Fresh Capital

Chris Anderson’s Drone Startup Just Raised Another $30M

Mr. Anderson. (Photo: 3D Robotics)

Guess who’s still droning away? Former Wired editor in chief Chris Anderson has just raised a $30 million Series B for his startup 3D Robotics. Investors include Foundry Group, True Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and SK Ventures. It’s in addition to $5 million raised last year.

The company plans to use the money to “mainstream aerial robotics and surveying,” i.e., turning this hobbyist habit into something relatively affordable and approachable for those who aren’t lifelong subscribers to, well, Wired. The team is zeroing on commercial use cases, the big example being agriculture. Mr. Anderson said in a statementRead More

Go Home Science You're Drunk

This Paula Deen Salad Holds the Key to Pinterest Popularity

Photo: Pauladeen.com

Pinterest is known as the magical place where sorority girls and your friend’s mom can amass their fave photos of recipes, wedding dresses and craft ideas on their very own online scrapbooks. With immense satisfaction, they then stare at those color-coordinated material items that just might help them to forget the harsh realities of cul-de-sac life.

But the site doesn’t just traffic in shabby chic porn for Tory Burch wannabes. Online retailers have found great success with its largely female, middle-class demographic. Enough repins on the perfect Pinterest image can translate into actual sales. Read More

"But you guys love cats"

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Cats on the Internet

Maru (Photo: Cosmically Chic)

“If one has set out to say something definitive about the relationship between cats and the Internet, it’s important not to be delayed indefinitely by Internet cats,” writes Gideon Lewis-Kraus in a thousands-word long Wired piece about cats on the Internet. He studied the cultural impact of Internet cats in Japan, and traveled there to meet with a famous cat band. It is glorious.

Sadly, Maru declined to be interviewed for the piece.

Linkages

Booting Up: VCs Waxing Philosophic Edition

Mr. Graham (flickr.com/pragdave)

Startup soothsayer Paul Graham penned a letter to Y Combinator’s portfolio companies about withstanding the fallout from Facebook’s poorly-performing IPO. [Business InsiderHacker News]

Fred Wilson wants to put Mr. Graham’s musings in perspective. [A VC]

Apple will yank Google Maps from iPhones later this year, which is just another reason why we’re quite happy with our Galaxy Nexus, thankyouverymuch. [Wall Street Journal]

GigaOm rounds up what we know about Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker’s video startup, Airtime, set to launch at a press event this morning. [GigaOm]

Oh good, there is an Instagram for animated GIFs. [Wired]

Bitcoin Drama

FBI: That Bitcoin Report Was Authentic, But It Wasn’t Leaked by Us

(Wikimedia Commons)

Last week, Betabeat received an email from an anonymous source claiming to have leaked an internal FBI report about the virtual currency Bitcoin. The report, published April 24, revealed the agency is worried the currency could become a payment method for cyber criminals in the near future, and could be used to fund “illicit groups.” (Wikileaks, anyone?) The FBI also determined the currency to be an “increasingly useful tool for various illegal activities beyond the cyber realm,” and could become attractive to money launderers.

The report, titled “Bitcoin Virtual Currency: Intelligence. Unique Features Present Distinct Challenges for Deterring Illicit Activity,” was the FBI’s first research report on Bitcoin. The report was not classified, but it was marked “for official use only.” BetabeatWired, and a number of blogs ran with the story without confirming the report’s authenticity, but today we got a call back from the FBI. “It is legitimate, but it was not leaked by the government,” an FBI representative told Betabeat. Read More