Firefox and Yahoo partner to take on Google. Messaging startup raises nearly $40 million – Interlinked Weekly Investment News – Nov. 20th, 2014

Firefox and Yahoo partner to take on Google. Messaging startup raises nearly $40 million – Interlinked Weekly Investment News – Nov. 20th, 2014

Firefox And Yahoo Have Struck A Major Deal

In the fight for search engine supremacy, Firefox and Yahoo have made a big leap forward. This week, the companies agreed to a partnership that would put Yahoo as the default search engine on the Firefox platform. But it’s not just the same old Yahoo search tool as before. Both companies claim to be releasing an updated version, specifically targeted and chipping away at the market dominance held by Google for so many years.

It will feature a “clean, modern interface” and will support Do Not Track, Mozilla says. Google has been the default search engine since 2004. But, according to Mozilla, “Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Amazon, Twitter and Wikipedia will continue to be built-in as alternate search options.”

Firefox is the third-most popular web browser, with between 14% and 19% market share, depending who’s talking. Chrome and Internet Explorer are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively. According to Mozilla, 100 billion searches are conducted per year using Firefox.

Source: Business Insider

Wages Poised to Rise as Signs Emerge of Improved US Job Market

After 5 years of economic recovery efforts, it seems as if the US job market has taken a positive turn in the right direction. The job market is growing, new job creation is on the rise, and unemployment is dropping. What do these all mean together? Wage hikes across the board.

Wages and salaries climbed last quarter by the most since 2008 as a dwindling number of unemployed per job opening approached a tipping point. Amid rising profits and sales per employee, some companies have a cushion to boost compensation.

“Wage growth is beginning to bubble up,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Capital Markets Group in New York. “It’s still nascent, early stages, but the labor market is now tightening to the point where we are beginning to see some stronger wage gains. This is the beginning of more definitive acceleration.”

Source: Bloomberg

Kik Messaging Start-Up Raises $38.3 Million and Acquires Service Based on GIFs

Third-party mobile messaging apps are hot these days. Last year’s $20 billion purchase of WhatsApp by Facebook is a testament to that. But quietly, another messaging startup has raised some significant funds, and has big plans for the future. Kik Messaging is banking on GIFs to help propel the company forward with a unique take on messaging, targeted at the younger US and global demographic. In order to do this, they have also acquired Relay, a GIF platform.

For Kik, the two moves are aimed at helping the company achieve its goal: becoming the Western version of WeChat, the enormously successful messaging service in China that offers free texting, e-commerce and content delivery. It is a lofty aspiration for the service, as it competes with an array of rivals all promising to become an all-in-one hub for smartphone users.

Kik has already set itself apart with its focus on youth. Ted Livingston, the start-up’s founder and chief executive, claims that the service, with 185 million users, reaches roughly 40 percent of Americans aged 13 to 25.

Source: The New York Times

How to Raise $1 Billion Dollars, the Uber Way

Raising investment capital is tough. Raising $1 billion is even tougher. Raising $1 billion twice? That’s impressive. But that’s just what hot tech company Uber is going for in the next few months. And all signs point to that being a realistic expectation. The company has surged at a rapid pace, and the funding has surged right along with it. Check out more on how Uber has been successful, from our latest blog post.

In the case of Uber, raising record-setting capital didn’t just happen overnight. The company, which currently operates in 228 cities and 45 countries, started with a simple idea, and a great market to test it out on. Developing a great product, with low overhead, was critical to them in the beginning. The San Francisco company developed a basic app to cater to an exceptional service need, and built a strong network long before any serious money was invested into them. Then, in 2010 they calmly raised over $11 million, and were off to the races.

After the initial funding round, they tripled their investments just one year later. Uber is already Silicon Valley’s highest-valued private company. Now, the private company is valued at $17 billion, and…

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