Postmates CEO: If we had listened to the advice of our VCs in the…

Postmates CEO: If we had listened to the advice of our VCs in the past two years, we wouldn't be here today As venture capitalists touted the need to grow fast and raise money during the past two years, Postmates CEO Bastian Lehmann is glad he ignored them. "If I had to take on face value all the advice VCs gave us the last two years, we wouldn't be here," Lehmann said onstage at Startup Grind conference in Redwood City, California on Tuesday.

Borderlands headlines free Xbox Live Games with Gold for March

Gearbox just blew its brain matter all over Quebec.

I’m guessing you like free games. Here’s some details about the free game’s you could get in March.

Microsoft today revealed what Xbox Live Gold members will receive in March. From March 1 to March 15, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment for Xbox One and Supreme Commander 2 for Xbox 360 are free, followed by Lords of the Fallen for Xbox One and the original Borderlands for Xbox 360 from March 15 to March 31. Xbox One owners can play the Xbox 360 games on the newer machine thanks to its backwards compatibility, a feature that the PlayStation 4 doesn’t have with its predecessor, the PlayStation 3.

Before, Xbox Live Gold was simply a $60 yearly service that allowed users to play games online, but these free games can keep subscribers from leaving (and stop paying). People are always anxious to see what the next free game will be. Backwards compatibility has made the service even more attractive for Xbox One owners, since they get access to all four games this month.

Sony did, however, start this whole business of giving away free digital games every month to subscribers of its premium online service. Microsoft quickly latched on the idea, making sure that its Xbox Live Gold could compete with PlayStation Plus.

The original Borderlands is the most notable, or at least recognizable, game on the list. However, it is a bit old, originally releasing back in 2009. Still, it is a classic, and surprisingly, it still goes for $20 on Microsoft’s digital store. This is a pretty good deal if you haven’t played it yet.

More information:









Borderlands headlines free Xbox Live Games with Gold for March

Gearbox just blew its brain matter all over Quebec.

I’m guessing you like free games. Here’s some details about the free game’s you could get in March.

Microsoft today revealed what Xbox Live Gold members will receive in March. From March 1 to March 15, Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishment for Xbox One and Supreme Commander 2 for Xbox 360 are free, followed by Lords of the Fallen for Xbox One and the original Borderlands for Xbox 360 from March 15 to March 31. Xbox One owners can play the Xbox 360 games on the newer machine thanks to its backwards compatibility, a feature that the PlayStation 4 doesn’t have with its predecessor, the PlayStation 3.

Before, Xbox Live Gold was simply a $60 yearly service that allowed users to play games online, but these free games can keep subscribers from leaving (and stop paying). People are always anxious to see what the next free game will be. Backwards compatibility has made the service even more attractive for Xbox One owners, since they get access to all four games this month.

Sony did, however, start this whole business of giving away free digital games every month to subscribers of its premium online service. Microsoft quickly latched on the idea, making sure that its Xbox Live Gold could compete with PlayStation Plus.

The original Borderlands is the most notable, or at least recognizable, game on the list. However, it is a bit old, originally releasing back in 2009. Still, it is a classic, and surprisingly, it still goes for $20 on Microsoft’s digital store. This is a pretty good deal if you haven’t played it yet.

More information:









Pocket starts experimenting with ‘high-quality’ sponsored posts

Pocketfor iOS


Article-saving app company Pocket is finally starting to pick up revenue through advertising. In a blog post today the company announced that it’s beginning to display sponsored posts in the app, which works on web browsers, Mac desktops, and multiple mobile platforms.

But Pocket wants to be smart about this, so it won’t be taking just any ad that a company might submit.

“Pocket is a place for high-quality content and sponsored posts are no exception to this,” Pocket founder and chief executive Nate Weiner wrote in a blog post. “Our aim is that these posts, and the content within them, will feel natural to your Pocket experience, and will also be things you’re interested in reading and watching to boot.”

These sponsored posts will be clearly marked as such, and users will be able to hide content they don’t like and provide feedback to Pocket, Weiner wrote. And people who pay for the premium tier of the app won’t see these sponsored posts at all, he wrote. The sponsored posts may appear in different places, including a user’s List of saved articles, according to a frequently asked questions page on sponsored posts.

This is a big turning point for Pocket, which has built up a major following over the years as a free service for saving articles to read later. It’s almost as big as the launch of the premium tier back in 2014.

Just as some media outlets have resorted to turning on paywalls in order to generate more revenue, now Pocket is going to use another widely used method. Advertising is of course a far older moneymaker than paywalls, and now Pocket will be active in this area.

At least Pocket can now boast serious user adoption. The app now has 22 million users who have saved 2 billion articles, Weiner wrote. Last year the company started recommending articles that users may have missed.

While Pocket does offer analytics tools for publishers, Weiner wrote that “no sponsor will ever have access to what you save and do inside Pocket.”

Pocket started in 2007 and announced a $7 million funding round last year.


Etsy Shares Spike 13% As It Reports Strong Revenue In Fourth Quarter

Etsy didn’t have a good 2015, but it was still able to finish on the stronger side. Today the company reported its fourth-quarter results, coming in at $87.9 million in revenue and a loss of 4 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a loss of 1 cent per share on revenue of $86.5 million. Another important number to track here was the company’s gross margin sales (GMS),… Read More

Hot Hedge Funds That Are Hiring Right Now

Izzy Englander's $34 billion Millennium Management is planning a contrarian move this year in an industry that's struggling with investment losses and client redemptions: It's ramping up hiring. So are a handful of other firms, including Ken Griffin's Citadel and Jake Gottlieb's Visium Asset Management, that rely -- like Millennium -- on multiple managers to invest client money.

Fallout 4 mod support hits PC in April, Xbox One in May, & PlayStation 4 in June

"Hey there, kid. D'ya wanna see me shirtless because there's a mod for that now!" -- Nick Valentine, after mod support (probably)

One of the biggest releases of 2015 is about to get even larger thanks to its community, and for once, this doesn’t only apply to the PC.

Mod support is coming to the Windows version of Fallout 4 in April, according to Bethesda director Todd Howard (via an interview with Game Informer). This will enable hobbyists to build their own content for the open-world role-playing adventure with a full set of official tools. And it will also enable Fallout 4 owners to search for mods using the Workshop browser on the Steam digital-distribution PC client from Valve. Of course, some mods are already available for Fallout 4, but getting full support from Bethesda should result in an eruption of amazing content that isn’t possible today. After Bethesda gets mods up and running on PC, it will release similar support for Xbox One and then PlayStation 4.

This kind of support will enable Bethesda to keep a highly engaged audience on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Mods often bring back lapsed fans in addition to attracting new people. Those consumers may then spend even more money on downloadable content, which raises the average lifetime value of a Fallout 4 player.

Modding is an important part of gaming on PC. Providing curious people a way to tinker with their favorite games has led to people getting full-time careers working in the industry and the creations of totally new megapopular franchises like the Counter-Strike shooter series. It also gives PC gamers a sense of ownership over their experience. The way I play Bethesda’s fantasy role-playing game The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is different from the way anyone else plays it because mods enable me to customize the world and characters how I want to. And bringing that to consoles could help ensure Fallout 4 is one of the defining games of this generation of systems for a lot of people.

“Our goal is [to get mod support out] between the first two DLC [packs],” Howard told Game Informer. “It’ll go up at that time on PC. In April. All of that stuff will go up on PC. People are beta testing it. There’ll be a lag on consoles. We want to get it up on PC and have it work. It’ll probably be a good month before it hits Xbox One, and another month for PlayStation 4.”

If that timeline holds, then after getting mods for PC in April, we’ll get them on Xbox One in May and then PlayStation 4 in June. That’ll put seven months between the release of Fallout 4 and the addition of mod support.

To put that in some perspective, we only had to wait five months from the announcement of Fallout 4 at the Electronic Entertainment Expo trade show in Los Angeles in June before we got to play it in November.

More information:









Fitbit Remains The Worldwide Leader In Wearables, But Xiaomi Is Quickly Gaining

fitbitblaze Fitbit has long been the king of wearables and an IDC report released today says James Park and Co. still wears the crown. But Xiaomi is quickly gaining power. A lot of power. Fitbit managed to ship 21 million devices in 2015, up 93.2% over 2014’s amount of 10.9 million units. That said, even by shipping nearly twice as many units, Fitbit still lost marketshare. Over the same time… Read More

Zynga puts its San Francisco headquarters up for sale

Zynga headquarters.

Zynga has put its San Francisco headquarters up for sale, confirming a report today from the San Francisco blog SFist.

The social mobile game company’s headcount is down around 2,300 or so, significantly down from its peak above 3,500 people. That means it doesn’t need as much space as it once did. Zynga acquired the space, which was once the U.S. headquarters of Sega, for $228 million. Now it maybe worth much more, given the boom in San Francisco real estate.

Zynga confirmed the headquarters is up for sale, noting it said so during its fourth quarter conference call. GamesBeat didn’t actually notice that. It plans to sell the building and then take out a long-term lease.

Founded in 2007, Zynga grew dramatically on the popularity of its Facebook games. It went public at a $9 billion valuation at the end of 2011, but then it faltered. The company had a hard time getting its footing in mobile games, and its audience on Facebook’s desktop platform started to decline.

Mark Pincus, the chief executive and the company’s founder, brought in former Electronic Arts and Microsoft Xbox executive Don Mattrick to help turn things around. Mattrick cleaned house on the management team and acquired NaturalMotion for $527 million, but he found the turnaround task to be a tough one. He left in April 2015, and Pincus returned to the CEO job.

For the past three quarters, Zynga has been paring back and reporting breakeven results. Its market value is around $1.9 billion today, as investors have become patient for the turnaround. But Zynga doesn’t necessarily need any cash, as it has more than $900 million on its balance sheet already.

 

More information:









Aria Systems snags $50 million to power recurring payments for enterprises

money credit risk.shutterstock_233629474

Billing platform for enterprises Aria Systems announced last week that it closed a $50 million investment.

Rembrandt Venture Partners, Madison Bay Capital Partners, and Hercules Technology Growth Capital joined the round as new investors.

Aria said that “investor interest was fueled by Aria’s continued enterprise success across verticals, including automotive, entertainment, high tech, medical and telecommunications, as well as a wide array of innovative IoT plays.”

The startup’s last funding round was in 2013, in which Bain Capital Ventures led the investment, followed by VMware, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and Interwest Partners.

To date, Aria Systems has raised at least $133 million in funds.


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