Venture capital firms have thrown $30 million behind one of life's simplest pleasures: looking at funny pictures of cats and writing hilarious captions to go with them.
The Cheezburger Network, the company that owns the humor and feel-good site I Can Has Cheezburger?, just got a whopper influx of cash, which it says will be used to update existing sites and tools, expand its staff, and perhaps acquire new Web sites.
The investments are led by Foundry Group, Avalon Ventures, Madrona Venture Group, and SoftBank Capital. Brad Feld of Foundry, Greg Gottesman of Madrona, and Rich Levandov of Avalon will join the Cheezburger board.
The funding means "that we are going to be able to provide you with even more content and an even better user experience," Jen Nausin, marketing director for the Cheezburger Network, said in a blog post. "As it relates to specific features, this might sound crazy, but honestly, we're not sure what's coming yet. We're a company that's about testing ideas and understanding what our users want from us so keep your feedback coming!"
Andrew Mason, founder and CEO of Groupon, has issued an apology to customers in Japan by way of a YouTube video today. The apology is in relation to a New Years deal that ended up being a catastrophe. Food delivery business Bird Cafe has been featured on Groupon in the past, but the restaurant was overwhelmed by the volume of orders that came with the New Years osechi meal. Many meals were delivered late, while others were on time, but in "terrible condition." Groupon reimbursed all customers for the purchased and apologized in an email, but it's great to see Mason step up and personally apologize on video. Leaders of other companies might take notice--this is how you step up and own a mistake your company made.
Groupon is in the process of educating its merchants on "capacity planning" to avoid similar problems in the future.
Reddit, the social news site, reported that it's been experiencing tremendous growth in 2010. This last December, the site served 829 million pageviews, serving 44.1 trillion bytes from it's 119 servers, up around 230% since the beginning of the year. There's no doubt that Digg, which used to hold up the fort with 200 million pageviews back this summer, is partly responsible, since its failed revamp led to drops in its viewership and job cuts at the company. Reddit also announced that they will be doing votes for best of 2010, such as submission of the year and comment of the year.
Read More | Reddit
Are you Twitter obsessed? Ever fantasize about working for the microblogging giant? Mashable has put together a how-to guide on how to land a job at Twitter. They give insight on whatit's like to work at Twitter, what kind of jobs you can find, and other tips.
Read More | Yahoo!
Following a week of rumors about a Groupon buyout, it seems now that Google could be buying the small company for $2.5 billion, according to internal sources. While neither company will comment on rumors, VatorNews quotes an internal source that confirmed the news to them. This would be a big deal for the small company since it could then use Google's intensive data on maps, locations and userbase, which could allow them to expand past the current select list of cities that they cover. Also, the acquisition makes sense for Google as they've been trying to grow Google Places, and compete with the likes of Facebook.
Read More | VatorNews
Thingd was recently put in the spotlight by the New York Observer, ending a period of intentional un-discovery.
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