Ever since they’ve gotten flack for their $3 billion valuation from Facebook, Snapchat has been doing everything from spamming ads to branded stickers to prove that they can play in the same sandbox as other web giants. But why sell stickers when you can simply move money around and collect a little transaction fee?
Techcrunch dug Read More
Lucas Gives Interviews
Welcome to Freshly Minted, where we examine an overlooked deal or funding announcement in tech from the past week, and tell you what you need to know, and why it matters.
This week’s deal: King-making VC firm Greycroft Partners raised its first growth fund for making even bigger bets on late-stage startups.
Greycroft Partners is Read More
FastCompany secured an interview with the mustachioed mystery man. Read More
ROAR. Our imaginary girlfriend Katy Perry has just become the first person to hit the 50 million follower mark on Twitter. She’s followed closely by the Biebs, at 49.2 million followers, and Barack Obama, at 41.2 million followers.
#H8rs will point out that a bunch of Katy’s followers are reportedly fake, spam or inactive accounts, but those people are probably just depressed that nobody retweeted their snarky Dark Horse Grammys joke.
eBay is plopping down $800 million in cash to acquire payment company Braintree, which, you might remember, acquired Silicon Alley’s own Venmo just over a year ago. The purchase boosts the auction site’s PayPal unit as it further expands into the lucrative mobile transaction sector.
Fast money, fast people. Venmo Payouts is now saving businesses time and paper (as in checks, not cash) with an API designed for sending money directly to service providers. Any phone number or email address can be used to pay babysitters, dog walkers or masseuses via a single API call. Venmo acts as the middle man, collecting your top-secret bank information and using it for the transaction.
Buzz-Feed us business. BuzzFeed has a new business editor for its coming-soon business section. Peter Lauria, former editor-in-charge of U.S. technology, media, and telecom coverage for Reuters, will lead Buzzfeed’s expansion into Wall Street later this spring. Look out for “13 Most Daring Corporate Investments Announced Using These Great Photos of Cats.”
Last August, Silicon Alley darling Venmo, a mobile app that lets you split bills and pay friends, was acquired by Braintree, a PayPal competitor, for $26.2 million. At the time, Braintree emphasized the shift towards mobile commerce. And it looks like having a consumer-facing brand like Venmo is helping in that department.
Today, they announced the launch of Venmo Touch, which should help lower the barrier to buying things on mobile by avoiding the hassle of having to enter your credit card information with every new app . . . as long as it’s part of the Braintree family.
AngelList, the Facebook for startups, just did NYC job seekers in the tech sector a major solid. Today the company released a graphical breakdown of the average salaries of tech companies, drawn from data collected through its jobs portal, which helps match startups with prospective talent. The information is quite revealing, and much more detailed than what you’d find on a site like GlassDoor.
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.”
Roughly a year-and-a-half after closing its second $25 million seed stage fund, Lerer Ventures is in the processing of raising money for a third. An SEC filing, first noted by TechCrunch, says the size of the round is $30 million.
Although the Form D indicates that the early-stage venture capital firm has yet to sell, expect the round to close quickly.
Last May, it only took Lerer Ventures “a matter of weeks” to raise that $25 million from individuals and family offices. And that was before the highly-regarded New York City firm–launched by Huffington Post cofounder (and Betaworks and Buzzfeed chairman) Ken Lerer and his son Ben Lerer, cofounder of Thrillist–boasted a handful of exits.