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August 19, 2009

Another Website for Twitter Users to Augment Their Twitter Accounts

Filed under: Start-up Companies Reviews — admin @ 5:08 am

Over the past two or three years, an amazing phenomenon has overtaken the entire social networking industry. When Twitter launched three years ago, the entire internet has been tweeting from computers, mobile devices, and phones. Tweets have been used to spread information from news to fomenting revolutions throughout the globe. Since then, a number of different social networks that are based off of Twitter and let you edit your Twitter accounts have popped up like mushrooms after a rainstorm.

One of these new Twitter based social networks is TuneIn, which was founded in July of 2009. To use TuneIn, you must have a Twitter account and you can log directly into your Twitter account from TuneIn and have all of TuneIn’s services at your disposal. According to the CEO of TuneIn, Adam Hertz; in a video produced by TechCrunch, TuneIn is basically a digital VCR for twitter. The drawback of Twitter is that all the information that is on Twitter comes in on real time and for those who are information addicts, when they go to bed or get something to eat, they miss out on some of the information because there is no way to save the information on Twitter. TuneIn aims to correct that problem. When someone just uses Twitter, information simply scrolls off the screen with out the user being able to stop and save a particular tweet. Mr. Hertz further went on to state in that people aught to think of TuneIn as Tivo for the web, or that it works much like Napster used to work. If you have ever used Napster, you probably remember how you were able to view someone’s playlist when you were downloading music from that person. Well, TuneIn works much in the same way. When you log into your Twitter account through TuneIn, you are able to use TuneIn to filter what people you want to associate with or what tweets you think are noteworthy or important. In TechCrunch’s video, Mr. Hertz stated that the real filters in the social networks are people. People should be able to filter the information they feel important from the information that they consider as junk. TuneIn allows you to be able to save all the tweets, video and audio from users that you feel are important or are close to you.

TuneIn is still a rather new startup and is still in the early stages of beta testing and the beta testing is on an invitation basis only and is limited to a few hundred people, but within the next coming months, the company plans to have the number of people beta testing TuneIn to grow to a few thousand.

As mentioned before, Mr. Adam Hertz is the CEO of TuneIn and is also its founder. Mr. Hertz has over twenty years of experience in technology and the consumer internet industry. Before founding TuneIn, Mr. Hertz was an Entrepreneur in Residence at Kapor Enterprises. Mr. Hertz also held key executive positions at Ofoto, Technorati, Contact Networks, and Excite@Home. Mr. Hertz also worked at Magic, NeXT, and Lotus as an engineering manager.

Other people on the TuneIn management include Jim Lanzone, Philip Black, and Mitch Kapor. All the people on the company’s management team, including Mr. Hertz are also on the company’s board of directors.

Jim Lanzone is the cofounder of TuneIn, working together with Mr. Hertz to help build the company. Previously, Mr. Lanzone was CEO of Ask.com and also served as both the senior vice president and general manager of Ask.com, US. In his position at Ask.com, Mr. Lanzone oversaw product management and all marketing and engineering operations. Mr. Lanzone also launched eTour in 1997 and ran it until it was acquired by Ask.com in 2001.

Philip Black is simply a member of TuneIn’s board of directors and works as a partner with True Ventures, one of the company’s investors. Before coming to True Ventures, Mr. Black founded Blacksmith Capital in 2003. Blacksmith capital is a vc firm that mainly invests in seed and early stage companies. Before founding Blacksmith Ventures, Mr. Black worked at ABS Ventures, where he served as General Partner of the firm. Before that Mr. Black worked at San Francisco-based Weiss, Peck, & Greer Venture Partners, which has since become Lightspeed Venture Partners, from 1995 to 1999. Mr. Black started his career in venture capital funding at Summit Capital as an associate and then was promoted to senior associate. He was an active investor in over 20 privately owned companies during his tenure at Summit Capital. Mr. Black graduated from Stanford University with an AB degree in Economics.

Mitch Kapor also contributes to TuneIn as a member of the company’s board of directors. Mr. Kapor is an amazing individual with a wealth of experience in the business and entrepreneurial community. Mr. Lotus is one of the founders of Lotus and was the mastermind of Lotus 1-2-3, which has become known to the tech world as the “killer application.” Truly a pioneer in the tech industry, his Lotus 1-2-3 has made the PC become a household commodity in the 1980s through into the mid 1990s. Mr. Kapor is also the chairman of Mozilla, the creator of the FireFox internet browser and is also a philanthropist, who has deep concern for the environment. Mr. Kapor is also a cofounder of the Level Playing Field Institute, where he still sits on its board of directors. The Level Playing Field Institute is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to fairness and equal opportunity in both educational institutions and in the workplace. Mr. Kapor founded more companies and is a machine what will never stop.

TuneIn’s main investors include True Ventures and Mitch Kapor, who invested $500,000 in series A funding in July of 2009.

True Ventures is a large vc firm that mainly invests in seed and early stage companies with offices in Palo Alto, California, San Francisco, California, and in Northern Virginia; near Washington DC. The team at True Ventures believes that early stage high growth companies need the type of venture backers who are both creative and have a great deal of entrepreneurial experience to help new entrepreneurs turn their ideas into successful companies. Some other companies in True Ventures’ portfolio include GigaOM, MeeBlog, WordPress, Three Rings, Spectrum Bridge, and others.

TuneIn does not have any noteworthy competitors as of yet.

For more information about TuneIn, click here.

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