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.
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Posted on June 10, 2014, in Internet weekly update and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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