BLIND LEADING THE BLIND’S ROUND. Betabeat was hanging outside of TechCrunch Disrupt yesterday having a cigarette when we struck up a conversation with an Israeli investor in town for the conference. His firm invests in start-ups, and then sends them to Silicon Valley to raise a second round, at which time the initial investors cash out. One of his companies had just raised $7 million, he bragged. “Valuations in the Valley are very high,” he said knowingly. “It’s great for investors.” Betabeat expressed our chagrin and investor rapidly started backpedaling, saying he thinks the Valley’s valuations are totally on point.
IT’S ALL ABOUT PERSPECTIVE. Fox and AOL used to have a content referral deal online, we heard, but after Arianna Huffington took over, Fox pulled out. Word on the street/TechCrunch cocktail party banter says AOL employees can sense the company getting more liberal.
SCUMMY BLIND CO-FOUNDERS. A highly-promising New York start-up sadly looks set to bite the dust due to internal disagreements over who owns how much of the company. The product got traction immediately after launch, but it didn’t take long for its co-creators to start squabbling and now we hear one of them–the one who wrote the code–is headed out the door. Fame corrupts, folks.
SO… LUMIER. A horrifically-botched pitch by Lumier at TechCrunch Disrupt this afternoon had audience members wondering if they’d been punked. Sadly, the company appears to be real. “Something happened. It broke and he couldn’t present, but was too proud or autistic to play it off,” a member of the audience said. “We @techcrunch owe some poor company big apology for letting Lumier take a pitch slot instead. #embarrassed,” Sarah Lacy tweeted. The company has only a LaunchRock page and an incoherent product, but says it has investment from SV Angel and Founders Fund. Betabeat thinks founder Cullen Dundas is just a misunderstood UX genius and extreme hustler.
REGARDING THE SIMPLE BANK. We’re pretty sure their lead engineer quit, rather than getting fired. Reasons why are still unclear, but they may have to do with the pressures that come with taking on the pernicious personal finance industry, a source close to one of the company’s investors said.
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