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