Airbnb: Airbnb is looking to raise another $400M ~ $500M at about $10B valuation. TPG and Dragoneer Investment Group are leading the funding round.
Amazon: An analyst is predicting that Amazon will be launching its own brand of smartphone within 3~6 months. The phone is expecting to have 6 cameras, using Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a 4.7-inch display. The superstar analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from KGI Securities is widely known for his Apple research. Here’s an interesting slide share about the mobile eco-system. See slide 37.
App: FireChat is a chat app that does not need an internet connection. It leverage on Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework, which can use WiFi or Bluetooth to connect two or more devices. No login. No setup. Works within 30 feet.
Bitcoin: Bankrupt MtGox says that it found 200K bitcoins in an old wallet. These bitcoins are worth about $116M currently.
Microsoft: They love to talk about Scroogled! and you have no privacy with Gmail. However, Microsoft just admitted to “reading” the Hotmail inbox of a blogger while pursuing a software leak investigation.
Pebble: The smartwatch company that kickstarted the wearables trend sold 400K smartwatches last year. Created their own app store with 1000 Pebble apps with 12,000 registered developers coming up with more good stuff. But they are now facing competition from other tech giants* from the success they had.
Twitter: Now you can have video previews within the Twitter app. Just hope that they do not do a Facebook, because there is a speculation going around.