• Draper Nexus Holds $30 Million First Close For Its Latest U.S.-Japan Fund

    Draper Nexus Holds $30 Million First Close For Its Latest U.S.-Japan Fund

    The cross-border Japanese-U.S. venture capital fund Draper Nexus has raised $30 million for its $100 million second fund in the latest sign that the former affiliate funds in the DFJ Global Network are growing up. A little over a year ago, DFJ restructured its network of affiliate funds, changing the payment scheme and flattening the management structure so that the main DFJ fund did not… Read More

  • Mobile Rewards Startup Lootsie Hires Steve Cho As Its First COO

    Mobile Rewards Startup Lootsie Hires Steve Cho As Its First COO

    Lootsie, a startup that allows advertisers to present mobile app users with special rewards, announced today that it has hired its first chief operating officer, Steve Cho. Cho previously worked in sales at IBM, and he was most recently vice president of business development at Kiip — which is pretty much in the same business as Lootsie. He said it was “a difficult decision”… Read More

  • Amazon Looking To The Wisdom Of Crowds To Find New Authors

    Amazon Looking To The Wisdom Of Crowds To Find New Authors

    According to a Kindle Direct Publishing forum user, Amazon is quietly rolling out a way to find diamonds in the proverbial publishing rough. The unnamed project would bring a crowd approach to the acquisition of new titles using a voting system that ranks new books based on crowd favorites. The forum posting notes that some KDP authors (essentially indie authors using the platform) have… Read More

  • Adobe Acquires Photo-Editing Platform Aviary

    Adobe Acquires Photo-Editing Platform Aviary

    Aviary just announced that it has been acquired by Adobe. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Aviary offers a software development kit to developers who want to add photo-editing capabilities to their apps. (Aviary has also created apps of its own, which it says have been downloaded 100 million times, as well as options for advertisers to turn filters and stickers into ads.) At… Read More

  • This Robot Tastes Better Than A Wine Critic

    This Robot Tastes Better Than A Wine Critic

    Robots might be unseating the cherry job of wine critics soon. Researchers in Denmark have created an artificial tongue to find out whether expensive wine actually tastes any better than the cheap stuff. The research, first published in ACS Nano, claims that an optical nanosensor based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) can discern how you experience the sensation of dryness in wine. And they… Read More

  • Apple Plans To Shut Down Beats Music

    Apple Plans To Shut Down Beats Music

    Apple will discontinue the streaming music service Beats Music it acquired in May, according to five sources, including several prominent employees at Apple and Beats. Many engineers from Beats Music have already been moved off the product and onto other projects at Apple, including iTunes. It’s not clear when exactly Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre’s music service will be shut down or… Read More

  • Tiggly, An iPad Learning Toy For Babies And Toddlers, Raises Series A

    Tiggly, An iPad Learning Toy For Babies And Toddlers, Raises Series A

    Tiggly, an educational app designed for iPad’s youngest users – babies! (oh, and toddlers, too) – has raised a Series A round of funding led by Habermaass GmbH, a Germany-based early play and learning company, and owners of the toy brand HABA, which is now entering the U.S. edtech market. Though the startup won’t disclose the size of the round, it had previously raised… Read More

  • When The Funding Bubble Bursts It Doesn’t Have To Mean Disaster

    When The Funding Bubble Bursts It Doesn’t Have To Mean Disaster

    Hold tight. Wait till the party’s over
    Hold tight. We’re in for nasty weather
    ~Talking Heads, Burning Down The House One law of economic physics always holds true: what goes up must come down. Last week, my pal Alex Wilhelm pointed out that winter’s coming to Silicon Valley, not in the form of snow of course, but metaphorically. He was reacting to Bill Gurley’s… Read More

  • MakerBot’s Bre Pettis Launches Bold Machines, A Workshop For 3D-Printed Stuff

    MakerBot’s Bre Pettis Launches Bold Machines, A Workshop For 3D-Printed Stuff

    After a slightly surprising move away from a managerial role at MakerBot, former CEO Bre Pettis has finally announced what he’s working on: Bold Machines, an “Innovation Workshop” for MakerBot parent company Stratasys. Designed to be a creative skunkworks for the 3D printing company, Bold Machines will design cool 3D prints, work with artists and inventors, and even make movies. Read More