shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Bnter Takes Over the Makery

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BNTER ADOPTS THE MAKERY. Matt Langer, former GroupMe contractor, recently became Matt Langer, real GroupMe employee, even though his mug is still missing from GroupMe’s page of surprisingly unflattering team headshots. Mr. Langer is settling happily into his new environs, comforted by the security of staff meetings and welcome wedgies from senior GroupMes.

But what became of the beloved Brooklyn coworking space Mr. Langer bore, groomed and subsidized out of his own pocket? The Makery will continue as a coworking space, but is not accepting new tenants, Betabeat learned. Makery resident Bnter, headed by co-founders Lauren Leto and Patrick Moberg, has taken over the lease, Ms. Leto said. “It’s Bnter offices, but everyone is still here,” she told Betabeat. “As people leave, we will not replace them, because Bnter is growing weekly.” The startup has four employees now and will have five as of October 17, and probably seven by the end of the year, Ms. Leto said. “So weekly isn’t true,” she amended. “Ha, my math is lovely.”

The Makery officially closed on Sept. 1, Mr. Langer said, which coincided with the space’s one-year anniversary. “I was so happy to let it go because I was just losing so much money on it,” Mr. Langer said. “Like SO MUCH.” (We were speaking on Gchat.) “PEACE OUT, $500 CON ED BILLS.” Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Ninjas in the Mountains and Assassins in the Clouds

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D FORMA. General Assembly-based mobile chat facilitator Opinionaided, which raised a $1.2 million round announced in March from General Catalyst, DFJ and SoftBank, among others, is about to announce some fresh capital. On Thursday, the  company plans to announce another round of funding from “a veritable who’s who of VCs and super angel investors,” which it will use to scale the service. Can Opinionaided succeed where so many variations on spontaneous social connections have failed?

HOSTILE TAKEOVERS. Members of the New York Tech Meetup were surprised to see that organizer Nate Westheimer had stepped down along with managing director Jessica Lawrence and other long-time officials. “We’re not sure why this happened, but we wanted to assure you that a leadership change is NOT taking place,” Ms. Lawrence told members, eventually explaining that the change had been due to “a glitch in how we were managing our Meetup.com account.” The tech group seems to be experiencing difficulties, as the promised redesign of nytm.org is behind schedule and probably won’t be out for at least a month or two, although the WordPress site has been reskinned. Who’s redoing the site? Betabeat asked. Maybe it’s Mr. Westheimer’s stealthy next project! “Can’t announce that yet,” Ms. Lawrence said. “Because it isn’t 100 percent confirmed.” Read More