Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly Update – 2015-02-16
- August Capital has raised $450M for its seventh fund, which will be stage agnostic.
- Moda Operandi, a New York-based online luxury fashion retailer that allows members to pre-order ready-to-wear accessories and jewelry, has raised $60M in funding led by Fidelity Investments. The company has now raised $78.4M altogether, shows Crunchbase. Others of its investors include LVMH, Condé Nast, Manatt Venture Fund, New Atlantic Ventures, RRE Ventures, and New Enterprise Associates.
- CloudVelox, business center on hybrid cloud disaster recover and migration, has raised $15M in Series C funding from Cisco Investments, along with previous backers Mayfield Fund, Pelion Venture Partners, and Third Point Ventures.
- WedPics, mobile photo-sharing application designed for use by wedding couples and their guests, raised Series B round of $6.5M with a combination of equity and debt from Barbara Corcoran, Phil Nadel, Middleland Capital, WTI (both equity and debt) and several Bay Area angels.
- CarePayment, a company in patient financial engagement, has expanded its funding agreement with Aequitas Capital to include a total of $200M of senior debt, supported by $100M in new financing from Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo is the second of the four largest U.S. banking institutions to provide financing to Aequitas Capital for CarePayment in less than 12 months, supplementing the $60M credit facility from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, announced last May.
- Emergence Capital has closed its fourth fund, Emergence Capital Partners IV, with $335M. The venture firm plans to focus on enterprise technologies, particularly SaaS cloud technologies, mobile tech, and tools for helping people work together better.
- Gummicube, a company whose platform aims to provide developers with more app store intelligence, has raised $830,000 from Golden Seeds and F50 Venture Partners.
- CloudVelox, a company whose business centers on hybrid cloud disaster recover and migration, has raised $15M in Series C funding from Cisco Investments, along with previous backers Mayfield Fund, Pelion Venture Partners, and Third Point Ventures.
- Carrick Capital Partners, a tech focused investment firm, has raised $275M for its second fund, up from the $180M it raised for its debut vehicle. Carrick invests across stages.
- WedPics, a four-year-old, Raleigh, N.C.-based online and mobile platform that encourages wedding participants to share photos, has increased the size of its Series B round, closing on $6.5M, including from Barbara Corcoran Venture Partners.
- Laurel & Wolf, an interior design platform that connects professional designers with customers, has raised $4.4M in Series A funding led by CRV, with participation from earlier backers. The company has now has raised $5.5M in total, including from Karlin Ventures, Upside Partnership, and Draper & Associates.
- InterviewJet, members-only hiring platform designed to introduce experienced engineers with employers who have 72 hours to lock down an interview with each candidate, has raised $750,000 in seed funding from Mitchell Martin, an IT and healthcare staffing company. Now the company just has to find some engineers.
- Jet, e-commerce company founded by entrepreneur Marc Lore, has raised $140M in new funding led by Bain Capital Ventures, with participation from Accel Partners, Coatue Management, General Catalyst Partners, Goldman Sachs, Google Ventures, MentorTech Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Norwest Venture Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, Temasek, Thrive Capital and other investors. The investment, in the form of debt that is convertible into equity, is expected to value the young e-commerce company at nearly $600M.
- Conductor, a marketing-software startup, has raised $27M in fresh funding led by Catalyst Investors, with participation from Blue Cloud Ventures and earlier backers FirstMark Capital, Matrix Partners and Investor Growth Capital. The company has raised $60.6M to date.
- Bill.com, an on-demand accounts payable application for CPAs and small and mid-size businesses, has raised $50M in new funding from Silicon Valley Bank, along with earlier backers DCM Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, August Capital, Napier Park Global Capital, and Commerce Ventures. The company has now raised $122.6M altogether.
- ActionSprout, a company that makes software tools for nonprofits looking to promote themselves on Facebook, has raised $1.7M in seed funding led by Oregon Angel Fund, with participation from Bellingham Angel Fund, Portland Seed Fund and other West Coast investors.
- TuneGo, a fledgling music discovery service for indie musicians, has raised $1.2M from serial entrepreneur Chris Murray and Pasadena Angels investor Kenny Kam.
- Reserve, the app promising to serve as your “personal dining concierge,” has raised $15M in Series A funding led by Human Ventures Capital and by Expa. Also participating were previous backers First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Advancit Capital, and Sherpa Ventures, as well as new investors SV Angel, Venture 51, Visionaire Ventures and celebrities actor Jared Leto, Will.i.am, and Jon Favreau.
- Wandera, a secure mobile gateway company, has raised $15M in new funding led by 83North, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners. The company has raised $25M altogether.
- Thirty Labs, a video-focused startup studio, has raised $2M in funding from a long list of investors, including Elisabeth Murdoch,Tumblr founder David Karp, Bloomberg Beta, and Advancit Capital.
- Rally Bus, a startup that offers crowdsourced event travel on luxury buses, has raised $1.25M in seed funding from the YEI Innovation Fund (run by the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute), Connecticut Innovations, First Niagara Bank, and angel investors.
- Quixey, a search engine that helps people discover the right mobile apps for their needs, is reportedly raising $60M in Series D funding at a $600M valuation led by the e-commerce giant Alibaba, with Twitter, SoftBank Corp., an investment platform controlled by investor George Soros, Goldman Sachs, and GGV Capital participating. The company has previously raised $74.9M, including via a $50M round in 2013 led by Alibaba.
- Proletariat, a multiplayer games maker, has raised $6M in Series A funding led by Spark Capital, with participation from Atlas Venture and FirstMark Capital.
- New Matter, a company at work on affordable 3D printers, has raised $6.5M in Series A funding led by Alsop Louie Partners, with participation from Arden Road Investments, Dolby Family Ventures, First Round Capital, Idealab and frogVentures.
- Move Loot, a startup that helps sellers make money off their used goods by picking them up, taking pictures of them, storing them and delivering them to buyers once payment has been made, has secured $9M led by Metamorphic Ventures. Other participants in the round include First Round Capital, Index Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, IDG Capital Partners, and Sherpa Ventures. The company has now raised $11.8M altogether, including from Y Combinator and Google Ventures.
- Miovision Technologies, a company that uses video to analyze traffic data, has raised $24M in Series B funding led by MacKinnon, Bennett & Co., with participation from Investeco Capital, Renewal Funds, Plaza Ventures and Comerica.
- MineralTree, a company whose Web-based software helps companies manage their accounts payable, has raised $11.1M in Series B funding led by the payments processor First Data Corp. Earlier backers .406 Ventures and Fidelity Growth Partners also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $22.7M.
- Locket, a San Francisco-based company whose mobile app pushes personalized news and other stories to users’ Android phone lock screens, has raised $3.2M in seed funding, including from entertainer Tyra Banks, Turner Broadcasting, Great Oaks Venture Capital and numerous angel investors. The company has raised $3.7M altogether.
- Hammer & Chisel, an online gaming company, has raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Tencent, Benchmark, and the accelerator 9+.
- Bottlenose, a L.A.-based data analytics startup, has raised $13.4M in Series B funding led by KPMG Capital, with participation from Origin Ventures and earlier backers, including Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Transmedia Capital, ff Venture Capital, and others. The company has raised $17M to date.
- Bento, a San Francisco-based company that offers businesses a full-featured Mastercard that allows them to set rules by employee, place, time and category, has raised $2.5M in seed funding led by Anthemis Group. Other participants in the round include Blumberg Capital, LionBird and Pivot Investment Partners.
- AppDirect, a start-up focused on helping customers like ADP, Samsung, and Comcast sell software online, has raised $50M in new funding led by earlier backer Mithril Capital Management, with participation from private equity magnate Henry Kravis and ContiGroup chairman and CEO Paul Fribourg. The company has now raised $105.8M to date.
- Alice, a platform that allows hoteliers to provide mobile services to their guests so they can secure tables, order tickets to shows and more, has raised $3M in seed funding from the property management company Tishman Realty, 645 Ventures and numerous angel investors.
- Bottlenose, a big data analytics firm which likens itself to “a real-time Palantir,” referencing its focus on tracking, filtering and analyzing stream data, has raised $13.4M in Series B funding. The round was led by KPMG Capital, a new fund created by KPMG International to invest in data and analytics globally.
- NodeSource, a corporate software development toolkit for the node.js programming language, has raised $3M in seed financing from Crosslink Capital and Resolute Ventures.
- Ballast Point Ventures, a growth capital firm, has raised $164M for its third fund. Among the company’s newer bets is PowerDMS, an Orlando, Fl.-based compliance and content management software startup.
- UrbanStems, an online flower delivery startup, has raised $1.5M in seed financing led by Middleland Capital, with participation from Sagamore Ventures, NextGen Angels, and Great Oaks Venture Capital.
- Rainforest, a company whose quality assurance platform marries product mangers with software that needs to be tested with people who can try it out, has raised $4M in seed funding from Storm Ventures, Rincon Venture Partners, Andreessen Horowitz, Morado Venture Partners, and Crosslink Capital.
- Parklet, a San Francisco-based HR tech startup, has raised $1.5M in seed financing from Greylock Partners, Storm Ventures, FundersClub, Winklevoss Capital, Western Technology Investment and numerous angel investors, including KISSMetrics cofounder Hiten Shah.
- NEXTracker, a designer and builder of single-axis PV trackers, has raised $25M in Series B funding led by new investor SJF Ventures, with participation from Tennenbaum Capital Partners and earlier backers Sigma Partners and DBL Investors. The company has now raised $30M altogether.
- Imagine Health, a startup that matches companies insuring their own large workforces with teams of health-care providers, has raised $21M in Series A funding from Trident Capital and HLM Venture Partners.
- Humanity, a cloud-hosted workforce management platform, has raised $9M in Series B funding led by MHS Capital, with participation from Klever Internet Investments, Point Nine Capital, Team Builder Ventures and Boku CEO Mark Britto. The company never publicly disclosed the size of its Series A round.
- Grapevine Logic, a startup that connects YouTube personalities with brands that hire them, has raised $1.1M seed funding from Boston Seed, Atlas Ventures, and numerous angel investors.
- DigiSight Technologies, a software company that integrates data from mobile tests into clinical settings, has raised $7.8M in Series B financing from new investors Biosys Capital, GE Ventures, Lagunita and Waycross Ventures, along with earlier investors.
- Aventura, a medical workflow-automation software company, has raised $14M in Series C funding co-led by Safeguard Scientifics and Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. Earlier backers Excel Venture Management, HLM Venture Partners and Memorial Care Innovation Fund also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $36.3M.
- Aligned Partners, a venture firm “dedicated to helping founders start lean and stay lean,” has raised $50M for its second fund. Run by general partners Jodi Sherman and Susan Mason, the firm’s first fund closed with roughly $26M in commitments.
- Volusion, a company that sells e-commerce software, web design, and inbound marketing services to online businesses, has received $55M in venture capital led by Main Street Capital Corp. Main Street provides long-term debt and equity to lower middle market companies.
- NodeSource, a New York-based corporate software development toolkit for the node.js programming language, has raised $3M in seed financing from Crosslink Capital and Resolute Ventures.
- Kura MD, a healthcare commerce platform that facilitates HIPAA-compliant telehealth appointments between physicians and patients, has raised $1.5M in Series A funding from Moneta Ventures.
- Sigfox a Toulouse, France-based cellular network that aims to be a bigger player in the market for internet connected objects, has raised $115M (€100M) in Series D funding from earlier backer Partech Ventures, along with new investors, such as telecom operator Telefonica SA, Korea’s SK Telecom and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo. The company has now raised roughly $150M altogether..
- Borro, a U.K.-based online platform for luxury asset-backed lending, has raised $19.5M in new funding co-led by the crowdfunding platform OurCrowd and Rocket Internet, with participation from earlier backers Canaan Partners, Eden Ventures and Augmentum Capital. The company has now raised $171.6M altogether, most of it through a $112M Series D round that closed a year ago.
- Brussels, Belgium-based startup Sortlist, a digital agency providing context and system intelligence to make the right match for other agencies on projects, raised seed round of about $623,000 (€550,000) from private investors, including the Janssen family, Didier Smits, Petercam Institutional Bonds’ executive director Alexandre De Groote, and the Lean Fund.
- News In Shorts, an India-based company that operates a news digest app for iOS and Android, has raised a $4M Series A round led by Tiger Global.
- Malaysian Kaodim, an online marketplace for people to find service professionals such as plumbers, decorators, movers, yoga instructors, or pest control specialists, raised $550,000 in seed funding led by East Ventures and participated in by a number of other VCs, including 500 Startups.
- Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache, China’s two largest taxi-hailing apps, have confirmed that they will merge to become the largest taxi app company in China. The two firms will maintain their brands and independent business operations with their personnel structures unchanged after merger. Cheng Wei and Lu Chuanwei, CEOs of Didi Dache and Kuaidi Dache respectively, will run the consolidated company as co-CEOs. Alibaba invested into Kuaidi Dache in 2013, the same year Tencent invested in Didi Dache.
- China-based food delivery startup Call a Delivery raised RMB 3M ($480k) led by a Hunan venture capital firm. The investment values the company at RMB 30M (US$4.8M).
- Practo, an Indian startup that provides a search portal matching doctors with patients and other digital services for practices, has closed a $30M Series B round led by existing investor Sequoia Capital with participation from Matrix Partners.
- CoAssets, a crowdfunding site from Singapore that lists properties from around the world, has raised S$1M (US$733,000) in series A funding from undisclosed investors. This values the company at S$13M, or about US$9.53M post-money.
- Yoyi Digital, China’s leading provider of multi-screen programmatic buying and marketing solutions for advertisers and media publishers, has received a US$20M strategic investment from Guangdong Guangzhou Daily Media (SZ:002181), one of China’s largest media groups. Yoyi Digital has received Series A investment from Gobi Partners and Steamboat Ventures in 2010. Series B and Series C funding was secured from Oak Investment Partners and Fidelity, respectively.
- Glints, a recruitment site that connects fresh grads or about-to-graduate jobseekers with employees, raised US$475,000 in seed funding led by prolific venture capital firm East Ventures. 500 Startups, SPH Media Fund, Infocomm Investments, 8 Capital, and Pix Vine Capital, along with angel investors John Tan and Darius Cheung, were also involved in the round.
- Metaps, Singapore-based app monetization platform, has raised $36M in Series C funding from new and earlier backers that aren’t being named. The company has now raised $52.5M altogether, including from Fidelity Growth Partners Asia, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, Sansei Capital Investment, and Nippon Venture Capital.
- Glints, a Singapore-based startup focused on helping graduates gain the right experience to enter the workforce, closed a SG$475,000 (US$380,000) seed round led by East Ventures, with participation from 500 Startups, SPH Media Fund, Singapore Infocomm Investments (IIPL), 8 Capita and Pix Vine Capital. It also included private backers, such as angel investors John Tan and Darius Cheung who had mentored the team since its time with JFDI Asia.
- Faaso’s, an India-based Indian fast food chain that primarily sells wraps, has raised $16M in Series B funding from Sequoia Capital and Lightbox Ventures. The company also just raised $4M in debt financing.
- Capital Float, a Bangalore-based financial tech startup that wants to make it easier for small businesses in India to get loans, has raised $13M in Series A funding led by SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital, with participation from earlier backer Aspada. The company has raised $17M to date.
- CXA, a Singapore-headquartered insurance and wellness marketplace, has raised US$8M in a series A round at an undisclosed valuation. NSI Ventures, the venture capital arm of private equity firm Northstar, led the round, with F&H, an investor in ecommerce sites Reebonz and Luxola and BioVeda, a Singapore-based healthtech investor that’s working with the Singapore government to co-fund startups, also participating.
- Cinemacraft, a Tokyo-headquartered startup that provides a more innovative alternative to the traditional video embed for publishers and content creators, has closed its $3.9M Series A round to expand its focus on international markets and product development. Existing investor 500 Startups led the round, which included participation from previous backers NTT DoCoMo Ventures, Samsung Ventures, and Turner Broadcasting’s Media Camp. New investor Fierce Capital, the VC firm from model and celebrity Tyra Banks, also took part. The startup raised previously $1.5M in September 2013, and an earlier $500,000 seed round.
- MyNoticePeriod, an online recruitment startup focusing on quick hiring by identifying candidates actively looking for jobs, has raised INR 180M (close to US$3M) from IDG Ventures. It had raised INR 20M (US$322,000) in seed funding from angel investors and IDG Ventures just four months earlier.
- Zig Bang, an apartment hunting app from Korea, raised a US$18M funding round from previous investors including Stone Bridge, Company K Partners, and others.
- Shopline, a Hong Kong-based startup that offers online tools for e-commerce vendors, has raised $1.2M in seed funding from 500 Startups, Ardent Capital, SXE Ventures, East Ventures, and COENT Venture Partners.
- Meizu Technologies, a China-based smartphone maker, has accepted $590M in funding from the e-commerce giant Alibaba in exchange for an undisclosed, “minority,” share of its business. Alibaba intends to push its mobile operating system within China through Meizu’s handsets. In return, Meizu will get access to Alibaba’s e-commerce sales channels. Another $60M in funding came from Haitong Kaiyuan Investment.
- Leading Mark, a Tokyo, Japan-based mobile app for job-seeking college graduates, has raised $1.45M in Series A funding from Nippon Venture Capital, Mizuho Capital, Link and Motivation, SMBC Venture Capital, East Ventures, and several other angel investors.
Other emerging markets
- Saguna Networks, an Israel-based mobile broadband tech developer, has raised an undisclosed amount of money from strategic investors SoftBank Ventures Korea Corp. and Akamai Technologies.
- Team8, an Israeli-based cybersecurity startup foundry and think tank, has raised $18M in Series A funding, including from Alcatel-Lucent, Bessemer Venture Partners, Cisco Investments and Innovation Endeavors.
- ComparaGuru, a Mexico-based price comparison site that helps consumers and companies order a variety of financial products, has raised $4M in funding from the Spanish venture capital firm Seaya Ventures.
- Angani, a two-year-old, Nairobi, Kenya-based company that claims to be the first public cloud infrastructure company in the region, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding led by Invested Development, with participation from Africa’s Talking, Savannah Fund, and Africa Angels Network.
- BitPesa, a Kenya-based remittance platform that uses bitcoin to as a more reliable way to send money to East Africa, has raised $1.1M in a second round of funding led by Pantera Capital. Other investors included Crypto Currency Partners, Stephens Investment Management, Bitcoin Opportunity Corp., and FuturePerfect Ventures. The company has raised $1.7M to date.
- Lamudi, the Rocket Internet-backed online property listings company for emerging markets, has closed a $18M round of funding from Asia Pacific Internet Group, a joint venture of Rocket Internet and Ooredoo; Holtzbrinck Ventures, the investment arm of the German publishing group; and current investor Tengelmann Ventures, a division of international multi-sector retailer Tengelmann Group.
Mergers & Acquisitions
- AlertMe, a smart energy and home monitoring system that enables users to control home appliances and devices, has been acquired by one of its investors, British Gas, in a deal worth £65M ($100M). AlertMe had raised $36.8M from investors, including Index Ventures, VantagePoint Capital Partners, SET Venture Partners and Good Energies.
- King Digital acquired Seattle-based studio Z2Live for $150M ($45M in cash, with a further $105M due depending on the performance of Z2Live’s future games). One of the original core F2P mobile developers, Z2Live is best known for its Trade Nations trading sims and air combat franchise MetalStorm.
- Social marketing company Insightpool has acquired a startup called Next Principles, a social relationship intelligence platform.
- The Niche Project, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based startup that connects Internet stars with big-brand advertisers, has been acquired by Twitter for roughly $30M. The company had raised $3.1M in seed funding from a long list of investors, including Slow Ventures, BoxGroup, and entrepreneur Bryan Goldberg.
- Expedia is buying Orbitz for about $1.6 billion in cash. This comes after Expedia announced that it was buying Travelocity last month for $280M.
- Coupa Software, provider of cloud-based spend management solutions, acquired San Francisco-based ZenPurchase, a collaborative enterprise procurement software company. The acquisition of ZenPurchase furthers Coupa’s mission to deliver savings-as-a-service through increased efficiencies, which drives business impact.
- Pentaho, a big-data platform-integration and business-analytics startup, has been acquired by Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Ltd, for an undisclosed amount that the companies are describing as the “the largest private big data acquisition transaction to date.” Pentaho had raised $72M from investors, including DAG Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Index Ventures, and Benchmark.
- Mortar Data, a predictive analytics company, has been acquired for undisclosed terms by Datadog, a 4.5-year-old company whose software helps customers monitor what’s happening within their IT infrastructures. Mortar Data had raised just $3M in equity and debt, while Datadog has raised $53.4M from a long list of investors, including Amplify Partners, IA Ventures, OpenView Venture Partners, RTP Ventures, and Index Ventures.
- Curby, an L.A.-based valet parking app that allows its customers to monitor cars and staff in real time, has been acquired by a local competitor, CurbStand, in a cash and stock deal whose value isn’t being disclosed.
- Eat24, a food and delivery service, has been gobbled up by Yelp for $134M in cash and stock. Eat24 had not raised external funding.
- Hewlett-Packard acquired Voltage Security, a startup based in Cupertino, Calif., devoted to encrypting data in the cloud and on mobile devices. Terms are not being disclosed. Voltage last raised funding in 2007 when it landed a $12M D round led by Trident Capital.
- Odysee, an iOS and Android app that people use to automatically back up, as well as to share, their smartphone photos and videos, has been acquired by Google for undisclosed terms. The company appears to have raised less than $1M in seed funding.
- Enviance, a 16-year-old, Carlsbad, Ca.-based software company focused on environmental, health and safety compliance, has been acquired by Battery Ventures for undisclosed terms.
- Perion Network has acquired MakeMeReach, a startup that lets mobile app developers extend ad campaigns to social media platforms. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- Mobile advertising company Appsfire, which is on a ‘mission to kill the banner ad’, has been acquired by the Mobile Network Group, for an undisclosed amount.
- Hem, the Berlin-based home furnishings company, has confirmed the acquisition of assets from Discipline.eu, an online design portal based in Italy. The financial terms of the all-cash deal are not being disclosed.
- European online optician Mister Spex has acquired the Norwegian contact lens online retailer Lensit.no.
- Ourpalm, a Beijing, China-based mobile games developer, has signed agreements to acquire stakes in three privately owned gaming firms for a total of CNY 4.304bn (USD 690m) with possible earn-outs. The target stakes are 100% of Blingstorm Entertainment [Jing He Si Dong], an 80% stake inBeijing Tianma Shikong Internet Technology and a 30% stake in Shanggame Information Technology (Shanghai) [Shang You Xin Xi]. Ourpalm plans to pay CNY 1.953bn in cash and is selling 150,874,663 new shares at CNY 15.58 per share to the owners of the target stakes.
- StudioKUMA, a Hong Kong-based company whose app filters out marketing calls and suspicious numbers, has been acquired for undisclosed terms by Gogolook, a subsidiary of Korean Internet giant Naver.
- WebPay, a four-year-old, Tokyo, Japan-based company whose Stripe-like service facilitates payment on e-commerce sites, mobile apps and other web-based services, has been acquired by the messaging app company Line for undisclosed terms. WebPay had raised $1.5M from undisclosed angel investors.
Other emerging markets
- Just-Eat has acquired Mexico’s SinDelantal.Mx to add to its Latin American presence.
- Microsoft has reportedly acquired Israel-based digital pen-maker N-Trig for “at least $200M.”
- Rocket Internet has agreed to purchase two online food takeaway operators in the Middle East. It will pay around €150M ($169M) to acquire Talabat, based in Kuwait. The company will become part of Rocket’s newly created Global Online Takeaway Group. Rocket also said its 50%-owned Foodpanda had struck a deal to buy 24h.ae, a strong player in the United Arab Emirates.