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Last week, I wrote an article for AllthingD that talked about the shift if the ways that people are “sharing” online, mainly that niche social networks are giving people very targets, often private ways to share more freely.   This shift it is driven by a handful of new mobile-centric networks. Often, these networks are not only seeing the majority of their growth occurring on mobile but also seeing it driven by a younger demographic with a frequency that we haven’t really seen before.

Check out the article over at AllthingsD for a breakdown of some of the most interesting and fastest growing companies the space and let me know which ones you are using in the comments:

New Companies Are Redefining What It Means to “Share” Online

 

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Using Bitcoin for sending money between countries seems like a no brainer; because the costs are so low, there is the potential for huge savings for immigrants sending money home.  But, as I wrote about in GigaOm this past weekend, Bitcoin isn’t yet ready to serve as a replacement for world wide remittance.

Read the full article at GigaOm: http://gigaom.com/2013/09/07/bitcoin-isnt-ready-for-prime-time-as-a-world-wide-remittance-replacement/

 

Follow Jeremy (@jeremysliew) and Lightspeed on Twitter @lightspeedvp 

 

 

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In March 2013 we led the Series A of Whisper, an extraordinarily engaging smartphone app. The app allows users to anonymously share secrets, their text over arresting images. Other users can then read, heart and reply. Here is one on weddings:

 

Here is one on being in the closet:

And here is one about college:

As you can see, anonymity is key to authenticity for these sentiments. This isn’t the sort of stuff you’d put on Facebook or Twitter. And at the same time, it is incredibly compelling stuff to read. Users open the app 8-10 times a day and spend half an hour a day in the app. 45% of users create Whispers, an extraordinary ratio given that the rule of thumb for most user generated content sites is that only 1% create content. Unsurprisingly, this very high engagement leads to very high user retention and user growth.

When we invested in March the company was seeing 500M pageviews/month. Today, six months later, the company is seeing 2.5B pageviews/mth, and is announcing that it is raising a new $21M series B round.

I’m excited to have Roelof Botha from Sequoia join me on the Whisper board. I’ve known Roelof since we were in business school together and was a groomsman in his wedding ten years ago. And when I told him about Whisper a month or so ago, he “got it” right away, and he and his colleagues moved quickly and decisively to lead the new round.

We are doing more than our pro rata on this round and will continue to be the largest investor; we are very excited for the prospects of Whisper. Michael, Brad and the rest of the team are building a truly new social media company at web scale!

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In our last post we noted that at least half of all Bitcoin transactions in June 2013 were for online gambling on the gambling site Satoshi Dice.  We were interested to see what has happened since Satoshi Dice was acquired …

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Recently we noted that illegal drug purchases are around half a percent of Bitcoin transactions, which is far from the existential threat that it has been made out to be. Instead, the most common usecase for Bitcoin is online …

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With the backdrop of both Congress and the NY Department of Financial Services launching investigations into Bitcoin, regulation is top of mind for everyone in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

So far the only definitive statement about how Bitcoin will be regulated …

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Although many have shown a lot of angst about Bitcoin use on Silk Road, buying drugs is far from a major use of Bitcoin.

As the recent Forbes Article about Dread Pirate Roberts, the man behind Silk Road, …

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Growth without retention leads to the dreaded sharksfin curve. If you’re not retaining your users, then it doesn’t matter how quickly you add new users to your product. You have a leaky bucket.  Sooner or later, when you …

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PernixData announced the general availability of the Flash Virtualization Platform (FVP) today. Congratulation to Poojan Kumar, Satyam Vaghani and the entire PernixData team for an amazing execution! It’s hard to believe how far the company has come along in …

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It’s hard to believe that it has been 4 ½ years since the founding of Bloomreach.  At that time I was working at Bain Capital Ventures, having just moved from Boston to spearhead the launch of their West Coast …

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