The digital business week

8 Aug 2011

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

Irish prepay network JUST Mobile shutting down

Irish prepay network JUST Mobile is closing down its service and has advised its customers to change to another mobile operator within the next 30 days.

JUST Mobile announced on Facebook it would wind down the service after informing customers directly. From 8 August, users will not be able to make calls or send texts to people on other networks, though they can still receive calls and texts.

On 12 August, customers will be unable to make calls and send texts to those on the JUST Mobile network. All services will close on 19 August and users will have until 31 August to move their number onto another mobile network before it is terminated completely.

“We were unable to secure follow on funding in the current environment and our main partner, Vodafone, and other suppliers, who have been very supportive, could not continue to support us any longer,” said JUST Mobile in a statement.

Twitter receives record $800m investment

Twitter has something to tweet about: the microblogging site has secured an investment of US$800m, which values the company at US$8bn.

The record investment comes from Digital Sky Technologies (DST), the investment firm that funded social networking site Facebook two years at a valuation of US$10bn.

The US’ National Venture Capital Association has said no company had ever received US$400m in a single financing round, making it the largest venture finance injection in history, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

DST invested US$400m for a 5pc stake in Twitter with a separate group of investors led by the US financial services companies T Rowe Price Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase and Co, adding another US$400m.

Half the investment is to be used to buy back shares from current employees and the other half would go towards issuing new shares. Twitter said it would use the funds for innovation, the hiring of additional staff and international expansion.

Google acquires local deal aggregator The Dealmap

Google has acquired local deal aggregator The Dealmap for an undisclosed sum in a further push to enter the online deal space dominated by Groupon.

The Dealmap collects deals from a variety of sources, allowing users to find the best offers in their local areas.

The services’ website, mobile products and email service has 2m visitors and its partner network attracts more than 85m monthly visitors.

“We believe Google provides the ideal platform to help us accelerate our growth and fulfil our mission,” said The Dealmap.

“We’re passionate about helping people save money while having great local experiences, and in Google we’ve found the perfect partner that shares this passion, as well as our vision and strategy.”

Facebook sues Shagbook over trademark

Social networking giant Facebook has filed a lawsuit against Shagbook in the United States, claiming the adult dating site’s name is too closely aligned to its own.

Facebook also alleges Shagbook will damage Facebook’s reputation “by the issuance of a registration” of its name.

Shagbook has fired back with a countersuit, claiming Facebook is bullying its competitors and added that the company should never have been issued the trademark.

HTC sues Apple in the UK after US patent lawsuit loss

HTC has sued Apple in the UK after the Taiwanese smartphone maker lost a patent ruling against Apple in the US.

Bloomberg reports that the complaint was filed in London and that the nature of the lawsuit was not made available.

This lawsuit follows HTC’s recent dispute with Apple in the US over smartphone patents. Apple filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission against HTC in March 2010, claiming it violated 10 of its patents.

The commission’s initial ruling found HTC did infringe two of these patents in its Android smartphones. HTC said it would appeal this ruling.

LinkedIn’s revenue grew by 120pc since 2010

LinkedIn’s revenue for the second quarter of 2011 hit US$121m, an increase of 120pc year-on-year.

Revenue from its Hiring Solutions rose by 170pc to US$58.6m, representing 48pc of total revenue. Its Marketing Solutions revenue hit US$38.6m, an increase of 111pc and Premium Subscriptions reached US$23.9m, an increase of 60pc.

The professional networking site saw its members increase to 115.8m, a growth of 61pc since 2010, and its page views increased by 80pc to 7.1bn from the same period last year.

Net income reached US$4.5m in the second quarter which compares to US$.43m from the second quarter of last year. Adjusted EBITDA was US$26.3m compared to US$11.5m from last year.

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