MediaFile

How about Hightail-ing it?

Silicon Valley startup YouSendIt, which began as a file sharing and storage company, is getting a corporate makeover. YouSendIt comes off, and Hightail gets papered on.  

 And that’s not the only change Chief Executive Brad Garlinghouse is making as he competes more directly with larger startups Dropbox and Box. Hightail will now offer unlimited storage for its paying customers, 90 percent of which are corporations and small businesses.

Garlinghouse decided to get a jump on competition with the new offer as he feels storage is fast becoming a commodity. Also, the former Yahoo executive  had seen this game played in the email space year ago when Google’s gmail robbed Yahoo mail of its momentum – by offering far more storage.

Hightail is also considering partnering with some of the larger companies — many of which have reached out to him –to expand its reach. Garlinghouse, however, would not name any of them. 

With 43 million users and $57 million in revenue, the rebranding better reflects the firm’s expanded suite of products that goes well beyond  just filesharing and storage. said Garlinghouse, who has overseen a 35 percent to 40 percent growth in users since he joined Hightail just over a year ago.

Twist – a new app for the punctuality-challenged

The minds of Silicon Valley have yet to find the cure for tardiness, but they have figured out a way to make being late less rude.

A new app call Twist notifies friends and colleagues when you’re running late, calculating the estimated time of arrival to your destination on-the-fly and zipping off text messages to the people waiting for you.

The free app, available on Wednesday for iOS devices, can be used for trips by car, bike, foot and public transportation in most major U.S. cities. In development for the past year, the app’s algorithms crunch through various data streams, such as the average speed you travel and real-time traffic patterns, to calculate ETAs that co-founder Mike Belshe says are 98 percent accurate.

Ad startup SessionM nabs big clients, expands

Advertisers have long sought to grab the attention of the notoriously inattentive mobile user. And Lars Albright is seeking to provide just that by “gamifying” mobile ads.

The co-founder of Quattro Wireless, which was bought by mobile device giant Apple for $275 million in 2009, left Apple last year to start SessionM, which aims to engage mobile users by tempting them to play a game, watch a video, take a poll or share information with friends – all for “M” points.

The “M” points can then be redeemed for anything from gift cards to discounts to charitable donations.

Gina Bianchini rings up Mightybell, a social media help kit

Gina Bianchini — the bubbly, well-connected former CEO of social network Ning — is back in the social media game after a 18 months as entrepreneur-in-residence at venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
Her new venture is called Mightybell and essentially is a back to basics type of social media start-up which aims to help users create step-by-step, day-to-day actions which friends and others could follow.
For example, if you’re exploring a new hobby you could follow an expert or enthusiast and read their blogs, status messages, see their photos and watch videos on how they achieved a particular goal.
“Mightybell seeks to offer creators, instigators, bloggers, organizers, operatives, entertainers, artists, teachers, guides, and everyone’s alpha friend a simple way to take new social technologies and turn them into better, more compelling experiences for people in the real world. It’s the obvious next step in social media,” said Bianchini in a statement.
Mightybell launches in beta form as an iPhone and Web-based application.
The start-up, of just 9 people so far, raised $2.1 million in seed funding led by Floodgate and First Round Capital as well as “a handful” of angel investors.