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

Private Financing

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


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


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

Other emerging markets

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

Mergers & Acquisitions

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


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

Posted on March 2, 2015, in Internet weekly update. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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