Apture, Stipple, Zynga: The 1-Minute Version of Last Week’s Bay Area BizTech News

7/5/11Follow @wroush

Fresh back from vacation last week, I dived back into the Bay Area tech news scene with three long news profiles, an e-book review column, and a smattering of other stories.

—I profiled True Ventures, a six-year-old venture firm focused on early stage infotech companies. With only four full-time partners managing $378 million, the firm has a unique focus on crowdsourcing most day-to-day startup management questions to its own community of CEOs from portfolio companies.

—San Francisco-based Apture, whose Web-based system helps publishers keep people around their sites longer by offering pop-up boxes with information related to any highlighted phrase, rolled out a new feature called HotSpots. Apture’s system now learns which phrases users highlight most and makes them into explicit links. “We are trying to track readers who…declare what’s on their mind by highlighting, and turning their behavior into these social links,” CEO Tristan Harris told me.

—Stipple, the San Francisco startup that helps Web publishers embed links in images, recently announced a bevy of upgrades designed to make it easier for publishers to find images, and easier for brands to tag the objects in them. I described it all in my summary of a conversation with Stipple founder and CEO Rey Flemings.

—In my Friday column I took a look at three recent e-book apps for the iPad that represent some of the best work publishers developers are doing to enhance the reading experience on tablet devices. I reviewed Al Gore’s Our Choice, produced by Melcher Media and Push Pop Press; T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, produced by Touch Press and Faber Digital; and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, produced by Penguin Books and 1K Studios.

—For the App Watch section of our Health IT page, I wrote a short profile of MediBabble, an iPhone app that helps English-speaking doctors conduct medical history interviews with native speakers of Cantonese, Haitian Creole, Mandaran, Russian, and Spanish.

—In funding news, Animoto raised $25 million, RockMelt raised $30 million, and Connected raised $500,000.

—In acquisitions news, Alibaba subsidiary Vendio bought SingleFeed, and Dimension Data of Johannesburg, South Africa, bought OpSource.

—In IPO news, Zynga filed a long-waited S-1 registration papers indicating it intends to go public and raise $1 billion in the process. Also, data storage and management company BlueArc restarted its own IPO preparations after three years on hold.

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

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