What you need to know - Friday 8/27/10

Katie Gatto · August 27, 2010 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/116b

Facebook and Y Combinator team up, Diaspora launches, Etsy raises $20M for $300M valuation

Index Ventures triples Etsy's valuation. Index Ventures bought into Etsy, in a series E financing for $20 million. This raises the companies current valuation to over $300 million. All of the shares sold in this round were secondary, but none of them came from the companies founders or employees.


Facebook to Mentor YCombinator Start ups. Facebook, the social media giant is going to be involving itself with several of YCombinators start ups. Gigaom reported that Facebook will be offering start up companies “product, technical and design resources” and “priority access to our technologies and programs such as Facebook Credits, Instant Personalization and upcoming beta features.”

iWork upgrades to make .epub easier. The .epub format, an open standard for digital books is growing in popularity with ebook readers and developers around the world. The new update, 9.4.0, to iWork, Apples office suite, will allow for easier exporting to the .epub format. The update will effect Pages '09, Numbers '09, Keynote '09, and is compatible with Mac OS X 10.5.6 or later. The upgrade is currently available.

Diaspora, an open source alternative to social networking site Facebook, will launch on September 15, according to a post on their blog. The site, which garnered 100,000 million dollars in donations to start up, including some funds coming directly from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The site promises users greater control over personal information privacy, in direct response to end users unhappiness with Facebooks frequent privacy related changes.

Facebook's attempt to trademark the word "face" lobbied against by Aaron Greenspan. Yes, you read that right. Facebook is trying to trademark the word face. Aaron Greenspan filed a request to delay the decision, in order to gain enough time to muster an argument against the application. Greenspan's company owns a service called FaceCash, but if the decision holds it may also affect companies like Apple, which holds a patent to the trademark to FaceTime, a video calling feature for iPhone.

Lenovo creating video game console. Lenovo Group Ltd. is currently working on its own video game console, the ebox. The console features an interactive camera instead of a controller, with a setup similar to the Kinect motion technology technology out for Xbox 360. The console will be released in China by the end of 2010. No US other international release dates have been announced.

CollegeOnly this week launched and raised $1.5 million in venture financing, from some noteable investors, like Peter Thiel. A new social media site, exclusively for university students has just opened. Josh Weinstein, a New York-based entrepreneur, started the company, and allows only end users with a .edu address to register on the site. Currently, it is operating out of Princeton, Yale and Cornell universities, but the company does plan to expand.

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