Report: Revzilla to Sell for $400 Million to $500 Million

Anthony Bucci, CEO of Revzilla.

Anthony Bucci, CEO of Revzilla.

What started as the brainchild of three motorcycle-loving friends working out of an Old City apartment could become one of the biggest stories in Philadelphia startup history.

Citing a person familiar with the matter, Reuters is reporting that Revzilla is nearing a deal to be bought by California-based Cycle Gear for the whopping sum of $400 million to $500 million. The source said the deal is expected to be announced in the coming days. Read more »

7 Startups Are Ready for PSL Accelerator

Members of the Philly Startup Leaders new accelerator class.

Members of the Philly Startup Leaders new accelerator class.

An Uber for salons, collapsable bike helmets for women and a service that connects home chefs with hungry eaters are just some of the innovations coming from Philly’s burgeoning startup community. But going from freshly-launched businesses to successful companies is a road paved with obstacles.

But Philly Startup Leaders has a plan to help. It launched it’s third accelerator program and has accepted seven companies into this year’s class after receiving 41 applications.

The class features lots of awesome innovations — like TresseNoire which helps African American women “create an amazing salon experience for ‘naturalistas’ in the privacy and convenience of their home.” Another one that jumped out at me was dlux, a company arguing that too much electric light is bad for your health. Their solution? Work with architects, engineers and sleep scientists to create lighting controls that give you the light you need, when you need it to maximize health and productivity. Read more »

Bob Moul Named CEO of Cloudamize

Bob Moul is the new CEO of Cloudamize.

Bob Moul is the new CEO of Cloudamize.

It’s been a roller-coaster year for Bob Moul. This summer, he was forced to sell Artisan Mobile, his Old City-based startup that helped apps engage and monetize users through personalized marketing solutions. Even with customers like Nike, CVS and the History Channel, the company just wasn’t growing fast enough and sold to Tune, a Seattle-based third-party measurement company focused on acquiring app users.

It was quite a blow for Philly’s burgeoning startup scene and one of its most prominent voices. But as they say in the tech world, failure is a good thing that helps you learn valuable lessons.

So he grew a beard, did some traveling and planned his next move. Today a clean-shaven Moul revealed what he’ll do next — become CEO of Cloudamize, a Center City-based analytics firm that helps businesses make data-driven cloud infrastructure decisions. It counts MissionOG, Dreamit Ventures and Gabriel Investments as investors. Read more »

Curalate Raises Mind-Blowing $27.5 Million

The Curalate team just got $27.5 million to continue making its quest to make image recognition a part of online shopping.

The Curalate team just got $27.5 million to continue its quest to revolutionize e-commerce.

Curalate has a bold mission: Reshape the $1.6 trillion e-commerce market by capitalizing on the increased use of photos online.

The Philly-based tech company just closed a whopping $27.5 million venture capital round and seems poised to stay on top of the ever-changing market. The round was led by New Enterprise Associates and actually amounted to more than all of Curalate’s previous raises combined. The company has now raised $40 million to date. Other investors were MentorTech and First Round Capital.

Curalate currently works with 800 clients like Urban Outfitters, BuzzFeed, Crate & Barrel and Nordstrom. The company created a suite of products which includes: Like2Buy that makes Instagram shoppable; Visual Insights which tells a brand which of its images were shared on social networks like Facebook or Pinterest; and Reveal, which links the images on a retailer’s website with purchase pages, limiting the amount of clicks it takes to get a customer finished with a purchase. Read more »

WeWork in Northern Liberties Won’t Open on Time

WeWork's new co-working space in Northern Liberties. (Photo from Google Earth.)

WeWork’s new co-working space in Northern Liberties. (Photo from Google Earth.)

The much-anticipated WeWork co-working space in Northern Liberties won’t open on time.

WeWork signed a lease for 30,000 square feet at the Piazza at Schmidt’s, the open-air residential and commercial center at Germantown and Hancock Streets. It was originally scheduled to open on April 1.

When I asked about touring the space, a spokesperson for WeWork, said “unfortunately, the opening has been pushed back a few months so tours have not begun.” She said she’ll have a better idea on timing in a few weeks. Read more »

Future of Manufacturing in Philly Isn’t Smoky Factories

(Alexander Kirch/Shutterstock)

(Alexander Kirch/Shutterstock)

The word “manufacturing” probably conjures up images of smoke-filled factories and Depression Era employees working for peanuts.

But the reality is much brighter — and tech focused. Take 3D printing for example, it can create everything from prosthetic limbs and hearing aides to airplane parts and even living organs. And it might just help get young professionals interested in manufacturing.

The Pennsylvania Dept. of Labor & Industry reports that there are just 20,000 manufacturing jobs in Philadelphia. In 1953, there were 359,000. Of course, the economy is completely different today than in 1953, but the number is still pretty low for a city that was once called the “Workshop of the World” for its manufacturing prowess. Read more »

New Co-Working Space for Women Now Open

Tina Nerelli (left) and Stephanie Gambescia Seal show off their new co-working space in Ardmore.

When self-employed Katy O’Gara works from home, there’s always something that can distract her. A mother of four kids 12 and under, O’Gara might see a pile of dirty laundry or smell something festering in a trashcan in one of her child’s bedrooms.

“At home, maybe I’ll catch up on my Bravo while I’m doing work and it’s just not effective,” said O’Gara, who runs a startup that organizes dining tours of walk-able towns like Bryn Mawr, Ardmore and Media.

But in November 2015, O’Gara found a better option: a new, 2,600-square-foot, women-only co-working space started by Bizzy Mamas — a group made up of mostly young, working moms that own their own businesses. Located above a cafe in Ardmore’s commercial district on Lancaster Avenue, the space has workstations, meeting rooms, a kitchen (yes, there’s coffee and alcohol) and even a photography studio. Read more »

Shark Tank to Feature Philly-Made SmartPlate

Martin Dell'Arciprete pitches SmartPlate on Shark Tank. (ABC/Michael Desmond)

Martin Dell’Arciprete pitches SmartPlate on Shark Tank. (ABC/Michael Desmond)

Every startup company is looking for one thing: traction. Maybe they get some momentum after a speaking engagement, news article or crowdfunding campaign, but there’s one thing that’s sure to bring serious attention every time: ABC’s hit TV show Shark Tank.

The folks at Philly-based Fitly certainly hope so. The company’s signature product, SmartPlate will be featured on February 12.

SmartPlate analyzes your food and offers calorie counts and other nutritional information. It uses three digital cameras and advanced image recognition and weight sensors to identify the food. Then it calculates how much protein, fat, carbs and sugar you’re about to consume. Plus it’s microwavable and dishwasher safe, its founder says. Read more »

Philly Startup Founder Rings Nasdaq Bell

Christopher Gray (on the right in the white T-shirt) was among the Forbes Under 30 winners to ring the Nasdaq opening bell on Monday.

Christopher Gray (on the right wearing a white T-shirt) was among the Forbes Under 30 winners to ring the Nasdaq opening bell on Monday.

Christopher Gray can knock “ring the Nasdaq bell” off his bucket list.

He’s the founder of Scholly, a smartphone app that helps students easily find scholarship funds — which is incredibly useful in an era when hundreds of millions in scholarships are going to waste each year. Gray’s business got him noticed by Forbes magazine which named him to its 30 Under 30 list for 2016.

On Monday, Gray and some other winners joined Forbes Editor Randall Lane to ring the Nasdaq bell. Gray even got a moment on the huge video screen at Times Square. Read more »

Philly Ranks 5th on Huffington Post List of Top Tech Cities

Photo credit: Ethan Schwartz via Flickr.

Photo credit: Ethan Schwartz via Flickr.

Philadelphia’s tech scene got some nice recognition in a new Huffington Post article ranking the top 10 cities that techies should consider moving to in 2016. It ranked fifth, slightly behind more established tech havens like San Jose and Austin.

The article (which has some serious grammar issues — get it together HuffPo!) says that the Philly “startup scene is banding together to grow” and has “rock star companies like RJMetrics, DuckDuckGo, and Curalate.” We can’t disagree there: RJMetrics is growing at lightning speed; DuckDuckGo is taking on Google at its own game; and Curalate was the first company to make Instagram shoppable.  Read more »

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