Every day, we hear more from investors and founders about the growth of the New York startup ecosystem — hell, it seems like there’s a new Demo Day every time we get back from the last one. And wherever there are promising startups to fund, you can bet the money will follow.
NYC firm Lerer Read More
Brave New Ventures
Millennials are often accused of being irresponsible and non-committal. We can’t commit to a relationship, a mortgage or a job for more than a year. How appropriate then, that a news site meant for millennials can’t commit to a name.
PolicyMic has changed its name to Mic (Stylized “.Mic”). “Policy.Mic” is now just a section, like Arts.Mic or World.Mic. Distancing themselves from using the word “Policy” in their masthead is meant to chase broader appeal.
Tech Bubble Watch
The tech scene in Tel Aviv is booming, and many Israeli tech founders see New York City as their best opportunity to go global. But even with talent, product and a great plan, startups are struggling to lay down roots in New York.
A new microfund and accelerator want to help top Israeli tech startups transition to New York. Founded by Eyal Bino, Accelerant Ventures is striving to help Mr. Bino’s countrymen conquer the global scene without selling out early.
Internet of Things
A new CB Insights report shows that big corporations are pouring into the tech investment scene. While many might fear this means we’re headed for a second tech bubble, the report’s authors insist that’s not the case.
Major corporations like Intel and Comcast have become a third of the V.C. landscape. The deal sizes are getting bigger and bigger, and the last quarter saw the highest valuations we’ve seen since the last major tech crash. It’s not hard to see why people think history could repeat itself.
When people hear “Internet of Things,” their first inclination is to think of Google-owned talking thermostats. But it’s the less-buzzworthy global communications titans like Intel and Cisco who have been building up their portfolio of Internet of Things companies over the past few years — and they’re only getting started.
Intel recently bought up Basis Systems, which makes health tracking bands, and Cisco’s portfolio includes companies that put sensors in home utility meters and bicycles. These are companies that made their multinational empires building satellites and wireless networks — and now they want to develop consumer products that put sensors in alarm clocks, hearing aids and thermostats.
FINsix, the company behind Dart — billed as “the world’s smallest, lightest laptop adapter” — launched a Kickstarter campaign last Monday. Their goal was $200,000, and they raised it in 12 hours.
But while FINsix was launched by recent college graduates from MIT, they aren’t some plucky little company in need — Read More
Startup Food Chain
Facebook’s recent acquisition of Oculus revealed some cracks in Kickstarter’s armor. It highlighted a number of issues arising from the way backers view their contributions and how Kickstarter campaigns sell themselves to backers. Coverage of Oculus’ Kickstarter debacle spanned from misunderstanding the issue completely to focusing on the outrage.
But much of Read More
Since GrubHub Seamless went public with a valuation of $2.67 billion, venture capitalists are racing to find the next hit food delivery app for their portfolios.
According to the report on the CB Insights blog, investments in food tech in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1) were the highest they’ve been in five years. Over $200 million went to food and grocery apps during those three months, which was the biggest VC investing boom in over a decade.
Most of these are small, local apps that focus on a particular set of stores and services, whereas GrubHub and Seamless are nationwide giants with a combined 25 years under their belts. The two companies merged last year, and served over three million customers nationwide in 2013 alone.
2014 has been explosive year for tech funding. According to a report published this morning by venture capital database CB Insights, VC-backed deals in the first quarter of 2014 (Q1) are at the highest they’ve been since 2001.
The sudden spike in funding is driven largely by a small handful of major deals Read More
One of tech’s most prolific venture capital firms, Andreessen Horowitz (or “A16Z”), has invested a sizable $40 million in image sharing giant Imgur, Betabeat has learned.
Imgur has been the subject of acquisition rumors for the past year, but has never taken outside money, regardless of how successful they’ve been. According to Imgur CEO and founder Alan Schaaf, Imgur has been approached by almost every VC on the map in the past five years.
“We’ve always been fighting them off,” Mr. Schaaf told Betabeat, “and the reason is because we never really found a good fit.”