Urban Compass, a website to help find apartments to buy and rent, has raised $40 million in funding from Advance Publications Inc., Marc Benioff, Thrive Capital, Founders Fund, .406 Ventures and American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault.
BlackBerry has announced that it has appointed Marty Beard as the new COO of the company. Beard used to be the CEO and chairman of cloud-based contact center provider LiveOps. Beard also used to work at Sybase, which is where BlackBerry CEO John Chen used to work as CEO.
Google will no longer label games that have in-app purchases as “free” in the Google Play Store. The change is in response to meetings with the European Commission. The agency has concerns over how Google and Apple promote “freemium” apps.
Forbes Media has sold a majority of the stake in the company to a Hong Kong based financial company called Integrated Whale Media Investments. The deal places a $475 million valuation on the company, according to Re/Code. Forbes chairman and editor-in-chief Steve Forbes said the new investors own the vast majority of the family company.
Zillow, one of the largest real estate websites, has announced recently that it has acquired Retsly. Retsly is a software company that normalizes real estate data from multiple listing services so that developers can build data driven products for the real estate market. Retsly also offers MLSs with tools to manage software applications for their respective markets. Zillow did not disclose the value of the deal.
George Hotz (known as geohot) has been hired to help Google with its hacker security team. When Hotz was 17, he was the first person in the world to jailbreak the iPhone in 2007. Hotz also released several jailbreaks. Hotz ended up in legal trouble when he hacked the PlayStation 3. Hotz will now help Google plug security holes in its software. Google’s hacker team is known as “Project Zero,” which has a goal of finding as many zero day vulnerabilities as possible.
Care.com is a company that runs an online marketplace for finding and managing family care support like babysitters and caregivers. Care.com recently announced that it has acquired e-commerce company Citrus Lane. Citrus Lane hit $6 million in 2013 and it was expected to hit around $12 million this year. Citrus Lane has over 400,000 members and 45,000 paying subscribers. The company raised $6.6 million in venture capital from investors like Greylock Partners and GGV. Citrus Lane sells monthly subscription boxes of products that are aimed at kids.
Y Combinator, the startup accelerator company founded by Paul Graham, has a solid track record in the companies that it funds. Y Combinator’s business model revolves around giving startups a small amount of money, but it offers a comprehensive set of resources. Y Combinator trains the startups to get into shape and refine pitches to investors. The companies present their products to an invite-only audience for its Demo Day. The Y Combinator alumni network continues to help the founders for the life of the company and beyond even after Demo Day.