RelayRides Scores Google VC Funds, Kicks Off in SF

RelayRides, which aims to help people rent out their personal vehicles, launched today and said it raised its first round of investment from Google Ventures and August Capital. It’s part of a trend in which companies are using the web to help people share “stuff.”

20 Reasons Not to Start an Email Startup

Facebook’s much-anticipated announcement of its Social Inbox and acquisition of Zenbe, a mail-related startup, has directed a lot of attention to startups dedicated to reshaping the email landscape. But former Xoopit CEO Bijan Marashi warns that that goal may be too lofty for a startup.

Formspring Got $10 Million in New Funds, RedPoint VC Leads

Formspring, a San Francisco-based social Q&A startup, has raised $10 million in fresh funding in a round led by Redpoint Ventures. is also part of a group of companies trying to capture a piece of a massive web trend: personal expression.

Why Gravity’s Interest Graph Effort is Un-Interesting

Gravity, a Los Angeles-based startup, says it’s developing an "interest graph" that will let it recommend content to users based on their preferences, but the initial offering from the company — a service called Twinterests, which pulls your interests from your Twitter feed — is unimpressive.

On A Path To Nowhere

Path, a well-funded San Francisco-based startup co-founded by Shawn Fanning of Napster fame and Dave Morin, formerly of Facebook, today launched its app and private social network amidst blaze of glory. Unfortunately, it is a solution in search of a problem.

Irrationality, Welcome Back to Silicon Valley

Some Google engineer gets paid $3.5 million to not leave, and finally people notice: Irrationality seems to be escalating in Silicon Valley, a place that, for some odd reason, is detached from the global economic reality. This is not going to be good for startups.

Repeat After Me: Investors Are Never the Story

As we’ve seen in recent coverage of RockMelt, it has become commonplace in the Valley to shift focus away from founders and put it on the investors. But the investors are the wrong reasons to pay attention to a company and its technology.

PiCloud, Python-Based Cloud Funded By Greylock, KPCB

PiCloud, a Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company that is developing a python-based platform as a service (PaaS) has raised $1.4 million in its first round of funding. Investors in PiCloud co-founded by Ken Elkabany (CEO) and Aaron Staley, include Greylock Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers and Andreessen Horowitz.

Behold RockMelt, Browser for the Social Set

RockMelt, a Mountain View, Calif.-based start-up with backing from the likes of Marc Andreessen, has made a new socially-aware, media-consumption-centric browser that’s available in beta soon. The company says its browser is optimized for the modern web and focuses on making sharing easy.

Video: Pandora Founder Tim Westergren, Unplugged

There are few people in this world whom I admire as much as I admire Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora. It is not because he has the most successful company, or the largest or he is the richest. But mostly for his never say die attitude.