App.net Reaches $500,000 Funding Goal, Keeps On Going

App.net Reaches $500,000 Funding Goal, Keeps On Going

App.net, a new and upcoming social network, recently reached their $500,000 funding goal with over a day left. As I’m writing this article, App.net has received $576,000 worth of funding, $76,000 over their original goal. And while it wasn’t expected that they would reach their funding goal, they started to receive more media attention during their last few days of funding, which ended up launching them over their goal earlier today.

If you’re unaware, App.net is a new social network with an optimistic new business model. Instead of using ads to fund their service they will charge users to join. As of now, they are charging $50 per year for member status or $100 per year for developer status. A $1,000 payment will give users access to all of the developer tools as well as a phone support and a meeting with Dalton Caldwell, the creator of App.net. App.net claims to be the only social network to not offer their users as products, but to be the product themselves.

If you would like to back App.net yourself and gain access to the beta, feel free to back their project within the next 31 hours. You can back App.net by heading over to their website and pledging the amount of your choice. And if you’re wondering, yesI backed it!

MotorExchange Sees Growth; Also Grabs $13 million Funding

MotorExchange is an online platform for  buying and selling  used vehicles. It enables businesses to sell their pre-owned vehicles. It is a unique combination of B2B and C2B business models where buyers are used auto dealers. Sellers include banks, insurance and leasing companies, corporate, automotive dealerships, and consumers.

MotorExchange is a powerful platform that reduces friction in used vehicles marketplace by bringing transparency, convenience, and choice to new and used car customers throughout India. Apart from the marketplace to facilitate transactions, MotorExchange also provides dedicated  in-house certification. This enables buying and selling of vehicles conveniently without the requirement of personal physical inspection each time.

MotorExchange was launched in December of 2009 and had raised Series A round of funding in December 2009 from Canaan Partners and other investors and a Series B round in December 2010 from Canaan Partners again and Epiphany Ventures. This week, MotorExchange closed its $13million Series C funding, led by Tiger Global Management with participation from Canaan Partners.

Our goal will be to establish a platform which will bring scale, transparency and convenience to the used vehicle industry.

Vinay Sanghi, CEO and Director, MotorExchange

Interestingly, the company also owns CarTradeIndia.com, a leading auto classifieds site. MotorExchange has brought together a leadership team with vast experience in the auto and internet industry. It is promoted by former Mahindra First Choice CEO Vinay Sanghi and the founder-director is Rajan Mehra, ex-eBay India head.

Federal Court Quashes Lawsuit Challenging Obama’s Funding of Stem Cell Research

The Obama administration’s funding of stem-cell research will continue, thanks to a ruling by a federal court that quashes a lawsuit challenging the funding. Yesterday, i.e. on 27th July, Wednesday, the lawsuit brought by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth, chief of the Washington federal court, was dismissed by the US Circuit Court of Appeals in response to an appeal by the Obama Administration. The primary claim of the lawsuit was that the National Institute of Health violated the 1996 Dicky-Wicker law that prohibits the public funding for research involving harming human embryos.

Stem Cell and Its Funding by the Bush and Obama Administrations

Stem Cell research has the potential to find cures for many diseases of the nervous system, like Parkinson’s disease. Further, cures to diseases like cancer might also be found.

Stem Cell research holds great potential for 21st century medicine

President Bush allowed stem cell research and provided funding, but limited the amount of public funds available. Most of the research was funded privately. With this lawsuit being quashed, the Obama administration has removed the barriers on public funding.

Only yesterday were we talking about fund cuts across all disciplines of science by the US here and today comes some good news.

The controversy surrounding stem cell research arises from the fact that human embryos are needed for the research. However, the embryos used for research are those which are already destroyed, like those obtained from fertility clinics, and those which will be destroyed in the near future. The options of donating the embryos to infertile women etc. are placed in front of couples willing to donate their unwanted embryos for scientific purposes.

It’s prudent to end with the words by Obama’s scientific adviser, Stephanie Cutter:

For too long, patients and families have suffered from debilitating, incurable diseases and we know that stem cell research offers hope to millions of Americans across the country. President Obama is committed to supporting responsible stem cell research and today’s ruling was another step in the right direction.

It is truly a step in the right direction.

Private Fashion Sales Portal 99Labels.com Raise $3.5M From Info Edge

Like we have already said in the past, e-commerce is really a hot entity in India right now. Info Edge India – the founders of India’s most successful job portal Naukri.com has invested $3.5 Million (close to 15.75 Crore Indian Ruppees) in 99Labels.com – an online private fashion sales portal.

99labels specialises in event based online sales for a limited time period which includes fashion-wear, accessories, jewelry, lifestyle products, furniture and much more and prices are upto 90% off label prices. This is some thing with websites like fashionandyou.com have been already doing.

99labels plans to use these funds in order to increase the their international brand offerings and use innovative ways to create awareness amongst consumers – both online and offline. Ishita Swarup, CEO, 99Labels.com said that they are really excited about this new alliance and look forward to a productive, innovative and supportive partnership with Infoedge.