Microsoft biggest green company in valley? — There’s an Earth Day event at Microsoft’s Silcon Valley campus today, at which Microsoft will “flip the switch” on what it says is the largest solar panel system in Silicon Valley. Is Redmond, WA-based Microsoft putting Silicon Valley home-teams to shame?
Microsoft to offer infinite storage — Microsoft is launching a product to compete with Google’s own secret plans to offer users infinite storage and bandwidth. Microsoft’s is called Live Drive, and was acknowledged by Microsoft Chief Technology Officer Ray Ozzie in Fortune Magazine.
Jingle raises more cash — Jingle Networks runs a free directory service, so it is catching on. Why pay money when you can just call 1-800-Free411? We’ve mentioned it before. It has raised $26 million in a second round of funding. If you call information, say for a pizza joint, it will give you the number, but it will also serve up a number/advertisement for a competing pizza joint, and if you select that number instead, Jingle gets paid by the advertiser…
The round was led by existing investor Liberty Associated Partners. Existing investors First Round Capital and IDG Ventures Boston, and new investor Comcast Interactive Capital, also participated.
Jajah raises $5 million more — Jajah has been called the “Skype” killer. We’ve mentioned these guys before. You type in a telephone number from their screen, and it makes an Internet call for you. At first, it was all PC based. Now they’re letting you do it from your mobile phone, via the Opera browser and the mobile Symbian operating system. So you can do VOIP calls on the go. There are a couple of other VOIP mobile phones out there, but it is early days, and so Jajah may have a good chance at this. It makes sense to expand in mobile-happy Asia, which is why they’ve raised cash from Globespan Capital (downloads release), which focuses on Asia. It comes on the heels of raising cash from Sequoia, to expand in US market.
MetroFi lighting up Silicon Valley — MetroFi, which puts up citywide free WiFi systems, is on a roll. They’ve done Santa Clara, Cupertino, parts of Sunnyvale, and now have won rights to do Foster City and Milpitas, and chief executive Chuck Haas says he’ll be announcing some more East Bay cities soon. So he is drawing a crescent around San Francisco, which has thrown its hat in with a competing WiFi vendor team, Google/Earthlink.
Stylehive, another social bookmarking company — We recently wrote about a bunch of companies that are trying to find a good way for people to save links to all the pages they find while surfing. There’s Kaboodle, Onfolio, Plum and Jeteye. Techcrunch points us to yet another company, giving Stylehive a good review. At first glace, we find it a bit jarring, perhaps because we have become accustomed to the look and feel of other sites. We’ll have to devote a little more time playing with it. It is based in San Francisco, founded by Michael Carrier, who says he has taken angel funding.
Vodafone arrives in Silicon Valley — This is supposed to be an era where the world is flat, at least according to NYT columnist and author Thomas Friedman. And yet some companies still feel compelled to come to Silicon Valley, set up an office, and stay connected with the Web 2.0 engineering talent and VC community here. Vodafone Ventures is just the latest to show up, putting up a shingle in Walnut Creek (northeast SF Bay Area). In fact, Silicon Valley may be more relevant than ever, precisely because a small advantage — which whe do still have, because our networks of talent — is enough to give you a global lead right away. In other words, Silicon Valley’s role may be even more important, precisely because the world is flat. We’ve recently done a Q&A with Peter Thiel, former PayPal chief executive, which speaks to this. Hope to publish it soon.
While Google rocks, eBay feels pinch — Google stunned Wall Street with a 60 percent increase in profit during the first quarter, and eBay may be feeling the pain. As it becomes clear that Google’s search technology, and growing platform for selling products, is rivaling eBay’s auction platform, eBay has apparently entered talks with Yahoo and Microsoft about how to ally and stave off the Google juggernaut, according to the WSJ. (Apologies for resolution of graph below, but it is supposed to show eBay’s stock on a steady decline over the past three months).
AOL’s “MySpace Killer” — Some folks are raving about how AOL is about to launch a MySpace killer, by unleashing a social networking tool via its IM. Here’s AOL Ted Leonsis’ clarification, downplaying any notion that they’re targeting MySpace.
Facebook valued at $500 to $600 million? — That’s what the word on the street is.
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