What you need to know - 01/25/11

Ronny Kerr · January 25, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/1642

Google to acquire fflick movie site for $10 million; Foursquare swelled by 3400 percent in 2010

Apple launched a Twitter account for the App Store, to let users "discover new apps, get exclusive offers, and share with friends."


appMobi, a service that makes it easy to develop apps, closed a $6 million Series B round entirely from angels.

The BBC will be cutting its online budget from £137 million today to £103 million by 2013. Consequently, some 360 employees will be cut over the next two years as the BBC aims to shut down up to 200 websites.

Celtra Inc., provider of a self-service platform for rich media advertising and analytics across mobile devices, raised $5 million in Series A funding from GrandBanks Capital and Fairhaven Capital.


Cirtas Systems, a company making cloud storage work like onsite enterprise storage arrays, closed a $22.5 million Series B funding round led by Shasta Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Google is set to acquire move recommendation engine fflick for $10 million.  



FoursquareFourqsuare swelled by 3400 percent in 2010, now reaching over six million users and accumulated 381.6 million check-ins.


GeekChicDaily, the free daily email newsletter to "feed your inner geek," raised $1.5 million from tech, Hollywood and video game industry veterans.


Graphicly,an entertainment platform for digital comics, raised a $3 million Series A round led by DFJ Mercury, with participation from 500 Startups, Dundee VC, Ludlow Ventures and several angel investors.

VatorNews' Faith Merino chatted with Pandora founder Tim Westergren, who will be presenting at Vator Splash February 3, in San Francisco.

Qwiki, a startup whose stated goal is to fundamentally change the way human beings experience information, launched Monday, just days after completing an $8 million Series A round led by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin.

SnapDeal, India's largest online coupon site, closed a $12 million round, led by Nexus Venture Partners and IndoUS Venture Partners.

Tibco just launched Tibbr, a social network that shifts the focus away from Farmville and vacation photos to emphasize workplace subjects—literally.  Tibbr aims to differentiate itself from all the other enterprise social networks like Yammer and Salesforce’s Chatter by allowing users to follow subjects rather than people. 

Today's featured investor is Rajil Kapoor, managing director of Mayfield.

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Ronny Kerr

I am a professional writer with a decade of experience in the technology industry. At VatorNews, I cover the zero-waste economy, venture capital, and cannabis. I'm also available for freelance hire.

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Pandora, the leading internet radio service, gives people music they love
anytime, anywhere, through a wide variety of connected devices: laptop and
desktop computers, smartphones, connected BluRay players, connected TVs,
etc. Personalized stations launch instantly with the input of a single “seed” –
a favorite artist, song or genre. The Music Genome Project®, a deeply
detailed, hand-built musical taxonomy, powers the personalization or
Pandora. Using this musicological “DNA” and constant listener feedback
Pandora crafts personalized stations from the more than 800,000 songs that
have been analyzed since the project began in January 2000.
More than 75 million people throughout the United States listen to
personalized radio stations for free on Pandora through their PCs, mobile
phones and devices such as the iPad, and connected in-house devices
ranging from TVs to set-top boxes to Blu-Ray players. Mobile technology has
been a significant factor in the growth and popularity of Pandora, starting
with the introduction of the Apple app store for the iPhone in the summer of
2008. Pandora instantly became one of the most top downloaded apps and
today, according to Nielsen, is one of the top five most popular apps across
all smartphone platforms.

Pandora is free, simple and, thanks to connectivity, available everywhere
consumers are – at the office, at home, in the car and all points in between.
In 2009 the Company announced that Pandora would be incorporated into
the dashboard in Ford cars via SYNC technology; GM has already followed in
announcing plans to integrate Pandora into its vehicles and Mercedes-Benz
introduced their Media Interface Plus device that works with the
free Pandora iPhone app to provide direct control of Pandora from in-dash
stereo controls. This was all great news for the millions of Pandora listeners
who had been plugging their smartphones into car dashboards to listen to
personalized stations while driving. More than 50 percent of radio listening
happens in the car, making it a crucial arena for Pandora.

Today tens of millions of people have a deeply personal connection with
Pandora based on the delight of personalized radio listening and discovery.
These highly engaged listeners reinforce the value Pandora provides to: 1)
musicians, who have found in Pandora a level playing field on which their
music has a greater chance of being played than ever before; 2) advertisers,
who benefit from the multi-platform reach of Pandora, as well as its best
practices in targeting consumers for specific campaigns; 3) the music
industry, which has found in Pandora a highly effective distribution channel;
and 4) automobile and consumer electronics device manufacturers, who have
noted that incorporating Pandora into their product makes it more valuable
to consumers.

Pandora continues to focus on its business in the United States. The radio
arena has never been hotter, thanks to technology that enables radio to be
personalized to the individual and more accessible than ever before. Right
now millions of people listen to Pandora in the United States and we hope
someday to bring Pandora to billions of people around the world.

• 2000 – Tim Westergren’s Music Genome Project begins.
• 2005 – Pandora launches on the web.
• 2008 – Pandora app becomes one of the most consistently downloaded
apps in the Apple store.
• 2009 – Ford announces Pandora will be incorporated into car
dashboard. Alpine and Pioneer begin selling aftermarket radios that
connect to consumers’ iPhones and puts the control and command of
Pandora into the car dashboard.
• 2010 – Pandora is present on more than 200 connected consumer
electronics devices ranging from smartphones to TVs to set-top boxes
to Blu-ray players and is able to stream visual, audio, and interactive
advertising to computers, smartphones, iPads, and in-home connected

Cirtas Systems


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Cirtas solves the challenges associated with storing data in the cloud, making cloud storage work like onsite enterprise storage arrays. Deployed in the data center, its Bluejet Cloud Storage Controllers simplify storage management and vastly reduce data storage TCO, while addressing the long-standing challenges associated with data backup and disaster recovery for medium and large enterprises. Cirtas supports a variety of cloud provider platforms, including Amazon S3, Iron Mountain, EMC Atmos and AT&T Synaptic Storage as a ServiceSM. Founded in 2008, the company is headquartered in San Jose, California and backed by NEA, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Amazon. For more information, visit www.cirtas.com.

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In 1911, Henry Phipps founded Bessemer Securities to reinvest the proceeds of his sale of Carnegie Steel for the benefit of his descendents. The start-up investment operations were spun out into Bessemer Venture Partners, which now operates out of seven offices around the globe.


Tim Westergren

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Rajil Kapoor

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