Jonathan’s Internet And Digital Media Weekly Update – 2015-05-11

Private Financing
US

  • Pinterest has completed the rest of its Series G funding round, raising an additional $186M for a total of $553M. The round included new investors Wellington Management Company and Goldman Sachs along with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, FirstMark Capital, SV Angel, Valiant Capital Management and Fidelity Investments.
  • Immediately, a startup building mobile tools for salespeople, is announcing that it has raised $2M in funding. Investors in the include (deep breath) Streamlined Ventures, Maiden Lane, Galvanize VC, Queensbridge, Angelist CEO Naval Ravikant, Haroon Mokhtarzada, Friendster and Nuzzel founder Jonathan Abrams, TalentBin co-founder Peter Kazanjy, EdgeSpring co-founder Ryan Lange and HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes.
  • Storm Ventures has raised a new, larger fund. Storm’s fifth fund is a $180M vehicle that the firm has stapled a new venture partner to.
  • Consumer-facing telemedicine platform Sherpaa raised a $2.25M round, bringing its total funding to $8M. The investors are O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Softbank, and Draper and Associates.
  • Wish, a San Francisco-based mobile shopping application, raised more than $500M which values the company at roughly $3 billion following its latest round. Wish was worth $400M following a $50M round led by Founders Fund last year. Wish’s other investors include Jerry Yang, GGV Capital, Khosla Ventures partner Keith Rabois, actor Jared Leto and Formation 8.
  • Wag, an app that connects dog owners with access to pre-screened, insured and bonded dog walkers, has raised $2.5M in seed funding led by Freestyle Capital, with participation from Greylock Partners, Crunchfund, Slow Ventures, Social Leverage, and RRE Ventures.
  • The Odyssey, a New York-based millennial-targeted content platform, has raised $3M in funding from ExactTarget cofounder Scott Dorsey; former ExactTarget CMO Tim Kopp; and Traci Dolan, ExactTarget’s chief administration officer.
  • Lucid, a company whose cloud operating system connects a building’s hardware and software technologies with a single platform (and will soon focus on similarly connecting disparate buildings), has added capital to its Series B financing from GE Ventures. The round, which now amounts to $14.2M, also includes participation from Formation 8, Zetta Venture Partners, and Autodesk.
  • Delvv, a company whose app promise users a personalized news feed to help them find the best events, apps, and articles, has raised $3.5M in seed funding from undisclosed backers.
  • Zanbato, a platform that connects institutional investors with alternative investment opportunities, has raised $8M in Series B funding led by AITV (Accelerate-IT Ventures), with participation from earlier backer Formation 8 and other unnamed investors. The company has now raised at least $15.8M.
  • Trizic, a San Francisco-based digital wealth advisory firm, has raised $2M in seed funding, including from Operative Capital.
  • Robinhood, a San Francisco-based zero-fee stock trading app, has raised $50M in new funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Vaizra Investments and earlier backers Index Ventures and Ribbit Capital, among others. The company has now raised $66M altogether.
  • Microf, a consumer finance company that provides rent-to-own solutions for the residential HVAC industry, has raised $12.3M in funding from Rotunda Capital Partners.
  • Govini, an intelligence startup to companies that sell goods and services to the public sector, has raised $20M in Series C funding from new and existing investors, including Accel Partners, Salesforce Ventures, and Symphony Technology Group.
  • e-Kare, a digital health company that speeds the assessment and monitoring of chronic wounds from a mobile device, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the Center for Innovative Technology‘s CIT GAP Funds.
  • Doblet, a San Francisco-based company that provides an on-demand phone charging service at a growing number of venues, has raised $1.3M in seed funding led by SoftTech VC.
  • Cybereason, a company whose endpoint detection and response platform reveals and investigates cyber-attacks in real time, has raised $25M in Series B funding led by Spark Capital, with participation from earlier backer CRV and strategic investor Lockheed Martin. The company has now raised at least $29.6M altogether.
  • Cursive Labs, a venture studio, has raised $2.2M in Series A funding, including from Crescent Ridge Partners Ventures, Wavemaker Partners, Keshif Ventures, Bootstrap Incubation, and Howard Lindzon, among others.
  • Closeup.FM, a company whose software facilitates pop-up events powered by fans, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Angel Capital Group.
  • Chartbeat, a New York company that helps Web publishers measure reader engagement, has raised $15.5M in Series C funding led by Harmony Partners, with participation from Digital Garage and earlier backers Index Ventures, DFJ, Jason Calacanis and Jeff Clavier.
  • Blitsy, an arts and crafts e-commerce site, has raised $3.6M in Series A funding led by Greycroft Partners, with participation from Data Point Capital and earlier backers Chicago Ventures, FireStarter Fund, and Lakewest Venture Partners. The company had previously raised around $2M in equity and debt financing.
  • Banjo, a social discovery app, has raised $100M in new funding from the Japanese tech giant SoftBank. The round pushes Banjo’s total funding to more than $120M. Others of its investors include Balderton Capital, BlueRun Ventures and VegasTechFund.
  • Zenefits, a company that makes HR management software, has raised $500M in Series C funding led by Fidelity and TPG at a $4.5 billion valuation. The company has now raised roughly $584M from investors, including Sound Ventures, Insight Venture Partners, Founders Fund, Khosla Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Institutional Venture Partners, and entertainer Jared Leto.
  • Wrike, a work management and collaboration platform, has raised $15M in Series B funding led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from DCM Ventures and previous investor Bain Capital Ventures. The company has now raised $26M.
  • SessionM, a cloud-based consumer loyalty and engagement platform, has raised $12M in new funding led by Causeway Media Partners, with participation from NTT Docomo Capital, Commerce Ventures and earlier backers Highland Capital Partners, CRV, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The company has now raised $38.5M altogether.
  • HeyLets, a company whose location discovery app helps users share the things they love, from games to restaurants, has raised $1.7M in seed funding from BlueSky Funds and numerous angel investors. The company has now raised $2.7M altogether.
  • Digit, an automated savings startup, has raised $11.3M in new funding led by General Catalyst Partners, with participation from earlier backers Baseline Ventures and Google Ventures, as well as former Visa president Hans Morris. The company has now raised a total of $13.8M.
  • The Credit Junction, an online lending platform for small and mid-size businesses, has secured a $50M loan from Victory Park Capital. The company had previously secured $2M in  funding from GLI Finance.
  • ComplyGlobal, a New York-based cloud-based compliance platform, has raised $2.5M in funding led by Tribeca Angels and earlier backer IBCC, a Boston-based venture capital fund. The company had previously raised $1.3M in seed funding.
  • Affirm, a consumer lending startup led by Max Levchin, has raised $275M in Series B funding. The round, which includes both equity and debt, was led by Spark Capital Growth, with participation from Jefferies and Andreessen Horowitz, along with earlier backers Khosla Ventures and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
  • Wonder Workshop, a company that teaches children to code through smart robots that children can program using mobile devices, has raised $6.9M in funding from WI Harper Group, with participation from earlier backers Madrona Venture Group, CRV, Maven Ventures, Bright Success Capital and numerous angel investors. The company has now raised $15.9M altogether.
  • Twilio, the company whose application programming interface lets developers add call, voice, text and picture messaging to their apps with just a few lines of code, has quietly raised a $100M round of funding. The raise pushes the company past the billion-dollar valuation mark. Twilio has previously raised $104M from investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Union Square Ventures. It was valued at roughly $500M during its last funding round in July 2013.
  • Travefy, an online and mobile group travel planner, has raised $1.8M in funding from strategic investor Travel and Transport, the Nebraska Global Investment Company, Nelnet, Columbia University, Linseed Capital, the Invest Nebraska Corporation, and a variety of angels.
  • SMS Assist, a company that makes cloud-based facilities management software, has raised $45M in Series C funding from Insight Venture Partners. The company has now raised $105M altogether, including from Pritzker Group Venture Capital and Jumpstart Ventures.
  • PureWow, a New York-based digital media company specializing in women’s lifestyle content (with localized and interest-specific content), has raised $2.5M in seed funding led by Bob Pittman’s Pilot Group, with participation by VaynerRSE, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, Melo7Tech, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Galvanize Ventures, and individuals, including Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn.
  • Parkifi, a company whose sensor technology provides real-time data to parking lot operators, cities, and mobile applications to let them know where open and available parking spots exist, has raised $2M from Galvanize Ventures, Foundry Group Angels and Access Ventures, among others.
  • Outreach, a company that creates workflow tools for sales teams, has raised $2.3M in seed funding from MHS Capital, Floodgate, Version One Ventures, and individual investors, including Sarah Imbach, a former chief revenue officer at LinkedIn.
  • NatureBox, a subscription commerce startup that sells snacks direct to online consumers, has raised $30M in Series C funding led by Global Founders Capital, the venture arm of Rocket Internet. Other participants in the round — which appears to bring the company’s total funding to $58.5M — include Neuberger Berman Equity Funds, Kensington Capital Holdings, Valley Oak Investment Partners, individual investors and earlier investors General Catalyst Partners, Canaan Partners and Softbank Capital.
  • Incentive, a company that has developed a social collaboration platform for the enterprise, just raised $1.7M in seed funding from an undisclosed group of institutional and private investors. The company has now raised $3.5M in seed funding altogether.
  • FileChat, a New York-based company whose application allows users to chat about and share documents insidered their preferred cloud storage platforms, has raised $3M from unnamed private investors.
  • Dasheroo, a company whose collaborative business dashboard app helps companies analyze how they’re performing across all the apps they use, has raised $3.25M in Series A funding led by the venture firm Cloud Apps Capital Partners.
  • CloudGenix, a wide-area-networking startup, just raised $25M in Series B funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from CRV and Mayfield Fund. The company has now raised $34M altogether.
  • Retale, a company whose mobile app allows users to browse store circulars from their smartphones, has raised $12M in funding from earlier backers, including the European media giant Axel Springer.
  • Real Matters, a platform that provides property valuation, collateral risk management and data analytic services to the real estate lending and insurance markets, has raised $60M in new funding co-led by earlier investor Whitecap Venture Partners. Other investors in the round were not disclosed. Real Matters has now raised at least $127M to date.
  • Gameit, a free mobile trivia app that builds trivia games around branded videos and offers users chances to win featured products, has raised $1.6M in seed funding from DAK Capital and individual investors.
  • Culinary Agents, a New York-based job matching site for people in the hospitality industry, has raised $3M in funding led by strategic investor Metro AG, a global retailer based in Germany that operates supermarkets, consumer electronics stores, department stores, theme stores and more. Culinary Agents had previously raised $1.7M in seed funding from Mesa Ventures, RRE Ventures, Correlation Ventures, and On Grid Ventures.
  • CareCloud, a company that sells practice-management and electronic health-record software to physician practices, has raised $15M from unnamed earlier backers. The company has now collected roughly $96M from investors altogether. Its known backers include Adams Street Partners, Hercules Technology Growth Capital, Intel Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, and Tenaya Capital.
  • BlueLine Grid, a New York-based mobile messaging platform that’s based on verified identity (it connects local, state, and federal agencies with one another), has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from In-Q-Tel.
  • Artivest, a New York-based company that pools the assets of individual investors into single purpose vehicles that invest in both private equity and hedge funds, has raised $15M in Series A funding led by KKR. Other participants in the round include earlier backers Peter Thiel, Nyca Partners, Anthemis Group, and FinTech Collective.
  • AltSchool, a San Francisco-based network of new schools with a tech-heavy, personalized learning approach, has raised $75M in new equity funding and $25M in venture debt to grow its enrolment and add to the four schools it currently operates. Earlier backers Andreessen Horowitz and Founders Fund led the new round, with participation from Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan’s donor-advised fund; Emerson Collective; First Round Capital; Learn Capital; the foundation of venture capitalist John Doerr; Harrison Metal; Jonathan Sackler; Omidyar Network; Adrian Aoun; and other individual investors. AltSchool had previously raised $33M in equity and $11M in debt from Silicon Valley Bank.

EMEA

  • Big Data Partnership, a London-based company that provides big data consulting, training and support for numerous industries, has raised £3.1M ($3.5M) in Series B funding from earlier backer Beringea, which had previously invested £1.25m in the company.
  • Itineris, a Belgium-based company that provides operational software and services to the utilities industry, has raised $10M in funding led by GIMV, with participation from return backers PMV and company founder Edgard Vermeersch. The company has so far raised $20.9M altogether.
  • Eboox, a Milan, Italy-based company that builds online stores for its customers, has raised $1.1M in funding, including from Programma 101 and Club Digitale.
  • Dcs plus, a Romania-based travel technology company, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Earlybird Ventures.
  • Automile, a Stockholm, Sweden-based connected car platform whose low-cost device contains an accelerometer, along with a GPS antenna and more, has raised $5M in Series A funding led by Dawn Capital and Point Nine Capital. The company has now raised $5.4M altogether.
  • MeeDoc, a Finland-based telemedicine platform, has raised €3.5M ($3.9M) in funding, including from XLHealth, a German venture firm. The company has now raised $5.3M altogether.

Asia

  • Uniphore, a Chennai-based speech recognition startup, raised a series A round of funding led by Infosys founder Kris Gopalakrishnan. The company had earlier raised funding from early stage VC fund IDG Ventures India, Indian Angel Network, YourNest Angel Fund, among others.
  • Vedantu, an India-based online tutoring platform, has raised $5M in Series A funding from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management.
  • Iwjw, a China-based company that helps people buy or rent apartments via its site and apps, has raised $120M in Series D funding led by GGV Capital and Morningside Ventures, with participation from Shunwei Capital and Banyan Capital. The round values the young company at $1 billion.
  • Dida Pinche, a China-based carpooling app, has raised $100M in Series C funding led by China Renaissance Capital Investment, with TBP Capital and earlier backers IDG Capital and Beijing-based auto information and marketing site Bitauto joining the round. The company had previously raised $30M across its first two rounds.
  • Toppr, a Mumbai, India-based startup that helps students prepare for entrance exams, has raised $10M from Fidelity Growth Partners India, SAIF Partners, and Helion Ventures.
  • Jetbay, an online platform for foreign travelers to research and book their trips to China, has raised $1.6M in seed funding led by ChinaRock Capital Management.
  • KFit, a Singapore-based company that, like ClassPass in the U.S., enables users to get into a variety of fitness studios with just one monthly membership, has reportedly raised a “seven-figure” round, including from 500 Startups, SXE Ventures, Founders Global and numerous individual investors.
  • eDaijia, a Beijing-based company whose app lets anyone with a car sign up to be a designated driver, has raised $100M in Series D funding led Warburg Pincus, with participation from earlier backers Matrix Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners.
  • Aiwujiwu, a China-based rental and home listing portal and transaction platform, has raised $120M in Series D funding from GGV Capital, Morningside Ventures, Shunwei Capital, and Banyan Capital.
  • Omise, a Thailand-based payment gateway system company, has raised $2.6M in Series A funding led by the Indonesian venture firm SMDV, with participation from 500 Tuktuks (500 Startups’s dedicated fund for Thailand) and earlier backer East Ventures.
  • DJI, a China-based drone maker, has raised $75M in new funding at a reported $8 billion valuation from Accel Partners, which says the investment is one of its largest ever.
  • Delhivery, an India-based e-commerce fufillment company, has raised $85M in Series D funding led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from returning investors Multiples Alternate Asset Management, Nexus Venture Partners, and Times Internet Limited. The company has now raised at least $127.5M altogether.
  • ChatWork, a Japan-based cloud communication platform for business teams, has raised $2.5M in funding from GMO VenturePartners.
  • Australian local task services marketplace Airtasker has raised AU$6.5M (US$5M) in capital in a funding round led by Shanghai’s Morning Crest Capital. Australia’s National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA), and venture capital firms Exto Partners, Carthona Capital, and Black Sheep Capital were also involved.
  • 8wood, a fashion ecommerce site for women in Indonesia, raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from local venture capital firm Ideosource. The startup will use the newly-acquired capital for recruitment, marketing, and product development.
  • UHoo, a Hong Kong-based company whose device monitors air pollution levels inside users’ homes, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from East Ventures.
  • Panshi, a China-based online and mobile advertising firm, has raised $200M in Series B funding led by the Shanghai-based investment firm NewMargin Ventures. Other participants in the round include WI Harper Group, JD Capital, Fang Fund Partners, and Shanghai Lefeng.
  • GAMURS, a months-old, Sydney, Australia-based social media platform for gamers, has raised $500,000 in seed funding, after graduating from the National Roads and Motorists’ Association (NRMA) Slingshot Jumpstart accelerator program.
  • Canva, an Australia-based online design platform, has raised $6M in funding from AirTree Ventures, as well as earlier backers, including Matrix Partners, Shasta Ventures and Blackbird Ventures. The company has raised at least $13M to date.
  • Applicate, an India-based workforce management platform, has raised $550,000 in seed funding from individual investors, including Flipkart VP Rishi Vasudev.
  • Tradelab, an India-based startup that’s developed an online trading platform for both brokers as well as casual traders, has raised $390,000 in seed funding from Rainmatter, a fin-tech startup incubator.

Other emerging markets

  • Webydo, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based SaaS platform that enables designers to create and manage code-free websites for their clients, has raised $5M in Series C funding led by Singulariteam, a venture fund headed by entrepreneur Moshe Hogeg of Mobli and Yo fame. The company has now raised $13.4M altogether, including from OurCrowd and Magna Capital Partners.
  • Twistlock, an Israel-based company whose security suite aims to give enterprises the visibility and control they need over their container-based applications and data, has raised $2.5M in seed funding led by YL Ventures.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Alibaba Group Holding has taken a stake of more than 9% in U.S. e-commerce site Zulily, giving it new exposure to the American consumer market.
  • Boston-area manufacturing software company PTC is paying $112M to acquire ThingWorx, a company whose software platform allows developers to build and run machine-to-machine and “Internet of Things” applications. ThingWorx had raised at least $13M in funding, including from Safeguard Scientifics.
  • PlayHaven, a San Francisco-based mobile ad network, has been acquired for undisclosed terms by RockYou, a San Francisco-based gaming and in-game advertising company. PlayHaven was previously sold to the L.A.-based startup studio Science Inc. last fall for undisclosed terms.
  • App analytics and data company App Annie acquired Mobidia, a leading mobile measurement company. This acquisition will accelerate the international expansion of App Annie Usage Intelligence by combining large app usage dataset of the two parties, and thus giving insight into the two billion smartphone users worldwide.
  • Fullscreen, a joint venture of AT&T and the Chernin Group, has acquired a L.A-based social media content creator called McBeard.
  • Weight loss company Weight Watchers acquired Hot5, a mobile app with a subscription model enabling customers to pay monthly and receive access to a wide range of short fitness videos they can use from the app.
  • Google is spending an undisclosed amount to acquire Timeful, whose app for Apple’s iOS uses machine learning, data analysis, and behavioral economic theory to customize people’s digital calendars. Timeful had raised $7M in Series A funding a year ago from A-Grade Investments, Pitango Venture Capital, Khosla Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Greylock Partners and Data Collective.

EMEA

  • Wahanda, the European hair and beauty marketplace, has been acquired by Japan’s Recruit Holdings, which already owned 10% of the London-based startup. It has acquired a further 70% share for £112.5M (~$171m), in a deal that sees Wahanda’s other backers cash out.
  • Delivery Hero, the Berlin-based based takeout food service backed by Rocket Internet, is acquiring Yemeksepeti, a Turkey-based competitor, for $589M, in a cash and stock deal. Yemeksepeti had raised $44M in Series A funding led by General Atlantic; it later raised an undisclosed amount of funding from MENA Venture Investments.

Asia

  • 58.com confirmed that it has acquired ChinaHR for an undisclosed sum.
  • Tuniu, a NASDAQ-listed Chinese travel and tourism site, announced today it has secured a US$500M investment led by ecommerce giant JD. JD will purchase US$350M worth of shares in Tuniu, with the rest divided between Hony Capital, DCM Ventures, Ctrip, Temasek Holdings, and Sequoia Capital. The deal is expected to close sometime in the current quarter.
  • The publicly traded meal delivery company Just Eat is acquiring Menulog, a nine-year-old, Sydney, Australia-based online food ordering service, for roughly $687M. Three months ago, Menulog merged with rival EatNow.

Jonathan’s Internet And Digital Media Weekly Update – 2015-03-16

Private Financing
US

  • Startup Altocloud is emerging from stealth mode and releasing what it says is the first predictive analytics solution with machine learning for real-time communications like chat and phone calls, has raised $2M in seed funding led by Delta Partners, Digicel Group, and ACT Venture Capital.
  • Audvisor, a startup who offers advice in the form of three-minute audio clip from more than 100 contributors, has raised $1.4M in seed funding from angel investors including Formation 8’s Shirish Sathaye.
  • Asseta, a marketplace for capital equipment and other spare parts, has raised an additional $1M in seed funding from Red Swan Ventures, Zpark Venture, FundersClub, Gil Penchina, Jeff Epstein, Winklevoss Capital, Sandy Kory and Mission and Market.
  • Splash, events marketing CRM, raised a $6M Series A led by Spark Capital.
  • TransitScreen, a timetable for mass transit through smart TV, raised a $600,000 angel round with a group of unnamed VCs in transportation, real estate, and finance.
  • Greenhouse, a recruitment SaaS startup, as raised a $13.6M Series B led by Benchmark and joined by The Social+Capital Partnership, Felicis Ventures and Resolute Ventures.
  • SignalFX, a software application monitoring company, has raised $20M in Series B funding led by earlier investor CRV, with participation from earlier investor Andreessen Horowitz. The company has raised $28.5M altogether from the two firms.
  • Liaison Technologies, a company that makes cloud-enabled data-integration and data-management products, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. The company says the round brings its total funding to $90M.
  • Favor, a personal delivery service whose “runners” wear blue tuxedo T-shirts and fetch and deliver goods for $5 per trip (plus 5% of the cost of the items and a driver tip), has raised $13M in Series A funding. The company has now raised $17.9M altogether, including from investor Tim Draper and Silverton Partners.
  • EVEN Financial, a startup that connects online lending marketplaces with borrowers and verified potential lenders, has raised $2.8M in seed funding led by Canaan Partners, with participation from Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Conversion Capital, Social Leverage, 555 Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and individuals investors.
  • Classkick, a platform that enables teachers to give immediate feedback to students working on iPads, has raised $1.7M in seed funding from Great Oaks Venture Capital, Kapor Capital, Lightbank, and Yammer cofounder Adam Pisoni.
  • Bugcrowd, a company whose software helps companies run crowdsourced, software-bug bounty programs to track the bugs down, has raised $6M in Series A funding led by Costanoa Venture Capital, with participation from Rally Ventures, Paladin Capital Group and Blackbird Ventures. The company has raised $9M to date.
  • VaporChat, a New York-based company whose newly launched mobile application offers users more control over their messages’ content, has raised $1.5M led by Social Starts, with participation from numerous angel investors.
  • Steelwedge, a supply-chain planning company, has raised $22.5M in new funding led Camden Partners, with participation from Mainsail Partners, Shea Ventures and the company’s chief executive, Pervinder Johar.
  • StarMaker Interactive, a San Francisco-based online platform that invites users to record and share music videos of themselves, has raised $6.5M in new funding led by Raine Ventures, with participation from Crosscut Ventures, GREE International, iGlobe Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Three Bridges Ventures, and individual investors.
  • Snapchat, the messaging company, has raised $200M in new funding from Alibaba Group at a valuation of $15 billion.
  • Memebox, an online and mobile beauty brand company, has raised $17.5M in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to $29.4M. Its investors include Formation 8, Goodwater Capital, AME Cloud Ventures, Pejman Mar Ventures, Y Combinator, Winklevoss Capital, FundersClub, Cowboy Ventures, and Altos Ventures.
  • Lyft, the three-year-old, San Francisco-based ride-hailing service, has raised $530M in new funding, led by the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. The new round brings Lyft’s total funding to $850M and establishes its value at about $3 billion. Others of its backers include Andreessen Horowitz, K9 Ventures, GSV Capital, QueensBridge Venture Partners, Coatue Management, Mayfield Fund, and Founders Fund.
  • Kira Talent, a Toronto-based online talent assessment platform, has raised $1.2M in seed financing led by Relay Ventures, with participation from the Business Development Bank of Canada and numerous angel investors. The company has now raised $3.2M altogether.
  • Classkick, an online learning platform that enables teachers to give students immediate feedback, has raised $1.7M in funding from investors, including Great Oaks Venture Capital, Kapor Capital, Lightbank and individual investors.
  • Bento Labs, a startup that’s developing a customizable home screen for Android devices, has raised $2M in seed funding from investors, including First Round Capital, Google Ventures, and the Social+Capital Partnership.
  • Agilence, a company whose software helps retailers monitor their stores and prevent theft, has raised $4.3M in funding led by earlier backer Laurel Capital Partners, with participation from new investor Drayton Park Capital and previous backers Aster Capital, Granite Ventures, and NextStage Capital. The company has raised $18.5M to date.
  • Zuora, an business whose software allows customers set up subscriptions for their goods and services, has raised $115M from investors that include Wellington Management, BlackRock, Premji, and Passport Capital. Earlier investors also joined the round, including Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Index Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Vulcan Capital, Next World Capital, Workday co-CEO Dave Duffield and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. Zuora has now raised $250M altogether.
  • ThinkCerca, a company offering online academic reading and writing instruction, has raised $3.2M in Series A funding led by Follett Knowledge Fund, Amicus Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and Math Venture Partners.
  • Splash, an event-planning software startup, has raised $6M in new funding led by Spark Capital. The company has now raised $7.7M altogether.
  • SpareFoot, an online service for finding and booking self-storage units, has raised $33M in new funding led by Revolution Growth. Monkfish Equity and earlier backer Insight Venture Partners also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to roughly $50M.
  • Prevoty, a security software company that enables enterprises to embed security within their applications, has raised $8M in Series A funding led by U.S. Venture Partners. The company has now raised $11.1M altogether.
  • Pager, a company whose mobile app facilitates doctor house calls, has raised $10.4M from existing seed investors Lux Capital and Montage Ventures, as well as new investors Goodwater Capital and Summation Health Ventures.
  • Looker, a business intelligence platform, has raised $30M in Series B funding led by Meritech Capital Partners, with participation from Sapphire Ventures and earlier backers Redpoint Ventures, First Round Capital and PivotNorth.
  • Independa, a startup that embeds remote-monitoring technology for elderly people into television sets made by LG Electronics, has closed its multi-tranched Series B round at $6M, with its newest capital coming largely from Mesa Verde Venture Partners.
  • HealthMyne, an informatics company focused on bringing imaging analysis to the point of care, has raised $4.5M in Series A funding led by local firms Venture Investors and 4490 Ventures, with participation from HealthX Ventures and several angel investors.
  • Groupon, daily deals and local commerce company, is taking steps toward spinning off its Asia business, Groupon India and raised $20M from Sequoia Capital.
  • Elastica, a cloud security company, has raised $30M in new funding led by Third Point Ventures, with participation from Pelion Venture Partners and earlier backer Mayfield Fund.
  • Decolar, an online travel agency — the largest in Latin America — has taken $270M from Expedia Group in exchange for less than 20 percent of its business.
  • SimpliVity, a converged infrastructure company, has raised $175M in Series D funding led by Waypoint Capital, with participation from earlier backers Accel Partners, CRV, DFJ Growth, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Meritech Capital Partners. The company has now raised $276M altogether.
  • RayVio, a company that uses solid state UV technology for a variety of applications, including to disinfect drinking water and prevent food spoilage by eliminating bacteria, has raised $9.3M in Series B funding, including from Applied Ventures, Augment Ventures, New Ground Ventures and Tolero Ventures. Earlier backers DCM Ventures and Capricorn Investment Group also joined the round.
  • Onshape, a computer-aided design startup that has been operating in stealth mode, has raised $64M in funding over the years, including from New Enterprise Associates, North Bridge Growth Equity & Venture Partners, and Commonwealth Capital Ventures.
  • Flashnotes, an online marketplace that invites students to exchange academic materials, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Barnes & Noble. The company had previously raised $11.4M from investors, including Atlas Venture, SoftBank Capital, and Runa Capital.
  • E8 Security, a maker of cyber security analytics software, has raised $9.8M in Series A funding led by March Capital Partners, with participation from Allegis Capital and The Hive.
  • Do, a startup that makes meeting software, has raised $2M in seed funding, including from New Enterprise Associates, Slow Ventures, Queensbridge Venture Partners, and numerous individual investors, including Zynga founder Mark Pincus.
  • 21 Inc., a stealthy bitcoin startup, has raised $116M in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and RRE Ventures, with participation from Yuan Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Data Collective and numerous individual investors, including PayPal cofounders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin.
  • Quixey, a mobile search startup, has raised $60M in new funding led earlier backer Alibaba Group, with participation from Goldman Sachs, GGV Capital, and SoftBank Capital. The company has now raised $134.9M altogether.
  • Photobucket, a 12-year-old, Denver-based image and video hosting site, has raised $3.6M in new funding. The additional capital is reportedly part of an $8M round that’s still in progress. Photobucket was sold in 2007 to Fox Interactive Media for $250M, then sold again in 2009 for $60M to a Seattle-based imaging startup called Ontela. The merged company kept the Photobucket brand.
  • CoverHound, an online insurance marketplace, has raised $14M in Series B funding from Core Innovation Capital, Route 66 Ventures, Thomas Lehrman, Tugboat Ventures and American Family Ventures, along with earlier backers RRE Ventures, Blumberg Capital, and Bullpen Capital. The company has now raised $23.4M altogether.
  • Blippar, a New York-based image-recognition platform that uses augmented reality technology, has raised $45M in Series A funding from undisclosed investors. According to Crunchbase, the company had previously raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Qualcomm Ventures.

EMEA

  • Passion Capital has invested an undisclosed level of seed funding in Ravelin, an early stage online fraud prevention startup.
  • Vienna, Austria-based mySugr, an app using digital products to take the strain out of aggregating diabetes-related health data and managing the chronic condition, raised $4.8M from two new investors, Switzerland-based Roche Ventures and U.S.-based iSeed Ventures. Existing investor XLHealth, from Germany, also participated in the round. Total funding raised to date is around $5.8M.
  • Ravelin, a London-based online fraud prevention startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Passion Capital..
  • Growth Intelligence, a London-based startup that makes predictive marketing software, has raised $3.4M in Series A funding from 83North, MMC Ventures, and individual investors.

Asia

  • Retty, Japanese restaurant recommendation and review site, raised JPY 1 billion (US$8.24M) in series C funding. Fidelity Growth Partners Japan joins this funding round alongside previous investors Gree Ventures and Mizuho Capital.
  • Food ordering and delivery Oddle raised a S$1M (US$718,000) seed round led by Singapore-based VC East Ventures. The company has in its pocket 350 outlets from 200 merchants. All Oddle customers in Singapore are paying the startup. It also has paying clients in Hong Kong and just started free trials in Vietnam. It has processed S$2M (US$1.43M) in transactions in its one year of existence, representing a month-on-month growth of 20 percent.
  • Daily deals site Ensogo has raised A$10M (US$7.6M) from investment firm Ward Ferry Management. 58.8M shares will be issued to the Hong Kong-based fund at A$0.17 (US$0.13) apiece, giving it a 10.6 percent stake in the company.
  • Mobile advertising technology provider Vserv has raised $15M from hedge fund Maverick Capital and venture capital firm IDG Ventures India.
  • Quikr.com, a Bangalore, India-based classifieds portal that connect buyers and sellers on their mobile phones and other online devices, is close to raising $150M from Tiger Global Management and other investors, including Steadview Capital of Hong Kong.
  • Sugar, a deals discovery mobile app with a novel process to give users discounts, has raised over S$1M (US$720,000) to date from Singapore Post chairman Lim Ho Kee as well as Koh Boon Hwee, the former chairman of SingTel, DBS Bank, and Singapore Airlines.
  • IndoTrading, a company that operates a directory for small businesses in Indonesia, raised a US$1.5M series A funding round led by OPT SEA, the Southeast Asian business arm of OPT Group. The round was followed on by Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, Jakarta’s Convergence Ventures (formerly Convergence Accel), Aucfan, existing investor Rebright Partners, and an anonymous angel investor.
  • Ola, a Mumbai, India-based cab-hailing service, is close to raising about $400M in a round that will be led by DST Global and could value the startup at about $3 billion. Ola’s earlier investors, including SoftBank Corp. and Tiger Global Management, are also expected to participate in the funding. Earlier this month, Ola acquired TaxiForSure, a nearly four-year-old, Bangalore-based aggregator of car rentals and taxis in India, for $200 in cash and stock.
  • Moonfrog Labs, a Bangalore-based startup that makes mobile games for players in India, has raised $15M in Series A funding from Tiger Global Management and earlier investor Sequoia Capital, which had previously provided the company with $1M in funding.
  • ChargeBee, an India-based startup that helps companies manage their subscription billings, has raised $5M in Series B funding led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from previous backer Accel Partners, which provided the company with $800,000 in Series A funding early last year. The company has now raised roughly $6.2M altogether.
  • Speakwell Enterprises, an India-based English language learning service company, has raised $10M from investors led by Gray Matters Capital.
  • Group buying site Joinem launched to the public and announced a $5M raise from undisclosed investors, including “two senior members of Facebook’s executive team.”
  • Grocery shopping app named HappyFresh raised seven-figure undisclosed round of pre-series A funding from a group of venture capital firms, international angel investors, and institutional backers.
  • Lamabang, a Beijing-based Chinese social network and ecommerce company for mothers and expectant mothers, has raised $100M in Series C funding from Matrix Partners, Morningside Ventures, and Greenwoods Asset Management, reports Tech in Asia. The company has raised $130M to date.
  • Chinese C2C ecommerce app Jiemi has raised “several million USD” in series A funding from IDG Ventures.
  • Mumbai-based startup Codigami, which owns Crowdfire a social media management app, announced a series A funding round of US$2.5M from Kalaari Capital.
  • Malaysian online wedding portal Wedding.com.my announced the raising of MYR 1M (US$274,000) in a seed funding round led by Kathrein Ventures and joined by N Capital Partners and an angel investor.
  • Shopback, a Singapore-based ecommerce cashback startup, raised US$600,000 from Accel-X and East Ventures.

Other emerging markets

  • Lingua.ly, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based language learning app, has raised $1M from Yochy Investments, the Washington, D.C.-based seed fund 1776, and individuals, including earlier investor Udi Netzer. The company has now raised $1.8M altogether.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Facebook has acquired personalized shopping search engine TheFind to help improve its commerce ads. TheFind had raised $26M from Lightspeed and Redpoint since getting off the ground around 2005, but will now be shut down.
  • Lasso, a private photo-sharing and chat app cofounded by the founders of the photo and video-sharing service Photobucket, has been acquired by Photobucket for undisclosed terms.
  • BGPmon, a provider of network and routing monitoring services, has been acquired by OpenDNS for undisclosed terms.
  • ARX, a San Francisco-based digital signature company, has been acquired by longtime partner DocuSign for undisclosed terms.
  • 2lemetry, a startup whose enterprise-focused platform tracks and manages IP-enabled machines and other connected devices, has been acquired by Amazon for undisclosed terms. 2lemetry had raised $4M from Salesforce Ventures.
  • Kitematic, a startup whose tool helps speed up the ability of Docker’s software containers to ship applications across different cloud computing systems, has been acquired by Docker for an undisclosed price.
  • AppCrawlr, an app that lets you compare feature checklists and reviews to find the best app for any purpose, has been acquired by desktop software discovery site Softonic.
  • Blue Coat Systems, an enterprise security company that helps clients ensure they have secure connections to the Internet,on will be acquired by investment firm Bain Capital for $2.4 billion in cash, a move that sets the stage for the cybersecurity company to go public again.
  • Twitter has acquired Periscope, a startup that’s building an app for streaming video from smartphones, for $75-$100M.
  • Veenome, a service that analyzes online video to reduce fraud, eliminate objectionable material and more, has been acquired by Integral Ad Science, a company whose technology aims to direct the right viewers to the right ads. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. According to TechCrunch, Veenome had raised at least $2.5M from investors, including Stardust Venture Partners, India Venture Partners, and Piedmont Investment Advisors. Integral Ad Science has raised nearly $50M from investors, including August Capital, Atlas Venture, Pelion Venture Partners, and Founder Collective.
  • Stitch, a sales productivity software company, has been acquired by SugarCRM, which is reportedly shutting down the service. Stitch had raised $3.3M from investors, including Freestyle Capital, SoftTech VC, Google Ventures and Foundation Capital. SugarCRM, an 11-year-old, Cupertino, Ca.-based maker of customer relationship management software, has raised $104M from investors over the years, shows Crunchbase. Its backers include DFJ, New Enterprise Associates, Goldman Sachs, and Walden Venture Capital.
  • Appfluent Technology, a company that makes data analytics software, has been acquired by Attunity, a publicly traded company. Appfluent had raised at least $4.1M, from Updata Partners and The New Markets Growth Fund.

EMEA

  • Rocket Internet, the publicly-listed German ‘startup factory’ and e-commerce behemoth, has increased its stake in Foodpanda worth $110M.
  • Spain’s Percentil has acquired Kirondo, European ‘pre-owned’ kids clothing company.

Asia

  • Consumer-to-consumer marketplace Lamido will merge with Rocket’s larger ecommerce entity Lazada. Lamido was a Lazada venture originally set up to offer a consumer marketplace platform separated from Lazada.
  • VCCircle, a Noida, India-based media company whose news sites include VCCircle.com and Techcircle.in, has been acquired by News Corp. for undisclosed terms. The deal represents News Corp’s third, recent investment in India. News Corp. also invested $30M in the real estate sales platform PropTiger last November and acquired the online financial planning company Bigdecisions in December.

Other emerging markets

  • CyActive, a two-year-old, Be’er Sheva, Israel-based “predictive” cyber security company, has been acquired by PayPal for at least $60M. CyActive had raised one, undisclosed round of funding from Siemens Venture Capital in the form of a convertible note.

Jonathan’s Internet And Digital Media Weekly Update – 2015-03-02

Private Financing
US

  • Mobeewave, a Canadian startup that develops fast and secure near field communication (NFC) mobile payment acceptance services, raised a $6.5M investment round led by SBT Venture Capital, the venture arm of Russia’s national savings bank Sberbank. Business angels also participated in the round, but their identity has not been disclosed.
  • YesGraph, a company which recommends exactly who a new user should invite, raised a $1M seed round led by Bloomberg Beta. The company had also raised $1.3M earlier from NextView Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, Accel Partners, Founder Collective, Quotidian Ventures, Rivet Ventures, Michael Birch, Gustaf Alströmer, Lance White, Tom Williams, and Adam Gross for its recruiting product in the past.
  • Trov, a company whose app helps users easily organize and value the things they own, has raised $6.5M in new Series B funding led by Anthemis Group of Geneva. The company has now raised $13.3M altogether.
  • Twenty20, a photography marketplace connecting stock photo buyers with everyday smartphone photographers, has raised $8M in Series A funding led by Canaan Partners, with First Round Capital, Bullpen Capital, and VersionOne Ventures participating. The company has now raised $9.7M altogether.
  • Kobalt, a company whose computer system scours payment systems around the world to make sure royalty money ends up where it belongs, has raised $60M in new funding from Google Ventures and Michael Dell. The company has now raised $116M altogether.
  • JRNL, a company whose private journaling application is designed for Web and mobile use, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed financing from Varkain, a Las Vegas-based venture capital firm.
  • InMoji, a San Francisco-based mobile marketing startup, has raised $1.25M in seed funding led by former PayPal Media COO David Chang, with participation from PayPal’s StartTank and Atlas Venture through its Boston Syndicates.
  • Emailage, a company that makes a fraud-detection system that relies on email addresses to produce a fraud risk score, has raised $3.8M in funding led by Felicis Ventures.
  • Accela, a company that makes cloud-based civic-engagement software, has raised $143.5M in new financing led Abry Partners, with participation from Landmark Partners, J.P. Morgan Private Equity, and Karlani Capital. The company had raised at least $50M across two previous rounds.
  • Gaming backend-technology company PlayFab which provides game makers with cross-platform tools to keep live games running on PC, console, and mobile raised $7.4M in a series-A funding round led by Investment group Benchmark. Series A also saw participation from Startup Capital Ventures, Orbitz chief executive Barney Harford, and PopCap Games cofounder Jason Kapalka.
  • Robot Entertainment, the Texas game studio that created Orcs Must Die!, has received a minority investment from Chinese gaming and Internet giant Tencent.
  • Digital media startup Atlas Obscura raised $2M from a myriad of investors that include media companies such as The New York Times, VC funds such as New Atlantic Ventures, and angels such as Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian.
  • Mapping startup Citymaps raised a new $6M funding round from Nokia Growth Partners, Coatue Management, Acadia Woods, and existing investors, with Nokia’s Paul Asel joining Citymaps’ board of directors. This brings the company’s total funding to $11M.
  • Twenty20, the startup formerly known as Instacanvas, today announced that it has raised an $8M Series A round led by Canaan Partners. With this funding round, Twenty20 has also finalized its transformation from printing service for Instagram pictures to photo-licensing service.
  • Palo Alto-based Branch Metrics, a company developing better mobile deep linking technology (links that point users to specific pages within mobile applications themselves), raised $15M Series A round led by existing investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and TriplePoint Capital President Ben Narasin, who invested personally. Also participating in the round were Pejman Mar Ventures, Zach Coelius, Cowboy Ventures, and the firm TriplePoint Capital. The additional funding values the company at $75M post-money. To date, Branch Metrics has raised $17.75M.
  • High Fidelity, a company building deployable virtual worlds, combining the ease of rolling out a VM instance on a modern cloud platform with the interactivity of Minecraft and the immersion of virtual reality, has raised $11M in funding in a round led by Paul Allen’s Vulcan Capital.
  • Zimperium, a mobile security company that protects smartphones against advanced cyber attacks, has raised $12M in new funding led by Australia’s Telstra, with participation from Japan’s TOYO Corp. and earlier backers Sierra Ventures, Lazarus Israel Opportunities Fund, and Samsung. The company has now raised $20M altogether.
  • Unify Square, a company that sells software, services and support for Microsoft Lync/Skype for Business (it was started by Microsoft veterans), has raised $8.2M in Series B funding from individual investors with backgrounds at Yahoo, IBM and Ariba. The company has now raised $22.2M altogether.
  • SecureKey Technologies, a maker of identity and authentication software, has raised $19M in Series C funding led by Blue Sky Capital and earlier backer Rogers Venture Partners. The company has now raised $75.7M altogether.
  • TopOPPS, a company that makes predictive analytics software for sales teams, has raised $2M in funding led by Cultivation Capital. The company has now raised roughly $4M.
  • Pivot3, a vendor of hyper-converged infrastructure, has raised $45M in funding from Argonaut Private Equity, S3 Ventures, InterWest Partners, and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. The company has now raised $184.8M altogether.
  • Klipfolio, a business intelligence company, has raised $6.2M in Series A round led by Omers Ventures, with participation from the company’s seed investors, including BDC Capital, Mistral Venture Partners, Acadia Woods, BOLDstart Ventures, CommonAngels Ventures, and Fundfire. The company has now raised $7.7M to date.
  • Lytro, a company whose cameras capture the entire light field around a picture, raised $50M in new funding led by GSV Capital, with participation from all of its earlier investors, which include Allen & Co., Greylock Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, New Enterprise Associates, and K9 Ventures.
  • Luxe Valet, an on-demand valet startup, has raised $20M in Series A funding co-led by Redpoint Ventures and Venrock Partners. The company has now raised $25.5M to date.
  • LocoMotive Labs, a company that makes play-based apps for children with special needs, has raised $4M in Series A funding led by Softbank Ventures Korea and TAL Education Group, with participation from earlier backers K9 Ventures, Kapor Capital, NewSchools Venture Fund, D3Jubilee, and individual investors. The company has now raised $5.15M altogether.
  • Exablox, a cloud storage provider, has raised $16M in Series C funding from Dell Ventures. The company has now raised $38.5M altogether, including from DCM, Norwest Venture Partners, and U.S. Venture Partners.
  • Dtex Systems, a company whose software prevents cyber security breaches originating within an organization, has raised $15M Series A funding co-led by Norwest Venture Partners and Wing Ventures.
  • Coolan, a company that employs analytics and artificial intelligence to predict server failure and avert data center outages, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from investors, including Keshif Ventures, North Bridge Venture Partners, and The Social+Capital Partnership.
  • Chefs Feed, a content platform that offers food suggestions from top chefs, has raised $4M in Series A funding led by Artis Ventures, with participation from Haas Portman, Structure Capital, Subtraction Capital and individual investors. The company has now raised $8.2M to date.
  • Branch Metrics, a software company focused on mobile deep linking (where pages inside of mobile apps are accessible immediately with the click of a link), has raised $15M in Series A funding co-led by earlier investors New Enterprise Associates and Ben Narasin of TriplePoint Capital, with participation from Pejman Mar Ventures, Zach Coelius, and Cowboy Ventures. The company had previously raised $2.75M from many of those same investors.
  • Ardusat, an education company focused on enhancing student engagement through hands-on experimentation, has raised $1M in seed funding from Space Florida, Fresco Capital, Spire and other investors.
  • Airtable, a company which makes data more accessible on mobile devices by combining the ease-of-use of spreadsheets with the power of relational databases, raised $3M in funding from investors that include Caffeinated Capital, Freestyle Capital, Data Collective, CrunchFund (which was founded by TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington), Box Group, Bebo founder Michael Birch, Box executive Villi Iltchev, Ben Ling, Snapup founder Shan Mehta, Farmville creator Amitt Mahajan, Ashton Kutcher, OpenDoor founder Eric Wu, YC partner Aaron Harris and Color Genomics co-founder Othman Laraki.
  • Getable, a startup delivering on-demand construction equipment, announced a $5M round led by The Social+Capital Partnership.
  • Notation Capital, based in Brooklyn, and it is led by Nick Chirls, who led seed investment at betaworks and helped build Alphaworks, and Alex Lines, an architect at betaworks who contributed to products like Digg, Chartbeat, and bit.ly, raised $8M.
  • Wigo, a startup whose mobile application enables college students to find out where people they know are going out, has raised $1.5M in seed funding led by Great Oaks Venture Capital, with participation from the startup foundry Blade, GGV Capital, Greylock Partners, KEC Ventures, and individual investors. The company has raised $2.2M altogether.
  • RtTech Software, a Canada-based company whose data software aims to help manufacturing companies improve their asset availability, asset utilization and utilities consumption, has raised $3M in Series A funding led by McRock Capital, with participation from earlier backer New Brunswick Innovation Foundation.
  • Q4 Web Systems, a company whose services cater to investors relations professionals (including making investor websites), has raised $5M led by Plaza Ventures, with participation from Atlas Venture and Silicon Valley Bank.
  • NCino, a company behind a web-based operating technology for banks and financial-services companies, has raised $29M in Series B funding led by Insight Venture Partners. Earlier backers, including Wellington Management, former Morgan Stanley Chairman and Chief Executive John Mack, and Promontory Financial Group founder and CEO Gene Ludwig, also joined the round. The company has now raised $49M to date.
  • Mavenlink, a company whose cloud-based software helps distributed teams manage and scale the projects, has raised $15M in equity and a $4M credit facility from Carrick Capital Partners and Silicon Valley Bank.
  • Iotera, a company that produces GPS devices with what it says are months of battery life, has raised $1M in seed funding led by earlier backer ZenShin Capital Partners, with participation from Crunchfund, Startup Capital Ventures, String Ventures, EarlyMarket and Rubicon Venture Capital.
  • FundThrough, a Toronto-based online business lending startup, has raised $2.2M led by Real Ventures, with participation from Origin Merchant Partners, Five Elements Ventures, Barlow Lane Holdings and individual investors.
  • CENX, a company whose software helps wireless carriers manage their data networks, has raised an undisclosed amount of growth financing from its previous backers, including Cross Creek Advisors, DCM, Ericsson, Highland Capital Partners, Mesirow Financial Private Equity, and Verizon Ventures.
  • Image-recognition technology startup CamFind has announced a $4.8M funding round from “dozens of individual angel investors,” including Kamran Pourzanjani.
  • Telltale Games, a digital publisher that releases interactive episodic content on a monthly schedule, has raised an undisclosed but “significant” amount of strategic funding from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp rumoured to be $40M. The company had raised roughly $14.5M previously, including from Granite Ventures and IDG Ventures.
  • Humanyze, a unique new firm spawned in the MIT Media Lab, has developed a system that uses a smart employee badge to collect employee behavioral data, which it links to specific metrics with the goal of improving business performance. It announced $1M in seed funding. The funding was led by Romulus Capital with contributions from Boston Seed and dunnhumby Ventures.
  • Space Time Insight, a company whose analytics software aims to help companies in asset-intensive industries (like utility companies) make faster, better decisions, has raised $8M in funding from the energy supplier E.ON SE and NEC Corp. The company has now raised $50M altogether, including from EnerTech Capital, Novus Energy Partners, and Zouk Capital.
  • Sikka Software, a SaaS company with a practice-management platform for dentists, optometrists, veterinarians and the like, has raised $5.5M in Series B funding led by new investor Sierra Ventures, with participation from earlier backer ATA Ventures.
  • Roadster Online, a company that promises to find great prices on new cars for customers, then deliver the car to their doors, has raised $1.8M in seed funding from undisclosed sources.
  • Metamarkets Group, an analytics platform for buyers and sellers of programmatic advertising, has raised $15M in Series C funding from City National Bank, Data Collective, IA Ventures, Khosla Ventures, True Ventures, Village Ventures and individual investors. The company has now raised $43.5M altogether.
  • LocoMotive Labs, a developer of play-based educational apps for children with special needs, has raised $4M in Series A funding co-led by SoftBank Ventures Korea and TAL Education Group. Earlier backers, including D3Jubilee, K9 Ventures, Kapor Capital, and NewSchools Venture Fund, also participated in the round. The company has now raised $4.6M altogether.
  • GuideSpark, a company that provides employers with customizable video templates for conveying human resources information in a more digestible way, has raised $22.2M in Series C funding led by Meritech Capital Partners, with participation from earlier backers IDG Ventures, New Enterprise Associates and Storm Ventures. The company has now raised $42.4M to date.
  • Chewse, lunch delivery company, raised a total of $1.7M in seed funding. For its first $1M, Chewse investors included Chris Sacca, Telegraph Hill, InnoSpring, Ben Ling, Richard Chen and 500 Startups. With an additional $700,000 in funding, the company brought on additional investors like Google Shopping Express founder Tom Fallows, Walmart’s Rocketship VC and Groupon’s Emanuel Stehle.
  • Hombrew, early-stage venture firm cofounded by Hunter Walk and Satya Patel, has closed its second fund with $50M, up from the $35M it had raised for its inaugural fund. Among Homebrew’s newest investments is Eero, a year-old, San Francisco-based company whose routers aim to blanket its customers’ homes in fast, reliable WiFi.
  • Viv Labs, an artificial-intelligence startup whose three cofounders also cofounded the virtual personal assistant company Siri (famously acquired by Apple in 2010), has raised $12.5M in Series B funding. The round was led by Iconiq Capital, with participation from earlier backer Horizon Venture and Pritzker Group Venture Capital. The company has now raised $22.5M altogether.
  • Urban Airship, a mobile marketing company, has raised $21M in Series D funding, including from Franklin Park & Associates and QuestMark Partners. The company has now raised $67.6M altogether, including from August Capital, Foundry Group, True Ventures and Verizon Ventures.
  • TrueFacet, a platform that sells pre-owned jewelry, has raised $1.7M in seed funding from Founders’ Co-Op, Maveron, Social Leverage, Trilogy Equity Partners and individual investors. The company had earlier raised $118,000 in funding from Techstars.
  • Tilson Technology Management, a company that builds telecommunications networks, has raised $2.2M in funding from Rand Capital, a Buffalo-based venture firm, and CEI Ventures of Maine. The company has raised $2.9M altogether.
  • Round.me, a company that turns panoramic photos into virtual tours, has raised a $3M in funding led by April Capital.
  • Postmates, an on-demand delivery service, has raised $35M in Series C funding from earlier backer Spark Capital, reports Techcrunch. Postmates is a service that lets users order anything from local stores and have it delivered directly to their home for a small delivery fee. The company has raised a total of $58M, including from Matrix Partners, SoftTech VC, Crosslink Capital, Scott Banister, Naval Ravikant, Russell Simmons, Thomas Korte, Shervin Pishevar, Dave Morin and David Sacks.
  • OrbitHCI, a Boston-based company that’s developing a watch and a tablet that aim to make it easier for the elderly to remotely see and communicate with loved ones, has raised $1M in seed funding from Google Ventures and Atlas Venture.
  • DriverUp, a company that hopes to draw accredited investors into the business of auto lending, has raised $50M in Series A funding led by Emerald Development Managers and RRE Ventures.
  • AlleyNYC, a New York-based co-working space, has raised $16M in funding led by Vandewater Capital Holdings, with participation from Entrepreneur Media.

EMEA

  • Sweden’s Sqore, a startup that runs a large network of student competitions, raised a $3.5M investment from Northzone.
  • AXA Equitable Financial Services, the 200-year-old, Paris-based multinational investment banking firm, has formed a venture unit with a 200M euro ($224.3M) fund that it intends to invest in insurance, asset management, financial technology and health-care services startups.
  • LoveCrafts, a London-based builder of social marketplaces for crafts communities, has raised $7.5M in funding from Balderton Capital.
  • LeadDesk, the Finland-based cloud call center software company, has announced its first funding led by Dawn Capital with participation from public fund, Finnish Industry Investment. This investment round is designed to drive LeadDesk’s growth in European markets with particular focus on UK/Ireland, Spain, and the Benelux region.
  • Buran Venture Capital, a Moscow-based, internationally-oriented venture fund, appears to be among the backers of Shazam, which raised $30M this past January in a funding round that valued it at over $1 billion.
  • Shark Punch, a game development studio with offices in San Francisco and Helsinki, has raised $1.2M in seed funding led by London Venture Partners, with participation DN Capital, Reaktor Polte, and other investors.
  • Finnish developer Shark Punch, game discovery with its Playfield community platform, raised $1.2M in seed funding led by London Venture Partners.
  • Germany-based Webdata Solutions who provides clients an easy to use and effective solution for day-to-day monitoring of their competitor’s price points, automation for pricing management, benchmarking of current market trends, closed a €4M funding round (~$4.5m) led by Paris-based VC Seventure Partners. Others participating in the round include Senovo, and b-to-v Partners, along with previous investor TGFS.
  • Sparta, the Stockholm-based startup that provides an online platform to help sales managers more easily run sales competitions, raised €100,000 round of funding from Spotify’s European MD, Jonathan Forster, and Henrik Torstensson, CEO of ‘health tracker’ Lifesum and also a former member of Spotify’s management team. Previous investors Johan Attby (CEO of Fishbrain) and Pär Ribbne also participated.
  • Lavanda, London-based on-demand laundry, raised $265,000 from Ned Cranborne (Partner at Samos Investments), Tom Allason (Founder, Shutl), Stephen Romney (CTO, Shutl), Jack Waley-Cohen and Michael Dent (co-founders, what3words) and Hugo Adams (co-founder, 3 Kinds of Ice).
  • Grabble, a London-based social fashion discovery and commerce platform, has raised £1.2M ($1.9M) in funding from a long list of mostly European angel investors.

Asia

  • FreshWorld, a Bangalore-based startup that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables straight from farmers to homes using GPS-enabled smart carts, has secured an undisclosed amount in funding from Indian Angel Network and Infosys cofounder Kris Gopalakrishnan.
  • Brite Semiconductor, an emerging ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) design services firm headquartered in China, has raised US$8M in a Series C round of funding led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), Gobi Partners, and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation.
  • Online retailer Nasty Gal is gearing up for its brick-and-mortar moment and raised $16M investment led by Ron Johnson.
  • DatastreamX, a marketplace for real-time data, just raised S$500,000 (US$368,000) seed round from undisclosed private investors to realize its vision.
  • Grofers, Indian on-demand delivery service for local shops, raised a $10M series A round led by Sequoia Capital (a returning investor) and Tiger Global. This brings its total raised so far to $10.5M.
  • India-based food ordering service TinyOwl has raised a $16M Series B round from Matrix Partners and existing investors Sequoia Capital and Nexus Venture Partners.
  • Spika, the company producing the Nailbook app (for iOS and Android), raised JPY 100M (US$836,000) in seed funding from Gree Ventures and B Dash Ventures.
  • 500 Startups announced the launch of its latest microfund, 500 Kimchi. The US$15M fund will target early stage startups in South Korea’s mobile space.
  • New Zealand-based Xero Limited, which sells cloud-based accounting and bookkeeping software, has raised a $110M funding round, led by Accel Partners. Accel put in $100M of the total, while existing investor Matrix Partners put in the other $10.8M.
  • InternetOptics, the company behind Lensza, an Indonesia-based online contact lens retailer, announced today that it closed a round of seed funding from investors based in Indonesia, Singapore, and the Netherlands.
  • HomeLane, an India-based company that boasts of integrated interior design and manufacturing capabilities that allow its customers to customize their homes, has raised $4.5M in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Aarin Capital.
  • Trip38, a Bangalore-based startup that is trying to make traveling less complicated  just announced that it has raised INR 60M (just under USD$1M) from Interglobe Technology Quotient and Singapore-based VC firm Lantern Capital.
  • Pepperfry, a India-based home and lifestyle e-commerce platform, is reportedly talking with new and earlier investors about a $70M to $80M Series D round. The company has so far raised $28M across three rounds to date, including from Norwest Venture Partners and Bertelsmann.
  • NoBroker, a India-based peer-to-peer property listings startup that aims to squeeze brokers out of the rental process, has raised $3M in Series A funding from SAIF Partners and Fulcrum Ventures. The company had previously raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding.

Other emerging markets

  • Workable, hiring SaaS platform, has secured $5M in additional funding from its existing investors, including Greylock Israel (which has since become 83North) and Greece-based seed investors Openfund.
  • ironSource, Israeli ad distribution and app monetization company, raised an additional $20M from a group of unnamed investors led by Access Industries. The new funding, the final tranche of a Series B round that totaled more than $100M, brings the sum raised by the company to about $123M.
  • Knowmail, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based developer of email-management software for businesses, has raised $1.2M in seed financing from Plus Ventures, 2B Angels, AfterDox and INE Ventures.
  • M4JAM (Money For Jam), a South Africa-based platform that breaks large projects into smaller jobs and enlists independent contractors to complete them, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Tencent Holdings and Naspers, via their joint WeChat Africa venture.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Visa acquired Mountain View-based TrialPay, an e-commerce payment platform which sits in between payments and advertising, providing consumers with an alternative way to pay for items by agreeing to take advantage of another merchant’s offer.
  • Pluck, a company that sells social media software to companies that want to create communities around their existing web properties, has been acquired for undisclosed terms by Sprinklr, a subsidiary of publicly traded Demand Media. Terms aren’t being disclosed. According to Crunchbase, Pluck had raised at least $17M from investors, including Reuters, Mayfield Fund, and Austin Ventures.
  • Mobile analytics provider Kochava is announcing that it has acquired Toronto-based ad tech company InferSystems, and it’s using InferSystems technology to build a product called the Kochava Optimization Beacon.
  • Encrypted comms company Silent Circle, half of the SGP Technologies joint venture behind the pro-privacy Android smartphone Blackphone, has reached an agreement to buy out its hardware partner, Spanish smartphone maker Geeksphone.
  • Toro, a startup that helps developers promote their apps on Facebook and was formerly known as Red Hot Labs, has been acquired by Google for undisclosed terms. Toro had raised $1.5M in funding from investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, SV Angel, General Catalyst Partners, Keith Rabois, Chris Dixon, Bill Tai and Guitar Hero co-creators Charles Huang and Kai Huang.
  • ServiceNow, the cloud software company that helps other companies automate their corporate IT environments, will acquire Intréis, a privately held company making software that handles corporate governance, risk management and regulatory compliance processes. Terms are not being disclosed.
  • Kindermint, an online resale store that specializes in gently used kids’ clothing, has been acquired by the six-year-old, San Francisco-based used-clothing retailer ThredUp for undisclosed terms. Kindermint appears to have raised a tiny seed round from an undisclosed source; ThredUp has meanwhile raised roughly $50M from investors, including Upfront Ventures, Highland Capital Partners, Trinity Ventures, and Redpoint Ventures.
  • Authy, a San Francisco-based startup with a two-factor authentication app, has been acquired by the cloud software service Twilio for undisclosed terms. The app will continue as a standalone service, but its capabilities will be added to Twilio’s API. Authy had raised $3.8M from investors, including Y Combinator, Corazon Capital, Salesforce Ventures, StartCaps Ventures, and Data Collective.
  • Google has announced a deal with Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T to pre-install Google Wallet on all of their Android devices in the US from later this year. As part of the agreement, it’s buying technology from Softcard, the mobile payments app owned by the three carriers.
  • Airpost, a Toronto-based startup that helps IT managers monitor their employees’ cloud applications, has been acquired by Box for undisclosed terms.

EMEA

  • Tencent has acquired an undisclosed stake in the privately-owned Swiss registered digital gaming company Miniclip.
  • Hassle-free “build your own app” startup AppMachine has announced a $15.2M funding round, with Web-hosting and domain registration behemoth Endurance International Group procuring 40 percent of the company’s shares.
  • Camel Audio, a London-based company known for its range of plug-ins, synthesizers, effects, and sound libraries, appears to have been quietly acquired by Apple.

Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly Update – 2015-02-16

Private Financing
US

  • August Capital has raised $450M for its seventh fund, which will be stage agnostic.
  • Moda Operandi, a New York-based online luxury fashion retailer that allows members to pre-order ready-to-wear accessories and jewelry, has raised $60M in funding led by Fidelity Investments. The company has now raised $78.4M altogether, shows Crunchbase. Others of its investors include LVMH, Condé Nast, Manatt Venture Fund, New Atlantic Ventures, RRE Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates.
  • CloudVelox, business center on hybrid cloud disaster recover and migration, has raised $15M in Series C funding from Cisco Investments, along with previous backers Mayfield Fund, Pelion Venture Partners, and Third Point Ventures.
  • WedPics, mobile photo-sharing application designed for use by wedding couples and their guests, raised Series B round of $6.5M with a combination of equity and debt from Barbara Corcoran, Phil Nadel, Middleland Capital, WTI (both equity and debt) and several Bay Area angels.
  • CarePayment, a company in patient financial engagement, has expanded its funding agreement with Aequitas Capital to include a total of $200M of senior debt, supported by $100M in new financing from Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo is the second of the four largest U.S. banking institutions to provide financing to Aequitas Capital for CarePayment in less than 12 months, supplementing the $60M credit facility from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, announced last May.
  • Emergence Capital has closed its fourth fund, Emergence Capital Partners IV, with $335M. The venture firm plans to focus on enterprise technologies, particularly SaaS cloud technologies, mobile tech, and tools for helping people work together better.
  • Gummicube, a company whose platform aims to provide developers with more app store intelligence, has raised $830,000 from Golden Seeds and F50 Venture Partners.
  • CloudVelox, a company whose business centers on hybrid cloud disaster recover and migration, has raised $15M in Series C funding from Cisco Investments, along with previous backers Mayfield Fund, Pelion Venture Partners, and Third Point Ventures.
  • Carrick Capital Partners, a tech focused investment firm, has raised $275M for its second fund, up from the $180M it raised for its debut vehicle. Carrick invests across stages.
  • WedPics, a four-year-old, Raleigh, N.C.-based online and mobile platform that encourages wedding participants to share photos, has increased the size of its Series B round, closing on $6.5M, including from Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners.
  • Laurel & Wolf, an interior design platform that connects professional designers with customers, has raised $4.4M in Series A funding led by CRV, with participation from earlier backers. The company has now has raised $5.5M in total, including from Karlin Ventures, Upside Partnership, and Draper & Associates.
  • InterviewJet, members-only hiring platform designed to introduce experienced engineers with employers who have 72 hours to lock down an interview with each candidate, has raised $750,000 in seed funding from Mitchell Martin, an IT and healthcare staffing company. Now the company just has to find some engineers.
  • Jet, e-commerce company founded by entrepreneur Marc Lore, has raised $140M in new funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Accel Partners, Coatue Management, General Catalyst Partners, Goldman Sachs, Google Ventures, MentorTech Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Norwest Venture Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, Temasek, Thrive Capital and other investors. The investment, in the form of debt that is convertible into equity, is expected to value the young e-commerce company at nearly $600M.
  • Conductor, a marketing-software startup, has raised $27M in fresh funding led by Catalyst Investors, with participation from Blue Cloud Ventures and earlier backers FirstMark Capital, Matrix Partners and Investor Growth Capital. The company has raised $60.6M to date.
  • Bill.com, an on-demand accounts payable application for CPAs and small and mid-size businesses, has raised $50M in new funding from Silicon Valley Bank, along with earlier backers DCM Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, August Capital, Napier Park Global Capital, and Commerce Ventures. The company has now raised $122.6M altogether.
  • ActionSprout, a company that makes software tools for nonprofits looking to promote themselves on Facebook, has raised $1.7M in seed funding led by Oregon Angel Fund, with participation from Bellingham Angel Fund, Portland Seed Fund and other West Coast investors.
  • TuneGo, a fledgling music discovery service for indie musicians, has raised $1.2M from serial entrepreneur Chris Murray and Pasadena Angels investor Kenny Kam.
  • Reserve, the app promising to serve as your “personal dining concierge,” has raised $15M in Series A funding led by Human Ventures Capital and by Expa. Also participating were previous backers First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Advancit Capital, and Sherpa Ventures, as well as new investors SV Angel, Venture 51, Visionaire Ventures and celebrities actor Jared Leto, Will.i.am, and Jon Favreau.
  • Wandera, a secure mobile gateway company, has raised $15M in new funding led by 83North, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners. The company has raised $25M altogether.
  • Thirty Labs, a video-focused startup studio, has raised $2M in funding from a long list of investors, including Elisabeth Murdoch,Tumblr founder David Karp, Bloomberg Beta, and Advancit Capital.
  • Rally Bus, a startup that offers crowdsourced event travel on luxury buses, has raised $1.25M in seed funding from the YEI Innovation Fund (run by the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute), Connecticut Innovations, First Niagara Bank, and angel investors.
  • Quixey, a search engine that helps people discover the right mobile apps for their needs, is reportedly raising $60M in Series D funding at a $600M valuation led by the e-commerce giant Alibaba, with Twitter, SoftBank Corp., an investment platform controlled by investor George Soros, Goldman Sachs, and GGV Capital participating. The company has previously raised $74.9M, including via a $50M round in 2013 led by Alibaba.
  • Proletariat, a multiplayer games maker, has raised $6M in Series A funding led by Spark Capital, with participation from Atlas Venture and FirstMark Capital.
  • New Matter, a company at work on affordable 3D printers, has raised $6.5M in Series A funding led by Alsop Louie Partners, with participation from Arden Road Investments, Dolby Family Ventures, First Round Capital, Idealab and frogVentures.
  • Move Loot, a startup that helps sellers make money off their used goods by picking them up, taking pictures of them, storing them and delivering them to buyers once payment has been made, has secured $9M led by Metamorphic Ventures. Other participants in the round include First Round Capital, Index Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, IDG Capital Partners, and Sherpa Ventures. The company has now raised $11.8M altogether, including from Y Combinator and Google Ventures.
  • Miovision Technologies, a company that uses video to analyze traffic data, has raised $24M in Series B funding led by MacKinnon, Bennett & Co., with participation from Investeco Capital, Renewal Funds, Plaza Ventures and Comerica.
  • MineralTree, a company whose Web-based software helps companies manage their accounts payable, has raised $11.1M in Series B funding led by the payments processor First Data Corp. Earlier backers .406 Ventures and Fidelity Growth Partners also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $22.7M.
  • Locket, a San Francisco-based company whose mobile app pushes personalized news and other stories to users’ Android phone lock screens, has raised $3.2M in seed funding, including from entertainer Tyra Banks, Turner Broadcasting, Great Oaks Venture Capital and numerous angel investors. The company has raised $3.7M altogether.
  • Hammer & Chisel, an online gaming company, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Tencent, Benchmark, and the accelerator 9+.
  • Bottlenose, a L.A.-based data analytics startup, has raised $13.4M in Series B funding led by KPMG Capital, with participation from Origin Ventures and earlier backers, including Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Transmedia Capital, ff Venture Capital, and others. The company has raised $17M to date.
  • Bento, a San Francisco-based company that offers businesses a full-featured Mastercard that allows them to set rules by employee, place, time and category, has raised $2.5M in seed funding led by Anthemis Group. Other participants in the round include Blumberg Capital, LionBird and Pivot Investment Partners.
  • AppDirect, a start-up focused on helping customers like ADP, Samsung, and Comcast sell software online, has raised $50M in new funding led by earlier backer Mithril Capital Management, with participation from private equity magnate Henry Kravis and ContiGroup chairman and CEO Paul Fribourg. The company has now raised $105.8M to date.
  • Alice, a platform that allows hoteliers to provide mobile services to their guests so they can secure tables, order tickets to shows and more, has raised $3M in seed funding from the property management company Tishman Realty, 645 Ventures and numerous angel investors.
  • Bottlenose, a big data analytics firm which likens itself to “a real-time Palantir,” referencing its focus on tracking, filtering and analyzing stream data, has raised $13.4M in Series B funding. The round was led by KPMG Capital, a new fund created by KPMG International to invest in data and analytics globally.
  • NodeSource, a corporate software development toolkit for the node.js programming language, has raised $3M in seed financing from Crosslink Capital and Resolute Ventures.
  • Ballast Point Ventures, a growth capital firm, has raised $164M for its third fund. Among the company’s newer bets is PowerDMS, an Orlando, Fl.-based compliance and content management software startup.
  • UrbanStems, an online flower delivery startup, has raised $1.5M in seed financing led by Middleland Capital, with participation from Sagamore Ventures, NextGen Angels, and Great Oaks Venture Capital.
  • Rainforest, a company whose quality assurance platform marries product mangers with software that needs to be tested with people who can try it out, has raised $4M in seed funding from Storm Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Morado Venture Partners, and Crosslink Capital.
  • Parklet, a San Francisco-based HR tech startup, has raised $1.5M in seed financing from Greylock Partners, Storm Ventures, FundersClub, Winklevoss Capital, Western Technology Investment and numerous angel investors, including KISSMetrics cofounder Hiten Shah.
  • NEXTracker, a designer and builder of single-axis PV trackers, has raised $25M in Series B funding led by new investor SJF Ventures, with participation from Tennenbaum Capital Partners and earlier backers Sigma Partners and DBL Investors. The company has now raised $30M altogether.
  • Imagine Health, a startup that matches companies insuring their own large workforces with teams of health-care providers, has raised $21M in Series A funding from Trident Capital and HLM Venture Partners.
  • Humanity, a cloud-hosted workforce management platform, has raised $9M in Series B funding led by MHS Capital, with participation from Klever Internet Investments, Point Nine Capital, Team Builder Ventures and Boku CEO Mark Britto. The company never publicly disclosed the size of its Series A round.
  • Grapevine Logic, a startup that connects YouTube personalities with brands that hire them, has raised $1.1M seed funding from Boston Seed, Atlas Ventures, and numerous angel investors.
  • DigiSight Technologies, a software company that integrates data from mobile tests into clinical settings, has raised $7.8M in Series B financing from new investors Biosys Capital, GE Ventures, Lagunita and Waycross Ventures, along with earlier investors.
  • Aventura, a medical workflow-automation software company, has raised $14M in Series C funding co-led by Safeguard Scientifics and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. Earlier backers Excel Venture Management, HLM Venture Partners and Memorial Care Innovation Fund also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $36.3M.
  • Aligned Partners, a venture firm “dedicated to helping founders start lean and stay lean,” has raised $50M for its second fund. Run by general partners Jodi Sherman and Susan Mason, the firm’s first fund closed with roughly $26M in commitments.
  • Volusion, a company that sells e-commerce software, web design, and inbound marketing services to online businesses, has received $55M in venture capital led by Main Street Capital Corp. Main Street provides long-term debt and equity to lower middle market companies.
  • NodeSource, a New York-based corporate software development toolkit for the node.js programming language, has raised $3M in seed financing from Crosslink Capital and Resolute Ventures.
  • Kura MD, a healthcare commerce platform that facilitates HIPAA-compliant telehealth appointments between physicians and patients, has raised $1.5M in Series A funding from Moneta Ventures.

EMEA

  • Sigfox a Toulouse, France-based cellular network that aims to be a bigger player in the market for internet connected objects, has raised $115M (€100M) in Series D funding from earlier backer Partech Ventures, along with new investors, such as telecom operator Telefonica SA, Korea’s SK Telecom and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo. The company has now raised roughly $150M altogether..
  • Borro, a U.K.-based online platform for luxury asset-backed lending, has raised $19.5M in new funding co-led by the crowdfunding platform OurCrowd and Rocket Internet, with participation from earlier backers Canaan Partners, Eden Ventures and Augmentum Capital. The company has now raised $171.6M altogether, most of it through a $112M Series D round that closed a year ago.
  • Brussels, Belgium-based startup Sortlist, a digital agency providing context and system intelligence to make the right match for other agencies on projects, raised seed round of about $623,000 (€550,000) from private investors, including the Janssen family, Didier Smits, Petercam Institutional Bonds’ executive director Alexandre De Groote, and the Lean Fund.

Asia

  • News In Shorts, an India-based company that operates a news digest app for iOS and Android, has raised a $4M Series A round led by Tiger Global.
  • Malaysian Kaodim, an online marketplace for people to find service professionals such as plumbers, decorators, movers, yoga instructors, or pest control specialists, raised $550,000 in seed funding led by East Ventures and participated in by a number of other VCs, including 500 Startups.
  • Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, China’s two largest taxi-hailing apps, have confirmed that they will merge to become the largest taxi app company in China. The two firms will maintain their brands and independent business operations with their personnel structures unchanged after merger. Cheng Wei and Lu Chuanwei, CEOs of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache respectively, will run the consolidated company as co-CEOs. Alibaba invested into Kuaidi Dache in 2013, the same year Tencent invested in Didi Dache.
  • China-based food delivery startup Call a Delivery raised RMB 3M ($480k) led by a Hunan venture capital firm. The investment values the company at RMB 30M (US$4.8M).
  • Practo, an Indian startup that provides a search portal matching doctors with patients and other digital services for practices, has closed a $30M Series B round led by existing investor Sequoia Capital with participation from Matrix Partners.
  • CoAssets, a crowdfunding site from Singapore that lists properties from around the world, has raised S$1M (US$733,000) in series A funding from undisclosed investors. This values the company at S$13M, or about US$9.53M post-money.
  • Yoyi Digital, China’s leading provider of multi-screen programmatic buying and marketing solutions for advertisers and media publishers, has received a US$20M strategic investment from Guangdong Guangzhou Daily Media (SZ:002181), one of China’s largest media groups. Yoyi Digital has received Series A investment from Gobi Partners and Steamboat Ventures in 2010. Series B and Series C funding was secured from Oak Investment Partners and Fidelity, respectively.
  • Glints, a recruitment site that connects fresh grads or about-to-graduate jobseekers with employees, raised US$475,000 in seed funding led by prolific venture capital firm East Ventures. 500 Startups, SPH Media Fund, Infocomm Investments, 8 Capital, and Pix Vine Capital, along with angel investors John Tan and Darius Cheung, were also involved in the round.
  • Metaps, Singapore-based app monetization platform, has raised $36M in Series C funding from new and earlier backers that aren’t being named. The company has now raised $52.5M altogether, including from Fidelity Growth Partners Asia, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Sansei Capital Investment, and Nippon Venture Capital.
  • Glints, a Singapore-based startup focused on helping graduates gain the right experience to enter the workforce, closed a SG$475,000 (US$380,000) seed round led by East Ventures, with participation from 500 Startups, SPH Media Fund, Singapore Infocomm Investments (IIPL), 8 Capita and Pix Vine Capital. It also included private backers, such as angel investors John Tan and Darius Cheung who had mentored the team since its time with JFDI Asia.
  • Faaso’s, an India-based Indian fast food chain that primarily sells wraps, has raised $16M in Series B funding from Sequoia Capital and Lightbox Ventures. The company also just raised $4M in debt financing.
  • Capital Float, a Bangalore-based financial tech startup that wants to make it easier for small businesses in India to get loans, has raised $13M in Series A funding led by SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital, with participation from earlier backer Aspada. The company has raised $17M to date.
  • CXA, a Singapore-headquartered insurance and wellness marketplace, has raised US$8M in a series A round at an undisclosed valuation. NSI Ventures, the venture capital arm of private equity firm Northstar, led the round, with F&H, an investor in ecommerce sites Reebonz and Luxola and BioVeda, a Singapore-based healthtech investor that’s working with the Singapore government to co-fund startups, also participating.
  • Cinemacraft, a Tokyo-headquartered startup that provides a more innovative alternative to the traditional video embed for publishers and content creators, has closed its $3.9M Series A round to expand its focus on international markets and product development. Existing investor 500 Startups led the round, which included participation from previous backers NTT DoCoMo Ventures, Samsung Ventures, and Turner Broadcasting’s Media Camp. New investor Fierce Capital, the VC firm from model and celebrity Tyra Banks, also took part. The startup raised previously $1.5M in September 2013, and an earlier $500,000 seed round.
  • MyNoticePeriod, an online recruitment startup focusing on quick hiring by identifying candidates actively looking for jobs, has raised INR 180M (close to US$3M) from IDG Ventures. It had raised INR 20M (US$322,000) in seed funding from angel investors and IDG Ventures just four months earlier.
  • Zig Bang, an apartment hunting app from Korea, raised a US$18M funding round from previous investors including Stone Bridge, Company K Partners, and others.
  • Shopline, a Hong Kong-based startup that offers online tools for e-commerce vendors, has raised $1.2M in seed funding from 500 Startups, Ardent Capital, SXE Ventures, East Ventures, and COENT Venture Partners.
  • Meizu Technologies, a China-based smartphone maker, has accepted $590M in funding from the e-commerce giant Alibaba in exchange for an undisclosed, “minority,” share of its business. Alibaba intends to push its mobile operating system within China through Meizu’s handsets. In return, Meizu will get access to Alibaba’s e-commerce sales channels. Another $60M in funding came from Haitong Kaiyuan Investment.
  • Leading Mark, a Tokyo, Japan-based mobile app for job-seeking college graduates, has raised $1.45M in Series A funding from Nippon Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital, Link and Motivation, SMBC Venture Capital, East Ventures, and several other angel investors.

Other emerging markets

  • Saguna Networks, an Israel-based mobile broadband tech developer, has raised an undisclosed amount of money from strategic investors SoftBank Ventures Korea Corp. and Akamai Technologies.
  • Team8, an Israeli-based cybersecurity startup foundry and think tank, has raised $18M in Series A funding, including from Alcatel-Lucent, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cisco Investments and Innovation Endeavors.
  • ComparaGuru, a Mexico-based price comparison site that helps consumers and companies order a variety of financial products, has raised $4M in funding from the Spanish venture capital firm Seaya Ventures.
  • Angani, a two-year-old, Nairobi, Kenya-based company that claims to be the first public cloud infrastructure company in the region, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding led by Invested Development, with participation from Africa’s Talking, Savannah Fund, and Africa Angels Network.
  • BitPesa, a Kenya-based remittance platform that uses bitcoin to as a more reliable way to send money to East Africa, has raised $1.1M in a second round of funding led by Pantera Capital. Other investors included Crypto Currency Partners, Stephens Investment Management, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., and FuturePerfect Ventures. The company has raised $1.7M to date.
  • Lamudi, the Rocket Internet-backed online property listings company for emerging markets, has closed a $18M round of funding from Asia Pacific Internet Group, a joint venture of Rocket Internet and Ooredoo; Holtzbrinck Ventures, the investment arm of the German publishing group; and current investor Tengelmann Ventures, a division of international multi-sector retailer Tengelmann Group.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • AlertMe, a smart energy and home monitoring system that enables users to control home appliances and devices, has been acquired by one of its investors, British Gas, in a deal worth £65M ($100M). AlertMe had raised $36.8M from investors, including Index Ventures, VantagePoint Capital Partners, SET Venture Partners and Good Energies.
  • King Digital acquired Seattle-based studio Z2Live for $150M ($45M in cash, with a further $105M due depending on the performance of Z2Live’s future games). One of the original core F2P mobile developers, Z2Live is best known for its Trade Nations trading sims and air combat franchise MetalStorm.
  • Social marketing company Insightpool has acquired a startup called Next Principles, a social relationship intelligence platform.
  • The Niche Project, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based startup that connects Internet stars with big-brand advertisers, has been acquired by Twitter for roughly $30M. The company had raised $3.1M in seed funding from a long list of investors, including Slow Ventures, BoxGroup, and entrepreneur Bryan Goldberg.
  • Expedia is buying Orbitz for about $1.6 billion in cash. This comes after Expedia announced that it was buying Travelocity last month for $280M.
  • Coupa Software, provider of cloud-based spend management solutions, acquired San Francisco-based ZenPurchase, a collaborative enterprise procurement software company. The acquisition of ZenPurchase furthers Coupa’s mission to deliver savings-as-a-service through increased efficiencies, which drives business impact.
  • Pentaho, a big-data platform-integration and business-analytics startup, has been acquired by Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, for an undisclosed amount that the companies are describing as the “the largest private big data acquisition transaction to date.” Pentaho had raised $72M from investors, including DAG Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Index Ventures, and Benchmark.
  • Mortar Data, a predictive analytics company, has been acquired for undisclosed terms by Datadog, a 4.5-year-old company whose software helps customers monitor what’s happening within their IT infrastructures. Mortar Data had raised just $3M in equity and debt, while Datadog has raised $53.4M from a long list of investors, including Amplify Partners, IA Ventures, OpenView Venture Partners, RTP Ventures, and Index Ventures.
  • Curby, an L.A.-based valet parking app that allows its customers to monitor cars and staff in real time, has been acquired by a local competitor, CurbStand, in a cash and stock deal whose value isn’t being disclosed.
  • Eat24, a food and delivery service, has been gobbled up by Yelp for $134M in cash and stock. Eat24 had not raised external funding.
  • Hewlett-Packard acquired Voltage Security, a startup based in Cupertino, Calif., devoted to encrypting data in the cloud and on mobile devices. Terms are not being disclosed. Voltage last raised funding in 2007 when it landed a $12M D round led by Trident Capital.
  • Odysee, an iOS and Android app that people use to automatically back up, as well as to share, their smartphone photos and videos, has been acquired by Google for undisclosed terms. The company appears to have raised less than $1M in seed funding.
  • Enviance, a 16-year-old, Carlsbad, Ca.-based software company focused on environmental, health and safety compliance, has been acquired by Battery Ventures for undisclosed terms.

EMEA

  • Perion Network has acquired MakeMeReach, a startup that lets mobile app developers extend ad campaigns to social media platforms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Mobile advertising company Appsfire, which is on a ‘mission to kill the banner ad’, has been acquired by the Mobile Network Group, for an undisclosed amount.
  • Hem, the Berlin-based home furnishings company, has confirmed the acquisition of assets from Discipline.eu, an online design portal based in Italy. The financial terms of the all-cash deal are not being disclosed.
  • European online optician Mister Spex has acquired the Norwegian contact lens online retailer Lensit.no.

Asia

  • Ourpalm, a Beijing, China-based mobile games developer, has signed agreements to acquire stakes in three privately owned gaming firms for a total of CNY 4.304bn (USD 690m) with possible earn-outs. The target stakes are 100% of Blingstorm Entertainment [Jing He Si Dong], an 80% stake inBeijing Tianma Shikong Internet Technology and a 30% stake in Shanggame Information Technology (Shanghai) [Shang You Xin Xi]. Ourpalm plans to pay CNY 1.953bn in cash and is selling 150,874,663 new shares at CNY 15.58 per share to the owners of the target stakes.
  • StudioKUMA, a Hong Kong-based company whose app filters out marketing calls and suspicious numbers, has been acquired for undisclosed terms by Gogolook, a subsidiary of Korean Internet giant Naver.
  • WebPay, a four-year-old, Tokyo, Japan-based company whose Stripe-like service facilitates payment on e-commerce sites, mobile apps and other web-based services, has been acquired by the messaging app company Line for undisclosed terms. WebPay had raised $1.5M from undisclosed angel investors.

Other emerging markets

  • Just-Eat has acquired Mexico’s SinDelantal.Mx to add to its Latin American presence.
  • Microsoft has reportedly acquired Israel-based digital pen-maker N-Trig for “at least $200M.”
  • Rocket Internet has agreed to purchase two online food takeaway operators in the Middle East. It will pay around €150M ($169M) to acquire Talabat, based in Kuwait. The company will become part of Rocket’s newly created Global Online Takeaway Group. Rocket also said its 50%-owned Foodpanda had struck a deal to buy 24h.ae, a strong player in the United Arab Emirates.

Review – Jupiter Ascending

Just watched Jupiter Ascending. Surprisingly disappointed with the Wachowski brothers.

Jupiter Ascending and Matrix are the same film. Let me explain.

*** SPOILER ALERT ***

Synopsis:
Main antagonist lives on Earth with a constant questioning of their lives, only to find out there’s a much bigger world out there with an evil force plotting to use the entire human race as their energy source. Antagonist finds out about their true power and uses it to save their favourite planet.

Character:
Jupiter / Neo: Main antagonist. Leaves behind their earthling entity and take on a new entity with much more power, thus use their newly gained power to save their planet. Gets attracted to their protector first.
Caine / Trinity: Comes to Earth to save the main antagonist. Shows them what the real world is. Protects the main antagonist at all costs, to the point where they are willing to sacrifice their lives. Is later revealed to also be attracted to the main antagonist.
Stringer / Morpheus: Works as superior officer to the main protector. Provides resources and helps.
Balem / Agent Smith: Representative and face of the main evil force. Wants to kill the antagonist and unwilling and unable to accept defeat.
Matrix / Enterprise: Some sort of evil force behind the story looking to harvest humans for its own survival
Humans: Energy source (in forms of youth serum and battery)

Come on Wachowski brothers. Have a little more imagination and not regurgitate what you previously created. We are not idiots.

hknir

Meta Secures $23M in Series A led by Horizons Ventures, Tim Draper and Y-Combinator partners

I’m glad to share with you that I’m an investor in Meta – an augmented reality hardware and software company. Glad to be in the same round with other industry veterans.

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PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif.—January 28, 2015— Today Meta, the company to bring the first Augmented Reality computing wearable to market, announces the close of its $23 million Series A funding round. The round is led by Li Ka-Shing’s Horizons Ventures, Tim Draper, BOE Optoelectronics and Y-Combinator partners, Garry Tan and Alexis Ohanian. Other investors that participated in the round include Danhua Capital, Commodore Partners and Zappos Founder Tony Hsieh’ Vegas Tech Fund.

Meta glasses are the first holographic, see-through display that allow users to see, create and interact with digital objects shown in physical space. The company is envisioning a world that no longer isolates people with flat screens, but rather, brings them together and allows seamless interaction and collaboration between digital objects overlaid on the real world.

“We are humbled by the caliber of investors that have backed us and are helping us turn our dream into a reality. These are the very same people who first put their faith in Tesla and SpaceX and are now placing their confidence in our vision, and we couldn’t be more proud,” said Meron Gribetz, CEO of Meta.

Already, the company has shipped its first product, the Meta 1 Developer Kit after an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign that ran in June 2013. Coupled with independent funding, they raised a total of $2 million by the end of the campaign. Now, over 1500 developers and companies such as the world’s largest architecture firm Arup, Salesforce and Stanford University based company, SimX are building augmented reality applications with Meta’s SDK.

To keep informed on Meta visit: http://www.getameta.com

About Meta:

Meta is an augmented reality hardware and software company based in Portola Valley; led by Founder & CEO, Meron Gribetz, Chief Scientist Prof. Steve Mann (inventor of wearable computing), Lead Advisor Prof. Steve Feiner (pioneer of augmented reality) and Director of User Interface Jayse Hansen (Hollywoods #1 user interface designer, creator of UIs for Iron Man 1, 3, Avengers, Hunger Games).

Meta glasses are the first holographic, see-through display that allow users to see, create and interact with digital objects displayed in physical space. Meta’s SDK has attracted over a thousand development groups who are building gaming applications and professional applications in the areas of medical simulation, data visualization, architectural visualization and industrial design.

Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly Update – 2015-01-26

Private Financing
US

  • Sparkcentral, a company that provides tools to help businesses conduct customer support over social channels, has raised a $12M Series B round of funding, led by Split Rock Partners. The company previously raised a total of $5.6M, including a $4.5M Series A round of capital in October of 2013.
  • FilterEasy, which is offering a subscription-based filter replacement program for homeowners has raised $1.2M in seed funding led by Mike Kwatinetz of Azure Capital, with participation from RTP Capital and several angel investors.
  • Persado, a startup that says it can automatically create and test different marketing emails and other promotional material, is announcing that it has raised $21M in Series B funding.
  • Eniac Ventures, a firm that backs early-stage mobile startups, is announcing that it has raised $55M for its third fund.
  • Tactus Technology, maker of tactile touch-screen technology, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding led by new backer IPV Capital of China. The company says that it has now raised roughly $30M.
  • SceneDoc, a company whose smartphone and tablet-based software gives public safety personnel a secure means of documenting crime, accident and other incident scenes, has raised $4M in Series A funding from iGan Partners, Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, and unnamed angel investors. The company has raised $6M to date
  • Poka, a Quebec-based company that’s developing a social platform for manufacturing companies, has raised $2.5M in funding led by iNovia Capital, with participation from SoftTech VC.
  • Plum Print, a startup that prints up photo books of childrens’ artwork so their artwork-besieged parents can keep a record of it all, has raised $1M in seed funding led by Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, with the participation of angel investors.
  • The League, a San Francisco-based dating app intended to be more selective than Tinder, has raised $2.1M in seed funding from IDG Ventures, Structure.vc and Sherpa Ventures, along with a long list of angel investors and one undisclosed venture fund.
  • Hopscotch, a New York-based e-commerce portal for Indian moms, has raised $11M in Series B funding from Facebook cofounder Eduardo Saverin and Velos Partners, with participation from Rise Capital, Jabbar Internet Group, and earlier backers, including Singapore-based Lionrock Capital and Skype cofounder Toivo Annus. Founders Rahul Anand and Lisa Kennedy are HBS alums who previously worked together at Diapers.com. Hopscotch, part of a holding company in Great Neck called Hit the Mark, has now raised $15M to date.
  • CodeHS, a startup that produces programs for teaching coding to high-school students, has raised $1.75M in funding from Chmod Ventures, Kapor Capital, Learn Capital, NewSchools Venture Fund, Seven Peaks Ventures, StartX, and individual investors. The company had previously raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding in October 2012.
  • CloudHeath, a software company that provides business performance management apps to healthcare providers, has raised $12M in Series B funding led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from .406 Ventures and Sigma Prime Ventures. The company has now raised roughly $20M altogether.
  • BlueVine, a small business financing startup, has raised $18.5M in Series B funding co-led by earlier backers Lightspeed Venture Partners and 83North (f.k.a. Greylock IL, an affiliate of Greylock Partners). The company has now raised $24M altogether, including from Correlation Ventures, Kreos Capital, and Kima Ventures.
  • Ascentis, a company that makes HR and online payroll processing software, has raised $7M in Series C funding led by earlier backer Catalyst Investors. The company has raised at least $10.3M to date.
  • goBalto, a software company that wants to make running clinical drug trials easier and faster, raised an additional $12M in funding from Mitsui Global Investment and Dolby Family Ventures.
  • XOR Data Exchange, a company that facilitates cross-industry data sharing through permission-based controls and audits, has raised $1.8M investment round led by Chicago Ventures and KGC Capital.
  • Uber has raised $1.6 billion in convertible debt from Goldman Sachs’s wealth management clients, Bloomberg reported yesterday. The new round of financing comes just months after the company raised $1.2 billion from investors, including New Enterprise Associates, Lone Pine Capital, Valiant Capital Partners, and Qatar Investment Authority. The company is now reportedly valued at $41.2 billion.
  • True Link Financial, a San Francisco-based startup whose prepaid Visa card promises to protect older adults from scams and fraud, has raised $3.4M from a group of investors including earlier backer Cambia Health Solutions. The company had raised an undisclosed amount of funding prior, including from Y Combinator, whose accelerator program it passed through in 2013.
  • Raise, a marketplace where consumers can buy and sell their unused gift cards, has raised $56M in Series B funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from earlier backers Bessemer Venture Partners, the Pritzker Organization, Listen Ventures and angel investors. The funding brings the company’s total outside investment to $81M.
  • Pluribus Networks, a software-defined networking (SDN) startup, has raised $50M in new funding led by Temasek Holdings, with participation from Ericsson, Newtech, and earlier backers New Enterprise Associates, Menlo Ventures, Mohr Davidow Ventures and AME Cloud Ventures.
  • Persado, a company whose software specializes in creating automated messages around calls to action, has raised $21M in Series B funding led by StarVest Partners, with participation from Citi Ventures, American Express Ventures, and earlier backer Bain Capital Ventures. The company has now raised $36M altogether.
  • Keaton Row, a New York-based fashion startup that pairs clients with stylists, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding led by Time Inc. Earlier backers Menlo Ventures, Rho Capital and Grape Arbor also joined the round. The company had previously raised $4.2M across a couple of rounds.
  • Interana, a data analytics company, has raised $20M in Series B funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from new investors AME Cloud Ventures, Harris Barton and Cloudera’s chief strategy officer, Mike Olson. Earlier investors Battery Ventures, Data Collective and Fuel Capital also invested in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $28.2M.
  • Handle, a company whose productivity app combines emails and calendar functions with to-do lists, has raised $9.9M from investors, says Venture Capital Dispatch. Menlo Ventures, where Handle founder Shawn Carolan is a managing director, provided $5.6M; Silicon Valley Bank provided $2.5M in debt; and a long list of angel investors, including Mitch Kapor, provided the company with another $1.8M in seed funding.
  • Fastback Networks, a mobile-network technology company, has raised $15M in Series C funding led by Harmony Partners, with participation from Foundation Capital, Granite Ventures, Juniper Networks, and Matrix Partners. The company has now raised $30M altogether.
  • Choozle, a cloud-based platform for marketers looking to analyze their customers’ behavior, has raised $4.1M in Series A funding led by earlier backer Great Oaks Venture Capital. The company has raised $3.1M to date.
  • Button, a company that enables smart connections between apps that drive installs, has raised $12M in Series A funding led by Redpoint Ventures, with participation from Greycroft Partners, DCM, VaynerRSE, Slow Ventures, and former NBA Commissioner David Stern.
  • Brandfolder, an online platform that allows users to easily organize, share and update brand assets, has raised $2M in funding from earlier investor Jeffrey Covington, as part of his new investment fund, White Cedar Enterprises. To date, the company has raised $3M, including from TechStars and a group of angel investors.
  • Alchemist Accelerator, San Francisco-based enterprise-focused accelerator, has raised $2.1M in new funding led by Mayfield, with participation from Tyco International and earlier investors Cisco Systems.
  • Air, San Francisco-based startup that was formerly known as Yevvo and is building a live broadcasting service for mobile users, has raised nearly $4M in Series A funding from undisclosed investors.
  • Work Market, a marketplace for managing contractors and freelancers, has raised $20M from earlier backers led by Union Square Ventures, with participation from Spark Capital, SoftBank Capital, Industry Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank.
  • VMTurbo, a intelligent workload management software company, has raised $50M in Series D funding led by ICONIQ Capital, with participation from earlier backers Bain Capital, Globespan Capital Partners and Highland Capital Partners. The company had previously raised a $10M round, and another, undisclosed round of funding.
  • Shazam Entertainment, music discovery company that uses audio-recognition technology to help people identify songs on the radio or television, has raised $30M from investors in a round that values the company at $1 billion. The investors’ names aren’t being disclosed, but Shazam’s prior backers include billionaire Carlos Slim, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Institutional Venture Partners and DN Capital.
  • Ringly, a maker of smart jewelry for women, including high-tech rings that alert wearers when someone phones or texts them, has raised $5.1M in Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Highline Ventures and Silas Capital. Earlier backers First Round Capital, The Social+Capital Partnership, Mesa+, Brooklyn Bridge Ventures and PCH International also joined the round, which brings Ringly’s total funding to $6.1M.
  • Motif Investing, a company whose site allows users to create, share and invest in baskets of stocks around common themes, has raised $40M from the Beijing-based social media giant Renren. The company has now raised more than $120M from investors, including Ignition Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Foundation Capital..
  • RealMatch, a maker of recruitment advertising and job-board software, has raised $8M in Series C-1 funding led by Edison Partners, with participation from Carmel Ventures and Orix Ventures. The company has now raised $22.7M altogether.
  • Ravello Systems, a company whose SaaS-based application enables developers to use “the public cloud” to develop and test their applications, has raised $28M in fresh funding led by Qualcomm Ventures and SanDisk Ventures. Earlier and new investors Sequoia Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Vintage Investment Partners also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $54M.
  • Pillow Homes (formerly Airenvy), an online property management system that focuses on short-term rentals, has raised $2.65M in seed financing led by Homebrew, with participation from Sherpa Ventures and Tim Draper.
  • Jibo, a company behind a “social” robot for the home that features two high-resolution cameras, a 360-degree microphone, and the capacity to personalize experiences based on the identity of a user, has raised $25.3M in Series A funding led by RRE Ventures, with participation from Flybridge Capital Partners, Two Sigma Investments, Formation 8 and Samsung Ventures. Earlier backers CRV, Fairhaven Capital Partners and Osage Venture Partners also joined the round. The company has now raised $33.9M altogether.
  • Farm Hill, a healthy meal delivery service, has raised $1M in seed financing led by Eagle Cliff Partners, with participation from Liberty City Ventures and Stanford StartX Fund.
  • Dig Inn, a New York-based company that has developed an online ordering platform for restaurants, has raised $15M in Series C funding led by Wexford Capital.
  • Bloom Energy, maker of fuel cells, is raising $160M in the form of convertible notes, reports Venture Capital Dispatch, which says $130M had been raised as of one month ago (though it isn’t clear from whom). The company has already attracted more than $1.2 billion in equity from investors since it was founded.
  • The Black Tux, a tuxedo and suit rental service, has raised roughly $10M in new funding led by First Round Capital. The company had previously raised $2.6M in seed funding from a long list of investors, including RRE Ventures, Founder Collective, and Menlo Ventures.
  • SpaceX, the space exploration startup helmed by ex-PayPal founder Elon Musk, has confirmed that it has raised $1 billion in new funding, in a round including Google and Fidelity, who join existing investors Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Valor Equity Partners and Capricorn. Google and Fidelity get an ownership stake just shy of 10% in exchange for their investment.
  • LendingRobot, an automated investment service for online lending on the two leading P2P platforms, raised approximately $3M in a Series A round led by European VC Runa Capital, money it’ll use to further develop its product and to ‘accelerate’ growth.
  • Stack Exchange, the company that runs question-answering websites like the popular programmer hangout Stack Overflow, raised $40M. Andreessen Horowitz led the latest round in Stack Exchange. Bezos Expeditions, Index Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures also participated. To date the startup has raised $70M.
  • Coinbase, a software company that allows people to buy bitcoin and enables businesses to accept it as payment, has closed a giant $75M investment led by DFJ. Previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Union Square Ventures and Ribbit Capital participated, in addition to new investor NTT DoCoMo, a Japanese telecom company.
  • Distelli, a startup that wants to simplify code deployment on servers by offering it as a cloud service, announced $2.8M in Series A funding today. Andreessen Horowitz led the round and general partner Scott Weiss (who founded IronPort) will join the Distelli Board of Directors as part of the deal.
  • Ad platform Taykey raised $15M Series D funding Tuesday led by Innovation Endeavors, a VC firm helmed by Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt. SoftBank Capital, Sequoia Capital, Marker LLC, MSR Capital and Tenaya Capital also joined the round. The new injection brings Taykey’s total funding to $32M.
  • Mobile-app marketing platform AppsFlyer raised $20M in new investment. This Series B round was led by Fidelity Growth Partners Europe, with participation by existing investors Magma Venture and Pitango Venture Capital. The Israel-based company had previously raised $8M.
  • Sparkcentral, a company specializes in providing software for managing socially based customer support at scale, raised $12M led by Split Rock Partners, with participation from existing investor Sigma West.
  • Shapr, an iOS and Android app which taps into people’s existing professional networks to help them make new connections, raised $3M in new funding from BlaBlaCar founder and chief executive Frédéric Mazzella, among other investors.
  • Sparkcentral, a San Francisco-based platform that aims to help larger companies more efficiently follow up on customer service and engagement over Twitter and Facebook, has raised $12M in Series B funding led by Split Rock Partners. The company has now raised $17.6M to date.
  • Porch.com, a home-improvement startup, has raised $65M in new funding at a $500M valuation. Valor Equity Partners led the round with participation from new investors Battery Ventures, Founders Fund, Panorama Point Partners, home improvement expert Ty Pennington and other individual investors. Earlier backers Lowe’s Home Improvement and Capricorn Investment Group also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to roughly $100M.
  • Planet Labs, a company that plans to map the entire Earth with a fleet of imaging satellites, has raised $95M in new funding, including $70M in Series C funding led by Data Collective, and a $25M debt facility from Western Technology Investment.
  • Palantir Technologies, data-mining software company known for being among Silicon Valley’s most secretive, is raising yet another round of funding. Palantir, which sells software to the U.S. government and Wall Street, raised $500M last year alone and has raised roughly $1 billion altogether from investors, including In-Q-Tel, Founders Fund and Tiger Global Management.
  • GoBalto, a clinical-trials software company, has raised $12M in Series C funding led by new investor Mitsui Global Investment, with participation from Dolby Family Ventures. Earlier backers Aberdare Ventures, Qualcomm Life, West Health Investment Fund and EDBI also participated in the round. The company has now raised $37.6M to date.
  • Citelighter, a New York-based company whose software platform helps students save, organize and cite information while writing their papers, has raised $2M in Series Seed-2 funding led by Propel Baltimore Fund, with participation from Maryland Venture Fund, Gulf Ventures, New York Angels, Baltimore Angels and Blu Ventures. The company has now raised $4.5M altogether.
  • Avalara, provider of cloud-based software for sales tax and other transactional tax compliance, has raised $42M in Series D-1 funding from Technology Crossover Ventures. The company has now raised $223.6M to date.
  • Toronto-based startup Rubikloud, a startup that helps retailers analyze big data, has raised $7M in Series A funding from strategic investors. Rubikloud’s seed round was led by Horizon Ventures, the investment arm of Li Ka-Shing. Access Industries also participated, along with some other angels.
  • Ndreams, which last week announced its virtual-reality arcade shooter Gunner for the Samsung Gear VR, has raised $2.75M in a new round of funding. The funding comes from Mercia Technologies, a tech-focused investment company.

EMEA

  • Orange unveiled a new fund called Digital Ventures, with the aim of finding, strategically funding and then working with early-stage tech businesses. Orange says that Digital Ventures will start out initially with a budget of €20M ($23M).
  • Saltside Technologies, a Sweden-based company that creates online marketplaces in emerging markets, has raised $40M in Series C funding led by Hillhouse Capital, with participation from Brummer & Partners and earlier backer AB Kinnevik. The company has now raised $65M to date.
  • Kreditech, a Germany-based consumer finance startup that focuses on lending money to “unbanked” consumers with little or no credit rating, has landed a $200M credit line from Victory Park Capital. The company is also preparing to raise a Series C round, reports TechCrunch. The company has raised $263M to date. Its investors include Point Nine Capital, Blumberg Capital, and Varde Partners.
  • Kitchen Stories, a Berlin-based mobile cooking app, has raised $1.8M in seed funding, including from Point Nine Capital and Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, with participation from Cherry Ventures and numerous angel nesters.
  • Austria’s local but burgeoning startup ecosystem, ChatGrape, the enterprise and team messaging app that pitches itself as a more ‘intelligent’ Slack or HipChat, has scored $1.3M in a new ‘bridge’ round of funding. The investment, which comes in the form of Convertible Notes, is being led by U.S.-based Betaworks.
  • Swedish developer Mag Interactive invested an undisclosed sum into a Delinquent, a UK mobile game company based in Brighton.
  • HV Holtzbrinck Ventures has closed its sixth, early-stage fund with € 285M ($329.7M). The pool was closed in less than four months, says the firm, which closed its last fund with €175M in 2012.
  • Windeln.de, a Germany-based online shopping site specializing in baby products, has raised €45M ($52M) in funding led by Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, with participation from DN Capital.
  • eMoov, a London-based online real estate service, has raised $2.3M in funding led by the London firm Episode 1.
  • Car Throttle, a six-year-old, London-based viral content startup, has raised $1.6M in new funding from Redalpine, with participation from Facebook’s VP of Global Partnerships, Blake Chandlee, along with earlier investor Passion Capital. The company has now raised $2.2M altogether, shows Crunchbase.
  • Dataiku, a French startup that makes software to help teams of data scientists process and make sense of big data, announced €3.2M in Series A funding ($3.6M). Alven Capital and Serena Capital jointly led the round. The company’s product is called Data Science Studio, which provides soup-to-nuts services for data science teams.
  • UK startup WorkAngel who has built a mobile-first “employee reward and recognition platform” that couples an inter-company private social network where employees can communicate and, specifically, call each other out for recognition, with a points-based voluntary benefits scheme, closed a $5M Series A funding round from former Tesco CEO Terry Leahy, who is leading the round, along with participation from Bob Willett, Chairman of MetaPack Ltd & Eagle Eye PLC, Bill Currie and Iain McDonald of William Currie Group, and Lord David Alliance.

Asia

  • Hong Kong’s on-demand self-storage startup ‘Boxful’ raised a seed round of US $1.5M from a group of investors in Greater China.
  • Antuit, Singapore-based big data startup focused on supply chain management, has raised $56M in funding led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from earlier backer Zodius Capital, an India-based firm. The company has now raised $59M to date.
  • The parent company of StockRadars, a Thailand-based company whose products aim to demystify investing in Asia’s stock markets, has raised roughly $800,000 in Series A funding from Japan’s CyberAgent Ventures and East Ventures.
  • Beibei, China-based maternal and baby supplies e-commerce platform, has raised $100M in Series C funding led by Capital Today and New Horizon Capital, with participation from Banyan Capital and IDG Capital. The round, which reportedly values the company at $1 billion, follows a $24.3M Series A round raised by the company last summer.
  • Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin and venture capital fund Velos Partners have invested US$11M in Hopscotch, an ecommerce portal selling merchandise for babies and kids in India. Other investors in the Series B round include Rise Capital, Jabbar Internet Group, and existing investors Singapore-based Lionrock Capital and Skype co-founder, Toivo Annus.
  • Apus Group, a Beijing-based Android app development firm, has raised a whopping $100M in Series B funding from the Chinese venture firms Chengwei Ventures, SIG Ventures, and Qiming Venture Partners, according to China Money Network. Earlier backers Northern Light Venture Capital and Redpoint Ventures also participated in the round. The company had previously raised $16M.
  • Aoliday, a China-based travel site and mobile app that helps Chinese tourists arrange oversea trips, has raised $1.5M in seed funding from Gobi Partners.
  • XueXiBao, a homework help app, is the latest educational tech startup in China to receive funding. SoftBank China Venture Capital, an arm of the Japanese telecom giant, and returning investor GSR Ventures led a $20M Series B in the company.
  • Indian online retailer ShopClues has raised US$100M in a Series D funding round led by Tiger Global and two of its existing investors, Helion Venture Partners and Nexus Venture Partners. Founded in 2011, ShopClues works on the managed marketplace model that connects buyers with small- and medium-size merchants online. The company positions itself as a marketplace for businesses from India’s tier II and tier III cities. Around 100,000 merchants are listed on the website, and the company aims to increase this number to 10M in the next three years.
  • Meituan, the leading group-buying service in China, had raised US$700M in new funding valued the company at US$7 billion.

Other emerging markets

  • Visualead, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based startup that specializes in QR code technology, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding from Alibaba Group Holdings. The round represents Alibaba’s first investment in an Israeli company. Visualead had previously raised a total of $2.4M.
  • EarlySense, an Israel-based company that makes sensors that track vital signs and movement for medical purposes, has raised $20M in Series F funding led by Samsung Ventures. Earlier backers JK&B Capital, Pitango Venture Capital, ProSeed and Welch Allyn also participated in the round.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Relativity Media has acquired a minority stake in publisher-platform Say Media. For Say Media, the investment is part of a transition away from media ownership and toward a pure platform play.
  • Microsoft has acquired Revolution Analytics, an open-source analytics company with a strong focus on the highly popular R programming language for statistical computing. Microsoft says that it made this acquisition “to help more companies use the power of R and data science to unlock big data insights with advanced analytics.”
  • Harman International Industries is buying two software companies for $950M that will help enable over-the-air computer updates in cars. It’s paying $780M for 12-year-old Symphony Teleca Corp. of Mountain View, Ca., which provides integration services, and $170M for 16-year-old Red Bend Software of Waltham, Ma., which specializes in software for connected devices.
  • Kosei, a still-stealth startup that specializes in personalized recommendation systems that match mobile advertisements with the right consumers, has been acquired by Pinterest for undisclosed terms.
  • CloudOn, a maker of mobile productivity tools, with an engineering hub in Herzliya, Israel, has just been acquired for undisclosed terms by the cloud-storage giant Dropbox, which is reportedly turning its new Israeli office into a base from which to aggressively hire in the region. CloudOn had raised $26M from investors including The Social+Capital Partnership, TransLink Capital, Foundation Capital and Rembrandt Venture Partners.
  • Microsoft has acquired Equivio, a text analytics service for legal and compliance that uses machine-learning techniques to identify documents relevant to their legal and compliance needs.
  • Tastebud, a company that builds mobile loyalty applications for retailers, has acquired SocialCrunch. Both firms hail from Chicago. SocialCrunch raised $785,000 in total. The deal was an all-stock transaction. SocialCrunch collected data on consumer sentiment through quizzes, allowing the firm to track trends.

EMEA

  • Semetric, a London-based whose software provides analytics, recommendations, and targeting services to entertainment businesses, has been acquired by Apple as part of its plans to relaunch its Beats Music streaming music service this year, which notes the acquisition appears to have taken place last fall. Semetric had raised £3m of funding in January 2013 from Imperial Innovations Group and Pentech Ventures.

Asia

  • Migme acquired penny auction startup Sold.sg for a mixture of cash and shares – a curious move given that the business had shut down in late 2013.
  • Twitter has acquired ZipDial, a Bangalore, India-based mobile business and brand platform, for undisclosed terms.
  • Chinese car rental service provider Yongche, commonly known as Yidao Yongche in China, and Haier Financial Services, the financial arm of Chinese consumer electronics maker Haier Group, announced the establishment of Haier Yidao Travel (not official translation), a joint venture targeted at car rental services, car financial leasing, and more. Under the deal, the two companies will hold respectively 50% in the joint venture with Haier Financial offering financing resources and Yongche providing operational supports.
  • Xiaomi diversified into software after buying 2.98% of Kingsoft for HK$527M (~$68M). Kingsoft started out developing PC games, but today the company — which is listed in Hong Kong and valued at over $2 billion — produces security, entertainment and enterprise products too. It already has strong links to Xiaomi, whose CEO and co-founder Lei Jun is also founder and chairman of Kingsoft.

Other emerging markets

  • Amazon is acquiring Annapurna Labs, an Israeli startup that designs networking chips to help make data centers run more efficiently, the company has confirmed. The price isn’t being disclosed, but the amount cited by Israeli media outlets is $350M.
  • Intuit has bought ZeroPaper, a startup out of Brazil that offers cloud-based accounting services to small businesses, specifically money management solutions. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.
  • Latin Everywhere, the Spanish-language digital media company that was formed by the merger of Latin Anywhere and YouTube success GoTV last year, acquired Pongalo, a streaming service from a startup called Inmoo.

Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly – 2014-07-14

Private Financing
US

  • Rap Genius raised a $40M Series B led by Dan Gilbert and joined by previous investor Andreessen Horowitz at a valuation under $1 billion. It also changed its name to Genius.com and is launching embeddable annotations so any website can hover over text and see explanations and background info on what that text means. The new funding brings Genius to $56.8M in total, which it plans to spend hiring engineers, designers, and community leaders.
  • FreshTracks Capital, venture capital firm based in Shelburne, Vt., has raised $11.5M for its third venture capital fund. Assembled with the help of 48 limited partners, the firm intends to spread the capital across 10 to 15 companies. Notable past investments include EatingWell Media Group, acquired by Meredith Corporation in 2011. Notable current invesments include Quirky, a product invention platform that has raised about $175M over the last five years, including from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Andreessen Horowitz, and General Electric, among others.
  • Vidyo, Hackensack, N.J.-based videoconferencing company, has raised $20M in Series E funding from earlier investors Menlo Ventures, Rho Ventures, Sevin Rosen Funds, QuestMark Partners, Saints Capital, Four Rivers Group, ORR Ventures, Triangle Peak Partners and Juniper Networks. The company has now raised $139M altogether.
  • Landscape Mobile, San Francisco-based company whose mobile technology enables users to clip, save and retrieve reading materials in one step, has raised $1.85M in seed funding from IDG Capital and individual investors.
  • Erecruit, Boston-based company that makes software designed for larger staffing firms, has raised $25M in funding from North Bridge Venture Partners. It’s the company’s first institutional round of financing.
  • Button, New York-based mobile marketing company, has raised $2.25M in seed funding led by Atlas Venture. Other participants in the funding included by DCM, Greycroft Partners, Mesa+ and VaynerRSE, as well as individual investors.
  • Y Combinator-backed Amplitude, a startup taking on big-name analytics providers like Mixpanel, Kontagent, Localytics and others, has raised $1.975M in seed funding from a number of investors, including SV Angel, Charlie Cheever, Dave Morin, Quest Venture Partners, Data Collective, Merus Capital, BoxGroup, Adam Draper and several more.
  • Bark & Co., the doggie-themed technology company best known for its dog treat-delivering subscription business BarkBox, and more recently, its vet care-on-demand service BarkCare, has just closed on 15M in Series B funding. The company raised $10M in inside round led by previous investor Resolute.vc, along with RRE, BoxGroup, Lerer Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Slow Ventures, Daher Capital, CAA, and Vast Ventures, with the remaining in debt financing from City National Bank. The new round increases Bark & Co.’s valuation by 10-11 times over its previous A round, from April 2013. As of February 2014, the company reported a $25M revenue run rate, and is projecting to grow that 3-4x over by next year, at which point it will consider a further growth round.
  • Dash Hudson, a startup aiming to make twentysomething men a little less clueless about style, is announcing that it raised $400,000 in seed funding. More impressive than the amount of funding was who participated — co-founder and CEO Thomas Rankin said the round was led by Paul Gauthier, Groupon’s CTO from 2010 to 2013, as well as founding CTO at search pioneer Inktomi.
  • Cover, a company that facilitates the process of paying your check at the end of the meal, removing friction and encouraging more restaurants to accept mobile payments, raised a $5.5M Series A round of financing led by Spark Capital. The new round follows $1.5M in seed funding that Cover had raised last spring. Other investors include O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Lerer Ventures and angels, such as Josh Spear, Dave Eisenberg, Ben Leventhal, Naval Ravikant, Andrew Kortina, James Altucher, Mike Greenfield, John McDonald, Chris Muscarella, Ed Zimmerman and Scott Belsky.
  • Tablo.io, a publishing platform built by 21-year-old Ash Davies, has raised $400,000 from Y Combinator partner Kevin Hale and Paul Reining. The company offers a Wattpad-like self-publishing experience – albeit with a superior design aesthetic – and a friction-free way to publish to Amazon and iBooks from your finished book.
  • Malwarebytes, a San Jose-based anti-malware technology provider, has raised $30M in a first round of funding entirely from Highland Capital Partners. Malwarebytes has developed a behavior-based detection engine for computer threats and currently protects the computers and mobile devices of over 200M clients. Founded in 2008 and bootstrapped prior to this round, Malwarebytes will use the new cash to sustain its rapid growth rate and begin to acquire smaller players in the security software space.
  • Bop.fm has announced a brand new round of $2M in funding, lets music listeners make playlists completely independent of the music services they use. Charles River Ventures led the new round, with additional participation from SV Angel,Y Combinator, FundersClub, Tom Ryan, Rackspace president Lew Moorman, Room77 chief executive Drew Patterson, BillShrink/Truaxis founder and chief executive Schwark Satyavolu, and LeWeb founder Loic Le Meur, among others.
  • WeSpeke, Pittsburgh, Pa.-based online platform for language learning and practice and cultural exchange, has raised $3M in Series B funding from undisclosed investors. The company, cofounded by the director of the Language Technologies Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, had previously raised $3.2M over two earlier rounds.
  • Comfy, Austin, Tx.-based company that matches college students with off-campus housing, has raised $600,000 in seed funding led by Dominion Ventures, with participation from Austin Ventures and numerous angel investors.
  • BirdDog, Urbandale, Ia.-based company that provides recruitment and application tracking software for companies in the construction and skilled trade industries, has raised $4M in Series A funding led by Des Moines, Ia.-based venture firm Next Level Ventures. Earlier investor Bridgepoint Investment Partners, also based in Des Moines, also participated in the round.
  • Altierre, San Jose, Ca.-based provider of dynamic pricing technology to retailers, has raised a new round of more than $21M co-led by new investor Stratim Capital and D.E. Shaw. Earlier investors ATA Ventures, DuPont Capital Management, Labrador Ventures and Kinetic Ventures also participated in the round.
  • Healthcare Interactive, an eight-year-old, Glenwood, Md.-based company whose platform collects and manages data, processes benefit plans, and helps it healthcare customer engage with customers online, has raised $8M in Series A funding led by Grotech Ventures and Harbert Venture Partners.
  • Spring, New York-based company that was founded by investor David Tisch and his brother Alan (who is CEO), has raised $7.5M in Series A funding led by Thrive Capital, Groupe Arnault, and Box Group, with a long list of other venture capital firms and individual investors participating. Spring is still operating in stealth mode, but it could be fashion retail play given that its many backers include Uri Minkoff CEO Rebecca Minkoff, Proenza Schouler CEO Shirley Cook, and “Project Runway” producer Desiree Gruber.
  • Secondary investment firm 137 Ventures is announcing that it has raised a $137M new fund. When the firm was founded in 2010, it was pitched as an alternative to selling stock on the secondary markets. Instead, it offered to make loans to founders and early employees, with their stock as collateral.
  • Virtualisation tech outfit mNectar has announced a $7M Series A funding round. The money was invested by New Enterprise Associates. Rick Yang from its Menlo Park office will join mNectar’s board of directors as part of the deal. Breaking the fourth wall The company’s mobile virtualisation and cloud delivery enables customers to try games and apps before they download them.
  • Busbud, Montreal-based company whose app and website help users discover online places where they can book last-minute travel by bus, has raised $9M in new funding led by Revolution Ventures and OMERS Ventures. Previous investors iNovia Capital and Real Ventures also participated in the round, which brings Busbud’s total funding to $10.2M. The Company now has almost 1,500 coach companies providing scheduling information and booking options for more than 10,460 cities in 89 countries. (It also supports 10 languages and 21 currencies.)
  • Social media marketing startup Wayin, whose software gathers social media postings and displays it in real time on its clients’ sites, mobile apps, or, in the case of sports teams, scoreboards, has raised a new $13.1M funding round led by U.S. Venture Partners, with returning backer Silicon Valley law firm Wilson Sonsini Goodrich and Rosati throwing in.  Wayin has now received a total of $33.1M in funding. The company says it experienced approximately 300 percent growth in 2013, driven by high-profile clients in the U.S., Asia, and Latin America. Wayin’s clients include The Weather Channel, LG, and MTV Latin America.
  • Duetto, a price optimization SaaS that uses big data to dynamically surge or discount rates for rooms and to help hotels optimize costs, raised $21M led by Accel Partners, with participation from previous investors Battery Ventures, Altimeter Capital, Co-Chairman and CEO of Thayer Lodging Leland Pillsbury, and Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff. Combined with its Series A and seed, the new funding brings Duetto to $33.2M.
  • Money-management service Moven raised $8M at an undisclosed valuation in a round led by SBT Venture Capital, the venture arm of Russia’s national savings bank Sberbank. Virginia-based Route 66 Ventures, South-African Standard Bank, and London-based Anthemis Group also took part in the round of funding. The New-York based startup had already attracted Russian money in a previous round last year, with the Life.SREDA fund investing $2M as the service was still in beta. All told, Moven now boasts $12.41 in financial-backing.
  • NewVoiceMedia, a company that sells cloud-based software for sales, marketing, and service employees in contact centers, has raised $50M in new funding. Technology Crossover Ventures led the round. Bessemer Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners Europe, Eden Ventures, Notion Capital and Salesforce.com. In the past 18 months, NewVoiceMedia has raised $105M, including the $35M round from September 2013 and the $20M round from Jan 2013.
  • Amino, a TechStars-incubated startup that’s building mobile communities around topics like anime and Doctor Who, is announcing that it has raised $1.65M in seed funding led by Union Square Ventures. Other investors in the seed round include Google Ventures, SV Angel, Box Group, Scott Belsky, Slow Ventures, Paul English (Co-founder of Kayak), Kal Vepuri, Launch Angels and David Chang.
  • Xapo, which is trying to legitimize and popularize bitcoin by offering services to securely store and transact the digital currency, raised an additional $20M in funding, doubling the amount it raised earlier this year. The investment was co-led by Greylock Partners and Index Ventures and includes Emergence Capital Partners, Max Levchin, the co-founder of PayPal, Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire investor, and Jerry Yang, co-founder of Yahoo. Reid Hoffman, a partner at Greylock, and Mike Volpi, a partner at Index, will join Xapo’s board as observers. The latest investment values Xapo at roughly north of $100M.
  • WordStream, Boston-based search-marketing software company, has raised $9M in Series C funding led by Baird Capital of Chicago, with earlier investor Sigma Partners participating. The company also raised an addition $3M in venture debt from City National Bank. According to Crunchbase, WordStream has raised $28.4M to date.
  • Racemi, Atlanta-based company whose cloud migration software helps automate the process of migrating workloads to public, private and hybrid clouds, has raised $10M in Series C funding led by Milestone Venture Partners. Earlier investors Harbert Venture Partners and Paladin Capital Group also participated in the round. The company has now raised roughly $25M altogether.
  • mBlox, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based mobile marketing company, has just raised $43.5M in new funding, including from Comerica, Horizon Technology Finance, Norwest Venture Partners, Scale Ventures, Avanti, Trident, Stratem and Saints Capital. The company, which has now raised at least $120M over the years, is using the money to rebrand its service by adding many new features.
  • Fuisz Media, Santa Monica, Ca.-based company behind a new commerce-enabled interactive video technology, has raised $2.1M in seed funding led by Metamorphic Ventures and Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Other investors include Science Inc., WGI Group, United Talent Agency, Mesa+, and numerous individual investors.
  • Curse, Huntsville, Al.-based gaming services company that offers in-game voice communications platforms, among other things, has raised $10M in Series B financing led by new investor GGV Capital. The company says it has now raised $22M to date, including from Ventech, SoftTech VC, and IDInvest Parters.
  • Secure BTC vault Xapo has announced it’s raised $20M from Greylock Partners and Index Ventures, bringing its total investment capital to $40M. Other investors include Emergence Capital Partners, Max Levchin, Yuri Milner, and Jerry Yang.
  • Spark Labs, the same folks that made this open-source Nest-like thermostat, has raised $4.9M in Series A funding led by Lion Wells Capital, and with participation from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, SOSventures, and Collaborative Fund, as well as a host of angel investors.
  • Cloudian, a California-based company with a major presence in Japan, announced a US$24M financing round. The firm received funds from existing investors like Intel Capital as well as newcomers Innovation Network Corporation of Japan (INCJ) and Fidelity Growth Partners Japan. The funding is earmarked for powering Cloudian’s global sales and marketing. Japan sales are already very healthy – seven of the 16 top clients listed on the company’s website are Japanese corporations. Cloudian calls its service “hybrid” because it facilitates the creation of private corporate clouds via third-party providers. The company often touts its compliance with Amazon Web Services’ Simple Storage System (Amazon S3). That compatibility means a private corporation can use Amazon S3 for general storage while preserving sensitive data on its own systems.
  • RetailNext, a company that specializes in providing data analysis tools to real-world retailers, has raised a $30M late-stage round of investment. This is the company’s fourth round of funding, bringing its total capital raised to $59.4M. Strategic (corporate) investors Qualcomm, Tyco, and American Express contributed to the round, as well as Activant Capital Group. Current investors August Capital, StarVest Partners, and Commerce Ventures also contributed. RetailNext provides e-commerce style metrics for brick-and-mortar stores using sensors that track the physical activity of actual human shoppers. It counts 140 companies in 40 different countries as its customers, and says it is adding 400 to 1,000 new stores to its analysis every month. So far it has installed 65,000 sensors around the world, which it claims enable it to track over 1 billion human shoppers every year.
  • OpenDoor, a company which allows buying homes as simple as clicking a few buttons, closed $9.95M led by Khosla Ventures. Other investors in this round include Paypal co-founder Max Levchin, Former YouTube and Facebook CFO Gideon Yu, Eventbrite co-founder Kevin Hartz, Y Combinator’s Sam Altman, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, Yammer co-founder David Sacks, Angelist’s Naval Ravikant, Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman, Box CEO Aaron Levie, Initialized Capital’s Harjeet Taggar, Garry Tan and Alexis Ohanian, Former Twitter vice president Elad Gil, Blippy co-founder David King, Flixster co-founder Joe Greenstein, Angel investor Mike Greenfield, Quora co-founder Charlie Cheever, Path’s Dave Morin, Facebook vice president Dan Rose, Trevor Traina, Resolute Ventures’ Mike Hirshland, Caffeinated Capital’s Ray Tonsing, Felicis’ Aydin Senkut, True Ventures’ Om Malik, Thrive Capital’s Josh Kushner, Crunchfund’s Michael Arrington and SV Angel.
  • Online storage startup Box just raised $150M from private-equity firm TPG. The investment firm was reportedly in talks with Box in June about potential funding. TPG’s growth-equity fund TPG Growth made the investment and will likely take a seat on Box’s board. During its last funding round in November, Box netted $100M at a $2 billion valuation. The company had previously raised $414.1M, making its total funding in excess of $550M.
  • 3D camera marker Matterport wants to give customers the tools they need to make photo-realistic models of real-world spaces. And to do so, the company has raised a new, $16M round of financing. The funding was led by DCM, with AME Cloud Ventures also participating.
  • College enrollment and financial aid management tool Regent Education has raised $9M in its latest round of funding to help colleges handle student enrollment and process the many ways they pay for school. The funding includes a $4M raise in equity financing, with New Markets Venture Partners leading the round. New Markets has invested in a number of education tech startups, like Calvert Education Systems, which provides digital lessons for homeschooled kids, and news service Mashable. Ares Capital provided $5M of debt financing. The company will use the funds to further develop its array of products for administrative tasks.
  • Adtile, a startup that says it’s bringing an “app store”-style approach to mobile ads, is announcing that it has raised $4.5M in Series A funding. The funding follows the $2.7M that Adtile raised last year under its old name, TenFarms. The company is not disclosing the investors.
  • Robin, Boston-based company which provides a “software layer for office buildings”, has raised a $1.4M seed round from Atlas Venture, Deep Fork Capital, Boldstart Ventures and Space Pirates. The funding will allow Robin to continue product development, grow the number of its Robin-powered offices, and do a small amount of hiring. Designed for use in the workplace, Robin uses iBeacon and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) devices to detect nearby people and things. It can automate conference room bookings for users just by them walking into a room. And after they enter, Robin can update the screens in the room and the nearby devices to give them control.
  • Reviews42, a community-based product reviews platform, has raised $5M in new funding led by Tiger Global Management with participation from Blume Ventures and Nirvana Venture Advisors. Reviews42 provides comparisons of products and prices from offline and online stores, and sees about 60% of traffic from its mobile apps. Founded in 2010 in New Delhi, Reviews42 plans to use the new funds to improve its product, increase hiring, and expand its presence across India.
  • Bonobos, New York-based fashion brand that started selling menswear direct-to-consumers online and is now expanding into physical “guide shops” where customers can try on the company’s clothes, has raised $55M in Series D funding led by Coppel Capital. Bonobos’s earlier investors Accel Partners, Felicis Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Glynn Capital Management, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Mousse Partners and Nordstrom also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $127.6M.

EMEA

  • European MCN Mediakraft Networks has raised $23M (about 16.5M Euros) in a second round of financing led by Paris-based investment firm Iris Capital. The new funding will be used for the development of original online video content, as well as the expansion of the network’s creative team. Mediakraft said it will also look to extend its online video offering “through significant investments in its infrastructure.” Launched in 2011 as a German-language MCN, Mediakraft has since expanded to create and distribute online content for viewers in the Netherlands, Poland, and Turkey. The network spans more than 2,000 channels and 36M subscribers, with a daily reach of 1.5M uniques and a monthly reach of 350M views across YouTube, Yahoo, and ClipFish.
  • Jobandtalent, Hondón de los Frailes, Spain-based service that matches professionals with available job opportunities and sends them related alerts, has raised $14M in Series A funding from Qualitas Equity Partners, Kibo Ventures, FJME Ventures, Pelayo Cortina Koplowitz, and Nicolas Luca de Tena. The company has raised $18.7M altogether.
  • Google Ventures has launched a London division, with an initial fund of $100M to invest in “the best ideas from the best European entrepreneurs”. Partners include Google Europe executive Eze Vidra, entrepreneur Tom Hulme, angel investor Peter Read, Code.org UK head Avid Larizadeh, and current Google Ventures partner MG Siegler, who will reportedly remain in London temporarily to help his new colleagues get up and running.
  • Scytl is trying to modernize elections by killing the ballot box and moving the voting process online. SAP Ventures, a European based firm, just handed the startup another $20M to help the company expand. The software focuses on providing voter registration and voting services, as well as election night reporting. The company also offers election planning. The company was founded in 2001, so it’s not new, but it has been racking in the dough lately. In April Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s fund Vulcan Capital gave Scytl $40M. Currently the company works with governments and other organizations in 35 countries. Its headquarters are located in Barcelona, Spain.
  • Appek, creator of drawing social network French Girls, announced a $500,000 seed round led by actress-singer Christina Milian and American football player Larry English. The French Girls app first made its debut in January and was named in reference to the famous “draw me like one of your French girls” line from the film “Titanic”. The app enables users to turn selfies into hand-drawn portraits, and in exchange, tasks users to draw (or trace) selfies taken by strangers.
  • Zynstra, which offers ‘hybrid cloud’ solutions for small and medium sized enterprises, has raised a further $8.4M of funding in a Series B round led by previous backers Octopus Investments, with participation from other previous investors, including Richard Brennan, former EVP Global Marketing at Orange Group; Tom Vari, former CIO of Cable at Rogers Communications Inc.; and Jon Craton, Zynstra’s Chairman and former founder and CEO of Cramer. This brings the total amount raised to just over $14.4M. The U.K. startup plans to use the additional capital to further develop its range of “hybrid cloud” products, which are designed for SMEs as opposed to much larger enterprises, and expand its channel reach in the U.K., and then launch in the U.S. towards the end of this year.
  • Index Ventures has led a $7M Series A round in Credit Benchmark, a startup that’s looking to improve financial market benchmarks by aggregating anonymized credit risk data from multiple banks. The aim is to improve industry transparency around credit risk and create more precise and up-to-date consensus views by aggregating the internal assessments of large banks on their institutional borrowers’ credit worthiness.
  • Berlin-based mobile games marketing platform AppLift has invested a “7-digit” sum in Berlin-based startup PubNative. As its name suggests, PubNative is a native advertising platform that doesn’t require developers to integrate an SDK. Instead the supply-side platform is API-based, through client-side and a server-to-server integration.
  • FishBrain, a made-in-Sweden mobile app and social network for anglers founded back in 2010, has closed a $2.4M pre-Series A round of funding, led by Northzone and Active Venture Partners. Other investors in this round are GP Bullhound and Edastra Venture Capital, as well as existing investors Mathias Ackermand, Rikard Steiber and ALMI. FishBrain had raised some $1.5M, reeling in investors, including Industrifonden; Umando; Henrik Torstensson, CEO of Lifesum; and Mattias Miksche, founder and CEO of Stardoll. FishBrain has some 430,000 registered users, a little under half of whom are active. There have been some 130,000 logged catches within the app so far.
  • Traity, a two-year-old, Madrid and San Francisco-based online reputation startup, has raised $4.7M in Series A funding led by Active Venture Partners. Other investors in the round included Horizons Ventures, KRW Schindler Private Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Lanta Digital Ventures, 500 Startups, Lisa Gansky, Juan Lopez, Matthew Bothner and Dalibor Siroky.
  • SpaceWays, London-based self-storage business, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the German startup backer Rocket Internet, which hired the founders to create the service, reports Reuters. SpaceWays, which launched in London last week, it reportedly “looking to transform the self-storage market into an on-demand business more like package delivery.”
  • Hansoft, a nine-year-old, Uppsala, Sweden-based company that makes project management and and collaboration software, has raised $10M in Series A funding from Hasso Plattner Ventures and the Nordic venture capital firm Creandum.
  • Berlin-based startup ParkTag, a parking-space-swapping community with iOS and Android apps that let users report when they’re about to vacate an on-street parking spot to other users of the app who can then swoop in and bag the space, raised a seed investment of €500,000 ($680,000) from German’s High-Tech Gründerfonds (HTG), a semi-governmental VC fund whose investors include the Federal Ministry for Economics and Technology, the KfW Bank group, and six industrial groups: BASF, Deutsche Telekom, Siemens, Robert Bosch, Daimler and Carl Zeiss. In addition to the €500,000 seed, HTG’s investment also includes €1.2M reserved for a follow-on Series A round, which is the fund’s typical investment structure.

Asia

  • 24tidy, a 24-hour O2O laundry site, raised tens ofMs yuan in Series A financing led by SIP Oriza Seed Fund Management, an early-stage investment platform under Oriza Holdings. SIP Oriza is also the baker of online travel platform LY.com and logistics service SF Express. Launched in June last year, 24tidy allows users to schedule pickup and dropoff of laundry and dry cleaning stuffs by placing orders via telephone or on Internet. After one year of development, the startup now has around 10 warehouses and more than 30 deliverymen in Shanghai. The company plans to expand to Beijing, Nanjing, as well as other cities in Jiangsu Province after receiving Series A funding.
  • Bangalore-based transportation network company Olacabs raised INR 250 crores (about US$40M) from Sequoia Capital and Hong Kong’s Steadview Capital. This follows a US$20M round that the company closed last November. The company had previously raised a $20M Series B round from Tiger Global and Matrix Partners last year. That followed an initial $5M Series A round from Tiger in 2012.
  • White-label cloud service Cloudike secured US$950,000 for a 20% stake from three Korean VCs to extend their capabilities, particularly in global sales. Bon Angels, a renowned Korean early stage investor, led the seed round and will take a board seat, with Coolidge Corner Investment and newly formed The Ventures participating. The financial boost will be used to strengthen sales and build additional distribution channels globally. The developer team also plans to extend their personal cloud service to business users.
  • Last-minute hotel booking app HotelQuickly — whose founding team includes two ex-Rocket Internet executives — has raised a further $4.5M in funding as it doubles-down on the Asia-Pacific market — and, perhaps in the longer-term, keep San Francisco-based and heavily-funded HotelTonight at bay when and if it enters the region.
  • Vizury, a 5.5-year-old, Seoul, Korea-based digital marketing company that focuses on the online travel industry, has raised $16M in Series C funding led by Intel Capital. Ascent Capital also participated in the round, along with earlier investors Nokia Growth Partners and Inventus Capital Partners.
  • Universal Education Group, Beijing-based Chinese company that trains students for their postgraduate entrance exams, civil servant recruitment examinations, and more, has raised “tens ofMs” of dollars in Series C funding from search engine giant Baidu, reports China Money Network. The company had previously raised $40M over two rounds, says the outlet, including from Sequoia Capital, Legend Capital, DCM, and the Singaporean private equity group F&H Fund Management.
  • Jianshu, (meaning “simple book”), a new, China-based writing and blogging platform that’s been compared to Medium, has raised $806,000 in seed funding from undisclosed angel investors.
  • Grabhouse, a 16-month-old, Mumbai, India-based startup that helps people find roommates and apartments for rent, has raised $500,000 from earlier investor India Quotient.
  • MyRepublic’s, Singapore-based telco startup, raised $24M investments from two new major stakeholders based in India and France respectively. Sunshine Network, a telecommunications arm of Indonesian conglomerate Sinar Mas, has invested over S$20M (US$16M), while Xavier Niel, founder of French telecommunications company Free, put in S$10M (US$8M).
  • TranServ, a four-year-old, Mumbai, India-based prepaid payments company, has raised an undisclosed amount in Series B round led by Faering Capital, with earlier investor Nirvana Venture Advisors also participating.
  • Pokkt, Mumbai-based alternative mobile payment platform that helps app developers and publishers monetize their users through advertising, has raised $2.5M in Series A funding led by Jafco Asia and SingTel Innov8, with participation from earlier investors, including Jungle Ventures and serial entrepreneur K Ganesh. Pokkt had previously raised $500,000.
  • Japanese VC firm Global Brain announced its investment in Korean startup Mbite which runs Rainbow.dot, a platform that matches illustrators to game developers and businesses. With the investment, Jiro Kumakura, partner at Global Brain, will join Mbite’s board of directors.
  • Hungama Digital Media Entertainment, Mumbai, India-based aggregator, developer, publisher and distributor of Bollywood and South-Asian entertainment content, has raised $40M in new funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. Earlier investor Intel Capital, which poured an undisclosed amount of funding into the company in 2012, also participated in this round.
  • HiWiFi, Beijing-based maker of “smart” routers, has raised $10M in Series B funding from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and the Taiwanese semiconductor maker MTK. The company had previously received “tens ofMs” of dollars in Series A funding from GGV Capital and Innovation Works.
  • FXiaoKe, a three-year-old, Beijing, China-based mobile sales management tool, has raised $10M in Series B funding led by Northern Light Venture Capital, with firms Huaruan Venture Capital, Boya Capital, and IDG Capital participating. FXiaoke previously received “severalM dollars” in Series A funding from IDG Capital in July 2012.
  • Chinese search engine Baidu made investment of “millions of dollars” into cloud learning portal Wanxue. Shortly after receiving its series C round of funding, Wanxue moved to a new domain name under Baidu’s existing education portal: wanxue.jiaoyu.baidu.com. Wanxue specializes in prep courses for post-graduate entrance exams and civil service exams, which it offers in 25 provinces, regions, and municipalities across China. It has 535 professors on its network. The company received US$20M in its previous round from DCM, Sequoia Capital, Lenovo, and Phoenix in 2011. In 2008, it also received US$20M from Sequoia Capital and Lenovo.
  • Lmbang (spice moms in Chinese), a Shenzhen-based mommy communication website, announced US$20M of Series B financing led by Greenwoods Asset Management with participation of Morningside Ventures, VIP.com, Matrix Partners and K2 Ventures. The company has receivedMs of dollars in Series A financing last year. Double-sigma Investment Management worked as financing consultant for this round. Launched in May 2012, Lmbang is a mobile social platform for women where mothers can share and exchange tips on various topics of child rearing, slimming, beauty makeup, emotion, delicacy, sexual health, etc. The platform has more than 20M registered users with around 2.6M daily active users and a monthly retention rate of 60%, according to Jin Zan, CEO of the company. He added that most of their users are moms who are born in 1980s and 1990s, and over 90% of the users aged between 25 to 30.

Other emerging markets

  • Webydo, Tel Aviv, Israel-based SaaS platform that helps designers create and manage cross-platform business websites without writing code, has raised $7M in funding led by OurCrowd. A Magna Ventures affiliate from Spain and private investors also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $8.4M.
  • GetYou, Israel-based company whose app helps people see how well other people “get” them, has raised $1.1M in seed funding from the VC RDSeed and angel investors, including Wix founder Avishai Abrahami.
  • Linio, an Amazon-style e-commerce marketplace active in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela and Peru, has raised an additional $79M (€58M), led by new investor Northgate Capital and Access Industries. The company says the financing will be used to expand its footprint to other large Latin American markets like Chile and beyond. This latest round brings the total raised by Linio, founded in 2012, up to well over $150M — including a $50M round in November 2013; $26.5M in February 2013; and up to another $26.5M in that same month.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Yahoo has acquired mobile video streaming firm RayV to bolster its Cloud Platforms and Services team. While RayV has been fairly quiet about its technology, the company’s product is a “full end-to-end solution that enables improved high quality streaming for our online and mobile video content partners.” Yahoo intends to use RayV to strengthen its existing video infrastructure. Yahoo has been pouring resources into its Yahoo Screen online video efforts with a focus on offering exclusive content. The company recently agreed to bring back the cult show Community for a sixth season.
  • Microsoft has acquired InMage, a business continuity service that helps enterprises migrate their data between public and private clouds, replicate their on-premise assets in the cloud and recover their data in case things go awry. The financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.
  • RelateIQ, Palo Alto, Ca.-based relationship intelligence platform that allows teams to track, share and analyze professional relationships, has been acquired by Salesforce for roughly $350M. RelateIQ had raised roughly $70M from Morgenthaler Ventures, Accel Partners, SV Angel, Stage One Capital, Battery Ventures, Formation 8, Accel Partners, AITV, Redpoint Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Felicis Ventures, and News Corp.
  • GoDaddy has acquired a smart calendaring service called Canary. The deal for Canary is more of an acqui-hire, than acquisition, as GoDaddy has no intentions of bringing the Canary application into its current product lineup.
  • Neebula, a four-year-old, New York-based software company whose products automate the discovery, mapping and monitoring of IT-enabled enterprise services, has been acquired by publicly traded ServiceNow for $100M. The company, which was founded in Israel, had raised an undisclosed amount of money from Genesis Partners and Pitgano Venture Capital.
  • TwinStrata, a seven-year-old, Natick, Ma.-based maker of cloud gateway appliances, has been acquired by EMC Corp. for an undisclosed amount. TwinStrata had raised $19.4M over the years, shows Crunchbase. Avalon Ventures is among its backers.
  • RakNet, a Costa Mesa, Ca.-based company behind a game networking engine, has been acquired by Oculus VR for an undisclosed amount. Oculus VR, which acquired Carbon Design Group just a few weeks ago, was acquired by Facebook in March for $2 billion.

EMEA

  • Rightster, the U.K. video distribution and monetisation company, acquired Viral Spiral, which specialises in social video management, licensing and brand engagement and Base79, one of the largest YouTube partners outside North America. The acquisition of Base79 is for a price up to £50M in shares. The acquisition of outstanding shares in Viral Spiral is for £4.1M in cash and shares. To achieve the above it’s announced the placing of 75M new ordinary shares in order to raise £42M at a price of 56 pence per share. The acquisitions would make Rightster the fourth-biggest YouTube MCN by audience in North America and the largest outside North America.

Asia

  • OTA Expedia acquired Australia-based Wotif Group (ASX:WTF) for A$703M (US$659.5M). It runs a number of travel sites in the region, such as Wotif.com, Lastminute.com.au, Travel.com.au, LateStays, and GoDo.com.au. The deal effectively buys the group for A$3.30 per share. Wotif’s shares rose in Monday trading after the announcement from Expedia and now stand at A$3.29. That’s down from a peak of A$7.69 per share in April 2010. Wotif’s sites recorded A$593M (US$555.5M) in gross bookings (total transaction value) and A$76M (US$71.2M) in revenue in the second half of 2013. Users booked 3.2M room nights in that period.

Other emerging markets

  • Science Inc, the startup studio, has acquired an eight-person company based in Yerevan, Armenia called Inlight. That company developed the iOS app of the same name, a social newsreading service targeting women.

 

Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly – 2014-06-30

Private Financing
US

  • San Francisco-based BetterDoctor, which operates an online referral service for dentists and doctors (including specialists), raised $10.4M in new venture funding. BetterDoctor had previously attracted $2.6M in seed funding. The funding was provided by SoftTechVC and Burrill & Co., with participation from 500 Startups, among others. BetterDoctors was founded in 2011 by chief executive Ari Tulla and chief technical officer Tapio Tolvanen and went nationwide in 2012.
  • Sprout Social, a social media management platform for enterprise, has raised $8M in new funding from Lightbank and NEA. Sprout Social helps companies manage social media, providing engagement, publishing, and analytics tools for more than 10,000 customers. Founded in 2010 in Chicago, Sprout Social has raised $19M to date and will use the latest funding to open a European headquarters and drive international expansion.
  • First Round Capital, seed-stage investment firm with offices in Philadelphia and San Francisco, has closed a fifth fund of $175M, up just slightly from its $160M previous fund. The firm also announced that New York City-based partner Phin Barnes is relocating to San Francisco and that Wiley Cerilli, founder of former portfolio company SinglePlatform, is joining as a venture partner.
  • Sport Ngin, Minneapolis, Mn.-based company that helps sports organizations build websites and mobile applications, has raised $25M in Series D funding led by Piper Jaffray Merchant Banking and Causeway Media Partners, with participation from existing investor ICON Venture Partners. The company has raised $35.1M to date.
  • Plumgrid, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based network infrastructure software vendor that helps secure cloud networks for public and private clouds, has raised $16.2M in Series B funding led by Longworth Venture Partners. U.S. Venture Partners, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Swisscom Ventures also participated in the round, which brings Plumgrid’s total funding to $29M.
  • IgnitionOne, Atlanta, Ga.-based digital marketing technology company, has raised $20M in Series B funding led by SoftBank Capital. Earlier investors ABS Capital Partners and Brown Savano — a company that buys private company shares from founders and early investors — also participated in the round. The company has now raised roughly $68M.
  • Distractify, New York-based new media startup that competes with the likes of Upworthy, has raised $7M in Series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other participants in the round included Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Advancit Capital, and CAA.
  • Chloe & Isabel, New York-based jewelry company that connects its customers through their own social selling experience, has raised $15M in fresh funding led by Softbank Capital, at a valuation of more than $100M, reports VentureWire. The company had previously raised $17.5M from investors, including General Catalyst Partners, First Round Capital, Felicis Ventures, Floodgate and individuals Ashton Kutcher, Mike Duda, Andy Dunn, Kirsten Green, and Ron Conway, among others.
  • Wish, a fast-growing mobile-shopping app, raised $50M from venture-capital investors who believe there is still room for upstarts in an industry dominated by Amazon.com, eBay and Groupon. The funding came from new investor Founders Fund and existing investors Formation 8, GGV Capital and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, among others, and gives the San Francisco startup a valuation of roughly $400M. The deal comes only about two months after Wish raised $19M in funding. Wish offers users a feed of products from various online merchants at discounted prices. As users save products to their “wishlists” or recommend them, the software learns about interests. Users can buy the goods directly through the Wish app.
  • Truveris, a New-York based prescription auditing service, has raised $12.75M in a new round of funding led by Canaan Partners while previous investors New Leaf Venture Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners, New Atlantic Ventures, and First Round Capital all participated in the financing. As a result of the investment, Canaan Partners’ Stephen Bloch will be taking a seat on the board.
  • CrowdTwist, New York-based company that sells loyalty and analytics software to marketers, has raised $9M in Series B funding led by StarVest Partners, with investment from earlier backers, including Fairhaven Capital and SoftBank Capital. The company has raised $16.2M altogether.
  • CareCloud, which provides cloud-based practice management, electronic health records (EHR), and medical billing software to medical groups, says it’s taken $25.5M in new venture debt financing from Hercules Technology Growth Capital. Miami Springs, Florida-based CareCloud has now taken a total investment of $81.9M since its launch in 2009. Before the new debt funding it had taken $56.4M in venture capital funding.
  • Tastemade, an online food network, has raised $25M in Series C funding from Scripps Interactive Media and Liberty Media along with return backers Comcast Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Raine Ventures. Tastemade provides food-centric video content, producing a variety of its own cooking shows, and currently has more than 19M uniques per month. Founded in Santa Monica in 2012, Tastemade has raised over $40M to date and will use the latest cash to ramp up hiring and produce more content.
  • First Round Capital announced its fifth fund — a $175M round from existing limited partners. First Round’s fifth fund is its largest to date, up from $135M in 2012, $126.4M in 2010, and 125M in 2008. Alongside the funding announcement, First Round’s Josh Kopelman shares that SinglePlatform founder Wiley Cerilli will join the firm as a venture partner in New York. SinglePlatform was bought by Constant Contact for $100M in 2012.
  • Truveris, New York-based health information technology company that provides pricing and analysis tools to sponsors of prescription benefit plans, has raised $12.75M in Series C funding led by Canaan Partners. Earlier investors New Leaf Venture Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners, New Atlantic Ventures and First Round Capital also participated in the round, which brings the company’s funding to roughly $26.5M.
  • TapZen, L.A.-based mobile gaming startup, has raised $8M in new funding from Tencent Holdings. The company has raised $10M in “seed” funding from social games giant Zynga.
  • RedOwl Analytics, Baltimore, Md.-based company whose software helps organizations analyze their internal corporate data streams, has raised $4.6M from investors, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff; Igor Sill of Geneva Venture Group; Christian Lawless of Conversion Capital; Attractor Ventures; Propel Baltimore; and Tedco’s new Veterans’ Opportunity Fund.The company has raised $7.5M altogether.
  • CoPatient, Portland, Or.-based medical-billing company that helps patients spot mistakes in their medical bills, has raised $3.6M in Series A funding led by .406 Ventures. Earlier investors Cambia Health Solutions and Athenahealth executive Jonathan Bush also participated in the round. CoPatient had previously raised $1.1M in seed funding.
  • Coherent Path, Arlington Heights, Ma.-based retail analytics startup, has raised $6.3M in Series A funding led by Sigma Prime Ventures and GrandBanks Capital. The company has raised roughly $7M altogether, including from dunnhumby Ventures, CommonAngels, and BOLDstart Ventures.
  • White Ops, New York-based company focused on online fraud detection (it says it isolates and eliminates bot-infected traffic), has raised $7M in funding from new investors Paladin Capital Group and Grotech Ventures.
  • The Bouqs, Venice, Ca.-based cut-to-order online flower delivery service, has raised $6M in Series A financing led by Azure Capital Partners, which was joined by KEC Ventures. The company had previously raised $1.1M in seed funding from numerous individual investors and firms, including Mich Mathews, Dennis Phelps, Andy Dunn, Brian Spaly, Telegraph Hill Capital, Quest Venture Partners, and Siemer Ventures.
  • Wickr, an app that lets you securely send self-destructing text, audio, and video messages, announced that it has raised a second funding round of $30M. The round was led by Jim Breyer, founder and CEO of Breyer Capital, who’s also joining the company’s board. The news comes only a few months after Wickr announced its $9M first round. Wickr claims it now has the resources to “build the most trusted communications system in the world.”
  • BlockScore, an identity-verification startup and member of Y Combinator’s latest batch that is launching with $2M in funding from Battery Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Atlantic Ventures, Boost VC, Y Combinator, and several angels.
  • Bite-size e-learning platform Coursmos, which reckons there’s room to squeeze a little learning into busy digital users’ lives by breaking study topics down into small, easily digested video chunks, has closed a new round of funding — topping up the seed money that saw it through to launch last year. The $530,000 in new funding comes from Russian VC Imperious Group and an unnamed angel investor.
  • General Electric and the four-year-old, San Juan Capistrano, Ca.-based venture firm Frost Data Capital are setting up a new incubator for industrial technologies. Called Frost I3, it expects to help advance ten companies per year over the next three years. A two-week-old SEC filing shows that Frost Data has raised at least $38.4M for its Frost VP Early Stage Fund II LP. Frost typically partners with major corporations to identify gaps in their big data analytics arsenals, has spun out a number of companies, including Predixion Software, Cirro, and OspreyData. The firm was founded by Stuart Frost, the founder of DatAllegro, a maker of data warehouse appliances that Microsoft acquired in 2008 for $275M.
  • WebPT, Phoenix, Az.-based company that says its Web-based medical records software is now used by more than 35,000 rehabilitation therapists in the U.S. and Canada, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Battery Ventures.
  • Tasktop Technologies, Vancouver-based maker of so-called software lifestyle integration software, has raised $11M in Series A funding led by Austin Ventures. Yaletown Venture Partners also participated in the round.
  • SmashFly Technologies, Stow, Ma.-based maker of recruiting software, has raised $9M in Series A funding led by OpenView Venture Partners.
  • Schoology, New York-based learning management system that helps educators use apps and other tech more effectively to teach and manage their classwork, has raised $15M in Series C funding led by Intel Capital. Great Oaks Venture Capital and Great Road Holdings also participated in the round, alongside earlier investors FirstMark Capital and Meakem Becker Venture Capital. The company has now raised at least $23M altogether.
  • One Month, New York-based online education company that offers one month’s worth of tutorials on front-end Web development, growth hacking, Web security, and more (the idea is to teach users just enough to get a Web app up and running), has raised $770,000 in seed funding from Winklevoss Capital, Innovation Works, Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Start Fund, Oliver Jung, Lew Moorman, Y Combinator, FundersClub, and the crowdfunding platform WeFunder.
  • Aerospike, Mountain View, Ca.-based flash optimized, in-memory and NoSQL startup, has $20M in Series C funding led by New Enterprise Associates. Columbus Nova Technology Partners, Alsop Louie Partners and Regis McKenna also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total known funding to $22M. (It raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding in 2012.)
  • Kids’ app developer Fingerprint has raised $10.85M in new funding led by DreamWorks. The company develops apps like “Kids Learn Mandarin” and “Wonder Bunny Math Race,” and it also publishes submissions from third-party developers who use its software development kit. The company currently has about 250 apps across all of its app networks and expects to reach 600 by the end of the year. Book publisher Reed Elsevier and media firm Corus Entertainment also contributed to Fingerprint’s new funding round alongside DreamWorks. Corus was an early Fingerprint investor, pouring $7.75M into the app maker back in August 2012.
  • Jason Kilar, former chief exec of streaming TV service Hulu, has secured $75M round of funding for his new startup Vessel led by Benchmark, Greylock Partners, and Bezos Expeditions — the personal investment company of Amazon head honcho (and Kilar’s old boss) Jeff Bezos.
  • Sapho, San Francisco-based mobile app that uses software APIs to pull from a company’s various enterprise applications and provide relevant updates for each user, has raised $3M in funding from a group of investors that includes Raymond Tonsing of Caffeinated Capital, Bloomberg Beta, Redpoint Ventures founder Brad Jones, and Andy Rankin.
  • Epoxy, Venice, Ca.-based company that builds tools to help YouTube startups and other video creators deepen their relationship with audiences, has raised $6.5M in Series A funding led by Upfront Ventures and Time Warner Investments. Earlier investors, including Advancit Capital, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Greycroft Partners and Robert Downey Jr.’s Downey Ventures, also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $14M.
  • Transifex, Menlo Park, Ca., and Athens, Greece-based startup that helps developers translate sites and apps into multiple languages quickly and inexpensively (comparatively), has raised $2.5M in seed funding led by New Enterprise Associates. Other participants in the round included Toba Capital, Arafura Ventures, and several individual angel investors.
  • Soundhawk, Cupertino, Ca.-based company that makes a “smart listening” system that looks like a Bluetooth headset to help people hear what they’re listening for in noisy environments, has raised $5.5M in funding from tech manufacturing giant Foxconn Group. The WSJ has much more on the company here. Soundhawk had previously raised $5.7M from True Ventures.
  • RelayRides, San Francisco-based peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace that now focuses only on providing long-term (day-long, at least) rentals, has raised $25M in Series B funding led by Canaan Partners. Earlier investors August Capital, Google Ventures and Shasta Ventures also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $44M.
  • Phunware, Austin-based company focused on creating mobile experiences for brands, including through mobile software development, has raised $30.7M in Series E funding led by Firsthand Technology Value Fund. Other investors in the round included Fraser McCombs Ventures, Maxima Ventures, Wild Basin Investment, the Central Texas Angel Network, Cisco Systems, World Wrestling Entertainment, and Samsung Ventures. The company has now raised $48.3M to date.
  • Patreon, San Francisco-based subscription platform that enables fans and sponsors to support artists and creators, has raised $15M in Series A funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from Alexis Ohanian, Sam Altman, David Marcus, Joshua Reeves and numerous other individual investors.
  • Passare, San Francisco-based startup that’s “simplifying end-of-life management” through an online portal where family and friends of the deceased can make funeral and travel arrangements, create online memorials and invite guests, has raised $6M from a group of funeral homes, angel investors and the Abilene, Tx.-based insurance company Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company.
  • OwnerIQ, Boston, Ma.-based company that provides real-time media buying services to advertisers, has raised $11M in funding led by existing investors in a round that was closed over two tranches, beginning in April. The company, which looks to have raised roughly $40M to date, counts Kepha Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Egan-Managed Capital, CommonAngels, Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation, and Atlas Venture among its backers.
  • LIFX, San Francisco-based company making a Wi-Fi enabled, multi-color LED light bulb, has raised $12M in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital. The company had also raised $1.3M via a Kickstarter campaign in 2012.
  • Grand Rounds, San Francisco-based startup that provides medical second opinions online, has raised $40M in Series B funding led by Greylock Partners. Earlier investors Venrock and Harrison Metal also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $51M. Re/code has more on the company here.
  • Cargomatic, Venice, Ca.-based company that connects available truck drivers with companies needing to move freight (it calls itself the “Uber of trucking”), has raised $2.6M led by Morado Ventures, SV Angel, and Sherpa Ventures, reports Venture Capital Dispatch. Winklevoss Capital, Acequia Capital, Structure Capital and several angel investors also participated in the round.
  • Lerer Hippeau Ventures, the New York-based investment firm whose portfolio includes BuzzFeed, Chartbeat, and Warby Parker (among others), has closed its fourth fund, with a total of $62M in capital commitments.
  • Helpshift has raised $10M in venture capital funding to finance its expansion as the help desk for mobile app publishers. The company helps mobile game publishers like Supercell deal withMs of customer-service queries by intercepting more than 90 percent of those queries before they ever reach a real person. San Francisco-based Helpshift, which was the winner of last year’s Innovation Showdown at our MobileBeat 2013 conference, has created a platform for customer service on mobile devices. It can be used to create frequently asked question (FAQ) documents that are easily searchable, even when the user it tapping away with thumbs on a mobile device. Intel Capital led the round, with participation from Visionnaire Ventures, a new venture capital fund whose partners include Taizo Son, brother of Japan’s Masayoshi Son, head of SoftBank. Other participants include existing investors True Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.
  • CloudPhysics, a startup that has developed software for keeping tabs on the health of clusters of servers in companies’ data centers, has taken on $15M in fresh venture capital led by Jafco Ventures. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Mayfield Fund also participated. Previously, VMware co-founders Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum invested in CloudPhysics. To date, Mountain View, Calif.-based CloudPhysics has raised $27.5M, including a $10M round last year and a $2.5M round in 2012. CloudPhysics has focused on providing analytics for data center operators that chop up their servers into virtual machines and maintain them with VMware’s popular vSphere software.
  • Slyce, Calgary-based visual product search platform, has raised $12M from the likes of Canaccord Genuity Corp. and including Salman Partners Inc., Cormark Securities Inc., and Beacon Securities Ltd. It comes just a few months after Slyce raised $10.75M from PI Financial, Salman Partners, Harrington Global and other investors. Before that it raised a convertable debenture round of $2.2M, and in total it has raised $27M. The Slyce technology enables a retailer’s customer to snap a smartphone picture of any item they find in the real world, or hover over any image online, and be instantly provided with all direct, or close-matching products from the retailer’s Inventory which can be purchased instantly – at the exact moment of consumer impulse.
  • Patreon, a subscription-based funding site for artists, has just raised $15M in a Series A from Alexis Ohanian, Sam Altman, David Marcus, Joshua Reeves and a bevy of other tech entrepreneurs. There were 17 angel investors and VCs in all who contributed to this series, with Danny Rimer of Index Ventures leading the round.
  • Scivantage, Jersey City, N.J.-based company that sells Web-based front and middle-office technologies to the financial services industry, has raised $20M from earlier investors Brown Brothers Harriman Capital Partners and Edison Ventures. The round also included debt financing provided by Comerica Bank and ORIX Ventures.
  • Inpria, Corvallis, Or.-based developer of high-resolution photoresists, has raised $1.45M led by the Oregon Angel Fund. The capital comes on the heels of a separate, $7.3M round of funding the company announced in February, led by Samsung Ventures, with participation from Intel Capital and Applied Ventures.
  • AnyPerk, an employee perk and discount startup based in San Francisco, has raised $3M in additional seed funding from VegasTech Fund, FundersClub, Vayner/RSE, and a handful of angel investors. AnyPerk helps companies create and distribute employee perks such as discounted gym memberships, hotel deals and movie tickets. Founded in 2012 and incubated by Y Combinator, AnyPerk already works with over 2,500 customers and will use the new cash to create a location-aware mobile app for employees.
  • Skyhigh Networks, a cloud access security company, has raised $40M in a Series C round led by previous investors Sequoia and Greylock with participation from new strategic investor Salesforce. Based in Cupertino, Skyhigh makes security software that manages and analyzes data from apps used by employees. Founded in 2011, Skyhigh has raised $66.5M to date and will use the new funding to ramp up hiring and develop new products.
  • Tanium, an enterprise security and systems management startup out of Berkeley, CA, has raised $90M from Andreessen Horowitz in its first venture capital round to date. Tanium allows IT professionals to control and manage an entire network through its natural language search console. Founded in 2007, Tanium plans to use the new cash to back continued product development and expansion. The investment values the company at $900M.

EMEA

  • Templafy, a business template management startup out of Denmark, has raised $2.5M in seed funding from SEED Capital and Sunstone. Templafy helps managers ensure visual and legal compliance in employee-produced business documents across all devices. Founded in December of 2013, Templafy will use the latest cash to fund global expansion.
  • Social trip planner startup CreateTrips has closed a $600,000 seed round of funding, with investment coming from Butterfly Ventures, Frontier and Rkapital.
  • Finnish mobile-first narrative-driven startup Seriously has announced it’s closed a $2.65M round of what it calls “Series B Seed” funding. Previous investor Upfront Ventures was the lead investor, with previous investors Sunstone Capital and new investor Daher Capital also participating. This round takes Seriously’s total funding to-date to $5M.
  • Deliveroo, food delivery service for premium restaurants that don’t traditionally offer a take-out service, has closed a £2.7M series A round led by Index Ventures, with participation from Hoxton Ventures and a number of individual investors. Currently operating in London only, Deliveroo solves the problem that a lot of take-out food does’t really cut it, and yet most premium or higher-end restaurants don’t deliver to homes or businesses. To do this, it’s built its own online ordering and logistics platform, including recruiting a fleet of drivers.
  • MyOptique Group, London-based online optical retailer, has raised roughly $27.2M in Series C funding from Korys, Beringea, Cipio Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, Acton Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners, and Index Ventures. The company has raised $55.4M to date.
  • Nutmeg, the UK-based online investment management startup, intends to disrupt the world of financial investing by making it affordable for the masses. But to do that it needs cash. Lots of cash. they’ve raised another $32M, taking their total funds raised to $50m. The investors in’s round include Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone, asset management house Schroders, and top-tier European VC Balderton Capital. Existing investors include Draper Associates and Daniel Aegerter from Armada Investment Group also participated. The new funds will be spent on customer acquisition and product development. Tim Draper calls Nutmeg “among the very best” of “exciting new financial technology businesses.”
  • Definiens, Munich, Germany-based pathology image-analysis company, has raised $20M in new funding led by Wellington Partners. Earlier investors Gilde Healthcare Partners, Cipio Partners, and TVM Capital also joined the round. The company has raised at least $33.3M to date.
  • Kreditech, the credit rating service for enterprise which offer micro-loans to costumers based on social and commerce data, has closed a $40M Series B funding round, the largest ever for a German financial services technology company and one of the largest rounds in Germany in 2014. The lead investor is Värde Partners, a PE fund, which was joined by existing shareholder Blumberg Capital and Point Nine Capital. Kreditech will use money to broaden its financial products and expand into new markets. It claims to have approved more than 1.5M individual loans inside the last 20 months. In January this year it secured $15M in debt financing from Kreos Capital. The company now operates in Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, Russia and Mexico and launched in Australia in Q1, and operates in Peru. Planned for this year is the Dominican Republic and Romania. Brazil is planned for 2015. From 2012 and 2013 they raised $25M funding.
  • VocalIQ, Cambridge, England-based company whose software aims to improve dialogue interactions in voice-activated systems, has raised $1.27M in seed funding. The round was led by Amadeus Capital Partners, with participation from Cambridge Enterprise. The company is a spin-out of the University of Cambridge’s Dialogue Systems Group.

Asia

  • Performance Lab, Auckland, New Zealand-based maker and marketer of real-time exercise measurement analysis and virtual coaching software, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Intel Capital.
  • Moi Corporation, the Tokyo-based startup behind Twitcasting, announced a US$5M series A funding round that will be used to increase the live-streaming platform’s presence outside of Japan. The investment was led by Indonesia’s Sinar Mas, marking the first time that a non-Japanese VC has invested in the company. Seed investor East Ventures1 also contributed. Twitcasting, already the largest live-streaming community in Japan, hopes to grow its user-base in the US and Brazil specifically. Twitcasting received US$640,000 in seed funding from East Ventures in May 2013. In just over a year, its user-base has ballooned from 2.4M users to 6.5M, with 15,000 new signups each day. More than 80 percent of Twitcasting users are under 24 years old and the company claims that, as of late last year, Twitcasting is more popular with Japanese teens and university students than Facebook.
  • Qianmi, a Chinese e-commerce system and service provider, announced 50M yuan (around US$8) of Series A financing led by Bangsheng Capital, a venture capital affiliate of GOVTOR Capital. The funding will be used to accelerate the construction of service outlets nationwide. Launched in Oct. 2013, Qianmi is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Ofpay.com, a leading e-commerce platform for digital products in China. Qianmi is now focused on providing e-commerce services in five industries of local life, mobile, gaming, fast moving consumer goods and office supplies. The startup now claimed more than 2,000 enterprise clients with over 300K outlets nationwide and a monthly turnover of 2.5 billion yuan. According to data from Qianmi, its e-commerce system now covers 80% of first- and second-tier cities, and 95% of third- and lower-tier cities.
  • JPY 51M (US$500,000)M poured into social problem solving service Any+Times. The startup announced the round of funding, noting that gaming giant DeNA and venture capital firm Incubate Fund led the financing. Any+Times has raised six previous funding rounds. Any+Times allows users to crowdsource solutions to everyday problems from their neighbors. Any+Times says it will use the funds to strengthen its business strategy, expand hiring, beef up its technical systems, and increase marketing spend.
  • Housing.com, Mumbai, India-based online real estate portal that helps people rent and buy homes, has raised $19M in its fourth round of funding, from Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, and Qualcomm Ventures.
  • Bigtree Entertainment, India-based company that owns the online entertainment ticketing property BookMyShow, has raised $25M from new investor SAIF Partners. Earlier investors Accel Partners and Network18 also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $43M.
  • Meet You (aka Meiyou), a Chinese app that originated as a menstruation tracker that since evolved into a social network for all-things-ladylike, closed a US$35M series C investment round led by SIG. The round comes just five months after the company completed a US$15M round led by US-based Matrix Partners. It also comes days after competing startup Dayima netted US$30M from a group of investors that included Sequoia Capital. These are pretty large rounds by any standard, let alone for an app that hasn’t yet monetized. For comparison’s sake, Glow, the highest-profile Silicon Valley analogue, raised US$6M back in August 2013. Meet You claims to have 50M registered users and 3.5M “active users.” Dayima, meanwhile, has 45M registered users and over 3M daily active users.
  • ProjectManager, Auckland, New Zealand-based maker of online project management software has raised $3.5M in Series A funding led by New Zealand’s Zeus Management.
  • KDDI is investing in news curation app Gunosy with a 1.2 billion yen (US$11.8M) funding round – after already providing US$12M in March to fund a Gunosy television advertisement campaign. Jafco and B Dash Ventures joined KDDI for the latest investment.

Other emerging markets

  • Curiyo, Jerusalem-based company whose browser app enables users to look up names, places, and other terms in a pop-up window without leaving a Web page, has raised $1.9M in seed funding from OurCrowd, Cedar Fund, Morton Meyerson, Kima Ventures, Tom Glocer, Gigi Levy, JumpSpeed Ventures, and other private investors. Curiyo was founded by Bob Rosenschein, founder and former CEO of Answers.com. The company has raised $3.3M to date.
  • Israeli startup Parko successfully raised $1.1M in seed funding for its API, which uses crowdsourced data to help drivers find available parking spots in real time. SparkLabs, Global Ventures, OurCrowd, and European angel investors participated in the round. VoIP pioneer and Vonage co-founder Jeff Pulver also joined Parko’s board of advisors. Parko also analyzes parking habits from users who opt in. Using these bits of information, Parko’s algorithms build real time maps of parking availability that are continuously updated from data sourced from the crowd.
  • Webydo, Tel Aviv-based software as a service startup whose technology helps professional graphic designers to create sites on fly, without manual coding, has raised $7M in Series B funding led by the crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, along with Magna Capital Partners and unnamed strategic investors. Webydo has raised $9.7M to date. The business was founded back in 2010.
  • Dynamic Yield, Tel Aviv, Israel-based developer of a real-time website optimization and personalization platform, has raised $12M in Series B funding led by Marker, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, Innovation Endeavors, and the New York Times Co. The company has raised $14.2M to date.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Submodal, a five-year-old, Laguna Beach, Ca.-based Web design and software development studio, has been acquired by Tustin, Ca.-based Mophie, maker of the popular mobile battery case. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Longmaster Information & Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese software developer founded in 1998, acquired 39.net in cash and stock. The price reportedly is RMB650M (more than US$100). Launched in March 2000 by China’s state-owned pharmaceutical company 999Group, 39.net was one of the first health websites in China. In 2006, when 999Group was under restructuring, 39.net introduced funding from IDG Capital Partners, a China-focused investment firm, acquired the site for RMB30M. The site started offering medical and health information and then added features for users to ask doctors questions. The site covers 120M users, with 48% on mobile.
  • Appurify, San Francisco-based startup that makes it possible for developers to automate the testing and optimization of their mobile apps and websites, has been acquired by Google, the search giant announced yesterday. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, but TechCrunch says it will “stay open as freemium cross-platform service.” Appurify had raised $6.3M from investors, shows Crunchbase, including Google Ventures, Foundation Capital, Radar Partners, Felicis Ventures, Webb Investment Network, Data Collective, Inspovation Ventures and individual investors.
  • Virtual reality firm Oculus VR has acquired Carbon Design, the product development studio that built the Xbox 360 controller for Microsoft. Oculus said it hopes to close the deal by the end of summer. Carbon Design will remain in its Seattle offices and work closely with the Oculus R&D team in nearby Redmond.
  • Opera has confirmed that it has acquired AdColony in a deal for $75M in cash, plus potential earnouts of $275M that bring the deal up to $350M. AdColony had raised an undisclosed amount of funding. Insight Venture Partners was among its backers. The deal will bring together one of the bigger startups in mobile video ads with Opera, a company that has built a business in web browsers for mobile handsets, PCs, and TVs. Opera is an alternative to the likes of Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari, as it’s a portal to search for apps.
  • 99dresses, New York-based platform whose app helped connect people wanting to buy and sell used clothing, is closing, according to its cofounder and CEO, Nikki Durki. The company, a Y Combinator alum, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Draper Associates, Persefon Ventures, and Fenox Venture Capital.
  • Oracle Corp agreed to buy Micros Systems, a company that sells Internet-connected cash registers, and the software and technical services to power them, to restaurants, retail shops, casinos and other companies. The deal is valued at about $5.3 billion including items such as options, and $4.6 billion net of Micros’s cash. The transaction, expected to close in the second half of this year, requires that Micros’s stockholders tender a majority of the company’s shares outstanding and shares representing vested equity incentive awards.

EMEA

  • Expedia has agreed to acquire the European car-rental reservation company Auto Escape Group from Montefiore Investment and Auto Escape Group’s management. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed..
  • A Little Market, Paris-based online marketplace for handmade items, has been acquired by its bigger U.S. peer Etsy for an undisclosed amount of money, reports TechCrunch. Etsy says it is its “sixth and largest acquisition to date.” A Little Market will continue to operate independently. Etsy has raised $97.3M in funding from Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures and other investors.

Asia

  • Chinese web giant Tencent– now best known as being the maker of WeChat – announced that it’s paying US$736M for a 19.9% stake in 58.com, which is China’s answer to Craigslist. 58.com, which has 130M monthly unique users, IPO’d last October. Tencent revealed that 58.com’s listings will be integrated in some way with WeChat, the popular messaging app, as well as with Tencent’s QQ IM. Tencent is paying $40 per share for 58.com, which is below the $51.77 at which the stock ended Thursday’s trading. In October it floated at $22 per share, so early investors are still riding a strong return.
  • Chinese Universe Publishing and Media Company bought a 100 percent stake in Elex Technology Company for RMB 2.7 billion. Chinese Universe distributes and publishes books, teaching materials, and other publications including audio and video products. It also has a logistics arm. Some of the biggest games that Elex has helped export include Happy Farm (a.k.a. Happy Harvest), Age of Warring Empire, and Chi-Star. The lattermost has over 300M monthly active users, 50M of them paying subscribers. Elex’s investors include Chinese internet giant Tencent and venture capital and incubation firm Innovation Works. Chinese Universe paid with 130M shares and about RMB 1 billion (US$160M) in cash. The report didn’t mention how the two companies plan to work together down the line.
  • Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands Corporation, mobile publisher Animoca in May 2014 to run its branded games business – including Garfield, Mr Bean, Ben10, Astro Boy etc., is going through a reverse takeover which will see it effectively buy into a currently listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange called Black Fire Minerals. This company will sell off its existing assets, and be renamed Animoca Brands Corporation, while two of its current directors will resign, replaced by five new directors from Animoca Brands Corporation and its parent company Appionics (aka Animoca). As part of the deal, Black Fire Minerals/Animoca Brands will raise between $3 – $5M from the issue of new shares, which will then be used by the ongoing business as its starting capital. In total, Animoca has seen its games and entertainment apps downloaded more than 230M times, mainly on Android, while its Garfield-branded mobile games have recently passed the 30M total.
  • Chinese web portal Sina fully acquired lottery service Aicai.com and rebranded the site as Sina Aicai recently. The founding team of Aicai will remain with the company after the transaction. Aicai is a lottery ticket sales and information platform established in 2007 with Sina as a majority shareholder. The startup is also responsible for building and managing Sina’s own lottery ticket sales and information platform. The company launched a mobile website in May 2009, which partnered with Sina’s mobile portal in August of the same year.

Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly – 2014-06-23

Private Financing
US

  • TouchofModern, San Francisco-based e-commerce website geared toward male customers, has raised $14M in Series B financing led by Partech Ventures. Other participants in the round included Great Oaks Venture Capital, Lucas Venture Group, Silicon Valley Bank and earlier investors Hillsven Capital and Floodgate. The company has raised $17M to date.
  • Sidecar Interactive, Philadelphia-based company that has developed an automated online marketing platform, has raised $3.1M in new venture funding led by Osage Venture Partners. The company has reportedly now raised $8.1M to date, including from NextStage Capital, Innovation Ventures, Gabriel Investments, Ben Franklin Technology Partners, Mid-Atlantic Angel Group, Robinhood Ventures, and ARC Angel Group.
  • MiTu, Culver City-based developer of streaming digital content for the Latino market, has raised $10M in Series B funding led by Upfront Ventures. The company’s other investors included The Chernin Group, Advancit Capital, and Machinima co-founder Allen DeBevoise. MiTu says it has 400M monthly video views, 40M subscribers and 1,200 video creators creating content for its channels. Variety wrote about it last year.
  • Compliant Innovations, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company behind a case collaboration app that let’s surgeons and care teams communicate about patient care, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Lifeforce Ventures and Attractor Ventures.
  • Review Trackers, a Chicago-based service that helps businesses aggregate and manage online reviews about them, has raised a $2M funding led by Milwaukee’s CSA Partners with participation from American Family Ventures, SymphonyAlpha Ventures and angel investor Jeff Rusinow. The service, which offers plans starting at $29/month, compiles customer reviews from all of the major review forums like OpenTable, Google+ and TripAdvisor, as well as from smaller niche feedback sites.
  • San Francisco-based open source identity platform ForgeRock has raised $30M in a Series C round led by Meritech Capital Partners with participation from existing investors Accel Partners and Foundation Capital. ForgeRock creates identity relationship management solutions for large companies and government organizations. Founded in 2010, ForgeRock has raised $52M to date and will put the latest cash toward building out product and marketing.
  • Greycroft Partners, early-stage venture firm with offices in New York and L.A., has just closed on its first growth fund, a $200M vehicle, reports the WSJ. The company, whose bets have included Maker Studios and Buddy Media, needed more dry powder for its expansion-stage companies, particularly as “many of our companies are not in San Francisco and have a harder time tapping into these expansion-stage funds in the Valley,” partner Ian Sigalow tells the outlet.
  • Wayin, Denver-based company whose software gathers social media postings and displays it in real time on its clients’ sites, mobile apps, or, in the case of sports teams, scoreboards, has raised at least $12.1M in Series C round, per an SEC filing flagged by Xconomy.The company, cofounded by Sun Microsystems cofounder and CEO Scott McNealy, has raised $32.5M to date; its investors include U.S. Venture Partners.
  • Spotlight Ticket Management, L.A.- based company whose technology helps companies understand the effectiveness of their spending on tickets — including to amusement parks, country clubs, and conferences — has raised $6M in Series A funding from Point Judith Capital, Coyote Ridge Ventures and City National. The company has raised $8.5M to date.
  • Progreso Financiero, Menlo Park, Ca.-based financial services company that targets the credit needs of the Hispanic market, has raised $47M in funding led by Institutional Venture Partners. The round closed last August. Others of its investors include The Catalyst Fund of CFSI, Charles River Ventures, Core Innovation Capital, Greylock Partners, and Madrone Capital Partners. Its new funding brings the total capital raised by the company to $170M.
  • Pixability, Boston-based software company that aims to help major brands dramatically increase their YouTube impact on target audiences, has added $4M to its Series B round, to close it at $8.1M. The new funding was led by Point Judith Capital and included Quad/Graphics, Progress Ventures, and unnamed individuals. The company has raised $9.4M to date.
  • Namely, New York cloud-based human resources management platform, has raised $4.7M from earlier investors Bullpen Capital, Lerer Ventures, True Ventures and Vayner RSE. The company has raised $8.3M to date.
  • LogFire, Atlanta-based maker of cloud-based inventory and warehouse management software, has raised $8.25M in Series A funding led by Edison Ventures. Fulcrum Equity Partners also participated in the round.
  • Ibotta, Denver-based coupon app the mobile couponing app that rewards users who engage with brands with small payments or cost savings, has raised $20M in Series B funding led by Jim Clark, cofounder founder of Silicon Graphics, Netscape, and myCFO, among other things. Clark’s longtime friend Tom Jermoluk, also previously of Silicon Graphics, also invested in the round. Ibotta had raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding last year from Great Oaks Venture Capital.
  • Galvanize, Denver-based startup that runs coding classes, provides workspaces, and invests in startups in San Francisco and Denver, has raised $18M in Series A funding led by University Ventures Fund. The company will use the money in part to expand into New York City, it says.
  • Puppet Labs, an IT automation software is used by the likes of Google, Twitter, Salesforce and AT&T among 18,000 others, raised $40M from existing strategic investors Cisco, Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Triangle Peak Partners, True Ventures and VMware
  • Shasta Ventures, a firm whose investments include Nest, Mint and Turn, has raised a $300M fourth fund. The firm has now raised more than $1 billion. Each Shasta fund has been larger than the one before it, and Shasta Ventures IV was no exception — the firm raised its $265M third fund back in 2011.
  • Calm.com, a company that began as an online relaxation resource that gives information-overloaded computer users a healthy mental break in their days before making the move to mobile early last year, has now raised an additional $578,000 in a new round of funding. The raise, which includes investment from Jason Calacanis’s Launch fund and AngelList syndicate, Matt Mullenweg, and Matt Cheng, brings Calm’s total raise to date to over aM.
  • HelloFresh, an on-demand grocery-delivery service currently sends over 1M meals per month, raised $50M in Series D funding led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from existing investor Phenomen VC.
  • ClearCare, a SaaS platform providing front- and back-office solution for private duty home care agencies, raised $11M funding round led by venture capital firm Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), with Cambia Health Solutions also participating. Existing investors Voyager Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, and Harbor Pacific Capital also contributed.
  • Danhua Capital, a year-old, Palo Alto, Ca.-based early-stage fund founded by Stanford physics professor Shoucheng Zhang and Stanford alumnae Anjia Gu have raised $91.3M for its debut fund. Among the firm’s bets so far is Apportable, a San Francisco-based mobile development technology company that raised $5M earlier this year.
  • SIM Partners, Evanston, Il.-based digital marketing company, has raised $8M in Series A funding, including from River Cities Capital Funds in Cincinnati and Chicago-based Jump Capital Partners. The company’s software is used by large companies to provide standardized online-marketing content across their locations and affiliates.
  • Rhiza, Pittsburgh, Pa.-based maker of marketing analytics tools, has raised $3M in Series A funding led by Draper Triangle Ventures. Other investors in the round included Arthur Ventures and Camp One Ventures.
  • Quantum Technology Sciences, a 15-year-old, Cocoa Beach, Ca.-based maker of intrusion detection and movement monitoring software designed for securing energy assets, has raised $4.4M in Series A funding round from investors, including Jim Farnsworth, chief exploration officer with Cobalt International Energy, Infinity Oil & Gas; Texas-based investment firm McNair Group; and Bud Brigham of Anthem Ventures.
  • BitPagos, an electronic-payment company that supports bitcoin and credit card payments and has offices in both Palo Alto, Ca., and Buenos Aires, has raised $600,000 in seed funding from Pantera Capital, Tim Draper, Barry Silbert, Boost Bitcoin Fund, Amasia and others. The company is a graduate of the San Mateo, Ca.-based Boost VC accelerator program, which focuses on virtual currency startups.
  • BioCatch, Boston-based company that makes cyber-security software focuses on online and mobile fraud mitigation, has raised $10M in funding led by Blumberg Capital and the equity crowdfunding firm OurCrowd. Other, unnamed investors also participated in the round, which brings BioCatch’s total funding to $11.6M.
  • Bain Capital Ventures only needed two months to raise $850M for its latest two funds. The firm began fundraising for its $650M BCV 2014 investment vehicle and a $200M coinvestment fund on April 2 and had wrapped up financing for the two funds by June 6
  • ThoughtSpot, a company that’s built business-intelligence (BI) software that accepts analysts queries in regular words instead of technical query language, announced $30M in fresh funding this morning. Khosla Ventures led the new round of funding. Box co-founder and chief executive Aaron Levie also participated. To date ThoughtSpot has raised $40.7M.
  • Onapsis, Cambridge, Ma.-based cyber-security software firm focused protecting highly sensitive applications within large companies and government agencies, has raised $9.58M in funding led by .406 Ventures, which was joined by Endeavor Catalyst. The company had previously raised $3M from investors, including TPG founder David Bonderman.
  • Florida-based enterprise mobile company Kony has raised $50M in a Series E round led by SoftBank Capital with participation from existing investors Insight Venture Partners, Telstra Ventures, Georgian Partners, and new investors Delta-V and Hamilton Lane. Kony helps companies and other clients build apps for smartphones and tablets, serving 20M mobile app users in 45 countries every day. Founded in 2007, Kony has raised nearly $100M in funding to date and will use the new round to expand its presence in Asia and continue adding new customers.
  • McDonald’s has launched a digital incubator in Silicon Valley.
  • Bull City Venture Partners, Durham, N.C.-based early-stage firm that invests in companies in and around North Carolina, has closed a $26M third fund from LPs that include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Capitol Broadcasting Company, Cisco, venture capitalist Brad Feld, Grosvenor Capital Management, Industry Ventures and Red Hat.
  • Weaved, Palo Alto, Ca.-based company whose technology is focused on securely networking devices across the Internet, has raised $250,000 in seed funding from TMT Investments, a four-year-old firm that’s based in St. Helier in the English Channel and which expressly backs seed-stage startups that focus on the so-called Internet of Things.
  • Virtru, Washington, D.C.-based company whose encryption software enables email users to revoke emails, prevent forwards, and set expiration dates (among other things), has raised $6M in new funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners. The company, which raised $4.3M in debt financing earlier this year, has raised $10.3M altogether.
  • Victorious, L.A.-based startup that is reportedly looking to help YouTube stars create their own revenue-generating sites and apps, is raising a $13M round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, with Lowercase Capital and former YouTube executive Dean Gilbert also participating.
  • VeloCloud, Los Altos, Ca.-based company whose software delivers wide-area networking services through the cloud, has raised $21M in new funding led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Venrock and The Fabric, a networking incubator.
  • Tapatalk, L.A.-based social app that aggregates discussions from forums all over the Internet, has raised $5.8M in funding from Floodgate and Accel Partners. The company, founded in Shanghai, had relocated to California to participate in the 2.5-year-old, Santa Monica, Ca.-based accelerator, MuckerLab.
  • LeukoDx, Towson, Md.-based medical diagnostics company that makes a test to diagnose sepsis and other conditions, has raised $7M in new funding from the private equity group Axcel Partners and individual investors. The company has raised $9.3M to date.
  • Cloud Elements, Denver-based cloud API integration service, has raised $3.1M in Series A funding led by Grotech Ventures and Icon Venture Partners, with participation from Galvanize Ventures.
  • Mountain View-based mobile sales productivity platform Clari has raised a $20M Series B round led by Bain Capital Ventures with participation from Northgate Capital and past investor Sequoia Capital. Clari is a mobile-first sales tool that uses data science and predictive analytics to improve sales team productivity. Founded in 2012, Clari has raised $26M to date and will use the new cash to continue building out its product into a full platform to serve sales teams and managers.
  • BuzzFeed, New York-based media company may raise a $200M funding round — its fifth to date — reports VentureBeat. The company has raised $46.3M to date, including from New Enterprise Associates, Lerer Ventures, RRE Ventures, Hearst Ventures, and SV Angel.
  • San Francisco data startup Mode Analytics, a cloud-based software that can help people inside companies efficiently analyze data together and easily distribute their findings, raised $2M in new seed funding led by Formation 8. Goldcrest, Panorama Point, Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, and other angel investors also participated. To date Mode has raised more than $2.9M, including $550,000 the company announced last year and $375,000 in additional capital Mode disclosed in February.
  • Social marketing startup Earshot has raised $1.7M in new funding from Mohr Davidow Ventures, TriplePoint Capital, Birchmere Ventures, Serra Ventures, and Point B Capital. Its customers include Nissan, IBM, SFX Entertainment, and the Chicago White Sox.
  • CounterTack, which provides information about and protection against targeted attacks against commercial and government networks, raised $5M from Edge Ventures. This brings the CounterTack’s total investment take to $34.5M.
  • Raleigh, North Carolina-based sensor tech startup Valencell has raised $7M in a Series C round from TDF Ventures, True Ventures and Best Buy Capital. Valencell develops multiple form wearable biometric sensors that continuously measure heart rate and activity. Founded in 2006, Valencell has raised over $13M to date and will use the latest funding to support increasing market demand for its sensors, ramping up technological development, sales, and marketing efforts.
  • Bitcoin security startup BitGo, a security-as-a-service platform that allows financial services and ecommerce businesses to secure Bitcoin transactions in their exchanges and marketplaces, raised $12M led by Redpoint Ventures. Also participating in the round were Bridgescale Partners, Radar Partners, Founders Fund, Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., Liberty City Ventures, Crypto Currency Partners, Ashton Kutcher’s A-Grade Investments, and some individual investors.
  • New Science Ventures, New York-based venture firm that backs both life sciences and IT startups across the globe, has raised $12.4M for a third fund that’s targeting $100M, shows an SEC filing. Svelte Medical Systems, a 6.5-year-old, New Providence, N.J.-based maker of expandable coronary stents, is among its portfolio companies.
  • Frost Venture Partners, San Juan Capistrano, Ca.-based incubator, has raised $38.4M for its Frost VP Early Stage Fund II LP, shows a new SEC filing that doesn’t list a target. The firm, which partners with major corporations to identify gaps in their big data analytics arsenals, has spun out a number of companies, including Predixion Software, Cirro, and OspreyData. The firm was founded by Stuart Frost, the founder of DatAllegro, a maker of data warehouse appliances that Microsoft acquired in 2008 for $275M.
  • Moment.me, New York-based company whose online platform helps users assemble mobile microsites for events, has raised $1.65M in new funding form earlier investors Singtel Inov8 and Blumberg Capital, along with an unnamed European fund. The company has raised $3.2M in funding to date.
  • Besomebody, a Austin, Tx.-based social network, has raised $1M in seed funding from media company The E.W. Scripps Company.
  • Grocery delivery startup Instacart just raised $44M from Andreessen Horowitz. Founded in 2012, Apoorva Mehta created Instacart to help city goers shop for groceries from home. Instacart’s valuation sits around $400M. Existing investors, including Sequoia, also participated, as did Box chief executive Aaron Levie and Y Combinator president Sam Altman. Instacart (YC S12) is a same-day grocery delivery startup offering delivery in as little as 1 hour. Focused on delivering groceries and home essentials, the company is looking to expand to other verticals very soon.
  • Lucid, a cloud-based software which analyzes usage from lots of devices and systems to produce simple applications and dashboards, raised $8M in new venture funding led by Formation 8 with Zetta Venture Partners participating. To date, Lucid has raised $9.5M.

EMEA

  • Axel Springer SE, the German publisher leading a campaign to curb Google Inc.’s influence in Europe, acquired a 20 percent stake in Qwant, a Paris-based search engine that focuses on data privacy.
  • Saltside Technologies, a classifieds platform aimed at emerging markets, has raised $25m in equity funding, backed by Investment AB Kinnevik. Founded three years ago, the European tech company has operated largely in stealth to the eye of the Western media, but has been quietly building out its substantial operations in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Ghana, Africa. Its sites include ikman.lk in Sri Lanka, Bikroy.com in Bangladesh, Tonaton.com in Ghana, and Dekho.com.pk in Pakistan. The company claims listings are currently growing at 300pc a year, and its sites now draw hundreds ofMs of views a month.
  • Algolia, a 1.5-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes a developer-friendly SaaS API for database search, has raised an additional $1.2M in seed funding led by Storm Ventures. The company has now raised $2.8M altogether, including from Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Alven Capital, Index Ventures and Point Nine Capital.
  • Crobo, Berlin-based online gamer acquisition network, has raised $5.7M from unnamed investors to double its team and continue to expand in Asia and the U.S.
  • CozyCloud, a Paris-based startup building an open-source platform for personal cloud storage, raised $1.1M (800,000 euros). The investors are French VC fund Innovacom and Seed4Soft, a French angel group. CozyCom has seven employees and was founded in 2012.
  • European daily deal aggregator Bownty has acquired local competitor Yunait, which claims to be the leader in Southern Europe — though, notably, along with Spain, Italy, Portugal and the UK, it also operates in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. Terms of the deal remain undisclosed. However, the daily deal aggregator roll up will see Yunait adopt the Bownty brand, giving the combined two properties around 2M users, making it Europe’s leading aggregator for deals based on “experiences”.
  • Game marketing firm crobo has received an injection of €4.25M ($5.75M) from specialist technology lender BOOST&Co. It intends to double its workflorce in Gemany, and expand into Asia and the USA. Founded in 2012, Berlin-based crobo works to deliver high-quality paying users to the free-to-play games market through a host of different marketing channels.

Asia

  • Light Chaser Animation Studios, a 1.5-year-old, Beijing-based company that makes animated films, has raised $20M in Series B funding led by GGV Capital and Chengwei Capital, with participation from Hillhouse Capital and earlier investor IDG Capital Partners.
  • Housing.com, one of India’s leading real estate portals, raised US$19M in its fourth round of funding from Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, and Qualcomm Ventures yesterday. In the current round, Helion has pumped in US$8M, Nexus invested US$7M, and Qualcomm put in US$4M. Currently, the portal has 109,035 verified property listings across 23 Indian cities. The current round of funding will help it expand to more cities across India, map more houses, and invest more into technology, Advitiya Sharma, one of the co-founders, told e27.
  • New Zealand-based company ProjectManager.com raised $3.5M in new funding
  • MyRealTrip, a Korea-based startup that provides the country’s overseas travelers with personalized guided tours in Korean, announced its third round of funding. SmileGate Ventures led the round, contributing 70 percent of the funding, with Capstone Partners joining in. This series A round has provided an injection of almost US$1M to help the company build mobile apps and expand to include Chinese travelers visiting South Korea. The startup previously received angel funding from one of Korea’s most reputable angel investment groups, Primer, and later secured an additional seed round of US$350,000 from BonAngels and a number of other individuals.
  • Yooli, a P2P lending platform, has secured tens ofMs of dollars in Series B financing led by Morningside Ventures, which is also the investor of  Sohu, Ctrip, Xunlei, UC, Xiaomi and YY. The company has received 10M of Series A funding from Softbank China Venture Capital last year. The capital will be used in product development, upgrading of IT technologies, risk control and team construction.
  • Tujia.com, an online vacation rental service in China targeting middle to high-end Chinese travelers, secured US$100M of Series C financing. The company has received its first major investment from LightSpeed in 2012 and a combined 400M yuan in Series A and Series B funding from an all-star array of investors led by GGV Capital, CDHFund, Ctrip, HomeAway, etc.
  • Appier, an advertising technology startup, has raised a $6M Series A from Sequoia Capital. The company, which is based in Taipei and has offices in Singapore and San Francisco, develops tech used for cross-screen targeted marketing across a wide range of devices, ranging from wearable tech to smartphones and tablets. Appier has previously raised seed funding of $1M and its clients currently include Heineken, IKEA, Lancome, and game developers. Appier plans to use its Series A to finance product development and further research for its integrated cross-screen targeting platform as well as expand its international sales offices.
  • India’s largest entertainment ticketing portal just crossed the US$100M barrier in valuation. Bigtree Entertainment, which owns BookMyShow, raised US$25M from investors led by SAIF Partners, who valued the site at Rs 1000 crore (US$166M). This is a three-fold increase in valuation from the time it last raised funds two years ago. Existing investors Accel Partners and media company Network18 also contributed.
  • Chinese online pawn shop marketplace Taodangpu has raised a US$30M series B round of funding from BlueRun Ventures, Heli Capital, and Northern Light Venture Capital. The startup runs two interconnected websites, Taodangpu.com and 51dang.com. They were both founded just one year ago and currently operate in Beijing and Shanghai.
  • Xiaozhu, a Chinese short-term home-rental service, has secured $15M of Series B financing led by Legend Capital and followed by existing investor Morningside Ventures, which has poured eight-digit Series A financing in the company in 2012. The capital will be invested in team construction, R&D, branding, said Chen Chi, CEO of the company.
  • Chinese Cloud service provider UCloud announces US$50M in Series B funding led by Bertelsmann Asia Investments and Legend Capital, joined by existing investor DCM who participated in the previous round of US$10M together with Bertelsmann. UCloud, founded in 2012 by former Tencent execs, specializes in game hosting and related Cloud services. This round of funding will be used for building the data center in the North America and BGP data centers.
  • Hong Kong-based internet finance startup WeLab has raised $14M in a Series A funding from Sequoia Capital and Li Ka-shing. WeLab provides credit risk management tools to help companies better evaluate and price their credit risk. Founded in 2013, WeLab has already attracted over 6,000 members to its WeLend peer-to-peer online lending business and will use the new cash to expand into mainland China.
  • 91jinrong, a Chinese online financial intermediary, received tens ofMs of dollars in Series B funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners (LSVP). The company has secured 60M yuan of Series A financing led by CBC Partners and angel investment from Matrix Partners China. The company, which is a member of Microsoft Ventures Accelerator’s third class in China, started as an financial intermediary service by matching potential consumers with corresponding financial institutions. After receiving Series A funding last year, 91jinrong added new services, like loan product search, enterprise + personal financial product, car insurance, etc.
  • CyberAgent Ventures (CAV) announced the conclusion of its US$24M fund and also announced the start of its second fund, this one topping in at approximately $50M. Focusing on seed and early stage investments, CAV has already invested in over 200 firms in and out of Japan.
  • PICOOC, the Beijing, China-based health-tracking device maker, has finished its Series B round of funding that raised US$21M led by existing investor Gobi Partners and joined by Tencent and JD.com.
  • Zhihu, Chinese Quora-like question-and-answer-style knowledge base, secured $22M of Series B funding led by SAIF. The company has received seven-digit dollars Series A financing from Qiming Ventures and angel investment from Innovation Works. Launched in Dec. 2010, Zhihu started with a group of technical and relatively entrepreneurial minded users based on an invitation-only and authentication model.

Other emerging markets

  • Mantis Vision, a nine-year-old, Israel-based company whose mobile 3D technology is being used by Google for its 3D-sensing Project Tango smartphone, has raised $12.5M in funding from Qualcomm Ventures; Samsung Ventures; Flextronics’ hardware venture arm, Lab IX; and the optical manufacturing firm Sunny Optical Technology.
  • Groopic, the clever photo app that puts the photographer back into the picture, has secured funding to help it build more products. The Pakistan-based startup’s seed funding comes from Kima Ventures. The funding sum isn’t disclosed, except that it amounts to a six-digit figure.
  • Israel and Boston-based data management software provider Zerto has raised $26M in a Series D round led by Harmony Partners with participation from Battery Ventures, Greylock IL, RTP Ventures, and U.S. Venture Partners. Zerto provides a disaster recovery and data storage tools, helping businesses copy data to private and public virtualized infrastructure. Founded in 2009, Zerto has raised $60M to date and will use the new cash to continue international expansion and product development.
  • Ostrovok.ru, the Russian accommodation booking startup, has announced a $12M financing round investment led by Vaizra Capital Russia, a fund backed by Vyacheslav Mirilashvili and Lev Leviev, co-founders of Vkontakte, Russia’s largest social network. The cash will be used to expand the service more internationally and develop the product. Previously, it had raised $38.6M.
  • Guesty (formerly SuperHost), a software-based property management service that helps individuals renting out rooms, apartments, or other listings on Airbnb (and soon, elsewhere), by screening guests, handling key drops, cleaning, guest transportation, maintenance and more, has raised $1.5M in seed funding from Israeli VC firm Magma Venture Partners (Waze and Onavo investors), Y Combinator and other angels in the real estate and sharing economy business.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Oracle is buying a company called LiveLOOK, which developed technology that lets service and salespeople navigate webpages at the same time as potential or existing customers. LiveLOOK started in 2008 and is based in Matawan, New Jersey. Investors include Edison Innovation Fund, New Vantage Group, and New York Angels.
  • MasteryConnect, Salt Lake City-based maker of evaluation software that helps teachers assess their students’ performances, has acquired 3.5-year-old, Cambridge, Ma.-based education-technology peer Socrative for $5M in a cash-and-stock deal. MasteryConnect previously raised $1.1M in a seed round and $7.9M in a Series A round led by NewSchools Venture Fund and Catamount Ventures. Socrative had raised $760,000 in seed funding led by True Ventures.
  • Alpental Technologies, a year-old, Seattle-based wireless communication startup started by former Clearwire engineers including Michael Hart and Pete Gelbman, has been acquired by Google for undisclosed terms. The company never publicly disclosed funding, but Geekwire had discovered an SEC filing last summer that showed it had raised $850,000 from investors.
  • Google has acquired mDialog, a company that helps media companies deliver, analyze and ultimately monetize advertising against their content across multiple streaming platforms such as iOS, Android, Apple TV, Roku, Google TV and Xbox. The team will be joining DoubleClick, a subsidiary of Google that helps publishers monetize their sites, services and content. At the same time, it also gives advertisers the ability to manage, serve and review campaigns across multiple platforms. On its site, mDialog said it would continue to offer its services to programmers and distributors.
  • SnappyTV, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based video publishing and distribution platform that lets content owners edit and share media content across the Web, has been acquired by Twitter for an undisclosed amount. The company appears to have raised just $760,000 in seed funding from Great Oaks Venture Capital, Transmedia Capital, and Freestyle Capital.
  • Parastructure, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that builds data-analysis software on top of open source infrastructure, has been acquired by Dropbox. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed but rumoured to be an amount in the “lower eight figures.” The company hadn’t publicly disclosed any outside funding.
  • RapidMiner, a big data analytics startup, purchased former partner Radoop, giving it Hadoop processing and access to the Radoop team’s Hadoop expertise. They did not share the purchase price.
  • @WalmartLabs, the retailer’s Silicon Valley-based R&D and innovation center, announced its 13th acquisition – and its first from New York’s “Silicon Alley” – with the acquisition of fashion app Stylr. The app, which helps consumers find clothes they love in nearby stores, will be shut down.
  • Streem, San Francisco-based, cloud-based subscription service that offers users unlimited storage for music, movies, and other online content, is being acquired for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock by Box, the cloud-based file-management service. Streem has raised $875,000 in seed funding from Y Combinator, 500 Startups, Start Fund, IronFire Capital, Arbor Ventures, and numerous angel investors.

EMEA

  • Ad tech startup Blippar, which specializes in augmented reality advertising, has acquired AR tech firm Layar. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Blippar’s technology allows consumers to snap photos of display or print ads to reveal additional AR messaging with their smartphones. These are triggered when “blipps” are placed within an advertisement. And Layar is known for making print ads interactive via augmented reality.
  • Finnish e-retailer One Nordic Furniture, which sells ready-to-assemble design furniture and accessories, has been acquired by online retailer Fab for an undisclosed amount of cash and stock. One Nordic’s team will own 5% of the combined company once the deal has closed.
  • Milestone Systems, Denmark-based open platform company focusing on IP video management software for surveillance systems, has been acquired by Canon Europe. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed. Milestone had raised $27M from Index Ventures.

Asia

  • Chinese app store and casual mobile game publisher SkyMobi ( NASDAQ:MOBI ) has announced it’s sold its shares in developer Shanghai Fangcun Information Technology (aka Fangcun). SkyMobi had an equity stake of 37.9 percent in the company. It’s sold this to Guangdong Alpha Animation and Culture. SkyMobi said it had receive a capital gain of $9M (RMB 56.4M) on the deal.
  • Spoilt, a web shopping platform that sells vouchers for experience-focused activities, has acquired its biggest competitor Red Packet. The platforms offer packages such as wine making, scuba diving and spa days, so after joining forces – the new group now offers 300+ experiences in Hong Kong and around the region. The deal brings together Spoilt’s strength in eCommerce within the experience voucher space and Red Packet’s retail distribution network. In the future, the joined companies will be able to offer a wider variety of corporate services for employee rewards and customer loyalty programs.
  • Rocket Internet-incubated foodpanda has acquired Delivery Club in a move it says will make the combined companies Russia’s leading food delivery service with over 2,500 restaurants. The value of the deal was undisclosed. Delivery Club, which will continue operating under its own brand, was founded in 2009, shortly before foodpanda, and is available in 18 Russian cities.
  • Huayi Brothers (SZ:300027) announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Huayi Brothers (Tianjin) Interactive Entertainment Limited would acquire a 51% stake in Maizuo, an online movie ticket booking service for RMB266M (US$43M). The company behind Maizuo was founded by two early employees of Tencent, Chen Yingkui and Wang Xing. Online movie ticket booking wasn’t the first idea with which they founded the company though. In 2009 they decided to pivot to build Maizuo — The name means “high-grossing”.

Other emerging markets

  • Yandex acquired Auto.ru, an online classifieds business for selling cars, for $175M in cash. Auto.ru operates the largest and most detailed classifieds catalog for new and used cars in Russia, said Alexey Tretyakov, Yandex vice president of commerce. This will add to Yandex’s existing efforts in the automotive sector, where it has a portal aggregating classified listings across a number of car classified ads sites