Today's Funding: Workday, Kanbox, Sencha and More ($131.4M, Six Deals)

Workday, cloud-based HR services company, raised $85M in a funding round led by
T. Rowe Price, Morgan Stanley, Janus Capital and Bezos Expeditions.

Twitter: @Workday  

David Duffield, co-founder and co-CEO

Aneel Bhusri, co-founder and co-CEO
Twitter: @aneelb 

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Identify Your Creepy Neighbor Before It's Too Late with Docket in Your Pocket

Have you ever wanted to run a criminal background check on a potential new roommate or that creepy looking guy your daughter is dating? Docket in Your Pocket (DYP), which officially launched today, will let you perform a simple criminal records check in about five seconds on your smartphone.

The service currently only has access to criminal records in Pennsylvania, but co-founder Matt Haindfield, an attorney in Iowa, tells LAUNCH they are looking to expand to places with major metropolitan areas.

The current DYP database contains data obtained from the State of Pennsylvania dating back to Jan. 1, 2000. Users can find public records related to criminal charges, lawsuits, civil judgments, traffic offenses...
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300milligrams Eliminates Noise in Workflow Conversations, Joins 500 Startups

300miligrams, a priority inbox for team conversations that maximizes your team's workflow conversations, has entered its public beta and been accepted to the 500 Startups accelerator program.

The priority inbox threads conversations by team, project, document, customer or other work-related topic into individual groups.

"We were running a team that was distributed and we realized the tools we used for conversation were really bad," Mark Kofman, co-founder and CEO of 300miligrams, tells LAUNCH. "If you use email you lose important conversations because of spam or noise messages. The same applies with instant messenger, microblogging tools. Nothing solved the problem...
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Family Management 2.0: Home Tribes Won't Let You Forget About Soccer Practice Again

Managing a family in the world of Web 2.0 can be complicated with parents and children using a variety of work, school and personal email accounts and calendars, but a new site launched yesterday called Home Tribes helps you organize all of your family schedule in one place.

Home Tribes provides weekly digests -- daily if you upgrade to a premium account -- of the agenda for the week or day to eliminate any "surprises" throughout the week -- like say soccer practice is cancelled and you need to pick up your kids from school at three instead of five.

"The inspiration for Home Tribes came from my personal needs," Vincent Lamanna, Quebec-based programmer and engineer who founded the site tells LAUNCH via email. "I am pretty busy at work, like most of us are nowadays, and I have to take care of my family. I felt I was lacking a tool to communicate with my wife about appointments, events and other important stuff I had to do. That's how Home Tribes was born...

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Card Gnome: Netflix for Eco-Friendly Greeting Cards

WHAT: Card Gnome is a wind powered e-commerce site for eco-friendly greeting cards created by professional designers. Card Gnome features a catalogue of more than 4.5K cards created by greeting card designers that can be mailed anywhere in the U.S. for $4.99. Card Gnome's Netflix-like suggestion system will learn your favorite styles and users can refine their search with advanced options for the cards message -- which can be personalized -- keyword and gender. Unlike other crowd-sourced card options Card Gnome employs a community of screened designers -- some of whom create cards for major greeting card companies like Hallmark. 

WHY: Greeting cards are a way of expressing emotions. A lot of people seem to think greeting cards are a communication tool, but they're a gift that lets someone know you're thinking of them, but the sheer size of the online catalogue of cards makes it hard to find the right one, users need a system to streamline the selection process.

LAUNCHERS: Joel Wishkovsky, CEO, and Chad McGimpsey, COO...

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Live Blogging the LAUNCH 'PAD Tablet Event Today -- Oct. 21

Our sold-out LAUNCH 'PAD Tablet event at Microsoft's Silicon Valley Conference Center today will showcase 25 awesome companies -- four will launch new apps and six will unveil new features. Learn more about these companies in the speaker list.

Check out who's launching at the event today here.

The live blog will begin at 9 am PDT/12 pm EDT.


Live video for mobile from Ustream


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Googler Steve Yegge Apologizes for Platform Rant, Shares Bezos War Story

[ Photo courtesy of Dave Keeshan via Creative Commons License ]

Google Software Engineer Steve Yegge issued an apology of sorts on Google+ for his now infamous Google+ platform rant, which he unintentionally made public. In his apology, he shares his commitment to his statement in his rant that "Google does everything right" and despite Google's potential flaws in understanding platforms the company has already begun to address some of the issues he brought up. He also goes as far as to share his own personal account of pitching to Jeff Bezos while at Amazon.


By Steve Yegge

Last week I accidentally posted an internal rant about service platforms to my public Google+ account (i.e. this one). It somehow went viral, which is nothing short of stupefying given that it was a massive Wall of Text. The whole thing still feels surreal.

Amazingly, nothing bad happened to me at Google. Everyone just laughed at me a lot, all the way up to the top, for having committed what must be the great-granddaddy of all Reply-All screwups in tech history...

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Top Hires of the Day: Lathi One Kings Lane CFO, Dillon and Sundaram Join SocialTwist Execs

One Kings Lane named Dinesh Lathi, former eBay VP of buyer and seller experience, the home decor sale site's new CFO.

One Kings Lane
Twitter: @onekingslane 

Dinesh Lathi


SocialTwist named Mark Dillon, who previously worked as an executive for Omniture...
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Today's Funding: ViKi, BlueStacks, Zoove and ($33.4M, Four Deals)

Viki, an international video site, raised $20M in a Series B funding round led by SK Planet, BBC Worldwide, Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, Neoteny Labs.

Blog: @ViKi  

Razmig Hovaghimian, co-founder and CEO
Twitter: @razmig7  

Jiwon Moon, co-founder and CPO
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Join the Space Race and Launch Your Own Satellite with KickSat

For the average consumer, a trip on a commercial space flight is going to be out of reach, but Kickstarter project KickSat is offering you the ability to transmit a message from your very own satellite in orbit.

Cornell University graduate student Zac Manchester wants to offer funders the opportunity to send their very own transmitter called a "Sprite" to space for the cost of a $300 pledge.

Zac is building a CubeSat, a standardized miniature satellite used for space flight, to carry hundreds or even thousands of Sprites up to low Earth orbit...

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Ride on the Front of a Train Through the Swiss Alps with Google Street View (video)

Watch this amazing video of the Google Street Team members collecting this special view of the Swiss Alps from the front of a Rhaetian Railway train on the Albula-Bernina line in Switzerland [H/t Vanessa Schneider, Google community manager for the post on Google+ ].

"Be part of the Google Street View Special Collect program as the first railway worldwide is a big honor and a great opportunity for our company," Reto Schmid, head of e-business and distribution systems for Rhaetian Railway says in the video. "We're sure that the virtual visit will inspire people in Switzerland and worldwide to visit us and and take a scenic ride between snow covered mountain tops...

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OpenBrand Saves Time and Money on Brand Management

OpenBrand is a platform for companies to manage their branded products’ identity in a single location and a place where designers and members of their team can find details about approved colors and fonts, previously created items and even specs to reorder popular items.

For designers working with a brand used to be a difficult process where they relied on emailing PDFs and other FTPs to share their work with the clients.

Some larger companies had systems for handling this type of information in the past, but those systems were expensive and out of reach for most startups...
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Ridiculous CAPTCHA Codes Be Gone, Picatcha Does Security with Pictures

Tired of difficult CAPTCHA logins, a new company, Picatcha, replaces sometimes difficult text-based authentications with image-identification security so instead of trying to type out some archaic combination of words, users will just have to select all of the images with a book.

The Picatcha test makes users select from a set of eight photographs to answer image-based challenges like, select all of the images containing a basket or select all of the images containing a dog. In the end it's a lot more fun to click on the photographs than it is to try and guess the characters in a CAPTCHA. 

UPDATE: "Image identification is very easy for humans but hard for bots," Satish Polisetti, co-founder of Picatcha tells LAUNCH via email. "This makes our product very secure. Compare it with text solutions - 70 lines of code or any OCR software can break them easily...

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RecruiterConnect: First Enterprise Software On Facebook Connects Candidates to Jobs

RecruiterConnect, the first enterprise software product available on Facebook, connects recruiters to job candidates work history, education and professional activity as well as similar profiles and connections to employees already working for the company.

Essentially LinkedIn on Facebook, RecruiterConnect is the latest release by BranchOut which is aiming to take Facebook's user base and turn it into a place to connect job seekers with employers.

“RecruiterConnect fills a major void for companies that have wanted to recruit on Facebook in a way that is safe, secure and private...
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Today's Funding: GramercyOne, iZettle, Crowdpark and More ($39M, Six Deals)

GramercyOne, a cloud based management solution company, raised more than $14.5 in a round led by Revolution Ventures.

Twitter: @Gramercy1

Josh McCarter, CEO
Twitter: @jnmccarter  

Daniel Lizio-Katzen, COO
Twitter: @djlk  
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Klout Gets More Transparent -- But New Algorithm Means Some Scores Will Drop

Klout users -- and critics -- have been asking Klout for more transparency in how people are scored, and it seems Klout is ready to pull back the curtain. But a new algorithm for improving score accuracy that Klout is releasing at the same time also means your score could drop.

"A majority of users will see their Scores stay the same or go up but some users will see a drop," Klout CEO Joe Fernandez writes on the company's blog about the new algorithm. "Some of our Scores here at the Klout HQ will drop (including mine) — our goal is accuracy above all else...
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Siri 1.0 Nearly Self-Aware in Maslow's Hierarchy of Robot Needs

We found this on Google+ and decided to plot the current version of Siri on Maslow's Heirarchy of Robot Needs, in 1.0 Siri is just two steps below a self-actualized robot... and destroying all humans.

Based on Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (non-robot), to become self-actualized an individual must meet basic levels of needs at the bottom of the pyramid to advance. The initial needs are the minimum physiological needs like food and water. The second level deals with safety and shelter. The third level is related to belonging and love, followed by confidence and self esteem, which are needed before achieving self-actualization where one realizes their full potential.

In Siri's case, just above a sense of belonging, Siri 1.0 is...
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Wahooly: Invest Your Sweat in Startups and Get Shares in Return

Not everyone has the money to invest in a startup (or the balls to found one), so Wahooly is set up to let users provide feedback to startups in exchange for becoming a shareholder in the company.

Founded by Minneapolis-based entrepreneur Dana Severson, Wahooly will leverage its network of users which it just started building following the launch and match them with startups looking to boost their alpha and beta stages with feedback from active users. The testers Wahooly delivers are more likely to promote that startups on social networks and give feedback because doing so means a larger share of the company.

"We represent our investors (users) and we're making decisions on startups that are in our investors' best interest...Wahooly and the users that are participating in each startup have a vested interest in seeing it succeed...
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