shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Chessmasters Play Together, Groups Buy Together, and a Fun Fact

rumormonger5 Rumors & Acquisitions: Chessmasters Play Together, Groups Buy Together, and a Fun FactLOOKBACK. And the most popular rumor item last week was… TechStars intelligence! Readers have been pinging the rumormonger trying to find out the names of the founders since we teased that 12 companies were on the shortlist. Sorry kids–we made a deal with the devil, a.k.a. Dave Tisch, who promised to give us the full scoop as soon as papers are all signed. You can always crash by Pivotal Labs, where some of the companies have already started working.

KNIGHT TO DISTRICT 14. At last, Peter Thiel has convinced CollegeOnly/YouAre.TV founder Josh Weinstein to move to Silicon Valley. “Peter Thiel loves Josh,” lean start-upper Trevor Owens told us. “They’re both chess grandmasters.” Mr. Thiel was a U.S. Chess Master; Mr. Weinstein was a “nationally-ranked” tournament chess player. Betabeat, sad to see one of the weirdest web products in New York go, pinged Mr. Weinstein to verify the news. “Was going to follow up with you individually so it didn’t make it to Betabeat… yes, I’m moving out to CA,” the founder said. “Leaving next week.” At first, we wondered if Mr. Thiel just wanted to have someone to play chess with. But YouAre.TV just recruited a new CTO, so we guess there are still plans to build a company. Godspeed, Game of Boxes.

DEAL ME IN! New York based group-buying deal site BuyWithMe, funded to the tune of $20 million, is raising a new round soon, peHUB is rumormongering. “BuyWithMe, on the other hand, has less ambitious plans. Given that the company has raised less than $25 million to date, that’s not shocking. However, our source says that the company—which has been snapping up smaller competitors in the U.S. this year—will stick to its knitting and maintain a North America-only focus as it continues to develop both by organic growth and M&A,” the private equity blog says in a chipper, anonymously-sourced post that we bet came straight from the horse’s mouth.

IPAD ADVERTI$ING. Rumor has it, the New York Times is sold out of inventory for ads in its supa-slick iPad app for some time. But the company’s partnership with TechStarsNY-engendered OnSwipe, which builds HTML5 sites that can be viewed on mobile devices such as the iPad, lets them cheat and sell web ads at iPad prices.

FULL SPEED START-UP AHEAD. Local developer and TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon all-star Mark Webster tweeted on June 7 that he’d accepted a challenge to build a start-up in a week. Betabeat checked in. Launch much? we asked. “Sort of. Prototype is done, got us to the next step. Should have some BIG news in about a month or so,” Mr. Webster said. “We’ve assembled a team of four people. My business and hackathon partner, Aaron Foss, and I will be making up the product team. We’re going all-in on this startup and will be shutting down our consulting business, Kickstart Concepts, at the end of month to do this full-time… That’s about it. I know it’s nothing, but we’ll have some big news coming up soon. When it’s more interesting, I’ll be sure to share.”

DEPT. OF FUN FACTS. Venture capital attorney Doug Bernstein was a punk in law school! While Betabeat was hanging out in Turntable.fm this afternoon–and also working–the lawyer threw some Clash on the decks and waxed nostalgic. “I read this at my law school graduation. It was my speech. Dean wasn’t amused,” he said of “I Fought the Law.”

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    They are not even close to grandmasters.  But Josh is a topnotch kid.