Friday, March 24, 2006

Netvibes seeded

Netvibes announced on Wednesday that it had received undisclosed seed funding from Index Ventures; Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape; PierreChappaz (founder of Kelkoo and Wikio (and an EIR at Index)); and Martin Varsavsky (founder of Jazztel, and Fon).
Netvibes provides a very cool AJAX powered webapp that aggregates email, RSS, price watch, and weather and more from a variety of content providers including most of the usual 'web2.0' (i hate that phrase) suspects including, yahoo, gmail, flickr, blogmarks etc.
The boys and girls that created Four11 (early webail provider acquired by Yahoo), tried this type of concept a few years back with now owned by Mr Gross's Idealab) but lack of business model ended in closure. Netvibes must have montesation plans, but I expect it will get acquired before it gets to squeezing out dollars through ads, subs or other.
I use netvibes and I love it, although my only gripe is the name. I bought the domain back in 2000 with a view to doing something similar, so although I'm clearly heavily biased, I think this name would suit the product much better (go on....sensible offers.....;-)

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


PopIdol showed the world that the mobile phone can add a degree of involvement and interactivity with what we see on TV. Redpoint and Qualcomm backed AirPlay, plans to extend the level of interactivity further by enabling mobile phone users bet on events, contribute content, pick winners, compete with friends - all within the context of a specific broadcast feed.
"AirPlay can give any television viewer with a mobile phone the ability to go from the couch to the game show studio or even to the sidelines of a major broadcast sporting event and test his or her skills against friends, family or the world," said Morgan Guenther, CEO of AirPlay. "We're going to offer carriers, broadcasters and advertisers new opportunities to connect television with wireless devices and transform TV from a passive pastime to an engaging, competitive experience."

Monday, March 20, 2006


StartMobile offers an alternative to the usual standard content that Jamba and Co. serve up. “START MOBILE features artists whose work is in museums + artists whose work appears exclusively on the streets - and pretty much everything in between,” according to START SOMA founder John Doffing. “We have created an unprecedented mix of creative talent from around the world, and their art is now available to anyone with a cell phone for less than the price of a cup of coffee.” Nice.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Intel in Apple Ad

very funny

SixApart, Splashblog and $12m

Earlier this week, SixApart announced the acquisition of Splashblog, (a mobile photo blogging service) which nicely compliments the rest of the product stable which includes Movable Type (the software) , TypePad (the hosted software) and Livejournal (the hosted blogging service and community). Yesterday, Sixapart said that it has raised $12 million in its third round of funding. The round was led by Focus Ventures, and also included participation from Intel Capital and previous investor August Capital. SixApart said that later this year, they will launch a new service, code named Comet, which, along with LiveJournal, promises to bring blogging and social networking into the mainstream. The press release claims that over 15 million people around the world use Six Apart’s blogging software and services and over 30 million visit its hosted sites every month.
I think this is all encouraging evidence to suggest that blogging is moving quickly up the product maturity curve....but its still got a bit of a way to go...


Justin Davies at Buddyping has an incredible work rate. In between launching a global SMS location finder and information platform, writing a Linux blog and holding down a day job, he has developed and launched MobileGlu, a J2ME app that pulls the data from your online life and automiatically optimises it for your mobile phone.
"mobileGlu will allow you to post to your online services from your mobile. (It) currently supports, Flickr, moblogUK,, Blogger, and RSS feeds with more being added as time goes on".

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Obopay raises $10m

"Obopay, which will soon bring to market the first comprehensive mobile payment service in the U.S. that allows subscribers to get, send and spend money directly from their mobile phones, announced today it has received $10 million in funding in a Series A round. Obopay's intuitive and easy to use mobile application will work on any mobile phone and is the most convenient way for consumers to get, send and spend money instantly".

more here

Sharpcast raises $13.5m

Sharpcast, who recently demo'd at DEMO, have secured $13.5 million. Sigma Partners led the investment, with Series A investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Selby Venture Partners aslo participating. Sharpcast are developing a product designed to keep all the digital media on your mobile and PC in sync, with a backup accessible via the web. The product has been in development for over a year and the team are planning to launch a beta in the Spring. The sharpcast founders have a good track record, having developed the Blazer browser which they sold to Handspring back in 2000.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Skinkers raises £2m from NewMediaSpark

NewMediaSpark have ignited their investment engines again, and recently provided Skinkers with £2 million in funding to promote, expand and develop their desktop push-alert technology. The Skinkers product enables brands, media owners and corporates to immediately push multimedia information to their PC connected subscriber bases - cutting through the murk of other distrubtion channels such as web, email, RSS readers etc. (Sounds a bit like the original late 90's Pointcast revisited, refined and monetised??).
It will be interesting to see how Skinkers can translate their model and product to mobile. If I get the alerts on my PC during the day - presumably I'm up for getting them on my mobile when I'm out and about. MMS, Skinkers java reader app, good 'ol SMS??