Thursday, December 9, 2010

E-Signature Company DocuSign Lands $27 Million, Expands Management Team

DocuSign, which offers an electronic signature cloud platform, has secured $27 million in third-round funding. The round was led by Scale Venture Partners and joined by, Sigma Partners, Ignition Partners and Frazier Technology.
In conjunction with the financing announcement, the company said that it has hired Dustin Grosse, formerly sales and marketing GM for Microsoft’s Field Readiness team and the Microsoft Office Unified Communications Group, as its new SVP, chief marketing and business development officer.
The company has also recruited Roger Erickson, formerly SVP of technology solutions and services at Autonomy ZANTAZ – he will join DocuSign as VP of customer success.
DocuSign says it will use the fresh capital to introduce new cloud-based electronic signature technology and services scheduled in 2011 and beyond.
The new investment round brings the total of capital raised by the company to $56.4 million.
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The Media Comes To The Defense Of WikiLeaks At LeWeb: “The Leakers Will Win”

Today during the Media Panel at LeWeb ’10 in Paris, France, there was one thing on everyones’ mind: WikiLeaks.
“This is a turning point for the Internet — it’s not just about WikiLeaks anymore,” Weblogs SL’s Julio Alonso said. ”What happens to WikiLeaks will get applied to others later on,” he warned.
“This is the first attempt at censorship of the Internet by all the governments of the planet,” Wikio’s Pierre Chappaz added. “Despite all the attacks, I’m optimistic that the information will survive,” he added.
When moderator Adrian Monck asked if this would cast a shadow on the United States in particular, Techmeme’s Gabe Rivera said he thought it already has in some ways. Rivera noted that just the tone of the crowd at LeWeb proves that to some extent. He also singled out U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman suggesting that The New York Times could be a target because of their publication of some of the cables. “It underscores that there’s really no essential difference between what WikiLeaks is doing and what The New York Times does,” he said. Rivera said that is something to be concerned about.
“We’ve pushed the theory of Internet censorship to the very edge,” The Wall Street Journal Europe’s Ben Rooney added.
“We have to speak about what’s happening,” Chappaz said. ”I’m amazed by the silence of the traditional media. This is a systematic attack. We have to explain to the traditional media. The stakes are about the free press,” he continued.
Alonso agreed. “The first line of defense is speaking about it,” he said.
Rivera added that the leakers aren’t going to lose this war. He cited mirror sites, Twitter accounts, Facebook messages, and all kinds of things that keep popping up to continue the data spread. “The leakers will win,” he said.
The panel seemed fairly convinced that even if P2P networks had to replace DNS, the information would indeed end up winning.
“The Internet is too strong. They’ll have a hard time getting it under control,” Chappaz wrapped up the panel with.
View the original article here

SPARQCode Makes It A Snap For Local Businesses To Use QR Codes

MSKYNET, a company that allows businesses to create and analyze the usage of 2D barcodes called SPARQCodes, launched a service today helps local businesses connect their customers with their online presences, such as Facebook, Twitter, Gowalla, and Foursquare. MSKYNET raised $550K in seed funding back in August.
SPARQCodes are very similar to normal QR codes, but differ slightly because they link to a URL instead of embedding their payload data in the QR code itself. The new feature, which is called ‘Connect N Share’, is very straightforward — it makes it easy for businesses to generate QR codes that link to the business’s presence on Twitter and/or Facebook. The idea is to direct customers who are waiting in line or for their food to scan a code that they see on the wall, which leads them directly to the business’s Facebook page.
Setting up your QR code printout using the new feature is actually pretty slick. First, you type in the name of your business — the web app will try to automatically find the matching Facebook and Twitter accounts (you can tweak this if it guesses wrong). Enter your address, and it will try to pair it up with your Foursquare, Gowalla, and UrbanSpoon accounts. Add a logo, hit ‘Build it!’, and you’re done. The site will spit out a printout with your QR codes, directing visitors to your business to scan them.
Businesses with more substantial social media presences can direct users to a list of sites that are relevant — a restaurant might also include Yelp in their mini-portal, for example. Founder Jesse Chor says that the company is mainly targeting small businesses and franchises, which tend to value a social media presence, but do not usually have the technical expertise to make their own QR codes.
There is one caveat to this: customers will have to log into your Facebook or Twitter account to like or ‘follow’ the business if they are not logged in already, so the experience may not be as seamless as ‘checking in’ via a smartphone’s native Facebook application for example.
The codes and the analytics that come with them will be provided free of charge, but businesses will have to pay to include additional social media services that may crop up over time. Chor also stated that MSKYNET will charge for “customer retention programs,” in the future, but did not elaborate on what they might be.
MSKYNET is far from the first company to offer QR code analytics (see here for a good list of other services), and it isn’t the first to target local businesses either — Google has its own business-facing QR code features, too, as do some other QR code companies.
View the original article here