Google Ventures Targets Europe, Plans To Fund Startups Worth $100M

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Internet Marketing | 0 comments

businessmanGoogle has announced its plans to create European venture capital arm, as the company seeks to benefit from the continent’s emerging startups.

New arm for Google Ventures

Google Ventures is launching a $100 million fund dedicated to “invest in the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs.”

“We believe Europe’s start-up scene has enormous potential,” said Bill Maris, overseeing the project, in a blog post to announce the new fund. “We’ve seen compelling new companies emerge from places like London, Paris, Berlin, the Nordic region and beyond – SoundCloud, Spotify, Supercell and many others.”

Home to largest companies

Though it’s yet unclear what type of investments the fund would make in the region, the new operation will be based near the so-called Silicon Roundabout.

The search engine giant believes Europe will soon become home to some of the world’s biggest tech firms.

A team will run the new fund. This will include entrepreneur Tom Hulme, angel investor Peter Read, Code.org UK head Avid Larizadeh.

Facebook Aims To Improve Video Ads By Acquiring Tech Startup LiveRail

Posted by on Jul 7, 2014 in Social Marketing | 0 comments

facebook-personalFacebook has announced that it has acquired video ad tech startup LiveRail, in an attempt to expand its video advertising business.

‘Effective for marketers’

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but some reports indicate that the social networking giant paid around $400 million and $500 million to buy LiveRail.

“More relevant ads will be more interesting and engaging to people watching online video, and more effective for marketers too,” Brian Boland, Facebook’s vice president of ads product marketing, said in a blog post. “Publishers will benefit as well, because more relevant ads will help them make the most out of every opportunity they have to show an ad.”

Video ad sector

LiveRail helps businesses place relevant ads in the videos that appear on their sites and apps. According to the company’s website, it produces more than seven billion videos every month.

The acquisition of LiveRail could help Facebook own a bigger market share of video advertising, the fast growing Internet ad medium.

Business In Secrecy: Tech Startup Wickr Moves To Wall Street

Posted by on Jul 1, 2014 in Internet Marketing |

Investors pumped $30 million into Nico Sell’s startup “Wickr,” a mobile app that uses encryption to shield messages from prying eyes.

Encrypted message app

Since Edward Snowden started leaking secrets last year, many messaging apps want to invest on consumer-privacy technology.

Wickr is a free app that offers encrypted and self-destructing messages in the finance industry, as Sell said she sees the market’s vast and untapped potential.

“Our goal as Wickr is to run all the financial transactions in the world,” she said in a statement.

Wickr’s new investors include CME Group., which operates the New York and Chicago mercantile exchanges.

Security tools

internet securityThe company said users could destroy messages they send by setting a timer, protecting it from hackers and government spying.

If a spy agency intercepted the travel of information from Wickr’s computer servers to another person’s device, it would be undreadable, Sell explained.

Experts at digital forensics firm Stroz Friedberg said Wickr is keeping to its promise of cyber security and using top quality encryption.

Social Television Push: Twitter Buys SnappyTV To Offer Live Video

Posted by on Jun 23, 2014 in Social Marketing |

tv remoteSocial media site Twitter announced that it has agreed to acquire SnappyTV, a start-up that offers service for clipping, editing, and sharing video clips in real time.

More investments in video

Twitter’s move is intended to make it easier for TV broadcasters and others to share videos of their shows and events on its microblogging service.

“As Twitter has grown as the companion to live events and broadcast media, SnappyTV will help partners and brands bring the best videos into the conversation,” Baljeet Singh, Twitter’s director of product management, said in a blog post.

Under the deal, SnappyTV’s video of key, highly shareable events will be embedabble directly in Tweets.

Boost advertising

The firms did not disclose terms of the deal.

Twitter said the acquisition would help it continue to invest in partnerships with broadcast and media partners.

The company entered the TV market last year with the launching of Vine, a tool for advertisers to enable them target users posting about television shows.

Free Charging: Starbucks To Roll Out Wireless Charging Stations Nationwide

Posted by on Jun 16, 2014 in Promotions |

savannah-starbucksStarbucks is collaborating with Duracell Powermat to offer wireless chargers on counters and tables in all U.S. branches.

Interest in Powermat technology

Soon, customers will be able to recharge their devices at the coffee shop chain without having to fight for an outlet.

The system allows phones and tablets to be charged by laying them on pads.

When a compatible device meets one charging point, the battery will start automatically recharging.

Only limited number of devices has the technology that works with the charging stations. Some customers may need to buy a special phone case to use powermats.

Adoption curve’

Wireless charging is a great idea and one as innovative as WiFi, which is something that Starbucks is quick to highlight.

“From WiFi and the in-store Starbucks Digital Network to mobile payment and digital music downloads, we have always tried to anticipate our customers’ needs early in the adoption curve,” said Adam Brotman, chief digital officer at Starbucks, in a statement.

Live-Action Series: Xbox One Console To Get Halo Remakes

Posted by on Jun 11, 2014 in Internet Marketing |

game-xboxAt a recent E3 press event in Los Angeles, Microsoft has revealed its plans to recode the main games in its Halo series to run on its Xbox One gaming console.

Future of the sci-fi franchise

“I think it’s a smart move,” according to David Scarborough of GamesTM magazine. “It shows a willingness to satiate the appetite of Xbox hardcore gamers, which is what Microsoft sees the Halo franchise as – it’s biggest hardcore gaming franchise.”

Industry experts believe the company’s latest move is a proof that it is listening to fans and gamers.

For now, the only way to watch Halo: Nightfall is to buy the collection.

Digital series

Apart from the original versions of the games, Halo: The Master Chief collection will also debut a new visually upgraded version of Halo 2.

Xbox One owners who already bought Halo series on earlier versions of the Xbox are now being given another reason to buy the games.

Amazon To Launch Prime Music Streaming Service

Posted by on Jun 3, 2014 in Social Marketing |

Image from James Duncan Davidson | Flickr

Image from James Duncan Davidson | Flickr

Amazon is reportedly working on its own music-streaming service, which will become part of the Prime subscription package.

Digital Music Growth

Amazon has decided to enter the world of digital music, joining rivals such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple.

Prime will limit the availability of new music to albums that are at least 6 months old and offer only a specific selection of songs.

All of the music will be available to stream on demand from any device, as part of its Prime service by June or July.

Amazon’s new service will be entirely unique, as it will be bundled into the Prime package.

Approach to Music

Even though Amazon already increased its Prime subscription fee by $20, many subscribers considered Amazon Prime as one of the Internet’s best bargains.

Music streaming online has increased dramatically since 2013, while music downloads are in decline by 13%.

Amazon’s move is not about selling devices. It’s about allowing more users with convenient, easy access to services that brings profits.