Palo Alto-based Alphonso Labs, maker of the Pulse series of apps for iPhone and iPad, has raised $1M in seed funding from Redpoint Ventures, Greycroft Partners, Mayfield Fund and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
Pulse is the fastest growing news reader for iPad and iPhone and got a bump over the Summer when Steve Jobs mentioned the product at the Worldwide developers conference. The company soon ran into trouble as the New York Times complained that Pulse was infringing on its copyright and Apple removed Pulse from the store - it was later reinstated. The move by the New York Times was surprising as Pulse is essentially an RSS reader and does no scraping. The Times got a lot of guff for the move by its lawyers.
Pulse competes with the FlipBoard which has raised a fairly large amount of venture capital and also gets great reviews for its product.
Alphonso Labs also launched version 2.0 of their Pulse News Reader for iPad (currently US $1.99). The new version of the app addresses one of the major complaints by allowing up to 60 news feeds to be added, with up to 12 feeds on each of five pages.
CEO and founder Akshay Kothari was a graduate student at Stanford.