Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pinterest, the fast-growing online scrapbooking site, has raised $200m, valuing the three year-old company at $2.5bn.

The San Francisco-based company is adding to its unconventional list of investors with this financing round, rather than turning to the Silicon Valley venture capital firms that typically lead investments for a company at this stage of growth.

The latest round was led by Valiant Capital Management, a hedge fund in San Francisco founded by Christopher Hansen, who is better known for his attempts to bring an NBA basketball team back to Seattle than his technology bets. Read more

Paul Taylor

The speculation will soon be over. After months of waiting, Sony is set to announce details of its next generation PlayStation 4 at an event in New York on Wednesday evening, setting the stage for the next round of the console wars.

The company is likely to emphasise the wrap-around software and overall “consumer experience”, rather than the “speeds and feeds” of the hardware itself – though these will no doubt be impressive. Read more

Sarah Mishkin

Smartphone-maker HTC spent relatively little time at its launch event today bragging about the technical specs of its new flagship phone, the HTC One.

Instead, the Taiwanese company focused in on the phone’s redesigned user interface and new offerings — including a homescreen with live
content feeds, a camera app that automatically creates montages of a user’s pictures and video clips, and stereo speakers sounding halfway decent — that company designers say reflect how they see people using their phones to consume, create and share increasing quantities of content. Read more

A public spat flared up this week between Tesla Motors co-founder Elon Musk and the New York Times reporter John Broder over a test drive of the new Tesla Model S. The review, which Musk called “fake” on Twitter, triggered a war of both words and data, with Musk releasing Broder’s driving logs. Though Broder countered with a detailed follow up, the drama was an object lesson in how the dynamics of disputes like this have been transformed by big data. Read more

Chris Nuttall

First impressions of HP’s Envy x2 when the company showed it to the media last year were that this appeared to be the best of the first wave of Windows 8 laptop/tablet convertibles.

But spending some time with this hybrid device since it was launched last month, I find the x2 highlights how convertibles do not necessarily offer the best of both worlds, but can often represent unsatisfying compromises. Read more

Tim Bradshaw

Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer said that she wanted to do more with less on mobile apps and that she wanted to expand the web portal’s presence abroad, in her first appearance at an investor event since becoming chief executive. Read more

Richard Waters

The Apple CEO has had no shortage of advice from Wall Street lately on what to do with his company’s $137bn cash mountain. Hedge fund manager David Einhorn thinks he should issue a new class of preferred stock that would appeal to investors looking for yield. A combination of a higher dividend and stock buybacks that raised Apple’s three-year payout plans from $45bn to $60bn might be less radical but could be effective, according to Brian Marshall of ISI.

Speaking at the Goldman Sachs technology and internet conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, he talked about his views on big acquisitions (he’s considered them seriously), the legal battle with Einhorn (“a silly sideshow”) and whether Apple needs bigger or cheaper iPhones to expand its market. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Small, square, sub-$100 black boxes dominate streaming internet-television devices in the US, in the shape of Apple TV and Roku’s LT, XS, XD and HD boxes.

There’s no shame then in Western Digital imitating this successful formula in launching today the WD TV Play - the latest variation of its WD TV lineup of content-streaming set-top boxes. Read more

Richard Waters

Forget all the dire warnings about the disruptive effects of mobile: for Google at least, tablets are on some measures starting to look like a better business than PCs, even if smartphones still lag.

That’s according to digital marketing company Marin Software, which has just published the results of its latest survey of global search trends. The amount of money spent on search advertising on tablets has already eclipsed smartphones – and with advertisers getting more bang for their buck on tablets than on PCs, the redirection of ad dollars looks set to continue. Read more

Sailthru, a start up that is trying to make “smart data” out of “big data,” has raised $19m in a Series B investment round led by Benchmark Capital.

This is the second investment to close in as many days for Benchmark, which led a $13.5m Series A fundraising round for Snapchat, the ephemeral social networking service that lets people post photos or messages that self-delete after 10 seconds or less. That company is valued between $60m and $70m. Read more