Samsung Buys SmartThings, Invests On Internet of Things

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Internet Marketing |

samsungSamsung announced on Thursday that it has acquired SmartThings, an open platform for smart home devices.

David Eun, head of Samsung’s Open Innovation Center (OIC), shared that they initially planned to offer partnership with SmartThings, but eventually decided that acquisition is the way to go. He added that the company wanted to invest in improving the Internet of Things and innovating convenient smart appliances.

Despite the acquisition, SmartThings will continue to operate independently, but will move its head office to another location.

CNet reports, “The company’s headquarters will move from Washington, D.C., to OIC’s base in Palo Alto, Calif., and more than half of SmartThing’s 54 employees, plus Hawkinson, will head to California.”

Since the launch of SmartThings in 2012, it has capitalized on smart home technology. With its open platform that supports 1,000 devices and 8,000 apps, it continues to work on Android and iOS operating systems. Its brand has tremendously grown since its conception and has established solid partnerships with companies, such as Belkin, Sons and Philips.

Samsung aims to be the “world’s biggest home appliances maker” by 2015. Eun acknowledges SmartThings’ contributions will be an added asset to Samsung’s continued development of Internet of Things software, services, and devices.

“The efforts we had before will absolutely continue at Samsung, but there are great opportunities to strengthen SmartThings,” he said.

Yahoo Buys Startup Zofari: Why the Company Aims to Boost Local Search Capabilities

Posted by on Aug 15, 2014 in Internet Marketing |

yahooYahoo has acquired the place recommendation app Zofari, in an attempt to strengthen its services around local search.

Local search business

Zofari, the so-called “Pandora for places,” helps users quickly find locations they want to visit.

They generate recommendations for local businesses, such as bars and cafes.

The recent acquisition, analysts believe, is Chief Executive Marissa Mayer’s decision to specifically improve the company’s mobile services.

‘Very excited’

Though financial terms of the agreement were not revealed, Zofari has released a statement, saying its four employees will be joining the Yahoo Search team.

These employees, the company said, include Nate Weinstein, Jason Kobilka, Shahzad Aziz and Oliver Su.

“After meeting some of the amazing folks on the Yahoo Search team and hearing about their vision, the decision for our team to join Yahoo was an easy one,” the statement says. “We can’t talk about what we’re working on yet but needless to say we are very, very excited.”

So far, Zofari’s apps will remain active, so users can still access it on the App Store, Google Play, or via mobile Web.

Are We There Yet? 3 Features Your Next Car Should Have for Pleasant Road Trips

Posted by on Aug 11, 2014 in Promotions |

You and your kids finally decided to buy a new car and have a road adventure this year. It’s definitely exciting for everyone, but keep in mind that it comes with challenges. Perhaps there’s nothing worse than destroying a family’s excitement because of a car breaking down in the middle of nowhere and back-seat fights.

new car

Your journey should make fun memories that you will cherish for years. Preparation starts at the car showroom. When you have kids, you need to choose a vehicle that will meet your family’s needs.

Flexible seating

After a few hours on the road, you may hear your kids cry and fight. Safety is important when deciding to buy a new car. If your child still uses a car seat, make sure that it’s compatible with the car you want. Knowing how well your car will protect your family should be on your must-have list. Kids need a proper car seat based on their weight and height.

In-car entertainment systems

Taking an 8-hour road trip with kids can be challenging. Children have short attention span, so you need to entertain them. It’s best to have back seat televisions or built-in game consoles to keep your kids quiet and happy. You never have to encounter bored kids again. With in-car entertainment systems, your children will no longer hate the experience of long drives. You can also bring books, cartoons, and movies to keep them occupied.

Wide cargo space

The vehicle’s space is probably on every family’s list. It’s like a luxury item that you don’t want to miss out. Driving with kids means you have to pack well and bring all the necessities. It is best to buy a car that has plenty of cargo space for snacks, clothes, and toys.

Always get the whole family involved when planning a road trip, so you will know what everyone wants, needs, and expects. With the right car and enough preparation, your family will enjoy the trip.

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.