Normally a startup like San Francisco-based Sincerely, which makes an app that lets you create and send postcards from your phone, would be in big trouble when a company like Apple enters its market. But Sincerely isn't ready to cede its fledgling business to the Cupertino giant, and today is announcing a new product line for the holidays, a new board member and a $3 million funding round. (Notice I didn't write that the funding is "new"--more on that in a moment).
Bitcoins aren't just an abstract financial instrument living somewhere in the digital ether anymore. They're now a physical currency capable of taking a ride in your pocket or scratching off your lottery tickets.
The physical Bitcoins, called Casascius Bitcoins and created by a guy in Utah named Mike Caldwell, are made of brass, with gold electroplating on the 25 Bitcoin denomination. And, of course, they're tied to the peer-to-peer, open-source digital currency that's been exchanged on the Internet for a while now.
Each coin has a unique Bitcoin address and a redeemable "private key" under a hologram on the coin. That key can be used to redeem the value of the Bitcoins online, but the hologram sticker leaves a honeycomb mark when peeled back, so you'll know if your Bitcoins have been tampered with.
The coins play a function similar to a gift card or certificate with a magnetic strip or bar code. In other words, it provides a tangible means of carrying around the digital key that contains the actual value. There's just one problem--the physical Bitcoins may well be illegal. … Read more
Amazon.com's third quarter fell short of expectations, and the company's outlook also was light.
For the third quarter, which ended September 30, Amazon reported earnings of $63 million, or 14 cents a share, down from $231 million, or 51 cents a share, a year ago. Revenue in the third quarter surged 44 percent, to $10.88 billion.
However, Wall Street was expecting earnings of 24 cents a share on revenue of $10.95 billion. Analysts were expecting a margin hit, as Amazon invests in its infrastructure and rolls out low-price Kindles.
As for the fourth-quarter outlook, Amazon … Read more
Amazon's third quarter is expected to show strength, with a last-minute sales surge due to new Kindles and with better-than-expected e-commerce results.
However, those $199 Kindle Fire tablets have analysts worrying about profit margins in the fourth quarter and beyond.
Wall Street is expecting Amazon to report third-quarter earnings after market close today of 24 cents a share on revenue of $10.93 billion.
The optimism around Amazon's third quarter revolves around e-commerce strength, three days of sales of new, inexpensive Kindle e-readers, and international gains. Third-quarter profit margins, however, will be hampered by investments in distribution and … Read more
Groupon has sued two former sales managers it says took trade secrets to Google's competing venture when they quit the daily deals site, according to a Bloomberg report.
Michael Nolan and Brian Hanna left the Chicago-based company in January last month to join Google Offers, taking customer lists and marketing strategies with them, according to a civil complaint filed today in the Chancery Division of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. The suit, which doesn't name Google as a defendant, seeks to prevent them from sharing the information with Google, according to the report.
"In their … Read more
Facebook Ireland is under fire for allegedly creating "shadow profiles" on both users and nonusers alike.
The startling charges against the social-networking giant come from the Irish Data Protection Commissioner (IDC), which, Fox News reports today, is launching a "comprehensive" investigation against Facebook Ireland for extracting data from current users--without their consent or knowledge--and building "extensive profiles" on people who haven't even signed on for the service.
Names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, work information, and perhaps even more sensitive information such as sexual orientation, political affiliations, and religious beliefs are being collected and … Read more
Daily-deals provider Groupon could raise as much as $540 million when it goes public, the company revealed today in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
According to the filing, Groupon plans to offer 30 million shares of Class A common stock for between $16 and $18 apiece. If it goes public at $18, it could raise the $540 million. Also, if the company sells through its 30 million shares, it can opt to sell another 4.5 million shares to increase the amount it raises to a maximum of $621 million.
CouponCabin is cashing on the consumer's need to save a few bucks whether shopping online or at the corner supermarket.
The online coupon company just raised $54 million in venture funding, according to a story in AllThingsD.
CouponCabin offers coupons that people can use directly online to buy products from such retailers as Dell, RadioShack, Best Buy, Target, Sears, and Kmart. It also provides coupons that can be printed and redeemed at local department stores, restaurants, and other nearby merchants.
To further boost business, the company plans to use the new venture capital to build up its growing consumer … Read more
Groupon is scaling back the size of its initial public offering as a result of market volatility and company miscues, according to published reports.
The daily deals provider is expected to offer less than 10 percent of the company at a valuation of $12.5 billion, people familiar with the deal told the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. Both papers reported that the deal itself, which is expected close in the next couple of weeks, is expected to be $500 million to $700 million.
A more limited offering may have some upside for Groupon. By offering a … Read more
Following eBay's grand introduction of its X.commerce open-source platform at the Innovate Developer Conference last week, eBay is having another week to boast about.
This afternoon eBay reported third-quarter earnings of $490.5 million, or 37 cents a share. Non-GAAP earnings were 48 cents a share on revenue of $2.97 billion.
Wall Street was expecting eBay to report third-quarter earnings of 48 cents a share, rising from earnings of 40 cents last year, on revenue of $2.91 billion.
In prepared remarks, eBay president and CEO John Donahoe touted the mobile-commerce strategy:
Our company reported another strong … Read more