The latest action:
Sequoia keeps it in the family –The Indian arm of high-powered venture capital firm Sequoia Capital recently led a $7m round for Minglebox, an Indian social network. Minglebox is led by Kavita Iyer, the wife of one of the partners of Sequoia India. That in itself wouldn’t be a big deal. But there’s a notable trend here, quite unlike at most other venture firms. There’s the continued side-by-side investment between Sequoia and hedge-fund Artis. Artis, of course, employs the son of a Sequoia partner. Such co-investing between a VC firm and a hedge-fund is highly unusual. And ValleyWag notes: Sequoia partner “Mark Kvamme followed his father-in-law into the Sequoia clubhouse. Moral of the story? Merely, that Menlo Park is just as incestuous as Bangalore…”
Timeless Cities, another virtual world company, gets funding — The secretive company calls itself a Silicon Valley 3D immersive world, and that it will be more focused than Second Life. No link. The LightSpeed Gemini Internet Lab has invested $1 million, according to Ouriel Ohayon.
Socializr’s offensive snowflake is just clipart — Remember how Evite, the online invitation service, complained about how Socializr had appeared to copy templates and styles, and threatened to sue? Turn out, the snowflake image that was part of the complaint is apparently just clipart. See this search, and you’ll find the snowflake is everywhere. We’re confirming with Evite…
Thinkfree launches competitor to Scribd — ThinkFree, a company that offers online applications, has launched Thinkfree Docs, which appears to be the latest effort to be a “YouTube for documents.” Scribd, of course, already stole that moniker. So Thinkfree is calling itself the “Flickr” of Thinkfree and Microsoft Office documents. You can publish both ThinkFree and MS Office docs online, share them and tag them.
Include a link to your latest blog post in your email signature — That’s what BlogSigs is letting you do. It’s a feature produced whimsically by two venture capitalists, David Feinleib, of Mohr Davidow Ventures, and Tom Cole, of Trinity. See image at left.
Photobucket undervalued — Mike Arrington has good analysis on the Photobucket acquisition, and how MySpace’s bullying of them during the negotiation process helped drive down the purchase price by MySpace. He’s not just speculating. We also heard from someone close to Photobucket that MySpace’s shutting of Photobucket links temporarily last month was specifically designed to send a message to other suitors that Photobucket was very dependent on MySpace’s goodwill — or at least, that’s how it was perceived from within Photobucket. Great way to kick off a relationship.
Digg founder Kevin Rose’s latest company — This will be no. 3. First was Digg, the news-ranking site. Then video company Revision3. Now an IM company (Via Gigaom).
Check out our latest VentureBeat Newswire stories — They include DFJ’s expansion into Brazil, Odeo‘s acquisition, the large funding of online mobile content company, Playphone, Intel’s latest investments and many more. (See it all here.)
Looks like StumbleUpon will go to eBay — They are in advanced merger talks, says the WSJ.
Snaptell, a way to find better prices on your cellphone — The Palo Alto, Calif. Snaptell has yet to launch, though has backing from New Enterprise Associates and JK&B Capital. From the looks of it, it is a direct competitor to Frucall, which just launched an impressive set of offerings. So Snaptell had better be good. NEA’s Krishna Kolluri is on the board. (Via Alarmclock).
Natalie Portman to do the latest Justin.TV? — The actress who played Queen Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars saga, is touring the valley’s venture firms, including Draper Fisher Jurvetson (Tim Draper picks her up, pictured left). She is reportedly proposing a continuous video feed of her work and personal life. (Via Valleywag)
Google Analytics gets better; and Google’s market share keeps growing — A new version gives you slicker visuals and easier insights into your traffic trends. Best part, it’s still free. Details here. Separately, see graphic at bottom for the latest stats on Google’s market share for search.