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Turns Out Nobody Wants to Shop at J. Lo’s Brooklyn Viva Movil Phone Store

Miss you. (Photo: Instagram)

It was only a year ago that Jennifer Lopez marched into Brooklyn and heralded a new era of being ripped off by your cell phone provider. Dubbed Viva Movil, it’s a joint venture between the American Idol judge and Verizon Mobile to lure Latino shoppers to the brand. But it looks like its customers have hung up on it.

Last week, we noticed that the shop on Flatbush Avenue across from the Barclays Center shuttered. Gone are the shrine-like pictures of Ms. Lopez smiling and giggling about Otter cases and data plans, and instead sits an empty storefront. It’s probably not what she was hoping for with the chain’s flagship location. Read More

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Video Q&A Site VYou Shutting Down Its Consumer Product Next Week to Focus on Celebrity and Media Clients

(Photo: Vyou)

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. Read More

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IAC Has Shut Down Hatch Labs, Its Incubator for Mobile Apps

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Multiple sources have told Betabeat that IAC shuttered Hatch Labs–its incubator for building mobile tools, apps, and platforms–on December 31st. Hatch Labs closed both its fifth floor offices in the IAC building on 18th street and in Los Angeles.

“After exploring several strategic options for Hatch Labs, IAC stopped investing in the company, and their operations were subsequently discontinued,” IAC said in response to questions. “IAC is still funding and exploring options for a few of the assets that came out of Hatch Labs.”

Hatch Labs’ New York space is already occupied by other IAC entities. (The only exception is Blu Trumpet, which was spun out as an independent company in 2011, but remains in the Frank Gehry building.) When we stopped by the office last May, it had all the accoutrements of your standard startup accelerator, including a ping pong table and drawers full of free snacks. Read More

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Soho TechLabs Shuts Down Social Travel Site CasaHop

(Photo: Mr. Berry)

Back in April 2012, the HuffPo cabal-backed Soho TechLabs launched a social travel site called CasaHop that allowed users to “connect with people worldwide to trade homes for vacations and more.” Now, Soho TechLab’s CEO Paul Berry told Betabeat that the incubator is shutting down CasaHop in order to focus more on RebelMouse, a tool for building social webpages that has seen explosive growth in recent months.

“CasaHop never gained the traction it needed,” Mr. Berry told Betabeat by phone. “The timing was off. Airbnb is really in a winner takes all situation in this area. I hope one day someone is going to break out and make this an enormous idea because I love home exchanges, but too few people feel comfortable with other people staying in their place while they’re away.” Read More