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Formation 8 is now moving faster than a speeding bullet, Hyperloop FAST!

Formation 8 is now moving faster than a speeding bullet, Hyperloop FAST!

If you have been fol­low­ing any major trends you’ll know that Elon Musk is in route to rule the world. Well, that may be an exag­ger­a­tion, per­haps at least Mars, but on a Earth like note, last year he pro­posed an idea of a trans­porta­tion method so futur­is­tic that only some­one crazy or super moti­vat­ed would con­tem­plate it. It turns out some­one may be both and that orga­ni­za­tion goes by the name For­ma­tion 8.   So what is this futur­is­tic idea and who is For­ma­tion 8? Read on! For­ma­tion 8 is an invest­ment firm found­ed by Joe Lons­dale, Bri­an Koo and Jim Kim, back in 2011. So far they’ve done a supe­ri­or job of pick­ing some major mon­ey gen­er­at­ing enter­pris­es with its first fund. They just so hap­pen to include RelateIQ, which Sales­force bought for $390 mil­lion, and Ocu­lus, which Face­book bought for $2 bil­lion last year. When they start­ed they had eight employ­ees at launch, and now close to 30 peo­ple wan­der about the office give or take. Let’s not for­get the invest­ments made in com­pa­nies Wish, Radius, Learn­Sprout, Leeo, and Yel­lo Mobile. For­ma­tion 8 is look­ing for “indus­try-tran­s­­for­m­ing com­pa­nies” no mat­ter what their sit­u­a­tion is. So in order to…

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Learn More About 2014’s Fastest-Moving Pre-IPO Adtech Startups

Adtech star­tups in the pre-IPO phase are prov­ing to be a hot com­mod­i­ty among investors, with star­tups like Rubi­con Project show­ing healthy stock increas­es from day one. As the adtech sec­tor grows, so does inter­est from investors. Find­ing the next big thing in terms of pre-IPO adtech star­tups involves a set of met­rics which bal­ance rev­enues and the num­ber of employ­ees against investor fund­ing and rep­u­ta­tion, while also deter­min­ing which com­pa­nies are ripe for IPO entrance.   Rec­og­niz­able Names in Adtech Star­tups Pin­ter­est, one of the Big Three in social media is launch­ing its Ads API, which their imme­di­ate peers Face­book and Twit­ter both did in the months lead­ing up to their IPOs. Cur­rent­ly, Pin­ter­est is respon­si­ble for up to one quar­ter of all incom­ing traf­fic to e‑commerce and online retail­ers’ sites. Oth­er like­ly can­di­dates include Flur­ry, and InMo­bi, which is among the largest non-pub­­lic mobile ad busi­ness­es in the world. With an esti­mat­ed rev­enue of $372 mil­lion, rough­ly 900 employ­ees and a total ven­ture fund­ing of $216 mil­lion, InMo­bi is also less like­ly to be prof­itable than some of the hot pre-IPO adtech star­tups for 2014. Flur­ry CEO Simon Kha­laf is open­ly dis­cussing an IPO, telling Busi­ness Insid­er, “I…

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Bark & Co Tech Business Driven by the Dogs

Bark & Co acquired $15 mil­lion in Series B fund­ing and is show­ing the world just how pow­er­ful dogs can be in the tech world. Dri­ven large­ly by the suc­cess of the com­pa­ny’s Bark­Box, a sub­scrip­tion ser­vice which deliv­ers dog treats to the homes of mem­bers, Bark & Co. has been cash-flow pos­i­tive since the fourth quar­ter of 2013. An inside round con­sist­ing of Vast Ven­tures, Ber­tels­mann Dig­i­tal Media Invest­ments, Slow Ven­tures, Daher Cap­i­tal, CAA, Lerer Ven­tures, RRE, Box­Group and Resolute.vc raised   $10 mil­lion for the dog-dri­ven com­pa­ny, while anoth­er five was financed from City Nation­al Bank. Attract­ing Pet Own­ers The Bark­box  busi­ness mod­el is built around e‑commerce and online sub­scrip­tion plans, offer­ing users a box of dog treats and toys each month whose con­tents are depen­dent upon the size of the dog and the sub­scrip­tion tier of the user. Sub­scriber reten­tion is well over 90%, and 75% of users will com­mit to a longer-term plan after join­ing. Bark & Co. is also unique­ly placed to cash in on ris­ing fears among pet own­ers of dog treats sourced from Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers, as high­­­ly-pub­­li­­cized pet deaths attrib­uted to Chi­nese treats gain more media atten­tion. Bark­Box treats and chews are sourced from areas…

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The Biggest Name in the Media Industry is the Last Name You’d Expect

They’re one of Apple’s pri­ma­ry part­ners, appear­ing at keynotes for new Apple prod­uct launch­es. They are slat­ed to engage in 400,000 hours of stream­ing live video in 2014, and rev­enues for the year are esti­mat­ed at $800 mil­lion. By 2016, their rev­enue pro­jec­tions will hit $1 bil­lion. They’re among the most pop­u­lar choic­es for con­tent infra­struc­ture, and one of the biggest media com­pa­nies in the coun­try. This com­pa­ny isn’t known as a media giant; they’re far more rec­og­niz­able in oth­er cir­cles, though.   One of the biggest media com­pa­nies in the indus­try right now is actu­al­ly MLB Advanced Media, the tech com­pa­ny of Major League Base­ball. How Major League Base­ball Became a Media Indus­try Giant With their inno­v­a­tive approach to media, MLB’s tech divi­sion is now con­sid­ered more of a media com­pa­ny than a base­ball orga­ni­za­tion. MLB Advanced Media began with MLB.com, and was fund­ed through an agree­ment with the thir­ty base­ball clubs which com­prised of $1 mil­lion each year over a four-year span. The esti­mat­ed cost was $120 mil­lion, but MLB Advanced Media began turn­ing a prof­it three years lat­er. After invest­ing less than $75 mil­lion, investors start­ed to see ROI, and now those thir­ty own­ers are earn­ing annu­al…

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Interactive ad startup True[X] ramps up its war on worthless impressions

Busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers work­ing to dri­ve online adver­tis­ing sales for their dig­i­tal agen­cies’ clients will like Joe March­ese: he’s at war with an indus­try that too often allows gen­uine­ly cre­ative efforts in dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing to get buried in a tsuna­mi of worth­less impres­sions. And his LA-based com­pa­ny, inter­ac­tive ad start­up True[X], has just bagged a fur­ther $6 mil­lion in Series D to stuff into its war chest. The war on worth­less impres­sions  March­ese says the mon­ey is an exten­sion of the Series D it raised back in 2011 (in those days, it was called “SocialVibe”); exist­ing investors Nor­west Ven­ture Part­ners, Pin­na­cle Ven­tures, Red­point Ven­tures and Jaf­co Ven­tures stumped up. The extra cash, March­ese con­firmed, will be ploughed into help­ing True[X] fol­low its aims more aggres­sive­ly. But what, the inquir­ing busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er will be ask­ing, do those aims con­sist of?  March­ese wants to attract more big-name, qual­i­ty pub­lish­ers to the startup’s ad plat­form, mov­ing the indus­try away from shady prac­tices that he likens to Wall Street’s oper­a­tions in the sub­prime cri­sis of 2008. If that’s whet­ted our busi­ness devel­op­ment manager’s curios­i­ty even fur­ther, here’s Marchese’s argu­ment: the finan­cial prod­ucts mar­ket reward­ed the wrong things. It mass-mar­ket­ed hous­ing loans that any­one…

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