So Refresh and So Clean

This Is Not a Pivot: Exfm Relaunches Mobile Apps

A shot of the new Exfm Android app.

Exfm, the streaming music startup that began as a wee Chrome extension, hasn’t pivoted. But maybe it’s changed course by a few degrees. “It’s not a pivot, it’s—I don’t want to say an extension, but it’s an extension of the vision,” cofounder and COO Charles Smith told Betabeat. “We were betting on two things: the first was the explosion of mp3s posted to the web. And we thought the Chrome operating system was going to be huge. So we’re one for two.”

They don’t think Chrome OS is going to be huge anymore?

“Nooooo,” he said. Read More

Fresh Capital

Exfm Raises $1.5 M. (and $1) From Previous Investor Spark Capital

(facebook.com/exfm.music)

(facebook.com/exfm.music)

Exfm, the little Chrome extension that could, just closed a round of funding for precisely $1,500,001 from existing investor Spark Capital, VentureBeat reports. The company filed its Form D with the SEC yesterday.

Exfm started in 2010 as a Chrome extension that catalogued addresses of audio files as you browsed; today, it’s available for Safari, Firefox, Android, iPhone, and as an embeddable player, with ambitions for much more. “It was the right amount for the business now- it fuels our growth and lets us control our own destiny,” COO Charles Smith said in an email. “As for the extra $1, I wish I had an explanation that included Jeremy Lin.”

Read More

the startup rundown

Startup News: Fitocracy Mobilizes, Exfm Extends and Blueprint Health and Facebook Both Want You

Fitocracy goes mobile.

FITOCRACY MOBILE. “After what seems like an eternity, we’ve finally released the very first version of our mobile web app. That’s right, you can now log your workouts on the go if you have an iPhone or an Android phone!”

INCUBATE ME. Blueprint Health recently closed its fund and opened for applications.  “The program will be launching on Jan 9, 2012 with an application deadline of November 13.”

FACE ME. Facebook is hiring in New York. Via Inside Startups, the company is seeking a “Strategic Partner Development, Media” with “high levels of creativity and strategic thinking, extensive experience in the media industry, eight-or-more years experience, including 5 years of related partner or partner facing experience, a proven track record of initiating and successfully driving new business opportunities, exceptional communication and presentation skills.”

NEW MUSIC. Exfm is about to release its next major version, due out this afternoon. Look for a “push play music experiences available at ex.fm, new extensions for Firefox and Safari, plus a completely revamped one for Chrome” as well as a new embeddable site player for music blogs.

NEW GILT CITY. “Gilt City is excited to announce that we have acquired Joe Bastianich and Jeff Zalaznick’s upscale private dining booking engine, DinePrivate.com. Gilt City’s acquisition of DinePrivate.com will allow members access to over 90 of New York’s top private dining accommodations in restaurants such as Del Posto, Bluefin, Megu, Marc Forgione and Da Silvano.” Read More

Music

Some Start-Ups Want to Share Music, Some Want to Lock It Away

tunesat

“TuneSat LLC, an audio fingerprinting technology company that enables music rights holders to track the usage of their music on TV and the Internet, announced today that it has raised over $6 million in a funding round led by General Electric Pension Trust, advised by GE Asset Management… ‘TuneSat is revolutionizing the music industry by giving content owners the tools and business intelligence to take total control of where and when their music is performed,’ said Scott Schreer, CEO, TuneSat.” Read More

Music

Evil Triumphs: RIAA Close to Squeezing Money Out of Limewire

limes

Dearly departed New York peer-to-peer filesharing start-up Limewire is close to a settlement with the Recording Industry Association of America, CNET reports, on track to “reimburse” that body for “damages” based on the premise that songs downloaded through the service represented potential sales. “Founder Mark Gorton said he saw most of his biggest competitors cease operating or try to legitimize their services after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against file-sharing operations like Limewire’s. He conceded that he chose to continue operating despite the court’s decision and the RIAA has shown that he pocketed profits as a result,” Greg Sandoval writes. Read More

Music

ExFM Explains Why It Deserves $750K

charles smith

This morning, Betabeat read the news that local start-up ExFM had raised a fair chunk of money to expand beyond its simple-but-clever music discovery extension for the Chrome browser. ExFM catalogues the addresses of all the cloud-hosted music files you come across while browsing and files them away in a library so users can stream and share them later, avoiding the liability that comes with hosting files or letting users upload them. The tactic allows ExFM to curate the music that’s already freely available on the web for users, with a touch of randomness.

But the online music market is a notoriously hard nut to crack, and it’s been the demise of many beloved start-ups. Legal challenges recently brought down New York-based Limewire, and the case could also be made that Myspace’s downfall was in part due to the fact that it became so mired in trying to court musicians to the platform. While some artists and labels are getting hip to using the web for branding and promotion, many still don’t get it–and the music industry’s institutionalized giants still look at any distribution channels they don’t totally control as untamed seas ruled by criminals.

So what’s ExFM’s plan? Read More

The Start-Up Rundown

Start-Up News: Tumblr Down as Foursquare Steps It Up, Plus Tonight’s NYTM Should Be Interesting

old-spice digg

This week in New York start-ups:

ADSTRUC WANTS YOU. The company that made it onto Betabeat’s list of 10 Disruptive New York Start-Ups for giving outdoor billboard advertising the Adsense treatment is looking for a front-end dev.

TUMBLR DOWN. That is all.

FOURSQUARE STOPPING UP THE CRACKS. Foursquare went all https:// today, a process that started more than seven months ago. The more secure protocol will safeguard users against simple hacks like Firesheep, a Firefox plugin released in the fall that made it easy even for non-hackers to steal passwords submitted over an unencrypted connection. To be fair to Tumblr, Betabeat did notice that Foursquare’s servers were down earlier today as well. Read More