Virtualitics grabs another $7M in funding to drive its VR data visualization platform

After raising $4.4 million last March, Virtualitics has closed a $7 million Series B round led by Centricus with participation from The VR Fund. The startup is building a sort of “Excel for VR,” that lets people see data in a more immersive and collaborative way. “[B]usiness intelligence platforms need to be 3D and collaborative by design in order to help companies gain a deeper level of understanding in the stories being told by the raw data,” Virtualitics CTO Ciro Donalek wrote in a press release. VR data visualization does do a…

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Going public pits Spotify’s suggestions versus everyone

The secret to Spotify’s public market debut is actually an acquisition it made in 2014. The Echo Nest was powering music recommendations for Beats Music, Rdio, Vevo and iHeartRadio before Spotify pulled it out from under them by buying it for a reported $100 million — 90 percent in Spotify equity. That deal paid off big time, as it’s turned the startup from a daunting search box for 35 million songs into a personalized mix tape. Today, in Spotify’s SEC filing to go public through an unusual direct listing, the company…

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See you tonight in New York

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There’s always a bigger fish

Hall One at Mobile World Congress — a single space more massive than most conference centers in major cities — contained only a few displays. Although a quarter of the room housed small phone and mobile manufacturers, Huawei controlled the rest, creating a walled-off compound patrolled by women in folk costumes from many lands. The Small World After All jollity stopped at the gates. This was Huawei’s war room. Mere mortals were not allowed to tread its hallowed ground as the ladies at the gate kept out all but the…

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LittleThings blames its shutdown on Facebook algorithm change

A recent Facebook algorithm change seems to have claimed a high-profile casualty: LittleThings, a digital publisher focused on inspirational and how-to content for women, which shut down yesterday. I wrote about the company at the beginning of 2016, when it raised debt funding from City National Bank. At the time, it seemed to be flying high, becoming one of the largest lifestyle publishers online and, according to one report, publishing the single most popular Facebook post in 2015. But things were a bit rockier in recent months, according to a…

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Spotify plays the long game with Family and Student Plans even as revenue per user drops

Spotify’s “Family Plan,” a variation of which launched in 2014, as well as its “Student Plan” appear to be driving a significant portion of the company’s growth and improving retention, as the company points to it multiple times in its filing for a direct listing on public markets today. But that also comes at a cost of decreasing the amount of revenue it actually gets from each premium subscriber. In the filing, Spotify indicates that the fee for a family plan — which costs $14.99 per month — can be…

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Here’s what Spotify shares will be worth when they start trading

Spotify has finally filed to go public. But unlike most tech offerings, Spotify won’t be raising any money by issuing new shares. Instead they’ll just allow existing shares owned by investors and employees to be traded publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. No IPO means there are no investment banks to underwrite and price the offering, meaning the public markets will essentially be the only thing determining what Spotify shares will be worth when they start trading. However, Spotify’s F-1 registration does disclose what its shares have historically traded…

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