THIS TOWN AIN’T BIG ENOUGH! Guys, startup office space in New York is hard to find, and Betabeat is ON IT. Okay, so you remember how Foursquare and Tumblr both had their eyes on the tenth and eleventh floors of that sweet Soho elevator building at 568 Broadway where Thrillist, ZocDoc and Dennis Leary’s production company, Apostle are housed? Okay, so Foursquare was the favorite–but there may be a new contender.
Betabeat has learned that ZocDoc has been in the market for new space–60,000 square feet, ideally on one floor–for a move at the end of 2012. There’s not much out there that meets that criteria. Wouldn’t it be nice to take the tenth floor at 568 Broadway, directly above the teal-painted ninth floor? That way they wouldn’t have to say goodbye to that conference room with the mural of Sanjay Gupta high-fiving Dr. House! ZocDoc would probably really like it if Foursquare would only take one floor, which is more than three times the size of Foursquare’s current office, so that ZocDoc could take the other.
But both companies are growing like gangbusters–ZocDoc already expanded in March and then again in October, Foursquare is the hottest startup job in the city–and have to look out for expansion down the road. What’s a big startup in a small town to do?*
VERY PINTERESTING. Betabeat, when we first glimpsed the Silicon Alley darling Pinterest for ourselves: “It’s for girls!” Apparently, it’s also for middle America. Pinterest’s biggest market is Utah, we heard, and it’s gaining steam with users in other middle-America states, contrary to the usual outside-in adoption pattern most startups see.
Betabeat mentioned to a source that many peeps using Pinterest in New York, who responded. “Don’t people just use Svpply?” Do they? We don’t see too many peeps using Svpply either. One thing we do see peeps using is Tumblr–although we’ve documented that startup’s other problems on the business and developer relations fronts. Could Pinterest–which picked up New York angel Brian Cohen as an investor after taking the NYU Stern business plan competition by storm–be on the way to taking down two New York startups in one fell swoop?
NOM NOM POSTLING. “Some big companies are considering acquiring Postling,” a source told Betabeat. “Can’t say names. Big, multi-billion dollar public companies.” Well! Cue completely random speculation! Microsoft! Amazon! Google! Nielson! If one of these is right, you all have to buy the rumor roundup a cookie!
HIGHLY-COVETED ZOMBIE TAXIS. Groundlink, the latest app-enabled car service to blunder its way into the city that epitomizes mass transit, is grinning over Uber (UBER)’s decision to charge double-price on Halloween (a notoriously HORRIBLE night for cabs). Fingers crossed! Perhaps the first mover’s hike can be Groundlink’s gain. But the second mover could find itself in the same pickle that provoked Uber into pumping up the price–overwhelming demand. “Ninety-five percent of requests resulted in ‘No Cars Available,’ leaving Uber riders stranded,” Uber wrote on its blog. “Even worse, those few riders who succeeded had to refresh their Uber app for an hour or more before getting a highly-coveted Uber ride.”
SECOND GUESSES. Portfolio managers at the mega-hedge fund SAC Capital just don’t get SecondMarket! The fund was recently hunting desperately for people who understand SecondMarket to join the team. Ah, where did we hear something about the billionaire-run hedge fund and the secondary markets? Right, Dealbook reported SAC investors have listed more than two dozen side-pocket stakes with Shelley Capital Advisers, which advises hedge funds on the secondary market.
IF YOU CAN CODE, PEOPLE WILL LITERALLY BUY YOU ANYTHING YOU WANT. Apparently a Swiss-based startup, iKentoo SA, is announcing a hackathon-slash-dream-vacation–a one month development sprint, as the company puts it. IKentoo is proposing to fly independent developers, all expenses paid, to the famous ski resort at Verbier, Switzerland to spend one month coding and skiing with the iKentoo team. Upon completion of the one month hackathon, the participants will also receive about $5,000 USD in Swiss francs.
*Joke explainer: While New York City is a big place, the startup scene feels like a small town.