Taxi cabs get a serious challenger, Flipboard gets an iPhone app, and developers get a bigger cut of the revenues from Microsoft's upcoming app store.
Let's take a look at what's driving the sector today:
Cannacord Genuity started coverage on a slew of online players:
eBay and Pandora were initiated at a hold, but with price targets at $34 (eBay) and $13 (Pandora), 10% to 30% above where they're currently trading.
Starting at a buy? Zillow ($32 target), LinkedIn ($85 target) and IAC ($55 target).
Another bit of bad news for BlackBerry maker RIM : A U.S. federal court has blocked the company from using the BBX trademark for its new operating system ... software development company Basis had cried foul, because it's called its product BBX for quite a while. RIM in a statement said it will start referring to the OS as BlackBerry 10.
Let's take a look at the biggest news from innovators.
Here's one to watch:Uber, a service that lets you order a car service on your smartphone and pay with your smartphone, has announced $32 million in a series B round of funding led by Menlo Ventures, Goldman Sachs and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's private investment arm. (It'll be $39 million by the time the round's over.) I caught up with V.C.
Shervin Pishevar of Menlo Ventures this morning to talk about Uber's plan to expand to 24 more cities in 2012, and asked -- what's Uber's secret sauce?
"They're hiring PhDs. They're hiring data scientists at Uber that are slicing and dicing that data, and basically figuring out what is the optimal way to route cars to consumers fastest," Pishevar said. "Also they see interesting economic indicators of how well a city is doing, how well a neighborhood is doing, based on the volume and traffic of Uber."
Plus, using the service sounds a lot better than hailing a cab.
A couple more headlines to watch:
Flipboard, a startup that's trying to reinvent digital publishing, is expanding beyond its iPad app that's done quite well -- today it's launched an iPhone app that allows you to stay up to speed on your social networks while also getting nuggets from mainstream publications. (The iPhone launch was popular enough that it temporarily knocked the entire Flipboard service offline.)
And Microsoft unveiled details of its Windows Store, its upcoming app store for Windows 8. The minimum price of apps will be $1.49, maximum just under a thousand dollars, and Microsoft will let developers of the highest-grossing apps keep 80 percent of the revenue.
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