Monthly Archives: June 2014

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
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Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly Update – 2014-06-16

Private Financing
US

  • Seattle-based location sharing startup Glympse has raised a $15M Series C round led by new investors UMC Capital and Verizon Ventures with participation from existing investors Ignition Partners, Menlo Ventures and Naya Ventures. Glympse has created a real-time mapping and tracking service that can be integrated into messaging apps, cars, wearables and other services to share location data. Founded in 2008 and bootstrapped until 2011, Glympse will use the new cash to expand its team and continue to build out its feature set.
  • Peel, a five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based company whose software turns smartphones and tablets into universal TV remote controls, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Alibaba Group. The company has previously raised $36.7M, including from Harrison Metal, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Translink Capital.
  • Glympse, a Seattle-based company whose app invites users to chart their location on a map and share it with others in real time, has raised $12M in Series C funding, including from new investors UMC Capital, Verizon Ventures and unnamed strategic investors, along with earlier investors Ignition Partners, Menlo Ventures and Naya Ventures. The company has raised nearly $20M altogether.
  • Crowdability, a New York-based education and research platform that’s hoping to capitalize on the equity crowdfunding market, has raised $1M in seed funding, including from Howard Lindzon and Steadfast Venture Capital.
  • Automated affiliate linking company VigLink has raised $18M in Series C funding led by RRE Ventures, with participation from Correlation Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank, as well as past investors Google Ventures, Emergence Capital, and First Round Capital. The company says it currently works with 300,000 sites (including Elle, Road & Track, and CNET) and 35,000 merchants, and that it processes more than 500M clicks each month.
  • HashPlex, a cryptocurrency-miner hosting company that just raised $400,000 from investors including SecondMarket co-founder Barry Silbert’s Bitcoin Opportunity Corp. and Facebook engineer Jason Prado.
  • Besomebody has raised $1M from the E.W. Scripps Company to build a passion-focused community and experience marketplace.
  • Nuzzel, the social news startup led by Friendster founder Jonathan Abrams, says it has raised $1.7M in new funding from Chris Sacca & Matt Mazzeo (Lowercase Capital, which just raised a new $25M fund), Hunter Walk & Satya Patel (Homebrew), Ullas Naik (Streamlined Ventures), DG (Digital Garage) Incubation, WiL (World Innovation Lab), DeNA, MOL and angel investors including Chris Michel, Daniel Lurie, Darmesh Shah, Gordon Crawford, Jon Boutelle, Narendra Rocherolle, Nicolas Heyman, Othman Laraki, Russ Fradin, and Ryan Spoon
  • HackerRank, the technical recruitment platform and code-challenge community, has raised a $9.2M Series B funding round led by Khosla Ventures and Battery Ventures. Other participants in this round include Motorola Mobility VP Peeyush Ranjan, former Facebook senior director of engineering Greg Badros and Facebook director of product management Dan Rubinstein.
  • Generator Ventures, a seed-stage, San Francisco-based firm that launched just a few weeks ago, has graduated an inaugural class of 11 companies from its newly launched accelerator program, the firm tells the WSJ. Generator Ventures is focused entirely on new technologies to serve the country’s aging population.
  • ScalingData, a Bay Area-based company that aims to create applications that can run easily on the big data repository Hadoop (and which was founded by veterans of the Hadoop vendor Cloudera), has raised $4.4M from General Catalyst Partners, Google Ventures and Red Hat CTO Brian Stevens. Venture Capital Dispatch has the story here.
  • OYO Sports, a Acton, Ma.-based toymaker that uses advanced manufacturing techniques and social media analytics to create mini figures of famous players while they’re popular with fans, has raised $3M in new seed funding, reports the WSJ. Atlas Venture and Boston Seed Capital led the investment, bringing the company’s total capital raised to $4.6M.
  • Hybrent, a Chicago, Il.-based hospital supply chain software developer, has raised $500,000 in seed funding from undisclosed management and health care supply chain experts.
  • SiSense, a business intelligence startup that is among those making big data analytics accessible to ordinary business users (and not just data scientists) raised a $30M Series C round led by DFJ Growth — the VC’s arm dedicated to later-stage investments that recently announced a new fund we understand to be totalling over $500M. Others backing the startup include existing investors Battery Ventures, Genesis Partners and Opus Capital. It last raised $10M a year ago and including the round being announced has now raised $44M.
  • Freshdesk, the customer support as a service company with 23,000 customers, raised $31M in Series D funding in a round led by Tiger Global Management, with Accel Partners and Google Capital also contributing. The funding is significant, especially given its total to date was $44M and the highest amount the company had received in any previous round was $7M last November led by Accel Partners.
  • Chicago-based parking app SpotHero has raised $4.5M in additional funding from previous backers Lightbank, OCA Ventures, David Cohen, Pritzker Group, e.ventures, Battery Ventures, and 500 Startups, along with new investors Chicago Ventures, Bullpen Capital, Draper Associates, and G2T3V. SpotHero connects drivers with parking lots and garages, allowing users to purchase parking in advance, reserve spots, or even find monthly parking. Founded in 2011, SpotHero is currently available in Chicago and 6 additional cities including New York, Washington D.C., and Boston.
  • Wut, part of a wave of ephemeral and anonymish apps that have cropped up over the last year or so, has raised seed funding from Foundation Capital with participation from Google Ventures. SV Angel, Eniac Ventures, Lowercase Capital, and Dave Morin’s Slow Ventures are also investors in the company.
  • Zaius, a Cambridge, Ma.-based company that simplifies how businesses collect, analyze and use data to improve customers’ digital experiences, has raised $6.3M in Series A funding led by Matrix Partners.
  • TurnKey Vacation Rentals, a Austin, Tx.-based rental manager that helps homeowners manage and rent out their space, has raised $3M in seed funding from Silverton Partners and about a dozen angel investors from the online travel industry, including Rich Barton, Gregg Brockway, and Alexis de Belloy. TurnKey has raised $4.8M altogether.
  • RebelMail, a Washington, D.C.-based company that makes an interactive email product, has raised a $2M seed round co-led by Vaizra and Boldstart. Other investors include Lerer Ventures, David Tisch’s Box Group, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Vayner RSE, and angel investors.
  • Plex, a Troy, Mi.-based software company that sells its ERP and automation software to manufacturers in a variety of industries, has raised $50M in funding led by funds and institutional accounts managed by T. Rowe Price, as well as with earlier investor Accel Partners. The company has raised $86.5M altogether.
  • Payoneer, a New York-based financial services company that enables users to transfer and receive money through re-loadable MasterCards, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the investment arm of Ping An, a China-based insurance company. The company has raised at least $39M in previous funding rounds, including from Carmel Ventures, Susquehanna Growth Equity, Greylock IL and Vintage Venture Partners.
  • Light, a Palo Alto, Ca.-based company that’s says it’s re-imagining the art and science of photography, has raised a $9.7M Series A round co-led by Bessemer Venture Partners and Charles River Ventures. Qualcomm also participated in the funding.
  • Krux Digital, a San Francisco-based data management platform that helps brands understand consumers’ behavior, has raised $35M in Series B funding from SAP Ventures, Time Warner, Temasek, and Visionnaire Ventures, along with earlier investors Accel Partners and IDG Ventures.
  • IndoorAtlas, a company whose indoor mapping technology can reportedly determine locations inside a structure to within six feet, has raising $4.5M in a round led by Mobility Ventures and the Finnish seed fund KoppiCatch. The company, which has offices in Finland and Mountain View, Ca., might have benefited from an extended profile in the New York Times last month that noted the “somewhat unorthodox” business plan of the company, which will “measure and store your building’s magnetic fingerprint in its computing cloud” but charge customers $99 per month per building to then keep that information private.
  • EdgiLife Media, better known as LoveWithFood, a San Mateo, Ca.-based company that has evolved into snack delivery company à la NatureBox, has raised $1.4M in seed funding. Among its investors: Kapor Capital, 500 Startups, TEEC Angel Fund, Ironfire Capital, Scrum Ventures and an AngelList syndicate led by Facebook Ads creator Yun-Fang Juan. The company has raised a little more than $2M date.
  • Education tech startup Declara has secured a fresh $9M in funding led by Singapore’s EDBI and Linden Venture Fund. The additional capital is actually an extension of the $16M round Declara raised back in April, bringing the total amount to $25M. The startup offers its clients (teachers, education administrators, etc.) a social network that focuses on helping people learn by personalizing the educational experience for each person within an organization. Founded in 2012, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup’s technology is currently being used by teachers and education administrators in Australia, Chile, and Mexico.
  • On-demand home services startup Handybook raises $30M round of funding from Revolution Growth, the venture fund founded by Steve Case, Donn Davis, and Ted Leonsis. The round is on top of $12M in funding that Handybook had raised from General Catalyst, Highland Capital, David Tisch, and Bullhorn CEO Art Papas, among others.
  • Weave, a startup out of Utah that has developed a unique VoIP-based unified communications service for small and medium businesses that it is selling first targeting dentists, has raised a Series A of $5M. The round of funding is notable in that it’s the first investment to come out of A Capital, a new VC firm started by Ronny Conway (son of Ron) and Mark Valdez, both formerly of Andreessen Horowitz. In addition to A Capital leading the investment, other participants included Homebrew, Fuel Capital, Ron Conway, Sr’s investment firm SV Angel, Initialized Capital and Y Combinator.
  • Weave, a VoIP service for doctors that also helps manage patient records, raised a $5M funding round led by A Capital. Homebrew, SV Angel, and Y Combinator — among others — also took part in this funding round.
  • SourceClear, a company which builds security tools right into the development tools, has raised a $1.5M seed round from a group of investors that include Justin Somaini, the Chief Trust Officer at Box.com and former CSO at Yahoo; Frank J. Marshall, the former VP of Engineering at Cisco Systems Inc.; Amos Michelson, the Chairman of Kardium and Mary Cirillo, a board member at Thomson Reuters (TRI).
  • US mobile developer PerBlue has announced a $3M funding round led by Chicago investor Lightbank. PerBlue says it will use the cash to bulk up its team, as well as building audiences for its games. The company previously raised $800,000 in 2010 from angel investors.
  • US mobile rewards network PaeDae has rebranded as The Mobile Majority as well as announced a $8M Series B funding round
  • Dropbox has acquired MobileSpan, a startup that helps enterprise employees access corporate firewalled content securely. MobileSpan will shut down at the end of 2014, and active development will cease immediately. Dropbox has spent the last year-and-a-half concentrating on making its Dropbox For Business product secure enough for big enterprises. MobileSpan’s knowledge of the bring-your-own-device world will bolster that push. MobileSpan had raised just $2.3M from investors True Ventures and K9 Ventures since its start in 2011.
  • Exabeam, a San Mateo, Ca.-based big data security analytics startup, has raised $10M in Series A funding led by Norwest Venture Partners. Other investors in the round included Aspect Ventures and entrepreneur-investor Schlomo Kramer.
  • San Francisco-based personal styling platform Stitch Fix has raised a $30M Series C round led by existing backers Benchmark and Baseline Ventures. Stitch Fix aims to improve the shopping experience by mailing women personalized boxes of clothing that they can choose to purchase and keep or send back at no charge. Founded in 2011, Stitch Fix has raised over $46M to date.
  • San Francisco-based identity management service Okta has raised $75M in a Series E round led by Sequoia Capital with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, and Khosla Ventures, along with new investors Janus Capital Group and Altimeter Capital. Okta’s identity management platform helps enterprises manage access and security across all applications, people, and devices. Founded in 2008, Okta currently serves over 1,200 enterprise customers and will use the new cash to pre-integrate additional applications and open a new office in Sydney to better serve its customers in Asia and Australia.
  • Vancouver-based analytics platform Visier has raised $25.5M in a Series C round led by Adams Street Partners with participation from Foundation Capital and Summit Partners. Visier delivers workforce analytics and planning solutions to provide HR professionals with insights into workforce behaviors such as future employee recruitment, promotion, and turnover patterns. Founded in 2010, Visier more than tripled its revenue growth in 2013 and will use the new capital to broaden its reach in the HR space.
  • Seres Health, a Cambridge, Ma.-based company whose lead drug is aimed at preventing deadly Clostridium difficile infections, has raised $10M in Series B funding. Founded out of Flagship Ventures and its VentureLabs program, the new funding comes from Flagship, as well as Enso Ventures, Alexandria Venture Investments, and Mayo Clinic.
  • NantHealth, a Culver City, Ca.-based company focused on delivering next-generation care, has raised $25M from the publicly traded drugmaker Celgene Corp., the company announced. In April, Nanthealth became minority owned by BlackBerry, which said it planned to collaborate with NantHealth on a new smartphone aimed at the health-care industry. NantHealth is run by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, who sold his cancer-treatment company Abraxis BioScience to Celgene in 2010.
  • Move Loot, a San Francisco-based site for buying and selling used furniture, has raised $2.8M in seed funding co-led by Index Ventures and First Round Capital. Other participants included Google Ventures, SV Angel and Y Combinator. The company has raised $5.3M to date, shows Crunchbase.
  • Handshakez, a Austin-based company that makes a collaboration and analytics platform for sales departments, says it has raised $1M in Series B funding, though isn’t disclosing from where the backing comes. The company previously raised $3.6M in Series A funding from Austin Ventures, First Round Capital, Floodgate, CrunchFund, Valhalla Partners and Thinktiv.
  • Dwellable, a Seattle-based mobile app for vacation rentals, has raised $2M in seed funding led by Version One Ventures and Maveron. Additional participants in the round include former HomeAway board director Rob Solomon, Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff, Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman, Farecast founder Oren Etzioni, and other individual investors in Seattle and Silicon Valley.
  • Bindo, a New York-based retail company whose cloud-based iPad checkout system and tools promise to help merchants better manage their inventory and relationships, has raised $1.8M in seed funding. The round was co-led by Gary Vaynerchuk; Metamorphic Ventures, and the venture firm East Ventures, which has offices in Singapore and Tokyo. Bindo plans to use the funding to expand into Hong Kong and Southeast Asia.
  • Affirm, a San Francisco-based small business lending company that assesses borrowers’ risk — and determines rates of interest — using personal data, has raised $45M from investors, including Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Nyca Partners. Serial entrepeneur Max Levchin is CEO, after hatching the idea from his incubator last year and deciding he was the best person to run the company.
  • About.me, the second-time around startup that lets you create a simple page about yourself online that others can use to find out a bit more about you, is announcing another round funding, its second since getting spun out of TC’s owner AOL after AOL originally acquired the startup in 2010. The company has raised $11M, money that it plans to invest in adding more features and making its platform easier to use. Or, in the words of co-founder Tony Conrad, to help plug two big gaps: “engaging the user base and motivating them to come back.” The Series B round was led by existing investor Foundry Group, whose partner Brad Feld is joining the About.me board, along with participation from True Ventures (where Conrad is a partner), SoftTech VC, CrunchFund (which is led by TechCrunch founder and former editor Michael Arrington) and Bullpen Capital. Other investors in previous rounds include Google Ventures. It’s so far raised just over $17M.
  • Location-based analytics provider Placed, which operates an opt-in mobile surveying panel that now reaches over 175,000 people, is announcing $10M in Series B funding in a round led by Two Sigma Ventures, the VC arm of Two Sigma Investments. Existing investor Madrona Venture Group also participated. The round sees Two Sigma’s David Joerg joining Placed’s board.
  • Mobile analytics company Splitforce has launched an automatic A/B testing service called Auto-Optimization for iOS and Android that it says will dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of running user tests for startups. The company, which currently serves over 250 app developers, also announced that it has raised $150,000 in seed funding led by SOS Ventures and angel investors including Simon Newstead, the CEO of Frenzoo; Steven Ho, an entrepreneur whose companies have been acquired by eBay and Yahoo; Jamie Lin, founder of accelerator AppWorks; and Guillaume Luccisano, founder of Socialcam.
  • Visual analytics firm Curalate has announced the completion of an $8.6M Series B led by previous investors NEA, with participation from fellow previous investors First Round Capital and MentorTech Ventures. Vayner RSE, the new fund from businessman and social media guru Gary Vaynerchuck, also participated. Curalate has raised a total of $12.5M. The company will use the funding for hiring, marketing and product development, according to the release. Curalate employs 45 and is not profitable.
  • San Francisco-based data center systems startup Mesosphere has raised $10M in a Series A funding led by Andreessen Horowitz with participation from Data Collective and Fuel Capital. Mesosphere helps enterprises manage data centers of any size, simplifying the process of executing and managing applications while lowering the cost of operating systems. Currently a team of 23, Mesosphere will use the new cash to build out its enterprise sales and services team and partner with public cloud platforms to expand its reach.

EMEA

  • 5app, a three-year-old, London-based company whose software allows enterprises to create their own “app stores” to regain some control over what employees are putting on their phones, has raise $5.1M in funding led by Beckman Group and other unnamed investors.
  • Berlin-based Web analytics company Webtrekk has closed its third round of financing, collecting a total of up to €25M from DPE Deutsche Private Equity. Webtrekk competes directly with Google Analytics and Adobe Omniture to analyse a company’s web traffic. It counts Zalando, Siemens, Hugo Boss and Tommy Hilfiger among others as customers.
  • FightMe, an iOS app that lets you challenge others by recording and sharing 30 second-long videos, has raised a further, modest seed round of funding from VC firm HTG Ventures, Daniel and Raphael Khalili (who also invested in Yahoo-acquired Summly), and David Reuben Junior of Reuben Brothers, who, together, have put $1.35M into the London-based startup. This adds to the $500,000 FightMe raised back in October 2013.
  • Fitbay, a fashion-focused social network aiming to crowdsource the online clothes shopping fit problem by letting people of a similar size and body shape see which clothes their size and shape ‘body doubles’ are wearing, has closed a $2M seed funding round led by New York-based Steadfast Venture Capital and Nordic VC firm, Creandum, an early investor in Spotify — and an investor in Fitbay’s prior round. The Danish startup pulled in an angel round of funding earlier this year, raising $400,000 from Jesper Buch (founder of Just-Eat) and Creandum, so it’s building a head of steam on the early funding front.
  • Homestay, a Dublin, Ireland-based online travel booking platform, has raised $3M in funding led by Delta Partners, with participation from Enterprise Ireland. The company has also acquired Berlin-based HomestayBooking.
  • Index Ventures has announced a new early-stage, €400M ($550M) fund aimed at tech startups in Europe, US and Israel. This is its seventh early-stage fund and part of a total €3 billion ($4 billion) raised by Index since its inception. The fund will invest from seed and early stage, scaling up to €15M depending on the requirements of the company.
  • TextMaster, the crowdsourced platform for content translation, copywriting, and proofreading, has raised €1M in a second round of funding. Money it has pegged for further International expansion, specifically Germany and Asia.
  • London-based TransferWise has closed a new round of funding. It’s raised a further $25M, adding Sir Richard Branson as a backer, along with existing investors, including Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, IA Ventures, Index Ventures, TAG (Robin Klein and Saul Klein), and Kima Ventures. The new investment marks Transferwise’s second round of funding, with Branson joining as a new investor. The company took a $1.3M first round of funding, led by PayPal founder Max Levchin, among others.
  • London-based Picfair, raised a seed round of $520,000. The funding — which will be used to build out more features in the image marketplace — comes from a number of angel investors, including Alexis Ohanian, a partner at Y-Combinator and one of the co-founders of Reddit, in what is his first investment in a non-US startup. Other investors in the round include IDEO design director Tom Hulme, and Duncan & Max Jennings, the founders of VoucherCodes.co.uk.
  • MicroEnsure Holdings Limited, a Cheltenham, United Kingdom-based provider of insurance to the low and middle-income market, raised $10.4m in equity funding. Backers included existing investors Telenor Group, Omidyar Network, IFC and Opportunity International, as well as new investors Sanlam Emerging Markets and AXA Group. In conjunction with the round, the Telenor Group has taken additional equity in MicroEnsure through the conversion of debt and by rolling up its 51% holding in the MicroEnsure Asia joint venture into MicroEnsure.

Asia

  • Bangalore-based ad retargeting company Vizury Interactive Solutions has raised $16M in series C funding. Intel Capital, the global chipmaker’s venture capital arm, led this round. Private equity firm Ascent Capital and existing investors Inventus Capital and Nokia Growth were also part of it. Vizury uses big data analytics to help ecommerce sites like Jabong in India and Yintai in China convert visitors into customers.
  • Social Recruiting, a Tokyo-based startup that claims to be Japan’s number one social recruiting service, received more than $2M in series A funding from domestic VC Global Brain. Exact details about the investment were undisclosed but the figure was rumoured to be around $2-5M.
  • Pie, an enterprise collaboration space company, raised $800,000 in seed funding from investors including Digital Garage, Publicis Groupe, Siemer Ventures, Peng Tsin Ong, Koh Boon Hwee, Diederik Zwager, Chris Evdemon, Pieter Kemps, Porter Erisman, Steve Elrick, David Webster, and Jacques Kemp.
  • Mobile A/B testing startup Splitforce raised $150,000 from SOS Ventures and a group of angel investors.
  • Chinese start-up DewMobile Inc., which has designed an application that allows users to transfer files between devices without being connected to the Web, has scored a $20M Series B round of funding from investors including IDG Capital Partners and Northern Light Venture Capital. Innovation Works also participated in the funding. Beijing-based Innovation Works, which was set up by Taiwanese venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee, and Northern Light were also among a group of investors that had previously backed the company’s $4M Series A round and $2M worth of angel investment.
  • India-based e-commerce company FashionAndYou has raised $10M in Series D funding from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Intel Capital and Nokia Growth Partners. FashionAndYou is an online discount retailer that offers daily flash sales and serves over 5.5M members across India. Founded in 2009, FashionAndYou has raised over $50M to date and will use the latest funding to open new distribution centers, invest in marketing and promotional materials, and launch a mobile app by the end of the year.

Other emerging markets

  • Epic Ventures, a Salt Lake City, Ut.-based venture firm, is looking to raise $75M for its fifth fund. It’s part of the way there, too, thanks to New Mexico’s new State Investment Council, which just approved a commitment to Epic for up to $10M. Among Epic’s investments is HG Data, a 3.5-year-old, Santa Barbara, Ca.-based business intelligence company.
  • Visual Unity, a Prague-based video infrastructure company, has raised $7.2M in funding from 3TS Capital Partners in Budapest.
  • Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich invested $10M in StoreDot, an Israeli startup developing electronics based on bio-organic materials. The investment was carried out in May through Abramovich’s private asset management company Millhouse LLC.  It was not previously disclosed. Both companies have confirmed the deal.
  • Gill Business Systems, a Kiev, Ukraine-based inventory distribution system for passenger bus transportation carriers and online ticket sales, has raised $3M in Series A funding from InVenture Partners, Intel Capital and FinSight Ventures.
  • Israeli startup Zula, the team communication app founded by VoIP pioneers Jeff Pulver (Vonage) and Jacob Ner-David (Delta Three), has closed a $3M series A round. The round was led by Morton Meyerson of 2M, who is joined by Ourcrowd, Microsoft Ventures, Nathan Low, and Doug Pauly. The continuing backing from Microsoft Ventures — which previously invested an undisclosed amount in Zula as part of a second seed round — is noteworthy considering Microsoft’s ownership of both Yammer and Skype, and a number of other communications and collaboration products.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • The owner of PokerStars, the world’s largest online poker site, has agreed to sell itself for $4.9 billion to Amaya Gaming, a small publicly-traded Canadian supplier of gambling equipment. The deal is being backed by Blackstone’s credit division, GSO Capital Partners, which will buy more than $675M in convertible preferred shares and other securities. Deutsche Bank , Barclays and Macquarie Capital will provide $2.9 billion in credit facilities and other financing.
  • eBay acquired machine translation technology from a company called AppTek. Eight people from AppTek’s 10-person team will join eBay, including one co-founder. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Hotel booking site Priceline has agreed to acquire reservation booking company OpenTable for $2.6 billion in cash. OpenTable has over 31,000 restaurants on board its platform, and sees an average of 15M people book reservations on its site and mobile apps per month. Priceline offered $103 per share in cash as part of the deal.
  • Anime streaming site Crunchyroll is acquiring Redux, a startup focused on helping people find and watch interesting content on their TVs. Redux raised around $8M from investors since its founding in 2008. Terms of the Crunchyroll deal weren’t disclosed.
  • Viryanet, a 26-year-old, Southborough, Ma.-based company that makes mobile workforce management software, has been acquired by Verisae, a 14-year-old, Minneapolis-based maker of cloud-based maintenance, energy, and sustainability management software. Verisae is paying roughly $18.8M in cash for the company, which has been trading publicly, with a roughly $8.5M market cap.
  • Google has confirmed that it has purchased Skybox Imaging, the satellite startup, for $500M.
  • Socialbakers, a company known for social media analytics, has acquired EdgeRank Checker, a startup that provides insight for Facebook News Feeds, in an undisclosed deal.
  • Pegasystems, a publicly traded Cambridge, Mass.-based company with 2,700 employees, just acquired co-browsing tool Firefly. They were a two-person startup built by recent University of Pennsylvania grads Dan Shipper and Justin Meltzer and that was funded by First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund.

EMEA

  • Canon is buying Milestone Systems, a startup from Denmark that has developed software for video surveillance systems. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, the companies say. Milestone, founded back in 1998, had raised $25M from Index Ventures, and according to its latest financials, it posted net income of €4.6M ($6.2M) on revenues of €54.6M ($74M). The acquisition is being made through Canon’s European subsidiary.
  • Blippar — an image recognition platform used in digital advertising — has acquired Layar, an augmented reality platform used across different applications (from advertising to education) that uses cameras on devices like smartphones to inject virtual elements into real-world images in real time. London/NYC-based Blippar, founded in 2011, has raised an undisclosed amount from Qualcomm Ventures. Netherlands-based Layar, founded in 2009, has raised some $17M from Intel Capital, Sunstone and others.
  • Seatwave, a platform for secondary ticket purchases where people or venues can post live event tickets for resale, is acquiring Timbre, a Boston-based startup and mobile app of the same name that lets users search for live music and then buy tickets to attend shows. Financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed, except to note that the acquisition was a mixture of cash and shares. Timbre, founded in 2012, has raised some $720,000 and has seen a lot of viral interest in the app after first starting out as a hackathon project at app studio Intrepid. It has had some 400,000 downloads to date.

Asia

  • Zhaopin, a leading Chinese career platform that has filed for an U.S. IPO this May, has entered into a share purchase agreement with Jobs DB Inc. to acquire a 100% stake in Jobs DB China Investments Ltd., a subsidiary for the former, for US$15.72M. The cash consideration for the transaction has been paid to Jobs DB Inc.
  • Alibaba Group and UCWeb, Chinese mobile browser and search service provider, announced Alibaba has fully acquired the latter. As of April 2014, Alibaba had had 66% stake in UCWeb in the form of convertible preferred shares. Alibaba joined in several rounds of funding in UCWeb from 2009 to 2013. The remaining stake are transferred with stock and cash.
  • Koziness Concepts, previously branded as iDelivery, has acquired both Dial-a-Dinner and Soho Delivery for an undisclosed amount. Both Dial-a-Dinner and Soho Delivery have been operating for 10+ years in North & South Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, and they currently serve more than 100 restaurants offering takeout menus. Since Koziness works with about 20+ restaurants in the busiest hub of Hong Kong Island, the acquisition will help them broaden their customer reach.
  • Amobee, a mobile ad company acquired by Singapore’s main carrier SingTel two years ago for $321M, is buying up not one but two other companies to build out its position in the wider digital ads space: It’s gobbling up Adconion and Kontera, for $235M and $150M, respectively. The consideration payable for Adconion Direct North America and Adconion Australia (the two divisions of Adconion) is approximately $209M, excluding debt. Both Adconion and Kontera will become a part of SingTel.
  • Penang-based rich media mobile ad creator startup, MobileAds (previously known as RichMobileAds) has a received an undisclosed strategic investment from Seattle-headquartered HasOffers. CEO and founder Alvin Koay couldn’t share the exact figure but did say it is a bridge round to its series A. The investment sum is six figures. The new funding from HasOffers is strategic in the sense that is helps MobileAds enter the US market with much ease.
  • Talkweb (SZ:002261) has announced a $130M deal to increase its 10% stake in developer Huorong Game to complete control. The purchase will be made with $52M in cash, of which $43M will be raised in a rights issue, and the remainder paid in newly issued shares. Huorong Game’s best known release is 3D online multiplayer card game Papa Three Kingdoms. It’s been downloaded 3.8M times since its launch in March, and is currently generating almost $8M (RMB 50M) a month in revenue.

Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly Update – 2014-06-09

Private Financing
US

  • Uber has raised $1.2 billion in a new financing led by Fidelity Investments. The funding positions the company at the front of a pack of Internet startups, at a pre-money valuation of about $17 billion, up from $3.5 billion in a financing last year. Other investors in the new round include Wellington Management, Summit Partners, BlackRock Inc., venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and existing investors such as Google Ventures and Menlo Ventures.
  • TrendKite, a startup promising to help brands and agencies measure the effectiveness of their PR efforts, has raised $3.2M in Series A funding led by Mercury Fund and Silverton Partners.
  • Flashpoint, seed-stage, Atlanta-based venture outfit and accelerator affiliated with Georgia Tech, has raised its second $1M fund, reports the Atlanta Business Chronicle. To date, Flashpoint has helped seed three dozen startups that have gone on to raise more than $65M from VCs, including Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Andreessen Horowitz. The new fund is expected to back up to 50 startups over the next two years; those companies will pass through Flashpoint’s four-to-six-week-long program, staged twice a year, and receive $20,000 each in exchange for (an unspecified amount of) equity.
  • Yieldbot, New York-based company whose software helps online advertisers understand consumer intent (so they can match offers and ads at the moment, presumably, when customers are most open to them), has raised $18M in Series B funding. SJF Ventures led the round. Earlier investors Common Angels, New Atlantic Ventures and RRE Ventures also participated, along with City National Bank. The company has raised $28.4M to date.
  • Montage Talent, Delafield, Wi-based video interviewing company, has raised $6M in Series C funding led by Beringea, the private equity firm. Other participants included Montage’s earlier investors, including Baird Capital, Calumet Venture Fund, the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, Foley Ventures, and Gary Comer Inc The company has raised roughly $15M altogether.
  • Infrascale, El Segundo, California-based company that makes cloud data protection software for high volume cloud storage, has raised $16.3M in Series B funding led by new investor Carrick Capital Partners. The company has raised $25M to date.
  • ImageBrief, New York-based online marketplace that matches buyers of images with professional photographers, has raised $750,000 in funding from Great Oaks Venture Capital. The company, founded in Australia and moved to New York in 2013, has raised $3.2M altogether.
  • Fixstream Network, San Jose, Ca.-based data integration and analytics platform company, has raised $10M in Series A funding led by Tech Mahindra, a Pune, India-based consulting firm focused on the communications industry.
  • Allocadia Software, a four-year-old, Vancouver-based company whose cloud software helps marketers plan, budget, and analyze the return on their marketing investment, has raised $7M in Series A funding led by Altos Ventures and iNovia Capital. Other investors to participate in the round included Illuminate Ventures, earlier investor Beehive Holdings, and individual investors Don Mattrick and Norm Francis.
  • Triblio, a Content marketing startup that says it’s bringing “science to the art of content marketing,” has raised $3.4M in seed funding led by Longworth Venture Partners and Kepha Partners. Kepha’s Eric Hjerpe and Longworth’s Jim Savage are joining Triblio’s board of directors.
  • Los Altos-based data search and analytics platform ElasticSearch has raised $70M in a Series C round led by NEA with participation by Benchmark and Index Ventures. ElasticSearch is an open source search and data discovery platform that lets companies search through large amounts of data, pull out results, and visualize them clearly. Founded in in 2012, ElasticSearch has raised over $100M to date and will use the latest round to drive growth and build out operations in the U.S., Europe, and Asia.
  • Allocadia, a Marketing performance management, has closed a $7M Series A round led by Altos Ventures and iNovia. Additional participants include Illuminate Ventures, as well as current investor Beehive Holdings, Zynga CEO Don Mattrick and former Pivotal Corporation co-founder and CEO Norm Francis, who also participated in the company’s $1M seed round in January 2013.
  • SpinGo, Draper, Ut.-based event search engine that scours more than 1,000 media sites and mobile apps for local event content, has raised $2M in Series A funding from numerous individual investors. The company has raised $6M to date.
  • Siftit, Atlanta-based mobile restaurant supply chain ordering platform, has raised $4M in Series A funding led by the early-stage venture firm TechOperators. The company was founded by former executives of Radiant Systems, a restaurant retail technology company that was acquired by NCR for $1.4 billion in 2011
  • RigUp, Austin, Tx.-based software platform for oil rig logistics, has raised $3M in seed funding led by Founders Fund. Other participants in the round included Great Oaks VC, BoxGroup, and individual investors. The WSJ has more on the startup here.
  • Larky, Ann Arbor, Mi.-based online platform and app that helps consumers find discounted retail items online, has raised $1.76M in seed funding led by North Coast Technology Investors. Also participating were the Michigan Angel Fund, the BlueWater Angels, and the Pure Michigan Venture Match and individual investors. Larky had previously raised $650,000 in a seed round last year.
  • Elasticsearch, Los Altos-based company that has created popular open-source enterprise search tools, has raise $70M in Series C funding led by New Enterprise Associates, which was joined by earlier investors Benchmark and Index Ventures. “We’ve been wooing them for over a year,” NEA partner Harry Weller tells Re/code. Elasticsearch, which also has an office in Amsterdam, has now raised $104M altogether.
  • Buzzoola, Moscow-based native video advertising platform, has raised $2M in seed funding from I2BF Global Ventures. The company had previously raised $1M in funding from BKF Bank.
  • Ambition, Chattanooga, Tn.-based company whose fantasy football-style app uses gamification to improve sales and productivity, has raised $2M from SV Angel, Google Ventures and others, reports Venture Capital Dispatch. The company was seeded with $600,000 from the Chattanooga venture incubator Lamp Post Group.
  • Super Evil Megacorp, a tablet-gaming startup, raised a $15M round and the hiring of Kristian Segerstrale, a former Electronic Arts digital games executive, as its chief operating officer. It is also pulling back the veil on its first game, Vain Glory, a tablet-based multiplayer online battle arena title (MOBA). The funding, which includes a new $11.6M round, comes from new investors General Catalyst and Raine Ventures. Earlier round investors include Rick Thompson and his team at Signia Venture Partners, Clinton Foy and his team at CrossCut Ventures, Initial Capital, ZhenFund, and other angel investors.
  • Montreal start-up MixGenius, a company revolutionizing digital music creation with it’s cloud-based services, raised $4M in seed stage investment (from Real Ventures, YUL Ventures and private investors), reeling in former Soundcloud VP David Haynes as an advisor, forging strategic partnerships with key music festivals, artists, labels, schools, and industry vendors. The company targets the rapidly growing market of audio content creators looking for an easy, affordable way to give their tracks a finished sound.
  • Sales software startup Savo Group raised a fresh $35M round of funding led by Goldman Sachs with participation from existing investors Sterling Partners and SAP Ventures. As part of the funding deal, Savo is also appointing Goldman Sachs exec Michael McGinn and Goldman Sachs investor Holger Staude to its board of directors. Savo provides enterprise-level clients with a SaaS platform that focuses on improving the productivity of a business’ sales team.
  • Fresh Nation, L.A.-based online market for farmers’ markets, has raised $1M in seed funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Lerer Ventures.
  • True Ventures, the early-stage venture firm with offices in San Francisco and Palo Alto, has officially closed its fourth fund with $290M in commitments. Firm cofounder Phil Black tells Venture Capital Dispatch that the firm set out to raise $225M but went larger to accommodate LP interest. Its third fund closed with $205M in 2011.
  • Yext, New York-based company that helps businesses manage local listings and ad campaigns across the Web, has raised a $50M in Series F financing led by Insight Venture Partners, with participation from Marker, Institutional Venture Partners, and Sutter Hill Ventures. According to Business Insider, the round gives Yext a $525M post-money valuation, up from a $270M valuation in 2012.
  • SwipeClock, Salt Lake City-based provider of time, attendance and workforce management SaaS for small and mid-size businesses, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from the middle-market private equity firm Moelis Capital Partners.
  • SmartPay, Southington, Ct.-based maker of pay-as-you-go worker’s compensation software for payroll and insurance companies, has raised $1.4M, including follow-on investments from Connecticut Innovations and Tennant Capital Partners. Other investors in the round include Stonehenge Growth Capital and private investors. The company has raised $2.7M altogether.
  • Movius Interactive, Duluth, Ga.-based mobile software firm focused on converged communications like voicemail, video mail, visual voicemail, and unified messaging, has raised nearly $13M, according to an SEC filing that was flagged by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. The round was led by PointGuard Ventures, a Bay Area firm that’s currently raising $50M for its debut fund. The company has raised roughly $40M altogether, including from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and New Enterprise Associates.
  • MediaMath, New York-based ad buying, data management, digital marketing platform, has raised $73.5M in Series C funding led by Spring Lake Equity Partners. Akamai Technologies and earlier investors Safeguard Scientifics, Catalyst Investors, and Observatory Capital, also participated in the round. The company also increased its debt facility to $105M. The company has now tapped $195M altogether from investors.
  • Gild, San Francisco-based company whose tech hiring software promises to make it easier to evaluate tech talent, has raised $13.5M in Series B funding led by Menlo Ventures. Correlation Ventures , DFJ Venture, Globespan Capital Partners, SAP Ventures and private investors Steve Anderson of Baseline Ventures and Mark Kvamme of Drive Capital also participated in the round. The company has raised $25.9M altogether.
  • BrightFarms, New York-based company that designs, finances, builds and operates hydroponic greenhouse farms at, or near, supermarkets, has added $2.4M to its Series B, bringing total funding for the round to $7.4M. The new tranche was led by WP Global Partners. Others of its investors include NGEN Partners, Emil Capital Partners, and BrightFarms founder Ted Caplow. BrightFarms has now raised close to $20M to date.
  • Aryaka Networks, Milpitas, Ca.-based cloud-based wide-area-network optimization company, has raised $10M in Series D funding from earlier investors, including InterWest Partners, Mohr Davidow Ventures, Nexus Venture Partners, Presidio Ventures and Trinity Ventures. The company has raised roughly $73M to date.
  • Kobalt Music, a company that has developed a platform to help artists and songwriters to collect royalties on streamed music more easily, has raised $140M, with investors including London’s Balderton Capital (formerly Benchmark Europe), Michael Dell’s private investment firm MSD Capital (whose $25M portion of the $140M was announced in March, and includes the stake of founding investor Spark Ventures), and a number of other prominent investors that Kobalt is currently not making public.
  • Dinner Lab, an exclusive supper club that lets up-and-coming chefs test their recipes by preparing multi-course meals for a private audience, has just raised its first outside funding, has raised $2.1M in a seed round led by Dr. John B. Elstrott, the Chairman of the Board of Whole Foods, alongside other angel investors.
  • Boston-based online auction marketplace Invaluable has raised $33.8M in a Series D round led by Insight Venture Partners with participation from Ascent Venture Partners and Commonwealth Capital Ventures. Invaluable is the world’s largest online auction marketplace of art, antiques, collectibles, and estate auctions, providing a real-time bidding platform for sellers and bidders worldwide. Founded in1989 as Artfact, Invaluable rebranded and launched its new site last fall, and plans to use the new cash to accelerate growth, hire additional employees and develop strategic partnerships.
  • Zenefits, San Francisco-based company that makes it easy for companies to manage their human resources paperwork online, has raised a $66.5M Series B round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Institutional Venture Partners. The company has now raised $84M altogether, including from Y Combinator, Venrock, Maverick Capital and individuals David Rusenko, Charlie Cheever, and Aaron Levie.
  • Proteus Digital HealthRedwood City, Ca.-based company whose digital health feedback system, which involves ingestible sensors that helps patients to better manage their health and collaborate with caregivers and clinicians, has raised $120M from unidentified investors. The San Francisco Business Times has much more about the company, which has now raised roughly $320M altogether.
  • Offerpop, New York-based digital marketing platform that tries to help brands turn marketing channels into social experiences, has raised $15M in new funding led by Edison Ventures, which was joined by Hearst Ventures and Salesforce.com. Earlier investors Windcrest Partners, CommonAngels and Mesco also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to date to $24.5M.
  • Houzz, Palo Alto, Ca.-based home-remodelling and design site Houzz is raising a Series D round of $150M at a post-money valuation of more than $2.3 billion, according to TechCrunch and VCExperts. The fresh funding would bring total funding for Houzz to roughly $200M. Previous investors include Comcast Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, GGV Capital, New Enterprise Associates, and numerous high-profile individual investors, including Yammer founder David Sacks.
  • Grabit, Santa Clara, Ca.-based company that makes electro adhesion-based materials and which spun out of the nonprofit research institute SRI International, has raised an undisclosed amount of new funding from Flextronics Lab IX and Draper Nexus. The round follows a Series A funding raised last October. That earlier round was led by Formation 8, which was joined by Nike and ABB Technology Ventures.
  • GoDog Fetch, San Diego, Ca.-based developer of cloud-based technology that claims to work as a Siri-like personal digital assistant for all the devices people use throughout the day, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding, including from Analytics Ventures.
  • Fishidy, Madison, Wi.-based map-based social and mobile platform that provides fishing information to anglers, has raised $1.5M in Series A funding led by Hyde Park Investors. Fifteen other investment groups filled out the round.
  • Commerce Guys, Ann Arbor, Mi.-based e-commerce services company behind Drupal Commerce, an open-source framework that sites use for their online stores, has raised $7.3M in Series B funding. Hi Inov, a family office, led the round, joined by earlier investors Isai, a France-based entrepreneurs’ fund; Alven Capital, a venture firm in Paris; and Open Ocean Capital of Finland. The company has now raised $12.3M altogether.
  • Pathbrite, San Francisco-based company whose software tools enable students to create Web-based portfolios, has raised $3.7M in new funding led Cengage Learning, a Boston-based education content company. Other investors to participate in the round include ACT and Serious Change. The company has raised $11.7M altogether.

EMEA

  • Prague-based casual competitive multiplayer mobile game developer Geewa has announced the closing of a funding round totaling $4.2M. Springtide Ventures, a member of the KKCG group, was the lead investor of this financing round, with existing investor MCI Management participating as well. Geewa’s plans for the funding include growing the company’s game portfolio across both browser and mobile platforms. It has three new games planned for 2014.
  • German mobile game startup Flaregames has raised $12.2M in venture funding from Accel Partners and T-Venture. Karlsruhe, Germany-based Flaregames was founded in 2011 by Klaas Kersting, the founder of online game publisher Gameforge. The company is focusing on creating mid-core games for mobile devices. Those are games whose subject matter or mechanics appeal to hardcore gamers, but can be played in shorter time cycles. Flaregames will use the money to hire people and market the company’s upcoming free-to-play games. To date, the company has now raised $23M from Accel, T-Venture, and an undisclosed investor.
  • Slainte Healthcare, Dublin, Ireland-based maker of revenue cycle management software for hospitals, has raised a “significant” investment from the AIB Start-up Accelerator Fund, managed by ACT Venture Capital.
  • Night Zookeeper, London-based maker of educational games for children, has raised roughly $600,000 in new funding, mostly from individual investors. Night Zookeeper, which allows users to design their own character and story lines, says it is used in more than 5,000 schools and that it’s being tested in Canada and Japan.
  • Android app distribution platform Flexion Mobile has raised $2.5M. Investors included the Sixth Swedish National Pension fund. The company, which is headquartered in London, says it will use the cash to launch its new wrapper technology for free-to-play games. Flexion’s version of this works by wrapping a game with additional services such as billing, social features, advertising and notifications, hence effectively making any game using Flexion’s technology an app store for additional downloads.
  • Alternative investing startup Wikifolio has closed a €6M funding round led by European early stage venture fund Speedinvest. The fresh capital will be used by the Austrian company, which I’m told broke-even in the first quarter of 2014, to expand beyond its home country and Germany. Existing shareholders VHB Ventures (Verlagsgruppe Handelsblatt), Lang & Schwarz, Michael Grabner Media, and Michael Altrichter also participated in the round, along with a number of private investors associated with Speedinvest, among them Jörg Flöck, a former Thomson Reuters executive.
  • European online package shipping marketplace startup PackLink has pulled in $9M in Series B funding, led by Accel Partners. Existing investor Active Venture Partners also participated in the round. PackLink’s total raised funding to-date now totals $11M. The Spanish startup was founded in early 2012, with a mission to simplify the complexity of finding the best priced shipping provider to deliver a particular parcel by building a marketplace/metasearch platform where senders can pin down the best service for their needs.
  • Profitero, Dublin, Ireland-based SaaS company that sells online insights and e-commerce intelligence to retailers and brands, has raised $8M in funding from Polaris Partners. The company has raised roughly $9M altogether.
  • Nezasa, Zurich-based travel startup that invites users to book everything, from airfare to hotels to activities, in one place, has closed an $800,000 second round of funding from an unnamed family office, various business angels and existing investors. The has raised just more than $1.1M to date.
  • Zurich-based travel startup Nezasa, which offers a “one-stop shop” to design and book your personalised travel itinerary, has closed an $800,000 second round of funding from an unnamed family office, various business angels and existing investors. The company competes with traditional travel agencies and similar custom/personalised travel upstarts, such as Evaneos, and Trip.me. Evaneos recently closed a much larger Series B round of $6M, led by XAnge Private Equity, with participation from previous investor ISAI. The Swiss company previously raised $340,000 in August 2013, bringing total funding to just over $1.1M.
  • French startup Lima, a company that makes a small device that plug to router as well as one or multiple USB drives will then seamlessly transform USB drives into a personal Dropbox for all devices, raised $2.5M from French VC firm Partech Ventures.
  • Radio Physics Solutions, makers of a security scanner that’s able to detect plastic firearms made with a 3D printer,has raised £700,000 from equity crowdfunding platform SyndicateRoom, which targets professional “approved” investors, as well as the wider public.

Asia

  • Fashionandyou, Gurgaon, India-based shopping site for luxury brands and designer apparel, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series D funding led by the investment arm of VIPshop, the publicly traded, China-based discount retail specialist. Earlier investors Norwest Venture Partners and Intel Capital also participated, reports TechCircle.in. Fashionandyou is a subsidiary of the holding company Smile Group. The new round represents one of few examples of Chinese digital tech ventures investing in India.
  • DewMobile, a Beijing-based company that sells mobile-to-mobile communication applications that don’t require a Web connection, has raised $20M in Series B funding, including from IDG Capital, Northern Light Venture Capital, and Innovation Works. The company had previously raised at least $6M.
  • Mogujie, Chinese social shopping platform, announced US$200M in Series D funding from a group of investors including Hopu Fund, TBP Capital, Qiming Venture Partners, IDG Capital Partners, and Banyan Fund. The company is valued at US$1 billion.
  • Philippines-based consumer rewards startup ZAP has secured US$850,000 in funding from Siemer Ventures, Seawood Capital, existing investor Kickstart Ventures, and other local angels. ZAP offers discounts and cashbacks to consumers in the Philippines. When a shopper taps their smart sticker, called a ZAPtag, to a merchant’s terminal upon purchase, users are rewarded cashbacks which they can use for future purchases.
  • Car sharing app iCarsClub has secured $10M in series A funding from Sequoia Capital China, Crystal Stream Capital, Wang Xing (the CEO of daily deals site Meituan), Zhuang Chenchao (CEO of travel booking site Qunar), and Huang Mingming (Future Capital). It’s notable that all those investors are Chinese. It operates in Singapore under the iCarsClub name, and in mainland China as PPZuche.
  • Voice call app Inbilin announced yesterday that it has secured $15M of Series A funding from Qiming Venture Partners and Morningside Ventures. The funding will be injected in team construction and upgrading of servers. Launched in May 2013, Inbilin is a social networking voice call app that enables users to call strangers. Users can either call the person they interested in or chat with anyone they are paired with randomly. The company now claimed more than 20M registered users with around 200k daily active users. The users are mainly distributed in Beijing, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Wuhan, etc.
  • Dayima, a Chinese app for period tracking and women’s health, raised $30M in Series C funding from Ceyuan Ventures and existing investors, Sequoia Capital China and Bertelsmann Asia Investments. So far the company has raised three rounds in about a year that totals $45M: $5M from Bertelsmann and ZhenFund in April 2013, and $15M in Series B led by Sequoia and joined by the earlier two in last September. Launched in January 2012, Dayima claims it has had 45M registered users and 3.2M daily active users.
  • Shunwei Capital Partners, a three-year-old, Beijing-based venture capital firm focused on early to mid-stage start-ups in China’s Internet and technology industry, has raised $525M for two new venture funds, according to China Money Network. The firm was created by Lei Jun, founder of Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi, and Tuck Lye Koh, a Stanford grad and investor who’d worked previously at Deutsche Bank and Starr International. The firm’s first fund, says the report, was a $200-million-plus vehicle.
  • Zapya, a Beijing-based network-free close-range file sharing app for mobile devices, has raised $20M in Series B funding from IDG Ventures. The company’s earlier investors reportedly include Northern Light Venture Capital and Innovation Works.
  • Toutiao, Beijing-based Chinese news reader app, has raised $100M in Series C funding led by Sequoia Capital, with the Chinese microblogging company Sina Weibo and other investors participating. The deal values Toutiao at $500M.
  • Romulus Capital, a venture capital firm founded out of MIT focused on seed- and early-stage technology and science-enabled companies, has raised $50M from a powerful group of individual investors from six regions around the world including the US, Western Europe, Russia, South Asia, the Middle East, and Hong Kong. Further making the fund unique in the venture industry is the profile of investors – individuals and no institutions. As the second fund raised by Romulus, this makes it one of the largest seed funds in the world.
  • Sequoia Capital has invested $15M in Series A funding in Indian mobile multiplayer gaming company Octro, which makes digital versions of popular local classics, such as card game Indian Rummy or the bingo-style Tambola. Octro was founded in 2006, and initially focused on productivity apps, building a mobile VoIP app called OctroTalk, before shifting focus to mobilizing locally popular games.
  • WritePath, an editing company that serves college applicants, technical writers, and academic researchers, has raised $525,000 in seed funding led by B Dash Ventures. The Singapore-based startup will use the capital to set up offices in Japan, Korea, and the U.S. WritePath operates three online editing services called Topadmit.com, Topsciedit.com, and Bizeditors.com that each serve different verticals. Other investors included Pinehurst Advisors; Jamie Lin of AppWorks; Jackie Cheng, founder of GogoLook (which was recently acquired by Naver, the owner of messaging service Line); and Bernard Chan, former entrepreneur-in-residence at TMI Ventures, and founder of AlphaCamp.
  • The Chinese makers of file transfer app Zapya have secured US$20M in series B funding from IDG to help grow the business both in China and overseas. Previous series A investors included Northern Light Venture Capital and Beijing-based Innovation Works.
  • Booster Pack, a new game company setup by four members of the studio’s Singapore team LucasArts, has received $1,475,000 in funding lead investor Cyberworld Studios, Ariel Star Group, and Kathrein Ventures. The startup is currently working on its first game, which is set to debut late this year. Their first round of funding will be used to develop that game, as well as fuel post-launch marketing and player support costs.
  • Toutiao, a personalized news app, announced that it has secured $100M of Series C financing led by Sequoia Capital and followed by Sina Weibo at a valuation of $500M. The company has previously received eight-digit USD Series B financing from Yuri Milner, founder of DST, at a valuation of $60M in 2013. The seven-digit USD first-round funding were received from SIG in 2012. The fund will be used in R&D of machine learning technologies, according to Zhang Yiming, founder and CEO of Toutiao. The app registered more than 120M users with over 40M daily active users, according to data released by the company.

Other emerging markets

  • CyberX, a security startup with tentacles in Israel and focused on what it calls the Internet’s industrial domain, raised $2M in venture funding. The seed round was led by Glilot Capital Partners with participation from the Swarth Group and assorted angels.
  • Consumer Physics, Tel Aviv-based startup whose pocket spectrometer for smart phones can determine the chemical makeup of food, including nutritional information, has raised more than $2M in crowdfunding via its Kickstarter campaign, with 10 days still left to go. More than 10,000 backers have donated to the startup, which has also raised startup funding from Khosla Ventures and angel investors.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Spotsetter, a social search engine using big data to offer personalized recommendations as to places to go, has been quietly snapped up by Apple. Spotsetter debuted during AngelPad’s Spring 2012 class, then later went on to raise $1.3M in seed funding from Rahul Prakash, 2020 Ventures, Javelin Venture Partners in addition to AngelPad.
  • Dropbox has acquired a stealthy company called Droptalk which was developing a tool that allowed you to share links privately with friends via a Chrome extension, to be followed by both iOS and Android applications. None of the products were publicly available, as the company had only just launched its browser add-on into a limited beta. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The founding team includes serial entrepreneurs Rakesh Mathur and Ash Bhardwaj and CTO Anand Prakash.
  • Samsung has acquired struggling video streaming startup Shelby.tv.
  • Twitter acquired native-ads specialist Namo Media as it looks to further ramp up its advertising efforts. The terms of the deal weren’t disclosed. A person familiar with the matter said it was less than $100M. Founded in 2013 by three former Google employees, Namo Media has raised nearly $2M from investors including Google Ventures and Andreessen Horowitz.
  • Social commerce company Chirpify had acquired Measureful, a “Flipboard for data” and a fellow Portland company. Launched in 2011, Chirpify enables people to make purchases through hashtags. It first started with Twitter, and later expanded to include Facebook and Instagram. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Chirpify and Measureful both participated in the Portland-based accelerator Upstart Labs, which no longer exists. Chirpify has raised a total of $7.3M dollars from investors including Saturn Partners, Provenance Ventures, Voyager Capital, Andy Liu, Rudy Gadre, and Hootsuite chief executive Ryan Holmes.
  • Facebook acquired Pryte, a small company based out of Helsinki, Finland, which has developed technology that lets app makers and carriers sell mobile data in incremental packages based around particular app usage or other parameters. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Perfect Audience, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based retargeting platform, has been acquired by the Online advertising management company Marin Software for $22.8M. Perfect Audience is a Y Combinator alum that raised $1.1M in funding altogether, including from SV Angel, Pritzker Group Venture Capital, and Paul Buchheit.
  • Time has acquired Seattle-based Cozi, the makers of a popular family organizer utility for web and mobile. Founded in 2005 by Robbie Cape and Jan Miksovsky, both previously of Microsoft, Cozi offers a suite of tools, primarily aimed moms, which help with organizing things like kids’ schedules, shopping lists, chore charts, meal plans, and more. Plus, it has messaging and journaling features that help families stay in touch, and keep track of notable milestones and memories. Terms of the deal were not being immediately disclosed. Cozi had raised $5.8M in Series A funding from MBVH Investments, Benaroya Capital, and Pioneer Ventures last year. Previously, newspaper publisher Gannett Company invested in Cozi, which had raised more than $24M.
  • The private equity firm KKR has agreed to buy Internet Brands, which operates a portfolio of websites and software, in a bet that it can help the company expand its services in a deal worth $1.1 billion, from two other private equity firms, Hellman & Friedman and JMI Equity, which bought it for $640M in 2010.

Asia

  • Japanese Android monetisation company Metaps has acquired App Data Bank. The size of the deal wasn’t disclosed. It’s a Japanese language app ranking and analytics outfit that provides an App Annie-style web-based service to track the performance on apps and games on Google Play and the Apple App Store.