Betaworks Raises $20M From Intel, Others

Betaworks, a New York City-based Internet company, has raised $20 million in new venture funding in a round led by Intel Capital and RRE Ventures. Softbank, Founders Collective, DFJ Growth, AOL Ventures and the New York Times are new investors in the company.

Brightcove: Oops, Forgot to Mention the Layoffs

Though we talked to Brightcove at the end of last week regarding their partnership platform announced today, we missed the fact that they made layoffs on Wednesday. That’s mostly our bad, since the layoffs — 25 out of 172 employees across multiple departments — were reported in FierceOnlineVideo on Friday, but it also speaks to the company’s relentless adherence to the PR story rather than reality, seeing as we had asked CEO Jeremy Allaire directly about how the economic downturn was affecting the company.

Brightcove maintained today that the layoffs — which actually happened last Wednesday — have nothing to do with the economic downturn and, rather, reflect a renewed focus on the company’s platform business. “We are, of course, being very conservative as we head into next year managing our spending,” said Director of Corporate Communication Josh Hawkins in an email. “But, the changes in our workforce reflect our strategic objectives for ’09.”

Panjiva: Panning for Gold in Numbers

[qi:066] Instead of trying to finish up nearly half a dozen unfinished posts, I ended up spending my entire weekend curled up with Ian Ayers’ Super Crunchers, a book that talks about how analyzing numbers can open doors to incredible insights. When you look at our increasingly sophisticated network architectures, the ability to do this kind of complex number crunching in real time can prove to be a treasure trove.

In recent past, we have written about data-centric companies like Summize (bought by Twitter), Glassdoor, Skygrid, Placebase and Sense Networks. Add to this growing list of companies New York-based Panjiva that was founded by CEO Josh Green and CTO James Psota. The 11-person company was started in 2005 and counts Battery Ventures and Larry Summers (former Treasury Secretary and incoming director of the National Economic Council) amongst its investors. Its main product is a web-based supplier monitoring tool that is targeted at corporations and not consumers. Read More about Panjiva: Panning for Gold in Numbers

Twing Adds Brand Monitoring Features to its Forum Search

twing logoMonitoring the Internet for people discussing your product or brand can be invaluable to help understand how the public views you. Tools like Google Alerts or Filtrbox can handle news, blogs and web pages while Summize keeps tabs on Twitter. For forums and message boards there is Twing.

The last time we looked at Twing, Mike found the forum friendly search engine to be a useful tool in the search arsenal, particularly for finding help from others who may be experiencing similar issues.  A recent Twing update now adds functionality to make this process even easier for those looking to monitor forum discussions for their brands or products.

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Inside The Twitter-Summize Deal

So it’s confirmed: Twitter is buying Summize. As I’ve said previously, I think this is a super-smart move by Twitter, and if the company plays its cards right, one that will pay dividends in the long run. Here are some additional financial details of the deal. Continue Reading

Can Serendipity Make You Rich?

These days, we are all swimming in a sea of data. And the traditional method of search — the one that involves first finding, then consuming the information — isn’t going to work for much longer. The company that can figure out a way to cut through the noise for us stands to make a boatload of money.

With Summize, Twitter to Buy a Clue

The big buzz of the evening is that Twitter, a San Francisco-based startup that allows anyone to post short (up to 140 characters) messages to its platform and thus broadcast them to one or many using different media such as web and mobile, is about to acquire Summize, a Potomac Falls, Va.-based startup that uses the Twitter API to search and find relevant messages on Twitter.

The rumors of the deal were first reported by a little-known blog (not anymore, of course) by Josh Chandler. Subsequent to the news, I made a few phone calls and did confirm that it is not just a rumor and a deal is certainly in the works. It is likely to be announced as soon as next week. I’m still trying to dig up the financial details and will report further when I get hold of them.

The deal would be a good move by Twitter, and would be putting some of its recently acquired $15 million in VC funding to decent use as it would help the company get hold of of a business model. Here is why. Read More about With Summize, Twitter to Buy a Clue

In Twitter’s Scoble Problem, a Business Model

Twitter, our favorite tool for narcissism and the eponymously named San Francisco company behind the service may not have a business model, but it surely has the buzz. Whether it is their new round of funding or their inability to keep the service running — the blog world loves to twitter about Twitter.

After talking to some of sources, I have a theory that could help Twitter solve its scaling conundrum and also help the company make money. (I am sure there are others who are thinking along those lines.) And in order to do that, I will use fellow blogger Robert Scoble, who has over 25,000 followers, as an example.

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