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Author Topic:   Startups
NEWSFLASH
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posted August 09, 2007 11:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for NEWSFLASH   Click Here to Email NEWSFLASH     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Apple co-founder backs Internet video venture
Fri Jul 27, 2007 3:55PM EDT
By Dane Hamilton

NEW YORK (Reuters) - An Internet video brainchild of three twentysomething former University of California grad students has won big backers, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Red McCombs, co-founder of Clear Channel Communications.

The billionaire moguls are backing a tiny venture-backed company, Hotswap.com, which has ambitious plans to feed a growing demand for high-definition-like Internet video for everyday e-commerce uses, such as consumer car sales, its founders said.

"I like what they're doing. It's definitely a step forward," said Wozniak, the Silicon Valley wunderkind who formed Apple with entrepreneur Steve Jobs in 1976.

"Woz," as he's known, said he signed on as an adviser to the company to "give them ideas that come into my mind."

Hotswap.com emerged from graduate computer science research into digital "compression" technology that its founders say can make common digital camera movie clips mimic high-definition television on Web sites.

Luke Thomas, a 21-year-old former UC Berkeley grad student and Hotswap chairman, said the often-fuzzy videos uploaded by amateurs onto YouTube.com and similar Web sites can be transformed by Hotswap's technology. Hotswap has applied for patents for the technology, he added.

"All the technology we see on the Internet is 1994 technology," said Thomas. "You will see e-commerce take off with the advent of high-quality video."

Formed just three months ago with the backing from the venture finance firm Kinsey Hills Group, Hotswap.com has already won contracts with AutoNation Inc. and with Red McCombs Enterprises' chain of auto dealerships.

Rad Weaver, McCombs' vice president of business development, said the company has begun using video clips with Hotswap technology for its used car listings on the Internet.

The San Antonio, Texas company sells about 40,000 new and used cars a year and is part of the business empire of Red McCombs, 79, an oil-and-gas magnate who started a car dealership chain in Texas and expanded into home building, oil and other businesses before co-founding Clear Channel, the media company, in 1972.

He has also owned sports franchises including the Minnesota Vikings, San Antonio Spurs and Denver Nuggets.

"DYNAMIC"

"This gives the most dynamic presentation of the vehicle," said Weaver, who said he's found no similar marketing tool for Internet video presentation.

Digital camera filmstrips can also be easily uploaded onto Web sites. "With their compression technology, they are able to drastically shorten the upload time-frame, which is critical."

Weaver declined to value the contract, but said it's "material" for his company.

Thomas founded Hotswap.com with two UC Berkeley friends, Ryan Waliany and Ken Elkabany, both 20. All were former computer science Ph.D. students who spent most of their time in laboratories.

"When other kids were out partying, we were in our labs," said Thomas. "In the weekends, we were in the labs. We've never taken a break from this."

Reeling off statistics on potential market demand for the new technology, Thomas confidently predicts: "We're going to be a billion-dollar company."

For now, Thomas says the Berkeley-based company plans to focus on the $370 billion-a-year used car industry, where the company expects to win more contracts.

Thomas said his alma mater won't be making any claims to the technology, as universities often do with budding technology.

"They definitely influenced our brains, but this was done independently from our university," he said.

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fred
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posted August 31, 2007 02:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ross Levinsohn And Jonathan Miller To Announce New Buyout Fund Next Week

Michael Arrington

This news has been simmering for a while. When Ross Levinsohn (pictured left) resigned as the President of Fox Interactive Media late last year it was rumored that he intended to raise a large fund to acquire Internet startups. He soon partnered with Jonathan Miller, the former Chairman and CEO of America Online and the two have been out raising capital for the last few months.

They’ve found their partner - $15 billion hedge fund General Atlantic. Details on the amount of capital committed to the new fund are scarce, but General Atlantic issued a press release today announcing that Levinsohn and Miller have become advisors to the fund. The timing is interesting - 5:14 pm EST on the Friday before the long weekend. The press was circling on this story, and the release was obviously made to preempt the news from breaking.

More news should be coming next week as details leak - size of the fund, name of the new company, etc. The new venture will compete with Demand Media and others for acquisitions. Demand Media, which has raised $220 million in capital, was founded by former Intermix Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt. Ironically, Intermix Media, the parent company to MySpace, was acquired by Fox during Levinsohn’s tenure there.

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indiedan
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posted June 06, 2008 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for indiedan   Click Here to Email indiedan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Lucky to attend the Founders' Club party, we bumped into Rocketboom creator Andrew Baron last night. Baron told us Rocketboom will sign a "fat" deal with a major content company as early as today. "Is that phat with a ph?" asked a bystander about the boast. "Fat in all meanings of the word," Baron said. "I just don't want to jinx it by saying who it is." He held up his hand and made a C with is thumb and forefinger to indicate, what, "a fat stack of cash?" I asked him. "Exactly." We asked if the deal was with Quincy Smith and CBS, because of Smith's deals for Wallstrip and Moblogic. "No, someone bigger than CBS," Baron said. Our second guess? Viacom. We haven't heard a no on that one yet.

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a
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posted October 22, 2008 08:57 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for a   Click Here to Email a     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Tech startups make cuts amid downturn

Commentary: Confluence of events may weed out youngest startups

By Therese Poletti, MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) - Many Internet startups are starting to heed the dire warnings of their venture capital investors, and last week, some began cutting costs in order to survive the economic downturn, including laying off employees.
Two weeks ago, Sequoia Capital, Benchmark Capital, angel investor Ron Conway and other investors wrote some scary memos to their portfolio companies, warning them to conserve their cash, cut costs and start generating revenues.

So many companies, some of them backed by the above-mentioned firms, started making cuts. Companies ranging from online real estate appraiser Zillow.com in Seattle to Internet radio station Pandora of Oakland, Calif. to San Francisco-based ad network AdBrite all began to issue pink slips to employees last week.

Even the elder statesmen of the Internet are swinging the axe. Online auction giant eBay Inc. announced plans to fire about 1,000 of its workers earlier this month. Yahoo Inc. may announce cuts of 1,000 employees on Tuesday, according to recent reports in the Wall Street Journal and ValleyWag, a widely read Silicon Valley-based blog.
One thing seems to be clear. As the companies who already have funding scramble to stay alive, and take up even more attention of their investors, my guess is it's going to be harder to start new technology companies, especially in the Internet sector and in capital intensive arenas such as semiconductors and telecommunications, over the next year or longer.

New data released this weekend from the National Venture Capital Association gave a glimpse into a trend that will probably continue as the economy worsens. The companies at the earliest stages in funding saw a slight drop in investing amid an overall 7% drop in venture funding, which will be exacerbated by the credit crisis. The Internet sector was a big loser of investment, with funding of Internet startups falling 36% from the second quarter.
Over the last year, venture capitalists have been faced with a very big problem: the lack of a public market for their companies. As the VCs noted on a conference call to discuss the data, there has not been a single initial public offering since March.

Venture capitalists are already spending more time with the companies in their portfolios that already should be going public. They have been holding their hands, trying to find buyers, or helping in the search for strategic partners for companies that, in another time, might already be publicly traded.

John Taylor, vice president of research at the NVCA, gave a great analogy to help understand a problem that I think is only going to get worse.
"Imagine the example of a high school that has lost its diploma-printing machine," he said. "You have all these high school seniors and it can't release them because there is no place for them to go."

If these numbers continue to build, the venture firms will start paying less attention to the very early stage companies. As their focus becomes how to get returns on their increasing investments, newer younger companies will get less attention.
With the credit markets tightening, the exit strategy via an acquisition is also getting harder. Often, companies need financing for such deals.

Other sources of capital are drying up. Angel investors are seeing their own personal portfolios take a hit, and therefore have less to work with. Attempts at bootstrapping will be harder for entrepreneurs because they will not be able to use their homes as piggy banks, and friend and family financing will be harder to come by as the credit crisis hits consumers' own pocketbooks by limiting credit cards with large balances.

The irony was not lost on anyone in Silicon Valley that AdBrite, one of the companies to cut the most jobs last week (40%) counts among its founders Philip Kaplan, the creator of one of the more infamous sites of the dot-com bust. The site - f-edcompany.com - chronicled the demises of the Internet bubble through snippets and rumors about companies in trouble.
Last week's moves were followed with a bit of glee among the media (myself included) and the VCs themselves, almost with the same kind of excitement and morbid fascination that comes before a big storm. The VCs hope to be able to use the desperation that may creep into some companies as a chance to get bigger stakes for lower valuations. And the media wants to say "we told you so." See full story.
At least one blogger has started a lame attempt to recreate F-edcompany.com, with a blog called F-edstartups.com.
"There are some pundits out there who make a living out of creating controversy or a buzz out of uncertainty," said Myles Weissleder, founder of SF New Tech, an entrepreneurial group and a co-founder of chi.mp, which helps computer users control their identities online. He said the vibe at the group's most recent gathering earlier this month was "energized."
It will be interesting to see how far entrepreneurs will be able to get in the current economy, and perhaps, it will be a true test of their ideas. Those who don't start a company with the sole intent of getting rich quickly -- an endemic problem in both the first and the Web 2.0 bubble -- will have more patience and conviction in their ideas than others. Others focusing on the more urgent field of clean tech may fare even better.

But it is still going to be tough, especially if the venture capitalists are still babysitting the high school graduates.

Therese Poletti is a senior columnist for MarketWatch in San Francisco.

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fred
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posted September 14, 2009 09:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Intuit Is Buying Mint.com For $170 Million
Joe Weisenthal|Sep. 13, 2009, 9:20 PM|comment15
Print
Tags: Startups, Personal Finance, Mint

Update: TechCrunch confirms the acquisition and pegs the price tag at $170 million.

Original post: A tipster tells us that Intuit (INTU), the giant maker of personal and small-business software, is buying red-hot Mint.com, which provides online money management tools. We have no idea if this is true, and we're skeptical, though it certainly makes sense.

Intuit has a ton of cash and no growth. Mint is growing like crazy and would fit nicely with Intuit's business.

Mint has raised $31 million since its founding in 2007. It raised another $14 million just back in August, which makes the timing of this rumor a bit suspect. The tipster says the buyout price is $150 million.

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fred
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posted October 09, 2009 08:37 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How to build a $170 million company from scratch...
http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-build-a-170-million-company-from-scratch-2009-10#accounting-for-startups-1

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fred
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posted November 05, 2009 08:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Zelnick’s New Media Dinner: a new ideas exchange?

On the evening of Nov 2, about 70 people — new media upstarts and old media stalwarts, brand-name investors and top company executives — gathered at the Manhattan home of Strauss Zelnick to talk shop.

This was the third such gathering that Zelnick and his co-hosts organized, with the aim of bringing New York’s best media-focused minds under one roof to talk about the future of the business. In keeping the setting intimate and the number of invitations in the ballpark of about a hundred people, the organizers hope to turn the “New Media Dinner” into a recurring salon-of-sorts, where ideas, capital and expertise can mix and match.

In a half-hour chat before the guests started arriving, Zelnick and two of the co-hosts, drop.io founder Sam Lessin and Thrillist’s Ben Lerer explained to me how this all came about.

For Zelnick, chairman of video-game publisher Take-Two and co-founder of private equity firm ZelnickMedia Corp, the idea of organizing the event sprang from “a desire… to meet the next generation of leaders in the media business.” Naturally, he turned to Lessin and Lerer, who are now in their 20s but who have known Zelnick since they were in their teens and frequently turn to him for advice on their ventures.

“I suspect that between the organizers, we collectively know almost everybody doing the most interesting things in new media in New York,” Zelnick said. News Corp’s Jeremy Philips and venture capitalist Stuart Ellman of RRE Ventures were the other co-hosts for the evening.

And sure enough, they pulled in a power crowd that included veteran dealmaker Quincy Smith, CBS’s Internet chief who is quitting to start his own advisory firm, former Doubleclick CEO-turned-ex-Googler David Rosenblatt, and even Ron Conway, Silicon Valley’s star angel investor who was in town for meetings.

Over dirty martinis and mini lobster rolls, denizens of “Silicon Alley” such as Betaworks’ Andy Weissman and Union Square Ventures’ Fred Wilson rubbed shoulders with some of New York’s media elite including Journalism Online’s Gordon Crovitz and my own boss, Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer.

Crovitz and I had planned to chat at the dinner but I missed the chance, so we followed up on Tuesday. The former publisher of The Wall Street Journal, who now invests in early-stage media and technology companies, gave me his take on e-mail: “Technology has led to a period of intense creative destruction for the media and information industries,” he said. “New York is the center for this transition, with an enormous amount of innovation and reinvention by new media entrepreneurs and the old-media executives who understand this period of fundamental change.”

Some new media entrepreneurs, like Lessin, have been privileged enough to seek the help and advice of traditional media power players in navigating this changing landscape. “I’ve always had access to people like Strauss who’ve helped me figure out the landscape and told me when my ideas were terrible,” said Lessin, who is 26 and the son of investment banker Bob Lessin.

But the new media get-togethers are about “introducing my best, brightest and smartest friends to some of Strauss’s friends,” he said, adding that the past two events — in February and July — have spawned many interesting discussions between people who met at the venue.

Later, I mingled with many of the guests, picking up stray bits of conversation: here a pitch from an entrepreneur to a venture capitalist, there a bit of M&A gossip, chatter about which start-ups are working and which aren’t doing too well, mentions of the recent pay-models-for-journalism panel at Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, not to mention heated debates on the Yankees-Phillies game.

“It was a little bit of this and a little bit of that,” said Kenneth Lerer, chairman of The Huffington Post, when I followed up with him on Tuesday. “My guess is that a few investments and a few deals and a few hires will be made out of last night.”

“One of these (events) don’t mean much but if you have a series of them — and I think that’s what Strauss’s intention is — it’s smart, good business,” Lerer added.

Although most folks seemed to know each other already, I was happy to point out Fred Wilson and Tom Glocer to various entrepreneurs.

For many of New York’s young media entrepreneurs, it was also an opportunity to relax (not all of them were in ties) and catch up on industry chatter. The hosts made sure the booze didn’t run out, and there were few complaints about the first course of pappardelle with wild mushrooms, followed by entrees of prime rib roast and sea bass.

For dessert, the guests were treated to New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell, whose boss David Remnick spoke at the first gathering in February and was also at this one. Gladwell infused his short speech with healthy skepticism about the power of technology to bring about social change and improve our collective well-being. The audience took the bait spiritedly, and a brief back-and-forth followed. Then it was almost midnight, and the party was over. I have to believe that not a few guests were already thinking about the next one.

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fred
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posted November 18, 2009 09:32 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Start-Ups Linking TV To The Web Talk Business Models

I remember my brother showing off a new device in the late 1990s that let him navigate the Internet on the television. Back then, there were no dogs riding skateboards on YouTube or NBC dramas on Hulu, but the technology from WebTV appeared to be a breakthrough in the convergence of the two mediums.

A screenshot of the Boxee interface

The frustrating thing about WebTV was that the dialup connection was so slow - at times crippling - that you often sat on the couch waiting minutes for a page to load. Plus, the resolution on TVs then was far from hi-res, and the lack of multimedia on the Web made the task rather boring.

Fast forward more than a decade: While you can now search the Web at lightening speed on the tube, watch television shows online at will and view Internet videos with clarity on any screen, companies are still struggling to come up with a business model for the Internet-connected television market.

Lately, a number of Internet video upstarts have run into early challenges. ZillionTV Inc., for instance, recently cut jobs and announced it is delaying the launch of its Internet TV service until next year. The service is supposed to deliver free, on-demand access to TV show and movies via a set-top box connected to the Internet and supported by advertising and offers. That free ad model may be abandoned by Hulu, which offers television shows and movies and whose owners, NBC Universal and News Corp., are said to be considering charging a fee after advertising revenue may not have materialized as quickly as expected. And Joost has struggled mightily in its quest to compete with Hulu and develop an online TV service enhanced with behavioural targeting and social networking.

There are plenty of players out there racing to secure content owner relationships to offer the largest library of video, as well as deals with consumer electronics manufacturers to embed the technology in new devices.

At last week’s Billboard Media & Money conference in New York, three executives from up-and-coming start-ups pushing the convergence of Internet and TV talked briefly about how they plan to make money in this hyper-competitive market. Here are some excerpts from that conference panel:

-Boxee, backed by $10 million from General Catalyst Partners, Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures, is developing software that lets people access on their TVs video from their computers and various Web sites. The New York company last week announced a partnership with a consumer electronics company to put Boxee on a television-connected device.

Zach Klein, Boxee chief creative officer:

We have an application store, and the idea is that we’ll make money when our content providers make money. So very much like how you buy an application on your iPhone, it will be possible on Boxee for you to buy a content providers’ application where you can access their content, or buy content a la carte on demand. We would take some fee for making that transaction happen.

(MODERATOR: What about your consumer electronics partner, is there a financial arrangement with them?)

It’s really not our business model at all. We want it to be as easy as possible for our software to be on any set-top box.

-BeeTV, based in Milan, operates a personal television recommendation that it sells to cable, satellite and Internet TV providers. The service adapts to a viewer’s preferences and recommends shows on TV, videos online or even the mobile phone.

Rodolfo Hecht, BeeTV founder and chairman:

On one side we are white label - so we aim to be the default interface of distribution platforms. In that case, our revenue model involves a licensing fee and revenue sharing for the premium content, targeted ads and paid promotion.

On our business to consumer activity, we have basically targeted ads and referrals.

-Eqal, which raised $5 million last year from Spark Capital and another of angel investors, is an online video studio best known for its production of the Internet-video serial “lonelygirl15.” It partners with media companies like CBS and celebrities like Paula Deen to produce and market Internet shows.

Miles Beckett, Eqal chief executive:

Primarily right now, we make money from large sponsorship deals with brands, which manifests in a variety of forms, typically in some form of product integration into the videos that are being produced. Often times there’s some destination Web site component that we might have a hand in for the brand itself. There may be some display advertising, but then the advertising format will adapt depending on the media we’re selling into. We might be doing different types of ads on Facebook or on YouTube, but it’s all part of this larger package that we’ve sold [to the client].

The thing going forward that we’re going to end up doing more and more of - I wouldn’t call it like having a pay wall - but having a sort of value-added subscription model. So if you can kind of think of DVD extras where people could pay a monthly fee or yearly fee to get all extra special stuff on PaulaDeen.com. And beyond that we’ve done a bit with virtual goods, so we partnered with a company called Viximo (a virtual-goods gifting platform)…that’s not huge because you need a large amount of volume of users to drive it, but in time it will become a bigger part of our business.

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fred
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posted April 02, 2010 08:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
20 Silicon Valley starts to watch...
http://www.businessinsider.com/hot-silicon-valley-startups-2010-3

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fred
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posted July 08, 2010 08:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fred   Click Here to Email fred     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
http://continuations.com/post/785117551/some-career-advice

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a
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posted March 13, 2011 09:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for a   Click Here to Email a     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Barely hatched, startups take flight at SXSW
A New York tech gathering at SXSW drew established ventures like Etsy and Foursquare, plus a posse of brand-new startups hoping to follow in their footsteps.Hashable staffers Dave Sebag and Teddy Jawde shared a computer screen at NYC's startup meetup at SXSW. By Stacy Cowley, tech editorMarch 14, 2011: 12:03 AM ET


AUSTIN (CNNMoney) -- Almost 2,000 miles from New York, a posse of the city's tech entrepreneurs gathered Sunday at an SXSW offshoot to network, recruit and pitch investors over beer.

Established fixtures from the city's startup scene -- like Etsy, Foursquare and Gilt Groupe -- turned out to mingle with a flock of brand-new upstarts. Some, quite literally, are just-barely hatched: Scott Carleton, co-founder of Artsicle, turned out to pitch his "Netflix of fine art" site. It launched 10 days ago.

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Carleton is a former nuclear engineer who recently turned his hand to Web development. The creation-spark for Artsicle came from his girlfriend and fellow co-founder, Alexis Tryon, an art lover and former American Express employee.

"She went to a SoHo gallery, bonus check in hand, wanting to buy a painting -- and they wouldn't show it to her," Carleton says. Several tries later, she still couldn't crack the gallery code.

Enter Artsicle, which wants to demystify art shopping. For $50 a month, subscribers can rent a work from the site's portfolio. If they love it and want to keep it, the purchase price is prominently posted. Otherwise, they can swap it the next month and snag a new painting to display. The site opened its doors with a roster of 30 emerging artists, sourced from local university programs and galleries.

"It's completely bootstrapped," Carleton says of his venture, which went from idea to launch in four months.
0:00 /1:44What's hot at SXSW

On the other end of the spectrum are New York tech firms like SecondMarket, a seven-year-old financial services company that handled $10 billion in transactions last year. Its executives stopped by to tout the company's new private-stock sales platform, which connects deep-pocketed buyers with equity holders -- like employees at the startups milling around, drinking Shiner Bocks and swapping business cards via Twitter.

New York's tech scene leans heavily toward consumer Web companies. The SXSW meetup reflected that tilt, with pitches from new startups like imup4 (a planning tool for group outings), Dealery (daily-deals aggregator) and Pixable (Facebook photo sharing).

But the city is also home to a handful of deep-geek enterprise software companies -- the kinds of ventures more typically found in Silicon Valley. Like MongoDB. The name comes from "humongous," and that's the best way to describe the databases MongoDB underpins. It's the foundation of Foursquare, which stored records for 382 million check-ins last year.

MongoDB is an open-source product, offering its software (and the complete code base) for free and making money selling services and support around it. Founded in 2007, the company now has 30 people and a client roster that includes Intuit (INTU), Shutterfly, Bit.ly and the New York Times.

The most common complaint about trying to run a tech company in NYC is the city's shallow pool of skilled programmers, compared to the deep reservoirs in the San Francisco area. Nosh Petigara, director of product strategy at 10gen -- the commercial developer behind MongoDB -- said he "hasn't found it super-hard to recruit" the engineers MongoDB needs to grow. Still, 10gen just opened its first Bay Area office, in part, to tap into the city's talent stream.

Support for NYC's growing tech ecosystem goes straight to the top. As SXSW kicked off, Mayor Mike Bloomberg fired off a tweet in the Austin direction: "To all the NYC technology leaders attending #SXSW this year: show 'em how we do innovation here in #NYC @NYxSW"

For CNNMoney's full SXSW coverage, follow @CNNMoneyTech and visit CNNMoney.com/sxsw. To top of page

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DavidChang
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posted July 08, 2011 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Too many IPOS coming - it makes me nervous.

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DavidChang
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posted September 05, 2011 09:48 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Major selloff coming this week - bad news for startups looking for cash.

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DavidChang
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posted March 26, 2012 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The 500 Startups-backed dev and design community Forrst has been acquired by Colourlovers, a similarly-focused creative design community. This is the second site from Forrst founder Kyle Bragger which is coming to a close – his online marketplace TinyProj previously ended operations in January. However, in the former case, the site was being shut down with users transitioned to another service, while Forrst is reportedly the subject of an acquisition.

Forrst was originally created as a side project back in 2010, but soon became popular with the web developer and design crowd. In March of last year, the company raised $205,000 in seed funding from Dave McClure’s 500 Startups, Gary & AJ Vaynerchuk, Nate Westheimer, Sahil Lavingia, Adam Schwartz, and Jim Sokoloff.

The site served as a forum where users could share designs and code, receive feedback from other developers, ask questions or post about design topics. Members also have profiles at “Forrst.me” URLs, which offer links to Forrst posts, Twitter, GitHub, and Tumblr accounts.

According to PandoDaily, which reported on news of the acquisition this morning, the combined resources of both companies will continue to serve the design community, while also functioning as a revenue-generating business. For what it’s worth, Forrst was on its way to doing that as well – at the time of its seed funding, 10% of its accounts were “premium” accounts charging $9/month. However, Colourlovers has been around for longer – 7 years, in fact – giving it a head start in the space. The site now has nearly 1.5 million users who have shared over 5 million colors, 2 million palettes, 2 million patterns, and nearly 160,000 templates.

The company is also further ahead in terms of funding – it raised $1 million in May 2011 from investors including Atlas Venture, Morado Ventures, Founder Collective, Charles River Ventures, 500 Startups, Seraph Group & Zelkova Ventures, Matt Mullenweg, Alexis Ohanian, Don Hutchison, Dharmesh Shah, Jared Friedman, and Shawn Bercuson.

Colourlovers’ founders are now also working on something called “Creative Market,” which will serve as an online marketplace for digital goods, including fonts, icons, templates, and more.

The company describes the market like so:

Creative Market is the next piece of our mission that will help creatives easily access a wealth of beautiful design content for their projects. Whether it’s finding a unique vector pattern for a textile, the perfect font with personality for a new logo, or any other kind of digital creative content that helps you produce something amazing.

Our friends at Etsy.com empowered the handmade goods revolution. We believe we can do the same for mousemade goods.

No word yet on the acquisition terms or how the two sites will combine their resources going forward.

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DavidChang
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From:Toluca Lake, California
Registered: Apr 2000

posted April 09, 2012 05:50 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DavidChang   Click Here to Email DavidChang     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Welcome to the Monday where Facebook buys Instagram. Actually I’m as shocked as you are about this acquisition, namely because I was working on it as a funding story all morning. From what I’m hearing investors were shocked as well …

Because the rumors are true, right before its billion dollar acquisition from Facebook, Instagram closed a $50 million Series B round from Sequoia, Josh Kushner’s Thrive Capital, Greylock and Benchmark at a $500 million valuation. The round was led by Sequoia, as first reported by AllThingsD’s Liz Gannes.

Investors, many of whom didn’t know about the Facebook acquisition, literally doubled their money (which was wired to Instagram last Thursday) overnight. So why would Systrom dilute his share by accepting financing so close to an acquisition? Well as Christine Heron points out, Instagram may have been using the A-list investment to drive up the company’s valuation during acquisition negotiations, and vice versa.

Instagram last raised funding a little over a year ago, in a modest $7 million round from from angels Adam D’Angelo, Jack Dorsey, Chris Sacca, Baseline Ventures and Benchmark Capital. Two years ago, Steve Andersen from Baseline invested in the company’s $500k seed round along with Andreessen Horowitz, which was shut out of subsequent rounds due to its investment in PicPlz and Path.

In a blog post announcing the deal, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said that he would continue to run the company “independently.” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg had this to say, “ “For years, we’ve focused on building the best experience for sharing photos with your friends and family. Now, we’ll be able to work even more closely with the Instagram team to also offer the best experiences for sharing beautiful mobile photos with people based on your interests.”

Many are comparing this buy to Google’s $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube, which makes sense from both a user and vertical integration stand point. Facebook, which was rumored to be building its own standalone photosharing, is well aware that much of the “stickyness” of the platform revolves around photosharing, especially via mobile.

IP: 168.161.192.16


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