Tristan Walker’s Next Act: Building a Procter & Gamble for People of Color

The former Foursquare biz-dev boss has created Walker & Company Brands, whose first product is the Bevel shaving kit.
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In-Store Tracking Isn’t Going Anywhere: Nomi Close to Landing Around $10 Million Series B Investment

An attempt to bring more intelligence to the still-dominant offline retail industry.
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News Byte

GroupMe Co-Founder Steve Martocci Launches Music Collaboration Startup Splice

Steve Martocci, who co-founded messaging service GroupMe in 2010 and sold it to Skype in 2011, has a new project: Splice. The service, co-founded by Matt Aimonetti, is supposed to let musicians collaborate on projects and share the results with fans. Union Square Ventures’ Andy Weissman led a $2.75 million seed round, along with other investors including True Ventures, Lerer Ventures and SV Angel.

News Byte

Concert Discovery App WillCall Raises $1.2 Million

WillCall, the mobile-based concert discovery app, announced Wednesday that it raised $1.2 million from a group of investors in the music and tech communities. Participants include Sean Parker, music manager Coran Capshaw, SV Angel, Airbnb’s Joe Gebbia and angel Oliver Jung, among others. The startup plans to use the new funds to continue expanding its presence in other cities, and to hire more talent for the company. The total amount of money WillCall has raised to date is $2.1 million.

Albumatic’s Photo-Sharing App Fails Fast, Tries Again

Lessons learned from a failed launch.
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Dropbox Acquires Shopping Loyalty App Maker Endorse

Dropbox has acquired Endorse, a startup that had developed deep relationships with big consumer brands.
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Former Facebook Exec Ali Rosenthal Joins MessageMe as COO

Can the mobile app that lets you communicate better on a smartphone break out with new exec?
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Snapchat Closes $60 Million Round Led by IVP, Now at 200 Million Daily Snaps

Oh, snap! A cash injection for the ephemeral messaging service.
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News Byte

Mobile Coupon Startup Endorse Shuts Down

Endorse, a mobile coupon service that gave shoppers discounts on certain purchases when they uploaded a photo of their receipt to an app, is shutting down, company founder and CEO Steven Carpenter wrote in a blog post. Endorse’s pitch to brands was that it was collecting opt-in purchase data from customers that could be used to target deals and gain competitive knowledge about other products they purchase. Founder and CEO Steven Carpenter came up with the business idea as an entrepreneur in residence at Accel Partners, which was part of a $4.25 million round the company raised in January 2012.

News Byte

Mobile Gaming Startup Red Hot Labs Raises $1.5 Million

Red Hot Labs, the gaming development startup founded by two ex-Zynga engineers who helped create FarmVille, announced Thursday it raised $1.5 million in seed funding. Investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, SV Angel, General Catalyst Partners, Japan’s IT-Farm and others. The six-person outfit is currently working on a number of games under the Red Hot Labs banner.