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You Have Until Midnight Tonight to Vote for Your Favorite Startup for The Pitch

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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. Read More

shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Softbank Gets a Panty Dropoff and Fred Durst Did It All for the Diggs

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Airbnb Is a Belieber Early this week, CEO Brian Chesky tweeted out a photo of Justin Bieber, whose startup cred apparently extends to Airbnb renter. The Instagram shot was taken by Mazy Kazerooni, cofounder of #DominateFund, Ben Parr’s still hush-hush, celebrity-focused micro-VC. Gee, wonder who their LPs are?

Friday flashback This week the revamped Digg got an unexpected celebrity thumbs-up: Fred Durst of Limp Bizkit fame (infamy?) tweeted at developer Robert Tolar Haining, “I love Digg. Great job and beautiful interface.” “Why thank you sir!” Mr. Haining replied, because what else are you going to say when Fred Durst compliments your UI? Read More

Unreal Time

Is It Possible to Predict Pageviews 15 Minutes Into the Future? $1.7 M. for Visual Revenue Says Yes

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What’s cooler than real-time? New York-based Visual Revenue is building technology that purports to predict web traffic in advance. We first wrote about the startup just over a year ago when it officially launched. At the time, founder and CEO Dennis Mortensen wrote a blog post about how the company was aiming to replace the “front page editor” position that has become a staple of new media newsrooms. At the time, the New York Daily News and eight other publishers were testing Visual Revenue’s claims that it can predict how well a story will do on the front page 15 minutes in advance.

Visual Revenue offers media companies a unique Front Page Decision Support System for online Editors. The solution can predict the performance of a piece of content about 15 minutes into the future and provides editors with real-time recommendations on what content to place in which position on a Front Page and for how long.

Sounds like something BuzzFeed would be interested in. Wait, it sounds like something every web publisher would be interested in. But are we petty web readers really that predictable?

IA Ventures and Softbank Capital think so. The firms led Visual Revenue’s $1.7 million round, which will be used to hire front end and back end engineers, a lead designer, customer engagement manager and business development manager and build Visual Revenue into the “Bloomberg terminal of the newsroom,” as the company puts it. Read More