Wahooly is still working on releasing their Beta, but they’ve posted up a list of the first batch of startups, and I went and kicked the tires, so to speak. Here are some first impressions.
1. TweetTV (http://tweettv.com)
They’ve collecting information from Tweets about TV programs, and doing some kind of analysis to provide people with recommendations.
The business model appears to be “be useful so that somebody acquires us”. That might actually work in this case.
Risks include the fact that they’re tied to Twitter. This means that if anything happens to the Twitter API, they’re out of business too. In addition, at some level of traffic, Twitter is going to start charging them, which might have cashflow implications. Never the less, this looks like a promising startup, and it might be one of the shorter term ones in terms of a potential buyout.
2. Valu Valu (http://valuvalu.com)
Not really a startup – they’ve been around since 2008, although it looks like they refocused their business model in 2010.
Valu Valu is essentially a web-traded hedge fund that specializes in ETFs. They have both fee-less and per-month-fee funds (obviously people need to put their own money in first), and use an algorithm that determines market sentiment from social media (there’s a number of companies doing that).
Not sure what their internal profitability looks like, nor do I have any idea whether they have a particular exit plan in mind. The nice graph says their funds are making money for their customers though.
3. Cull.TV (http://cull.tv)
An online music video channel. Looks pretty. I suspect somebody has put a fair bit of money into building this one. Not sure how they’re planning on making money (ads perhaps?) or what their timeline is for their exit strategy. Judging by sites like justin.tv, the model has “legs” though. Music videos aren’t my thing, but I’ll keep tuned here.
4. RAVN (http://ravn.com/beta/splash)
This one is coming later this week. RAVN is a local activity site that is in Beta (invite required). The “outside” interface is attractive – and cheeky – they allow users to play an arcade game for a chance to win an invite code. I don’t have enough info from the about content to work out exactly how the site functions, or what their business model is. Kudos to their design team though, and I’ll keep an eye out once I can get in.