Jun 12 a jun 18
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The Brazilian fashion social network Fashion.me is giving its international expansion a push, with the official announcement of its US launch. Last February, the startup had received an undisclosed amount of investment from Intel Capital to finance its growth. While the news was only made public today, the English version of Fashion.me’s platform has been online since the beginning of May – according to its CEO Flavio Pripas, the company opted for a soft launch, as it is still keen to gather feedback and see how users react to its new positioning. As some of you may remember, Fashion.me actually started as a joke in 2008 – or rather, a fun present from Pripas and his co-founder Renato Steinberg to their wives, Marcela and Karen. This is also the reason why the fashion-oriented site was initially named ByMK, until its recent rebranding.
GetWay: solução simples para mapear vendas do varejo em tempo real e otimizar produção, logística, marketing e comercialHoje em dia, muita gente quer inventar moda ou seguir as tendências certas. Faz parte da renovação do mercado. Outras pessoas conseguem olhar para as dinâmicas dentro de uma determinada cadeia, identificar um gargalo ou carência, desenvolvem uma forma de oferecer valor (“fazer a diferença”, resolver) e ainda uma forma de captar valor (faturar e lucrar). Guilherme Masseroni está neste segundo grupo.
Eventbrite has become the go-to platform for selling tickets online. And it’s announcing a major milestone to prove it today: It’s sold more than $1 billion tickets in total. For Eventbrite, the milestone also highlights some accelerating growth. It took nearly two years — from January 2009 to December 2010 — to go from $100 million in sales to $400 million. But it only took the next 18 months or so for Eventbrite it to more than double that amount and hit $1 billion of total ticket sales. Previously Eventbrite had said that it had doubled the number of events and tickets sold on the platform in 2011.
This month, the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), deciding whether or not adults in the U.S. will be required to purchase healthcare. If the Court rules in favor, millions of Americans will soon be in the market for health insurance. This would be a boon for companies like GoHealth, the Chicago-based tech company behind GoHealthInsurance.com , an online portal that allows consumers to comparison shop for health coverage.
Email marketing company Constant Contact has acquired SinglePlatform , a startup that helps local businesses manage their online presence. The deal is for $65 million cash, plus a $5 million cash and equity earn out for employee retention, as well as another $30 million tied to revenue targets. Constant Contact CEO Gail Goodman says that to get the full revenue earn out, the SinglePlatform team would need to bring in about $75 million over the next two years.
Founded by former Yahoo and Google employees Daniel Raffel and Steve Krulewitz , iOS app Snapguide is announcing a $5 million Series A raise this morning, from investors Atlas Venture, Index Ventures and Michael Arrington’s* CrunchFund. This financing comes after a sizeable $2 million seed (more like a “pit”) round. Snapguide’s simple UI makes it easy for users to build “How-To” guides via iPhone. Co-founder Raffel tells me that already the company has had 10K guides like “How to Make a Sock Bun” created since its launch this March, with millions of unique views spread among them.
As developers add more interactivity to their apps, PubNub has emerged with a platform for sending out real-time messages and notifications without investing heavily in the infrastructure needed to support it. While it has historically been focused on one-to-many notifications, the latest product from the startup, PubNub Pulse, will allow developers to add persistent connections between users. PubNub works to allow developers to add robust messaging into their apps without having to “rebuild the wheel.” The startup’s initial product, PubNub Galaxy, was designed for app makers who wish to simultaneously push out real-time messages in a one-to-many fashion. That allows publishers to push messages to mass-scale audiences during major events to multiple mobile and web applications. PubNub Pulse, by contrast, was designed with low-latency, one-to-one communication in mind.
A startup called Verelo is introducing a new type of website monitoring service, which plans to commoditize features like uptime and performance monitoring, with plans to give away as much of those services for free as possible. Instead, Verelo’s premium offerings will focus on other areas, including malware detection and site health, as well as a recommendations feature aimed at the less tech-savvy. This latter feature will observe the site and suggest changes site owners can make and services they can add to cut down on frustrations. Explains co-founder Andrew McGrath, who previously worked at Syncapse prior to creating Verelo with co-founder Mike Curry, the company’s tagline is “Verelo wants to make the internet a better place.” He said the idea for the service was born out of frustration with existing offerings – and there are many: Pingdom, Uptrends, New Relic, AlertFox – to name just a few.
Following its $2 million Series A this spring , enterprise-focused mobile startup DoubleDutch is today introducing a new app called Pride whose debut coincidentally arrives alongside reports that Microsoft is after a startup that could be Pride’s competition: Yammer . Like Yammer, Pride is also focused on workgroup collaboration, but, like most of what DoubleDutch does, it’s not just mobile-first, it’s mobile-only. Lawrence Coburn, founder and CEO at DoubleDutch, says the timing of Pride’s launch is “kind of unbelievable, actually,” given the reported Microsoft/Yammer deal. “It really is a ‘ what are you working on ?’ app with a couple of big differences from Yammer,” explains Coburn. He then goes on to describe Pride as a mobile-only way for teams to collaborate across locations by sharing status updates.
We first wrote about Tiggzi , a DIY mobile app maker that gives you far more flexibility than most of its competitors, when it launched its public beta a few weeks ago. Since then, the service, which was developed by software engineering company Exadel , has added quite a few more features, making it even easier to develop relatively fully featured apps with its drag-and-drop interface. Among these new features are the ability to export native iOS binaries and to export Windows Phone source code (Tiggzi promises that the option to export the compiled binaries for Windows Phone is coming soon).
My favorite travel site Hipmunk just announced that it has raised $15 million in a Series B round of funding. The round was led by Institutional Venture Partners , and IVP parter Todd Chaffee will be joining the Hipmunk board. Previous investor Ignition Partners also invested. In his blog post announcing the round, CEO and co-founder Adam Goldstein says that the IVP investment is a particularly noteworthy as a “vote of confidence”, since the firm normally invests in later-stage rounds. Hipmunk offers a different way of searching for flights — laying them out in a grid that makes it easy to compare a bunch of flights at once, and allowing users to sort them in a way that minimizes “agony” (for example making it easier to avoid longer flights or flights with multiple layovers). Since its launch in 2010, Hipmunk has also released iPhone and Android apps, to which it recently added hotel search and calendar integration
LightSpeed , a company promising to help physical retailers adapt to the digital age, has raised $30 million in Series A funding from Accel Partners . This is one of those investments where Accel finds an already-successful company that has been bootstrapping for several years, if not longer. (The most recent announcement was Qualtrics, a 10-year-old data collection and analysis company .) LightSpeed was founded in 2005, and its services are supposedly used by almost 10,000 retailers. Last year, Profit Magazine named it the fastest-growing company in Quebec , thanks to revenue that grew a total of 2,000 percent over the previous five years. Accel partner Ryan Sweeney, who is joining the LightSpeed board, says in the press release that the company is “helping solve the most crucial issue facing retailers today: creating an in-store experience exciting enough to compete against e-commerce.”
Spotify’s move last year to open its platform to other apps has created more stickiness for its streamed music services. Now, one of the startups based around that idea has found some traction of its own: Oslo-based Soundrop , which creates “listening rooms” and social jukebox-style service for Spotify users (think Turntable.fm here), has picked up its first round of investment, $3 million from Northzone , one of Spotify’s own leading backers. Soundrop is a relatively young company: it had been bootstrapped before the Northzone investment and only went live in January 2012, but has already seen the creation of thousands of listening rooms and tracks played. Inge Sandvik, the CEO and co-founder, says that the new funds will be used to develop its product and to “execute on its road map.”
Sometimes finding a solution to those little annoyances in life can turn into a big business. Take Roqbot, a virtual jukebox solution that lets users crowdsource music in bars, cafes and stores. Frustrated by losing turns every time they went to pick a song at the jukebox at their local bowling alley, Roqbot co-founders Garrett Dodge and Ketu Patel developed a mobile solution.
Mobile app measurement and advertising platform Flurry is expanding its product lineup with a new service that will allow app marketers the ability to track the effectiveness of their mobile ad campaigns. Flurry Ad Analytics , as the service is being called, works with the major ad networks, such as Apple’s iAd, Google Admob, and Flurry’s own AppCircle, for example, and will show from where users arrived, which campaigns were effective, and what any given network’s userbase looks like over time. This is a big deal for mobile app developers and marketers because, currently, these folks are buying from something like ten to fifteen ad networks, and yet have little visibility into the types of users being returned. The timing is right for a service like this, explains Flurry VP of Marketing Peter Farago, because app publishers are starting to move beyond the typical “spray and pray” strategy where they would do anything to just get to the top of the charts.