Sprout Social, a service for businesses to identify and engage with potential customers through social networks, today announced it has secured a first round of funding. First reported on by TechCrunch, the company has since confirmed the funding, though no specifics to the deal were disclosed. Leading the funding are Groupon founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell, through their recently launched investment fund Lightbank. This marks the third investment for Lightbank, including Facebook application Where I’ve... Continue Reading
Video-on-demand service Diva announced today it is launching Diva Mobile, a mobile version of its service that can deliver on-demand video across a variety smartphone platforms.
The Zurich, Switzerland-based company contracts with mobile carriers and other service providers to deliver on-demand video to consumers’ mobile phones. The video doesn’t have to be reformatted for every different phone type, which is the problem with other solutions.
Diva manages movie and TV content from rights holders and... Continue Reading
Cloud storage startup ZumoDrive has unveiled several new products this year, including mobile applications that let users share content from their phones and an HP-branded version of its service for HP netbooks. One of its next big goals, said founder and chief executive David Zhao, is to expand its international presence — there are signs that users in countries like Japan are even more willing to embrace cloud services like ZumoDrive than those in the... Continue Reading
Privacy, Facebook’s critical issue — and Achilles heel — has come to the fore again. After the company unveiled a program that automatically shared data with special partners and changed the way it tracks people’s interests last month, bloggers and users are up in arms.
And it’s high time for Facebook’s youthful CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, to address the issue personally.
The company is holding an all-hands meeting this afternoon at 4 PM Pacific time to... Continue Reading
It’s been some time since we received any new details on Chrome OS, Google’s web-focused operating system for netbooks. But that’s about to change in a couple weeks. We’ve learned from multiple sources that the Taiwanese computer manufacturer Acer will launch Chrome OS devices at the Computex Taipei show, which will be held from June 1 to June 5.
We don’t yet know what devices Acer will be launching. Chrome OS is designed for netbooks,... Continue Reading
Forty-nine percent of worldwide respondents to a survey who knew what a tablet and an e-reader are said that they plan to buy one in the next three years.
Most of those people — twenty-eight percent of all respondents — plan to make the purchase in the next year.
The survey, conducted by Boston Consulting Group — a worldwide firm, despite the localized name — collected responses from 12,717 adults who use the Internet and... Continue Reading
For several years, the PlayStation 3 game console was a weight around Sony’s neck, dragging down revenues as Sony’s position in video games fall from No. 1 to No. 3.
Now the PS 3 is redeeming itself, as hardware costs drop, the installed base rises, and game sales take off. For the fiscal year ended March 31, Sony reported that its Networked Products and Services division, which includes the PS 3 arm, reported sales of... Continue Reading
Publishers are considering whether they should adopt a new Facebook Like button for their websites. Some privacy advocates — and plenty of non-experts — have denounced the buttons as stealthily invasive to Facebook users’ privacy.
Now, news site Business Insider has obtained what reporter Nicholas Carlson says is an IM exchange between Zuckerberg and a friend, saved back when the 19-year-old Zuckerberg was building what was then called TheFacebook.com in his Harvard dorm room.
Zuck:... Continue Reading
Rockstar Games has moved out West for its next game, Red Dead Redemption. The question is whether the company can bring the magic of Grand Theft Auto (whose last installment generated $500 million in its first week of sales in 2008) to the Wild West.
This original third-person shooter game from Rockstar, which is owned by Take-Two Interactive, debuts on May 18. It is a major effort by the company to diversify beyond Grand... Continue Reading
Celebrities won’t have an excuse anymore for dull fan websites.
Site Canvas is launching tools today that let people create websites with rich, dynamic content without having to pay huge fees.
The Los Angeles-based company, which was previously operating in stealth mode as Owned Networks, says its software lets high-visibility clients such as brands, charities, athletes, politicians, or celebrities — create a site with “dynamic digital presence.” That means it has fancy things like... Continue Reading
If you’re considering launching your company’s product at the DEMO conference, consider applying for a special session at one of Silicon Valley’s most respected venture capital firms, Benchmark Capital.
On June 22, at Benchmark’s offices on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, we’ll be meeting with up to ten companies. Whether you’re contemplating a launch at the upcoming DEMO, held September 13-15 in Silicon Valley, or at a later DEMO event, the session will give you... Continue Reading
In addition to being a delicious frozen treat, Froyo is also the codename for the next major version of Google’s Android mobile operating system. We knew it was going to be fast and feature Flash support, but now, according to TechCrunch, Android users have something else to look forward to: USB tethering, which will let you share your phone’s internet connection with your laptop, and the ability to turn your phone into... Continue Reading
Late-night TV superstar Conan O’Brien’s 48-minute appearance at Google’s Mountain View headquarters last week has been helpfully edited down to the best five minutes by Valleywag. (Valleywag’s videos don’t have an embed button for dummies, so I’m linking to the clip rather than trying to figure out HTML source code at 8am.)
The famously quick-witted O’Brien, who recently left NBC’s Tonight Show and moved his staff from New York to Los Angeles in search of... Continue Reading
The feud between Adobe and Apple is beginning to resemble a tech version of Days of Our Lives. Today, Adobe launched a new ad campaign that tells the world how much it loves Apple, but that it also loves the freedom of open markets more. The ad points to a letter by Adobe cofounders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock that discusses their thoughts on open markets.
The ad campaign is running on major tech... Continue Reading
Lukas Biewald (pictured left) is cofounder and chief executive of CrowdFlower, a startup that helps businesses crowdsource small tasks. Vaughn Hester (pictured below) is an account manager/analyst at CrowdFlower.
Whether you are starting a new company or are just the laziest CEO ever, there’s great news for you — the explosion in crowdsourcing strategies and solutions means you might be able to get started without any full-time employees! If you have projects or jobs that... Continue Reading
Trusted Opinion, a social recommendation network for restaurants, bars, cafes, and movies, announced today that it has hit a new milestone of 1.5 million reviews worldwide from its 1 million registered members.
The site weights reviews from your social circle higher than those from strangers. And like any social network worth its salt, it lets you connect with others who share your tastes. The site also aggregates reviews from other sources like Citysearch, TripAdvisor,... Continue Reading
As a rival game turns up the heat, Modern Warfare 2 is getting another multiplayer map pack to keep its revenues going.
Activision Blizzard said today that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Resurgence Pack will arrive on Microsoft’s Xbox Live online game service on June 3. Players will be able to purchase the map pack online and download it to their Xbox 360 game consoles. It will give players five new multiplayer maps... Continue Reading
Mopay is announcing today that it has created a mobile payment system that lets you pay for physical merchandise with your cell phone in online transactions in 28 countries.
The Munich, Germany company says that we’re on the cusp of a big market where mobile carriers will let you use a cell phone number for the purchase of physical goods online.
Such payments are common in some Asian countries now, where phones are equipped... Continue Reading
(Editor’s note: Nat Goldhaber is co-founder and managing director of Claremont Creek Ventures, a seed and early stage venture firm. He submitted this column to VentureBeat.)
Thanks to the most devastating recession in decades and dramatic shifts in the venture industry, finding investors to write those first checks is a frustrating, time-sucking process for entrepreneurs – but that doesn’t mean they can’t be particular.
If you’re startup owner, it’s important to remember that you don’t... Continue Reading