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Startup Updates from Personal, Buyvite, Ness, Grantoo, Dwolla, and SceneTap

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Two of the startups that were showcased at our SXSW #StartupLife Celebration this year; one launched a new app, and the other … launched.  Personal released its iPhone app earlier this week, which joins their Android, web and mobile web apps to keep your private information private.  If you have yet to try out Personal, put it on your to-do list, as it will make your life a lot easier.  You can set up complicated login credentials and forget them; share and instantly update passwords with trusted family, friends and colleagues; grant temporary access to Wi-Fi; and instantly access hotel, airline and car rental reward numbers when making travel arrangements.

Buyvite, another one of our showcased startups at SXSW, has just launched their online group payment platform in the U.S.  It is the only platform that lets you group pay at the point of sale, making it exponentially simpler to buy concert tickets for you and your friends, plan vacations, buy a group gift, pay for cocktails – the list is endless.

Speaking of cocktails, Ness, which brings together social sharing, searching, and recommendations in one app around food and dining, released a major update to the app: Instagram + Ness. Ness now showcases over 2 million beautiful restaurant photos from Instagram inside the Ness app to help Ness users make quick decisions about where to eat.  Plus, it’s more food porn to enjoy.

For college students who are into gaming, Grantoo announced that its social gaming tournaments for college tuition grants are now open to every student with a “.edu” email address. Their tournaments take place every week with prizes up to $2,000 that go straight to the winning student’s university and pledged charity of their choice.

While we’re talking about money, Dwolla launched FiSync, a real-time API for financial institutions and service providers.  No longer will transfers from one bank account to another take 3-5 days; now it happens instantly. If you are a financial institution, check out access to the API here.

Last but not least, SceneTap, the Austin-based nightlife startup that was a finalist at SXSW Interactive in the social media category, will be launching its facial detection software at 25 bars in San Francisco next Friday, May 18. The free iPhone/Android app and website show info on the San Francisco nightlife scene, including male-to-female ratio, average age, crowd size, specials and more, all in real time.  It is currently live in a half dozen other U.S. cities; to date, the company’s cameras have tracked more than 8.5 million people in bars and restaurants.

If we’ve covered you previously on Tech Cocktail, and you have awesome news to share, feel free to send it along to me at monika@techcocktail.com. 

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About the Author

Monika Jansen is a writer and editor who is happiest pounding out blog posts, newsletters, website content, and other materials. Follow her at: @monikacjansen

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