Stories for Mar. 13, 2014

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In Brief

Ticketing and event startup Eventbrite may be getting ready for a big year: Fortune reports the company just raised $60 million in new funding, with participation from Tiger Global and T. Rowe Price, at a $1 billion valuation. Eventbrite, which is rumored to be a likely candidate for a 2014 IPO, confirmed that a round of funding was raised, but declined to give specifics. The money will reportedly go toward expansion and product development.

In Brief

After a long wait, I won’t have to use separate apps to control my Nest thermostat and my smart home; neither will you if you have an Insteon system as the heart of your house. Insteon announced compatibility with the Nest on Thursday saying that if you have an Insteon hub, you can add a Nest to the list of remote-controlled devices. You’ll also need the Insteon app for iOS or Android of course, but once you have it, you can control your Nest along with your lights, doors and other smart objects in a single app.

In Brief

Premise, the company trying to reinvent macroeconomic indicators in developing countries, has raised an $11 million series B round led by Social+Capital along with Google Ventures, Harrison Metal, Andreessen Horowitz and Bowery Capital. As we explained when the company launched in October, it uses smartphone-armed agents around the world who snap strategic photos that Premise then analyzes to determine the economic health of a region. Co-founder and CEO David Soloff is speaking at our Structure Data conference next week in New York, where the company will also receive a Structure Data Editor’s Choice award.

In Brief

Travel website Hipmunk is known for its minimalist UI  — which turns flight searches into organizable, tabbed windows — but its interface is getting more useful to those who search for travel both at home and on the go. On Wednesday, the company announced “Hipmunk Anywhere,” a cross-platform feature that allows users to start their search on a computer or mobile device, and pick it up on another device. The feature requires users to log in, but cross-platform coverage not only means that users can start searching on one platform and finish on another, but they can actively track long-term searches via tabs.

 

In Brief

Liberty Global, the largest cable company outside China and a voracious acquirer of European cable firms, is reportedly planning to launch a more mobile assault on the continent. Liberty SVP Manuel Kohnstamm told Bloomberg that John Malone’s company wants to create a “pan-European” mobile network based on mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) deals — in other words, it will resell actual network operators’ connectivity on a country-to-country basis, with the same unified billing system and back-end that supports Liberty’s fixed-line efforts. This “deep MVNO” network will begin in the U.K., the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria. Kohnstamm also said Liberty was still looking out for likely acquisition targets.

Stories for Mar. 12, 2014
In Brief

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Google added a new Orders feature to its Google Wallet software for Android and iOS on Wednesday. The updated app will now track orders that were paid for through Wallet, providing online tracking status notifications on delivery and a history of all prior orders. Android Central notes that package tracking through Wallet was already available through the web version, so the new features have migrated down to mobile devices. Personally, I use Slice on Android and iOS for online package tracking but I’d consider using the new Orders feature in Wallet if I made all payments through Google’s software.

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