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This just in: one chapter of AOL’s patent journey is coming to an end. The company is selling 800 patents to Microsoft for just north of $1 billion: $1.056 billion in cash to be exact. Tim Armstrong, the CEO of AOL (which owns TechCrunch), says that the company will continue to hold on to about 300 patents and patent applications after the sale.
Picture being able to filter your Facebook photos, or use your Instagrams as Facebook Checkins. Though Instagram will remain its own “independent” app, its $1 billion acquisition by Facebook could power many improvements for the two photo sharing services.
Amazon is taking the wraps off a new in-app purchasing service today in an effort to make its app store competitive with what Apple and Google offer developers. That should let developers for Amazon’s appstore tap into what has emerged as the most lucrative way of monetizing apps over the past year: staying free but offering virtual currency or other items for purchase inside the app. After undergoing testing for several months, the new in-app purchasing service is now available for everyone.
Crashlytics, a Cambridge-based startup that helps developers understand how and why their mobile apps crashed , is taking another slug of funding with a $5 million round led by Flybridge and Baseline Ventures. The company’s co-founder Wayne Chang said the company decided to take funding after its $1 million seed round was oversubscribed.
Interview Street , the startup that helps companies recruit by holding programming contests called CodeSprints, is doing something a little different this week — it’s holding a CodeSprint for 13 different startups, all backed by Sequoia Capital .
After years, yes years , in various states of stealth mode, Seattle-based personalized news aggregation startup Wavii is finally launching to wide scale public consumption.
CloudPassage, the developer of cloud server security software, has raised $14 million in Series B financing led by Tenaya Capital with Benchmark Capital and Musea Ventures participating in the round.
Fragmentation isn’t just a problem reserved for mobile operating systems, it’s inherent to our online identities as well. Our digital identities exist in a loose and fragmented consortium of usernames, email addresses, scree names, social media accounts, passwords, and sitekeys. Many have tried to capture the single sign-on holy grail, and most have failed, because as much as we are inconvenienced by fragmentation, no one wants to hand over their personal information to one entity.
Web apps look a lot different today than they did a decade ago. Today, in the era of smart clients, web and native apps have to communicate with an array of distributed cloud services, and, while legacy infrastructure remains, these new frameworks present ever-trickier problems for app developers. Having to deal with creating software that runs across data centers, communicates with intelligent devices, and integrates with software built by scores of third-parties?
Mobile payments platform Beamit , which focuses on international money transfers between the U.S. and developing markets, has just closed a $2.4 million seed round led by Founder’s Co-op , with participation from Bezos Expeditions (the personal investment company of Jeff Bezos), TomorrowVentures (the investment vehicle for Eric Schmidt) and a small group of angel investors. The funds will be used to further product development as the company moves towards public availability, currently slated for Q3 2012.
Calling email overload “a crisis in communication”, TechCrunch Founder Michael Arrington issued a challenge back in 2008: “Someone needs to create a new technology that allows us to enjoy our life but not miss important messages.”
Can’t hold on to your receipts?
As e-book publishers and Apple face an antitrust lawsuit over pricing, magazine publishers are now looking into an alternative solution to the digital pricing dilemma: being able to extricate themselves from Apple’s grip entirely. A startup called Netizine , makers of a new, tablet-ready social magazine platform for publishers is currently in talks with seven of the ten top global publishers, we’re told, including three of the top five in the U.S.
Subscription flower delivery Service H.Bloom , which once described itself as the ‘ Netflix of Flowers ,’ raised a $10 million Series B funding round today.