Looks like the tech industry is still poaching from Wall Street, and the WSJ is ON IT! [Wall Street Journal]
Facebook’s first quarter results are in, and it looks like the company’s mobile ad revenue is finally increasing. [New York Times]
The father-son duo of NYC-based VC firm Lerer Ventures is launching a website in conjunction with Mayors Against Illegal Guns called StoptheNRA.com. [TechCrunch]
Now that the neckbeard lobby is growing in influence, can Hollywood A-listers master the Reddit AMA without having another Rampart situation on their hands? [LA Times]
Now New York Senator Chuck Schumer is going after patent trolls. Perhaps he’s jealous of all Mayor Bloomberg’s startup cred? [TechCrunch]
“Hey guys, we can make TV too!” – AOL [Adweek]
Sponsored by FedEx
Twenty New York startups are competing to be featured in the second season of our web series The Pitch. But only 10 will move on for a chance to pitch investors–Steve Schlafman of Lerer Ventures and Nikhil Kalghatgi of SoftBank Capital–and win funding for their idea. And you get to decide!
Check out the slideshow and vote for your favorite startups to make it to the next round.
Sponsored by FedEx
The topography of New York’s tech scene has changed since 2011, when we first peeked behind closed doors to document the fundraising process for season one of The Pitch. According to the latest reports, venture capitalists are investing more money in more local tech startups, luring expats from fashion and Wall Street Read More
Back in April 2012, the HuffPo cabal-backed Soho TechLabs launched a social travel site called CasaHop that allowed users to “connect with people worldwide to trade homes for vacations and more.” Now, Soho TechLab’s CEO Paul Berry told Betabeat that the incubator is shutting down CasaHop in order to focus more on RebelMouse, a tool for building social webpages that has seen explosive growth in recent months.
“CasaHop never gained the traction it needed,” Mr. Berry told Betabeat by phone. “The timing was off. Airbnb is really in a winner takes all situation in this area. I hope one day someone is going to break out and make this an enormous idea because I love home exchanges, but too few people feel comfortable with other people staying in their place while they’re away.”
When we last spoke with Eric Hippeau, the Huffington Post mafioso was discussing Lerer Ventures’ new $36 million fund. Today, the early-stage investment firm is announcing two new hires to help it manage and grow its considerable portfolio.
Max Stoller, a recent NYU graduate whose hackathon apps we’ve covered in the past, will be joining Lerer Ventures as an analyst. Mr. Stoller, a HackNY veteran, worked as an engineer at Hyperpublic–a company founded by LV managing director Jordan Cooper and sold to Groupon–as well as on the platform team at Foursquare, both while in school. And, yes, if that makes you wonder, you probably did college wrong.
Former New York Times food editor Amanda Hesser made a media splash a few years ago with the launch of a crowdsourced home-cooking site called Food52. Started with Merrill Stubs, who co-authored The Essential New York Times Cookbook with Ms. Hesser, Food52 has become a household name for certain Internet-savvy foodies. The site features recipes, a hotline for asking and answering food questions, as well as plenty of recipe contests. Now, Food52 has raised $2 million, according to a Form D filed with the SEC and published on FormDs.com.
In less than a week, you’ll be sitting on your parents’ couch with a belly full of booze and turkey watching shitty cable TV, because ain’t life grand? To tide you over until that wondrous day, we’re back with another batch of juicy rumors. Happy Friday!
Beer Me Storied New York venture capital firm Lerer Ventures knows its target audience. According to a tweet from Scoutmob cofounder Dave Payne, Lerer is hosting a beer pong tournament for some of the companies it has invested in. “just got invited to a beer pong tourney by one of our venture investors,” tweeted Mr. Payne. “that’s hard core @lererventures. well done.”
Competition at the tournament seems like it will be quite fierce. “hope you’ve been practicing,” responded Northeastern student Scott Edelstein. “i’ve seen@benjlerer win with his eyes closed.”
In fact, here’s proof:
Smart pivots can pay off handsomely. Earlier this week, Percolate, a fast-growing New York City-based startup that helps brands curate content, announced a sizable Series A led by GGV Capital, the same Silicon Valley VC firm that backed Buddy Media, which was acquired by Salesforcefor a eye-popping $698 million. Existing investors First Round Capital and Lerer Ventures also participated in Percolate’s latest round.
Roughly a year ago, Percolate shrewdly changed its focus from helping users find the most relevant top stories toward a (more profitable!) service that helps brands figure out the most compelling content to push out to their followers–a process that starts by helping them interest graph, something that comes more naturally to humans.
NowThis News, the recently launched video news site created by ex-HuffPo founders Eric Hippeau and Ken Lerer, opted for an old-fashioned approach to deliver election results on a new-fangled platform. As the tweets poured by at an impossible-to-follow rate, NowThis News stuck out with a very web 1.0 approach: ASCII art.
The NowThis site (formerly called Planet Daily) currently pulls in newsy video clips from sites like Twitter, Facebook and–most typically–Buzzfeed, another Lerer Ventures portfolio company. The company’s Twitter handle, @NowThisNews, is run by its social editor, Drake Martinet, who’s also an adjunct professor at Stanford. Mr. Martinet said that 90 percent of the video content on the site is produced by the NowThis team.