shameless rumormongering

Rumor Roundup: Katy Perry Wins Twitter and Somebody Likes Venmo Lucas

Our girl Katy (Getty)

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. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Buzzfeed Gets Businessy and Cornell Tech Clears Another Hurdle

Someday! (Photo: CornellNYC Tech)

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.” Read More

App Ecomony

Venmo Touch From Braintree Lets You Pay Across Multiple Apps Without Entering Your Credit Card

Braintree owns Venmo.

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. Read More

Get Money

How to Talk Your Boss Into Your Next Raise: Here Are the NYC Startups With the Highest Average Salaries

(Photo: AngelList)

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. Read More

startup rundown

Startup News: Braintree Gets a $35 M. Boost, TED Gets Trippy, and Real Estate Gets Gamified

Jon Carin rocks (Photo: wikipedia.org)

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.” Read More

Fresh Capital

Lerer Ventures Is Raising $30 M. for Its Third Seed-Stage VC Fund in Two Years

(Photo: via The Pitch)

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.  Read More