If you’ve never been to the Cannes advertising festival, you may wonder if any work actually gets done amid all of the yacht parties, rosé consumption and celebrity sightings. Well, the startup Fuisz Media may provide an illuminating look into why all these high-powered media and ad executives spend so much money to get to the South of France for a week. Fuisz, with the help of media investor and just-named board member Ross Levinsohn, used Cannes last week to conduct more than 20 meetings with top ad agency executives and chief marketing officers from major brands. Chief Executive Justin Fuisz said he expects to have immediate, serious discussions about partnerships with several of these folks in the next few weeks as the result of his Cannes travels.
On-Demand Used Car Buying and Selling Comes to L.A.
The on-demand economy has, with a few taps on an app, brought everything from lunches to laundry to our doorsteps. Now it wants to bring us something a lot bigger: used cars. Bay Area start-up Shift recently rolled out its on-demand car buying and selling service in Los Angeles, providing what it calls the “full end-to-end experience” of buying or selling a used car -- from your desktop or phone. At its core, it’s like Craigslist, but a slew of features brings it closer to on-demand counterparts like grocery delivery service Instacart and postal service Shyp.
Couch Wars: The Startup Trying to Corner the Used-Furniture Market
In the race to disrupt Craigslist’s saggy-sofa trade, a little startup called Move Loot just took a big step. On Thursday morning, the company began connecting used-furniture sellers with buyers in Los Angeles and New York, linking an untold pile of weathered coffee tables and creaky dressers with the operations it already has in Atlanta, Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham, N.C., and around its Oakland (Calif.) headquarters. Basically, Move Loot is a consignment shop mashed up with a Web store like Etsy and a delivery service like UPS. It has about 100 employees that will pick up old furniture, give it light refurbishment, list it online, and deliver it to a buyer. The seller gets 50 percent of the sale price and doesn’t have to create an online profile, worry about shipping, or even snap a series of fuzzy photos in terrible lighting.
New rules for IPOs in America - Open season
THE ECONOMIST - Sometimes revolutions have small beginnings. SeedInvest is a three-year-old company with 20 employees sharing space in a second-tier building near Wall Street. But it has positioned itself to be at the heart of a fundamental change in America’s capital markets. On June 19th Title IV of the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act of 2012 goes into effect. It will change how small companies raise money. Those seeking $20m-50m will be able to offer their shares to the public while skipping some of the most costly regulatory requirements that normally involves, including being vetted by state officials, issuing quarterly reports and listing their shares on an exchange.
Grocery Labels for Do-Gooders
In this week’s happy news, I learned that the grocery products stocking my kitchen are systematically destroying society and ruining the planet. The Greek yogurt has a lousy carbon footprint. The ancient jar of mustard was produced with substandard labor practices. And those innocent-looking carrots? Raised by an evil, chemical-crazed agrimonster.
Video Conferencing Company Fuze Buys LiveMinutes, Raises $20M To Expand Into Team Collaboration
San Francisco-based video conferencing company Fuze is expanding its platform today with the acquisition of an online team collaboration platform, LiveMinutes. With the addition, Fuze is no longer focused only on online meetings, but is now also rolling out a new product called Fuze Spaces which allows colleagues to chat, share and comment on files, organize projects, and more via a web-based dashboard. Fuze also announced today it had closed on $20 million in new funding from Hermes Growth Partners to continue to expand its business.
Interior Define, Maker Of Ultra-Customizable Couches, Launches 3D Visualizer
Interior Define, the company that offers totally customizable sofas at a relatively affordable price, is today announcing new tools to help online shoppers. The company is introducing a new 3D interface for shoppers so that they can see the products from every angle, in every different customization, so that they truly know what they’re getting into. Before, users were checking out static images of the products. Interior Define tapped a company called Cylindo, which offers furniture visualization technology, to power the new functionality on their own website.
Chromecast gets new CBS, HGTV, FOX Now, FXNOW, Pluto TV, and Haystack apps
Ever since Google launched the Chromecast in July 2013, the company has been steadily updating the HDMI dongle with new capabilities and features. Today, the company has announced six new apps for its $35 streaming media stick: CBS All Access, HGTV, FOX Now, FXNOW, Pluto TV, and Haystack. While the last one is a news app (tuned specifically to your interests so that you can keep up with current events), the other five apps are all about TV content. As a Google spokesperson told us, Chromecast users now have more options: “They can binge through shows like Empire, The Big Bang Theory, NCIS, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Americans, Property Brothers, and Fixer Upper.”
The Muse Raises $10M From Aspect Ventures To Scale A Career Site For Millennials
It was only a few years ago that I met Kathryn Minshew, Alexandra Cavoulacos, and Melissa McCreery through Y Combinator. They were three women who set out to make a career site for other young women like them with rich, photo-intensive profiles of employers featuring interviews with their teams. Today that site, The Muse, sees more than 3 million active users per month and Minshew says the company feels poised to compete against destinations like Glassdoor, Monster.com, and LinkedIn for their youngest users. So they’ve raised $10 million in Series A funding from Aspect Ventures, the firm that Accel’s lone female general partner Theresia Gouw left to create with Jennifer Fonstad, DBL Partners and QED. The company’s other seed investors include YC, 500 Startups, Tyra Banks, Great Oaks Ventures, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Anjula Acharia-Bath, Chris Herrmannsen, the former CEO of Monster.com Europe, former Toys R Us CEO Mike Goldstein, and the former chairman of Hearst Magazines Cathie Black.
Tencent Buys Stake in U.S. Game Maker Pocket Gems
Chinese Internet company Tencent Holdings Ltd. has taken a roughly 20% stake in U.S. mobile-games startup Pocket Gems Inc., people familiar with the matter said, its latest effort to expand its mobile offerings in China though tie-ups with overseas game developers. Tencent is paying $60 million for the stake, the people said, and will take a seat on the Pocket Gems board. The deal follows Tencent’s $126 million purchase of a 14.6% stake in U.S. mobile-games company Glu Mobile Inc. last month. In December, Tencent bought a minority stake in Japanese game developer Aiming Inc. for an undisclosed amount, while in May 2014 it spent $500 million for 28% of Korean mobile games companyCJ Games Corp.
From Communal Living to Peer-to-Peer Construction Rentals
Brothers Willy and Jabbok Schlacks have drawn from their experience growing up on a commune to raise $2.1 million for EquipmentShare, a peer-to-peer marketplace for construction equipment. Based in Columbia, Mo., EquipmentShare has created a website and mobile apps that allow contractors to find and rent equipment for construction jobs from one another, rather than renting from a more expensive, corporate provider, or in lieu of buying large, expensive equipment that they may not need on a regular basis. Co-founder Willy Schlacks said he and his brother had been bouncing around the idea to create this kind of online resource for years, practically since they separated from their commune, Shepherdsfield Community, in August 2010. While on the commune– which allowed its members no private ownership of any possessions– they worked on many construction jobs. They had access to a shared toolshed and any equipment they needed there.
Creatives Come up with Campaigns that are Better than the Pros'
As a photojournalist working the edges of popular culture, Rebecca Smeyne has shot Miley Cyrus dancing topless in Bushwick and a bejeweled Chihuahua during a Fashion Week dog show. But a series she's been planning on an upcoming music festival could mark a new frontier in Ms. Smeyne's career—and point toward a lucrative new way for creative types to fund their projects. The New York photographer is in the midst of negotiations that could wind up with the photo series being sponsored by an advertiser, instead of assigned by a magazine. The deal would pay about $10,000 for a week's work, or roughly triple what Ms. Smeyne might get as a freelancer for publications like Nylon, New York magazine and Paper.