Startup News: New York Tech Plans Sandy Relief Hackathon and Tumblr Shines Bright Like a Diamond

Makeably makes dreams come true too.

Tumblr’s Mr. Karp (Photo:

PartyHat.GIF Tumblr just passed a huge traffic benchmark by finally reaching 170 million global users a month. It’s now the ninth most visited site in the U.S., according to Quantcast. David Karp took to the Tumblr Staff site to congratulate his users and say, “You guys have earned an audience bigger than the biggest TV networks, and you continue to make some of the most thought provoking, insightful, inspiring, funny, diverse, and compelling content being created today.”

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Young Money Also worth noting is that Tiffany & Co launched their official Tumblr today. It’s called From Out Of The Blue. The blog contains a couple pictures of necklaces containing an unfathomable number of diamonds and a promotional video that would make any tween ask their parents for a diamond tiara. That’s what Tiffany is going for, right?

Put Your Skills To Good Use The New York tech community organizing group, NY Tech Responds, is putting on a grouping of events dedicated to helping Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. On December 1st and 2nd, they’ll be having a talk called the Sandy Relief Agency Conference, a hackathon, and a reception to kick off their Sandy fundraising campaign. Registration for the hackathon is now open and you can get tons of more information on their website. Use your skills to help those in need!

Custom Giving Is Good Makeably, a marketplace for custom goods started by two ex-Googlers, has just launched a campaign with New York Cares called Make for Good. Kids from the Bronx have drawn their ideal Christmas wish and when a Makeably user sponsors the project, it gets made by one of the site’s custom makers. Since its launch, the project now has around 150 makers helping out in 15 countries. Buyers no longer need an access code to help out.

Finna Reschedule That Startup Weekend’s plans to team up with the FinTech Innovation Lab and the NYC FinTech Startups meetup for the first-ever FinTech Startup Weekend were squashed by Hurricane Sandy. But have no fear! The event has now been rescheduled for December 7 to 9 at Alley NYC. Throughout the weekend, there will be mentors, including VCs, lawyers and designers, stopping by to give teams advice on what they’re doing.

Nick Gavronsky, an OpenFin employee who helps run Startup Weekend with Frank Denbow, told Betabeat earlier this month that FinTech weekend is “not really like a hackathon, it’s more for first-time people” who want to start building something.

More Exploring Now Possible The gamified city exploration site, Stray Boots, announced today that it completed a $2 million Series A funding round. The round was led by Milestone Venture Partners and joined by Correlation Ventures, Great Oaks, and several angel investors. This is Stray Boots’ first venture capital raise.

Cabs Are Expensive Apparently a lot of people don’t feel like spending money to get to the airport to see their families. Shairporter, the site that lets you split the price of a cab to get to the airport, told Betabeat that its user base grew 70% over Thanksgiving weekend. Founder and CEO Winston Wu told Betabeat that the company is still in continuing discussions with NYU dorms for their next big push for the holidays in December. The company also gave away free cab rides to NYU students who shared their page on Facebook on Thanksgiving.

Shop Till Your Cash Positive Polyvore, Pinterest for people who buy a lot of clothes, debuted its first-ever iPhone app this week. The company also told Betabeat that they recently passed the traffic milestone of 19 million unique monthly visitors. This is a 91 percent increase since January. Along with this increase is the stellar news that Polyvore is now officially a cash-flow-positive business.
Christmas Blockbusters Included MoviePass, a subscription service for unlimited movie-going, went semi-public today, but only for those who want to gift its service for the holidays. A 30-day pass is going for $49.99 and a year’s subscription is selling for $359.88. That’s a lot of movies.
Phone Sex Walkie Talkies Ever wanted to just send someone your voice without having to deal with a full conversation? Well Blurt, the app that lets you record and share 10-second audio updates with the world, launched this week for iOS and Android. The app allows users to record, review and share brief voice messages called “Blurts” privately with friends and family, or publicly with the entire world. It’s kind of like SnapChat for phone sex. Into it.

Vamos De Compras Bêmbele, Latin America’s new men’s and women’s e-commerce site, went live yesterday. The company is a joint venture between New York City based private equity firm PanAmerican Capital and two other significant organizations in the Latin American region. CEO Dean Schaffer was quoted in a press release sent to Betabeat as saying, “Bêmbele takes care of every aspect of the logistics process for our customers –including duties, import taxes, and shipping expenses– and delivers an order directly to their door at no additional cost.”

Startup News: New York Tech Plans Sandy Relief Hackathon and Tumblr Shines Bright Like a Diamond