Latest action:VC firm Sequoia Capital backs Will Ferrell and Adam McKay comedy video site — Called FunnyOrDie.com, the site features a two-minute clip that won a reported 1.5 million page views in less than a week.
StumbleUpon to be acquired? — Several folks (Techcrunch/GigaOm) are reporting that San Francisco social Web site StumbleUpon is in talks to being acquired by AOL, Google or eBay, for a rumored $40 million to $75 million. That’s not very high for a supposed “top 25″ Web 2.0 company, but a good return considering it raised only $1.5 million to $2 million in seed financing from Google board member Ram Shriram, and angels Ariel Poler, Mitch Kapor and Ron Conway.
StumbleUpon has been growing quickly, with 6 million U.S. page views per month, according to ComScore, double the previous month. StumbleUpon is a toolbar that tracks the pages you vote on as interesting, and then offers up sites (called a stumble) that match those interests (sites found by other people that have voted similar to the way you have).
It makes money by showing an ad every hundred or so stumbles. It recently started doing the same for videos. Unique visitors are 900,000, or about three times last year. Techcrunch says the suitor is eBay, which may make sense for that site, given that stumbles could be made on eBay items, and because eBay may be feeling a little lighter lately (profit is up 52 percent, and Skype is making more revenue). Past VentureBeat coverage here.
Yahoo going carbon neutral — Co-founder David Filo blogs on the company’s commitment to go carbon neutral this year. This is impressive, and the company should be commended. (Too bad, however, that it’s timed with Yahoo’s bad earnings results).
Essentially, that means we’re going to invest in greenhouse gas reduction projects around the world to neutralize Yahoo!’s impact on the environment. While doing our homework on this, we measured our carbon footprint and discovered that Yahoo! going carbon neutral is equivalent to shutting off the electricity in all San Francisco homes for a month. Or, pulling nearly 25,000 cars off the road for a year.
Google to release its Powerpoint competitor, and video filter — It is due this spring, according to Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who said it will be part of Google Docs and Spreadsheets. Somehow he manages to argue with a straight face that it doesn’t compete with Microsoft. (Good overview of Schmidt’s comments here). It has just bought Tonic Systems, a company based in SF and Melbourne (we mentioned Tonic last year) to help with a component of this. Moreover, Schmidt said Google will release software to keep copyrighted videos from being uploaded to YouTube, which will address Viacom’s suit because of copyright infringements. Schmidt said the release would be within a few weeks.
Venture capitalist Will Hearst invests in Fora.tv — Hearst, the former partner at Kleiner Perkins and former publisher of the SF Examiner, invests in Fora.tv, an online video aggregator for programming from serious sources like Hoover Institute and the Brookings Foundation. More at The:Alarmclock and WSJ. The site’s contacts details say it based in Culver City, Calif., while the WSJ says it is based in SF.
Oracle has acquired mobile application developer AppForge, of Atlanta — Details here.
Why do all the “top-ten” tips that VCs give always sound the same? — Because they are.
Eric Hahn new venture, Bing Technology, has folded — The former Netscape CTO’s peer-to-peer backup service has returned its remaining funds to investors, according to one of the former employees. (Via Valleywag)
Finally, see our latest NewsWire pieces — They include the following: Adify gets $19 million for vertical ad networks; Cordys raises $80M and sees controversial entrepreneur Jan Baan back in the mix; Yardbarker gets seed funding for sports news site from Kleiner Perkins partner.