Eight start-ups & tech ideas....the latest action
Bix, to offer online performance contests, raises $7 million -- The start-up, previously known as 900 Seconds, wants to let companies (and others) tap into the American Idol craze -- giving them a way to create their own performance competitions online. The companies come up with sponsorship dollars, and they enjoy the positive branding while eager performers do their own thing. Mike Speiser, co-founder of Epinions.com, has raised $6.77 million from Sutter Hill Ventures, Trinity Ventures and individual investors including ex-Yahoo Geoff Ralston, according to Om Malik. Still in testing mode, so you won't be able to see how it works until it launches -- expected soon
Twttr, another mobile social networking application -- Twttr lets you stay in touch with a group of friends via SMS. You communicate by texting to Twttr and your friends see your messages. And you see theirs. It lets you control who is in your network. Created by Noah Glass, of Odeo.
Calisolar, latest stealth solar Silicon Valley startup raises $9M -- Not much known about this company, other than that Ullas Naik, a partner at venture firm Globespan Capital has invested in it. It has raised $9 million in a first-round funding from Advanced Technology Ventures and Globespan.
WiChorus, of San Jose, another secretive start-up that is developing software for a wireless networking platform, has raised $8.5 million -- It is its second round of funding, according to a regulatory filing. Backers include Accel Partners and Redpoint Ventures. It was seeded last year with $850,000 from Redpoint.
Digital Chocolate, the mobile phone game provider of San Mateo, raises around $18 million -- It is its third round of funding, according to PE Week. Bridgescale Partners, Outlook Ventures and Montagu Newhall Associates were joined by return backers Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital and Sutter Hill Ventures. The company has raised around $40 million in total VC funding.
UnWiredBuyer gives you mobile alerts so that you can better participate in bidding -- Specifically, it helps you bid at eBay (by knowing when an auction is ending, for example); they have just struck a partnership deal. It has raised $6 million in a second round of funding. The Austin, Texas company was founded last year.
SkyPilot Networks, of Santa Clara, has raised $21M in a fourth round of funding -- August Capital led the deal. Existing investor Mobius Venture Capital also participated. SkyPilot sells broadband wireless mesh networks, and so it is in a competitive area, where there are players like Sunnyvale's Tropos.
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