Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Latest from TechCrunch

The Latest from TechCrunch

Link to TechCrunch

Live Blog: The Spotify Special Event

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 09:03 AM PST


Hot music startup Spotify is holding a special event in New York City this morning, where it’s going to unveil what it’s calling a “New Direction” for the service. Spotify hasn’t given any details on what to expect, but it obviously considers it to be a very big deal — enough so that it’s invited dozens of reporters to attend.

Several reports indicate that Spotify will be launching a new platform for third party developers, who will be able to integrate Spotify’s large catalog of music into new applications.

As seems to be Spotify’s style, the event has unusually high production values: waiters are handing out espressos and bite-sized breakfast foods that I’ve never heard of (but are quite delicious). The company has a custom backdrop for the stage featuring music-themed illustrations. And there are over a dozen flat-panel televisions lining the walls, which I suspect will be used to showcase third-party apps later on in the event.

The event is slated to begin at noon EST — I’ll be posting further updates as soon as things get started.

12:11 PM — The event will begin in five minutes. In the mean time, I was just offered a bite-sized cinnamon bun. It was flaky and very tasty.

12:15 — Okay, things are kicking off. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek has taken the stage. “This is the first event like this that we’ve ever held.”. Going to talk about Background and mission as a company, the move into social, and finally, today’s announcement.

Ek is walking through a brief history of digital music. ABBA’s ‘The Visitors’ was the first CD. Napster in 2000 introduced Ek to new bands (he didn’t have a lot of money at the time..). But it was illegal. And today, there are great legal services out there. But of the 500 million users listening to music online, the majority aren’t listening legally. “You need a better product than piracy”. All the music. Totally reliable. Fast and easy to share.

IAC’s Hatch Labs To Launch Six Mobile Apps In 2012

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 09:00 AM PST


Hatch Labs, a technology sandbox and joint venture between IAC and Xtreme Labs devoted to incubating mobile startups and innovations, is announcing the launch of six new mobile apps in 2012.

As we reported in our initial coverage of the launch of Hatch Labs, the incubator is the brainchild of Dinesh Moorjani, who was formerly the SVP of IAC Mobile.

At IAC, Moorjani started the mobile group in 2007 and helped lead all product strategy for mobile. Moorjani and the company wanted to help incubate more innovation within IAC, particularly in the mobile sector and thus Hatch Labs was born.

Hatch gives entrepreneurs in residence a six month runway for product development and market beta testing before providing additional capital.

To date, Hatch Labs has launched two new apps, Blu Trumpet and CrowdFail. Blue Trumper, which launched in August, is an app monetization service for publishers and developers and app distribution platform for advertisers. CrowdFail is a mobile photo sharing app.

Two more apps, commerce focused business Shop Touch and Treasure Chest, a mobile monetization platform for gamers will be launched in the next 3 week. In 2012, the incubator plans to launch apps in the mobile video sharing space as well as a more kids-focused mobile app experience.

While Hatch’s apps aren’t necessarily original ideas (i.e. mobile photo sharing, gaming monetization); Moorjani believes that the company’s offerings will be successful based on some of the innovations that each app offers that make them unique.

W3i Announces $10 Million Marketing Fund For Indie Game Developers

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 08:40 AM PST


W3i, a monetization and distribution network for mobile app developers, is announcing the launch of a new $10 million “AppX Game Developer Marketing Fund” at this week’s AppNation conference in San Francisco. The fund will provide developers with a suite of free services that offer production support, analytics and user acquisition channel analysis, all of which are designed to help indie developers compete with today’s “AAA” gaming giants.

The company says that it wants to help level the playing field for indie game developers by providing them with better analytics on their mobile apps, allowing them to make better business decisions. This, in turn, will help developers with the increasing challenge of user acquisition and monetization in the ever-crowded Apple and Android app stores.

The AppX services will be provided to the developers who qualify (sign up is here) for no charge and without any long-term revenue share. Developers don’t have to give up IP rights either, says W3i.

Riptide Games, makers of My Pet Zombie, is one of the first to use the AppX suite of services, and claims it helped them become profitable and increase the lifetime value of its users by three times.

Jive Sets Price Range For IPO At $8 To $10 Per Share, Valued At Over $500M

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 08:20 AM PST


Social enterprise giant Jive has just set the terms of its IPO in a new filing. Jive, which aims to raise a little over $100 million in a public offering, has set the range between $8 and $10 per share. At the high end of the range, Jive could be worth as over $500 million.

Modeled to offer Facebook-like features to enterprises, Jive's software combines computing with social collaboration to offer fully-featured social networks for businesses. Its suite of applications help businesses collaborate on a variety of tasks, including holding discussions, communication, sharing documents, blogging, running polls, and social networking features and more.

Jive, which will list on the Nasdaq under the symbol ‘JIVE,’ filed its original S-1 in August. Jive had previously raised $57 million in funding, but in October existing investors Sequoia and Kleiner Perkins invested $40 million more in the company.

For the years ended December 31, 2008, 2009 and 2010 and for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, Jive's total revenues were $16.9 million, $30 million, $46.3 million and $54.8 million, respectively. The company incurred net losses of $11.3 million, $4.8 million, $27.6 million and $38.1 million for the years ended December 31, 2008, 2009 and 2010, and for the nine months ended September 30, 2011, respectively.

With Jive setting the price range for the offering of its shares, the company will debut on the Nasdaq in the coming weeks, joining Zynga as well.

Proximiant Launches “Tap And Go” Digital Receipts For Retailers

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:59 AM PST


Proximiant just launched a new service that provides digital receipts to customers of brick-and-mortar merchants. Like Square, the service involves the use of a low-cost hardware dongle that’s given away for free. But unlike Square, Proximiant leverages NFC (near field communication) to send the receipt from the cash register to the mobile phone.

NFC is a newer technology that ships in many modern mobile phones allowing for data exchanges over short distances. In Android 4.0, for example, NFC has been re-branded “Android Beam,” allowing users to share contacts, links, maps and more through a simple tap.

In Proximiant’s case, the service uses NFC to send out digital copies of a store’s receipts to a customer’s phone, also with a tap. For non-NFC devices, like the iPhone, an NFC tag (a keychain tag) is provided instead. Merchants give these tags away for free to customers who then pair them with their own mobile phone.

The Proximiant transceiver, a phone-sized device that plugs into a store’s computerized cash register via the USB port, will sit at the merchant’s checkout counter. The setup process take two minutes, the company claims. However, the device doesn’t integrate with POS systems. That’s by design, says Proximiant – it’s meant to support any software the merchant is using. Instead, the transceiver grabs the receipt data from the PC when a receipt is printed and sends it over a secure connection to the customer’s phone (upon tapping) as a digital image. A scannable barcode on the receipt allows the merchant to scan the phone itself in the event of a customer return or refund request, and the accompanying mobile app on the customer’s phone provides an archive of their transactions.

For merchants, adoption is relatively painless. There’s no upfront service cost, the system is plug-and-play and the hardware is free. However, merchants are charged on a pay-by-sales model for results Proximiant achieves. The retailers can choose to leverage the system to market to their customers via the digital receipts. (Yep, no good mobile commerce app would be any good these days without offers, right?)

Proximiant supports various marketing efforts, promotions, referral programs and loyalty programs, without requiring customers to hand over personal info like their email address or phone number. Merchants manage the programs via an online interface. Meanwhile, customers can save coupons phones within the Proximiant mobile app (Android/iPhone), redeem coupons at checkout by showing a barcode, share the coupons via email, SMS and social networks, configure reminders based on time or location, and access their receipts via the Web or phone.

The company is led by Fang Cheng (CEO), who previously co-founded Touchco, Inc., which was later acquired by a Fortune 100 company. Edwin Evans, who serves as VP of Engineering, co-found Quinly, a mobile app development shop, and worked on Motorola’s Android project and at Good Technology. Thomas Ahn previously worked for a network and data compression software startup, ViaSat. Rich Geruson, CEO of Phoenix Technologies and former SVP at Nokia, and Chung-Man Tam, now the entrepreneur-in-residence at Sequoia and formerly with Google, are serving as advisors.

Proximiant is certainly an interesting idea – from a consumer’s standpoint, I’d love to have digital receipts without having to snap photos of them with apps like Lemon, Expensify, Shoeboxed, and others or provide inbox access as with Slice and OneReceipt. However, Proximiant’s real competition doesn’t come from other receipt organizers – it comes from services like Square, which is already well on its way to building a viable m-commerce platform without having to workaround the fact that not all phones have NFC. Having to use a keychain tag, as all iPhone users will need to do with Proximiant (unless Apple decides to join the NFC bandwagon with the iPhone 5), isn’t as simple as tapping your phone. Keychain tags fall off, keys get buried in purses and bags, and frankly, some people just hate the keychain clutter they cause. Meanwhile, a phone is almost always in a pocket or hand, easily accessible.

Proximiant is fully self-funded and is currently running beta trials in a dozen stores in the San Francisco Bay area and Palo Alto.

Index Ventures Forth, Bridging Silicon Valley With Silicon Roundabout

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:55 AM PST


Index Ventures is commonly regarded as once of the three “Big Cat” VCs stalking tech companies, in a pan-European sense out of London, alongside Accel Partners and Balderton Capital among others.

I sat down with three of its key players today – Saul Klein, Robin Klein and Bernard Dallé – to tease out where they are right now and where they plan to head.

Xbox 360 Still Selling Like Console-Shaped Hotcakes

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:47 AM PST


Microsoft just posted some impressive sales stats: this week they sold 980,000 Xbox 360 consoles and 750,000 Kinect sensors, both “standalone and bundled.” The sales week is probably due in part to the perfect storm of titles hitting the platform, including Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City, as well as Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales.

The 360 is seven years old and is expected to get an updated Metro-like UI on December 6, turning the console from a primary games machine into something that resembles a set-top box. That the hardware and software are both standing the test of time is a testament to the investment and importance Microsoft places on the console.

To quote from the Gruber:

Amazing how popular a closed system — where the hardware and software are designed by a single company — can be.

via Official Microsoft Blog

[Image: Marie C Fields/Shutterstock]

Twitter + Sports =

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:41 AM PST


Automated Insights, the venture-backed digital media company formerly known as StatSheet, automatically transforms data into content – think interactive applications and things like data-driven news articles, charts and whatnot.

Lately, Automated Insights’s been making waves with its extensive network of sports-related websites. For an example, check out the StatSheet MLB website.

Today, the company is debuting a website in an effort to showcase “all the cool stuff they are doing with Twitter”. Dubbed (amusingly, the name @Jack Dorsey gave Twitter before it became Twitter), the new website aims to allow sports fans to follow just what they are interested in.

The site was born partially out of frustration with Twitter’s limited filtering capabilities, Automated Insights founder Robbie Allen told me. Basically, aggregates Twitter accounts for every NFL, NBA, MLB, NCAA Basketball and NCAA Football team in the United States, and populates them with live play-by-play updates, score updates, statistics and analysis.

Another cool part of is the Twitter Fantasy Tracker, where users can create a Twitter list with the specific accounts from the players on their Fantasy football team. Here’s Allen’s list if you’d like to get a better idea of what Automated Insights is trying to do.

At present, StatSheet’s Twitter network boasts over 250,000 followers, and Allen tells me Automated Insights has gathered over 2 billion relevant statistics in a proprietary database to date.

The statistics for are provided by StatSheet’s official stats provider, sports wire service The Sports Network.

IAB: U.S. Internet Advertising Q3 Revenue Up 22 Percent To $7.9 Billion

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:37 AM PST


The Internet Advertising Bureau just released its third quarter numbers, with internet advertising revenues in the U.S. hitting $7.88 billion for the third quarter of 2011, up 22 percent from Q3 2010.

This also is a 2.7 percent increase from the record-setting revenues of the second quarter of 2011. This is the eighth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.

The IAB and PricewaterhouseCoopers both say that the uptick in ad spend is due to brand marketers recognizing where most of consumers spent their time—online. Obviously, despite the current economic conditions, advertisers are still shelling out on digital.

The LandingZone: A Dock For Your Air, Handsome And Bold

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:24 AM PST


This Kickstarter project has been kicking around the Internet a bit but it’s pretty cool. This is a handsome dock for your 11- or 13-inch air and includes 4 USB ports, an ethernet port, a DisplayPort, Kensington lock port, and power supply. To use it simply lock your MacBook into the LandingZone’s snug confines and start working.

As a doofus who just set up a standing desk, this would be a livesaver. First it improves the Air’s USB situation immensely and the ease of use would shave, at worst, a few seconds off of my start-up time and probably improve air circulation around the Air.

The entry-level pledge is $159 and that gets you an 11- or 13-inch model. You can get two for $299. I’d be wary given the upcoming changes we expect to the MacBook Air in the next few months, but not much in terms of port placement should change.

Kitae Kwon, an engineer in Cupertino, created the dock and has been working on it for eight months. He’s set up a product page here. The product has 31 more days to reach $50,000 in funding. Considering it’s at $30,000 now, it shouldn’t be too hard.

Total of 4 USB 2.0 ports; no need to attach a separate USB hub
Built in 10/100T Ethernet port; no more dongles for the Ethernet or fumbling with the cable
Built in Mini DisplayPort capable of driving resolution up to 2560×1440
Built in locking port compatible with all the Kensington Locks; now you can secure your MacBook Air
Two models to support either the 11″ or 13″ version of the MacBook Air (2010 or later)
Beautifully designed and engineered for simplicity, elegance, reliability and functionality (patent pending)
Comes with US power adapter which accepts wide range of input voltage (100~240 Vac)

HP’s Meg Whitman Acknowledges Apple Could Surpass HP In 2012, Says 2013 Will Be HP’s Year

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:19 AM PST


“Yes. I think it’s possible if you integrate tablets,” said HP’s CEO, Meg Whitman in response to a question from French newspaper Le Figaro [translated] concerning Apple’s possible takeover as the world’s top PC maker. “Apple does a great job. We need to improve our game and our products to take over the leadership position. Apple could go past HP in 2012. We will try to become the champion in 2013. It takes time for the products on which I have come to influence the market.”

Whitman’s candid response echos a current debate: Should tablets, such as the iPad, be considered personal computers? If so, then Apple is on track to replace HP as the top PC maker. This comes after British research firm Canalys decided to include tablets in their analysis, basically crowning Apple as top dog. While Meg doesn’t dispute this technicality in the interview, she basically concedes all of 2012 and states to wait until 2013 for HP’s return to glory. After all, she says, that’s when the products she influenced would hit the market.


Interestingly enough, during the same interview, Whitman talked a bit about the future of webOS. She stated that a decision would be made in the next two weeks as there are currently 600 employees in “limbo.” The only hint about its future is that Whitman stated that HP needs two OSes (could Android be the other option?).

It’s clear that Whitman understands Apple’s surging numbers and doesn’t see a quick fix. The company already flubbed its first attempt at an iPad competitor and per her statements about waiting until 2013, there isn’t likely a killer product in HP’s product pipeline. After all, the former HP CEO, Leo Apotheker, was clearly steering the HP machine away from the consumer market and down a path blazed by IBM and Oracle that leads to enterpriseland.

However, from an outsider’s vantage point, HP hasn’t looked this good in a while. After taking the helm, Whitman quickly decided to keep the Personal Systems Group within HP. The company’s stock is on an upward trend and HP beat Wall Street’s estimates in the fourth quarter. A sign of good leader is respecting competitors and keeping a straight head. Apple really is on track to beat HP in PC shipments if tablet computers are counted (they should be). It’s refreshing to see HP’s leader acknowledge it’s going to take some time to right the massive ship that is HP.

Third Time’s The Charm? A New NewsCred Raises $4 Million To Reinvent The Newswire Service

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 07:00 AM PST

Screen shot 2011-11-30 at 4.34.51 AM

Startups pivot; it’s part of the process. But how many startups pivot multiple times and still manage to raise significant cash from reputable investors? Sure, maybe it’s a sign of a bubble, a sign that startups are indeed overfunded, or maybe this company is just getting better with each successive effort.

We first covered NewsCred back in 2008, when they launched a credibility rating score for publishers, authors, and stories (by way of community voting plus algorithms) in an attempt to help readers filter the noise and find the highest quality news.

Early last year, NewsCred relaunched as a “Ning for newspapers”, allowing users to build custom online newspapers in minutes. Both approaches seemed to hold water, and the startup raised $750K in seed funding from FLOODGATE and IA Ventures last September in support of it new look.

However, neither model quite caught on, and the NewsCred of today has landed somewhere in the middle. Co-founder and CEO Shafqat Islam says that two years of iterating and nail-biting has led to the team deciding to ditch its consumer site, reprioritizing its focus on the simple (if not ambitious) goal of reinventing the concept of a newswire service.

To do so, NewsCred is licensing content from more than 700 premium media brands, like Bloomberg, Forbes, Guardian, WashPo, and The Economist, and charging customers to access its news API — and the premium content from those publishers.

Hopefully, the third try is the charm. And, hey, quite a few reputable investors are willing to bet that it will be. Today, the startup announced that it has landed $4 million in series A funding led by FirstMark, with participation from Lerer Ventures, AOL Ventures and Advancit Capital, through Shari Redstone. (FLOODGATE and IA Ventures also reinvested.)

It’s a vote of confidence for the startup’s mission to reinvent the newswire and, in so doing, connect audiences with “the world’s best journalism”, says Islam. In its new B2B approach, NewsCred is looking to provide publishers and brands with fully licensed, full-text articles, photos, and videos from international newspapers to blogs and indy rags. The startup’s in-house editorial team filters and curates thousands of articles for each of its clients’ specific needs and interests, whether broad or niche. Through one platform, one license, and one bill, NewsCred is endeavoring to make it a breeze for publishers and brands to buy, manage, and increase revenue.

Along with its editorial team, the startup uses its API to filter and customize news articles by topic, location, language, sources, and date. Through its proprietary semantic and natural language processing technology, NewsCred curates 215K full-text articles from 700+ sources across 50 countries, in eight languages, all of which is organized into 20 categories, and 47K topics.

Islam says that the startup’s tech is platform agnostic, working on tablets, mobile, the Web, Facebook, etc and delivers content, images, and multimedia in XML, RSS, or JSON.

As to its revenue model? NewsCred chages a monthly API licensing fee to access its content, which is based on the volume of news stories as well as the sources licensed. All revenue received by the startup is then shared with content providers, and the CEO says that it is already paying some of its sources six-figures.

For journalists, this can be a great way to gain exposure and access to new distribution channels, while maintaining attribution, and grabbing a supplemental paycheck. For publishers looking to up their production to keep up with the content-spewing 24-hour digital news cycle, NewsCred’s access to a huge array of voices and its ability to customize content and create targeted editorial sections for niche audiences — along with the complementary advertising opportunities — could be appealing. Especially for publishers already pulling in a high volume of pageviews.

It’s true that consumers want access to a variety of competing views when consuming their digital content, and NewsCred certainly gives content providers and brands an opportunity to access quality journalism and provide their readers with just that, but news consumers are also wary of plain old RSS feeds, aggregators, rebloggers, syndicators, and the ilk. NewsCred can sidestep this with a big editorial team and feverish curation, but it could be a slippery slope.

A one-stop platform for publishers and content producers to gain supplemental content and revenue streams is no doubt appealing, and may just be where this is all going. As long as it doesn’t require another pivot. For more, check ‘em out at home here.

What do you think? Is NewsCred onto something?

Facebook In Talks To Open Platform For Real-Money Gambling In The UK

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 06:55 AM PST


According to eGaming Review (note: the story is theirs exclusively but sits behind a paywall), Facebook is engaged in exploratory talks with a number of UK operators to open its platform to real-money online gambling, maybe even as soon as in the first quarter of 2012.

Citing sources familiar with the discussions, eGR reports that the social networking leader is considering offering an initial eight 'licences' to as many UK operators looking to roll out such gambling apps on the Facebook platform.

According to eGR’s sources, Facebook has begun staffing up for the launch and support of real-money gambling ventures in the UK, where online gambling is properly regulated, after initially aggressively promoting the use of Credits to online gambling service operators. We’ve contacted Facebook for confirmation and will update as soon as we hear back.

For the record: in the United States, online gambling is essentially considered to be illegal in most states, though legalization efforts are underway (for some background, check Wikipedia).

When we talk about real-money online gambling, that basically means gambling on the Internet just like you would in an offline casino, for example, betting or depositing real money to win real money, and not just to play for fun or to cash in by means of digital goods or virtual currency.

UK-based operator names that are circulating, still according to the report published by eGaming Review, are those of Gamesys (which owns sites like, and and online casino, poker and bingo gaming giant 888 Holdings.

Facebook has reportedly held exploratory talks with approximately 20 online gaming experts, consultants and social gaming entrepreneurs at the end of this Summer, and eGR claims that the discussions have now moved to facilitating a near-future launch of real-money gambling apps on the Facebook platform.

When this would happen, how players would verify their age and identity, which payment solutions Facebook plans to deploy for handling real-money play, or any details around the revenue split between Facebook and gaming operators, are all aspects that appear to be still very much unclear.

eGR speculates that Facebook might see the UK as a testbed before rolling out support for real-money online gambling apps on its platform in additional countries later on.

Facebook used to have a strict policy in place when it came to advertising online gambling businesses on its platform. This only changed recently, when Facebook openly relaxed its rules.

Currently, Facebook’s advertising guidelines outline that “ads that promote or facilitate online gambling, games of skill or lotteries, including online casino, sports books, bingo, or poker, are only allowed in specific countries with prior authorization from Facebook”.

First BBX-Powered BlackBerry To Be Called The Surfboard?

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 06:16 AM PST


We’ve gotten a few discreet glances as what could be RIM’s first next-generation BlackBerry in the past, and now we may have a name to go with it. Originally code-named “London,” BlackBerryOS reports that the BBX-powered device will henceforth be known as the “Surfboard.”

Erm, yeah. I”m not thrilled either.

As odd as the name may be, it doesn’t come completely out of the blue. RIM filed for the BlackBerry Surfboard trademark in the Canadian Intellectual Property Office in July 2010, and has been sitting on it ever since. It seemed for a while like one of those names RIM would never get around to using, but they subsequently filed for an extension of time this past May — it’s possible that RIM has chosen to dust off a name from the archives to use for their latest smartphone.

Then again, the BlackBerry PlayBook was rumored to be called the “SurfBook” for a while thanks to another trademark also filed in 2010, and we all know how that one turned out. I sort of doubt that the London/Surfboard will make it all the way to its reported June 2012 launch date without a few more tweaks to the branding, but then again that’s really the least of their problems. Older specs aside, RIM needs to make absolutely sure that their new-fangled OS is up to snuff before people will even consider choosing it over every other compelling smartphone option under the sun.

Sonos Update Adds Social, New Android Tablet Version

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 06:03 AM PST

Screen Shot 2011-11-30 at 9.01.36 AM

An update to the Sonos firmware and controller now allows Android users to manage their devices on a Honeycomb tablet in a native slate format, eschewing the original portrait-only Android phone app. The new version supports the Kindle Fire as well.

Users can also now Tweet the titles of music they’re listening to right from the app.

The app now also supports Slacker radio and an updated version of the Sonos Labs API, allowing programmers to interact directly with the Sonos server and add new channels easily.

The 3.6 update also adds some minor bug fixes to Sonos hardware devices. The updates should download automatically upon starting any Sonos desktop or mobile controller.

Find and play any song, in any room, right from your favorite Android device (running 2.2 and higher) — with one free app.
View your zones, music menu, now playing pane and volume controls all at once. Intelligently scales the screen layout to take advantage of larger screen size.
Set alarms or sleep timer to wake up or fall asleep to your favorite music or station.
Send tweets about what you're listening to on Sonos.
Access advanced Sonos system settings.
Connects to Sonos over your home WiFi network.
Download it for free from Android Market™.
Available worldwide.

With 30K U.S. Doctors Now On Board, Doximity Is Fast Becoming The LinkedIn For Physicians

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 06:00 AM PST


As we reported yesterday, the market for mobile health apps is forecasted to quadruple to $400 million by 2016. The health tech space at large, too, is poised for serious growth over the next year, as medical devices and sensors get smarter, connect to the cloud, and now give us easy ways to track our health, fitness, and interact in realtime with providers.

Thankfully, the Web and digital technology are now playing an increasingly important role in the development of healthcare services (and the industry as a whole), so perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the professional networking model that has worked so well for LinkedIn is proving just as effective when applied to the sizable network of American physicians.

Earlier this year, Jeff Tangney, Co-founder and Former President of NASDAQ-listed mobile health software applications maker, Epocrates, launched a new venture called Doximity. Taking a page out of LinkedIn’s book, Doximity gives physicians a private network through which to connect and collaborate on patient treatment or identify experts for patient referrals.

Doximity enables MD professional networking on iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and the Web in an effort to connect physicians from just about anywhere. Why? Well, even though the cost of medical care is high, realtime communication between healthcare providers/physicians and patients just hasn’t existed at scale. Patients have their in-office time, are lucky if they can grab practitioners over the phone, but that’s about it.

That’s why startups like Jiff have found great reception in the healthtech community. Avado, too, is tackling this problem, developing a solution for healthcare providers to better manage their relationship with patients.

And other than conferences, physicians don’t have a scaled, easy-to-use platform to connect with each other, network, find referrals, and provide faster, more effective treatments to their patients. Doctors are also, by and large, on the go — from the clinic to the lab, from the lab to the hospital, etc. That’s why a mobile (and Web) network like Doximity, which lets them connect via a private, secure platform is finding plenty of eager adopters.

The startup announced today that over 30,000 physicians are now using its platform to collaborate, which translates to 5 percent of physicians in the U.S., says Tagney. For reference, that’s double the number of physicians using LinkedIn.

The HIPAA-secure professional communication platform reached 30K physicians in just seven months (since it launched its network in beta), a feat that took LinkedIn more than three years to accomplish.

Of course, Doximity is not the only player in the space; there are a number of anonymous physician chat services out there, like the sizable Sermo, which claims to be the largest online network exclusive to physicians.

It looks like Doximity may be poised to give Sermo a run for its money, especially as the platform is professional — in other words, it’s not anonymous — or accessible to the general public. Unlike the anonymous networks, physicians, general practitioners, specialists, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants all use their real names and verified credentials on Doximity in order to establish and share their professional expertise.

Doximity also features a HIPAA-compliant SMS messaging system as well as the ability for physicians to securely fax directly from their mobile phone or computer to any physician in or ourside of the Doximity network.

The service is free to use, and is quick to set up. The platform creates a basic profile using data from public databases, which physicians can then add by uploading their CVs, etc., and then suggests connections based on location, work history, and educational background.

The startup raised $10.8 million in series A funding back in March.

For more, check Doximity out at home here.

RadiumOne Launches Social Sharing Platfom

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 06:00 AM PST


RadiumOne, an online ad network that aims to combine social and intent data to serve ads, is taking on the likes of ShareThis, AddThis and other social sharing platforms today with the launch of allows user to share content via Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, email, and other destinations. also provides publishers with new revenue opportunities and comprehensive analytics tools designed to drive higher engagement and lower customer acquisition costs.

For example, publishers can tap into RadiumOne's client list of advertisers to fill their remnant inventory at rates far higher than they can source from exchanges, according to the company. can also show a display ad after a user has shared content, with publishers able to keep 100 percent of this ad revenue.

Using, publishers can get analytics on what their users are sharing, and more data. RadiumOne says that publishers can get the code and integrate with in less than 10 minutes.

Already, over 1,000 sites reaching over 250 million monthly active unique users are using, including Weather Underground, yFrog, CouponTrade and, among others.

RadiumOne recently debuted its take on the group messaging space, PingMe. And the company just raised $21 million in new funding at a $200 million valuation.

Adobe Acquires Efficient Frontier To Boost Its Digital Marketing Solutions

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 05:11 AM PST


Adobe this morning announced its acquisition of Efficient Frontier, a digital marketing company, without disclosing the financial terms of the deal.

Adobe says the acquisition of the company will enable it to add multi-channel ad campaign forecasting, execution and optimization capabilities to its existing Digital Marketing solutions. Notably, Efficient Frontier will bring to Adobe social ad buying capability for Facebook, employing the company’s optimization algorithms to predict results and drive greater digital marketing ROI for its clients.

These capabilities will be integrated with the Facebook ad buying functionality currently available with Adobe (Omniture) SearchCenter, Adobe says, while Efficient Frontier’s social marketing engagement platform will be combined with Adobe (Omniture) SocialAnalytics.

Looks like Efficient Frontier made the right bet doubling down on the social media marketing space with its (reportedly $50 million) acquisition of Context Optional back in May 2011.

Other solutions that Efficient Frontier brings to Adobe’s table are a search optimization system, a real-time bidding system for display ads and an integrated auction-based buying suite for search, display and social media.

The transaction is expected to complete in the first quarter of Adobe's 2012 fiscal year. Adobe did not disclose the terms of the deal, but pointed out that the potential financial impact of the transaction is not reflected in financial targets previously provided by Adobe.

More guidance will be provided following the completion of the transaction.

Efficient Frontier was backed by Mitsui Ventures, Cambrian Ventures and Redpoint Ventures. In fact, President and CEO David Karnstedt previously served as Executive-in-Residence for Redpoint Ventures, after leading Yahoo's North American Sales for over 7 years.

For Adobe, this is the seventh acquisition this year (after Auditude, Typekit, Nitobi Software, IRIDAS, EchoSign and Demdex) according to CrunchBase data.

Related reading: Adobe To Acquire Omniture For Approximately $1.8 Billion

Salesforce Debuts The New Radian6-Powered Social Marketing And Monitoring Cloud

Posted: 30 Nov 2011 04:59 AM PST


Radian6, which was acquired by Salesforce for $326 million earlier this year, has offered some of the world’s largest brands a web-based social media monitoring platform. Brands like Dell, GE, Southwest Airlines, Kodak and UPS use the service to monitor, analyze and engage in 'hundreds of millions' of social media conversations. But until now, Salesforce has not integrated Radian6 into its suite of cloud-based products. Today, the CRM giant is unveiling the new Radian6-powered social marketing and monitoring cloud.

Salesforce says the social marketing cloud extends the social enterprise to marketing with new features in social monitoring, insights, engagement, workflow and websites. The Social Marketing Cloud, says the company, will help social enterprises transform the massive volume of social media conversations into meaningful engagements.

Radian6 will continue to offer a powerful social media monitoring client that allows companies to parse and manage large volumes of social media conversations from millions of sources. Agencies and marketers can monitor overall volume, share of conversation, geographic distribution on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and filter by keyword, media type, date range and more to view conversations.

But Salesforce is taking it a step further with its Social Insights product. This new service, which is available today, provides analytics to help marketers understand the impact of a marketing campaign and have the flexibility to respond to customer sentiment and reaction in real-time. Social insights actually allows users to understand what is being said in these conversations.

Radian6 previously offered a Social Engagement feature that enabled services like Facebook page management and more. Social Engagement has been updated to include an extension library and enhanced application support to be able to engage with customers directly where the conversation is taking place, whether that be on Facebook, Twitter or other social channels.

A new pillar of the Social Marketing Cloud is the Social Hub. The Hub will automatically route relevant social content to products like the Salesforce CRM for quick engagement and response to customers or prospects. With the Social Hub, users can populate social customer profiles, route social conversations, an create contacts and cases in Salesforce. The Hub is also integrated with Klout as well.

Lastly, Radian6′s existing Social Websites feature allows users to build socially rich websites and widgets to engage with customers and sales prospects.

This seems to be the first step in Salesforce’s Radian6 integration. Noticeably missing is any meaningful Chatter integration. In the past, the CRM giant has said ‘the combination will create a “bridge between public conversations and Chatter" and "enhance the Salesforce Sales and Service Cloud products with social intelligence that customers can act on. Developers building on the platform also will be able to tap into the power of Radian6, putting the social web into everything they build."

Clearly there is still more to come when it comes to Radian6′s presence in the Salesforce ecosystem of products.

Path’s Second Iteration Is Less Photosharing And More Everything Sharing

Posted: 29 Nov 2011 09:17 PM PST


In the mobile startup tradition of quick product iteration, Path Two has hit the app store this evening — expanding beyond photosharing to people, place, music, chat and sleep mode sharing. Path founder Dave Morin says that the second phase of Path is about giving people a place to “capture all the experiences” on their path through life.

The existing Path UI on iOS and Android has been completely revamped (beautifully) and is basically a multimedia timeline. You can right swipe for settings, left swipe to add friends, and swipe down to view your own or your friends’ Paths. To initiate a Path post, click on the + button in the left corner and out pop six option icons.

Path Two lets users complete six different types of posts, competing for your sharing predilections with already existing sharing apps like Foursquare, Soundtracking, Evernote and Instagram as well as lifestyle products like Wakemate.

Morin tells me that these varied types of posts — photos, videos, messaging, songs, geolocation and sleep — were what users wanted the most when giving feedback on the original Path. Oftentimes users would add screenshots of apps like the iPod and Wakemate to their Paths, in order to expose the people following them on Path to a wider variety of content.

Users seeking (a bit more) attention can share their Paths with 150 people now, instead of the famous 50 — a change the company enacted six months ago but never really publicized. You can also sync your Path posts with Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare and inevitably Tumblr.

Sticking with the whole “life journal” theme, users can also chose not to share at all by clicking the lock button at the bottom of the screen when they post. “It wouldn’t be a very good journal if you couldn’t keep things to yourself,” Morin tells me.

In a novel feature for the life-sharing apps, the new Path will also automatically post your location (“Arrived”) every time you travel a distance far enough to be reached by plane. You can turn the Automatic feature off by going to Settings > Neighborhoods. This setting fits into Morin’s conception of Path as a “journal that writes itself.” The concept of Visit, or when someone you follow sees something on your Path, is also amped up by Path’s signature emotions and iOS 5 notifications in the new version.

In addition the paid photo and video filters already existant in Path One, this new Path opens up the possibilities for future revenue streams, including referral fees from iTunes, which streams the 30-90 second songs available for posting.

The one million or so people who have downloaded Path will be onboarded to the new version as soon as they update the app in the Apple store. In its latest incarnation, the company now competes with startups like Memolane and Memento and even Facebook’s Timeline, “We've always been a Path, we just think this is a more authentic representation of that,” Morin says.

You can find Path in the App Store here or by searching for Path in the Android marketplace.

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