Forbes thinks talk of a new tech bubble is unwarranted, as, to support its thesis, points to a number of startups with sold business models. “A bubble implies a systemic problem and an existential danger, and when you view these high-growth startups as a long-term portfolio, that’s simply not the case,” it writes. “Taken as a whole, the 93 firms based in the U.S. … are worth $322 billion, 14% less than Microsoft and a bit more than Intel and Cisco combined.”
Google just acquired HTML5 Web-hosting platform Divshot. The plan is to shut the service down before the end of the year, and combine it with Google’s existing Firebase team. Firebase, which Google picked up last October, is a suite of products for developers. Financial terms of the deal were not revealed, but, as TechCrunch notes, Divshot had raised $1.18 million in funding.
Web-connected companies have never been less secure as countries around the world build out their arsenals of cyber weapons. As the Wall Street Journal reports, “A series of successful computer attacks carried out by the U.S. and others has kicked off a frantic and destabilizing digital arms race, with dozens of countries amassing stockpiles of malicious code.”
Secure cloud-based communications platform Symphony just raised $100 million in financing. Google contributed to the round, as TechCrunch notes. “The search giant was also joined by Lakestar, Natixis, Societe Generale, UBS and existing investor Merus Capital,” it reports. “The company actually went looking for $50 million, but the demand was so great, it ended up doubling its original request.”
What’s Dick Costolo been up to since stepping down as Twitter’s CEO, earlier this year? Well, at least part of his week is spent as a contributor to the writers’ room on the HBO show Silicon Valley, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. “Dick Costolo, a onetime stand-up comedian, says he's spending a couple of days a week working in the writers room for the third season of the tech-industry parody show.”
Putting Etsy on notice, Amazon just launched Handmade at Amazon a new online marketplace for handcrafted goods. “The marketplace lets artisans peddle their handmade wares — think walnut cuff links and felt pennants -- much as Etsy has done,” The New York Times writes.
Pandora has agreed to buy TicketMaster-like Ticketfly for $450 million. “It’s unclear at this point how deep the Ticketfly integration will go,” TechCrunch notes. “Ticketfly currently works with 1,200 venues and event promoters in North America.” In addition to live music, the service has tested sporting events.
The New York Times’ Farhad Manjoo delves into social media’s ability to drive TV viewership, and create a communal dual-screen viewing experience. “Largely because of social media, TV is becoming an interactive, communal experience,” he writes. “And in an unexpected throwback to the earliest days of television, the best stuff … is best experienced live, because that’s when everyone else is watching, too.”
Alphabet plans to use Nest Labs as a model for running its other startup operations, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources. Among other unique strategies, “After Google acquired the maker of connected-home devices for $3.2 billion in 2014, Nest kept its own recruiters and its own system for vetting job candidates, skirting Google’s famously deliberate hiring process.”
Adblock has been sold, the popular Chrome and Safari extension told users in a pop-up message, this week. To whom it didn’t say. “The company was previously privately owned by its founder, Michael Gundlach,” Business Insider notes. “The pop-up's main message is to reveal that Adblock is implementing the ‘Acceptable Ads’ policy that runs on Adblock Plus.”