TVGuide.com Acquires Fav.Tv To Expand Mobile App Team

tvguide logoTVGuide.com has acquired social TV startup Fav.Tv in what executive vice president and general manager Christy Tanner says is a straightforward talent acquisition.

Plenty of startups are trying to reinvent the tv guide — including Fav.Tv, which was described, when it launched last fall, as not “your grandmother’s TV Guide.” But TVGuide.com (which operates the TV Guide digital properties while licensing the name to the print magazine publisher) has been trying to evolve too. It unveiled a new feature in August called Watchlist, which incorporates social elements, as well as on-demand/digital listings.

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TVGuide.com Acquires Fav.Tv To Expand Mobile App Team

tvguide logoTVGuide.com has acquired social TV startup Fav.Tv in what executive vice president and general manager Christy Tanner says is a straightforward talent acquisition.

Plenty of startups are trying to reinvent the tv guide — including Fav.Tv, which was described, when it launched last fall, as not “your grandmother’s TV Guide.” But TVGuide.com (which operates the TV Guide digital properties while licensing the name to the print magazine publisher) has been trying to evolve too. It unveiled a new feature in August called Watchlist, which incorporates social elements, as well as on-demand/digital listings.

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Backed By Lerer And SV Angel, Newsle Launches To Let You Track News About Your Friends

newsle-logo-highresIf you want to see what your friends or contacts are up to, you can check out Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram for a realtime feed. But what if you want to read news about your friends? That’s a little bit trickier, which is why Newsle was born. Axel Hansen and Jonah Varon created the site in early 2011 as a way to find out more about what their friends and people they met at school were up to during the summer, and beyond. At the time, Hansen and Varon were sophomores at Harvard, but they’ve since taken leave and have moved to San Francisco to focus on Newsle full-time. (Sounds like a familiar story, doesn’t it?)

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Looking To Dominate Social Gaming In Emerging Markets, Peak Games Gobbles Up Another Studio

Peak Games logoYou may not know this, but Turkey has a fever. And the only prescription is more games. That’s right. Sifting through some of Pando Networks’ recent numbers on international gaming, we found that Turkey owns an increasing share of the global downloads of free-to-play games. Over the last year, the number of gamers in Turkey downloading free games climbed to over 5 million, a 534 percent increase since 2010 — and more than 14 percent of the country’s total population.

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Lady Gaga-Backed Backplane Raises Over $4M From Sequoia & More; Acquires Sharing Platform Cortex

Screen shot 2012-02-16 at 10.18.42 AMYou may have heard the buzz by now about a young startup that’s being fueled by some pretty impressive star power, including the likes of the one and only Lady Gaga. The project, called Backplane, was co-founded by Lady Gaga’s manager, Troy Carter, and raised an early (then hush hush) seed round from an impressive set of investors, including Google Ventures, Founders Fund Angel, Menlo Ventures, SV Angel, i/o Ventures, and Tomorrow Ventures.

Today, the startup has added to its war chest, closing its series A financing, which adds further Silicon Valley venture clout to its investor pool, with the likes of Sequoia Capital, Greylock Discovery Fund, Battery Ventures, Formation 8, and Advanced Publications Inc. joining in on the fun.

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Tracx Secures $4.4 Million To Bring Big Data To Social Media Management

tracx-logoOn Tuesday, we covered the launch of Nimble 2.0, a simple, affordable social relationship manager designed to give SMBs the same mileage out of social that enterprise has been able to create with its CRM strategies. For most companies, managing customer relations on social media is difficult, time-consuming, and less-than-precise, and they outsource different parts of the social media management, marketing, and sales to disparate solutions.

Thus, B2B startups are increasingly looking to throw a wrench into the gears of legacy CRM models, providing SMBs with lightweight solutions that make it easier for them to interact with customers on social networks, track those conversations and manage relationships across platforms.

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Lab42 Taps Social Networks For Market Research, Raises (Almost) $1M

lab42Lab42, a startup that helps agencies and other businesses conduct market research, says it has raised “just under” $1 million in funding.

President Gauri Sharma pitches Lab42’s services (which involve targeted surveys conducted over social networks) as new way to conduct research. One big difference: It’s faster and cheaper than hiring most market research firms, while also being more reliable than just throwing a survey online. Advertising and marketing agencies make up the company’s primary customer base, and clients include Redbox, David & Goliath, Y&R, and Ogilvy.

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Pearltrees Raises $6.7M For Its “Collaborative Interest Graph”

pearltrees discoverPearltrees, a company offering a novel interface for sharing and finding content, has raised 5 million euros ($6.7 million US) in new funding.

The basic unit of the Pearltrees service is the pearl, which is basically a bookmark. Users can assemble these pearls into trees based around a topic. Meanwhile, Pearltrees is using that data to determine how different topics and bookmarks are related, and allows users to find new pearls (related to whatever topic they’re exploring) through its “related interests” button.

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Pops Raises $1.5M From Mangrove To Sexify Mobile Notifications

popsPops, maker of an application that adds another dimension to the mobile notifications people receive on their Android smartphones, has raised $1.5 million from Mangrove Capital Partners, who were early investors in companies like Skype, Rdio, OpenX, Kupivip.ru, Nimbuzz and Wix.

The Pops app basically enables mobile users to customize smartphone alerts, including new email, SMS, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and whatnot in a more creative way than you’re used to.

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