Palantir has acquired Propeller, a San Francisco-based mobile startup which allows users to create their own apps. One-year-old Propeller has raised $1.25 million in funding from a long list of big-name Valley investors, including Andreessen Horowirz, ffAngel, Menlo Ventures, Foundation Capital, Subtraction Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Max Levchin, Ashton Kutcher, Keith Rabois, Scott Banister, Jason Portnoy, Lee Linden, Rothenberg Ventures and Alfred Mandel. Propeller announced the sale on its website.
Wedding Startup Loverly Hires Peggy Fry As President, Joanne Wilson Joins The Board
Loverly, the online platform for planning your wedding, has today announced that Peggy Fry will be joining the team as Chief Operating Officer and President. Fry comes from Add This, an advertising business focused on building a brand through viral online sharing, where she was president. Before her time there, Fry was Vice President at Netflix from 2005 to 2007, and a Vice President at Aol from 1997 to 2002, according to LinkedIn. Alongside Fry’s appointment, current Loverly investor Joanne Wilson will be joining the company’s Board of Directors. Loverly is a platform that gives brides complete control over their planning experience, offering options for every bridal category under the sun, with many products available for purchase. The site lets users search by vendor, color, or theme, and then bundle items to share and discuss with their friends.
Zillow to Acquire Trulia for $3.5 Billion
For much of the last nine years, Zillow and Trulia have competed in the online real estate listings market they helped create. But after a speedy six-week courtship, the two are set to combine forces. Zillow agreed on Monday to buy Trulia for about $3.5 billion in stock, creating a giant repository for online listings for real estate and home values. Under the terms of the deal, Zillow will pay 0.444 of one of its shares for each share in Trulia. Based on Friday’s closing prices, the takeover bid is worth $70.53 a Trulia share, a premium of roughly 25 percent.
Inspiration That Comes From Anywhere
"My ideas come in lots of different scenarios," says Ruzwana Bashir, founder and CEO of travel company Peek. Her still-young startup is based in the idea that great travel involves finding offbeat paths--a philosophy she uses in daily inspiration, as well. Bashir, a self-proclaimed workaholic, doesn't need to slow down to get inspired. Whether on a plane or in a meeting, sometimes ideas just click. "I think a lot of my inspiration might come from utilizing something I see someone else doing in an entirely different space, and seeing how it might apply to Peek and what we're doing," she says.
Ditch Your Checkbook: Plastiq Nabs $10M So That You Can Pay for Anything with a Credit Card
Payments startup Plastiq closed new $10 million round of funding today to enable people to pay with their credit cards anywhere. The startup’s service essentially replaces things that require paper checks, wire transfers, money orders, or ACH (Automated Clearing House) payments with credit cards. For a small fee (between 1.89 percent and 2.89 percent of the transaction in Canada), people can use their card instead. Some banks, such as Bank of America, already offer services that mail paper checks to landlords and other merchants, but Plastiq is taking a more universal approach.
Amazon Employees Are 14.2% More Attractive Than You
Amazon.com Inc.AMZN +2.16% may lag Google Inc. in the smartphone market, but it is winning in at least one other category: employee attractiveness. The number crunchers at Hinge, a social-networking app that matches young professionals, have found that workers at the online retailer are more sought-after than their peers at Google. Users swiped right on the profiles of Amazon employees, indicating they’d like to connect, about 14% more often than on the average Hinge profile, according to the data. Googlers’ profiles were right-swiped about 7% above average.
Loverly Gets Editorial With Launch Of New Content Hub
Loverly, the one-stop online shop for brides planning a wedding, has made an investment in its editorial content with the launch of a brand new content hub on the website and mobile app. For the past six months or so, Loverly has been testing editorial content on the website with great success — the company says that 20 percent of the site’s traffic comes from editorial content. For those of you who don’t already know, Loverly is a platform that brings together wedding vendors, photographers, brides, and anyone else interested in weddings to let users create Pinterest-style inspiration boards for their own big day. The platform is tied into 400,000 products from over 3,000 brands, making it one of the best places to start and finish the wedding planning process.
5 Secrets to Building an Unstoppable Product
1. MAKE SURE TEAM MEMBERS WITH DIFFERENT SKILLS HAVE THE SAME MISSION. Everyone--developers, product managers, designers, growth hackers, customer support staff--should understand how their work and actions directly influence the product. Early interactions--think job interviews--are key for implementing a product-first mentality. When team members recognize they share the same goal, productivity increases. 2. EMPOWER EVERYONE ON THE TEAM. It’s all about giving team members the chance to be heard without repercussions. Hold regularly scheduled discussions in an open and convenient setting; we typically have them around lunch where everyone in the office can participate and voice their opinions on features we are currently building--or should be building. When someone has prepared for the discussion and delivers a passionate case for taking the product in a certain direction, their ability to “own” a piece of the process has an exponential effect on the quality of the product.
Online Clothing Resale Store Twice Rolls Out Same-Day Pickup With Twice Local
Online fashion marketplace Twice, which buys gently worn, quality women’s clothing from consumers then resells it via its own website, mobile and tablet applications, is today expanding into the offline world with the launch of a new service called Twice Local. Following a similar trend among “push button services” that allow you to call up everything from black cars to errand runners on demand, Twice Local sends someone to your home or workplace to pick up any garments you want to sell.
The New Fast Food
I was trying to understand why food startups are so hot when I ran across the following two charts. In the image, you’ll notice that I circled a line labeled “P/E.” In the language of finance, P/E is short for “price-to-earnings ratio,” which is the relative value of a company’s stock price to its profitability (aka earnings). When a company enjoys a high stock price yet barely turns a profit––like Amazon––it shows in the P/E ratio. This typically happens when investors think the company will grow and reap huge profits down the road at some later date (or that someone else will pay an even higher price later on). Generally speaking, having a high P/E ratio means that investors like you and believe that you have a bright future.
Bonobos Gets $55 Million Investment to Open More Clothing Stores for Dudes
Bonobos, the online men’s clothing shop, has raised a new $55 million investment from Coppel Capital, Mousse Partners, Nordstrom and others, CEO Andy Dunn confirmed to Re/code. As The New York Times first reported, Bonobos will use a large chunk of the funds to increase its number of stores (what Bonobos calls Guideshops) from the current 10 to around 40 within two years. Bonobos shoppers visit the stores to try on different pants, shirts and suits, but have them delivered a few days later rather than carrying them out that very day.
Hinge, a Transparent Dating App, Raises $4.5 Million
Hinge, a transparent, totally not anonymous dating app (you use your full name, and it pulls photos from Facebook), just received $4.5 million in venture funding from Founders Fund, Lowercase Capital and others. The service, similar to Tinder, uses a hot-or-not model of favoriting or tossing out matches. This investment and rise of Hinge is the latest in an interesting trend — the embarrassment involved with online dating has faded almost entirely. People aren’t worried about their friends (and strangers) knowing that they’re single and using GPS-enabled apps to find a mate.