startup rundown

Startup Rundown: Shake App Makes Contracts On Your Phone And Wi-Fi Comes To NYC GroundLink Cars

Imagine all the fun of these contracts on your phone! (Photo: flickr user NobMouse)

Lawyer up on the go A new app from minds like BuzzFeed’s president Jon Steinberg and Spotify’s Jared Grusd lets you create, sign and send legal documents from your smartphone. Shake, released last week, includes template documents for independent contractors, personal loans, and NDAs. After you’ve chosen your document and answered a few quick questions, the contract can be signed on the spot or emailed. It’ll also be stored away in the cloud so you can get to it later. “Agreements don’t need to be long and complicated to be legally binding,” says Grusd. Yes, let’s leave lots of room in there, okay? Read More

App for That

Another Taxi App Is Coming to New York

Ms. Herman. (Photo: Twitter)

There is something alluring to entrepreneurs about the New York taxi system. Mainly, it’s messy. One taxi drives around W. 4th St., looking for fares, while around the corner a frazzled passenger tries vainly to hail one of the occupied cabs on Seventh Ave. How inefficient! There should be an app for this, thinks the entrepreneur.

And that’s how GetTaxi came to be. Technology has changed, but the way we hail cabs has not, the company says. After bringing its app to Israel, London and Moscow, GetTaxi has raised $20 million and set its sights on New York, where it will launch in the coming months, said Jing Wang Herman, CEO of GetTaxi USA. “The customer experience for taxis has really been the same for decades,” she said. “I think everyone would agree that there’s definitely room for improvement.” Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Foursquare Vs. ZocDoc! Groundlink Vs. Uber! And Pinterest Vs. America

rumormonger

THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH! Guys, startup office space in New York is hard to find, and Betabeat is ON IT. Okay, so you remember how Foursquare and Tumblr both had their eyes on the tenth and eleventh floors of that sweet Soho elevator building at 568 Broadway where Thrillist, ZocDoc and Dennis Leary’s production company, Apostle are housed? Okay, so Foursquare was the favorite–but there may be a new contender.

Betabeat has learned that ZocDoc has been in the market for new space–60,000 square feet, ideally on one floor–for a move at the end of 2012. There’s not much out there that meets that criteria. Wouldn’t it be nice to take the tenth floor at 568 Broadway, directly above the teal-painted ninth floor? That way they wouldn’t have to say goodbye to that conference room with the mural of Sanjay Gupta high-fiving Dr. House! ZocDoc would probably really like it if Foursquare would only take one floor, which is more than three times the size of Foursquare’s current office, so that ZocDoc could take the other.

But both companies are growing like gangbusters–ZocDoc already expanded in March and then again in October, Foursquare is the hottest startup job in the city–and have to look out for expansion down the road. What’s a big startup in a small town to do?*

VERY PINTERESTING. Betabeat, when we first glimpsed the Silicon Alley darling Pinterest for ourselves: “It’s for girls!” Apparently, it’s also for middle America. Pinterest’s biggest market is Utah, we heard, and it’s gaining steam with users in other middle-America states, contrary to the usual outside-in adoption pattern most startups see.

Betabeat mentioned to a source that many peeps using Pinterest in New York, who responded. “Don’t people just use Svpply?” Do they? We don’t see too many peeps using Svpply either. One thing we do see peeps using is Tumblr–although we’ve documented that startup’s other problems on the business and developer relations fronts. Could Pinterest–which picked up New York angel Brian Cohen as an investor after taking the NYU Stern business plan competition by storm–be on the way to taking down two New York startups in one fell swoop? Read More