Launched just two weeks ago, the Los Angeles-based social networking startup Pheed has already seen a fair amount of ink spilled over it, perhaps most notably in a Forbes piece which wondered if the hyped platform was “the new Twitter.” With an iPhone app released today, that buzz is bound to build. But O.D. Kobo, a longtime internet entrepreneur and Pheed’s cofounder, argues that these comparisons are moot, and that Pheed is in fact blazing a brave new trail in the social networking world.
“I read one journalist compare us to App.net,” he told Betabeat, sounding slightly mystified. “We’re original. I think that’s obvious.”
Hashable–the New York-based, Union Square Ventures-backed startup that had once hoped to disrupt the perfectly pleasant convention of exchanging business cards–is no more.
According to an email that went out around 3 a.m. this morning, both Hashable.com and the company’s web apps will shut down on July 25th. Users have until then to download their Read More
Work It WeWork
Stay tuned Kickstarter announced via tweet yesterday that, starting this fall, U.K. residents will be able to use the crowdfunding platform to launch their own projects. Currently, although people anywhere can give money to projects on the site, only individuals based in the U.S. can launch projects and receive funding.
Advise away Tout’d, a new digital forum for personalized recommendations, launched last week. As a social media platform and referral space, the app for iOS and Android enables users to ask for advice from friends as well as share recommendations ranging from restaurants and gadgets to professional referrals.
Sell now Join M&A professionals this Thursday at General Assembly for the first Startup Exit event on the East Coast. With a focus on social commerce and online retail and fashion, the evening will feature a fireside chat with Etsy’s Director of Strategic Finance, Carrington Williams, and well as a panel featuring the CEOs of Thrillist, dotBox and OpenSky. Tickets are required.
New Education for the New Economy
IP Uh Oh
WeWork, the cooperative workspace that cofounder Adam Neumann calls “the world’s first physical social network” just raised $6.85 million as they prepare to open yet another space in New York and their first in Los Angles.
The company, which rents office and desk space to startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses for as low as $275 a month is already up and running in California with their San Francisco office.
Mr. Neumann told Betabeat that this second round of capital was raised over a short period of time and explained that WeWork has had had various investment offers, but are picky about who they choose to work with.
“We try to choose only ‘we’ investors. Not just anyone we who offers us money— investors who have a ‘we’ mentality which means they care about the bigger picture… and think collaboration is the future of innovation,” said Mr. Neumann.
How many ‘Words With Friends’ points is ‘jackpot’ worth?
Where Did I Put My Data?
Over the past 32 days my fiancee and I have been running a Kickstarter project. We were trying to raise funds to build a teaching farm on an abandoned lot in Brownsville, Brooklyn. On Tuesday of this week we reached our goal of $23,000 dollars.
I’ve been writing about Kickstarter as a journalist for a while, but using the service myself really changed my perspective on how the company manages to successfully fund an incredible 43 percent of the projects it features on its site.
For a while I was critical of the fact that Kickstarter continued to curate by hand which projects were approved for funding. While the company has seen some incredible growth, at some point it seemed like they would lose their ability to reach web scale. I imagined they would need to take an open approach similar to Etsy if they really wanted to build their business.
But in chatting with our donors, I came to realize this selectivity creates the power of the Kickstarter brand. We received pledges from Australia to Hawaii and back again. A lot of these people had backed a dozen or more projects on Kickstarter. They had diverse interests across music, film, art and food. What they believed in was Kickstarter, and our project was one way of expressing that.
The public beta for ThinkUp 1.0 came out this week. The service, shepherdedby Gina Trapani, lets users collect, store, search and analyze the reams of personal data they put on Twitter, Google+ and Facebook. In that way its a lot like Singly, the open source data locker being developed out West. But Anil Dash had some strong words about what this kind of service means for web users. It’s not just a convenient way to grab all your data. It’s taking a stand against those who use your data for financial gain.
Yesterday, we noted that—following in Odd Future’s lead—yet another “hot” rap act has dropped a reference to Tumblr in one of his songs: critical darling (and Kanye West signee) Pusha-T, who used Tumblr as a slag of sorts on another up-and-coming rapper. Well, today, a Tumblr employee notes a track of yet another much-discussed up-and-coming rapper (who also happens to work as a prime-time TV star when he’s not rapping) whose recent track lays down love—or a form of it—for the social network/microblogging platform.
New York-based blogging platform Tumblr has raised an $85 million round of funding, the company’s fifth funding round overall and their third since April of 2010. In total the company has now banked $125 million in venture backing. According to Jenna Wortham at the New York Times, who broke the story this morning, “the round was led by Greylock Partners and Insight Venture Partners, and the Chernin Group, Richard Branson, Spark Capital, Union Square Ventures and Sequoia Capital also contributed.”
The NYT story makes no mention of the company’s financials, focusing instead on its explosive pageview growth. So far Tumblr has little revenue to speak of, but its investors are not worried. “They will succeed in working through that over the next months and years,” John Lilly, a partner at Greylock Partners, told Reuters, saying that high levels of user engagement led Greylock to make its investment
Tumblr said it is home to 30 million blogs, inspiring 13 billion page-views a month. As Fred Wilson, an Tumblr investor, said last week, the company is now one of the top properties when it comes to users’ attention, ranking among the big boys like Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Tumblr’s user growth is also accelerating, unlike Facebook, which has more or less saturated the U.S. market.
Commenters in the NYT‘s typically sanguine tech section offered some harsh criticism of Tumblr and its new money.