Here’s the latest action:
Ooyala, secretive ex-Google company, about to launch — The Mountain View, Calif. company, founded by ex-Google engineers and product managers, is secretive but says it delivers a high-quality, interactive, video experience, and is a couple of months away from launch. Sean Knapp, a co-founder, formerly led Google’s user interface team for web and image search. Bismarck Lepe, also from Google, and another of the three co-founders, told VentureBeat the company wants to stay quiet on details, but that it is a “new interaction and monetization platform for online and offline video,” and that it raised a large round of funding from the “typical folks in the valley and the not-so-typical guys in Hollywood” earlier this month. It has launched a closed testing version. It will open office in New York and Los Angeles.
Google buys online application security company, GreenBorder Technologies — The Mountain View, Calif. company, founded in 2001, boasts it’s the industry’s first desktop “DMZ” software for Windows, saying that it keeps internet invaders out and enterprise data in, allowing users to “safely connect anywhere, go to any website, open any Internet email or attachment, and use any downloaded files without worry.” (Via Googlified)
AMP’d CEO is still in charge, but company is indeed in turmoil — The mobile network provider is rumored to be desperate for more cash. But see latest from PE Week, which has talked with CEO, who contends he is still at the helm despite rumors that he is out. However, if it is true that the board has 20 people, no wonder the company is having trouble with direction. Here is our latest coverage of its whopper financing round.
Yahoo opening up — Until now, the portals have all tried to promote their own traffic on their home page. However, they’re experimenting with testing links to outside sites.
Ambient Sound Investments invests in Chinese virtual world, Frenzoo — Ambient, you’ll recall, is the firm run by former Skype co-founders. It has made an undisclosed investment in the Hong Kong 3D social networking company which has been likened to Second Life. There are other virtual world competitors in China, such as HiPihi, and Shanda’s coming version.
Odd story — VeriSign’s board announced the surprise resignation of Chief Executive Stratton Sclavos, saying the company “has reached a point in its evolution where it can benefit from new leadership.” (WSJ) No explanation?
Google losing the employee hiring game — There are increasing reports that start-ups are being able to hire employees that Google also sought to hire. This is because they offer the upside reward of a potential IPO. Google’s advantage is that it did most of its initial spurt of hiring during the downturn. The hires these days are specifically mentioning potential riches as one reason why they’re joining start-ups which, while understandable, may also point to motivation challenges for these start-ups down the line. See the NYT story, including a quote from Powerset employee, Nitay Joffe (pictured here), who was wooed by Google, but joined Powerset because it had the one thing Google didn’t offer: “When you get a stock option at 5 cents and it goes to $50 …,” Mr. Joffe said, before his voice trailed off.