startup rundown

Startup News: A New Wine Site Launches And Branded Emojis Get Big Backing

Wiiiiine me. (Photo: File)

mmmmm wine.

Right off the vine It’s almost five o’clock here, so why not check out the brand new wine site Grape Collective? Launched by former New York Observer president Christopher Barnes and former editor-in-chief of the Tasting Table Nick Fauchald, Grape Collective helps users find wines at the right price and educates them about those vinos in the process. Right now they’re featuring a video series about the rioja variety. And suddenly I’m thirsty.

Pounce on those sweet deals If you still shop for clothes in print catalogs but somehow want to buy those clothes on your phone, Pounce will let you impulse buy your favorites just by scanning the print image. And they recently added a few new features to the app including one that lets users compare sales and the all-important ability to zoom in on the thing you’re presumably going to buy with a single tap.

TextPride is on a roll Apparently companies have had a hard time finding a way to stick their logos into your private text conversations. Which is where TextPride comes in. They announced this week that they’ve raised $1 million in seed funding to bring their branded emojis to mobile texting apps. Many of them are sports-related, so if you love to text about the Chicago Blackhawks but desperately need their logo to make your point, TextPride has you covered. Their emojis work like add-ons that mobile messaging companies can include in their services as upgrades that you get to pay for.

KeyMe delivers The only thing more embarrassing than locking yourself out of your apartment is having to admit it to the hardware store employee. But now that the KeyMe app has added their same-day delivery feature (they claim you’ll have your new key in under 60 minutes), you and KeyMe are the only ones who have to know how silly you were. The app originally launched over the summer and stores information about each of your keys from simple photos so that, if you want to, you can take the app to a locksmith to get a copy. New Yorkers can even avoid all awkward human contact and get their copies at the digital KeyMe kiosks in 7-Eleven stores around Manhattan.

SeatGeek’s front row SeatGeek, the search engine that shows you the best ticket deals by event, launched the Android version of their app this week. SeatGeek for Android  includes all the features on the iOS version, which has been out for almost a year now, so you’ll still get the interactive venue maps and their view-from-seat images.

A Black Friday bird’s eye view There’s really no good way to do Black Friday, even if you manage to get all the deals, you still spent a ton of money and had to get up ridiculously early. There’s just no way to win. But personalized video ad provider Eyeview wants to at least help nudge you in the right direction with their Black Friday Booster. Eyeview claims the Booster will deliver thousands of ads customized by personal preferences and location to help retailers and shoppers navigate the best deals on that fateful Friday.

Ultravisual released Because the world definitely needs another photo sharing app, Brooklyn-based Ultravisual launched this week. But Ultravisual’s distinguishing feature is that it will let you share pretty much any type of visual thing on its own  or in a collection. That includes photos and videos, of course, but also images and GIFs from the web. Also, the app is backed by Technicolor and brought to you by Neil Voss, a soundtrack composer for Nintendo. So there’s that.

Follow Sarah Jacoby via RSS. sjacoby@observer.com