Was Seth Sternberg, the CEO of Meebo, not in attendance at Sequoia Capital's recent summit for all of the venture capital firm's startups? In its now-famous "R.I.P. Good Times" presentation, Sequoia's partners scolded the entrepreneurs the firm has funded to cut all unnecessary costs. The online-chat startup's apparent response: Listing all of the free food and drink it buys employees. The one concession to frugality: They don't buy chocolate milk, because it's too expensive. (Chocolate soy milk, on the other hand, is deemed an affordable luxury.) Any bets on how long it will take for Sequoia's Roelof Botha, the lead partner on its Meebo investment, to tell Sternberg to stop paying the grocery bills? (Photo by ifindkarma)
Instant messaging service Meebo will today announce $25 million in funding from JAFCO Ventures, KTB Ventures and Time Warner, which spent $850 million to buy social network Bebo in March. Meebo founder Seth Sternberg only began looking for more funding that same month, hiring Montgomery & Co and hoping to raise $25 million to $30 million to set the company's value at $250 million. Today's funding round values the company at $200 million, the WSJ reports. Last year, funding valued Meebo at $90 million. But the real question is, how exactly does anyone expect to make money with instant messaging?
Mountain View-based instant messaging service Meebo has hired Montgomery & Co. to raise another $25 million to $30 million, only a year after its last round. Reportedly, Meebo founder Seth Sternberg hopes investors will buy in at $250 million, up from $90 million last year. That's $10 million more than what JPMorgan wants to pay for Bear Stearns. Seth, I've embedded a Meebo IM window below, so that you can ping me and explain what you're drinking. I'd like some, too.
Meebo, the Web-based chat startup, is running chat rooms for the 3:30 p.m. debut of Britney Spears's latest video, the anime-inspired "Break the Ice." Great: A scalable real-time communications infrastructure allowing thousands of teenage girls to say, "OMG, Britney." Isn't that what text messages are for? [Blackout Ball]
Would the last Yahoo to leave Sunnyvale please turn off the lights? Glam Media has hired Kiumarse Zamanian, an engineer with several patents to his name, to run its ad platform. Chris Szeto, a key developer of Yahoo Messenger has joined Meebo, the instant-messaging startup. Their new employers would have you think that they left for "exciting new challenges." But the truth is their departures say far more about Yahoo.
Something I blocked from my memory after last night's Meebo party: In announcing the launch of their new platform, the company announced a new slogan: "I want to ______ with you." ("At the same time," Meebo's site helpfully clarifies.) The fill-in-the-blank answer, in Meebo's eyes, would be "talk" or "play games" and the "with you" portion highlights Meebo's sales pitch — the ability to do such activities in real time, while others are online. Our question: What happens when that blank is answered with "share kiddie porn" or "plan a terrorist attack"?
For two years running, Meebo has allowed you to skip the software download and log onto instant messenger using your Web browser. Never mind that you can already do this! The startup celebrated its second anniversary of AIMlessness at Pier 38 last night with a cake, open bar and a giant game of Guitar Hero. (Pictured above, tech consultant gadabout Dave Matthews — no, really, that's his name — jams on the imaginary Fender.) And really, though no one at Meebo will quite say it this way, they've figured out they need more of a purpose in life. That's supposedly coming from the new Meebo platform, which will allow third-party developers to create applications for integration into Meebo's service.
While other startup founders have to stay home and, you know, work, these guys have the time and the spare $3,000 to spend hanging out at a zero-agenda conference in Hawaii. (For the record, we're jealous.) Spotted in Yahoo executive Bradley Horowitz's Flickr stream: Benchmark entrepreneur-in-waiting Nirav Tolia; "stepped-up" LinkedIn chairman Reid Hoffman; FeedBurner founder Dick Costolo, who's rolling in Googlebucks; Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale; Evan Williams from Twitter; Mashery's Oren Michels; and
Kevin Rose (and his new haircut) from Digg with Joshua Schachter from the Yahoo-owned Del.icio.us. One question: Is this really Meebo CEO Seth Sternberg? I don't recognize him looking so unnerdly. (Photo by: bradley23)
NICK DOUGLAS — The best critic is a fellow creator. That's why it's satisfying to read pro-written blogs like logo-critiquing Brand New or advertising blog Adrants. In that vein, welcome Uncov, a Web 2.0 review blog by software engineers and comp sci geeks. In its first week, the authors of Uncov have already demonstrated skill and insight. For example, one author pointed out the big flaw in Meebo: the web-based IM client takes far more processor power than any user would tolerate from a desktop app. When you want an under-the-hood examination the user-reviewers at TechCrunch or Valleywag can't give you, try Uncov. (Photo: Hogbard)