Thursday, November 02, 2006

Web 2.0 show must go on

INTERNET experts are feverishly speculating about which young startup will be the next YouTube, the Web video phenom that recently sold itself to Google for $1.65 billion.
Hundreds of young startups are currently vying for precious venture capital, especially from a shop such as Michael Moritz's legendary Sequoia Capital, in hopes that they will be able to sit in the exalted Silicon Valley Denny's booth where Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin bought out YouTube.

Because the venture-capital process is secretive, as are takeover negotiations, the handicapping going on is highly speculative, with seemingly outlandish valuations being placed on companies with little or no revenue.

Some of the valuations given in New York Post: - $1B

Gawker Media - $400M - $250M (was not for sale?!) (devalued in our view) - $250M (a bit overvalued in our view) - $100M (a bit overvalued in our view) - $100M (a lot overvalued in our view) - $50M (devalued in our view) - $25M (really devalued in our view)

More from those two sources:



MobiTV totals $125M in funding!

The last time mobile video startup MobiTV1 said they raised $70 million in a third round of funding, we used them as an example of the return of the big VC money2. Now the Emeryville-based company is announcing today that it has raised even more money as part of its Series C: $30 million with additional investors Hearst Corporation and Adobe Systems. The company says their total Series C funding comes to over $100 million bringing the company’s total to $125 million raised since the company started in 1999 — now that is a lot of money.


New online drive from Omnidrive

The online storage service Omnidrive is in private beta right now. This is an eagerly-awaited product, partly because the CEO of the company got a lot of cred by writing for TechCrunch until earlier this year. The public beta will launch during the Web 2.0 conference next week.

It's hard for online storage companies to differentiate. Omnidrive, though, has a feature that's missing from many of its competitors: it integrates into your Windows or Mac file explorer, and operates as a virtual hard drive. This means you can drag and drop files to your online drive just like it's a hard disk connected to your computer, or you can save files to it directly from your desktop apps (but not, alas, from your Web-based apps, although an API makes that theoretically possible). You don't need the virtual drive to use Omnidrive: you can also access all your files through the Web interface.

Full story...

Intellipedia - The Wikipedia of U.S. intelligence

The U.S. intelligence community on Tuesday unveiled its own secretive version of Wikipedia, saying the popular online encyclopedia format known for its openness is key to the future of American espionage.

The office of U.S. intelligence czar John Negroponte announced Intellipedia, which allows intelligence analysts and other officials to collaboratively add and edit content on the government's classified Intelink Web much like its more famous namesake on the World Wide Web.

A "top secret" Intellipedia system, currently available to the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community, has grown to more than 28,000 pages and 3,600 registered users since its introduction on April 17. Less restrictive versions exist for "secret" and "sensitive but unclassified" material.

The system is also available to the Transportation Security Administration and national laboratories.