Adventures in Venture Capital
VYou, the NYC-based video question and answer site that raised $3 million back in May 2011, will be shutting down its consumer-facing product next week. The company, which operates from an office in SoHo, sent out an email to users today announcing that they will no longer be able to upload videos starting April 3rd. By April 5th, the site will shut down completely.
When we first joined VYou back in its beta phase, it seemed like just another platform for innocuous oversharing, albeit a higher maintenance one: instead of oversharing from bed in your PJs, you had to look rather presentable to record a video of yourself.
But now, as celebrities flock to the video question and answer platform as a new way to connect with fans, VYou is focusing on building out another aspect of its site: video-based knowledge sharing. In the upcoming weeks, VYou will be assembling groups of experts in various areas. Users can ask them questions and get responses directly from the experts.
the startup rundown
Vyou, the New York City-based Q&A platform, has a very familiar face on its new service: media mogul Oprah Winfrey. The former daytime diva is using Vyou’s video service to enrich the recently-rebooted Oprah’s Book Club 2.0.
Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail–the Eat Pray Love-ish hiking memoir that inspired Ms. Winfrey to relaunch her book club–also joined Vyou answer reader’s questions. Both women have been soliciting questions on Oprah.com and posted recorded video answers today.
2×2^2. April 16 is officially 4sqDay in New York and over a dozen other cities around the country. The fan-created social media holiday’s official celebration will begin at 7 p.m. at The Caulfield. Check out the community blog and RSVP here.
CAPITAL IDEA. General Assembly is bringing back “Assembled Capital,” an all day event dedicated to getting startups funded. The $200 (plus a $4.97 fee) to get in is a bit steep, but breakfast, lunch and booze are totally included! The event will include talks, panels and plenty of elbow-rubbing time with the like of Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena, TechStars NYC’s David Tisch, Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Shane Snow of Contently and many others.
AIRbnFREE. Airbnb is teaming up with Thrillist and sponsoring Tour de Thrillist, a bicoastal race to discover all that LA, Vegas, Austin, Philly and of course NYC have to offer. Up for grabs is a five-destination trip and free Airbnb accommodations. Cross your fingers and enter the sweepstakes here.
Occupy Wall Street
If you hop over to vyou.com/new today you can see what the video Q&A site has been working on over the past few months. They are taking off the “beta” label and upgrading their look and functionality.
VYou, the New York-based video question-and-answer site, just created a group question — “How do we create equality between all people?” — aimed at Occupy Wall Street. Video responses were gathered downtown using VYou’s mobile app, with VYou-sters grabbing testimonies from campers or responding to the question themselves. Any user can answer the question, although the responses are curated by VYou.
In the booming market for question and answer services, the conversational platform created by VYou is unique. Like Formspring, it is a place for users to receive questions and post answers. But on VYou the answers come in video form.
Vyou relies less on scale and accuracy, like Quora or Stack Exchange. Instead it draws Read More
The Start-Up Rundown
For a few years now Sasha Grey has occupied a unique niche, managing to sit atop the world of adult entertainment while also branching out to modeling, books and more mainstream films. But then two weeks ago, she officially called it quits on her Facebook page.
THIS WEEK IN NEW YORK START-UPS…
SHAKE-UPS: Richard Blakeley leaves Gawker after five years to join Thrillist. Mr. Blakeley will act as a liaison between the editorial and advertising sides of the company, CEO Ben Lerer told Betabeat, which now operate completely independently, and in general push harder to monetize content.
New York Tech Meetup had its first meetup of 2011 last night at its usual spot, the Skirball Center at New York University off W. 4th, and attendees seemed glad to be home after community board elections forced the December meetup to an away venue.
“Skirball!” hecklers shouted, when the audience was Read More