Posts Tagged ‘commerce’

Redfin Raises $50 Million Investment As It Eyes IPO

November 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Redfin, the Seattle-based company that has positioned itself as a tech-enhanced real estate brokerage, has raised a $50 million investment led by Tiger Global Management. CEO Glenn Kelman said in an interview that the company is profitable, will do between $50 million and $100 million in revenue this year, and is on a path toward an IPO.

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"Ashamed and Embarrassed" LivingSocial Says Ongoing 30-Hour Outage Should End Overnight

November 14, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

LivingSocial said in a blog post on Wednesday night that it is close to fixing the issue that has crippled its website, mobile apps and business-customer portal for the past 30 hours. “Suffice to say, we are ashamed and embarrassed,” the post reads . “Our teams continue to work to address the internal issues with our website and mobile app — we anticipate that our systems will be live overnight here in DC.” The outage began Tuesday afternoon and then extended into Wednesday , as frustrated deal seekers and business owners took to social networks to air their grievances. In an email to staff, LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy said, “the last two days have been an incredibly low point for our company but we will do better and we will be back.” He also promised that “something like this will not happen again.” The Amazon-backed startup is still not providing details of the exact cause of the outage.

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Zulily Raises IPO Price Range to $18-$20 a Share

November 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Discount women’s and children’s clothing site Zulily said in an SEC filling on Wednesday morning that it has increased the expected per-share price range for its IPO from $16-$18 to $18-$20. At $19 a share, the company would net about $110 million from the offering when shares start trading on the Nasdaq exchange this Friday.

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Quirky Raises $79M, Including $30M From GE to Make Connected Home Gadgets

November 13, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Quirky has raised $79 million in Series D funding from GE as well as its venture investors Andreessen Horowitz, Norwest Venture Partners, RRE and Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield & Byers. Part of the deal extends a partnership Quirky and GE struck earlier this year, with GE now putting $30 million into the funding round and committing to build 30 connected home gadgets together in the next five years. Quirky is a New York-based startup that designs and builds consumer products dreamed up and refined by its community of users. It tends towards exuberant hyperbole. “A partnership that will change invention forever” is its humble assessment of the relationship with GE . Last week, Quirky and GE released the first batch of four products built together for sale on retail shelves at The Home Depot and Best Buy. The four are a real-life desktop widget, a smart egg tray, a smart power strip and a motion, sound, light, temperature and humidity sensor. All are controlled through a Quirky-made smartphone app called Wink. For the next batch of products, GE is making available thousands of its patents, on things like holographic and fast-focusing lens technologies, thin barrier coatings for electronic devices, and asset tracking technology. GE is also offering up some of its relationships with suppliers and other support for products as they emerge and are built. Meanwhile, Quirky intends for its Wink app to link and control whatever products come next, and also to be an open platform for others to build on top of, said Quirky CEO Ben Kaufman in a phone interview. Kaufman had previously raised $68 million in Series C funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and including Kleiner Perkins, Norwest Venture Partners and RRE Ventures about a year ago . GE’s Beth Comstock added that the connected home was a larger focus for GE and its products, but the partnership with Quirky was a way to quickly get new products in people’s hands. The trial run earlier this year, Comstock said, was proof for GE of “the power of the community to innovate, and power of community in general.”

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How Airlines Mine Personal Data In-Flight

November 10, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

One day soon, frequent fliers should expect flight attendants to know their birthdays, how they like their coffee, and what they’re likely to buy on board. After years of dithering, airlines are learning to use the wealth of customer data they collect. Greater stability in an industry long roiled by bankruptcies is enabling carriers to invest in technology to personalize the flying experience and better target promotions. But the airlines sometimes struggle to do all that without making customers uncomfortable. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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AllThingsD Week in Review: Twitter’s Product Problem and Ballmer Keeps His Microsoft Shares

November 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In case you missed anything, here’s a quick roundup of some of the news that powered AllThingsD this week: It’s official: Twitter is now a publicly traded company, with its IPO pricing Wednesday at $26 per share, hitting the NYSE on Thursday with a first-day pop up to $45 a share , before closing the week at $42.50. Even at $26, Twitter still raised quite a bit of money , giving a hefty paper net worth to its top executives. But is Twitter agile enough to fix its product problem , now that it’s answering to both users and public investors? As of Monday, BlackBerry is no longer trying to sell itself and is in the process of replacing CEO Thorstein Heins. The buyout bid’s failure sent BBRY shares into the floor , while Heins’s exit package adds up to between $7 million and $22 million . Despite its recent struggles, BlackBerry will not shut down its mobile handset business, according to interim CEO John Chen. Google’s Nexus 5 is the first Android phone to run the latest version of the mobile operating system, KitKat. But are the phone and the OS any sweeter? Walt Mossberg writes, “ I like both, though neither is an especially bold leap forward in features.” “Our business does not depend on collecting personal data ,” Apple writes in a formal report on federal government data requests — the first such report published by a tech company in the wake of the Snowden/NSA scandal

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Square Discontinues Monthly Flat-Rate Plan

November 9, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Square said it is discontinuing a monthly flat rate plan it had designed for larger businesses. “Over the past year we heard from many of our customers that caps and limits in the program were inhibiting growth—at a certain point, rates went back up the more you sold,” the company said in a post on its Web site . “So, effective February 1, 2014, we’re replacing the Square monthly pricing program with one low per-swipe rate for your business. We want our pricing to be simple: no more limits or complicated monthly caps at all. Just one low, flat per-swipe rate for your business.” The company said those enrolled in the program can keep it through the end of January, but the company said it has no plans to bring back the monthly rate plan. Square’s standard rates are 2.75 percent of a transaction where a credit card is swiped and 3.5 percent of manually entered charges, plus a 15-cent fee.

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Before Groupon Came Calling, LivingSocial and Ticket Monster Were Once One Big Happy Family (Video)

November 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Ticket Monster’s mascot Yesterday, LivingSocial announced a somewhat surprising buyer for its Korean business Ticket Monster : its main competitor Groupon. The deal, worth $260 million in cash and stock and expected to close early next year, has been well received on Wall Street, with Groupon’s stock rising seven percent this morning despite a sizable revenue miss in the third quarter. For LivingSocial, the sale ends a short two-plus-year marriage with Ticket Monster, which was supposed to serve as its beachhead for a large Asian expansion. In those honeymoon days, just a few months after the acquisition, LivingSocial CEO Tim O’Shaughnessy and Ticket Monster CEO Daniel Shin appeared at AllThingsD ’s 2011 AsiaD conference with high hopes for the future and talked about how each business would benefit from the other. The full interview, moderated by my colleague Ina Fried, is below.

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How Do You Get VCs to Invest in a New Videogame? QuizUp Did It With "Twilight."

November 8, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Apparently, the answer is “red.” The more you know. Pre-launch videogames, generally speaking, are not the best fit for venture capital. Games are notoriously a hits-driven business, and the sheer number of free titles being released every month makes picking the winners an inexact science, at best. Nothing speaks louder than numbers, though, as Silicon Valley outsider Plain Vanilla Games recently learned, with an assist from the “Twilight” movie franchise. Plain Vanilla was founded in 2010 in Iceland and almost went bankrupt in 2011. Once its first app The Moogies fell out of the Apple App Store’s featured section, sales plummeted, according to CEO Thor Fridriksson. Fridriksson and his two co-founders moved to San Francisco for three months on a tourist visa — without any preparation — and “naively expected people to throw money at us,” he said. After a series of rejections, the company secured $1.2 million in angel investment from Tencent, Sequoia Capital’s “ scout fund ,” Unity Technologies founder David Helgason and Riot Games cofounder Brandon Beck. But the turning point for the studio, as Fridriksson characterized it, was going to Los Angeles — again, without knowing anyone there — and partnering with Lions Gate Entertainment to develop a trivia game based on Twilight (“Which is this vampire teenager thing,” he pre-emptively explained to me). The numbers and feedback from Twilight QuizUp were “off the charts,” Fridriksson said, and strong enough to raise a $2.5 million Series A, mostly from Greycroft Partners and Tencent. Targeting a passionate niche helped Plain Vanilla make the case to investors that a social trivia game could work. After testing a few more niche QuizUp games (some of which have now been removed from the U.S.

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Sold Is Sold to Dropbox (Yes, I Just Wrote That)

November 7, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Dropbox today has bought e-commerce middleman for consumers Sold, according to a post on Sold’s site . The service will no longer be accepting items, the Boston-based startup said. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Sold had only had a small round of seed funding from Google Ventures and Greylock Partners, among others.

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