LiveOps Raises $28m More
Distributed call-center outsourcing service LiveOps has announced the closure of a Series C round of funding for $28 Million. The round was lead by Benchmark Capital, a new investor in the company and a fund that rarely makes later stage investments.
Magnify.net, one of the video sharing startups that launched at DEMO, has raised $1.2 million in a first round of funding led by New York Angels and NextStage Capital. Other investors included Chris Anderson of the TED Conference, Active Angel Investors of Washington DC, and Stage 1 Ventures.
EA Acquires Karaoke Site SingShot
Electronic Arts announced today that it has acquired San Francisco based online karaoke site SingShot for an undisclosed sum. Kareoke sites are real crowd pleasers and this is the third in a year to be acquired. Fox Interactive Media acquired kSolo in April, then Yahoo! scooped up Bix in November.
FilmLoop Betrayed By Investors?
When I added FilmLoop to the TechCrunch DeadPool last month based on rumors of mass layoffs, it was clear there was more to the story. The thirty person company had raised $11.5 million in capital and by any calculation should have still had at least $3 - $5 million left in the bank.
When It Comes to Innovation, Geography Is Destiny
In our celebrity-studded world, where we make a cult of genius and individual achievement, the mind rebels at the notion that geography trumps personality. Yet the inescapable lesson of the iPod , Google , eBay , Netflix and Silicon Valley in general is that where you live often trumps who you are.
Google Loses Copyright Case, Drops Belgian Links (Update6)
A Brussels court said Google Inc. violated copyright laws by publishing links to Belgian newspapers without permission and ordered the company to remove them, setting a precedent for future cases in Europe.
Radio Founders Exit Google -
Search king continues to stumble in radio ad biz as dMarc execs walk.
Google's year-long foray into the radio advertising business continues to attract unwanted static. The latest setback is the sudden departure of the founders of dMarc, the radio ad placement firm Google bought last year for $102 million.
Dollars Flow to China
- Startups got $1.9 billion in 2006, says study.
Almost $2 billion in venture capital surged into China in 2006, a 55 percent increase over the prior year and the highest level in three years, according to a study released Tuesday.
Zlango Update: BenchMark and Accel Invest $12 Million
Israel-based Zlango will announce a $12 million round of financing tomorrow, led by BenchMark Capital and Accel Partners. The company launched the Zlango icon-based SMS service in the middle of 2006, and has expanded to three countries (Israel, Poland and certain Caribbean cell phone carriers).
Bolt gets its exit: $30M from GoFish
Bolt, an online video startup that's been made an example of by Universal Music Group, is selling out to publicly traded online video company GoFish for $30 million in stock.
Cisco buys into social-networking fray
Cisco Systems is making its first move toward courting big media companies with the acquisition of a small San Francisco social-networking company.
The Second Life Census
Second Life has done a good job being transparent with their statistics. Key metrics are available on the home page, and additional information was released last December. Today the company got even more granular, releasing detailed information on the Second Life population, demographics, usage time and land supply in an excel spreadsheet.
The Wizards of Buzz
This winter, many parents across the country are sitting on the floor with slabs of cardboard, box cutters and special rivets, and building pirate ships for their kids. How did this happen? Thank 45-year-old Cliff Worthington. An English teacher in Osaka, Japan, he mentioned the box projects on a popular Web site called Digg.com . Soon, supplies of the rivets needed to make them sold out at MrMcGroovys.com .
MySpace Makes $25 Million a Month in Ads
As is often the case, the media is trying to extract the “interesting bits” from Rupert Murdoch's keynote interview at the McGraw-Hill Digital Media Summit in New York yesterday. The best tidbit seems to be that MySpace is pulling in nearly $25 million per month in ad revenue, with a growth rate of 30% per quarter.
NBC's Zucker lashes out at YouTube
Jeff Zucker , on his first day as chief executive of NBC Universal, came out swinging at YouTube, accusing the online video site of failing to deploy its technology to protect the copyrighted materials of traditional media companies.
Breaking: YouTube's Chad Hurley To Make $326.2 Million
This is going to be big news when it reaches the blogosphere: according to the press wires, YouTube's founders and investors at Sequoia Capital have filed to sell 3.23 million of the shares in Google they received during the acquisition in October last year.
Jobster Attacks the Monster
Monster.com is a fat target. It has a market cap of nearly $7 billion and generates over $1 billion per year in revenue. All that revenue is largely generated on paid job listings, starting off at $475 for a single listing. Hotjobs and a bunch of other services provide similar services, all for a fee. Even Craigslist charges for job listings in many markets.
MySpace Offering $2M for Movie Mashup
MySpace, which is far more dominant in the United States than in other countries, is launching a pretty cool U.K. contest for a collaboratively made film, bankrolling it with £1 million ($1.97 million) in collaboration with Film4 and Vertigo Films.
Video Site Putfile Sells for $7.1M
HandHeld Entertainment, a small consumer electronics firm that is buying up web content sites, has acquired video and photo upload site Putfile for $7.1 million in cash and stock, the company announced today.
Network Solutions Acquired By General Atlantic
We're just getting news that domain name registrar (the original one) Network Solutions has been acquired by General Atlantic, a private equity firm. The price hasn't been disclosed, but it will be leaking soon.
Gigya Puts MySpace Layouts in Email, Gets $4M
You'll remember we're big fans of Gigya , the new webmail service that allows users to add MySpace layouts and other decorative elements to email. You can, for instance, add RockYou slideshows, MySpace music players , YouTube videos, photos from Photobucket and other 'blog bling'.
Force 10, waiting for that IPO?
Force 10 Networks, a maker of 10GB Ethernet switches has raised another $60 million, to bring its Series F funding to a whopping $113 million. The company has so far raised a gargantuan $400 million in private investments thus far.
European Startup Plazes Raises €2.7 million
Plazes , which is based in Zurich and Berlin, is announcing its first institutional round of financing this morning. They raised €2.7 million, or about $3.5 million, from Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures.
Sequoia invests in Wi-Fi startup Meraki
Meraki Networks, the wireless mesh hardware and software startup that raised seed capital from Google and a handful of angels late last year, says it has raised $5 million in Series A funding, with Sequoia Capital leading this round of investment.
SuperBowl Ads (Not Really) From Startups
Today's the day - SuperBowl XLI. Hundreds of millions of people around the world will eat junk food, drink beer, and watch the best television advertising all year interrupted periodically with a football game.
GooTube Slammed By Viacom Takedown Demand
Google was slammed today by a demand from Viacom to remove over 100,000 MTV, Daily Show, SouthPark BET and other copyrighted materials. This comes after months of failed negotiations between the two companies to find a way for Google to compensate Viacom for this content. According to Viacom, the clips in question have been viewed over 1 billion times.
FanNation Acquired by Sports Illustrated
Today, Sports Illustrated is announcing the acquisition of FanNation, albeit at a less ridiculous price: “at least” $20 million for both FanNation and an investment in parent company STI.
Google Announces Fourth Quarter And Fiscal Year 2006 Results
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - January 31, 2007 - Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced financial results for the quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2006. 'Our impressive performance in the fourth quarter demonstrates the continuing strength of our business model across Google properties and those of our partners," said Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google. "Our growing organization allows us to deliver ever increasing amounts of information and content to our users both through investments in search and ads as well as through strategic partnerships.'
Vizu Gets $2.9 Million for Poll-Based Market Research
Vizu Answers announced a $2.9 million round of financing today for its poll based market research, led by Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
Flixster Closes Very Competitive Financing Round
Flixster , a San Francisco based social network where users rate and discuss movies, closed a round of financing today with LightSpeed Ventures.
Ogilvy Partners With Technorati
Ogilvy North America announced today that they are partnering with Technorati to offer its clients new ways to tap into dynamic Live Web media including blogs, vlogs, videos, photos, and other citizen media as a growing part of its integrated approach to building brands.
Farecast Takes $12 Million More
Seattle-based Farecast , which predicts and guarantees airline prices, made its third round of financing, taking $12.1 million from Sutter Hill Ventures and others
News Corp. Invests in ROO
The Wall Street Journal reported (behind paywall) this morning that News Corp would announce a $12 million investment in online video startup ROO.
Brightcove Raises $59.5 million
Brightcove, an online video platform and destination start-up has raised 2 a whopping $59.5 million in new funding from strategic and large institutional investors.
MarketClusters Announces $3 Million in Expansion Funding
MarketClusters Limited, developer of the 'StrategyWire' intelligence platform enabling corporate and financial clients to accurately filter - and put into context - expert opinions created in Blogs or News feeds, is pleased to announce that it has closed its first round expansion funding.
LinkedIn Raises Nearly $13 Million More
Professional social network LinkedIn will announce a previously rumored $12.8 million round of financing on Monday, led by Bessemer and the European Founders Fund.
Skype Zennstrom, Euro Angels fall for wunderLOOP
wunderLOOP, a Luxembourg-based behavioral advertising and content targeting company, is about to announcing a big round of funding that would allow the company expand and take on its bigger rivals.
Microsoft in hot water over Wikipedia edits
Microsoft Corp. has landed in the Wikipedia doghouse after it offered to pay a blogger to change technical articles on the community-produced Web encyclopedia site.
Podcasting Ad Network Raises $4 million
Kiptronic, an advertising network for podcasting, has closed a $4 million round of financing. Investors include Blueprint Ventures and Prism VentureWorks. The company had previously raised $400,000 in angel funding.
Europe's Digg Killer Raises €4 million
Luxembourg-based Wikio , Europe's best hope against Digg, Google News and Technorati (it is sort of a mashup of all three), has closed a €4 million ($5.3 million) Series A round of financing.
Lijit Funded, Partners With Feedburner
Lijit , which you might remember from when it was called Outfoxed, has raised $900K in funding from a syndicate that includes Colorado Fund I, Brad Feld, Seth Goldstein, Paul Berberian, Lijit's management team and other angel investors. They also announced a partnership with Feedburner today to provide search services for FeedBurner's 200 or so publisher networks.
Suit links MySpace to sex assaults
Four families have sued News Corp. and its MySpace social-networking site after their underage daughters were sexually abused by adults they met on the site, lawyers for the families said Thursday.
Four Month Old Wize Gets $4 Million
Silicon Valley based Wize is a site that tracks expert and user product reviews across the Internet and churns them through an algorithm to create a single, 1-100 'WizeRank.'
AOL to Acquire TradeDoubler for $900 million
We first heard about the AOL-TradeDoubler rumors in a comment to a blog post, and it looks like it’s happening. AOL is acquiring Sweden-based TradeDoubler, a performance marketing company, for €695 million in cash, or about US$900 million.
eBay is Buying StubHub For $310 million
It looks like the rumors forced eBay’s hand and they are announcing the deal earlier than expected - they are acquiring San Francisco-based StubHub for $285 million plus the cash on StubHub’s books, which is about $25 million.
Stockpickr in deal with The Street: More to Come?
Stockpickr, an investing site founded by two New York City hedge fund managers, is giving a boost to all companies in the “investing 2.0″ sector today with their announcement of a partnership with a leader from the first generation of the web investment sector, TheStreet.com.
German Facebook Clone (Studivz) Sells for €100 million
German Facebook clone Studivz has been sold to one of its investors, Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH, a German publishing group, for €100 million (about $132 million). Other investors of Studivz include the Samwer brothers, founders of ringtone company Jamba (sold for €270M) and Alando (sold to eBay for €43M in 1999).
China sees rapid rise in Web use
China's population of Internet users, already the world's second-largest after the United States, has risen by 30 percent over the past year to 132 million, a state news agency said Friday.
The Race to Beat Google
In an article in the January 1st 2007 issue of NYTimes, reporter Miguel Helft writes about the race in Silicon Valley to beat Google. Certainly the future of search has been much talked about lately
Wikipedia Bans Qatar
Qatar, home to nearly a million people, has been blocked from editing any entry on Wikipedia "due to a large volume of spam and vandalism."
Rawsugar closes shop!
RawSugar (the site is currently down), a company with offices in Israel and Silicon Valley, is closing shop (also reported by Steve Rubel and Rafael Sidi) and will enter the TechCrunch DeadPool. RawSugar can mosts easily be described as a del.icio.us competitor.
Digg Gets $8.5 Million
Digg has raised $8.5 million more in funding in a round led by return investors Greylock Partners and the Omidyar Network, it emerged today - that’s on top of the $2.8 million they already received. That puts the rumors to rest that Digg is set to sell imminently. Instead, they want to help others add Digg’s features to their sites.
No Acquisition For Digg - Raise Series B Round Instead
Red Herring and VentureBeat are reporting that Digg closed an $8.5 million Series B round of financing from previous investors Greylock Partners and the Omidyar Network, bringing the the total of capital they’ve raised to just over $10 million. They previously raised $2.8 million in October 2005 from Greylock, Omidyar and several angel investors.
Xunlei confirms Google Investment
Shenzhen Xunlei Network Technology, the Chinese P2P video software company has confirmed that Google will become an investor in the company, according to a Bloomberg news report.
PayPerPost To Acquire Performancing
PayPerPost, the controversial startup that pays bloggers to write about advertisers’ products, will be in the news again tomorrow. They will be announcing the acquisition of blogging tools and services company Performancing (see our earlier coverage of Performancing).
AT&T Acquires InFreeDA, Gets Into Free 411 Business
The massive success of Jingle’s 800-Free-411 service, which allows people to get 411 information without the outrageous fees charged by cell phone carriers and other telephone companies (up to $3.50 per call), has finally caught the attention of at least one of the big guys. AT&T acquired InFreeDA, a competitor to Jingle and operator of the 800-411-Metro service, for an undisclosed amount, and announced a free 411 service.
Wikia To Launch Search Engine: Exclusive Screenshot
The Times reported earlier today that Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is planning to launch a new search engine next year, to be called Wikiasari.
Wikiasari - Wikipedia Founder Launching a Google Rival
Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales is set to launch a search engine early next year in partnership with Amazon - it’s intended to be a rival to Google and Yahoo. The Wikiasari project may launch as early as Q1 of 2007, using the same user-generated system as Wikipedia.
Linkedin gets down to business
Commentary: Business network gets noticed. You might raise an eyebrow when you hear about how venture capitalists are set to value business network Linkedin, if only because you're one of those who've wondered just how or whether this company makes money.
Heavy.com Raises $12.3 Million
Heavy.com, the New York-based video content company, has raised another $12.3 million in funding. This will be their 5th round of funding, with Polaris Ventures returning once more and Jacobson Investments joining in, too.
LinkedIn Worth $250 Million?
Another quick funding story: the business social network LinkedIn is reportedly set to close a $13 million funding round at a $250 million valuation - the investors aren’t yet known.
CoComment Gets $1.5 Million
CoComment, the site that lets you track comments around the blogosphere, has just announced a $1.5 million funding round from Japanese investor Netage Capital Partners. Netage now has a 40% stake in the company, which was launched by Swisscom in February.
ExpoTV Takes $6 million
Today, ExpoTV, a site focused on user-generated reviews and product demonstrations, announced a $6 million Series A round of funding led by Masthead Venture Partners and Prism VentureWorks, including existing investors. Brady Bohrmann of Masthead and Will Kohler of Prism are joining ExpoTV’s board.
TicketMaster Pours $13.3 Million Into iLike
In about an hour, we hear, iLike and TicketMaster will announce a strategic agreement that includes a $13.3 million investment in iLike for 25% of the company. That puts the value of iLike at a whopping $53.2 million. The company launched less than two months ago, on October 25.
Return of the Tech IPO
Paul Kedrosky may not have a clue about1the power of Blackberry (hence no need for Blackberry 2.0), but he does know the stock markets… very well. He has been calling for a comeback2 of the technology IPOs in 2007.
NetSuite’s Going Public, Looking for $1 Billion Valuation
NetSuite, the fraternal twin of SalesForce (both companies CEOs came out of Oracle and have similar business models), is preparing to go public next year based on 2006 revenues of about $70 million. The good news is that this could crack open the IPO window for startups again, which was firmly shut in the wake of GoDaddy’s abrupt withdrawl of its registration statement in August.
A big change in China for eBay
Online auctioneer ready to replace its main Web site in world's most populous country with another run by Beijing-based firm, which will control 51% of venture.
FanNation Worth $60 Million? Really?
Now the Sports Business Journal (behind a paywall) is reporting that Sports Illustrated/Time Inc has a 'deal in principle' to get a 40% stake in FanNation for $25 million - that would mean the sports social network is valued at a staggering $60 million already.
Google Acquires Euro Mapping Company
Google announced the acquisition of part of a business called Endoxon, an Internet mapping company located in Switzerland.
Glam Media Gets $18.5 Million And A CNET Chairman
Glam Media, a fashion and lifestyle Web site, has a trifecta of news today. It has received $18 million in Series C funding, CNET chairman Jarl Mohn is joining the company as an investor and strategic adviser, and there is a new partnership with Hearst Magazines to bring articles from their popular magazines, starting with Marie Claire, to Glam.com.
Yahoo Begins Panama Roll-Out In The U.S.
Panama, Yahoo’s long awaited upgrade to their search marketing program, is now open to any U.S. business. Previously, the program was only available to Yahoo’s existing search marketing customers that wanted to upgrade to the new platform.
StumbleUpon Launches StumbleVideo
Just after midnight EST (about now), StumbleUpon will lift the embargo on StumbleVideo, a service that automatically finds videos matching your interests. The site doesn’t require the StumbleUpon toolbar - you can simply watch videos pulled from MySpace Video, Google Video and YouTube, clicking on the “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” to show whether you liked the clip. Once you’ve rated, click “Stumble!” to move to the next video; think of it as Hot or Not for videos.
Minti Raises More Money, Expanding Beyond Parenting
In a blatant attempt to raise their profile in the niche category of the upcoming social networking awards, the Minti folks are putting out a release tomorrow to say that they (or more correctly, their owners Vibe Capital) have raised a further AU $1.2M in funding, on top of the AU $1.2M they raised previously.
Yahoo’s 'Project Fraternity' Docs Leaked
Rumors about the possible acquisition of Facebook, usually with Yahoo as buyer, have been around for most of this year. Not that Yahoo or Facebook have asked for this attention, but the media is getting antsy. Robert Young put it best last week when he asked - Yahoo & Facebook: Deal or No Deal?. That is certainly the question of the fiscal quarter.
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