Andreessen Horowitz is helping to put Silicon Prairie on the map of wanna-be tech hubs with its latest investment in the Des Moines, Iowa-based start-up, Dwolla.
The young internet payment network attracted $16.5m in a Series C round, led by Andreessen, with previous investors Village Ventures, Thrive Capital, and Union Square Ventures joining.
While setting up shop in the mid-western United States leaves the company far away from the investors and talent pools on the West and East Coasts, there are benefits to building a business in a less saturated market. Read more
Microsoft has closed a patent licensing deal with ZTE, one of the top five manufacturers of Android smartphones.
The deal is Microsoft’s first with a leading Chinese company, marking an important milestone in the software giant’s multi-year campaign to squeeze licensing revenues out of smartphone vendors and manufacturers.
“Experience has taught us that respect for intellectual property rights is a two-way street,” said Horacio Gutierrez, general counsel for Microsoft, “and we have always been prepared to respect the rights of others just as we seek respect for our rights.” Read more
Apple has bought WifiSlam, an indoor mobile location service, as the Silicon Valley giant continues to compete with Google in mapping capabilities.
The deal closed recently for $20m, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source.
WifiSlam’s technology uses ambient wireless signals that are already present in buildings to pinpoint the location of smartphones, as opposed to the space-based satellite signals relied upon for larger-scale GPS mapping and navigation systems. Read more
Publishers may take a cue from the software industry as they regroup from a decisive loss in the US Supreme Court over copyright rules.
After failing to persuade the justices to protect their foreign-made titles from resale in the US in the Kirtsaeng v Wiley case, publishers must instead rethink their international business practices.
While traditional publishers of books, music, and film have generally viewed the computer industry as a foe in various policy battles, it could find a saviour in borrowing its concept of software licensing agreements and applying them to physical goods. Read more