startup rundown

Startup News: Etsy Goes Big for Christmas and Bloomberg Giving Away Big Prize to Makers

Mr. Dickerson (Photo: Twitter.com)

Lots Of Tiny Wicker Puppets Sold Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson took to the company’s blog to address his craft-obsessed minons and report big new numbers. Etsy recently hit 20 million members across over 200 countries. In the first week of November, they passed the $700 million sales mark and their direct checkout system has now processed over $100 million in transactions. By the end of the year, Etsy projects that it will have sold over 100 million items in the company’s history.

The company is also going all out for the holiday season and expects to have its best month yet. It’s running a multi-million-dollar online advertising campaign and opening a Etsy Holiday Shop in SoHo from November 29th through December 8th. SoHo though? Isn’t Greenpoint or Williamsburg more on target with the Etsy brand?

Chu Bets Against Zynga Betable has already announced partnerships with big game companies and is right on the path to become the Spotify of online gambling and pass its closest rival, Zynga. Ya-Bing Chu, a former VP and GM of Zynga’s mobile division, has now joined Betable as the company’s new Chief Product Officer. At Zynga, he was responsible for operating Words with Friends and Scramble with Friends. Mr. Chu explains the move in an essay on Betable’s blog, where he says, “I realized that Betable was the only frictionless way to enter the real money market, which is revolutionary.” Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: NASA Images of Sandy Sold for Charity and Boxee Comes to a Walmart Near You

(Photo: wikipedia.org)

Ceci N’est Pas Une Sandy The affordable-art-dealing website 20 x 200 is now selling a print of a NASA satellite image of Hurricane Sandy. All proceeds from the sale will go to the Red Cross to help relief efforts. The striking image was taken at 9:02 a.m on Sunday, approximately 10 hours before NYC’s MTA shut transport service down throughout the tristate area. Hang it above your couch of a constant reminder of the grander universe and just how much you appreciate your wifi.

More Money, More Fancy Fancy, Pinterest’s cooler older brother, has raised just over $26 million in additional funding. New investors include Celtics owner Jim Pallotta, Twitter and Square cofounder Jack Dorsey and Edward Gilligan, the vice chairman of American Express. This also ruins rumors that Apple was planning to acquire the company. No word yet on what their favorite user, Kanye West, thinks of the new influx of cash. Read More

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After Significant Layoffs, Zynga Officially Rolls the Dice on Real Money Gaming in 2013

Mr. Pincus (Photo: Wikipedia)

After two big blows in succession–downgraded earnings forecasts, followed by 5 percent layoffs and the end of its studios in Boston, Japan, and the UK–Zynga’s third quarter earnings report exceeded the Street’s “rock bottom expectations.” That might explain why after hours trading is currently up 13.6 percent.

Zynga had predicted a net loss of $90 to $105 million for the third quarter, but only reported a net loss of $52.7 million. The company attributed part of that loss on a $95.5 million impairment charge on its acquisition of OMGPOP, the New York City-based makers of Draw Something. Zynga also said that a 28 percent sequential decrease in monthly unique payers (MUPs) from the second quarter (4.1 million) to the third quarter (3 million) as “largely driven by Draw Something.” Read More