Flatiron School Scores $5.5 Million in Funding, Vows To Become ‘Super High-End Vocational School’

Students at the Flatiron School learnin' stuff. (Flatiron School)

The Flatiron School announced this morning that it closed a $5.5 million funding round, led by Charles River Ventures (CRV) and Matrix Partners. Additional investments came from Box Group and other angel investors.

The money will allow the school —  which offers intensive twelve-week courses in web and iOS development — to really focus on improving the quality of education it offers its students.

“Where most companies take capital to grow, we took it to slow down and make sure we could really get the product right,” Flatiron dean Avi Flombaum told Betabeat. “We can continue our interesting classes, and focus on quality and experience of education — and not just stamping out into other cities and homogenizing our brand.” Read More


Booting Up: Shazam ID’s Its Way to Fresh Funding, WebTV Gets the Ax

The tech industry, (Photo:

New York Times’ sugardaddy Carlos Slim is investing $40 million into music discovery app Shazam. The company plans to use the little treat to bolster its television feature that can identify a commercial’s song and direct users to their website. [Reuters]

Facebook’s improved Graph Search rolls out to “several hundreds of millions” of people who use American English this week. [ABC News]

The overal median age of workers in the tech industry is very, very young. Eight of the 32 companies surveyed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the median age was just 30 years old or younger. For example, Facebook’s median age is 28 and Google’s is 29. [New York Times]

Solar Impulse’s plane, which was powered entirely by the sun, landed successfully from its cross-country jaunt in New York over the weekend. [TechCrunch]

Aw, remember MSN TV (née WebTV)? If not, don’t worry: it’s being killed off at the end of September. [AllThingsD]

Fresh Capital

Dwolla Raises $16.5M from Andreessen Horowitz and Others, Will Be Expanding to San Francisco

Dwolla founder Ben Milne. (Photo: Twitter)

Dwolla*, the Des Moines-based payment platform that has a strong presence in NYC, announced today that it has received a $16.5 million Series C investment led by venture capital behemoth Andreessen Horowitz, with contributions from NYC firms Thrive Capital* and Union Square Ventures. The fresh funding will allow Dwolla to double its staff of 40 to 80 and open a third office in San Francisco, according to The Next Web. Andreessen partner Scott Weiss will be joining Dwolla’s board. Read More

Guest Post

What Your Culture Really Says: The Toxic Lies Afoot in Silicon Valley

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This is a guest post by Shanley Kane. It was originally published on her blog Pretty Little State Machine and is republished here with her permission. Ms. Kane works in product management and enterprise software in San Francisco and is interested in culture studies, the developer community and television for fun. You can (and should!) follow her on Twitter here

Toxic lies about culture are afoot in Silicon Valley. They spread too fast as we take our bubble money and designer Powerpoints to drinkups, conferences and meetups all over the world, flying premium economy, ad nauseam. Well-intentioned darlings south of Market wax poetic on distributed teams, office perks, work/life balance, passion, “shipping”, “iteration,” “freedom.” A world of startup privilege hides blithely unexamined underneath an insipid, self-reinforcing banner of meritocracy and funding. An economic and class-based revolt of programmers against traditional power structures within organizations manifests itself as an (ostensively) radical re-imagining of work life. But really, you should meet the new boss. Hint: he’s the same as the old boss.

The monied, celebrated, nuevo-social, 1% poster children of startup life spread the mythology of their cushy jobs, 20% time, and self-empowerment as a thinly-veiled recruiting tactic in the war for talent against internet giants. The materialistic, viral nature of these campaigns have redefined how we think about culture, replacing meaningful critique with symbols of privilege. The word “culture” has become a signifier of superficial company assets rather than an ongoing practice of examination and self-reflection. Read More

Funding Fun

One Funding Announcement That Probably Won’t Restore Your Faith in Humanity: BuzzFeed Raises $20M

BuzzFeed raises $20M to build Snackadium.

BuzzFeed, the Internet’s biggest time suck, announced in a press release today that it has raised $20 million in a series D round led by NEA Ventures, bringing its total raised to $46.3. In addition to churning out more image-heavy listicles and starting spats with fellow popular Internet properties like Gawker and The Oatmeal, BuzzFeed intends to use the money to “build the next great media company.” Read More