Up and Comers
Hires and Fires
John Meyer isn’t sure if he’ll go back to school in the fall.
Currently finishing up his freshman year at NYU’s Polytechnic School of Engineering, the 19-year-old’s course load hasn’t taught him much he didn’t already know. After all, Mr. Meyer’s been developing apps — some of them hugely successful — since the App Store launched in 2008, and has been using his earnings to support himself since his sophomore year of high school.
Now, he’s certain his latest project — a news app called Fresco, which launched today — is going to revolutionize the journalism industry.
App for That
Popular news startup Circa has just announced they’ve hired John Maloney as their new president. Mr. Maloney was formerly president of Tumblr, cofounded UrbanBaby, and also works as an angel investor and advisor.
As Circa’s new president, Mr. Maloney will lead operations, business development and growth, a press release said.
The Third Degree
In recent months, LOLcat emperor and Bravo TV star Ben Huh has systematically leaked handfuls of details about his news startup, Circa, to the press. Back in April, Circa raised $750,000 from a slew of investors (many of whom were named David). In May, Nieman Lab caught up with Mr. Huh at ROFLCON, where he provided buzzword-laden answers and metaphors involving newspapers and teenagers to their questions about the startup. But today, Mr. Huh’s efforts have finally solidified into a cohesive company: Circa is an iPhone app that wants to change the way readers consume news.
Circa isn’t just a news aggregator. It employs teams of editors who curate and synthesize news stories into digestible bites, optimized for reading on mobile devices. The point is to write stories that are designed exclusively for mobile, instead of repackaging stories released on other platforms and trying to fit them into a mobile setting.
Pedro Torres Picón is an angel investor of the new breed: Young, hip, and handy with an Instagram, it’s suddenly clear how he managed to make his way into a slew of impressive investments despite moving to New York two years ago without knowing a soul. Mr. Picón has an easy manner, a sweet smile and a certain trustworthiness about him; and, in this town, being personable is most of the battle.
It doesn’t hurt that he’s sharp.
Ben Huh, the genius behind Icanhascheezburger who has delivered cute and crazy cat pictures to the masses for years, is working on a new startup called Circa that wants to “reimagine the way you consume news.” Today, TechCrunch reports that Circa has raised $750,000 from a slew of A-list investors, including a few notable New York techies.