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Earlier in the week we wrote about how UK blog network Shiny Media has sold half of its business to a new London-based VC fund, in exchange for $4.5m.
I talked to Shiny Media CEO Ashley Norris to find out more about the company’s progress and plans for the future.
Congratulations to Ashley Norris and Chris Price over at Shiny Media, who have sealed an investment of $4.5m from Dan Wagner’s newly-launched venture capital fund.
Wagner’s first move at Bright Station Ventures was to take 50% of the 22-strong UK-based blog network, which claims 3m readers each month. It is good news for Shiny and also a healthy development for the European blog sector.
Business social network LinkedIn has raised $12.8m (£6.5m) in a third round of funding, led by Bessemer and the European Founders Fund.
The move brings the total invested in LinkedIn to more than $26m (£13.2m), and valued the company at $250m (£127m).
Paul Fisher has an excellent round-up of European seed and first rounds of VC investment from 2006. He reveals that more then £144 million was raised by 54 European Web 2.0 companies last year.
In his post, Paul points out the rapid growth in investment levels - in 2005, just £24 million was invested into Web 2.0 companies. That figure rose to £79 million in 2006.
Talkr, a text-to-speech web service that lets readers listen to written blog posts, has put itself up for sale after failing to turn a profit in two years.
Founder Chris Brooks revealed that 2,173 bloggers had bought into the service but that only 1,179 of them had agreed to accept audio advertising in the posts that Talkr converts.
Backed by the New York Times, the company has gone from strength to strength, and now indexes ads from more than 5,000 jobs boards.
I caught up with CEO Paul Forster to find out more about the company's progress to date, and plans for the future...
John Woods is the CEO of Synature, a UK firm developing ‘attitudinal matching’ solutions for etailers and portals.
Like a cleverer version of Amazon-style book suggestions, its technology offers a social search tool for internet shoppers to find products that similarly-minded people recommend. Companies can also use it to segment their customer bases and target users with personalised content and advertising.
We spoke to John about a new partnership Synature has formed with MyTravel to provide holiday ideas to its customers, and to ask him a bit more about the technology.
Glam, an online fashion and lifestyle publisher, has announced that it has raised $18.5 million in venture funding, which it plans to use for mergers and acquisitions.
Glam Media, which claims to have had 8 million unique users in November, has also announced a deal with Hearst magazines to add content from Marie Claire to Glam’s sites.
Research by Ernst & Young has found that the volume of cash invested in venture capital globally has reached the highest levels for four years, which may prompt some folk to talk about dotcom bubbles once again.
Worldwide, VC investment is predicted to top $32 billion, which would make 2006 the highest year for VC investment since 2002, when the global figure was $51.22 billion. In the first three quarters of 2006, $25.39 billion in venture capital was invested.
Social shopping start-up Reevoo is in the process of securing Series-A funding to help it expand internationally and into new vertical sectors.
Congratulations to Jason Calacanis who is now entrepreneur-in-action for the mighty Sequoia Capital.
Calacanis looks all set to help Sequoia review, invest and develop new startups. He is also likely to be working on his own Next Big Thing over the coming months – watch this space.
The search marketing firm Bigmouthmedia has been acquired by Germany’s Global Media, in a move aimed at creating a real search superpower, capable of managing SEO and PPC campaigns on a global basis.
I caught up with Steve Leach, Bigmouth founder, to find out more…