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IndieGOGO.com

a crowdfunding platform that was founded in 2008, has raised a $1.5 million funding round led by Metamorphic Ventures and Zynga cofounder Steve Schoettler.

As with other crowdfunding services, IndieGoGo allows its users to raise money for a multitude of campaigns that can encompass anything from 3D printers to root canals. Once a user has published a campaign to the site, they can distribute it via channels including Email, Twitter, and Facebook. The site also uses an algorithm, dubbed the ‘GoGoFactor’, that determines which campaigns are featured on the homepage and the site’s outreach (the more engaged your users are, the higher you rank).

IndieGogo makes money by taking a percentage of the money that’s contributed: if you create a campaign and meet your stated goal, then IndieGoGo charges 4%; if you don’t meet that goal, IndieGoGo charges a higher 9% fee, but you get to keep the remainder of the money. (IndieGoGo competitor Kickstarter, which has gotten a lot of attention in the press recently, takes a different approach — the campaign only gets the money if it reaches its stated goal).

IndieGoGo cofounder and CEO Slava Rubin says that the site has now been used to power 40,000 campaigns since it launched, and is distributing “millions of dollars each month to customers in over 200 countries”. The company plans to use the money to build out its product team and boost marketing and customer satisfaction — he says the San Francisco-based company plans to grow from four people to twenty five.

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Sponsor Pay

SponsorPay a cross-platform social advertising solution, is continuing its international expansion with the establishment of a subsidiary in Japan, SponsorPay K.K., as well as close cooperation with regional ad network LinkShare JP. With local relationships being a key success factor in Asia, SponsorPay’s Japanese team will focus on driving business development in the region. The company’s set up of a Japanese subsidiary comes hot on the heels of the foundation of US-based SponsorPay Inc. announced last month. According to the Japan Online Game Association (JOGA), the country’s social games market saw $2.98 billion of revenue in 2010 while other online games generated $1.68 billion. With the Japanese smartphone industry also surging ahead and a booming mobile app economy, the country presents tremendous opportunities.

Startup: houseandhotel.com

People, folks, local heroes, and urban gypsies writes about their lives as frequent travellers and residents. The long awaited urban travel blog -houseandhotel.com- has been released.

We deliver a guide with practical aspects of houses, (luxury) hotels, travelling, urban life and story telling.

So we ask for feedback! – lots of it, details, suggestions, followers – it will all be appreciated. Stay easy and tuned.

Microsoft

Microsoft Charm

charm

Chew on this: two days after unveiling the developer preview of the next generation of its Windows operating system (“Hands On With Windows 8″), Microsoft filed a U.S. federal trademark registration for the word ‘CHARM’.

The description provided to the USPTO for CHARM is “computer programs; graphical user interface software; operating system programs”

Facebook / subscription button

If you use Facebook,  you have been often faced with this problem,  someone you meet once requests to be your “friend” on the service, even though you are not friends.

To help manage this problem, Facebook allows people to subscribe to parts of your news feed without having to become your Facebook friend. The new feature feels very similar to the follow button on Twitter, where you choose to follow someone’s feed.

Facebook said the feature was also designed to help reduce clutter in a user’s news feed.  To make it easy maybe you’d like to see more stories from your best friends, and fewer from yourcolleagues.

By subscribing to someone you can decide which updates you see. For example, you can choose to see only photos from a user and not receive updates about a new Facebook game that user is playing.

Stay tuned.

Snapdeal / India

Online sales still make up a small portion of overall retail spending — one estimate pegs it at $10 billion, a tiny fraction of India’s $500 billion retail market — but they are growing fast. FlipKart says it had revenue of 500 million rupees ($11 million) in its last fiscal year, and is now clocking sales of about 10 million rupees a day. SnapDeal.com, a coupon and deals site similar to Groupon, expects sales of 1.5 billion rupees this year, up from almost nothing the year before.  So the biggest thing to happen in India, that rapid growth has drawn the attention of venture capitalists who poured $183 million into 20 e-commerce firms in the last 12 months, up from $61 million for 13 firms in the previous 12 months, according to Venture Intelligence, a research firm. Keep goin Snapdeal.

Mertado raises 3 milion US $

Mertado, the social shopping startup that allows users to find and buy products on Facebook, today launched “Mertado TV”, a new product that will combine lifestyle video content with product selection on the social web. What does that mean? Mertado TV will deliver syndicated content from networks like the Food Network, Fine Living, and Better TV and feature products found in Mertado’s catalog — all via the comfort of Facebook.