Visual Revenue Gets $1.7 Million Funding Boost, Airbnb Records 5 Million Bookings, Grows Globally, Google Adds Public Alerts

Breaking news from your editors at Fast Company, with updates all day.

Visual Revenue Gets Funding Boost Of $1.7 Million. Visual Revenue, a firm that uses predictive analytics to helps media companies on the Web get the most of their front page, has just picked up $1.7 million from IA Ventures and Softbank in a round of funding. Visual Revenue will use their new resources to expand their engineering team. —NS


Updated 12:55 p.m. EST

AT&T Announces Record Smartphone Sales. AT&T is announcing a cheery Q4 crop of sales, including 9.4 million smartphone sales, 7.6 million of those being iPhones. It saw a 3.6% rise in consolidated revenues from last year, to $32.5 billion, but a $6.7 billion income loss, due in major part to its failed T-Mobile merger. —NS

Intel Buys Patents Off RealNetworks. Intel has purchased 190 patents from RealNetworks, along with 170 application patents, all worth about $120 million. The patents relate to a range of devices: smartphone, digital media and Ultrabooks included. —NS

–Updated 11:40 a.m. EST

Airbnb Hits 5 Million Bookings, Grows Globally. Airbnb has swelled in the last year, and is announcing some impressive international growth. The company clocked a 166% increase in listings through 2011, and 4 million nightly bookings (of 5 million nights booked in total, since 2008) were made in the last 12 months. Added to that, 75% of its reservations and 70 % of listings made in 2011 came from outside the U.S. That’s where the team’s turning their focus–Airbnb will open 6 new offices in big cities worldwide in the first quarter of 2012. —NS

–Updated 9:00 a.m. EST


BeachMint Announces $35 Million Financing. BeachMint, a budding celebrity-backed ecommerce website, is looking to launch a slew of new brands adding to their existing four this year. It announced $35 million in funding from key investors, among them, Accel Partners, Goldman Sachs, and Millennium Technology. This brings the company’s total financing tally to $75 million. —NS

–Updated 7:30 a.m. EST

Google Adds Public Alerts To Maps. When natural disasters strike, the Google Crisis Response team is usually prompt with a response. For smaller scale U.S. emergencies, the group has launched a permanent alerts feature, Public Alerts, on Google Maps. Information from the National Weather Service, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will feed into location searchers, bringing up weather, public safety and earthquake alerts. —NS

Angry Birds On Facebook On Valentine’s Day. A match made in app heaven, Facebook and the blockbuster mobile game Angry Birds are finally joining forces. Rovio has announced via a Facebook event page that the game will make its Facebook debut on Valentine’s Day. According to the note, the fun begins at 6pm. —NS

Wii Successor Expected Late This Year. Nintendo has forecast lower sales and bigger losses this year, as gamers on tablets and smartphones crowd the handheld games space. The company has forecasts an annual operating loss of $575 million, almost ten times as much as analyst expectations, Reuters reports. Nintendo plans to release a successor to the Wii— the Wii U— in the U.S., Europe, Japan and Australia before the end of the year. —NS


–Updated 6:00 a.m. EST

[Image: Flickr user mseckington]

Yesterday’s Fast Feed: Google Privacy Changes To Unite User Tracking Info, Yahoo Posts Tepid Q4 Earnings, Obama Announces Trade Practice Monitor, and more!