TechShop Opens Up Shop, mSpot Puts iTunes in the Cloud, Twitter Collects $200M, & More Bay Area BizTech News

12/20/10Follow @wroush

As the holidays (you know, that breather right before CES) approached, Bay Area entrepreneurs and investors rushed to announce a series of product rollouts, openings, deliveries, and deals last week.

—Palo Alto, CA-based mSpot rolled out a cloud music service catering to iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch owners, beating Apple to the punch.

—Nissan delivered its first Leaf all-electric vehicles to U.S. customers, starting with Redwood City, CA, resident Olivier Chalouhi, as Bruce reported.

—Speaking of cars, Google Ventures and August Capital invested an undisclosed sum in car-sharing network RelayRides, prompting the Cambridge, MA-born company to announce it’s moving to San Francisco, as Erin reported.

—I toured TechShop’s new San Francisco location and interviewed founder Jim Newton and CEO Mark Hatch. At the “health club for makers,” tinkerers and craftspeople of all stripes can purchase access to a huge array of shop equipment for $100 per month.

—In my weekly column, I argued that there’s too much “friction” slowing the progress of startups in New England, and perhaps not enough in Silicon Valley.

—I profiled Tibion, a Sunnyvale, CA, startup developing a wearable, battery-powered “bionic leg” that’s thought to help stroke patients relearn how to control their own motions.

—Freelancer Elise Craig took a look at Inkling, a San Francisco company creating interactive e-textbooks for the iPad. It’s headed by an Apple veteran, Matt McInnis, who says the company has invented “a whole new way to publish content.”

—A survey by Sausalito, CA-based jobs site Glassdoor found that Facebook has the nation’s happiest employees. Must be the stock options and that astronomical valuation.

—At a search conference in San Francisco, Microsoft and Boston-based Everyscape announced that the Bing search engine will now feature Everyscape’s interactive tours of business interiors.

—Here at Xconomy San Francisco, we hit the half-year mark, and celebrated with a look back at the top 10 infotech and life sciences stories since our June 14 launch.

—A federal judge dismissed a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Paul Allen’s Interval Licensing against 11 big-name firms, including Apple, eBay, Facebook, and Google. The suit lacked specificity, according to the judge; Interval has until December 28 to file an amended complaint.

—Twitter raised a whopping $200 million in new venture financing, with first-time investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers leading the round. According to media reports, the San Francisco-based microblogging startup is now valued at $3.7 billion.

—In a rush of other year-end funding deals, EmSense raised $4 million, Soladigm raised $30 million, Intelleflex raised $11.5 million, Victrio raised $5 million, Sungevity raised $15 million, and Clustrix raised $12 million.

—In acquisitions news, Chicago-based Tribune Media Services bought San Francisco’s CastTV, and San Antonio, TX-based Rackspace acquired Cloudkick, also of San Francisco.

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

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