Small businesses deal with capital crunch: The New York Times reports on how the financial crisis is impacting the ability of small business owners to access capital, noting that “financing options for all stages of the small-business cycle are limited.” The story goes on to mention how small businesses are finding it tougher to receive lines of credit, meaning that some may have to give up equity in order to grow their businesses.
Evri taps former Facebook exec: Rudy Gadre, the former general counsel at Facebook, has joined Seattle startup Evri as vice president of business operations. Gadre, who spent two years at Facebook, earned a law degree from the University of Washington and previously worked at Amazon.com and Perkins Coie. Backed by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Ventures, Evri launched a public beta last week to help people better manage information on the Internet.
Bezos invests in ZocDoc: Amazon.com Chief Executive Jeff Bezos continues to invest in early-stage startups, most recently joining with Salesforce.com Chief Executive Marc Benioff to back New York-based ZocDoc. The 18-month-old company is developing an online scheduling system so consumers can book appointments with doctors and dentists.
Amazon versus Microsoft: Mary-Jo Foley has the scoop on how Amazon.com plans to defend its turf against Microsoft in the cloud computing arena. Today, Amazon said that its Elastic Compute Cloud will be able to run Microsoft Windows Server or Microsoft SQL Server, with Foley asking whether companies would rather host their Windows applications with Amazon or Microsoft. Could be an interesting cross lake battle to watch.
AllRecipes expands overseas:AllRecipes.com, the Seattle online recipe site that was purchased by Reader’s Digest Association for $66 million in 2006, has opened new Web sites to serve the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand with plans to open sites for Germany and France later this year. About 20 percent of AllRecipes’ 50 million annual visitors come from outside the U.S.
Passage Events cuts staff: Seattle events marketing firm Passage Events & Promotions is feeling the impact of the economic downturn and shrinking marketing budgets. The company, which is backed by local venture capital firms Buerk Dale Victor and Fluke Venture Partners, has reduced its staff by 10 percent to 12 percent over the last half year, said CEO Derek Drake. Total staff including full- and part-time workers now stands at 650 to 700, Drake said.
Startups that may survive: TechCrunch puts together a list of more than 150 startup companies that are best positioned to survive the economic meltdown, basing the list on venture funding rounds of more than $25 million over the past two years. Cash is king during tough times like these, but I would venture to guess that the startups that survive and thrive during this period aren’t on the TechCrunch list. They probably aren’t venture backed and have already figured out a way to make a profit.
Anyway, the only two Seattle area startups I saw on the list were Big Fish Games, which just pulled in a massive $83 million venture round (and happens to be profitable), and Zillow.com, the heavily-funded Seattle online real estate upstart which is unprofitable. It will be interesting to see if a new, compelling company emerges during these tough times, something that Dean Takahashi at VentureBeat says is needed in this thoughtful post.