Startup News: Braintree Gets a $35 M. Boost, TED Gets Trippy, and Real Estate Gets Gamified

Pepsi wants to run your errands and Hack N' Jill adjusts NYTM's ratio.

Jon Carin rocks (Photo:

Brain Boost This morning, Braintree, a Chicago-based online payments company announced, a $35 million series B round of funding. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA). By investing in Braintree, new investors join Accel Partners and others and the company’s total funding is now set at $70 million.

Braintree acquired the beloved bill splitting app, Venmo, back in August and has kept it independent so far. Braintree allows businesses to accept payments from costumers, but Venmo allows consumers to make payments to anyone. It’s a natural fit for both parties.

Braintree’s client list includes fast-growing startups like Uber,, Airbnb, who use it, “through periods of rapid growth without disruption to their ability to accept payments,” the company said in an email to Betabeat. They also name-checked competitors like Stripe and PayPal, noting that one “big difference is that merchants receive their funds typically in two days with Braintree, vs. seven days with Stripe.”

Be A Fellow The New York City Economic Development Corporation is now accepting nominations for its third class of “NYC Venture Fellows.” Previous fellows of the program include Foursquare, Etsy, and Warby Parker. Winners will be set up with mentors like Ben Lerer and the President of MTV, Stephen Friedman, to guide them through the next stage of their business and to connect them to powerful insiders. Submissions are being accepted now and the deadline is November 30, 2012.

Trippy Ted Talk TEDxSiliconAlley 2012, will be held on December 3rd, at Terminal 5. “How to Create a Mind” author Ray Kurzweil will be headlining the event and thhere will be keynotes by Makerbot founder Bre Pettis and philosopher Francessca Ferrando. Pink Floyd keyboardist Jon Carin will perform some of his music live, which is sure to make this the first TED Talk that makes people want to spark up a joint.

Side Piece SideTour, the company that sends you on fun group adventures, has now expanded its efforts to Chicago. CEO and co-founder Vipin Goyal told VentureBeat that the company is now booking three SideTours a day and plans to launch their service in Washington D.C. by the end of the year. Private chef dinners and small group art tours are ready for the masses!

Buy Everything Now Landlord is a new game that uses Foursquare to let you “buy” any location that your adventurous checking-in heart desires. Owners of property get rent paid to them based off of the number of checkins to the venue, so that they can buy more property and expand their empire. We’re going to rush out to Staten Island and buy out the entire island, so then we can come back to Manhattan and rule the world.

We Love Those Lady Pilgrims Hacksgiving, the Thanksgiving themed Hackathon, will take place on November 9-10th. Technology and design firm, The Control Group, is putting the event with Hack’n Jill and it will be the first hackathon with NY Tech Meetup that has at least 50 percent females in attendance. You can register on Hack’n Jill’s website. Startups in search of tech talent should try to cop a ticket, these ladies can code.

A Personal Assistant With Your Pepsi? Pepsi is partnering with TaskRabbit to bring an extra hour of the day to drinkers of their new soda, Pepsi Next. Over the next four weeks, the two companies are giving 200 people a dedicated TaskRabbit for one hour to tackle errands of their choosing. This can include waiting in line for something, cooking dinner, or a bunch of other really helpful things. TaskRabbits show up with a can of soda for you too which is a bonus if you’re thirsty. All it takes to enter is a simple registration.

Like For Old Ladies, But Better If you’re into planning your shopping trips from home snagging deals while you shop, Shopkick already had you covered. But if you’re into browsing Sunday circulars, then the app’s newest update will make you happy too. The app just got a complete redesign that now features themed lookbooks that resemble glossy coupon circulars. They should just partner with TLC and make “Extreme Shopkicking” already.

Watch Those Tweets Fly HootSuite just launched a new product for their Enterprise clients. It’s called the HootSuite Command Center and it functions like a virtual situation room for all of your company’s social media efforts. So ChartBeat for the Twitter and Facebook set? Every social media manager in New York just swooned.

Look Here Cheap Bros Buystand, a startup which uses a name-your-price model for active lifestyle goods, launches in beta today. Customers browse merchandise from from brands like Burton, Vans, and Puma, and then name what they want to pay. Buystand sets up the customer with a retailer willing to pay that price. Instead of using wholesale markdowns, the company gets to have sales on customers terms. Mark October 17th in your calendars as the days that outdoor bros started saving money.

Startup News: Braintree Gets a $35 M. Boost, TED Gets Trippy, and Real Estate Gets Gamified