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Here’s the latest action:
1) Gphone rumors return, this time implicating Dell
2) Profitable Current TV not so profitable after all
3) WSJ and Facebook cross the age boundary
4) Clearwire / Sprint WiMAX deal could return
5) Visible Path acquired by Hoover’s
6) BigSwerve acquired by Lijit
7) Crosslink Capital raises $400M crossover fund
8) Northern Lights raises $350M to invest in China
Gphone rumors return, this time implicating Dell — Despite persistent rumors last year that Google was building a competitor to the iPhone, dubbed by the media the “Gphone”, nothing of the sort appeared. Instead, Google only released its mobile platform, Android. That was last year, though, and the rumormongers see a fresh new year ahead: MarketingWeek reports that Google is now working on a Gphone design with computer manufacturer Dell, which also makes PDAs.
Profitable Current TV not so profitable after all — For some time, Current Media, the cable network co-founded five years ago by Al Gore, has been telling media sources that it is profitable. The company’s recent IPO filing reveals that it just ain’t true, although a company spokesperson protested to NewTeeVee’s Liz Gannes that the company had been calculating on an EBITDA basis. See the NewTeeVee article for more details.
WSJ and Facebook cross the age boundary to partner on widget — The venerable Wall Street Journal will be adding a new feature to its site showing readers which stories are popular with their Facebook friends that day, powered by a company called Loomia. Not the most likely-sounding partnership, but Andy Beal has some possible explanations. The most likely: “The WSJ is just desperate to attract some hip under 30-year old readers.”
Clearwire / Sprint WiMAX partnership may be resuscitated — Since the much-touted Clearwire and Sprint project to build out a nationwide WiMAX partnership fell apart late last year, rumors have mostly suggested that the project would either be dropped entirely or sold. The two companies now report that they’re making progress in negotiations, so we may yet see WiMAX by the end of the decade.
Confirmed: Visible Path acquired by Hoover’s — Visible Path has been a sort of low-key competitor to LinkedIn, offering a corporate social networking experience centered around companies rather than individuals. We mentioned late last year that it might have been picked up by a large corporation, which turns out to be Hoover’s, a well-known resource for information about companies. Visible Path, based in Foster City, Calif., had raised a total of $22.4 million, but the acquisition price was not disclosed. Hoover’s also announced that it has launched Hoover’s Connect, another business social network.
Lijit Networks acquires BigSwerve, a comment indexer — Lijit, which provides blog owners with search and statistics tools with its Lijit Wijit, has acquired BigSwerve, a company that indexes blog comments (some 400 million to date). The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed, but First Round Capital, a BigSwerve investor, has become a shareholder in Lijit.
Crosslink Capital raises $400M for crossover fund — The $400 million fund is Crosslink Capital’s fifth so far. A crossover fund is different from most investment firms, because it invests in both private and public companies, sometimes supporting a pre-IPO company after it goes public too. Or sometimes it backs two similar companies, based on the knowledge it gathers, for example backing private company SoloPower, a thin-film solar cell maker, and also First Solar, a public company with somewhat different technology. The fund invests in alternative energy, semiconductors and Internet services.
Northern Lights raises $350M more for China investment — Northern Lights Venture Capital, based in Beijing and Menlo Park, has closed a new $350 million fund aimed at China, its second. The fund will be put toward consumer companies, technology, and media and telecommunications.