Startup profile

Meet Giftly: A gift card company with actual tech cred

Gift cards are big business: The industry as a whole brings in $100 billion annually. But gift card companies are not exactly known for being on the cutting edge of technology. But San Francisco-based startup Giftly is bringing serious innovation to how gift cards work.

Nextdoor launches to bring your real neighborhood online

If you’re like most people, you probably don’t know your neighbors all that well — if at all. That’s where a startup called Nextdoor wants to help. Nextdoor lets neighbors create private websites where they can exchange local information while getting to know each other better.

Meet Pantheon: A website developer’s new best friend

If you’re a major organization like the University of Southern California or a publication like The Economist, it’s still a big undertaking to build and maintain a website that suits your needs. Enter Pantheon: A new service for running a sophisticated Drupal-based website in the cloud.

Meet Proust, a social network that digs deeper

Even in these days of social networking over-sharing, some of the most important details of our lives remain in completely unwritten form. Proust, a startup that bills itself as a private place for families and friends to share memories, is trying to change exactly that.

What makes DotCloud so hot?

With all the great languages, databases and cloud hosting options available, now is a great time to be a software programmers. But that same variety makes it very difficult to be the IT manager tasked with configuring applications. That is where PaaS startup DotCloud comes in.

Wildfire Interactive is spreading like you-know-what

Wildfire Interactive has had solid success with its flagship product, CEO Victoria Ransom tells me. Since the company’s public launch two years ago, Wildfire has attracted big name clients, grown its staff, and become profitable. But the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup isn’t resting on its laurels.

For Hipmunk, it’s all about the users– and the UI

The travel web search has been one of the tech industry’s most crowded and cutthroat spaces since the launch of Expedia 15 years ago. But the stiff competition didn’t stop Adam Goldstein, the CEO of San Francisco-based startup Hipmunk, from throwing his hat in the ring.

Likester Takes Pop Culture’s Pulse — With Facebook Data

When teenage country singer Scotty McCreery won American Idol Tuesday night, it took lots of people by surprise — but the folks at Seattle-based startup Likester weren’t among them. That’s because Likester predicted that McCreery would win Season 10 of American Idol back on April 13th.

For ThredUP, Success Lies Outside the Early Adopters

Online children’s clothing swap website ThredUP has attracted a user base that, for the most part, lives their lives well outside of the tech industry echo chamber. And according to CEO James Reinhart, that’s a big reason why his company has been so successful.

What Is This Empire Avenue All About?

Depending on who you ask, social stock market Empire Avenue is either an empowering personal branding tool or another sign of the downfall of modern society. But according to the startup’s CEO, the company is based on a much deeper philosophy than meets the eye.

What’s Next for Posterous: Geo, Groups, Premium

Posterous, the email-based blogging platform, aims to keep things simple and easy to use, but it can’t resist adding new more advanced features such as increased support for groups, premium accounts for businesses, proximity-based geoblogs, and a better bookmarklet to bring in outside content.

Is Microtask the Future of Work?

Crowdsourcing is often used for fairly menial tasks: correcting databases, screening offensive images, transcribing audio. But what if you could make those little bits of human labor even more menial, discrete and interchangeable? That’s what the Finnish company Microtask does.

Checking In on Greplin’s Personal Data Search

Six months after we first met the founder of Greplin just after he came up with the idea for the company, he’s found a co-founder, raised funding, launched a beta and gotten so much interest he had to stop accepting new testers.

Metricly: Grok Your Web Analytics By Mashing Them Up

I had a chance today to catch up with Metricly, a San Francisco-based company that just launched in public beta with the simple premise of making its customers an aggregated dashboard of all their web analytics systems, using both external and internal databases.

ATTN Q&A Sites: Solariat Found a Way for You to Actually Make Money

Solariat today launched an advertising platform for forums, social media and Q&A sites called AdLib, which uses linguistic analysis to automatically generate sponsored replies to users’ questions. It’s a twist on search-style contextual advertising to seem more native to online communities and conversations.

Does Augmented Reality Need a Dedicated Device?

Out of concern that early and incomplete augmented reality demo products make a bad name for the technology, a new startup called QderoPateo is attempting to make an end-to-end AR platform. That includes building and releasing its own phone chipset, hardware and operating system.

HipChat Launches Corporate Chat Room Client

HipChat, a new self-funded startup from the folks who sold web calendar HipCal to Plaxo right out of college in 2006, is launching today an Adobe AIR corporate group chat client with features like one-to-one messaging, notification noises and file-sharing support.

One to Watch: Aylus Mobile Video

Aylus Networks is not a name familiar to consumers, but that’s fine — Aylus is looking to sell media-sharing and live-streaming services…

One to Watch: Tvinci

A year which will surely be tough deserves to at least begin on an uplifting note, so today I wanted to bring…

Agility: Web Studio Take Two

Agility Studios launches today as a boutique digital studio. The company aims to offer development, financing, distribution, sponsorship and more to projects made with stars who have established themselves either on the web or more traditionally.