The $100,000 Taxi Ride, the $403M Exit for Google Ventures and iFund, CarWoo Goes National, & More Bay Area BizTech News

10/18/10Follow @wroush

Columbus Day made last week a short one, but I don’t think many San Francisco or Silicon Valley innovators pay attention to this particular holiday, as there was no shortage of technology and business news.

—My colleague Erin published a nice scoop about Baydin, a Cambridge, MA-based maker of e-mail management software whose founder won a $100,000 investment from Silicon Valley super angel Dave McClure after responding to McClure’s tweeted plea for a ride to the car repair shop. Baydin will use some of the cash to move to the Bay Area.

—CarWoo, a Y Combinator-backed startup in Burlingame, CA, went national with a service that brings consumers guaranteed price quotes on cars from local dealers. The company also said it had raised $4.2 million in Series A funding, with Interwest Partners leading the round.

—Japan’s DeNA bought Ngmoco for $403 million, providing the first exit for both Google Ventures and the iFund set up by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

—Silicon Valley law firm Dorsey & Whitney released a survey of entrepreneurs suggesting that the much-discussed competition between “super angels” and traditional venture capital firms may be a side show. It’s regular, non-super angels who are grabbing an increasing mind share among early-stage entrepreneurs looking for investors, the survey found.

—Speaking of venture capital, both CB Insights and MoneyTree released their quarterly surveys of venture investing activity this week. The organizations concluded that venture firms invested less money in the third quarter of 2010 compared to the second quarter, but that the money was spread across more deals.

—San Francisco-based game maker Zynga announced that it would expand to Seattle. The company also raised $6.3 million in a sale of equity, perhaps to pay for one of its recent acquisitions, Bonfire Studios.

—I came out of the closet as a newbie geek runner, publishing a head-to-head comparison of Runmeter, a run tracking app for the iPhone made by San Francisco-based Abvio, and RunKeeper, a competing app made by Boston-based FitnessKeeper. (In a follow-up article published today, I talk with Abvio co-founder Steve Kusmer and FitnessKeeper founder Jason Jacobs.)

—In a trio of other Series A and B venture rounds, TubeMogul raised $10 million, PlayFirst raised $9.2 million, and Redwood Systems raised $15 million.

—Here at Xconomy, I lifted the veil a bit on my backlog of reported but as-yet-unwritten feature stories, and we announced that we’re looking to hire an additional reporter/writer here in the Bay Area.

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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