We’re hearing from multiple sources that private social network Path is raising a new round of funding that could value the company as high as $1 billion. According to one source, the company is in the process of seeking between $75 million to $100 million in financing and is aiming for the aforementioned number as a valuation.
We hear investors are approaching Path after a period of high growth, but as of yet no one has tossed out a valuation number or an amount that has stuck.
These reports come amidst controversy surrounding Path’s growth tactics and rumors that it is seeking an acquisition (which could still be the case as an alternative to raising more money). To date, Path has raised nearly $42 million in funding from VCs like Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures and Redpoint among many others.
Path, which now has 12 million users, was founded in 2010 and is led by former Facebooker Dave Morin. The startup has had a frenzied past few months. The company’s app was accused of spamming users, had its hand slapped by Facebook and was forced to pay an $800,000 fine to the FTC over uploading user address books in their entirety to its servers.
Last year, Path raised $30 million at a $250 million valuation, so $1 billion is a pretty big jump for the social network. Google offered over $100 million for Path back in 2011, but Morin famously turned down the acquisition in favor of raising more money.
Brewster launched late last year with a simple goal: Replace your tired old A-to-Z contact list with an address book that actually understands your relationships and, in turn, helps you become a better friend. For some of us, this feels like a hopeless pursuit. We’re overworked, stressed, have terrible breath, and just can’t seem to find enough hours in the day to better manage our personal relationships. It starts in your twenties and gets worse from there.
Sure, Brewster’s mission sounds similar to the one that Plaxo launched with back in 2002, and there are enough smart, mobile address books out there to make your head spin. They’re all trying to simplify contact management, but there isn’t anything out there that’s based on the understanding of the people in your life and how those relationships fit together, which is how founder Steve Greenwood tells us he thinks that the team can actually transform the address book.
Today, Brewster launched its web application to let users enjoy a newly designed, fast Brewster experience on your phone, tablet or laptop. The app also introduces easier and faster contact sharing so that you no longer have to open your address book only to realize you’re missing a close friend’s number or have forgotten to update their work email.
If you’re anything like me, at least once in your life, this has probably happened to you. Or, you want to be a considerate friend and send them a birthday gift, but guess what? You have no idea what their address is. You scramble to find it, and a giant headache ensues and you send a birthday cake to the wrong house. Sigh.
When you scroll through your address book, Greenwood says, it’s almost appalling how much incorrect and incomplete information is in there for all the people you know, even for some of your closest friends. With its new contact sharing functionality, Brewster is looking to bring your relationships “to life” in your address book, enabling you to have each other’s current and complete contact info in your phone — or in your browser.
With one click, the founder says, you can take your contacts from static, probably out-of-date entities to something that’s at least a little more dynamic, and maybe even a realtime representation of the people in your life.
In terms of how it works?
Users sign on and create a personal contact card for the information they want to share with particular friends. You get to decide what information you’d like to share, whether it be phone numbers, emails, addresses, Skype IDs and usernames, etc. At any point, you can edit your contact card and the information you share with those friends and the card will update in realtime across platforms.
The app will list suggested friends based on its relationship algorithms, which Greenwood says “study each user’s closest relationships” in an attempt to streamline the connection process. If you don’t see someone in the list, you can add them yourself manually.
After sending requests to share info with friends and they accept (hopefully), you and those chosen will have complete and up-to-date contact info in your profile — and the same goes for them — or at least that’s the idea. If your friend gets a new job and updates their email address, for example, the new address will automatically update on each profile, for example, so you don’t have to worry about keeping contact info up to date for your close friends. Pretty cool.
Greenwood was sure to point out that users can disable sharing with any contact whenever you want, along with the ability to modify information that’s in your contact card and being shared with those select friends. Just in case you start to feel anxiety over lock-in. There’s a big market for the next-gen, automatically updated mobile contact manager, and, while there’s a lot of competition out there and many have come and gone trying to climb “Contact List Mountain,” but Brewster is off to a good start.
For more, find Brewster at home here or its iPhone app here.
LinkedIn has announced it is launching a new Linkedin Contacts that aims to create a “personal assistant” for users.
You might be thinking you already have a Contacts section in your LinkedIn account – and you’d be right. However, this goes well beyond what LinkedIn offers today under the “Contacts” tab. The new LinkedIn Contacts will reside within LinkedIn and also as a standalone app for iPhone.
What’s new about it? With the new LinkedIn Contacts you will be able to see information not only about your LinkedIn connections, but also everybody in your address book, calendars and emails. You can have all your professional contacts in one place, instead of scattered around among LinkedIn, email, and other places.
On the official LinkedIn blog, Engineer and Product Specialist Sachin Rekhi writes:
“LinkedIn Contacts brings together all your address books, emails, and calendars, and keeps them up to date in one place. From these sources, we’ll automatically pull in the details of your past conversations and meetings, and bring these details directly onto your contact’s profile.”
You also will be able to add notes (such as how you first met the person), set reminders about your contacts, and be notified of birthdays, Rekhi writes.
You can also see your last communication with the person. You’ll be able to sort your contacts based on your most recent interactions with them, upcoming meetings or other criteria.
A TechCrunch.com report on the new feature looks at compatibility with other websites and services. Users can collect and organize contact data from the following: Gmail, Google Contacts, Google Calendar; Google Apps Mail, Contacts and Calendar; Yahoo! Mail, Contacts and Calendar; Outlook Mail, Contacts and Calendar; iPhone Address Book (via the LinkedIn Contacts app); LinkedIn’s CardMunch service; Evernote and TripIt.
Not only will LinkedIn Contacts collect information from all of these sources, but the information automatically updates when it changes on the underlying platform.
You will not be able to import your Twitter or Facebook contacts. LinkedIn currently plans to focus on professional contacts (not social ones).
TechCrunch also reports that LinkedIn Contacts is the first major development out of its acquisition of the contact management platform Connected in October 2011. The new LinkedIn Contacts has a waiting list that you can ask to be added to. It will roll out in stages over the next several months to LinkedIn’s 155 million monthly users.
The post New LinkedIn Contacts: Aims to Be Your Personal Assistant appeared first on Small Business Trends.
Microsoft’s web-based Outlook.com calendar is getting a visual refresh and a few new features today. With this update, the calendar now looks more like the rest of Microsoft’s online productivity tools and features the same “content over chrome” flat design that the company now uses across its product line-up. The new calendar, Microsoft says, “is faster than ever, helps you focus on the events and appointments and tasks you’ve added, and lets you take your calendar with you on any device.”
These updates will start rolling out today and should be available to all Outlook.com users later this week.
With this update, the Outlook calendar can now also automatically pull in your friends’ birthdays from Skype, LinkedIn and Facebook. You can also import public calendars from services like iCalShare (or export your Google Calendar files, as Microsoft helpfully notes).
Sharing your calendar is now also a bit easier, thanks to a new “share” menu that allows users to control who can see your calendar. Outlook.com also provides you with a link to your calendar that you can share with others to more easily coordinate schedules. Users, Microsoft notes, can also sign up to receive notifications whenever a shared calendar is updated.
Besides the shareable calendars, Microsoft has also added shareable talk lists, email reminders and meeting invitations to the new Outlook.com calendar.
Microsoft stresses that users can use Exchange ActiveSync to keep their calendars, mail and address books in sync between all of their desktops, tablets and phones.