eBay Acquires NYC-Based Social Shopping Site Svpply

Mr. Pieratt (Photo: Brooklyn Beta)

eBay announced on its blog today that it has acquired Svpply, the NYC-based social shopping site that curates personalized collections of clothing and products. Located on Broome Street in Soho, Svpply raised $550,000 in seed funding back in 2010 from investors like Founders Collective, Spark Capital, SV Angel, Dennis Crowley and Jason Hirschhorn. Since then, Svpply has been bootstrapping itself to 620,000 product views per week and 140,000 registered members (as of May).

Last May, founder Ben Pieratt offered a candid perspective on first-time entrepreneurship, admitting his vulnerability. “I have zero experience or expertise in building a company,” he wrote in a 2011 blog post. “So I’m learning on the fly.” Read More

Venture Capitalism

Signpost, the Startup That Promises to Drive Customers to Small Businesses, Raises $3.75 M. From Spark Capital


Say you’re a small business trying to figure out whether a deal with Groupon or ad on Yelp will bring customers to your door. That already-tricky marketing decision gets more complicated when you factor in fragmentation among daily deals sites and all the other publishers that could potentially host your ad. If you wanted, however, Read More

Movin On Up

Spark Capital’s Mo Koyfman Promoted to General Partner

Mo' Koyfman, mo' investments.

Spark Capital just announced the promotion of principal Mo Koyfman, the golden-haired Wharton alum who joined the firm in the summer of 2008 after more than six years sourcing deals and incubating startups at IAC.

It won’t be much of a change, as far as the young investor’s duties go. “I’ve already been functioning in the capacity as a general partner so to speak,” he told Betabeat this afternoon, noting that he sits on six or seven boards now including Skillshare, Workmarket, Svpply, gdgt and Aviary. “It’s a bit of a rubber stamp and certainly an acknowledgment of the efforts I’ve made to date, which I appreciate tremendously.” Read More

Venture Capitalism

Restless VC Syndrome: Fred Wilson and Bijan Sabet Leave Twitter Board

The gang as it once was (via Technology Review)

Venture capitalists have come down with a bout of  seriously itchy feet. Just this week, we heard Union Square Ventures was raising a new fund, we broke the news that Andy Weissman was leaving betaworks for UVS,  Polaris Venture Partners’ Mike Hirshland announced he was leaving the Boston fund to launch a new seed firm, and today AllThingsD’s Peter Kafka reports that Twitter will lose Fred Wilson (one of its earliest backers) and Bijan Sabet from its board by the end of the month.

According to Mr. Kafka’s sources, “there’s no bad blood behind the move.” Read More


SkillShare Raises $3.1 Million to Teach the Masses

Now offering classes in business ethics

In the same way that Kickstarter connects users with backers for their projects, SkillShare connects experts with students for their classes. The start-up just raised a $3.1 million in a Series A round of venture financing, led by Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital, to extend its offerings. Previously the company raised a $550,000 round of seed funding from Founder Collective and SV Angel, among others.

Betabeat has been reporting on this funding for some time, but was too gun shy to publish without confirmation from the founders. Lesson learned. Read More

New Fit City

Healthcare Is About to Get the Techie Start-Up Treatment


Look closely at this face, you might be seeing it around more often (although we can’t promise he will be making the same expression). In a post on his Tumblr, former Spark Capital associate Charlie Huang (the TechStars advisor, not the Guitar Hero founder FYI) announced that he will be leaving Spark headquarters in Boston and moving to New York City. He will be taking a temporary gig as VP of bizdev for FitOrbit, one of Spark’s portfolio companies. The Los Angeles-based start-up facilitates online persona trainers and fitness plans.  It’s all part of Mr. Huang’s grand plan to make sure healthcare IT gets the love it deserves.

Betabeat’s feature this week on the cultish popularity of the 4 Hour Body diet among local technophiles name-checked a number of fitness products — Fitbit, Withings Wi-Fi scales, and Daytum –that scratch the itch to both get healthier and quantify those efforts. Read More

The Start-Up Rundown

Start-Up News: Noob to Spark Capital

Mr. Haber.

DAVID HABER JOINS SPARK CAPITAL. “David has a interesting background, which included graduating from Harvard with a BioChem degree. Not a typical degree for a VC firm but we appreciated a different perspective and background than others at Spark,” the firm says on its blog. Mr. Haber previously was a founding associate at Locus Analytics, which he started before he graduated. His new title is VC n00b.

IT’S BEEN A WHILE SINCE WE HAD A HACKATHON! Er, not really. But Game Hack Day is this weekend at General Assembly, sponsored by NYhacker, the “hacker union.” “We’ve got a bunch of Arduinos, AR Drone-copters, great API demos (including open source game frameworks) and more,” says co-organizer John Britton. It’s expected to be as big as Music Hack Day, which produced no fewer than 72 demos.

Related, General Assembly co-founder and serious strategy gamer Brad Hargreaves is hosting a class Thursday on The Business of Gaming–check it out before you hack and you could have a start-up. Or, you can skip the entrepreneurship and get a job at OMGPOP, currently hiring for a game designer with “mad vision.” Okay! Read More