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Venture capitalists still 'like' the consumer internet, but when it comes to where they're putting their money, consumer internet startups are competing harder for funding dollars.
According to Dow Jones VentureSource, the amount invested in consumer internet companies declined 42% in the first three quarters of 2012. Part of the reason: venture firms have been forced to take stock of their investments as consumer internet darlings like Facebook, Groupon and Zynga have been battered by the public markets.
Foursquare has been on the list of candidates for the 'next big thing' for some time, but the location-based service's future seems uncertain.
Last week, reports surfaced that the company, which has already raised upwards of $70m in funding, was looking for investors to provide an additional $50m to $100m of capital at a valuation of $700m-plus. According to TechCrunch, investors aren't exactly rushing to check in to a deal.
Facebook has facilitated billions of 'likes', but getting Wall Street to like the business of running the world's largest social network has been difficult.
The company's disastrous IPO sent investors fleeing and Facebook's stock is still well off its debut price.
But with a laser-like focus on monetization, Mark Zuckerberg and company gave Wall Street reason to rethink Facebook's prospects after delivering better-than-expected third quarter results yesterday.
There's arguably never been a better time to be a developer.
Looking for a full-time job? If you have the chops, they are plentiful, and if you're in a hot market, salaries are high. Not interested in the nine-to-five routine? Freelance opportunities abound and investors are still pouring big bucks into startups, with many focusing on backing entrepreneurial engineers who can turn their ideas into code.
But if all success on the web and mobile internet required was a few hundred thousand lines of awesome Ruby code, a few NoSQL databases here and there and a clever Amazon AWS-based architecture, there would be a lot more Facebooks out there.
What's missing for many companies? One word: design.
In New York, two thoroughfares generate huge sums of money each year: Wall Street and Madison Avenue.
For obvious reasons, there's a long-standing relationship between the two, but that relationship could blossom even more under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act), which was signed into law earlier this year.
Investors are pouring big bucks into startups, and when it comes to their mobile investments, photos and videos are where it's at. And for an obvious reason: following Facebook's still-pending purchase of Instagram for $1bn, investors are hoping they can fund the next big acquisition target.
But predicting who will be acquired, and by whom, can be a tricky exercise. Case in point: today, Autodesk announced that it is acquiring mobile video startup Socialcam for $60m.
The global economy may be facing strong headwinds, but in the second quarter of 2012, technology entrepreneurs in the United States probably didn't notice.
According to CB Insights, Q2 2012 was the biggest quarter for VC investment in the U.S. in more than a decade, and a record-breaking one too.
Social news site Digg was once one of the most popular services on the internet. An early social media darling, Digg and its founder, Kevin Rose, were the subject of numerous high-profile articles, including an embarrassing (and not-entirely-accurate) BusinessWeek cover piece with the headline How This Kid Made $60 Million In 18 Months.
It wasn't just the media lavishing attention on Digg: investors poured big money -- some $45m in total -- into the company.
But what goes up often comes down and as it turned out for Digg, the company's future was not going to be nearly as bright as its early years. Yesterday, the company's assets, including the code for the Digg site itself and its domain, were sold to New York-based development firm Betaworks for a reported $500,000.
If you visit Silicon Valley or New York today, evidence of the latest internet boom is evident wherever you go. The venture capital is flowing and startups are partying like it's 1999.
Is a bust right around the corner? Only time will tell, but for more than a few startups, all of the investor money is a distraction best avoided.
Everybody loves a successful startup, but even the most successful startups generally overcome plenty of mistakes before they become successful. Unfortunately, for many young companies that don't win in the marketplace, failure is the product of fatal mistakes.
Like most things in life, mistakes aren't created equal, and when it comes to the mistakes that can really hurt a young startup, technology mistakes can be particularly pernicious.
Here are several of the biggest technology mistakes startups make and how they can be avoided.
AOL's shares may be up significantly in the past several months, but the company's future is far from certain.
Under CEO Tim Armstrong's reign, the company has invested heavily in content. Last year, it purchased The Huffington Post for $315m and the year prior, it paid eight figures for popular tech blog TechCrunch. The company's tab for its homegrown Patch reportedly stands at more than $150m, with profitability nowhere in sight.
A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollars.
The words made famous by the movie that dramatized Facebook's beginnings may soon be passé in Silicon Valley, as investors clamouring to get in on funding rounds for the hottest tech startups seem increasingly willing to put their cash in at billion-dollar valuations.
Crazy? Perhaps, but Facebook's $1bn Instagram acquisition shows that big valuations don't exclude companies from the startup lottery, at least for the time being.
The latest entrant to the billion dollar club will be Pinterest, thanks to a $100m funding round led by Rakuten. The funding round puts a $1.5bn valuation on Pinterest.