What you need to know - 03/30/11

Ronny Kerr · March 30, 2011 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/18ad

AngelPad's 13 startups strut their stuff; Evan Williams leaving Twitter; Meg Whitman joins KPCB

AngelPad, a young mentorship program founded by a group of ex-Googlers, hosted a demo day at its office in downtown San Francisco, uniting the program's newest class of 13 startups with some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley investing.

Bubble Motion, provider of a service that's like "Twitter with a voice," has raised $10 million in new funding led by SingTel Innov8 with participation from Singapore’s Infocomm Investments, Sequoia Capital, Palomar Ventures and NGC.

Following an unsuccessful bid at the governor's seat for the state of California, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman is now setting her sights on a new career path with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.


 LivingSocial has raised an additional $2.9 million in equity funding, according to an SEC form filed Monday by LivingSocial's parent company Hungry Machine. No word yet on who the investors were.

Message Bus, message delivery for the next generation, completed a $3 million Series A financing with True Ventures.

Cloud computing titan Salesforce has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Radian6, a social media monitoring platform, for approximately $276 million in cash and $50 million in stock, net of cash acquired.

Skype is offering a new online tool called Skype in the classrom to help teachers and their students connect with other educators and classrooms around the world.


Sundrop Mobile, boosting customer loyalty for client companies, closed a $900,000 Series A funding round, led by Vocap Ventures.

Startup incubator TechStars raised $8 million in new funding for its programs in Boston, Boulder, New York, and Seattle. The new funding comes from more than fifty venture funds and over 25 individual angel investors.



Just a day after original chief executive Jack Dorsey revealed that he will be returning to the company to head product, another former Twitter CEO, Evan Williams, says that he will be playing a less active role in the development of the microblogging service.

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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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Bubble Motion


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Bubble Motion is pioneering voice messaging and social communication for mobile phones.  Bubble Motion’s products include BubbleTalk™, an asynchronous person-to-person voice messaging service (also known as VoiceSMS), BubbleCast™, an integrated text and audio content broadcasting service, and now Bubbly™, a community-building voice-blogging phone service where people share recorded voice updates with friends, family, fans and followers. Bubbly is like Twitter with a voice and is bringing social networking to mobile phones.




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The impact of social media on public relations and advertising is fundamentally changing the profession. Brand ownership is no longer solely the domain of the institution. A brand is now defined as the sum of all conversations taking place amongst users and it's happening regardless of whether you are part of these conversations or not.

Radian6 is focused on building the complete monitoring and analysis solution for PR and advertising professionals so they can be the experts in social media.



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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.