How Placed maps mobile app usage down to the store

Hey, mobile developers, have you ever wondered where users are when they interact with your apps — like down to the level of whether they’re in a Starbucks or the McDonald’s right across the street? A startup called Placed can tell you so you can act accordingly.

Meet Giftly: A gift card company with actual tech cred

Gift cards are big business: The industry as a whole brings in $100 billion annually. But gift card companies are not exactly known for being on the cutting edge of technology. But San Francisco-based startup Giftly is bringing serious innovation to how gift cards work.

Nextdoor launches to bring your real neighborhood online

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know your neighbors all that well — if at all. That’s where a startup called Nextdoor wants to help. Nextdoor lets neighbors create private websites where they can exchange local information while getting to know each other better.

Meet Pantheon: A website developer’s new best friend

If you’re a major organization like the University of Southern California or a publication like The Economist, it’s still a big undertaking to build and maintain a website that suits your needs. Enter Pantheon: A new service for running a sophisticated Drupal-based website in the cloud.

Hamburg’s Gigalocal tries to get your to-do list done

German startup Gigalocal has good backers and a name that seems inspired. But can its focus on a local market be enough to help open up a gap in the increasingly busy — but still relatively unproven — field of service marketplaces?

Meet Proust, a social network that digs deeper

Even in these days of social networking over-sharing, some of the most important details of our lives remain in completely unwritten form. Proust, a startup that bills itself as a private place for families and friends to share memories, is trying to change exactly that.

What makes DotCloud so hot?

With all the great languages, databases and cloud hosting options available, now is a great time to be a software programmers. But that same variety makes it very difficult to be the IT manager tasked with configuring applications. That is where PaaS startup DotCloud comes in.

Wildfire Interactive is spreading like you-know-what

Wildfire Interactive has had solid success with its flagship product, CEO Victoria Ransom tells me. Since the company’s public launch two years ago, Wildfire has attracted big name clients, grown its staff, and become profitable. But the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup isn’t resting on its laurels.

Trover lets you catalog and share life’s hidden gems

If you think downloading yet another mobile app featuring photo-sharing, geo-location, and social networking is crazy, prepare yourself for a moment of insanity. MeetTrover, a nifty new iPhone app launched in May that perfectly fills the gaps left by Instagram, Foursquare and Yelp.

Want some cheese with that wine? Lot18 has you covered

Lot18, the membership-only daily deals website for high end wine, is set to expand into three new product categories: food, epicurean travel, and spirits. Lot18 will start rolling out the new verticals, starting with food, within the next several weeks, CEO Philip James tells me.