Per Vices is a startup from the latest class that’s looking to disrupt how wireless communications are sent. They’ve built a device called Phi that can interact with any wireless or radio signal. It’s a transceiver that can demodulate and process signal data up to 4 Gigahertz.
In plain English, that means one of Per Vices’ devices can re-route your cell phone calls through your landline connection, if for example you have bad 3G service in your house. In theory, that means you could set up a decentralized wireless network where mobile devices and desktops are sending communications to each other instead of one where all mobile phones have to send and receive signals from carrier-operated cell phone towers. It’s a critical issue the industry needs to solve as data-hogging mobile subscribers eat into the profit margins of the carriers.
Y Combinator alum Crocodoc is debuting a new technology today that aims to bring an enterprise-grade HTML5 document embedding service for Microsoft Office and PDF files to web-based products.
Crocodoc launched in 2010 to kill off Acrobat. The startup’s initial Flash-based technology allowed you to upload a PDF, and receive a version of the same document in your browser, which you could then share with coworkers and annotate with notes, highlighting, text, and a pen tool, with changes that show up to other users in real-time. Last year, Crocodoc launched this technology in HTML5 for mobile embedding.
Recent Y Combinator graduate SendHub, which bills itself as SMS for organizations, is in the business of replacing the email blast with an SMS message and aims to solve a myriad of real-world consumer, business, and enterprise one-to-many communication challenges.
SendHub has just closed a $2 million seed round led by Kapor Capital, the company exclusively told VentureBeat. Howard Lindzon’s Social Leverage fund, 500 Startups, Bronze Investments, Menlo Ventures, and angels including Eric Ries, Paul Buchheit, and Jawed Karim all participated in the round.
At Y Combinator’s Demo Day, a short Ark pitch delivered in the midst of 64 other start-up presentations got the company commitments for $2 million in funding in a single day. And more than 250,000 people have signed up for Ark beta invites.
Less than a month after Demo Day, Ark now tells me that it has raised a $4.2 million seed round from investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, Greylock Partners, Intel Capital, SV Angel, Atlas Ventures, Crosslink Capital, Expansion Venture Capital, Felicis Ventures, Lightbank, Salesforce, Tencent, Transmedia Capital, and a bunch of individual angel investors.
The team that brought us Taskforce last year has returned with much more powerful project management software (think Basecamp killer) with deep integrations into all the tools we already use: Google Docs, Google Calendar, and Dropbox.
Eric Eldon writes more on Techcrunch in their launch:
Siasto might seem a little too familiar at first, as it uses the same concepts as you’ve seen in competing products like Basecamp. You create projects, you add tasks to them, you upload documents, you invite other users, and so on. What’s special is the how the Y Combinator-backed company has organized the interface, and how it’s busy tying in with Google.
Congrats to Eric and the InPulse team (YC W11) -- they've created something truly remarkable in the Pebble e-Paper watch.
So far, Migicovsky has raised more than $3.8 million (ed: now $4.1M), making the watch the highest-grossing project since Kickstarter was founded two years ago, a spokesman for the website said. The fundraising will go for another 31 days, and then Pebble gets to collect the money it has raised.
Kickstarter takes submissions from aspiring authors, hardware tinkerers, thespians and video-game developers with good ideas and video cameras to shoot their pitches. Some 1.75 million people have given more than $185 million to 20,000 projects on Kickstarter, a spokesman said.
Migicovsky said he’s more adept at pitching to consumers than to venture capitalists.
“With VCs, they worry about models and size of market and stuff like that,” he said. “With consumers, one of the things I love about the videos, we just showed how you’re going to use it.”
Specifically, he says that 24,000 people have created Everyme accounts. Because of the way Everyme is designed, that’s only a small part of its social footprint. The app lets you organize anyone in your address book into circles, and they can still participate in the conversation through email or text messaging, even if they don’t have an Everyme account. There are already 200,000 people in Everyme circles, which Cameron says is a measure of the app’s “total audience.”
It’s a Platform Cloud. But Not Really
That said, if you want to set up your own servers for security reasons or additional processing power, you can do so. Firebase will still handle the data, and your servers can tap into this central repository in much the same way clients do.
The service’s primary aim is to simplify application development. If you move all your code into the clients, Lee says, you can more easily scale to a large number of users. “All these cloud providers claim that if you go into the cloud, you can scale automatically, but that’s only true if you wrote your code to shard across multiple servers, which is extremely difficult to do. Most people just don’t do that,” Lee says. “But if you don’t have to do server-side at all, and you build your application to use this API, we can shard your data for you and scale your application automatically.”
There’s a few things that make Kaleidoscope a standout. For one, its high-quality feed of street-style images. Instead of depending on user-generated content for fashion inspiration, Kaleidoscope displays thumbnails of photographs pulled from lookbook.nu or produced on its own. Between 30 and 50 new images are posted each day. The startup is currently forming partnership with select bloggers to bring their content to Kaleidoscope’s feed as well.
Kaleidoscope also brings quality curation to another key part of its service: product recommendations. The app uses ShopStyle‘s API to locate products that match the clothes in each photograph, and internal staff — i.e., the startup’s interns — filter through the options to offer users the best fit.
We also like the app’s integration with third-party networks. It’s easy to share looks straight to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
Meetings.io is the latest step in the evolution of videoconferencing services, a classic example of enterprise-focused social networking, which have always held much potential but also frustrations. Starting out as services only for the biggest enterprises that could afford expensive equipment and software, eventually videoconferencing offerings trickled down to Internet-based, mass-market products for anyone (business or consumer) to use with a connected PC or mobile device equipped with a microphone and camera.
But even so, they came with a catch: with Skype, GoTo Meetings and WebEx, you need to download software, and pay fees (as you do with Skype to enable more than a one-to-one conversation); with Google, you need to join its social network to use Hangouts. “But you may not want to do that for someone who may be only a short-term contact,” says co-founder Arend Naylor (via a Meetings.io link).
And that’s before any and all technical glitches.
These are all barriers that Meetings.io is attacking with a very simple, peer-to-peer service aimed not at early adopters and those more technically-minded, but those who need to make a group call for work and without the painful process of setting that up. The aim: “Something lightweight that works without software,” says Naylor. The result: to initiate a call, a registered user simply sends out a link, or invites people to visit a meeting room.