Did you make the list? Here are the top 10 most-viewed interviews on VatorNews in 2011.
In a continuation of my interview with Brian Wong, Wong explains that the key to Kiip's business model is how it will leverage the uniquely addictive quality of mobile gaming to keep people hooked and interacting with ads.
In 2010, the company raised $300K to help with product development and scaling, and while Wong wouldn't say whether the company plans to raise additional funds this year, he did note that, "With the funding environment right now, it would be a mistake not to figure out what options there are."
When we discussed ideal companies to partner with, Wong explained that there are already a number of companies in the game developing world that serve both publishing needs and in-game development. Ideally, said Wong, Kiip would partner with an in-game developer that already has the power to command a large audience, as well as the publishers themselves. "Those two bodies are very important for us to work with," he said. Read more
Q&A sites are getting a lot of attention in the past year. Last week, Formspring raised $11.5 million from Benchmark. In December, Twitter bought Q&A site Fluther. Last October, ChaCha raised $20 million, bringing total funds to date to nearly $72 million. Last spring, Quora raised $11 million for a reported $86 million. And, at the start of last year, Google bought Aardvark. Other startups are emerging in this space, like Law Pivot, a Q&A site just for legal advice, which launched last August. Meanwhile, other lesser-known, non-VC-backed startups, such as JustAnswer, are making solid revenue by allowing experts to charge for providing answers.
Google Ventures has been one of the more active Silicon Valley investment firms, having made some 50 investments since 2009. It also has a pretty good exit under its belt with ngmoco, a gaming startup that sold for $400 million at the end of 2010, months after Google Ventures invested. More recently, the VC led an $85 million investment in Kabam, a gaming company focused on hardcore gamers. Joe Kraus, who joined Google Ventures as a partner in 2010, went on the board of Kabam as well.
Recently, I sat down with Joe, whose better known for his experience on the other side of the investment table. Joe founded Excite, one of the first search engines, which also became one of the first Internet companies to go public in 1996. Joe went onto find JotSpot, which he sold to Google in 2006. After Joe's earnout was finished at Google, he decided that it was time to try his hand as an investor. Read more