Online mobile payment startup secures $5 million seed funding

paymo Online mobile payment startup secures $5 million seed fundingPaymo, Inc. has raised $5 million in seed financing. Paymo is the first company to address the needs of online merchants for a global micro-payments solution for digital content and services. The financing round was provided by prominent angel investors in the U.S. and Europe and will be used to accelerate product development and marketing.

Paymo connects online merchants with the world’s more than 3 billion mobile phone users, enabling purchases of digital content and services to be charged to the mobile phone bill. The Paymo network is built on a unique connectivity architecture and technology platform that makes it possible for web and mobile merchants everywhere in the world to increase digital content sales by reaching any consumer with a mobile phone in any country.

[Here's a demo of Paymo]

Intel to work with Facebook on datacenter infrastructure

intel logo 300x203 Intel to work with Facebook on datacenter infrastructureFacebook and Intel Corporation will work together to optimize Facebook’s hardware and software as the company builds out its datacenter infrastructure. Facebook plans to deploy thousands of Intel Xeon processor-based servers over the next year to help scale rapid global expansion and meet processing needs of the company’s increasingly rich media applications that span videos, music, photos and more.

To maximize the return on this infrastructure investment, Facebook and Intel have signed a collaboration agreement that focuses on technology evaluation, benchmarking and optimization of software for Intel architecture. Intel will work to address Facebook’s processing needs through assessment of various chipset and server platform configurations, delivery of the most energy efficient processors and allocation of software engineering to evaluate ways to harness the optimal performance from Facebook’s servers.

Over the past several months, Facebook rigorously tested and benchmarked a number of server platforms and scenarios, and ultimately selected the Intel Xeon processor 5400 series for its round of new deployments that begin in July.

40billion.com launches friends-and-family funding network

40billion.com has launched ots friends-and-family funding network for small-business entrepreneurs. The service enables entrepreneurs to raise capital through friends, family and others interested in helping the entrepreneur to succeed.

Unlike traditional bank loans and other person-to-person lending services, 40billion.com does not require a credit report or minimum credit score and does not allow loan interest rates as high as 36%, which many small-business entrepreneurs cannot afford. Instead, the entrepreneur can raise money from people they know in exchange for discounts that they offer to those investors who become customers.

To obtain funding, an entrepreneur simply uses 40billion.com to start a “Raise” (a fundraising profile) and invites friends, family and others in her social network to invest and contribute towards the funding target. 40billion.com makes it easier for entrepreneurs to share their business ideas with friends and relatives, who may want to invest and help out. Furthermore, 40billion.com handles all the transactions, so it is easier for an entrepreneur to manage having many investors. Raises are private, so potential investors must be invited by entrepreneurs or other investors.

Advantages of 40billion.com:

- No credit report or sales history required
- Multiple funding options
- Private, invitation-only profiles
- Exclusive entrepreneur features, e.g., live presentations online
- Search-engine to find business resources
- Profiles with embedded videos and PowerPoint presentations
- Investors receive social returns, financial returns, and discounts

PerformancingAds launches

300pxblog PerformancingAds launchesBloggers are always on the lookout for better ways to monetize their sites. Businesses, on the other hand, are looking for value for their money. With this, Performancing.com announced the launch of PerformancingAds, an ad marketplace for the 125×125 format, which is becoming the format of choice for bloggers.

PerformancingAds has been running in private beta for some time now on dozens of high-volume blogs and websites. Check out this announcement for reasons on why you should try PerformancingAds.

For disclosure purposes, Splashpress Media owns both Performancing.com and 901am.com, but PerformancingAds is cool that we can’t resist announcing it here.

Google setting up a VC arm

Google is planning to start a venture capital arm, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The report added that it will be led by Google’s senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer David Drummond. Google has also tapped the services of William Maris to help set up the project.

Forrester Research acquires JupiterResearch for $23 million

Forrester Research, Inc. has acquired JupiterResearch, LLC and its parent company, JUPR Holdings, Inc., from MCG Capital Corporation for $23 million in cash plus assumed liabilities. JupiterResearch has 83 employees and 2007 revenues of approximately $14 million. Forrester, with 2007 revenues of $212 million, now has more than 1,000 employees. This strategic purchase complements Forrester’s syndicated business model, as JupiterResearch joins Forrester’s Marketing & Strategy Client Group, which contributed $46.4 million to Forrester’s total revenue in 2007.

Forrester serves marketing and strategy, IT, and technology industry leaders across 19 professional roles. The addition of JupiterResearch will fortify Forrester’s existing data-driven insight, forward-looking research and analysis, objective advice, and best practices for marketing and strategy professionals globally. These professionals include CMOs, consumer market researchers, consumer product strategists, customer experience experts, direct marketers, interactive marketers, and
eBusiness and channel specialists at major companies.

Like Forrester, JupiterResearch provides business professionals with syndicated research, analysis, and advice backed by proprietary data. JupiterResearch has a substantive and growing library of syndicated research and strong consumer data and excels at market forecasting.

Do you check your email at 3AM?

If you check your email in the middle of the night or even while driving, you’re not alone. According to AOL Mail’s fourth annual Email Addiction Survey, nearly half (46%) of email users said they’re hooked on email (up from just 15% last year) and 51% check their email four or more times a day (up from 45% in 2007). One in five said they check their email more than 10 times a day.

More than one-quarter (27%) are so overwhelmed by their email that they’ve either declared “email bankruptcy,” deleting all their email messages to start anew, or they’re seriously thinking about doing so. Maybe it’s because 20% of users said they have over 300 emails in their inboxes.

To start fresh, 24% admit they’ve signed up for a new email address. It comes as no surprise then that 69% of email users said they have multiple email accounts, up from 52% in 2007.

When asked about email etiquette, nearly one quarter (24%) of email users said they don’t even use a salutation – they just dive right into their email messages! Meanwhile, 23% write “Hi Bob” and 20% say “Hello Bob” when they start an email to co-worker Bob.

As for email sign-offs, most people write “Thanks” (44%) or “Sincerely (12%). The most annoying sign-off among email users? It’s “xoxo” according to 25% of respondents. “Cheers” irritated 13% of users the most. Overall, 63% of email users were annoyed by some type of email sign-off.

Most respondents (88%) said that they pay attention to spelling and punctuation when writing emails, and 68% said emails with spelling and punctuation errors annoyed them. Interestingly, 74% said they excuse errors when emails are sent from a mobile device like a BlackBerry or iPhone.

People today check their email from the strangest of places. Where you ask?

- In bed in their pajamas: 67%
- From the bathroom: 59% (up from 53% last year)
- While driving: 50% (up from 37% last year)
- In a bar or club: 39%
- In a business meeting: 38%
- During happy hour: 34%
- While on a date: 25%
- From church: 15% (up from 12% last year)

Email users have also become too quick to hit the “Send” button. In fact, 32% have forwarded an email to the wrong person and 16% have relied on email as a way to share uncomfortable or bad news with someone. Meanwhile, 12% have used email to ask someone on a date and 7% have broken up with a boyfriend or girlfriend over email. A full 16% even said they still keep email notes from ex-boyfriends and girlfriends!

We also just can’t walk away from our inboxes. Of those surveyed, 60% said they’ve never gone more than 5 days without checking email and 17% can’t go more than one day without email. They’re so hooked that 11% have even hidden the fact that they’re checking email from a spouse or family member.

Some cities are more hooked on email than others. Here are the ten most email addicted cities in the country:

1. New York
2. Houston
3. Chicago
4. Detroit
5. San Francisco
6. Sacramento
7. Orlando
8. Minneapolis-St. Paul
9. Denver
10. Phoenix

[full survey]

Computer hacker loses appeal over US extradition

gary Computer hacker loses appeal over US extraditionHacker Gary McKinnon, accused of hacking into the United States army network, has lost his final appeal against extradition after rejecting a plea bargain in which he was offered a shorter prison sentence in exchange for pleading guilty, Times Online reports.

The 42-year old unemployed broke into the US military computers from his bedroom in North London. He faces at least 10 years in a US jail. He has always claimed that he was only seeking information on UFOs and aliens.

American Media Inc. inks content agreement with iAmplify

ami American Media Inc. inks content agreement with  iAmplifyAmerican Media, Inc. (AMI), the publisher of celebrity journalism and health and fitness magazines in the US, has partnered with iAmplify.com, a video distribution network, to deliver premium downloadable audio and video content through AMI’s web properties.

iAmplify has exclusive distribution rights to a large catalog of content in more than 30 verticals such as fitness, yoga, nutrition, relationships, spirituality, sports and more.

“We are thrilled to work with AMI to amplify their revenue potential in the premium online space,” said Murray Hidary, CEO and co-founder of iAmplify.com. “iAmplify’s eCommerce widgets represent a fundamental shift and opportunity for website and content owners to monetize their assets alongside the traditional advertising model.”

IOC cuts deal with China on Internet censorship

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has cut a deal with China in allowing the blocking ofsensite websites despite promises of unrestricted access, Reuters reports.

China committed to providing freedom for media coverage but journalists are complaining of finding access to websites deemed sensitive blocked.