The week in startups, August 26, 2011…

By Editor August 26, 2011

By Brian Kovalesky, StartUp Beat Editor

On a week wBrian Kovaleskyhere natural disasters, an unnaturally bad economy, an almost unthinkable retirement (to some, at least) and a run on HP touchpads dominated the headlines, there was still some significant news in the tech startup world.

The biggest news of the week was arguably two new IPO filings: from online video platform Brightcove and social commerce platform Bazaarvoice (watch the spelling). According to the filings, Brightcove hopes to raise up to $50 million, while Bazaarvoice is aiming for a whopping $86 million. Who knows if this is a good sign for a faltering economy, but these filings certainly suggest some overall confidence in the health of the public markets in light of the recent turbulence.

There were also some significant (in terms of money, at least) acquisitions this week. They were highlighted by Skype’s acquisition of group messaging GroupMe. It’s a pretty good exit, to say the least, for GroupMe, a company started just last year that grew out of the 2010 TechCrunch Hackathon. The companies have not disclosed the terms, but sources have said it was valued around $85 million, according to AllThingsD. Also notable was Cisco’s $31 million cash acquisition of Comptel’s software assets. It’s a complicated deal as Comptel is a Cisco “sister company,” but it’s noteworthy for the sheer amount of cash involved.

Finally, Bleacher Report raised an additional $22 million in honor of the start of football season. The site has seen amazing growth and is really an up-and-coming star. And check out CouchSurfing, which secured $7.6 million this week. Could it be a serious AirBnB competitor? It may depend on how comfortable people are with the idea of renting out couches (do loveseats or recliners also count?).

On StartUp Beat this week, we flashed back to last year with NorthSocial, which has since been acquired by Vocus. We also launched a new feature—the Startup Test Drive, and featured a Q&A with the co-founder and CEO of brick-and-mortar data collection and analytics startup BVI Networks.

Check back starting Monday for more startup news, featured companies, and the results of the first ever StartUp Beat Startup Test Drive!