On Friday, Mr. Cooper teased the news with a few ellipses on Twitter before linking to the announcement. “Today is an INSANE day! We are so proud to announce that Hyperpublic has been acquired by the rocket ship that is Groupon,” Hyperpublic wrote. “This is a huge win for our team, our investors, and everyone who contributed to our company over the past two years.” Then there was a party at The Standard, natch. Read More
Considering a move to the West Coast, but not sure if you should do it due to all the Alley-boosting blog posts in Betabeat and your Tumblr feed? Here’s an Alley-to-Valley success story for you. TopGuest, a New York startup that launched in the beginning of 2010 to add social and mobile features to consumer loyalty programs, just had its big exit: an acquisition by San Francisco-based global customer service software company ezRez for an undisclosed sum.
CEO Geoff Lewis moved out to California with his two co-founders about a year ago to work on TopGuest, which raised $2 million and sported Peter Thiel as an advisor and Silicon Valley all-stars Keith Rabois and Ron Conway as angel investors, according to AllThingsD. Read More
When it comes to big data and personal recommendations, Hunch and eBay are a match made in heaven. Both work with mountains of unstructured data and hope to improve user recommendations through social signals.
At least, that is what Chris Dixon and eBay CTO Mark Carges had to say in a phone call with Betabeat this morning, following news of the acquisition. But the pair laid out a compelling case for why the purchase makes sense.
“eBay is a very unique retailer,” Mr. Dixon said. “When grandma posts a sweater for sale, it doesn’t have a metadata to help sort and identify it. In working to understand user’s taste on the open web, this is the challenge we have been solving at Hunch.”
Something like 70% of items on eBay don’t have traditional metadata like product IDs. “We have been working with our own data on consumer behavior to power recommendations,” said eBay CTO Mark Carges. “Hunch brings in some really complimentary work that they have been doing with social signals.” Read More
After raising just shy of $20 million in venture funding, Hunch will now reportedly be purchased by Ebay for $80 million. Ebay will use Hunch to power its recommendations. Hunch cofounder Chris Dixon will take over the 50-person recommendations team and start a new office in New York that is expected to quadruple in size.
When the news broke yesterday evening that Skype acquired hometown start-up GroupMe, New York’s digerati took the party to Twitter. Indeed the acquisition and its hefty price tag, which Betabeat’s sources pegged between $50 million and $100 million, caused such a stir among a certain swath of tech circles that “GroupMe” even made into a New York City Twitter trending topic last night–albeit below penetrating questions plaguing tweeters such as, “Chris Brown OR Justin Bieber.”
The deal was the first major exit for Lerer Ventures, Thrive Capital and BoxGroup’s David Tisch, so much of the tweeting action consisted of ebullient pats on the back. But a few notes of skepticism arose from the din. In case you were too busy watching Libyan rebels end a 40-year dictatorship, here’s what you missed. Read More
GroupMe just celebrated its one year anniversary, and founders Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht certainly had something to smile about. A deal in the works for months was just completed, with global VOIP giant Skype acquiring GroupMe for an undisclosed price north of $50 million.
The two co-founders have scored positions at Microsoft but will run the company from New York. And while GroupMe will remain independent, it is likely to become core to Skype’s efforts in mobile, SMS and social. Skype’s over 560 million global users will certainly do a lot to boost GroupMe’s profile and user network if the two companies are deeply integrated. Read More
Yodle, the New York-based search marketing agency that targets local and small businesses, is going after the nickels and dimes. The company announced an acquisition of an Austin-based agency, ProfitFuel, that targets businesses spending less than $500 on marketing a month.
Yodle plans to ramp that end of the business way, way up, doubling the 220 employees at what was ProfitFuel over the next 18 months. Yodle itself only has around 300 employees, the Austin-American Statesman reported. Read More
Buddy Media, the Facebook managing platform for businesses, announced this morning it had acquired the five-person New York start-up Spinback, which makes a social media plug-in and analytics dashboard that customers can enable by embedding a few lines of code on their web sites. “I’ve never seen a product that does what it does. It does what four or five technologies do in one,” said Buddy Media CEO Mike Lazerow when Betabeat reached him by phone this morning at Disney World, where he was attending the Mashable Connect conference with Spinback CEO Andrew Ferenci. Read More