long time

Tough Times For NEA, A VC Firm That Put Big Money Into 3 Failing Startups Lot18, Viddy And Beachmint

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/neas-investment-picks-lot18-viddy-and-beachmint-are-failing-2013-7

wine glass shatter shot explode

If you follow the world of startups, you know Beachmint, Lot18 and Viddy have all made headlines over the past few years.

Initially, they were recognized for raising big rounds of financing from notable investors. Each has raised more than $35 million (and in Beachmint’s case more than $70 million) to date. Now, they’re suffering management changes, layoffs, and some of their products are shutting down. Two of them, Viddy and Beachmint, are reportedly returning close to $20 million to investors.

Beachmint is a celebrity-endorsed e-commerce company, Viddy is a social video app with filters, and Lot18 is a wine sales platform.

The common factor in all of those companies, besides their initial hype and struggles, is one of their investors, New Enterprise Associates (NEA). NEA invested in Lot18’s Series B and Series C rounds totaling $40 million. It invested in every Beachmint round of financing totaling $73.5 million. And it invested in Viddy’s $30 million round.

NEA also invested in Loosecubes, a startup that went belly up just as NEA was joining a $7.8 million round of financing in it last summer. Then there’s SAY Media, another NEA investment which recently suffered significant layoffs.

Battery Ventures is also paying the price for similar investments. Battery Ventures was invested in Viddy prior to NEA’s $30 million round as well as Loosecubes.

That’s not to say either firm is in trouble. It takes years to know how a VC’s portfolio will fair. NEA has a giant $2.6 billion fund that it raised in July 2012 to keep it running for a long time. All it takes is one or two home runs to return an entire fund. And NEA has gotten its hands in a number of promising startups, such as 10gen, Duolingo, BuzzFeed and Braintree.

But it’s hard to ignore that over the past two years, a few of it’s biggest picks have gone south.

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Wednesday, July 3rd, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: Shazam Is Driving $300 Million In iTunes And Amazon Sales

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/GMED9vFaE2c/shazam-is-driving-300-million-in-itunes-and-amazon-sales-2013-2

Shazam Is Driving $300 Million In iTunes And Amazon Sales

Feb 27, 2013

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It’s a long time since Shazam was just that useful app to identify (or “tag”) music playing in the real world. In 2013, the company has a burgeoning business based around people tagging TV shows and adverts too.

Shazam recently announced a major milestone: 300m users. That’s all the people who’ve ever tagged something using the company’s app. An impressive figure, but not one that reveals what Shazam’s current active userbase is.


drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

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Wednesday, February 27th, 2013 news No Comments

How Are Dead People Liking Stuff on Facebook?

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5967716/how-are-dead-people-liking-stuff-on-facebook

How Are Dead People Liking Stuff on Facebook?Have you noticed your friends liking stuff on Facebook that you know they don’t like? Yes? No? Well, have you seen some people like stuff on Facebook even though they’re… dead? It’s happening. And it’s because of a weird underworld of fake Facebook Likes.

Read Write took a look at the odd phenomenon of fake or accidental likes, showing countless examples of people claiming they’ve never liked a company or brand even though Facebook showed them as ‘Liking’ it. Facebook says these fake Likes aren’t fake at all but rather “accidental” mistakes, possibly done by “inadvertently pressing a button, perhaps on the mobile app.” I guess. Maybe it’s a good time to audit all your Facebook Likes to see if any rogue Likes happened to you.

How Are Dead People Liking Stuff on Facebook? But how does that explain people who’ve passed away still liking things after they’ve been, well, dead? The picture above shows a zombie Like.

A Facebook spokesman says the “likes” from dead people can happen if an account doesn’t get “memorialized” (meaning someone informs Facebook that the account-holder has died). If nobody tells Facebook that the account-holder is dead, Facebook just keeps operating on the assumption the person is alive.

And the way Facebook operates is that it keeps on recycling and re-using a user’s Like. So if you Like something from a long time ago, it could pop up again as if it was a bradn new Like. Read more about this weird Facebook phenomenon at Read Write. [Read Writer]

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Wednesday, December 12th, 2012 news No Comments

no, twitter will NOT be the next google

Every year around SXSW, there’s a surge in interest about twitter. This time around people have even gone as far as to proclaim twitter to be “the next google” or “the future of search” etc.  Bullocks!

Here’s why:

1) distant from other social networks – While we are seeing a massive surge in interest and usage of twitter, it is still a long way off from the number of users of other social networks; it will take a long time to get to critical mass; and this is a prerequisite for twitter to assail the established habit of the majority of consumers to “google it.” — Google’s already a verb.

2) no business model – It remains to be seen whether Twitter can come up with a business model to survive for the long haul. Ads with search are proven. Ads on social networks are not. And given the 140-character limit, there’s hardly any space to add ads.

3) lead adopters’ perspective is skewed – Twitter is still mostly lead adopters and techies so far; so the perspectives on its potential may be skewed too positively. As more mainstream users start to use it, we’re likely to see more tweets about nose picking, waking up, making coffee, being bored, etc….  This will quickly make the collective mass of content far less specialized and useful (as it is now).

4) too few friends to matter – Most people have too few friends. Not everyone is a Scott Monty ( @scottmonty ) with nearly 15,000 followers. So while a user’s own circle of friends would be useful for real-time searches like “what restaurant should I go to right now?” the circle is too small to know everything about everything they want to search on. And even if you take it out to a few concentric circles from the original user who asked, that depends on people retweeting your question to their followers and ultimately someone notifying you when the network has arrived at an answer — not likely to happen.

5) topics only interesting to small circle of followers – Most topics tweeted are interesting to only a very small circle of followers, most likely not even to all the followers of a particular person. A great way to see this phenomenon is with twitt(url)y. It measures twitter intensity of a particular story and lists the most tweeted and retweeted stories.  Out of the millions of users and billions of tweets, the top most tweeted stories range in the 100 – 500 tweet range and recently these included March 18 – Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 preview event; #skittles; and the shutdown of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News.  Most other tweets are simply not important enough to enough people for them to retweet.

6) single purpose apps or social networks go away when other sites come along with more functionality or when big players simply add their functionality to their suite of services.

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Am I missing something here, people?  Agree with me or tell me I’m stupid @acfou 🙂

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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 digital, social networks No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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