What you need to know - 03/15/11

Ronny Kerr · March 15, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/182e

Apple sells one million iPad2s in the first weekend; Facebook takes another Googler, AOL a Twitterer

Following its acquisition of the Huffington Post and the subsequent laying off of 900 employees, AOL announced that Twitter co-founder Biz Stone will now be serving as the company's Strategic Adviser for Social Impact. 


"We would not be surprised to see Apple sell closer to one million iPad2s in the opening weekend," said Wedbush Securities analyst Scott Sutherland. By comparison, the original iPad took one full month to reach one million units sold, and in its first week, it sold approximately 450-500,000.  

Ad platform BoostCTR closed a $1.64 million seed funding round led by a group of institutional investors and angels, including Javelin Venture Partners, Metamorphic Ventures, Founder Collective, WGI Group, and 500 Startups.


Android and Samsung are big winners in the mobile world during the three month period ending at the end of January 2011, according to comScore.

Facebook confirmed rumors that Google director of corporate development Amin Zoufonoun has moved to Facebook, where he will report to FB director of corporate development Vaghan Smith

Foursquare announced Monday the launch of the Foursquare Venues Project, an API and mapping combination that gives third parties access to the more than fifteen million venues in Foursquare’s database.

Continuing company efforts to stream music to every Internet-connected device, MOG announced Monday three new expansions for the music subscription service: an app for RIM BlackBerry devices and integration into Boxee boxes and MINI USA cars.

Neomobile, a mobile media company, acquired Onebip, a mobile payments service provider for game publishers, social networks, and Internet merchants. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Pricelock, a company offering online fuel hedging and price protection for businesses across the U.S. that rely on fuel, raised over $12 million in Series B financing from Barclays, Renaissance Holdings Ltd., and others.



Two months after first launching in betaZynga RewardVille has gone live for everyone, allowing users to earn points and coins that can be used to unlock exclusive and limited edition virtual goods.

Social media and technology company Adgent Digital acquired ad platform ShortTail Media. Terms were not disclosed.

Spigit, provider of collaborative innovation management software for the enterprise, raised an equity investment of $10 million from Warburg Pincus, resulting in $26 million in funding overall since inception.


Sponto, a mobile party discovery app for college students, closed a $200,000 initial equity financing led by McLean, VA based Amplifier Ventures.


StumbleUpon, the Web’s top social discovery engine, launched Paid Discovery, a way for businesses to harness the power of social media to promote their products.

In honor of its fifth birthday, Twitter posted a bunch of interesting numbers and factoids about the service. (3 years, 2 months and 1 day. The time it took from the first Tweet to the billionth Tweet.)

3D mapping startup UpNext raised a new $500,000 from investors including Chris Sacca’s Lowercase Capital, David Cohen of TechStars, David Tisch and Oleg Tscheltzoff.

Vator Splash is holding its popular evening startup event on May 26 in LA for the first time, with Shawn Colo of Demand Media and Zorik Gordon of ReachLocal.

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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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AdGent 007


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Like many consumers in recent times, our Founder found himself gathering more and more of his daily news and information from the Web. In reading the news he visited multiple sites from across the world - usually whichever site happened to appear on the first search results page.

However, as he read the news on these international websites, he noticed the advertisements had absolutely no relevance to him or his location. The ads he saw were aimed at domestic audiences in the market of the website. In the few cases where advertising did have relevance to geography, more often than not, it was ‘cheap looking' performance ads that did not ‘fit' with the quality of the premium site he was viewing.

It seemed that an opportunity to talk to a valuable audience was being missed by both publishers and advertisers.

He surmised that if premium publishers could sell their premium audience to brand advertisers in their local markets, they could do the same thing in markets around the world.

In addition, brand advertisers would buy that premium audience so long as their ad was served to the right audience in the right geography at the right time.

Thus, AdGent 007 was founded on the simple and exciting proposition that it could help advertisers find the right audience and help publishers get a far better ROI on their international ad inventory.

Our Mission
We created AdGent 007 to provide solutions to (a) help premium publishers monetize the international traffic on their sites at premium CPMs, and (b) provide brand advertisers around the world the opportunity of advertising to the right audience on the best sites on the web.

Founded in late 2007, AdGent 007 Inc. is headquartered in San Francisco with offices worldwide including New York, London, Denver, Edinburgh and Sydney.



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spigit sells enterprise software to increase efficiency, innovation and revenue.



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Zynga is the largest social gaming company with 8.5 million daily users and 45 million monthly users.  Zynga’s games are available on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Hi5, Friendster, Yahoo! and the iPhone, and include Texas Hold’Em Poker, Mafia Wars, YoVille, Vampires, Street Racing, Scramble and Word Twist.  The company is funded by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, IVP, Union Square Ventures, Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Pilot Group, Reid Hoffman and Peter Thiel.  Zynga is headquartered at the Chip Factory in San Francisco.  For more information, please visit www.zynga.com.

Vator, Inc.


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Vator (short for innovator) is an awesome professional network for entrepreneurs and investors that sits at the intersection of media and finance. Our entrepreneurial ecosystem consists of startups, investors, strategics and service providers.

Vator’s platform offers an extensive set of services to the entrepreneurial community.  Here is a quick summary of our suite of offerings:

VatorNews: Research, analysis and coverage, spanning news, thought leadership and lessons learned

VatorX: SaaS platform leveraged by startup communities and competitions to rank and filter participating startups

Vator Events: Well recognized large and small events across numerous geographies and sectors

Vator Investment Club: Our investor group for accredited investor members of the Vator community

Vator Teams: Our confidential acquihire platform for startup teams


Vator was originally founded by Bambi Francisco and seed funded by its original lead investor Peter Thiel as a social network for startups and investors, combining media coverage with rich profiles and filtering. Over the more than decade since its founding Vator has expanded to offer a full range of services to the entrepreneurial community. Today Vator is a well-recognized and trusted member of the startup community.

Business Model

Vator has a range of business models due to its diversified set of offerings.




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What is Twitter?

Twitter is an online information network that allows anyone with an account to post 140 character messages, called tweets. It is free to sign up. Users then follow other accounts which they are interested in, and view the tweets of everyone they follow in their "timeline." Most Twitter accounts are public, where one does not need to approve a request to follow, or need to follow back. This makes Twitter a powerful "one to many" broadcast platform where individuals, companies or organizations can reach millions of followers with a single message. Twitter is accessible from Twitter.com, our mobile website, SMS, our mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, our iPad application, or 3rd party clients built by outside developers using our API. Twitter accounts can also be private, where the owner must approve follower requests. 

Where did the idea for Twitter come from?

Twitter started as an internal project within the podcasting company Odeo. Jack Dorsey, and engineer, had long been interested in status updates. Jack developed the idea, along with Biz Stone, and the first prototype was built in two weeks in March 2006 and launched publicly in August of 2006. The service grew popular very quickly and it soon made sense for Twitter to move outside of Odea. In May 2007, Twitter Inc was founded.

How is Twitter built?

Our engineering team works with a web application framework called Ruby on Rails. We all work on Apple computers except for testing purposes. 

We built Twitter using Ruby on Rails because it allows us to work quickly and easily--our team likes to deploy features and changes multiple times per day. Rails provides skeleton code frameworks so we don't have to re-invent the wheel every time we want to add something simple like a sign in form or a picture upload feature.

How do you make money from Twitter?

There are a few ways that Twitter makes money. We have licensing deals in place with Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft's Bing to give them access to the "firehose" - a stream of tweets so that they can more easily incorporate those tweets into their search results.

In Summer 2010, we launched our Promoted Tweets product. Promoted Tweets are a special kind of tweet which appear at the top of search results within Twitter.com, if a company has bid on that keyword. Unlike search results in search engines, Promoted Tweets are normal tweets from a business, so they are as interactive as any other tweet - you can @reply, favorite or retweet a Promoted Tweet. 

At the same time, we launched Promoted Trends, where companies can place a trend (clearly marked Promoted) within Twitter's Trending Topics. These are especially effective for upcoming launches, like a movie or album release.

Lastly, we started a Twitter account called @earlybird where we partner with other companies to provide users with a special, short-term deal. For example, we partnered with Virgin America for a special day of fares on Virginamerica.com that were only accessible through the link in the @earlybird tweet.


What's next for Twitter?

We continue to focus on building a product that provides value for users. 

We're building Twitter, Inc into a successful, revenue-generating company that attracts world-class talent with an inspiring culture and attitude towards doing business.

Demand Media


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Demand Media is building a different type of new media company. With a proprietary media platform that powers the company's highly-trafficked domains and wholly-owned content media properties, Demand Media leverages cutting edge, user-driven publishing, community and monetization tools in its quest to define the next generation of new media companies.