Hiring platform The Resumator has raised a $2.1 million Series B round led by Birchmere Ventures,Rincon Venture Partners and Salesforce.com. Innovation Works and ff Venture Capital also participated in this round. Rincon Venture Partners was also the lead investor in The Resumator’s $700,000 Series A round in 2011. The company, which was founded in 2009, also previously received seed funding through its participation in Pittburgh’s Alpha Labs accelerator and from Innovation Works.
ShopperTrak, a company analyzing foot traffic data for retailers, just announced that it has acquired surveillance analytics startup ReTel Technologies. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
In the press release announcing the deal, ShopperTrak Chief Marketing Officer Ed Marcheselli described ReTel as “an ideal complement” to the company’s existing services. The startup uses human auditing to analyze in-store video surveillance footage. Once its technology is integrated, it’s supposed to give ShopperTrak customers “rapid access to customer demographics, queue analysis, speed-of-service and sales process effectiveness.”
Today, Twitter gave us an update on how the company is doing on its “expanded tweet” program. Right now, the company says that there are over 2,000 unique ways to engage and interact with a tweet:
Amazon has revealed a bit of detail for how it views Google’s cloud efforts in a lawsuit filed against a former employee on grounds he violated a non-compete clause.
Amazon filed the lawsuit on behalf of Amazon Web Services, claiming Daniel Powers, its former vice president of sales, has violated a severance agreement by taking a new job at Google as a director of cloud platform sales. In June, AWS offered Powers the severance agreement in lieu of termination. In September, Google hired Powers as director of Cloud Platform Sales.
In September we broke the story about how the short-term accommodation-sharing site Airbnb was in the process of raising a significant third round of around $100 million. A Form D filed with the SEC today shows that it’s raised north of that: $117 million (or $117,051,696, to be exact). Airbnb says that this filing, although made only today, is part of last year’s Series B. The company has raised over $230 million to date.
Skype hit version 6 today, with a rare simultaneous release for both Windows and Mac. This brings a whole bunch of new features to the table, including single sign-on with both Facebook and Microsoft credentials, so that new users don’t even have to sign up for Skype itself, Retina display compatibility for Macs, and multi-window chats, so that you can have conversations going in multiple windows at the same time.
On the Mac side, Skype has been slowly building back up from a significant redesign that struck a lot of users the wrong way, adding a lot of clutter and unnecessary screen real estate occupancy to what was once a very simple app. It’s been getting a lot better, and this update really steps up the game for owners of Apple’s 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro, or those hoping to buy the new 13-inch version.
Two of Salesforce.com’s most high profile “social media” acquisitions are showing signs of trouble. At Radian6, Salesforce.com is reported to be laying off “less than 100 people.” And at Buddy Media, the company amended its 8-K, which shows $20 million in net losses for the first six months of the year.
Salesforce.com acquired Radian6 in 2010 for $326 million and Buddy Media earlier this year for $689 million. The acquisitions were meant to complement each other with the two integrating and operating under the same umbrella. The news of the layoffs and the losses raises questions about how the work is going in combining the companies and integrating them into the Salesforce.com ecosystem.
I’ve a feeling we’re not in Farmville anymore. Zyngaannounced today its first concrete move into “real money” gaming, in other words, gambling-oriented games that let people both win and lose actual cash with each other.
Zynga announced this afternoon it has inked an exclusive partnership with bwin.party, the Gibraltar-based online gambling company, to offer real money online poker and casino games in the United Kingdom, where such things are currently legal (they are not permitted in the United States.) Through the new partnership, Zynga’s UK arm and bwin.party will launch products including poker and 180 other casino games such as slots, roulette, and blackjack “in the first half of 2013.” Financial terms of the partnership have not been disclosed.
Zynga is giving another carrot to investors. The company is kicking off a $200 million share repurchasing program. It’s the first time Zynga has ever done this. The news comes on the heels of fresh cost-cutting with layoffs for 5 percent of the company’s workforce and potential closures for international offices in the U.K. and Japan. At the same time, the company just unveiled what could be a big new revenue stream in real-money gaming abroad. The company said it’s partnering with bwin, a real-money gaming operator, to bring real money casino and poker games to the U.K. The share buyback program was buried in Zynga’s third quarter earnings announcement today. At the current after-hours price of around $2.47, such a program would cover about 10 percent of the company’s outstanding 760 million shares. The company said it saw revenue of $317 million, which was slightly above the lower range of $300 million to $305 million the company said it would see earlier this month. Bookings came in at $256 million, up 11 percent year-over-year. The company saw a loss of 7 cents per share, and its non-GAAP earnings, which exclude one-off share based compensation costs, were 0 cents per share. On the casino news and the share buybacks, Zynga’s shares have climbed 16.5 percent in after-hours trading to $2.47. However, the thing to keep in mind is that share buybacks and layoffs may be short-term moves that only boost the stock price in the near future. Zynga needs to prove success in mobile and casino gaming, third-party game publishing and in diversifying off Facebook onto its own destination site to boost the share price in the long-term.
Ever since we heard the first rumors about Microsoft dropping the “Metro” moniker for its new touch interface and its app, there has been a lot of confusion about what the new interface should be called. Is it the new Windows UI? Windows 8-style UI? The modern UI? Are these Windows 8 apps or Windows Store app? Is it still Metro and all the rumors were false? Even just a day before the launch of Windows 8, most people still don’t know what to call it (and I just spent most of the day in briefings with Microsoft partners ahead of the launch). To clear things up, I asked Microsoft for its own official guidance today (because inside of Microsoft, people are using different names as well).