After a Month in NYC, Real-Time Marketplace Zaarly Is Still Dead

zaarly infographic

About a month ago, Betabeat logged into the newly-launched Zaarly, an Ashton Kutcher and Mike Arrington investment that connects individual buyers and sellers in a design-y real-time Craigslist. It launched to much fanfare at South By Southwest. But we tried to get a pack of gum delivered to our offices, where the tech team stays sharp by chewing an inhuman amount of Dentyne Ice, for which we were willing to pay a handsome $10. Read More


Seeking Angels: Fitocracy Hits 16K. Users with 6K More on Wait List [Invites]

Fitocracy founders Brian Wang and Richard Talens, flexing at Betabeat's request.

Fitocracy founders Brian Wang and Richard Talens, flexing at Betabeat’s request.

Fitocracy, which tracks workouts and turns personal fitness into a social game, has had a good six months. The two-person, bootstrapped start-up has users foaming at the mouth for invites–and we’ve got some!–and they’ve just hired a third developer to join the team working out of WeWork Labs. “Every time we’ve introduced Fitocracy to a forum community, people go nuts for invites,” co-founder Brian Wang wrote on Quora yesterday in a call for angel funding.  Read More


Millionaire Start-Up YouAre.TV, Pivot-Child of Fallen Facebook Competitor CollegeOnly, Seeks CTO


Reddit/Hipmunk’s Alexis Ohanian with YouAre.TV’s Josh Weinstein and Ben Mack. Photo:

YouAre.TV is the reborn version of CollegeOnly, the social network, video roulette and Facebook alternative for which fresh-faced founder Josh Weinstein raised $1.15 million from Peter Thiel, David Tisch, David Kidder, FirstMark Capital and other funds in the summer of 2010.

College Hype failed to catch on due to a combination of overhype and errors with the product design, so Mr. Weinstein decided to switch tacks. He launched YouAre.TV, technology that enables a frenetic, wacky interactive version of web television, at the New York Tech Meetup. Betabeat rated it “delightful-unmarketable” In its current iteration.

Now the General Assembly-based start-up is looking for a chief technology officer or lead developer to complement the hustle of its young founder. Read More


BankSimple Privately Testing 20 Universal ATM Cards; Wait List Up to 50 K.

banksimple cards

BankSimple, the New York start-up that hopes to disrupt personal banking by designing a better online-only customer experience, is inching toward launch. “The first twenty BankSimple cards have been issued to our employees and we are testing them in New York, Portland, and San Francisco at some of our favorite places,” the company announced on its blog today, and implored the 50,000 people who have signed up for beta invites to be patient. Read More


What You Missed at General Assembly Demo Night

general assembly demos

The night started off, as you’d expect, with some hefty networking as founders, investors, members of the General Assembly and other curious parties milled around in advance of the first public demo night since New York’s spiffiest co-working space opened in December. Scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m., MC Alexis Ohanian (Reddit, Breadpig, Hipmunk, East Coast Y Combinator Ambassador extraordinaire) didn’t get the demo party started until after 7 p.m., fifteen minutes after the lights first dimmed. Read More


Rent The Runway: We’re All About Analytics

jenny f rent the runway

“We don’t ever want to make decisions only based on our buyers’ whims,” Rent The Runway co-founder Jennifer Fleiss told Racked. Rent The Runway is a web-based service for renting dresses and accessories for a few days at a time, addressing the “closet full of clothes but nothing to wear” dilemma. The start-up is two years old, and given that dresses on the site run from $50 to a few hundred and the fact that the site’s traffice looks like a snake climbing some stairs, we’re guessing they’ve been generating not-insubstantial revenues. Read More

Start-Ups’s Carter Cleveland Represents Generation Open Source


“I knew that I chose not to inform my boss and CEO about such a minor project being open sourced. I feared that the announcement or the source code included confidential information about our business or an incompatible license. I was convinced that I missed something very big and important and dreaded the consequences for my team and my job.” That’s what was going through the mind of’s head of engineering Daniel Doubrovkine after receiving an email from CEO Carter Cleveland with the subject line, “Immediate action required (RE: Our latest open source project).” Read More


Fast Society: Group Texting as a Business is “Bullshit”

Fast Society built reply-all for text messages, but it’s not counting on that to make money. “The last thing we want to be is a utility,” co-founder Matthew Rosenberg told Untether TV. What they’re really selling is the brand. “The days of engineering being a focus are somewhat over,” he said. “This is going to be a business of personalities and brands… it’s got to be more than just technology,” he said. Read More