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HomeAway’s CEO Talks IPOs & Airbnb’s Valuation

It’s been a heckuva year for Texas entrepreneur Brian Sharples.

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Are "Vooks" the Future of Book Publishing?

You can find a Sherlock Holmes book in just about any bookstore. But when you buy an interactive digital book called a “vook,” you get the “Sherlock Holmes Experience.”

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Why Groupon, Twitter & Other Hot Private Companies Are Cashing Out

Early shareholders in the hottest privately-held technology companies are increasingly finding liquidity without an acquisition or a public offering, with Groupon Inc. being the most recent example. The daily-deals company is using $344 million of a fresh $500 million funding round to buy shares from insiders.

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After Imeem Ends On Bum Note, Founder Back With New Venture

Investors often talk about the importance of a founder having previous start-up experience. Dalton Caldwell’s last start-up certainly was an experience. He founded online music service Imeem Inc. in his apartment and watched it grow to 95 employees and raise more than $25 million in venture capital. Then he watched it fall apart, selling to MySpace Inc. for a reported $1 million.

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Welcome to the Wild West of Venture Capital

Inflated valuations typically signal that a particular investment segment is overheated. Deals in the digital and social media category, for instance, are becoming so expensive for venture investors that they may invoke an unsavory label–bubble.

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Another Personal-Finance Site Runs Out Of Money

Rudder Inc. launched two years ago among a crop of promising personal-finance start-ups including Mint Software Inc. and Wesabe Inc. While Mint went on to a successful exit, selling to Intuit Inc. for about $170 million, Rudder has joined Wesabe as a Web 2.0 flameout.

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Venture Firms Hit The Jackpot With Betfair

Ten years ago Index Ventures took a chance on an online betting service called Flutter that merged two years later with a rival called Betfair. That gamble has paid off handsomely for the European venture firm, as Betfair Group Ltd. went public Friday in a high-flying IPO.

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Groupon Satisfaction Rate Not So Hot, Study Finds

Daily-deal site Groupon skyrocketed to stardom in just two years, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue and inspiring a number of copycats. But this flourishing group-buying model isn’t a guaranteed revenue driver for the participating local businesses, according to a recent study by Rice University.

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PepsiCo Unveils Winners Of New Start-Up Incubator Program

PepsiCo Corp. set out in June to find 10 relatively unheard of start-ups to put it on the cutting edge of digital media and social marketing. Now the company has announced the winners of the inaugural PepsiCo10, an incubator program that matches technology, media and communications entrepreneurs with PepsiCo brands for pilot programs set to launch in the coming months.

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Canaan Partners Remains Bullish On India

As the fund-raising environment worsened and fund sizes were cut, some venture firms pulled back from what used to be excited efforts to invest in emerging markets like India. Canaan Partners, however, says it’s still bullish on India and is carrying forward a plan to invest 20 percent of its $650 million eighth fund in the region.