Beg Borrow and Steal

Beg Borrow and Steal

First Round, Venrock Invest $10 Million in Smartling to Make the Web Multilingual


Smartling CEO Jack Welde just closed a $10 million Series B round from existing investors (U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock and First Round Capital) as well as a new face: IDG Ventures.Venrock’s David Pakman is already on the company’s board, now joined by Steve Krausz from USVP. Clients like Foursquare, IMVU, Scribd, and SurveyMonkey use Smartling’s cloud-based platform to create and maintain multilingual versions of their websites and mobile apps. The platform allows for combing different translation methods such as crowdsourced, professional, or machine learning.

“The Web is, by definition, worldwide, so every site and app should be multilingual. With this funding, we’ll continue to optimize our elegant, easy-to-use solution for this historically complex and costly technology process,” Mr. Welde said in a press release. But there’s a more practical, monetizable motivation than just democratizing the web for the good of the global internet. Read More

Beg Borrow and Steal

The Startup Diet: Quinoa and Kale


Here’s a slice of schadenfreude for struggling boot-strappers. Glowing tech press doesn’t necessarily mean the startup life is as glamorous behind-the-scenes. Take fledgling New York coupon aggregator CityPockets. Back in March, Forbes crowed, “Not to sound too cliché or fluffy, but CityPockets is the solution,” to the deluge of daily deals sites. A few paragraphs later, they piled it on with:

“To quote Andrew Mason from an email exchange we had in 2009, “[Groupon’s] goal is to make Groupon feel ‘too good to be true’ from beginning to end,” and frankly CityPockets succeeds in bringing an entire industry under that mantra.”

With that kind of review 28-year-old CEO Cheryl Yeoh must have been living the Silicon Alley high-life, right? Yeah, not so much. Read More

Beg Borrow and Steal

If The NY Times Paywall Were a Kickstarter Project…

climbing wall

The new paywall rolled out by The NY Times last week is so convoluted, customers would be forgiven for thinking it was intended to make them throw up their hands and just subscribe to the paper version.

Execs at The Times keep insisting their data shows many readers really want to pay for the stories they read online, they just didn’t have that option yet.

With that in mind, Creative Common’s Mike Linksvayer threw together a mock Kickstarter Project that encourages users to donate just the right amount. Read More