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Disruptors Got Legs! Disrupt Alum BillGuard Raises $10 M.

Mr. Samid.

BillGuard is only half-New Yorker–CEOYaron Samidis based in “New York and Tel Aviv.” But the company, which combs your online statements for fraud and frivolous charges, garnered 10,000 sign-ups in a matter of days after launching in May at TechCrunch Disrupt. They discovered fraud on 20 percent of the new users’ bills, and a $6,000 erroneous charge on one wealthy individual’s card. Read More

The 12 Sexiest TechStars Companies: Demo Day Preview!

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With Demo Day coming up tomorrow, ten out of 11 companies is the number to beat. That’s ratio of startups from TechStars inaugural class that got funded. But keep in mind not everyone had a killer Demo Day. For some, funding didn’t come till a few months down the line. “It’s like the SATs,” one mentor told Betabeat of Demo Day. “Some people are good at testing, some aren’t.”

There’s a lot riding on tomorrow’s event–the funding environment isn’t quite as frothy as it was for TechStarsNY 1.0, and the companies are well aware of that, mentors told Betabeat. “It’s a more fragile period of time than last Demo Day,” said the mentor. “They realize that they gotta be on their game.” As such, companies have been pounding out the decks, practicing demos for each other almost every week.

Perhaps it’s because the cameras aren’t around, or perhaps because TechStars New York is more established, but there’s less ego in this class and fewer type-A personalities. Investors promise that this Demo Day will still have plenty of showmanship and say this season’s TechStars class is fundamentally very solid. Many companies have partnerships; some have revenue. Almost all have raised money or gotten commitments–several New York VCs told us they had invested in at least one of the startups. Two companies won’t even really be raising money, one mentor said, because they don’t need it.”

Curious to know who pivoted and who’s already closed their round? Check out our cheat sheet, get your game face on for tomorrow and pick your ponies in the comments.

Update: SideTour announced their funding today on TechCrunch, a $1.5 million round led by RRE and Foundry Group. We noted in the slideshow they already had their lead investors locked down, but it seems unlikely now they will try to grow their round tomorrow. Read More