Union Square Ventures invests in Duck Duck Go
Duck Duck Go is one of our favorite alternative search engines for the web.
In fact we prefer it over Microsoft Bing and Yahoo.
The company has just received funding from Union Square Ventures.
DDG is essentially run by a one man team! Gabriel Weinberg is the face of this search engine which has been gaining popularity for a while now.
USV spoke about the decision to invest in DDG:
Our confidence in Gabriel and DuckDuckGo is informed by having watched the decline of Microsoft’s hegemony in the 90’s. Two things happened that fundamentally changed the game: a shift in venue and a shift in business model. The venue moved from the desktop to the web and the business model shifted from packaged software to open source. It turned out that the way to compete with Microsoft was to not to compete, at least not directly. The way to compete with Microsoft was to change the basis of competition. We invested in DuckDuckGo because we became convinced that it was not only possible to change the basis of competition in search, it was time to do it.
HTC to invest in Beats Electronics
HTC has announced that they are investing heavily in Beats Electronics.
The company plans to use their technologies in their own products in the future.
HTC spoke about this USD 300 million investment: “With the magic of mobile devices, it is easier than ever to discover and buy new music. However, without great sound experience it is a shame.”
This is a pretty solid development especially for HTC smartphone fans as they can look forward to some excellent smartphones in the future with awesome sound quality.
The company said that their deal with Beats is exclusive for smartphones.
Mike Arrington could announce CrunchFund to invest in startups
Mike Arrington is reportedly nearing the launch of his own investment unit to be named CrunchFund.
This would enable him to actively invest in startups.
Arrington is known for his TechCrunch blog which is usually the first place you would hear about new startups and other tech related breaking news.
AOL currently owns the TechCrunch network of blogs.
He has been investing in companies on an individual basis. This new venture might have the involvement of AOL.
Remains to be seen. We are likely to hear a lot more about it. One thing is for sure, the startups getting investments from CrunchFund are likely to get great PR from the TechCrunch network!
Foursquare raises $50 million in funding
Foursquare has made an announcement that they have just raised $50 million in funding.
TechCrunch claims that this has been one of the most secretive raising of funds in the recent times.
Foursquare spoke about the new developments in a blog post:
The additional capital will allow us to move more quickly; we can hire more engineers (we’re hiring in New York and San Francisco!), evolve our merchant offerings, expand internationally, and try a ton of new things.
The company added:
Foursquare is not just about the check-in, or recommendations, or points, or badges. It’s about making the world easier to use. It’s about discovering new places, connecting with friends, and forging new relationships with the places you visit. It’s finding new ways to layer technology on the real world.
Square gets an investment from rivals VISA!
Square is turning into a pretty hot property in the market.
VISA has just announced that they have invested in this company which is increasingly becoming a rival of their own payment platforms.
The company however claims that Square is not a rival: “On the contrary, we believe that Square helps to drive acceptance of payment cards in a segment that has been historically underserved.”
Square is aimed at individuals and small businesses who want to accept payments through credit cards without taking the headache of dealing with a payment processor. Square makes it ultra-easy for them by providing a mini gadget that attaches to an iPhone or an iPad.
NTT DoCoMo to further invest in Tata DoCoMo
NTT DoCoMo has announced that they are going to further invest in their telecom collaboration with Tata in the Indian market.
The Japanese telecom giant would invest around $179 million in their venture that offers GSM and 3G services through Tata DoCoMo in India.
Tata is expected to use these funds to expand their network availability in the domestic market and further improve the quality of services.
3G has just recently arrived in India and the competition is already heating up.
Goldman Sachs might have invested heavily in Facebook
Industry sources report that Goldman Sachs has made an investment in Facebook which values the service at around USD 50 billion.
In total, Facebook has raised around USD 500 million through Goldman Sachs and Digital Sky Technologies based in Russia .
Experts believe that these fresh investments are likely to put more pressure on Facebook to launch an IPO which it has resisted till now.
Launching an IPO would enable Facebook employees to cash out on the stock they gained on joining the company.
This is something that has caused enough problems at Google with valuable human resource leaving the company for greener pastures.
Twitter gets fresh investments from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Twitter has revealed that they have gone through a fresh round of investments.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and their existing investors have contributed.
Industry sources say that the latest round gave them access to around USD 200 million worth of funds. It values the company at around USD 3.7 billion.
Twitter did not reveal any financial figures. But did say:
As part of a significant new round of funding with investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and existing investors, we’ve added two new members to Twitter’s board of directors. Please join us in welcoming Mike McCue and David Rosenblatt. The experience these new directors bring to Twitter, along with this renewed investment, will help us continue to grow as a company and business.
Amazon.com invests in LivingSocial
LivingSocial has received a solid investment from the US based online shopping giant Amazon.
This news is pretty significant because of the strong rumors in the market that Google is acquiring Groupon.
Both Groupon and LivingSocial cater to the same segment of the market. Group purchasing at a discounted pricing.
The acquisition of Group could cost Google as much as USD 5 billion if we are to believe market reports.
Amazon has invested around $175 million in LivingSocial. Seems like a good investment.
Twitter: We have enough cash in the bank
Twitter has stated that they have enough cash in the bank and they are not necessarily looking for fresh investments.
This statement comes after industry reports that they are going for another round of funding.
DST is one of the investors that are pretty interested in investing in Twitter. They already have invested heavily in Zynga, Facebook and Groupon. All of these companies are huge in social space.
Twitter also said that they are in ongoing talks with Facebook to enable contact sharing between the two services.
Twitter along with Google is a service that is specifically blocked by Facebook from importing contacts.