Here’s a novel idea for flexing your consumerist impulses on Cyber Monday: organize your shopping by a company’s cap table. For Cyber Monday, First Round Capital, which specializes in ecommerce, has set a site that shows off exclusive deals from portfolio companies like Birchbox, Chloe & Isabel, Refinery 29, Hotel Tonight, UrbanSitter, TaskRabbit, DogVacay, One Kings Lane, and more.
Honestly, we’re surprised New York techies haven’t already set up a buy local site that encourages only shopping at startups for Christmas.
Funding Ding Ding
Power Literary Hire: Twitter cofounder Ev Williams’s new publishing tool, Medium, just added an impressive member to its team. Kate Lee, a former literary agent from International Creative Management (ICM), has joined Mr. Williams’s startup as the director of content. Ms. Lee was responsible for plucking several bloggers out of obscurity and giving them book deals. The Observer announced her leave from ICM back in April. In a blog post on the site, Mr. Williams described her job as “encouraging, soliciting, commissioning, and contextualizing interesting ideas, authors, and institutions” and noted that she would be building a small team in New York to help her do that.
Branch Finally Lets You Hang Out With Your Friends: Branch, the social conversations site, just launched a groups feature yesterday. In an email to Betabeat, Branch cofounder Josh Miller described it as “Branch’s equivalent of a Follow button.” The idea was inspired by the conversations that people have at dinner parties, in which smaller groups form to discuss topics that they care about. On Branch, these groups can be added into a conversation. Branch’s example site includes a group featuring Mr. Miller, Medium’s Ev Williams, John Borthwick from Betaworks, Michael Sippey from Twitter and Facebook’s Sam Lessin. These groups have a possibility to create Bloods and Crips-like warfare in tech. Choose sides wisely.
Jewlery design and sales startup Chloe and Isabel has just raised a healthy $8.5 million Series A round led by General Catalyst.
This round follows on a $3.25 million in a seed round which the company raised just this January. That round was led by First Round Capital, Floodgate Fund, and angel investors including SV Angel Ron Conway, Founder Collectives’ Caterina Fake, Felicis Ventures’ Aydin Senkut, The Consigliere’s Mike Duda, Forerunner Ventures’ Kirsten Green, and Ashton Kutcher.
“We’ve been reading a lot about the series A crunch, so it was exciting to share the good news,” Lindsay Kaplan, their marketing director, told Betabeat by phone.