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.

With a Fresh $3 Million, ActionX Looks to Help Retailers Turn App Downloads Into Mobile Commerce Dollars

The most challenging part about the mobile app ecosystem is not getting people to download an app; it’s convincing them to come back time and time again.
ActionX CEO Evan Schwartz

VHX Raises $3 Million More for Its Sell-It-Yourself Video Service

Union Square and William Morris back a direct-to-fan site that wants to take on iTunes and Amazon.

Look, Ma! A Content-Commerce Marriage That Actually Makes Sense.

Amanda Hesser’s Food52 launches Provisions, an online shop for cooking products.

Yahoo Buys Qwiki for About $50 Million (Like ATD Said)

Yep — more mobile for Marissa Mayer.

News Byte

Brit + Co. Nabs $6.3 Million Series A as Oak Investment Partners Bets on Content + Commerce

Brit + Co., the content and commerce startup for the DIY set, has raised a $6.3 million Series A round, led by Oak Investment Partners, with participation from Index Ventures, Lerer Ventures and Cowboy Ventures. Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer also invested, after first investing in the company’s seed round. Oak’s Fred Harman, who has led investments in Bleacher Report, Huffington Post and Thrillist Media Group, will join the board, as will iVillage co-founder and former BabyCenter chairman Tina Sharkey. CEO Brit Morin said in an interview that the company would use funds to invest heavily in creating digital video series, as well as build out the commerce side of the business over the next 12 months.

News Byte

Rafat Ali’s Skift Raises Another $1.1 Million

Skift, the travel news startup from paidContent founder Rafat Ali, has added $1.1 million to the $500,000 seed round it raised last year. Lerer Ventures led the round, along with new money from funds including Advancit Capital and individuals including Martin Nisenholtz and Shakil Khan. Ali said the money will help him double his staff, to 10, and to launch new services.

Ben Lerer’s JackThreads Starts Selling Duds to Dudes Overseas, on Their Phones — And They’re Buying

iOS apps help a lot, said the Thrillist Media Group founder. So do Facebook app ads.

Panna Cooking App Gets Traction, Funding

Yes, there are a lot of these. But former music executive David Ellner launched one last year anyway, and now he’s got investors onboard.

BuzzFeed Hires Web Video Pioneer Ze Frank