Posts Tagged ‘funding’

NailSnaps Turns Your Smartphone Photos Into Nail Art

Have you ever been sitting around and thought to yourself, “I wish I could put my Instagram photos on my nails, rather than paint them”? Well, even if you haven’t, Angel Anderson and Sarah Heering did. Now, with some crowdfunding help, they’re working to bring to life a service and product that does just that. Read more…

Photo Sharing App Snapchat Now Worth a Whopping $800 Million

Snapchat Screen

Photo sharing is big business. Just ask Snapchat‘s founders. The service (launched in late 2011) has managed to raise somewhere in the neighborhood of $60 million in venture capital funding, an investment that pegs the value of the company at a staggering $800 million.
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Peak Design Unveils Leash, the Optimus Prime of Camera Straps

If you’ve ever had to take traditional camera straps on and off your camera, you probably know how annoying the task is. Peak Design, makers of the Capture camera clip system, wants to change the way people think about and use straps. The company has unveiled a new strap called the Leash, a versatile accessory that can take on different configurations and be used for multiple purposes.
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The FlashPipe: A Lightweight, Easy-To-Use Flash Diffuser

Flash diffusers come in all shapes and sizes, from DIY Home Depot versions to more expensive professional grade equipment. None of these solutions seemed adequate for 30 year photography veteran Les Tirmenstein, however, and that’s why he designed the FlashPipe. Read more…

Instagram Set to Raise $50M from Sequoia Capital at a $500M Valuation

Instagram is set to raise a massive Series B round of venture financing and, according to AllThingsD, the round will be led by preeminent VC firm Sequoia Capital — the same firm that funded the likes of Apple, Google, YouTube, PayPal, Oracle, and Yahoo!. The company will reportedly be raising $50 million on a $500 million valuation, which is a hefty price point for a 17-month-old company with a headcount of 13. The service boasted 30 million iPhone users prior to its Android launch earlier this week, after which they received 1 million new signups in less than 24 hours. Now all it need to do is figure out a way to turn its popularity into dollar bills…

(via AllThingsD)


Image credit: Instagram founders @Kevin @mikeyk by Robert Scoble

Instagram Now Valued at $500 Million

Instagram is reportedly in the process of securing new round of funding that values the 16-month-old company at a staggering $500 million — 20 times what the company was valued at a year ago. Although the $40 million round has drawn a lot of interest from investors, many of the top VC firms have decided to stay away due to the high valuation and the fact that Instagram still needs to prove that it can turn popularity into profit. The 9-man company currently has over 15 million users and is working on bringing its popular app to the Android market.

Financing to Value Instagram at $500 Million [The Wall Street Journal]

Remote Instagram Printer Instaprint Going from Prototype to Product

One year ago we featured a novel new device called Instaprint, a location-based photo booth that lets people create instant prints of Instagram photos by simply tagging them with a specific tag. It constantly scans Instagram for its tag, and when a photo is found the image is immediately printed out as a Zink print. Now Breakfast, the company behind the prototype, is trying to turn it into an actual product. They’re trying to raise half a million bucks through Kickstarter and a $400 contribution effectively preorder one.
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New Photo Sharing App Color Raises a Whopping $41 Million in Funding

The mobile photo sharing space is hot right now, with services like Instagram, Picplz, and Path growing like weeds. A new contender called Color is causing some buzz after successfully raising a whopping $41 million… before even launching. The company has seven notable founders who have either started successful companies in the past (e.g. Lala and BillShrink) or have held executive positions at them (LinkedIn). Among the investors is Sequoia Capital, one of the most influential and successful firms in Silicon Valley and the firm that funded Google. They gave Color more than they gave Google.
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Satarii Star Camera Base Makes Cameras Follow Your Every Move

Shooting photos or video remotely may get a whole lot easier if a startup company named Satarii is able to raise enough funding ($20K) for their idea — a camera base called the Satarii Star that automatically keeps the lens pointed at a remote sensor. We could waste our breath explaining how it works and all the different applications it could be useful for, but the video above does quite a good job.

So far they’ve built a functional prototype that they showed off at CES, and raised about half their target funding. If you’d like to jump in on the project, visit their IndieGoGo page here.

Satarii Star Accessory (via Engadget)

CIA Takes Interest in Lens Startup

LensVector, a Silicon Valley startup working on novel lens technology, has received its latest round of funding from In-Q-Tel, a not-for-profit venture firm that invests for the sole purpose of boosting US intelligence capability by providing the CIA with state-of-the-art information technology.

So what’s LensVector developing that CIA would want? Lenses that focus electronically with no moving parts.

Here’s a diagram by LensVector showing how their tiny autofocus lenses work compared to traditional technology:

Rather than using mechanical parts to focus a lens, LensVector uses electricity to align liquid crystals to a desired shape, which focuses light to a particular point.

Given the CIA’s interest in this technology, it must be working pretty well. Hopefully we’ll see this introduced to consumer cameras that need it (i.e. cell phones) soon.

A fun fact: another startup that received In-Q-Tel funding was Keyhole, Inc., the geospatial data visualization company that was acquired by Google in 2004. Their flagship product, Earth Viewer, was turned into Google Earth.

(via CNET)