startup rundown

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

Jon Carin rocks (Photo:

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,, 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

So Refresh and So Clean

After Using a Minimal Site for Six Months, SideTour Launches Version 2.0

sidetour refresh

“As Lean junkies, we’ve been running SideTour for the last 6 months on the MVP we built over two weeks in Techstars last summer,” SideTour cofounder Mark Webster wrote in an email. SideTour, a marketplace for people who want to host activities—amateur tour guides, and the like—launched six months ago on a basic site hacked together with Eventbrite and WordPress. Since then, it’s raised $1.5 million, built the team up to nine, and took 100 feedback meetings with users, which all adds up to a redesigned, fuller-featured version which launched to all users today. Read More