It's Zuck's World We're Just Living In It
Like most hotly anticipated IPOs, there are plenty of people who’d like a piece of Facebook, and even all the ad-revenue-related doubts in the world aren’t going to change that. Typically, only a small slice of shares are available to mom-and-pop investors. But according to Dealbook, Facebook wants a higher percentage reserved for retail investors, perhaps even as much as 20 to 25 percent for retail investors.
Betabeat Approves A Thing
With two Kickstarter projects breaking the $800,000 barrier in the same day, the mothership of crowdfunding sites is having its moment. We had a hunch this was coming when investors on recent panel about women in venture capital called out, unprompted, to Perry Chen, hoping he might be in the market for funding. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.
So like any dutiful Kickstarter devotee, Hype Machine founder Anthony Volodkin did what he does best, build “apps that allow us to discover and enjoy new things.” Enter Kickstumbler: a site and tool bar that lets you stumble upon projects you might have otherwise missed. “This was made over a few weekends, sometimes, truly instead of sleeping,” Mr. Volodkin told Betabeat by email. It was a labor of love for what his team calls Hype Machine Labs. “It’s a name we use when making something not explicitly related to the core site.”
Cowork With Me?
Others have tried and failed to make a coworking space grow in Williamsburg. (The Makery is dead! Long live, Bnter’s new office!) But “real estate professionals” and born-and-raised Brooklynites Morris Levy and Richard Beyda may have the home-court advantage. The duo opened The Yard, a 14,000 square foot coworking space, in November and are already at 65 percent capacity.
A number of tech companies, including Hype Machine, Wanderfly, Mobile Roadie and Uber are already working out of the space, as well as a few startups still in splash page mode, like Gander TV and Spotflux. Somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of The Yard‘s residents are techies, although that wasn’t exactly the owners’ intention. “We knew there was a need in Williamsburg/Greenpoint for something like this, but we didn’t realize the tech scene was happening here and that that was the direction it was going to go,” Mr. Levy told Betabeat by phone.
Now that the startup syngery is under way, however, The Yard has been “planning strategic alliances” with angel investors whose portfolio companies might be interested in working there. For example, Mr. Levy said he’s currently in talks with Brooklyn Bridge Ventures founder and First Round Capital alum Charlie O’Donnell, who launched a Kings County-centric seed fund last month.
the startup rundown
GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Besides that $2,800 Ruby class, General Assembly is ramping up its curriculae big time with classes on everything from how to use Twitter to starting up in China. The campus is also hunting for teachers. “Want to teach at General Assembly? Get in touch by completing the form here.”
HIRING. As activity marketplace SideTour prepares to leave the TechStars offices for greener pastures this Friday, the startup has officially started hiring for a lead engineer and “host development manager.” Business Insider is looking for a biz dev intern.
On stage at LeWeb in Paris, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek sent a tremor that we imagine reached all the way back at Pandora headquarters in Oakland. TechCrunch Alexia Tsotsis reports that Mr. Ek “innocuously” introduced a radio app, built on the company’s recently released app platform by Spotify’s dev team in New York.
His pitch: “It’s kind of like Pandora with unlimited skipping and unlimited stations.”
Except for the fact that Pandora has a mobile version, and Spotify’s app is still confined to the web (for now), it’s hard to imagine that Pandora, which caps users to 100 stations and eight song skips, isn’t feeling threatened.
“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.”
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.
App of the Week
It took the team at Hype Machine 18 months to complete their new iPhone app, but just one day to become the #2 program among paid music apps.
“We were working on a lot of different things at once, and with a small team that really slows you down,” says Hype Machine Read More
As Betabeat rumored last week, Brooklyn-based music blog aggregator and cloud music start-up Hype Machine has finally released an iPhone and iPad app that has been in the works since the fall of 2009. The app, called Hype Radio, creates streaming music channels based on tracks posted by music blogs in Hype Machine’s directory. Channels include Latest, Popular, and My Friends, which streams what songs people in your social graph are listening to. Presumably, the hang-up was due to digital music rights issues.
We’re getting in trouble for our un-SEO optimized rumor roundup headlines, but perhaps we can get away with just one more. It’s important because reality TV is truly descending upon start-up land! Behold:
MINI-SERIES. We heard the Makery-based start-up PR shoppe Small Girls are getting a reality show! They’re at least going to have camera people following them around! We pinged to ask. ”It’s still pretty hush-hush,” petite publicist Bianca Caampued told Betabeat by email. “We’re still in the very early stages of filming our sizzle reel and our producer shopping it to networks, so we can’t talk about it on internet land yet.” Happily, Ms. Caampued and petite pal Mallory Blair were pretty cool about our rumormongering. ”We’re also actually shooting a segment for another show on Bravo next week, in my closet,” Ms. Caampued said. Wee! What should they should call the show? The Mini-est Marketers? The Littlest Flacks? Prometheus?