shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Rushed Edition

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BETAWORKS. Has a new filing with the SEC indicating $7.8 million of a $15 million offering in options and warrants raised. Does this have to do with Betaworks’s evolution from a fund/incubator into “a true company, not a fund,” as per John Borthwick’s recent letter to investors? The filing indicates a reinvestment of money paid out to investors in dividends, John Borthwick said, so the filing doesn’t represent a new round; and the amount being reinvested is actually closer to $10 million.

STEALTH TOWN. What is fiftythree.com? Sources say a local VC is leading their round. The web offers no clues, their Twitter page doesn’t work, and we haven’t received an email from their stealthy splash page. Things that are 53: a bank and savings and loan holding company, the We Are the 53 percent meme, and the Year of the Consulship of Silanus and Antonius. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumors & Acquisitions: Foursquare Vs. ZocDoc! Groundlink Vs. Uber! And Pinterest Vs. America

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THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH! Guys, startup office space in New York is hard to find, and Betabeat is ON IT. Okay, so you remember how Foursquare and Tumblr both had their eyes on the tenth and eleventh floors of that sweet Soho elevator building at 568 Broadway where Thrillist, ZocDoc and Dennis Leary’s production company, Apostle are housed? Okay, so Foursquare was the favorite–but there may be a new contender.

Betabeat has learned that ZocDoc has been in the market for new space–60,000 square feet, ideally on one floor–for a move at the end of 2012. There’s not much out there that meets that criteria. Wouldn’t it be nice to take the tenth floor at 568 Broadway, directly above the teal-painted ninth floor? That way they wouldn’t have to say goodbye to that conference room with the mural of Sanjay Gupta high-fiving Dr. House! ZocDoc would probably really like it if Foursquare would only take one floor, which is more than three times the size of Foursquare’s current office, so that ZocDoc could take the other.

But both companies are growing like gangbusters–ZocDoc already expanded in March and then again in October, Foursquare is the hottest startup job in the city–and have to look out for expansion down the road. What’s a big startup in a small town to do?*

VERY PINTERESTING. Betabeat, when we first glimpsed the Silicon Alley darling Pinterest for ourselves: “It’s for girls!” Apparently, it’s also for middle America. Pinterest’s biggest market is Utah, we heard, and it’s gaining steam with users in other middle-America states, contrary to the usual outside-in adoption pattern most startups see.

Betabeat mentioned to a source that many peeps using Pinterest in New York, who responded. “Don’t people just use Svpply?” Do they? We don’t see too many peeps using Svpply either. One thing we do see peeps using is Tumblr–although we’ve documented that startup’s other problems on the business and developer relations fronts. Could Pinterest–which picked up New York angel Brian Cohen as an investor after taking the NYU Stern business plan competition by storm–be on the way to taking down two New York startups in one fell swoop? Read More