GiftRocket, Practice Fusion, & Sundance Meets Netflix—The 1-Minute Version of Last Week’s Bay Area BizTech News
As weeks go in the Silicon Valley/San Francisco business and technology world, last week was a pretty busy one, featuring some big investments and some big acquisitions. In roughly reverse chronological order:
—The Department of Justice finally approved Google’s proposed takeover of Cambridge, MA-based travel software company ITA Software, but with some strings attached, as my colleague Greg reported.
—San Francisco-based Blinkx, which has the world’s largest index of online videos, acquired an online advertising network in Massachusetts called Burst Media. Blinkx plans to distribute its video ads to new channels published on the 50 sites in Burst’s network.
—We don’t cover the legal world very often, but there was a notable shakeup last week involving two iconic Silicon Valley firms, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Latham & Watkins. Six prominent patent litigators from Wilson Sonsini jumped ship and landed at Latham; there’s an interesting backstory, of course.
—In my Friday column, I wrote about the revolutionary potential of the iPad 2 as a platform for serious video shooting and editing. In my own experiments I’ve found that Apple’s iMovie app takes the pain out of video editing and makes it feel far more like play.
—Speaking of video, I was down in Palo Alto over the weekend to attend an entrepreneurship “bootcamp” run by BASES, the Stanford student entrepreneurial organization, and Princeton’s Business Today. Six students teams pitched their ideas to me on camera, and I also brought back some video of a fascinating talk by Google vice president Marissa Mayer.
—Also in the video department: I ran a profile of Y Combinator-backed GiftRocket and a video interview with co-founder Kapil Kale. The startup plans to make the old-fashioned plastic gift card obsolete with a new system that delivers digital cash to gift recipients via smartphone based on their location.
—Freelancer Elise Craig took a look at Fandor, a subscription site where fans of independent filmmaking can watch new indie films on the Web on demand. Elise called it “Sundance meets Netflix.”
—Practice Fusion, which offers a free Web-based electronic medical records system to small physicians’ practices, picked up $23 million in Series B funding in order to make a big expansion push. Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund led the round.
—Experience Project, a San Francisco-based online community where people share personal stories, formally launched Broadcause, a platform that non-profits can use to raise money and spread the word about their causes. Corporations can also use Broadcause to call attention to their philanthropic work. I talked with Experience Project founder Armen Berjikly and CEO Peter Jackson.
—I profiled Gigamon, a Milpitas, CA, company that makes the equivalent of power strips for network switches: devices that take one external port on a Cisco or Juniper switch and turn it into many, so that data center operators can tap into their networks with monitoring software. Gigamon co-founder and CEO Ted Ho recounted how the fast-growing hardware company got started with no venture cash.
—In other deals news, Txteagle raised $8.5 million, Autonet Mobile raised $2.8 million, Rocket Fuel raised $6.6 million, Marseille Networks raised $4.5 million, Marin Software raised $16 million, Kiip raised $4 million, Goldspot Media raised $12 million, and Lightspeed Venture Partners and Institutional Venture Partners contributed to a huge $400 million round for Washington, DC-based Living Social.
—Finally, we hope you can join us here in San Francisco for our Spring Open House, 5:00-8:00 pm on Monday, April 18. My colleague Luke Timmerman, Xconomy’s national biotech editor, will be in town to co-host. See you in the Dogpatch!
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