startup rundown

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


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

Over The Aereo

Aereo Opens Up With Support for Windows, Chrome and Firefox

Mr. Kanojia (Photo:

Loath to open Safari? Wedded to your Windows machine? If so, a bit of good news: TV live-stream provider Aereo is expanding beyond iOS, to provide support for browsers Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 9, Firefox, Safari and Opera.

“For us, it’s significant because it opens up the universe of people that can experience Aereo,” Virginia Lam, Aereo’s VP of communications and government relations, told Betabeat.

“We’ve been telling folks for a while that PC support would be coming, so it’s nice to finally put the news out.” Read More

I Want My Free TV

Boxee TV Debuts With Real-Deal Cord-Cutting Options: Live HDTV Channels and Unlimited DVR

Home - LiveTV

Suddenly the days are growing shorter and there’s a snap in the air, and you know what that means: Everyone’s getting ready to duke it out for the top spot on holiday shopping lists. (Only 69 days left, folks.) Stepping into the ring today: Boxee, with the announcement of the Boxee TV–and the specs sound pretty promising for any aspiring cord-cutters out there.

The new device–which The Verge first leaked pics of last week–combines apps like Netflix, live broadcast TV, and an unlimited DVR offering all in one device. A dual tuner will allow you to watch live television from either a basic cable connection or antenna, as well as recording up to two channels at once. The price: $99. The device hits shelves November 1.

“There’ll be one place where you can watch live television, you can watch your recordings and you can watch video from the key over-the-top services,” Boxee CEO Avner Ronen told Betabeat. “We’ve streamlined the experience so it’s familiar grounds for anybody that has used the TV before.” Read More

Mayor Bloomberg, Eric Schmidt Dish on Upgrades to New York’s Tech Scene

Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Dorsey. (Photo:

Earlier today, Betabeat ventured downtown for a tech-world double whammy: Not just Mayor Michael Bloomberg, but also Google chairman Eric Schmidt were scheduled to speak. The pair were stopping by the joint headquarters of Boxee and Sidetour for a quick check-up on the state of New York tech.

After a barrage of stats illustrating New York’s rise to tech superstardom–for example, between 2007 and 2010, the number of employees at New York City digital media companies has grown 74 percent–Mayor Bloomberg segued into the news, such as it was.

On the heels of a nighttime cab ride testing Square technology with CEO Jack Dorsey, he’d just come from a morning meeting where he’d convened leaders–from Valley heavy hitters like Twitter CEO Dick Costolo to Alley stalwarts like Union Square Ventures ringleader Fred Wilson–for a roundtable dubbed “Keeping the Edge,” focused on the areas of infrastructure, education, and innovation. Read More


eBay Acquires NYC-Based Social Shopping Site Svpply

Mr. Pieratt (Photo: Brooklyn Beta)

eBay announced on its blog today that it has acquired Svpply, the NYC-based social shopping site that curates personalized collections of clothing and products. Located on Broome Street in Soho, Svpply raised $550,000 in seed funding back in 2010 from investors like Founders Collective, Spark Capital, SV Angel, Dennis Crowley and Jason Hirschhorn. Since then, Svpply has been bootstrapping itself to 620,000 product views per week and 140,000 registered members (as of May).

Last May, founder Ben Pieratt offered a candid perspective on first-time entrepreneurship, admitting his vulnerability. “I have zero experience or expertise in building a company,” he wrote in a 2011 blog post. “So I’m learning on the fly.” Read More


Oops: Boxee Says Unimpressive Numbers Were Just A Twitter Fail

Boxee bought?

So how’s that cordcutting revolution coming? In a post yesterday, GigaOm’s Janko Roettgers pointed out an @Boxee tweet with some less-than-stellar figures. Replying to a question regarding active users, the company revealed they’re at 2 million total users–only 200,000 of them Boxee Box users. If true, that would leave an awful lot of people holding onto that discontinued PC client.

Only it’s not true, as those numbers are apparently outdated. Upon reaching out for a comment, Betabeat was informed by Boxee’s Liz Dellheim via email that it was all the intern’s fault: Read More

Parties Parties

The 15 SXSW Parties You Really, Really Don’t Want to Miss

They are thinking about parties.

This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder & CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can follow him at @garysguide and reach him at gary [at]

As y’all know, SXSW (a.k.a. “Sundance for the Geek Set”) is less than two weeks away. And ya know what that means. Time to put into place a plan of action on how you gonna be partaying and taking Austin by storm! So to make your life easier to gorge on all those tears-of-joy-inducing Nuclear Tacos and drool-generating Salt Lick BBQs I’ve put together The Definitive Guide to SXSW Interactive 2012 Parties! And of course, it comes with my special commentary & notes to help you make sense of all the madness! You’re welcome. Read More

Web TV

Boxee Joins the TMI Party With Frictionless Sharing From Facebook

Boxee bought?

If you don’t have to make a conscious decision to share something, shouldn’t it be called something else? The effort to share something is what separates it from daily life and lets your network know its worth their time. Otherwise its just sort of exhibitionist spam.

In any case, Boxee is joining the party, adding its name along Spotify and The Washington Post as part of Facebook’s new “frictionless sharing” initiative. Watch an episode of The Colbert Report and without even the click of a button this info is shared with your Facebook network. Read More