We first noticed The Roger Magazine when The Huffington Post included it as a source in a roundup of interesting startup office spaces. We were confused about why we’d never heard of it– the online magazine, distributed via Issuu, is gorgeous and professional looking, even on our cracked, dirty Macbook screen.
Turns out we’d never heard of it because it’s actually a small side project from four New York City women, all of whom have full time jobs, and who work on the magazine in their free time. You’d never know that just by looking at it, though–the whole thing looks so damn professional.
Do It For Me
At midnight on Tuesday, TaskRabbit, the real time peer-to-peer marketplace that lets you outsource your dirty work to nearby “Rabbits,” announced that it raised a eye-popping $17.8 million series B round led by LightSpeed Ventures, the Sand Hill Road firm that also backed DoubleClick.
How thoughtful of TaskRabbit! Now Zaarly doesn’t have to be the only player in the do-it-for-me market with funding in the tens of millions. (In October, Zaarly announced a $14 million round led by Kleiner Perkins.) Betabeat recently profiled both firms in a feature about the rise of the convenience economy.
Beg Borrow and Steal
Smartling CEO Jack Welde just closed a $10 million Series B round from existing investors (U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock and First Round Capital) as well as a new face: IDG Ventures.Venrock’s David Pakman is already on the company’s board, now joined by Steve Krausz from USVP. Clients like Foursquare, IMVU, Scribd, and SurveyMonkey use Smartling’s cloud-based platform to create and maintain multilingual versions of their websites and mobile apps. The platform allows for combing different translation methods such as crowdsourced, professional, or machine learning.
“The Web is, by definition, worldwide, so every site and app should be multilingual. With this funding, we’ll continue to optimize our elegant, easy-to-use solution for this historically complex and costly technology process,” Mr. Welde said in a press release. But there’s a more practical, monetizable motivation than just democratizing the web for the good of the global internet.