Ken Lerer’s answer to the Daily Show–a video startup formerly known as Planet Daily–is stealth mode no more. Today the company announced its proper name–NowThis News–plus the identity of its executive team. The site will launch with a partnership with BuzzFeed in place, positioning the company’s content to go viral like chickenpox in Mrs. Henderson’s kindergarden class. The mission is about what we’d expected: to offer “video news for mobile and social news consumers.” Finally, a real broadcast for those among us who turn YouTube in times of crisis!
However, as lifelong Lois Lane fans, we must register our disappointment that the site is losing its super-heroic code name.
Planet Daily, the new video startup announced a few weeks ago by ex-HuffPo execs Ken Lerer and Eric Hippeau, has raised $5 million from undisclosed investors, according to a Form D filed today with the SEC.
Do the guys over at Soho Tech Labs ever sleep? It would appear that the answer is no. Not only are they busy incubating social home exchange service CasaHop, which soft launches this week, but they’re also working on a video news startup aimed at the “Jon Stewart set.” Today, RebelMouse CEO and ex-HuffPo CTO Paul Berry told Business Insider that the previously-unnamed video startup has been giving a working title: Planet Daily.
Huffington Post cofounder Ken Lerer is apparently at work on a stealthy startup aimed to “attract a generation of Web natives who watch Jon Stewart but not CNN or Fox News,” reports Peter Kafka at AllThingsD. Internet locals who love Jon Stewart and loathe cable news . . . wait, is he talking about Betabeat??
The startup is so stealth it doesn’t even have a name yet, although it’s already hiring. The service will function as a joint venture between Lerer Ventures, Mr. Lerer’s seed stage VC firm, and Bedrocket Media Ventures, the video studio and incubator he cofounded shortly after selling HuffPo to AOL for a cool $315 million.
Soho TechLabs, the new incubator backed by a cabal of ex-HuffPosters, announced yesterday that they’re hiring. But until today, the team has remained mysteriously mum about the projects they’re backing.
Soho TechLabs, the fledgling startup incubator formed by several Huffington Post refugees, announced via an inaugural tweet today that they’re recruiting early founders and employees. The company, backed by Lerer Ventures, was originally announced in Ad Age in January; it will be lead by a team of ex-Huffpoers, including founders Paul Berry, Jonah Peretti and Ken Lerer, as well as former Huffington Post president Greg Coleman. As we previously reported, the new incubator will be housed at 560 Broadway, the current home of Lerer Ventures.
Ben Lerer, his father Ken Lerer, and About.com/AdKeeper’s Scott Kurnit were interviewed this morning at the Paley Center for Media to talk Thrillist, JackThreads, Huffington Post and investing philosophy. There was some quibbling over semantics: were their companies media companies, or tech startups? It’s hard to tell these days!
The news broke today that Paul Berry, the longtime CTO of Huffington Post credited with their legendary SEO and early adoption of social networking tools, was leaving the company. Betabeat has learned that Mr. Berry will be reuniting with the old gang, Ken Lerer and Jonah Peretti, as he builds out a startup called Rebel Mouse and a new incubator focused on viral and social startups.
Just a few weeks after poaching star political reporter Ben Smith from Politico and scooping CNN at the Repulican Primaries, Buzzfeed announced a big new round of funding to build out their operation. The company is raising a $15.5 million series C from lead by New Enterprise Associates and followed on by Lerer Ventures, Hearst Media, Softbank and RRE Capital.
Born and raised in New York City, Dan Tashman has always been on the hunt for good pick-up games. After spending a decade working in the toy industry, he left to try his hand as an entrepreneur. And he decided to follow Paul Graham’s maxim: To solve a problem he’d faced himself.
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