Alt12 raises $1.26M for a parent social network

Software company Alt12 has raised $1.26 million in new funding from Aydin Senkut’s Felicis Ventures. The company has three apps; one health-focused, one for expecting parents, and a new social network for kids and parents called Kidfolio, which it launched Tuesday. Alt12 is based in San Francisco, Calif. The full press release is below.

Are we in a startup bubble?

Have you noticed how many online startups there are again recently? While it’s great for overall innovation, it can create a challenging ecosystem for budding entrepreneurs. I’ve spent more time than I care to remember, evaluating various businesses, looking at models, and seeking opportunities where I could compete. Invariably no matter what idea I find and no matter how niche or arcane it is, it’s likely there are already more than a handful of competitors already in the space.

E-commerce investments have popped sharply up in recent years (analysis)

The e-commerce industry has broadened in scope in recent years. Originally confined to transaction activity between large financial institutions, e-commerce then expanded in the 1970s and 1980s to include what was termed “EDI” (Electronic Data Interchange) between large companies who could afford the dedicated computing power and related IT department.

Clone king Marc Samwer out as Groupon’s international head following record high ad violations

Groupon’s business stateside has been embroiled in an accounting scandal that cut the stock price in half. But its international operations are responsible for two-thirds of the company’s revenue. Yesterday the company announced that Marc Samwer, who along with his brothers notoriously creates clones of successful American startups, was stepping down as head of their international operations, to be replaced by the Austrian Veit Dengler.

Connotate raises $7M to help companies monitor and collect big data in real time

You’ve heard it before so we’ll say it again, big data is the new black. New Jersey based Connotate helps companies like AP, Reuters and Dow Jones to scour and analyze unstructured data from thousands of web sites in real-time. Today the company announced a $7 million second round of funding led by Castille Ventures, Prism VentureWorks, and .406 Ventures.

H. Bloom raises $10M for flower bouquet delivery

Subscription-based flower delivery service H. Bloom has raised $10 million in funding, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filling. The company delivers “luxurious” bouquets for consumers and commercial customers. Each arrangement is delivered on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis. H. Bloom currently serves parts of New York, California, Washington DC, Virginia, New Jersey, Illinois, and Maryland.

AOL sells most of its patents to Microsoft for $1B, goosing its stock price 43%

Update 2 p.m. Pacific: AOL stock closed up 43 percent for the day. News hit the wires this morning that AOL plans to sell 800 of its 1,100 patents to Microsoft for $1 billion in cash, money CEO Tim Armstrong says will be used to repay AOL shareholders. This one-time transaction also grants Microsoft a non-exclusive license to to the 300 remaining patents, which cover key technologies such as advertising, search, content generation/management, social networking, mapping, multimedia/streaming, and security.