startup rundown

Startup News: Braintree Gets a $35 M. Boost, TED Gets Trippy, and Real Estate Gets Gamified

Jon Carin rocks (Photo: wikipedia.org)

Brain Boost This morning, Braintree, a Chicago-based online payments company announced, a $35 million series B round of funding. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). By investing in Braintree, new investors join Accel Partners and others and the company’s total funding is now set at $70 million.

Braintree acquired the beloved bill splitting app, Venmo, back in August and has kept it independent so far. Braintree allows businesses to accept payments from costumers, but Venmo allows consumers to make payments to anyone. It’s a natural fit for both parties.

Braintree’s client list includes fast-growing startups like Uber, Fab.com, Airbnb, who use it, “through periods of rapid growth without disruption to their ability to accept payments,” the company said in an email to Betabeat. They also name-checked competitors like Stripe and PayPal, noting that one “big difference is that merchants receive their funds typically in two days with Braintree, vs. seven days with Stripe.” Read More

Social Networking

Super Bowl Ads Now Come With Their Own Twitter Hashtags

The commercial Groupon would rather you forget.

The average cost of a 30-second Super Bowl spot is up this year from $3 million in 2011 to $3.5 million, which means advertisers are even more desperate to make those millions count. Even though 100 million people are expected to tune in live to the game, there are other eyeballs to grab. According to Reuters, for example, “Consumer research forecasts that 60 percent of fans watching the Super Bowl will also be tied into a second screen such as a smartphone or tablet.”

Thus, in what sounds like an Alex Blagg sketch waiting to happen, advertisers are rolling out the social media strat. Read More