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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UPDATE: Reuters reports that The New York Times is suing AOL Inc to force the The Huffington Post to change the name of its new blog, Parentlode, which borrowed the chief writer, Lisa Belkin, and most of the name from her previous NY Times column, Motherlode.
“The Times said Belkin “clearly intended” to confuse readers into believing her new blog was the same as her old blog, which she called a “virtual koffee klatch” for parenting,” reports Reuters. “The Times sued AOL for trademark infringement, unfair competition and deceptive trade practices. It also wants AOL to abandon its trademark application for the Parentlode name.”
Last November two advisers from the 2004 Kerry-Edwards campaign, Peter Daou and James Boyce, filed suit against Arianna Huffington, claiming she stole the idea for the Huffington Post from them and cut them out of the business. Along with her co-founder Ken Lerer, Ms. Huffington filed to have the case dismissed. Now, as PaidContent reports, New York state Judge Charles Ramos has ruled that the case can go to trail.
The judge threw out seven of the eight complaints filed, but said that Ms. Huffington herself had confirmed the idea was something concrete and novel in a 2008 interview with Playboy. The pressure is now on Ms. Huffington to settle or be draw into a public court battle.
Lerer Ventures is a seed stage venture capital fund based in New York. They invest in founders at the earliest stages of a startup’s life. Everyone at the fund starts and runs companies for a living. Lerer Ventures is where they invest in their peers.
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