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February 27 2014

Tags: eCommerce TC eBay

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February 12 2014

Mt. Gox’s Original Creator Is At Work On A Secret New Bitcoin Project
Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 3.14.37 PMIn what should be one of the greatest and weirdest pivots of all time, Jed McCaleb transformed Mt. Gox (short for Magic: The Gathering Online Exchange) from a card-trading platform into what became the world’s one-time leading Bitcoin exchange. Not wanting the legal hassle of operating a crypto-currency exchange, McCaleb sold Mt. Gox to a few Tokyo-based French entrepreneurs he had never met before in 2011. They presided over Mt. Gox as it went on to dominate Bitcoin trading for more than a year by volume. However, over the past six months, the platform has seen a fall from grace as users have had trouble withdrawing their funds. New troubles emerged in the last couple days again, as Mt. Gox said it was halting withdrawals. The company said it was having problems finalizing transactions because of a perceived flaw in the Bitcoin protocol around “transaction malleability.” Other exchanges also halted withdrawals as the Bitcoin Foundation said it working on a solution to the problem. In any case, McCaleb has been free of Mt. Gox’s troubles for years. Now he’s back at work on a new project. And here it is at the mysterious address of It has just this short message: When I sold Mt. Gox a few years ago, Bitcoin was trading at less than a dollar. Today Bitcoin exists in a new environment. Mt. Gox is struggling to keep up. Now, I am building something that will be better for Bitcoin and better for you. I’m looking for alpha testers. -Jed We also hear from a source that he’s raised some funding solely through some instant messages and Skype. (McCaleb is a bit reclusive.)
Social Commerce Site Tapiture Raises $2.25M In Seed Funding
tapitureTapiture, a site where users can share content and buy related products, is announcing that it has raised $2.25 million in seed funding. That amount consists of $1.25 million in new capital, as well as a $1 million convertible note from last year. The funding was led by Jump Investors, with participation from Barry Sternlicht, Herb Simon, Brad Keywell (Lightbank), Brian Lee, Sam Bakhshandehpour, Dave Leyrer (Boulevard Capital), Happy Walters, Hilary Swank (yes, that Hilary Swank), Dwight Howard, and Amar’e Stoudemire. Jump's Randall Kaplan, who was also the co-founder of Akamai, is joining the board of directors.
Revel Systems Adds Native Bitcoin Transactions To Its POS Offering
bitcoinHey do you like Bitcoins? Yeah. I thought you might. Well you can use all those coins to buy things at stores running Revel Systems-powered point-of-sale terminals starting right now, as the company has rolled out native support for transactions made using the very much in-vogue cryptocurrency. Previously, Revel customers could accept Bitcoin transactions using third-party plugins, but now it’s integrated as an optional payment method directly into the platform alongside LevelUp, PayPal, cash and credit. The reason behind the integration is to provide its users with access to all the latest payment methods, according to Revel co-founders Lisa Falzone and Chris Ciabarra, and Bitcoin has been a request from a decent number of its clients. “If you actually search ‘Revel’ and ‘Bitcoin’ prior to this release, you’ll see a lot of our clients were already accepting it through our third-party access button,” Ciabarra explained. “But it is double-entry. That’s why we decided to create this integration so that it’s single-entry and you don’t have to worry about it. We had potential clients asking for a POS that could accept Bitcoin, so it’s convincing new clients to come on board who aren’t a Revel customer yet but who are using Bitcoin.” The integration is already being used by some active Revel clients, and they’ve already accepted Bitcoin payments at locations across the country. Ciabarra said that so far, they’ve noticed that grocery stores have seemed to be the most interested in offering Bitcoin as a payment option. It has a number of advantages for merchants and retailers, he notes, including an absence of transaction fees and the lack of exposure to the risk of payments not clearing. Regardless of whether Bitcoin sizzles or fizzles, Revel wants to offer its clients whatever payment means it can, Ciabarra says. And if it does take off, being the first POS provider to support it could pay big dividends later on.

February 11 2014

iTech Capital Injects $10M Into Aviasales, Taking Minority Stake In Russia’s No.1 Travel Search Engine
AviasalesRussian's largest travel search engine, Aviasales, which lets consumers find cheap flights and holiday accommodation online or via its apps (operating under the JetRadar brand outside Russia), has bagged a $10 million investment from iTech Capital, which is taking a minority stake in the company.
Depop Takes Its Social Shopping App To Android After 200K Downloads On iOS
Depop image 3Social mobile shopping app and U.K. startup Depop has extended the reach of its marketplace by launching on Android. Depop launched its pocket m-commerce offering on iOS in April last year, and says it's racked up 200,000 downloads since then (it's not breaking out active users at this point).

February 07 2014

Hitlist, A Smart Flight Finder That Saves You Money By Telling You When To Fly, Exits Beta
flightsThanks to Google Now, other virtual assistants, and mobile applications that can tap into our location to feed us information at will, consumers are being conditioned to think of information-gathering as more of a passive process, these days. One company tapping into that larger trend is Hitlist, a mobile application that watches your favorite travel destinations and alerts you when fares become more affordable. The service emerged as a pivot from TripCommon, a group travel-focused company Gillian Morris and Timo de Winter founded together back in 2012. While de Winter has since dialed back his involvement to part-time, Hitlist’s third co-founder Luka Kladaric, joined the team in July 2013 just ahead of the initial beta release of the Hitlist application. The problem, explains Morris, is that traditional flight search sites are too time-consuming to use. “A leisure trip is inherently flexible,” she says, but on places like, you have to enter in specific dates. “In reality, a lot of people would be a lot more flexible.” You might want to go to Austin at “some point,” for example, or are interested in just going somewhere cool you’ve never been before while taking time off for Memorial Day. Hitlist, she explains, allows people to register travel intent, and further down the line, the service could help to allocate that more efficiently, allowing airlines to fill empty seats. Of course, many airlines today offer last-minute “getaway” fares, but these typically come through email blasts and are not all that targeted. Hitlist, instead, would have some knowledge of people’s preferred travel destinations, and their likelihood of buying a ticket. The app itself offers a Tinder-like interface for swiping “yes” or “no” when presented with details about a destination. Cities are shown to you with a photo and a baseline price, indicating the cheapest fare you’d see from your home airport. Through Hitlist’s Facebook integration, it can also tell you which friends live there or have been there. And if you have friends on the service, it can also tell you who else wants to go there, too. But Morris notes they’re working to add another login option now, as the backlash against having a Facebook-only login has been fairly brutal, especially in App Store comments. Hitlist users, on average, save around 41 cities thanks to Hitlist’s addicting interface, and spend more than 5 minutes in the application. Price drops are sent out via email,
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