tech

  • 04 Dec 2014 at 5:14 PM

Uber Raised Some Money

This guy's excitedGo forth and discuss these data points with your Uber driver tonight. Read more »

The object of the game (“Kim Kardashian: Hollywood”) is to get rich and famous and involves an animated Kim saying things like “You’re a natural in front of the camera” for a successful photo-shoot and telling you you suck for not hitting on someone’s animated boyfriend. We live in a world in which Morgan Stanley economists think a two-letter app is genius and guys in Silicon Valley pour hundreds of millions into one-letter apps, so, really, sky’s the limit. [Fashionista]

“…the more I think about it, the more I like the ‘yo’ concept. And it’s not because of the app’s latest feature: you can send a ‘yo’ to the username ‘worldcup’ to receive a ‘yo’ (and nothing else) anytime a team scores a goal. Rather, it’s because I’ve always thought that there is beauty in simplicity. I’m a minimalist. I like to sit in my scarcely furnished study with white-washed walls while I write this comment. I hate Christmas decorations. When on a vacation, I like to sit on the shore and stare at the sea in the summer, or climb up a cold, white mountain silently on skis in the winter. I loved to read the late Barton Biggs’s simple but beautiful prose about investing. Life is full of complexity –family, friends, work, politics, financial markets, the global economy. Coping with complexity requires filtering, sorting, reduction, concentration and, at least sometimes, simplification. Sometimes, a simple ‘yo’ can say and mean more to your ‘contacts’ than all the babble.” [BI, earlier]

  • 18 Jun 2014 at 5:25 PM

More To Yo Than That Meets The Eye: CEO

The app, called Yo, lets people say “Yo” to their friends. Tap a name on the app’s list of contacts, and a text notification saying “Yo” pops up on the recipient’s smartphone, along with a recorded voice shouting the syllable. The idea is simple. It may turn out to be a dud. But $1 million has already been staked on its success. Or Arbel, the chief executive of Yo, said on Wednesday that he had raised that seven-figure sum from a group of angel investors led by Moshe Hogeg, the chief executive of an image-sharing app called Mobli. Yo has so much potential, Mr. Arbel said, that last week he left his job as the chief technology officer of Stox, a stock trading platform he helped start last year, and moved to San Francisco from Tel Aviv to work on Yo full-time. “People think it’s just an app that says ‘Yo.’ But it’s really not,” Mr. Arbel said. “We like to call it context-based messaging. You understand by the context what is being said.” [Dealbook]

As those of you’ve been paying very careful attention may have noticed, Wall Street is pretty into tech these days. Morgan Stanley is underwriting every single IPO available, Goldman Sachs has money in Mark Zuckerberg’s poking machine and LinkedIn is making Jim Cramer’s head explode. Hedge funds, however, want more. While Peter Thiel famously invested in Facebook way back when, and Tiger Global has poured cash into a whole bunch of sites, the industry as a whole wants a piece of these companies and not just after they become (alleged) successes.

A handful of hedge funds already had a history of such investments, but the activity has increased recently as investors try to cash in on the surging valuations of Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Zynga Inc., Groupon Inc. and a smattering of smaller companies…In the past 12 to 18 months, firms including D.E. Shaw & Co., Maverick Capital, Brookside Capital and Tudor Ventures, as well as hedge-fund investor James Pallotta, have joined Tiger in putting more money into promising yet risky tech companies. Starting last summer, Tiger began ramping up its investments in private companies in India, China, Brazil, Russia and other emerging markets. This year alone, it has invested in six Indian start-ups, including consumer electronics retailer LetsBuy.com, online fashion site Exclusively.in, and online bookseller Flipkart…Edward Lampert, the hedge-fund investor who controls Sears Holdings Corp., has become interested in private tech companies too. He recently assigned Daniel Levine, an analyst at his hedge fund, ESL Investments, to look for opportunities.

Sounds great, right? Well it would be except for the fact that some people are apparently too good for hedge fund money. Despite the fact that the firms are willing to throw hundreds of millions at them and open doors to sophisticated investors, these people are “suspicious” and skeptical of what hedge funds want and what their intentions are and whether or not they are literally the devil. Read more »