Blurtt launches in the app store

I first met Jeanette Cajide early in 2011. She was a founder at Blurtt – a company that was then focused on delivering a web based photo-upload service, permitting users to send printed postcards of said photos to friends via mail.

A few things were quickly obvious.

 

1. Blurtt is a great name, but not for sending postcards.

2. Mobile is the right place to develop what Blurtt could be.

3. Blurtt should let people Blurtt things out…..

4. Combining images with text produces a very powerful means of communicating emotion-rich messages.

5. Jeanette is a force of nature and simply refuses to fail.

 

So, Blurtt became archimedes labs second acceleration company, after Tomer Kagan’s Quixey. The 12 months since have been great. Jeanette weathered many storms, and succeeded in building a set of relationships that allowed her to ship her product today, with significantly less than $100,000 spent. You can get it from the app store now.

I couldn’t be more thrilled for Jeanette, Laura, Kuba and the team at Dialexa in Texas…..Congrats

I know that the team is planning lots of new features. Can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.

 

 

 

Quixey Raises $3.8m from USVP and WI Harper

From TechCrunch:

Quixey, the Palo Alto-based startup that’s building a functional search engine for apps, today announced that it has closed a $3.8 million series A funding round. The investment was led by U.S. Venture Partners and WI Harper Group, with participation from Webb Investment Network alongside follow-on investment by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors. The series A round adds to the $400K Quixey raised in April from Innovation Endeavors, bringing total investment to $4.2 million.

We’ve all heard (and perhaps even mocked) the quip “there’s an app for that”. It’s actually a wonderful quality of the mobile revolution: There really is an app for just about everything you can think of, from calling a taxi to managing your schedule to scanning for skin cancer or heart murmors. But, it’s also overwhelming, and searching for the app that you want isn’t easy. There’s a lot of noise, and a lot of imperfect approaches to app search.

Quixey entered the game with the intention to build a new type of search, molded specifically to the unique characteristics of searching for those ubiquitous but sometimes elusive apps. Their solution, coined “functional search”, which not only scans the major app stores, but crawls blogs, review sites, forums, and social media sites to build a truly comprehensive picture of what an app can do — through reviews, word of mouth, and demos.

Quixey’s search engine lets the user type in queries like “baseball scores”, and get a list of applications that provide just that (which they can then can filter by platform). And the best part is that the search engine suppors Windows and Mac apps, iGoogle, extensions, and more. It’s not just iOS and Android.

Though Quixey would seem to be competing with the likes of Chomp and others, the startup also has the added value proposition of being able to power search for other app stores, search engines, and websites — just like Google — to help disseminate its search engine on third party sites across the Web.

Not so surprising, then, that Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors is investing in a great app search tool. Bringing in outside info and data from blogs, review sites, and beyond, really adds an extra layer of depth to app search (especially in being platform agnostic), just as powering search across websites gives Quixey the opportunity to scale and become mixed in with the very sites it crawls. The startup will be using its new investment to continue securing partnerships with app stores and other big third party app resources, and according to the Quixey team, there are more than 25 potential partnerships in the pipeline. The more partners, the more effective the search engine becomes.

It’s an interesting new approach, this “functional search”, and from my experience thus far, works as advertised. Chime in to let us know what you think. More on Quixey here.

just.me closes $550k in seed funding

We are happy to announce that just.me, Archimedes Labs first incubated company, has graduated to independent status. Keith Teare will become CEO of just.me. The investor list is an all star cast – True Ventures, Google Ventures, SV Angel; Betaworks; Crunchfund; Don Dodge; Patrick Gannon; Michael Parekh; Steve McArthur and The Four Horsemen LLC.

 

As TechCrunch said

just.me…..is focused on the post-PC social network.

just.me will launch in 2012

Quixey closes seed round – led by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors.

Quixey announced today that we have joined Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors in seed-funding the company.

Quixey enables searches for apps capable of delivering a specific use case. For example a search for an app that can “Annotate PDFs” returns results as below:

Quixey search result

We are honored to be part of the team and look forward to Quixey fulfilling its potential to be the key search technology driving app discovery across many platforms.

Sign up for the beta here
TechCrunch story here
GigaOm story here.

This is our first investment since the sale of TechCrunch. See the Team page for more.

edgeio launches at PC Forum

Although there has been significant discussion on the web about edgeio for several weeks, the company had not formally launched until today. edgeio has formally launched the company at PC Forum in Carlsbad. There is a post on the edgeio blog with a 2 minute video clip of the infomercial that preceeded the formal presentations.The company announced $1.5m in angel funding, led by Ron Conway and including investments from:

Dan Burstein of Millenium Technology Ventures
Frank Caufield Jr. of Darwin Ventures
Jeff Clavier of Softtech VC
Ron Conway
Auren Hoffman
Localglobe II
Louis Monier
Sam Perry
RSS Investors
Michael Tanne
Transcosmos Inc.

… and others not disclosed.

This is the first Archimedes company to secure funding. I (Keith Teare) will be serving as CEO of edgeio and will be discontinuing active work with Archimedes for the time being. I’m thrilled by the challenge of taking edgeio from an idea I had in late 2004, through to a funded company and a launched platform. Many thanks to all those who have helped, but especially to:

Mike Arrington
Matt Kaufman
Vidar Hokstad
Fred Olivera
The VeriSign “real time web” team
Jeremy Zawodny
Jim Piktow
Dave Winer, Dave Sifry, Scott Rafer, Bob Wyman, Salim Ismail, David Hornik, Louis Monier (all of whom saw the early prototype almost a year ago). And the investors who have shown confidence in me and the team.

EasyNet bought by BSkyB

I have been meaning to post on this for a while and didn’t do so because I wanted to wait for the dust to settle. This seems like a good time.

My old company Easynet has been acquired by BSkyB for something around $375m. I was co-founder of the company, in 1994, with my friend David Rowe. David remains CEO. I left about 12 months after our IPO, in 1997, to start RealNames.

Firstly, congratulations to David and his team. But especially to David. He is an incredibly focused entreprenuer who, despite the market cap getting up to $2 billion or so during 1999 remained dedicated to building out a genuine competitor to the Telco incumbents across many markets in Europe.

BSkyB’s acquisition is testimony to that focus. They need an infrastructure capable of driving a triple play (voice, video and data) connection to homes and businesses throughout Europe. because of EasyNet’s DSLAM presence in many telco head ends, there was really no better optioon.

I can claim no credit for the sale, it’s all down to what David and the team have accomplished over the years since I left. And i get no benefit from it – I sold my shares a long time ago. However I’m still feeling proud. I helped David found a great company. we established it as the first consumer ISP in Europe. Highlights for me include being chosen by Microsoft to launch Windows 95 with them; getting our first customer, 6 weeks after having the idea, and banking our first $10 check; meeting lots of great entrepreneurs in CYBERIA (our cybercafe chain at the time); going public without raising venture capital; my time with David and Eva (his partner) debating strategy and tactics; being on a public company board, and realizing it wasn’t what I excelled at. And so many others.

Again, congratulations to all at the company. And good luck with a future with the Murdochs. Bound to be more interesting times ahead.

Mike Arrington launches CrunchNotes

Mike Arrington, editor of TechCrunch and a partner in Archimedes Ventures, has launched a second blog – CrunchNotes.
In Mikes words:

So, why am I starting CrunchNotes? The main reason is that I find that sometimes, I want to talk about more than just new companies and products. Sometimes I have something to say about what’s going on in the blogosphere or the world. Sometimes I want to link to something interesting another blogger has written, but which has nothing to do with new companies. I found that doing that on TechCrunch tends to dilute the core value of that blog.

And so I am starting CrunchNotes, a companion blog to TechCrunch. It’s a place that I can write about things that interest me but that doesn’t belong on TechCrunch.

Mike gave myself and Dave Winer a lot of kudos for helping him start in the world of Web 2.0. Thanks Mike. But I gotta say, you can drag a horse to water but you can’t make it drink. You did all the drinking yourself :-). I’m sure CrunchNotes is going to be a great place to hang out.

Weblogs.com sold to VeriSign

Weblogscom

It was confirmed today that Dave Winer’s weblogs.com has sold its assets to VeriSign. The price has not been officially disclosed but the blogosphere has very efficiently decided the range ($2-5m). Dave has posted his story and his response to the reactions.

Michael Graves – a great guy and heading up the technology side of VeriSign’s Real Time Web team – has posted a significant and detailed overview of the what?, why? and where now? of the deal.

Several commentators, including Dave (thanks Dave) have revealed that Mike Arrington and myself were involved in helping make the deal happen. Mike has a post up on TechCrunch. I have received quite a few requests to clarify and to save time I’ll say a little here.

Firstly, we can claim no credit for the deal. VeriSign bought weblogs.com for two reasons that have nothing to do with us. First, because when Dave designed RSS he built in notification as a key feature. Ping servers are the means of realizing this and weblogs.com is Dave’s implementation. It has always been and remains a key piece of infrastructure for anybody who wants to know what is new in the world of RSS and ATOM. Almost all blogs ping weblogs.com when they have a new post of an update. This is Dave’s work and vision and is a valuable component of any attempt to help organize the real time web. Secondly, because VeriSign have realized that the real time web (a key part of Web 2.0) is here to stay and is literally changing the architecture of information, and will inevitably change the kinds of services and applications we need in the future. That is the result of the efforts of Dave because many of us are building on top of what he created, and of many others.

So our role was quite small really. I worked as a consultant at VeriSign during much of 2004 and early 2005 on a project to understand the real time web and it’s implications for infrastructure. Many of the ideas were new to VeriSign but they were very fast learners and in Michael Graves, and the rest of the team (Ben Turner and Joh Kilberg) they have a knowledgeable and thoughtful technologist and team who get it. By the time the project finished earlier this year I made an introduction between Dave and the VeriSign team. It seemed to me an obvious fit given the vision that was in place. Mike worked with Dave to help craft a deal. Dave, with help from his advisors, and VeriSign did the rest.

We are pleased to have helped, and on a personal note I am excited that the project I played a role in is turning into reality under the leadership of Michael Graves and Mark McLaughlin, Michael’s boss. I think all of us who are building applications that rely on the ping infrastructure are going to be very happy to see VeriSign join the blogosphere as a relied upon partner. Congratulations Dave. I couldn’t be more pleased for you.
Www Vrsn Logo

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Archimedes launches to focus on Web 2.0 opportunities

Archimedes LLC is a partnership specializing in the development of companies focused on Web 2.0 technologies and solutions. We are looking to develop companies that take advantage of the way Web 2.0 has changed the architecture of the Internet from a passive publish and read web into a two way web. These companies will generally have answers to questions like "How does Web 2.0 change the way _______ will be done?" See the "Our focus" section for more information. TechCrunch is our Web 2.0 blog for tracking developments in the space.

What we do?

Archimedes Ventures incubates companies from the ideas stage, to development of prototypes and through to launch of working services. It typically takes a company to its ‘A’ round phase, or – if it is appropriate – it’s sale.

At the ‘A’ round stage, along with other investors, Archimedes Capital takes the lead in the next phase in the life of the company.

We develop most of our ideas in house, however we do consider partnering with entrepreneurs who have very early stage ideas. We work with these entrepreneurs as partners in exchange for equity in the company.

We also consult to early stage companies on product strategies, go to market strategies, business development, mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance issues.