PayDragon – Preorder by mobile phone

PayDragonPayDragon is a site which enables restaurants to offer to their users the ability to order and pay via a mobile phone. When the order is ready, users get a notification on the phone; they are able to skip waiting lines since their order is already available for the pick-up.

PayDragon was part of the YCombinator program. Their launch has been covered by the press in popular review sites, such as TechCrunch and PandoDaily.

At the end of July 2012, the team announced a $1.35 million seed financing. The investment round includes Ron Conway’s SV Angel, Rustic Canyon Ventures, Mark Schwartz and Yuri Milner.

PayDragon was founded by Hamilton Chan. His previous project was called PaperLinks, which he explains at large during an interview with SocalTech.

PadMapper – Rentals Search Tool

PadMapper: Appartments for RentPadMapper is a cool web-based tool to search appartments for rent in your favorite city location.

As opposed to traditional tools, PadMapper uses a geographical overlay that makes the listings easy to visualize by placing them on a real-world map. It also offers intuitive controls for restricting the results displayed based on common search criteria, such as number of bedrooms, monthly price or rental types. It can also display overlays with different characteristics of the neighborhood, or a “walk score” that informs you how easy it is to walk the area in order to find groceries or other convenience stores.

The site has around 300’000 unique monthly visitors. Auxiliary services are offered under related names, such as PadLister, a tool for apartment ad listings, or PadBlogger, the official blog of the site. The company was founded in 2009 by founder Eric DeMenthon, an MIT graduate.

On June 22nd, 2012, PadMapper announced that it will no longer feature rental ads retrieved via Craiglist, a popular renting service in major cities from US, as it received a cease-and-disease letter from them.

Hetzner – The Hosting Company

Hetzner - Hosting SpecialistsHetzner is a company located in Germany (EU), that specializes in renting dedicated servers and related hosting products at affordable prices. Those that want to have a dedicated computer connected non-stop to the Internet for the purpose of hosting a website or a multi-player game can use Hetzner and know that they’re getting state of the art hardware at a very good price.

The company has made significant investments in automating its service as much as possible in order to be able to provide such low prices to its customers. Hetzner owns not only the data-center equipment but also the land underneath. In 2011 it received the GreenIT award for being eco-friendly and energy-efficient. There are no discount codes available during the order process which allows them to put the list price closer to the operational costs. A dedicated server’s depreciation is highest during its first month of operation; to cover this, Hetzner charges a one-time setup fee which is designed to offset this; therefore in subsequent months they are able to charge a lower monthly fee.

On 1st of March 2012, the company announced a new site dedicated to dedicated server auctions, www.serverbidding.com, which uses the Dutch auction model – servers start with an initial price which is periodically lowered until someone is willing to enter into a contract for it.

Hetzner operates two branches, one in Germany (at hetzner.de) and one in South Africa (at hetzner.co.za). In 2010, the company donated all the setup fees paid for its servers, for 30 days, to a foundation that helps to build new homes in low-income South African neighborhoods:

TaskRabbit – Do More

TaskRabbit: get things doneTaskRabbit.com connects neighbors to get things done: it uses social, mobile and location-based technologies to bring people together.

The service connects ‘TaskPosters’, people who need help, with ‘TaskRabbits’, a network of fully vetted and background-checked individuals, who have the time and skills needed to complete the job. It also includes a category of services called virtual assistance, for those that are searching help over the web for vacation planning, usability testing or remote academic research.

According to Compete, the site averages around 100K monthly unique visitors. According to the Alexa stats, it ranks within the first 10’000 sites in the US.

TaskRabbit was founded in 2008 by Leah Busque and it is headquartered in the city of San Francisco, California. Up to the end of 2011, the company received a total of $24.7 million dollars in funding in Seed, Series A and Series B rounds. At the beginning of 2012, the company was headed by Eric Grosse, CEO.

SnapNames – The Domain Names You Want

SnapNames - Get the domain name you wantSnapNames.com is an online auction and marketplace site which allows users to purchase thousands of available domain names or to list their own domain names for sale. The domain names available on the site belong either to private owners or they can be expired domains that were no longer renewed by their original holders.

The site offers several methods for trading domain names. Buy It Now (also called BIN) is a method where the seller establishes a fixed sale price, and the first buyer willing to pay it gets the domain (once the payment is completed, the transfer happens automatically in the background, risk-free). Alternatively, domains can be sold via time-limited legally-binding auctions or by direct negotiations (“make an offer”).

Prices can get as low as $10 USD for a domain name sold via the auction system, while the premium names can reach millions of dollars. The site is well known in the domain gurus community and enjoys around 20’000 unique monthly visitors, which adds liquidity to the market and facilitates a speedy conversion between domains and cold hard cash. The site’s commission varies, depending on the type of sale, between 15% and 25% of the final sale price.

In november 2009 it was revealed that a SnapNames employee placed bids in the site’s domain auctions over a time-span of 4 years. As this violated SnapNames’ policy, the employee got fired. The company refunded all customers affected by paying the difference in the price hike attributed to the employee’s participation in the auctions (plus interest). The site seems to have recovered after the incident, in no small part due to their upfront disclosure and fast action once the issue was discovered.

OpenSource CMS Demos and Listings

Open Source CMS - Demos and Listings OpenSourceCMS.com includes hundreds of content management systems, organized in different categories based on their specialization. These open source tools are generic apps that can be used in order to add, manage and delete content on a website. Their market is expected to reach US$12.8 Billion by 2017.

The site has a policy of tracking only open-source apps, guaranteeing in this way that any listed tool can be downloaded, installed and customized on any website free of charge. In addition, each listed CMS app has a demo install that can be used in order to preview its functionality and the features it offers.

The project was first launched to the public in 2002. Currently it averages 10’000+ unique visitors each month, according to Compete.

Scott Goodwin, the original founder, is no longer involved nowadays with the project. The site is currently operated by AOE media, a company which focuses primarily on Enterprise CMS and E-Commerce projects.

Flippa – Buy and Sell Websites

Flippa - Buy and Sell WebsitesFlippa facilitates buying and selling websites on the Internet. By using this service, buyers and sellers around the world can transaction fully-fledged websites or only the corresponding domain name, by using an auction-based model where the parties involved can bid up the site’s price during a time period established initially by the seller.

The site accepts PayPal and credit-cards as payment methods, and for some countries an escrow option is also available. To help the buyers do due diligence, Flippa automatically retrieves site data such as whois records, length of time since the domain was registered and search engine rankings data. In addition, the sellers are required to confirm their identity via an unique phone number, and reputation grades from their previous transactions help identify the bad ones quickly.

The site is maintained by a company located in Victoria, Australia. Their traffic seems to have stabilized around 100’000 monthly unique visitors.

The website was founded by Mark Harbottle and Matt Mickiewicz; it had revenues of $1.816 million in the 2011 financial year, 10 employees, and in 2012 it received one of the StartupSmart Awards.

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