. The days of PSP Homebrew have died a death and consoles like the Caanoo, GP2x and even the mighty Openpandora never really lived up to the massive expectation. There is a glimmer of hope from a team of homebrew developers who have developed a new console called the GCW-Zero, a new Open Source Handheld system which uses the OpenDingux Linux OS. The specs are impressive, with a Ingenic JZ4770 1 GHz MIPS processor, Vivante GC860, capable of OpenGL ES 2.0, 3.5 inch LCD with 320×240 pixels; 4:3 aspect ratio, 512 MB DDR2 and 16GB of internal memory which can via external memory card be extended by another 32GB. N64 and PS1 emulation and everything below should be at full speed in time.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Welcome to yet another Rumor Sunday™. In 2011, Reddit was spun out of Conde Nast as a standalone company, but the publishing giant kept full ownership. At the time, Peter Kafka of AllthingsD reported that Conde Nast had considered the option of selling off parts of the company to investors at a $ 200 million valuation.
Whatever happens, you can resolve to improve your personal economy this year. Digital technology, combined with your talent and passion, is a money-making opportunity.
mbadolato writes “On December 9, 2012, Slashdot reported that the FreeBSD Foundation was falling short of their 2012 goal of $ 500,000 by nearly 50%. For all of those that continued to echo about how FreeBSD is dying, it’s less than three weeks later and the total is presently nearing $ 200,000 OVER the goal. Netcraft continues to be wrong.” And reader hypnosec adds another crowdfunding success story: “The Wikimedia Foundation has announced at the conclusion of its ninth annual fund-raiser that it has managed to raise a whopping $ 25 million from 1.2 million donors in just over a week’s time. … As compared to last year’s fund-raiser, which got completed in 46 days, this year’s was completed in just nine days.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Raspberry Pi Gets Own App Store: One-Stop-Shop To Make It Even Easier For Kids To Get Coding — And Earn Pocket Money From Apps
The not-for-profit Raspberry Pi Foundation has launched an app store for the $ 25 mini computer — called the Pi Store — to “make it easier for developers of all ages to share their games, applications, tools and tutorials with the rest of the community”. The Pi mini computer was designed with the mission to get more kids learning to code.
Press2ToContinue writes “Dubbed the Python Challenge, the month-long contest will award $ 1,000 for the longest python and $ 1,500 for the most pythons caught between Jan. 12 and Feb. 10 in any of four hunting areas north of Everglades National Park and at the Big Cypress National Preserve. Pythons have been spreading through the Everglades for years, posing a threat to the sensitive ecosystem by preying on native species. Some estimates put their number in the tens of thousands. Last year, 272 pythons were removed from the wild, state figures show.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Google has just snapped up BufferBox, a Waterloo, Ontario-based startup that offers temporary lockers for online purchases much like the ones recently deployed by Amazon. Instead of 7-Elevens and RadioShacks however, the relatively young startup has only just started a deal to install parcel kiosks in Canada’s Metrolinx GO Transit stations. The Mountain View company hopes to keep BufferBox alive through the acquisition, with plans for 100 kiosks in Greater Toronto and Hamilton in the next year. Of course, we can’t help but think this could all be part of Google’s master plan for a rumored same-day delivery service that might make Amazon a touch nervous. Hopefully this means future Nexus deliveries will be a just little faster, eh?
TransferWise, the online currency exchange that uses the crowd to undercut traditional money transfer services, has announced that its added support for the U.S. Dollar — a move that it believes, along with existing support for the British Pound, Euro, Swiss Franc, Polish Zloty, Swedish Kronor, Norwegian Kronor, and Danish Kronor, positions the company to become the preferred method of money transfer for European startups.
Editor’s Note: Vanessa Clark is the co-founder of Mobiflock, a mobile safety and security company offering parental control services for smartphones and tablets. She is involved in the mobile industry in Africa.
Zimbabwean Tawanda Kembo, 25, has been employed for more than two years but still doesn’t qualify for a credit card. This is the result of banking restrictions on issuing credit cards, he says, and around 70 percent of his fellow Zimbabweans are in the same boat. This is not unusual across the entire African continent, which has a similar unbanked or underbanked rate, according to the World Bank.
Last week, Priceline.com acquired Kayak for $ 1.8 billion. That’s more than twice what Google paid for ITA back in 2010. Why did Priceline make this move? And why now? Priceline acquired Kayak for $ 40 a share, about $ 500 million in cash, $ 1 billion in Priceline equity, and about $ 300 million in stock options. Kayak got a premium price — a 29 percent premium, to be exact — from Priceline considering that, on the day of its acquisition, Kayak closed at roughly $ 31 a share. That’s about 54 percent higher than where Kayak was on IPO day, at $ 26 a share. This no doubt added to Priceline’s impression that Kayak was on the way up and that it was worth paying the big bucks to save it from having to deal with a strong competitor down the road. While the big numbers are eye-catching, Kayak hasn’t always been in such an enviable position. The company first filed to go public in late 2010 and went public in July of this year — a long road to the public markets by any standard — and one that saw Kayak posting a net loss as recently as a year ago. It finally turned that around in the first quarter of this year, posting a Q1 net income of $ 4.1 million and grew revenue by 39 percent to $ 73.3 million. Those numbers have been on the rise ever since, as Kayak posted its Q3 earnings on the same day that it was acquired by Priceline, with net income rising to $ 8 million, up from 14 percent from $ 7 million in Q3 2011. As we wrote in July after the company’s IPO, a big part of Kayak’s resurgence has been its focus on mobile. In its Q3 report, Kayak showed that its mobile revenue per thousand queries (RPM) had increased 63 percent compared to the same quarter in 2011. So having seen 56 million mobile queries during the quarter, Kayak saw approximately $ 3.5 million in mobile revenue, which may not seem like a lot but is a large share of the company’s overall revenues. On November 15th, Kayak announced that it had reached one billion queries in the first ten months of this year. This was significant for the company, because it first reached the billion-queries milestone in 2008 — after four years. It then took the company another three years to compile two billion
As work on BlackBerry 10 continues behind closed doors, Waterloo-based RIM is gearing up to make yet another attempt to woo would-be BlackBerry 10 developers to its cause.
This time though the company has its eyes set on a specific kind of dev — come November 16, RIM will offer up cold hard cash to game developers who create a game for (or port an existing game to) BlackBerry 10.
The gifting space has been very hot lately in the web world — Facebook is even seeing gift-giving as having major potential for boosting its revenue — and now another brand new startup is throwing its hat into the ring. Given.to made its official debut last week at NewMe Accelerator’s Fall 2012 Demo Day with the aim of making pitching in money with a group of people to buy a gift for someone “stress-free, and guess-free.”
We’re just now learning what level the devastation that Hurricane Sandy caused on the East Coast, specifically in New York City, and people are starting to send the wagons around to raise money to assist those in need. We learned yesterday that mentions of blood donation and the Red Cross skyrocketed on Twitter during the peak of the storm, and other organizations are starting to get involved.
Online Consignment Shop ThredUP Launches Digital Fundraising Platform Called “Groups,” Now Raising Money For Hurricane Sandy Relief
Online consignment shop thredUP is launching a timely new feature called Groups which allows consumers to use the service in order to generate cash donations for charitable causes. As you may have guessed, the company is kicking off the launch with a group dedicated to Hurricane Sandy relief.
CEO Larry Page hopes innovation will bring the company more revenue on mobile devices
On its earnings call with analysts and investors today, Google CEO Larry Page pegged the search giant’s future to “multiscreen” experiences that make it easy for a user to switch from, say, a mobile device to a Chromebook computer to an Internet-connected television.
It’s no secret that Facebook saw FarmVille for iOS as writing on the wall: it had to either tap into mobile app revenue or risk losing income (and marketing-savvy developers) whenever someone left the web. Following a beta this summer, the company’s solution to its dilemma is now open to everyone. All developers on the social network can build ads that link from Facebook’s Android and iOS apps to either Google Play or the App Store — offering both an easy plug for their native apps and that all-important ad revenue for Facebook. The system currently takes a shotgun approach and may pitch social networkers for apps they already have or don’t want, but it should be refined in the next few months to where some curious purchasers won’t even have to leave Facebook to load that hot new title. Hopefully the increased recognition for mobile developers is worth sullying our once pristine news feeds.
Editor’s note: Robert Wiltbank, PhD, is a professor at Willamette University in Portland, Ore. He is co-author of Effectual Entrepreneurship and of The Catalyst, as well as many academic articles in the fields of entrepreneurship and strategy.
I began studying angel investing returns about 10 years ago as a result of a problem I couldn’t resolve. Over these years I’ve compiled the largest data set on angel investor financial returns that exists, through research backed by the Kauffman Foundation, NESTA (a UK-based entrepreneurship foundation), the University of Washington, and Willamette University. The best estimate of overall angel investor returns from this data is 2.5 times their investment, though in any one investment the odds of a positive return are less than 50 percent. This is absolutely competitive with venture capital returns.
When Google started raising money in 1998, Sergey Brin and Larry Page didn’t have a revenue model — or at least that’s how the story goes. The company’s highly successful text ad program didn’t start until 2000, but Brin and Page may have had at least some idea of how to monetize the service by the time Sun co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim gave them their check.
Editor’s note: Andy Rachleff is President and CEO of Wealthfront, an SEC-registered online financial advisor. He serves as a member of the board of trustees and vice chairman of the endowment investment committee for University of Pennsylvania and as a member of the faculty at Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he teaches courses on technology entrepreneurship. Prior to Wealthfront, Andy co-founded and was general partner of Benchmark Capital.
Everywhere I go in Silicon Valley I hear people discussing their angel investments. The conversations remind me of fish stories. People love recounting the one time they caught a big fish, not the many futile hours they spent waiting for a bite.
Lucas123 writes “The price of 2.5-in solid state drives have dropped by 3X in three years, making many of the most popular models less than $ 1 per gigabyte or about .74 cents per gig. Hybrid drives, which include a small amount of NAND flash cache alongside spinning disk, in contrast have reached near price parity with hard drives that hover around the .23 cents per gig. While HDDs cannot compare to SSDs in terms of IOPS generated when used in a storage array or server, it’s debatable whether they offer performance increases in a laptop significant enough that justify paying three times as much compared with a high-end a hard drive or a hybrid drive. For example, an Intel 520 Series SSD has a max sequential read speed of 456MB/sec compared to a WD Black’s 122MB/sec. The SSD boots up in 9 seconds compared to the HDD’s 21 seconds and the hybrid drive’s 12-second time. So the question becomes, should you pay three times as much for an SSD for twice the performance, or almost the same speeds when compared to a hybrid drive?”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Startup Sauna has always been a slightly puzzling thing. It acts ike an accelerator but does not fund startups. It simply offers European (mostly from Nordic countries) and Russian startups coaching sessions and demo trips to Silicon Valley, and takes no equity. That’s because it is funded by Finland’s Aalto University and the Finnish Funding agency for technology and innovation. However, it has its uses. It’s now announced an open term sheet agreement with venture fund Inventure. The fund will now offer seed funding to Startup Sauna’s best teams – so now there is real money involved. Inventure, based in Helsinki and Shanghai, will invest 100,000 Euro in exchange for taking 15 percent equity in each of the top three startups that will complete the Startup Sauna acceleration program. The VC will decide which startup will get the investment, and the final deal will be sealed between the fund and the startup.
Businesses are adapting their R&D spending to the idea that innovation can come from anywhere.
Where does innovation come from? For one answer, consider the work of MIT professor Eric von Hippel, who has calculated that ordinary U.S. consumers spend $ 20 billion in time and money trying to improve on household products—for example, modifying a dog-food bowl so it doesn’t slide on the floor. Von Hippel estimates that these backyard Edisons collectively invest more in their efforts than the largest corporation anywhere does in R&D.
Editor’s note: John Manoogian III is co-founder and CTO at 140 Proof, a venture-backed startup for targeted Twitter advertising.
While building apps for Apple and Android app stores can be highly lucrative ventures for developers, one of the hardest decisions an app developer has to make is how to get the app to pay for itself. Often the “monetization strategy” — shorthand for “how will this app make money?” — is left for last.
It’s hard enough to get discovered by consumers among the millions of already existing apps, not to mention convince people to buy it. People increasingly prefer free, ad-supported apps for their tablets and smartphones, yet many developers still aren’t sure how to tackle the free vs. paid issue. Deciding when to charge for your app, and when to try an ad-supported model, is one of the hardest decisions developers must make.
angry tapir writes “Australia’s anti-money laundering watchdog AUSTRAC believes that money laundering using digital currencies such as Bitcoin and virtual worlds (such as MMOs) are possible ‘emerging threats’. The organisation’s latest ‘typologies’ report earmarked virtual worlds and Bitcoin as two areas that the agency would be monitoring, although at this stage no-one seems sure to what extent they are being used (and some of the issues with Bitcoin, such as the fluctuating exchange rate and limited options for transferring value to real-world currencies through conversion to non-digital currencies or using it to pay for goods or services, mean that it’s unlikely it’s being used for money laundering on a significant scale).”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Large merchants are joining forces in the battle over who controls smartphone payments
Walmart, Target, 7-11 and Best Buy are among more than a dozen merchants joining together today to launch their own network that would give customers the ability to pay for purchases on their smartphones, The Wall Street Journal reports.