Kaazing, a provider of live Web and mobile communication and the developer of HTML5 WebSocket, has raised $15 million in funding, bringing the company’s total financing to $39 million. New investors this round include New Enterprise Associates and Columbus Nova Technology Partners, as well as existing investors. Kaazing says it will use the money to drive its plans for corporate growth.
“This influx of new capital will fuel our global expansion and further validates our market momentum with an enterprise-grade web communication platform built using the HTML5 WebSocket standard,” said Kaazing CEO and co-founder Jonas Jacobi in a statement.
“With iPads and other smart mobile devices rapidly displacing PCs and accelerating cloud adoption, enterprise application modernization is increasingly urgent. Today’s static web architectures are expensive and ineffective in supporting this huge market shift – Kaazing’s leading communication products are critical to the emerging cloud and mobile architectures. We are excited to be investors in the leader in this space,” added NEA partner Rohini Chakravarthy.
The company’s last round of funding was in June, when it raised $17 million. At that time, Kaazing said it would use the funds to fund opportunities for using WebSocket technology to power real-time communications. Last year, Kaazing also brought on Cisco veteran John Donnelly to expand its sales and business development channels.
Based in Mountain View with additional sales offices in New York City and London, Kaazing helps drive the real-time Web and mobile communications of Intel, Google, Bechtel, Oracle, and HSBC. The company was created in 2007 and its founding team helped design the HTML5 WebSocket protocol in order to enable a “full-duplex pipe” between participants, rather than the legacy infrastructure that required a request and response between two users.
Read more from the original source: HTML5 WebSocket Developer Kaazing Raises $15M From NEA, Columbus Nova Technology Partners
Blab is launching a platform that allows businesses to predict — up to three days in advance — which social media conversations are going to be important.
Co-founder and CTO David Snelling gave me a brief demo of the product yesterday. He showed off a visualization tool that highlights the up-and-coming topics at any given moment, a “magazine view” featuring the most engaging content in a given topic, and most uniquely, a chart predicting the extent to which the conversation will spread in 12, 24, and all the way up to 72 hours ahead, along with an indicator of how confident Blab is in its prediction.
To be clear, Blab can only make these predictions about conversations that have already started — it can’t predict what news will break in the next three days. But even though it’s not a crystal ball, Snelling argued that it can help companies decide which conversations they should join and which topics they should focus on. After all, those companies don’t want to hop on a bandwagon just as the excitement is dying down.
“If you’re going to create long-term content, you want it to be where [consumers] are going to be landing, not where they are now,” Snelling said.
Co-founder and CEO Randy Browning added that these predictions help companies “emerge from the thicket of trees and get a view of the forest.”
The predictions can be made with as little as 30 minutes of data, Snelling said. To do so, Blab looks at the initial conversational patterns and compares them to past data, so that if things are unfolding similarly to a conversation in the past, the technology can extrapolate how the conversation will proceed.
When I asked if there are specific topics where Blab makes more accurate predictions, Snelling answered, “We’re really not concerned about the topic, we’re just concerned about the behavior.” He also warned that conversations are “a living thing” that change over time, so the predictions get more accurate as Blab collects more data.
Other Blab features include the ability to identify influential users and to find relevant comments even if they don’t use a specific keyword. In the future, Snelling said he wants to add more nuance to the predictions, so that they suggest which platforms are likely to see the most activity.
The rest is here: Blab Predicts Which Social Media Conversations Are Worth Joining
Ravikant talked about the currency of Silicon Valley, which he says is deals shared, talent referred, and acquirers introduced. He explains that AngelList, a service he co-founded that matches early-stage startups with investors, puts these transactions online. We also chatted about his secret to picking the right startups for angel investments (Ravikant invested in Twitter, Foursquare, BranchOut, Codecademy, Uber, Heyzap and Disqus).
Check out the video above for more!
Just months after relocating from San Francisco to Detroit, Stik is relaunching its Facebook-powered recommendation service and announcing a new round of funding. The $2.3 million Series A round was co-led by Detroit Venture Partners and North Coast Technology Investors. Draper Associates, First Step Fund, MEDC and Automation Alley also participated in the round. Stik originally launched in 2010 on the back of a $500,000 seed round led by Draper Associates.
Co-founder Nathan Labenz explained to me that the new cash will go towards acquiring new talent. “We are hiring developers first and foremost, but also looking for great designers, product managers, community managers, and eventually salespeople — essentially the classic web startup profile.”
Ahead of this announcement, Stik relaunched with an overhaul of the website. “It’s a complete redesign and re-build of the front-end, complete with a deep Facebook timeline integration,” Labenz told TechCrunch, adding the whole service is now mobile friendly.
Despite the relaunch, the focus is still the same. Stik launched with the goal of bringing word-of-mouth referrals online and they tapped Facebook vast social graph to personalize the experience. Co-founder Nathan Labenz discovered while attending Harvard and running a business on the side that word of mouth referrals are very valuable. Together with Jay Gierak, a hometown friend from Detroit and Harvard classmate, the pair launched Stik in San Francisco in November 2010.
Stik made headlines in 2012 when the startup relocated from the Valley back to the founders’ home of Detroit. The young company quickly moved into the region’s startup epicenter of The M@dison Building, home of other startups, Detroit Venture Partners, and Bizdom.
“We thought there was a culture in Detroit where we could build a long-term company that was going to win,” co-founder Jay Gierak explained to me late last year. “Thus far it’s been true and we’ve hired terrific people who are motivated, talented, and skilled.”
“When we looked around Silicon Valley, we felt we couldn’t build a long-term company there because of the turnover – not only to get people in the door but retain them.” Jay stated, “It’s hard to compete with Facebook and Airbnb but also the YC’s of the world where there are people whispering in your ear to start a two-person app company.”
Stik is committed to Detroit, and judging from the various Michigan funds which participated in the Series A, Michigan is committed to Sik as well. As mentioned above the round included North Coast Technology Investors, an early stage fund based Ann Arbor, Michigan that seemingly focuses on technology-focused manufacturing and fabrication companies — you know, companies normally associated with the Midwest. And Detroit Venture Partners CEO and Manager Partner Josh Linkner is quickly becoming a major VC force in the Midwest (isn’t that right, UpTo?).
“We are thrilled to support the passionate and creative leaders of Stik. They have identified a very compelling void in the market, and we believe Stik will become the dominant source for professional referrals and own the category,” said Josh Linkner, CEO & Managing Partner at Detroit Venture Partners, in a released statement “The company’s momentum, combined with its leaders’ vision and focus, will ensure Stik becomes one of the most valuable and recognized platforms online.”
With the notable exception of Tim Draper’s Draper Associates, Stik tapped Michigan funds around metro Detroit for funding. Local investors First Step Fund, MEDC and Automation Alley all participated in Stik’s funding as well, showing that despite headlines of physical and fiscal doom and gloom, Detroit is hungry for great ideas — and has the money to invest.
Despite investors’ concerns over a slowing online advertising market in China, Sina managed to post Q4 revenue that exceeded analysts’ expectations, though its earnings fell 74 percent from a year earlier. Investors were encouraged by Sina’s results, however, and the company’s shares jumped as much as 6 percent after hours, hitting $56.50. Sina’s stock price has dropped 13.4 percent since the beginning of the fourth quarter, falling alongside the shares of peers like Baidu and Sohu.com due to a weaker economy.
Sina reported overall Q4 net revenue was $139.1 million, outperforming Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S’ average forecast for $133.9 million. Non-advertising revenue slipped 4 percent to $28.5 million.
Net profit fell 74 percent in the Q4 to $2.4 million, or 3 cents per share, from $9.3 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier, though excluding certain items, non-GAAP earnings were $9 million, or 13 cents a share, compared to $14 million or 21 cents a share a year earlier. That was much better than analysts’ average forecast for 5 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sina’s guidance for Q1 adjusted net revenue is in the range between $115 million and $119 million, in line with Wall Street’s expectations for $117 million. It expects advertising revenue of $94 million to $96 million this quarter. Advertising revenue in Q4 was $110.7 million, exceeding the company’s previous projection for between $110 million and $112 million.
The company also announced new management appointments, including the promotion of its chief operating officer Hong Du to COO and co-president, and the naming of Jack Xu to the position of chief technology officer and co-president. Last December, Sina CEO Charles Chao said that Du will focus on running Sina’s Web portal while reporting directly to him.
Before starting at Sina, Xu was corporate vice president of the communications and collaboration business unit at Cisco. His prior positions also include stints as vice president of engineering and research at eBay and CTO at Netease. In a statement, Chao said, “With these management appointments, I believe Sina will be able to compete in China’s online advertising, social networking and mobile Internet spaces with even greater focus and agility.”