Oh Snap

Sext in Motion: Snapchat Is Now the Snapchat for Video

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It seems like just 18 hours ago, we were begging some industrious app developer to get at us with a pitch for “the Snapchat for video,” that would let you send snippets of film with a self-destruct button. From that clamoring pit of public demand arose Vidburn, a video sharing app built for fun by the folks at Lamplighter Games at a Hack Day. “We had so many laughs playing with it afterwards that we spent a week cleaning it up for primetime. It was just submitted to Apple today so it should be live in about a week,” Lamplighter cofounder Kris Minkstein told us by email, offering to send a TestFlight.

But Vidburn may arrive at the App Store DOA because moments ago Snapchat just released an update that lets you send videos for 10 seconds or less. “We’ve been planning on today for a little while,” cofounder Evan Spiegel told Betabeat by phone, shrugging off questions about the timing of the release.
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Fresh Capital

Snapchat, the So-Called Sexting App, Reportedly Raising $8 M. From Investors Who Backed Instagram

Smiles for funding.

Looks like we aren’t the only ones obsessed with Snapchat, the app that lets you share photos with a self-destruct button of 10 seconds or less. Over at GigaOm, Om Malik reports that Snapchat is rumored to be raising an $8 million round from Benchmark Capital “at a pretty generous pre-money valuation.” He says the app, which was launched by two Stanford students who met at a frat, is rumored to have a valuation “close to $50 million.” Read More

Fresh Capital

Benchmark Invests $25 M. In Minerva Project to Build a Better Ivy League School at Half the Cost

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Earlier this week, New York-based online higher-ed startup 2tor raised a $26 million Series D. Just six months earlier, Knewton, another local online education startup, picked up $33 million Series D.

The “edutech” market, as the New York City Economic Development Corporation called it in a recent report suggesting we build a sector right here at home, may be well-funded, but most startups tend to work within the system–offering symbiotic solutions like Coursekit (a Blackboard alternative). Of course, there’s also the Peter Thiel approach, which pays you to bypass the entire enterprise.

Minerva Project takes a more audacious approach. Founder Ben Nelson calls his project “the first elite American University to be launched in a century.” If you’re looking at the Ivy League, it’s even longer than that. (Cornell, the most recent entry, was founded in 1865.) Read More