Rumors & Acquisitions: Big Shots and Billionaires

rumormonger8 Rumors & Acquisitions: Big Shots and BillionairesA billion rumors:

GRUMPY INCUMBENTS. Mobile payments sure make people catty. PayPal sent Betabeat several explicit and unsolicited statements about Google’s announcement of its NFC-chipped phone, including: “As the mobile payment leader (we expect $2  billion in payment volume to transact over mobile devices via PayPal in 2011), we’d be happy to comment. Put simply–before you try mobile (or any other payments) solution, you need to be great at payments.  There is so much more than just technology involved to get payments right. Above all (and this is something that many tech pundits simply forget), any new solution must deliver something better than the existing way to do it. Not just different… better.”

Visa chose to blog its disapproval. “It is certainly news that Google is getting in the game by testing a new payment service… something that we’ve been doing around the world for the past couple of years.  But I’d remind you that launching NFC payments in the U.S. this year was just one small aspect of our recent announcement regarding Visa’s plan to provide a global, comprehensive solution enabling consumers to transact wherever, whenever by using a card, a computer or a mobile device which kicks off later this year.”

HOW TO GET A TECHNICAL CO-FOUNDER. by Aussie/SF developer Peter Watts was one of the simplest but stickiest hacks that launched at TechCrunch Disrupt. A fake splash page with animation that spins a user’s email address into space, it pokes fun at the LaunchRock phenomenon that inspired a slew of splash pages that collect alpha and beta users for pre-launch start-ups that often never hatch. Mr. Watts got laughs, kudos and an interview with TechCrunch out of the joke, and now he’s had a compelling job offer, transmitted via his page:

im looking for a co-founder. i cannot code at all. sorry… while writing notes on my pre beta page, i stumbled on the TC article. i started laughing. how co-incidental. This is one. I believe in random co incidents. If you are in SF like your page says you are, that is more awesome. 2 Your linkedin further confirmed that you are took part in building something to catalog music. you also took some psych classes. this is 3. I want to build the best music startup in the world. With the sickest, most ridiculous marketing campaign. Im taking a leap of faith and saying that we should meet and talk. Hope to hear from you peter.

Mr. Watts was very excited to receive the communique, but it seems he’s decided to pass on this one.

YOUR MOM IS NOW ON GROUP BUYING. A site, possibly Daily Deals for Moms, going by the pseudonym GroupMoms just emailed Betabeat about some embargoed news. “Think Groupon meets Avon–only better. The site, which empowers moms to source and promote daily deals, has been around for about a year but is announcing a round of funding this week.” Oh wait, this already exists (PlumDistrict, $8.5 million), and exists (CafeMom, $24 million) and probably exists some more, but one can only Google “daily mom deals” for so long. “This round of funding will allow the company to expand its network and enable Group-moms to take on Groupon,” the company says. They’re based in San Francisco, but the CEO is based out of New York, and the company will use this round of funding to expand to New York.

NEXT. “First day of my last two weeks at work,” charity:water devlopment officer Lane Wood Twttrd today. Moving on to better things? He’s not sure, but took pains to say there’s no drama here. “I’m not storming out nor am I getting pushed out. I won’t feel awkward when I come back to visit, and I will remain close with many of the people I have worked with… I remain your biggest fan,” he wrote on Tumblr. Meanwhile, charity:water is big time hiring. “We’ve got plenty of open tech/web jobs,” digital director Paul Young tweeted today.

PETER THIEL IN JEANS, T-SHIRT AND MONOCOLE IN NEW JERSEY. OR NOT. “Holy shit a billionare just walked past me,” local entrepreneur Frank Denbow said today on Twttr. “Peter Thiel. Nobody gives a shit.” Founder Michael LaVelle jumped in quickly with a “RT @billionaire: Holy shit I just walked past @FrankDenbow!”