Path Debuts, Stipple and PayNearMe Tank Up, Facebook Sends a Message, & More Bay-Area BizTech News

11/22/10Follow @wroush

There was way too much news from the Bay-area infotech industry last week for one correspondent to keep up with, so I focused in on just a few key developments, with some help from my colleagues around the Xconomy network.

—Path, a San Francisco company co-founded by ex-Facebooker Dave Morin, launched a new photo sharing app for the iPhone. Morin and Path vice president of business development, Matt Van Horn, argued in an interview that by limiting Path users’ networks of photo-sharing friends to just 50 people, the company can help users feel comfortable enough to share personal “moments” in the form of lightly annotated photos.

—San Francisco-based Stipple collected $2 million from Floodgate Fund, Kleiner Perkins, Justin Timberlake, and a range of other prominent investors, for a Web-based system that can help publishers monetize their digital photos by adding an interactive text layer, including links to e-commerce sites.

—Facebook unveiled its new messaging system, which unifies e-mail messages, instant messages, SMS text messages, and Facebook messages in a single inbox. Xconomist Sim Simeonov commented that the new system would be a “mission critical” application—at least for high-schoolers, who already use Facebook extensively to collaborate on homework.

—In a state superior court in Boston, Skyhook Wireless pressed its case that the court should enjoin Google from setting geopositioning standards for the Android mobile operating system that would, in Skyhook’s view, unfairly exclude its own location finding technology. Erin reported from the courthouse.

—Mountain View, CA-based payment processor PayNearMe said that it had raised $16 million in Series C funding from Khosla Ventures, August Capital, True Ventures, and Maveron. The company also introduced a new way for consumers to buy things online without credit cards by going to any of 6,000 7-Eleven stores, confirming their identities through mobile phone calls, and paying cash.

—I bought an Apple TV set-top box, set it up alongside my Roku Player, and had fun writing a comparative review designed to help reformed cable TV subscribers choose between them.

—We published an e-mail interview with Sequoia Capital partner Michael Moritz about the pros and cons for startups considering taking early-stage funding from individual investors. Next week I’ll be interviewing Moritz live on stage at San Francisco’s Kicklabs (register here).

—Thomas Korte, co-founder of San Francisco’s new AngelPad startup incubator, said in an interview that there should be “hundreds of incubators” serving each sector of the economy.

—Intel Capital announced a bundle of 18 new venture investments totaling $77 million, including Bay Area companies Verismo and YuMe.

—As I mentioned in a mini-news-roundup on Friday, Hipmunk struck a deal with ITA Software to use its QPX flight search service; Vudu released a new version of its software for streaming high-definition movies over the Internet; and JiWire released a survey showing that the Android operating system is the only one gaining market share among users of public Wi-Fi networks.

—In other deals news, ToxBox raised $12 million, Coraid raised $25 million, Optimizely raised $1.2 million, Marketo raised $25 million, Altius Education raised $19 million, and Meebo raised $25 million.

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

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