Ben Kaplan discusses his app "WIGO" (Who Is Going Out) that helps college students get together. He speaks with Trish Reagan on "Street Smart." (Source: Bloomberg)
SeedInvest CEO: Startup Star?
Secondhand Shop Twice Now Lets You Pay With Other Retailers’ Gift Cards
In a bid to attract more online shoppers to its secondhand shop, the online consignment store Twice is today introducing a new program that will allow consumers to trade in their unused gift cards from nearly two dozen retailers in exchange for store credit. That means shoppers will be able to use their cards from stores like Macy’s, J.Crew, Gap, Old Navy, Luluemon, Banana Republic and many more in order to buy items on Twice. The company says the cards can hold any amount, and consumers will receive 100% of their value as store credit on its site. For those with unused gift cards from stores with pricier merchandise, using the cards on Twice instead means you may be able to take home more items when you check out. For instance, a $50 J.Crew gift card might only get you one or two items at best, but on Twice, it could go much further.
Tinder Rival Hinge Lands in London
Tinder may hog the headlines with its mobile-first approach to dating, but Hinge has been making inroads with its own take on what a social dating app is all about since its launch in the U.S. last year. After a year of explosive growth that brought in north of $16 million in funding, Hinge is today launching outside the U.S. for the first time, kicking off in London.
Wedding App WedPics Raises $6.5M
“Shark Tank’s” Barbara Corcoran and other investors have backed a popular mobile photo-sharing application called WedPics, designed for use by wedding couples and their guests. The additional funding brings the Raleigh, N.C.-area startup’s total Series B round to $6.5 million, a combination of equity and debt. This is actually the second close on the Series B (the earlier part which we reported back in December), as the round ended up being oversubscribed. The new part includes an additional $2.25 million on top of funds raised previously. Corcoran and her business partner Phil Nadel, a co-founder at Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners, both ended up investing personally in WedPics, as well as via their AngelList syndicate. That syndicate included Brad Feld, as well as investors hailing from Twitter and Apple.
Eero Takes In More Than $1 Million in Orders as Customers Seek Easier Wi-Fi
Eero’s founders and investors were pretty sure that they were on to something in creating a product to make home Wi-Fi both better performing and easier to set up. Early signs look promising. “We’ve sold way more than we thought we were going to sell,” CEO and founder Nicholas Weaver told Re/code. Weaver said that the company sold $650,000 worth of its routers in the first 24 hours and more than $1 million in gear over the first 48 hours. Eero last week announced its first product, an intelligent Wi-Fi networking system capable of delivering high-speed Internet access throughout a home. The device, roughly the size of an Apple TV, which also packs Bluetooth, is designed to help users easily set up home networks with just a few clicks on their smartphone. Multiple devices can be used together to form a mesh network that extends the range of coverage.
MoveLoot Raises $9M Series A to Expand Marketplace
Move Loot, which calls itself “the first curated, full-service online marketplace for second-hand home goods,” announced $9 million in new early stage funding Tuesday. The round is led by Metamorphic Ventures, and includes First Round Capital, Index Ventures, Great Oaks, IDG and Sherpa Ventures. The company, which serves the Bay Area and parts of North Carolina, is a 2014 Y Combinator graduate and plans to use the money to expand to other regions.
Eero Is A Smart Wireless Routing System That Wants To Do For WiFi What Nest Did For Thermostats
Have you tried to purchase or install a wireless router lately? I have, and it is hell. First you have to make sense out of dozens of available options available on sites like Amazon.com or at your local Best Buy, trying to parse various Wireless Gigabit speeds and ranges and how many of those octopus antennas you’d need to get the best coverage in your house. Then you have to install the damn thing, which means setting up new admin passwords and such so your wireless network isn’t hacked or whatever. And even when that is all done, you never actually know how well the setup will work. I live in an apartment with a long hallway and thick walls, and frankly, my current WiFi setup doesn’t always cover the entire space.
A Smart Wireless Router From the Designers Behind Nest
You probably don’t think about your wireless router unless it’s pissing you off. Which means you probably think about your router more than you realize. Just think: buffering, half-loaded pages, frozen Skype screens. “By this point, wireless is a core utility,” says Nick Weaver. “We would never put up with that if that was our power, if that was our water.” Weaver is the founder of Eero, a company that wants to make your home internet experience better. Today Weaver and his team are launching the Eero, a wireless router system that he believes will save you from making yet another exasperated call to Time Warner. The first thing you’ll notice about the Eero is its looks. Handsome as it may be, there is a purpose to that. “Getting the device out in the open single-handedly changes the performance of your home Wi-Fi network.” Hiding away your router means added interference, which causes your internet speed to lag.
Plated: Transforming Users From Kitchen Zero to Hero
Minibar Offers On-Demand Booze Delivery In 13 Cities
Minibar is available across the web and on mobile in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, Jersey City, The Hamptons, Ithaca, Dallas, Hoboken, Westchester, Silicon Valley, Palm Beach and Miami. Vendors on the platform can list their products, name their prices, and set up shop on the internet to get new, more educated customers. Even with heavy competition in the space, Minibar cofounders Lara Crystal and Lindsey Andrews say that Minibar is currently the biggest player in the space in terms of revenues. Minibar makes money by taking a transactions-based technology fee from vendor partners at the end of the month.
ShuttleCloud Launches API To Import Address Books And Build “The Email Graph”
You’ve probably heard of the social graph and the interest graph. Now a startup called ShuttleCloud says it’s trying to help developers with “unlocking the email graph.” By email graph, ShuttleCloud means “the contacts and the relationships buried within your email,” according to Bob Greenlees, the company’s director of operations and business development. He told me that ShuttleCloud has already been working some big customers, including Google and Comcast, but now it’s making the technology available to a wider range of developers through its API.