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JBoss sells, Jigsaw raises cash, Mogoo wants to, and BuzzShout cuts through hype

Miscellaneous news of Silicon Valley:

JBoss tough guy Fleury sells out after all -- Last week, we wrote about Marc Fleury, the abrasive chief executive of JBoss, the open source application server company turning down a reported $500 million offer from Oracle -- and instead saying he wanted to do an IPO. Now we hear he has sold to RedHat for around $350 million. Venture backers Accel Partners, Matrix Partners and Intel Capital do quite well in the deal. Here is the company's interesting way of announcing the deal.

Jigsaw raises more cash -- Jigsaw, the Palo Alto start-up that lets you buy contact information about other people, such as phone number and email info, has raised $12 million in a third round of venture backing. This is a controversial company, as we explained earlier, because its Website gives users -- mainly salespeople and recruiters -- an incentive to type in contact information about other people, even if the other person doesn't want to have their data in the network. Looks like they're competing more directly with LinkedIn lately, which also sells contact information for a fee, and which recently announced it has become profitable. At Jigsaw, the salespeople who provide the information win credits, which they can then use to purchase contact info about people they want to contact. Austin Ventures led the round, and existing Silicon Valley investors El Dorado Ventures and Norwest participated.

Mogoo the latest mobile search wannabe -- MoGoo is an Washington D.C. company that wants to let you search for information while on the go. They're looking for $3 million in venture backing, and want to be different by bringing a new location-based approach to mobile search.

We mention them because we heard the founder, Eugene Liu, apparently scraped the Web site of Palo Alto competitor 4Info back in June last year, basically using the same interface only under a different name. 4Info, astonished, sent the company a cease-and-desist letter. Now the site is back up and focusing on location-oriented search: A search for a particular product retrieves results for nearby retailers. Besides 4Info, there are several other mobile search players out there.

BuzzShout wants to let you cut through the Web 2.0 hype -- "Don't you just hate it when there's too much hype to wade through when investigating modern Web 2.0 companies? It seems like a new company is introduced every few minutes. How can anyone keep up with what's really useful?" Those are the mission words on the home page of BuzzShout, a new site that wants to let people review the good, bad & ugly companies out there. The company is a one man show run by James Yu, in San Francisco, who tells us he is working hard to improve the site.

In this example, Kraytiv.com, a social bookmarking tool, is gets criticized by a reviewer. But you will see how Buzzshout gives the company a chance to respond. Because the Kraytiv entry is in blog format (the most recent entry is at the top), the company can keep posting messages so its responses are the first you see. Here's a post about the company at Techcrunch, which rightfully points out that this is yet another recommendation/reputation site that is easily gamed. The people who have the most incentive to post are those who are friends of a company and want to support the founding team by saying something nice, or competitors who have an ax to grind and so say something negative.

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I wanted to clarify that LinkedIn does not and never will sell contact information. Unlike Jigsaw, where people who happen to have your contact information make it avaialble to sales people looking for leads (without notifying you or asking for your permission), LinkedIn is stricly opt-in, and you completely control to whom you release your contact information.

Unlike Jigsaw, when you search on LinkedIn, all search results are from people who have agreed to join LinkedIn and who have created and maintain their own profile on LinkedIn. And nobody (free member or subscriber) gets access to your contact information unless you specifically choose to give it to them.

There is a big difference between an opt-in system like LinkedIn where you manage your own information and only you choose to whom to provide your contact information and a system where others make your contact information searchable (without your consent) in order to get leads.

Konstantin Guericke on April 10, 2006 1:16 PM
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Buying and selling contact information like chattel. Is there no shame?

craig on April 13, 2006 11:41 PM
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