Congratulations to Infopia for closing on an $8 million funding round from Hummer Winblad and Trident Capital. Infopia is an ecommerce platform that helps customers get their products onto sites such as eBay, Amazon, Google, Overstock, Shopzilla and others. Bjorn Espenes and his partners have made some very powerful breakthroughs in e-commerce automation. This funding round is great to see.
I just got this email from one of our Provo Labs employees:
Although it clearly needs some CSS work, http://planet.provolabs.com is now up and aggregating personal blogs from the following Provo Labs folks: * Amy Rhoads * Blake Snow * Brock Blake * Darla Seamons * Gary Thornock * Jeff Jordan * Jimmy Zimmerman * Judd Bagley * Kory Hoopes * Michael Eager * Mike Smullen * Paul Allen * Phil Burns * Trent Miskin * Tyler Jensen * Yvette Arts
Blake Snow, our resident blog expert, has analyzed the pros and cons of several different multi-user blog options. We are launching a blog network for each of our Provo Labs portfolio companies. We aren't necessarily trying to run a profitable stand-along blog network (although that has worked and will work for others) but we are trying to bake blogging into the DNA of all our companies. Anyway, here is Blake's assessment along with a link to his personal blog, Smoothharold.com.
A great article about internet acquisitions. Old media companies are putting up billions of dollars to buy high traffic web sites (MySpace, iVillage, etc.) so they can play in the new media space. This may be the best exit for internet companies for the foreseeable future. (Until sarbox regulations are lessened and the IPO market becomes practical once again.)
Justin Bergener (a Junto Benjamin winner and former student of mine) has launched VIPbloggers.com and is already selling promotional spots. This site could become a very popular blogging directory, so that $10 for six months would be a great deal. Hey, it's worth it just to see your own picture popup as your scroll over the pixels. Plus, Justin is a really nice guy. Please sign up and help him out.
Content Spending Reaches $2B, Q4 a Record $534MM
Downloadable music and video purchases helped propel U.S. consumer spending on content to $2 billion in 2005, a 15 percent increase from 2004, writes MediaPost, citing new research by the Online Publishers Association. In 4Q05, spending reached $534 million - a record, and 13 percent more than the $472 million in 3Q04.
So yesterday Verisign bought Kontiki, a managed peer-to-peer broadband video streaming company for $62 million. I believe it offers similar value (low cost video streaming) to MoveMedia (which is not based on peer-to-peer), a company founded by Drew Major of Novell fame. Kontiki was launched a few years ago by some Silicon Valley veterans. I think its location was probably key to this acquisition. Score: Silicon Valley 1, Utah 0
At Provo Labs, we believe in investing in employees. That means budgeting for technology they need (including blackberries), for subscriptions and online services that will make them productive, and for travel and conferences they need to attend.