With Houseparty, The Meerkat Team Is Trying–Once Again–To Reinvent Live Video

On February 29th, 2016–that’s Leap Day–the team members behind Meerkat secretly launched a new live-streaming app. Rather than pitch reporters or spend money on ads to promote it, they opted to just put the app in the App Store and see what happened. To help keep their identity secret and avoid potential coverage, they identified the developer using a pseudonym rather than credit Alexander Herzick, who happens to be the husband of the app’s cofounder, Sima Sistani .

Houseparty raises $50 million at a $130 million valuation

Business Insider confirmed that that the company had raised $50 million from leading venture firm Sequoia, beating out other investors interested in the deal, according to a person familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported the raise. The company’s previous investors, including Greylock Partners, Aleph, and Comcast Ventures participated in the round. Houseparty’s CEO Ben Rubin didn’t return a request for comment.

Joe Lonsdale pours $4.55M for alcohol IoT startup Nectar

Nationally, bars today lose billions of dollars from improperly managed alcohol inventory. These losses add up quickly as a result of oversized pours, spills and even theft.

Nectar, a stealth connected-device startup operating out of a Palo Alto dentist’s office (of all places), just locked down a $4.55 million seed funding round from the likes of Joe Lonsdale (8VC + Palantir), Lior Susan (Eclipse Ventures) and the founding family of Modelo Group (brewery) to complete development on a new IoT solution for the hospitality and consumer packaged goods industries.