Blog Archives

Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly – 2014-06-30

Private Financing
US

  • San Francisco-based BetterDoctor, which operates an online referral service for dentists and doctors (including specialists), raised $10.4M in new venture funding. BetterDoctor had previously attracted $2.6M in seed funding. The funding was provided by SoftTechVC and Burrill & Co., with participation from 500 Startups, among others. BetterDoctors was founded in 2011 by chief executive Ari Tulla and chief technical officer Tapio Tolvanen and went nationwide in 2012.
  • Sprout Social, a social media management platform for enterprise, has raised $8M in new funding from Lightbank and NEA. Sprout Social helps companies manage social media, providing engagement, publishing, and analytics tools for more than 10,000 customers. Founded in 2010 in Chicago, Sprout Social has raised $19M to date and will use the latest funding to open a European headquarters and drive international expansion.
  • First Round Capital, seed-stage investment firm with offices in Philadelphia and San Francisco, has closed a fifth fund of $175M, up just slightly from its $160M previous fund. The firm also announced that New York City-based partner Phin Barnes is relocating to San Francisco and that Wiley Cerilli, founder of former portfolio company SinglePlatform, is joining as a venture partner.
  • Sport Ngin, Minneapolis, Mn.-based company that helps sports organizations build websites and mobile applications, has raised $25M in Series D funding led by Piper Jaffray Merchant Banking and Causeway Media Partners, with participation from existing investor ICON Venture Partners. The company has raised $35.1M to date.
  • Plumgrid, Sunnyvale, Ca.-based network infrastructure software vendor that helps secure cloud networks for public and private clouds, has raised $16.2M in Series B funding led by Longworth Venture Partners. U.S. Venture Partners, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Swisscom Ventures also participated in the round, which brings Plumgrid’s total funding to $29M.
  • IgnitionOne, Atlanta, Ga.-based digital marketing technology company, has raised $20M in Series B funding led by SoftBank Capital. Earlier investors ABS Capital Partners and Brown Savano — a company that buys private company shares from founders and early investors — also participated in the round. The company has now raised roughly $68M.
  • Distractify, New York-based new media startup that competes with the likes of Upworthy, has raised $7M in Series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Other participants in the round included Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Advancit Capital, and CAA.
  • Chloe & Isabel, New York-based jewelry company that connects its customers through their own social selling experience, has raised $15M in fresh funding led by Softbank Capital, at a valuation of more than $100M, reports VentureWire. The company had previously raised $17.5M from investors, including General Catalyst Partners, First Round Capital, Felicis Ventures, Floodgate and individuals Ashton Kutcher, Mike Duda, Andy Dunn, Kirsten Green, and Ron Conway, among others.
  • Wish, a fast-growing mobile-shopping app, raised $50M from venture-capital investors who believe there is still room for upstarts in an industry dominated by Amazon.com, eBay and Groupon. The funding came from new investor Founders Fund and existing investors Formation 8, GGV Capital and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang, among others, and gives the San Francisco startup a valuation of roughly $400M. The deal comes only about two months after Wish raised $19M in funding. Wish offers users a feed of products from various online merchants at discounted prices. As users save products to their “wishlists” or recommend them, the software learns about interests. Users can buy the goods directly through the Wish app.
  • Truveris, a New-York based prescription auditing service, has raised $12.75M in a new round of funding led by Canaan Partners while previous investors New Leaf Venture Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners, New Atlantic Ventures, and First Round Capital all participated in the financing. As a result of the investment, Canaan Partners’ Stephen Bloch will be taking a seat on the board.
  • CrowdTwist, New York-based company that sells loyalty and analytics software to marketers, has raised $9M in Series B funding led by StarVest Partners, with investment from earlier backers, including Fairhaven Capital and SoftBank Capital. The company has raised $16.2M altogether.
  • CareCloud, which provides cloud-based practice management, electronic health records (EHR), and medical billing software to medical groups, says it’s taken $25.5M in new venture debt financing from Hercules Technology Growth Capital. Miami Springs, Florida-based CareCloud has now taken a total investment of $81.9M since its launch in 2009. Before the new debt funding it had taken $56.4M in venture capital funding.
  • Tastemade, an online food network, has raised $25M in Series C funding from Scripps Interactive Media and Liberty Media along with return backers Comcast Ventures, Redpoint Ventures and Raine Ventures. Tastemade provides food-centric video content, producing a variety of its own cooking shows, and currently has more than 19M uniques per month. Founded in Santa Monica in 2012, Tastemade has raised over $40M to date and will use the latest cash to ramp up hiring and produce more content.
  • First Round Capital announced its fifth fund — a $175M round from existing limited partners. First Round’s fifth fund is its largest to date, up from $135M in 2012, $126.4M in 2010, and 125M in 2008. Alongside the funding announcement, First Round’s Josh Kopelman shares that SinglePlatform founder Wiley Cerilli will join the firm as a venture partner in New York. SinglePlatform was bought by Constant Contact for $100M in 2012.
  • Truveris, New York-based health information technology company that provides pricing and analysis tools to sponsors of prescription benefit plans, has raised $12.75M in Series C funding led by Canaan Partners. Earlier investors New Leaf Venture Partners, Tribeca Venture Partners, New Atlantic Ventures and First Round Capital also participated in the round, which brings the company’s funding to roughly $26.5M.
  • TapZen, L.A.-based mobile gaming startup, has raised $8M in new funding from Tencent Holdings. The company has raised $10M in “seed” funding from social games giant Zynga.
  • RedOwl Analytics, Baltimore, Md.-based company whose software helps organizations analyze their internal corporate data streams, has raised $4.6M from investors, including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff; Igor Sill of Geneva Venture Group; Christian Lawless of Conversion Capital; Attractor Ventures; Propel Baltimore; and Tedco’s new Veterans’ Opportunity Fund.The company has raised $7.5M altogether.
  • CoPatient, Portland, Or.-based medical-billing company that helps patients spot mistakes in their medical bills, has raised $3.6M in Series A funding led by .406 Ventures. Earlier investors Cambia Health Solutions and Athenahealth executive Jonathan Bush also participated in the round. CoPatient had previously raised $1.1M in seed funding.
  • Coherent Path, Arlington Heights, Ma.-based retail analytics startup, has raised $6.3M in Series A funding led by Sigma Prime Ventures and GrandBanks Capital. The company has raised roughly $7M altogether, including from dunnhumby Ventures, CommonAngels, and BOLDstart Ventures.
  • White Ops, New York-based company focused on online fraud detection (it says it isolates and eliminates bot-infected traffic), has raised $7M in funding from new investors Paladin Capital Group and Grotech Ventures.
  • The Bouqs, Venice, Ca.-based cut-to-order online flower delivery service, has raised $6M in Series A financing led by Azure Capital Partners, which was joined by KEC Ventures. The company had previously raised $1.1M in seed funding from numerous individual investors and firms, including Mich Mathews, Dennis Phelps, Andy Dunn, Brian Spaly, Telegraph Hill Capital, Quest Venture Partners, and Siemer Ventures.
  • Wickr, an app that lets you securely send self-destructing text, audio, and video messages, announced that it has raised a second funding round of $30M. The round was led by Jim Breyer, founder and CEO of Breyer Capital, who’s also joining the company’s board. The news comes only a few months after Wickr announced its $9M first round. Wickr claims it now has the resources to “build the most trusted communications system in the world.”
  • BlockScore, an identity-verification startup and member of Y Combinator’s latest batch that is launching with $2M in funding from Battery Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Lightspeed Venture Partners, New Atlantic Ventures, Boost VC, Y Combinator, and several angels.
  • Bite-size e-learning platform Coursmos, which reckons there’s room to squeeze a little learning into busy digital users’ lives by breaking study topics down into small, easily digested video chunks, has closed a new round of funding — topping up the seed money that saw it through to launch last year. The $530,000 in new funding comes from Russian VC Imperious Group and an unnamed angel investor.
  • General Electric and the four-year-old, San Juan Capistrano, Ca.-based venture firm Frost Data Capital are setting up a new incubator for industrial technologies. Called Frost I3, it expects to help advance ten companies per year over the next three years. A two-week-old SEC filing shows that Frost Data has raised at least $38.4M for its Frost VP Early Stage Fund II LP. Frost typically 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.
  • WebPT, Phoenix, Az.-based company that says its Web-based medical records software is now used by more than 35,000 rehabilitation therapists in the U.S. and Canada, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Battery Ventures.
  • Tasktop Technologies, Vancouver-based maker of so-called software lifestyle integration software, has raised $11M in Series A funding led by Austin Ventures. Yaletown Venture Partners also participated in the round.
  • SmashFly Technologies, Stow, Ma.-based maker of recruiting software, has raised $9M in Series A funding led by OpenView Venture Partners.
  • Schoology, New York-based learning management system that helps educators use apps and other tech more effectively to teach and manage their classwork, has raised $15M in Series C funding led by Intel Capital. Great Oaks Venture Capital and Great Road Holdings also participated in the round, alongside earlier investors FirstMark Capital and Meakem Becker Venture Capital. The company has now raised at least $23M altogether.
  • One Month, New York-based online education company that offers one month’s worth of tutorials on front-end Web development, growth hacking, Web security, and more (the idea is to teach users just enough to get a Web app up and running), has raised $770,000 in seed funding from Winklevoss Capital, Innovation Works, Andreessen Horowitz, General Catalyst, Start Fund, Oliver Jung, Lew Moorman, Y Combinator, FundersClub, and the crowdfunding platform WeFunder.
  • Aerospike, Mountain View, Ca.-based flash optimized, in-memory and NoSQL startup, has $20M in Series C funding led by New Enterprise Associates. Columbus Nova Technology Partners, Alsop Louie Partners and Regis McKenna also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total known funding to $22M. (It raised an undisclosed amount of Series B funding in 2012.)
  • Kids’ app developer Fingerprint has raised $10.85M in new funding led by DreamWorks. The company develops apps like “Kids Learn Mandarin” and “Wonder Bunny Math Race,” and it also publishes submissions from third-party developers who use its software development kit. The company currently has about 250 apps across all of its app networks and expects to reach 600 by the end of the year. Book publisher Reed Elsevier and media firm Corus Entertainment also contributed to Fingerprint’s new funding round alongside DreamWorks. Corus was an early Fingerprint investor, pouring $7.75M into the app maker back in August 2012.
  • Jason Kilar, former chief exec of streaming TV service Hulu, has secured $75M round of funding for his new startup Vessel led by Benchmark, Greylock Partners, and Bezos Expeditions — the personal investment company of Amazon head honcho (and Kilar’s old boss) Jeff Bezos.
  • Sapho, San Francisco-based mobile app that uses software APIs to pull from a company’s various enterprise applications and provide relevant updates for each user, has raised $3M in funding from a group of investors that includes Raymond Tonsing of Caffeinated Capital, Bloomberg Beta, Redpoint Ventures founder Brad Jones, and Andy Rankin.
  • Epoxy, Venice, Ca.-based company that builds tools to help YouTube startups and other video creators deepen their relationship with audiences, has raised $6.5M in Series A funding led by Upfront Ventures and Time Warner Investments. Earlier investors, including Advancit Capital, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Greycroft Partners and Robert Downey Jr.’s Downey Ventures, also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $14M.
  • Transifex, Menlo Park, Ca., and Athens, Greece-based startup that helps developers translate sites and apps into multiple languages quickly and inexpensively (comparatively), has raised $2.5M in seed funding led by New Enterprise Associates. Other participants in the round included Toba Capital, Arafura Ventures, and several individual angel investors.
  • Soundhawk, Cupertino, Ca.-based company that makes a “smart listening” system that looks like a Bluetooth headset to help people hear what they’re listening for in noisy environments, has raised $5.5M in funding from tech manufacturing giant Foxconn Group. The WSJ has much more on the company here. Soundhawk had previously raised $5.7M from True Ventures.
  • RelayRides, San Francisco-based peer-to-peer car sharing marketplace that now focuses only on providing long-term (day-long, at least) rentals, has raised $25M in Series B funding led by Canaan Partners. Earlier investors August Capital, Google Ventures and Shasta Ventures also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $44M.
  • Phunware, Austin-based company focused on creating mobile experiences for brands, including through mobile software development, has raised $30.7M in Series E funding led by Firsthand Technology Value Fund. Other investors in the round included Fraser McCombs Ventures, Maxima Ventures, Wild Basin Investment, the Central Texas Angel Network, Cisco Systems, World Wrestling Entertainment, and Samsung Ventures. The company has now raised $48.3M to date.
  • Patreon, San Francisco-based subscription platform that enables fans and sponsors to support artists and creators, has raised $15M in Series A funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from Alexis Ohanian, Sam Altman, David Marcus, Joshua Reeves and numerous other individual investors.
  • Passare, San Francisco-based startup that’s “simplifying end-of-life management” through an online portal where family and friends of the deceased can make funeral and travel arrangements, create online memorials and invite guests, has raised $6M from a group of funeral homes, angel investors and the Abilene, Tx.-based insurance company Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company.
  • OwnerIQ, Boston, Ma.-based company that provides real-time media buying services to advertisers, has raised $11M in funding led by existing investors in a round that was closed over two tranches, beginning in April. The company, which looks to have raised roughly $40M to date, counts Kepha Partners, Longworth Venture Partners, Egan-Managed Capital, CommonAngels, Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation, and Atlas Venture among its backers.
  • LIFX, San Francisco-based company making a Wi-Fi enabled, multi-color LED light bulb, has raised $12M in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital. The company had also raised $1.3M via a Kickstarter campaign in 2012.
  • Grand Rounds, San Francisco-based startup that provides medical second opinions online, has raised $40M in Series B funding led by Greylock Partners. Earlier investors Venrock and Harrison Metal also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $51M. Re/code has more on the company here.
  • Cargomatic, Venice, Ca.-based company that connects available truck drivers with companies needing to move freight (it calls itself the “Uber of trucking”), has raised $2.6M led by Morado Ventures, SV Angel, and Sherpa Ventures, reports Venture Capital Dispatch. Winklevoss Capital, Acequia Capital, Structure Capital and several angel investors also participated in the round.
  • Lerer Hippeau Ventures, the New York-based investment firm whose portfolio includes BuzzFeed, Chartbeat, and Warby Parker (among others), has closed its fourth fund, with a total of $62M in capital commitments.
  • Helpshift has raised $10M in venture capital funding to finance its expansion as the help desk for mobile app publishers. The company helps mobile game publishers like Supercell deal withMs of customer-service queries by intercepting more than 90 percent of those queries before they ever reach a real person. San Francisco-based Helpshift, which was the winner of last year’s Innovation Showdown at our MobileBeat 2013 conference, has created a platform for customer service on mobile devices. It can be used to create frequently asked question (FAQ) documents that are easily searchable, even when the user it tapping away with thumbs on a mobile device. Intel Capital led the round, with participation from Visionnaire Ventures, a new venture capital fund whose partners include Taizo Son, brother of Japan’s Masayoshi Son, head of SoftBank. Other participants include existing investors True Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.
  • CloudPhysics, a startup that has developed software for keeping tabs on the health of clusters of servers in companies’ data centers, has taken on $15M in fresh venture capital led by Jafco Ventures. Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Mayfield Fund also participated. Previously, VMware co-founders Diane Greene and Mendel Rosenblum invested in CloudPhysics. To date, Mountain View, Calif.-based CloudPhysics has raised $27.5M, including a $10M round last year and a $2.5M round in 2012. CloudPhysics has focused on providing analytics for data center operators that chop up their servers into virtual machines and maintain them with VMware’s popular vSphere software.
  • Slyce, Calgary-based visual product search platform, has raised $12M from the likes of Canaccord Genuity Corp. and including Salman Partners Inc., Cormark Securities Inc., and Beacon Securities Ltd. It comes just a few months after Slyce raised $10.75M from PI Financial, Salman Partners, Harrington Global and other investors. Before that it raised a convertable debenture round of $2.2M, and in total it has raised $27M. The Slyce technology enables a retailer’s customer to snap a smartphone picture of any item they find in the real world, or hover over any image online, and be instantly provided with all direct, or close-matching products from the retailer’s Inventory which can be purchased instantly – at the exact moment of consumer impulse.
  • Patreon, a subscription-based funding site for artists, has just raised $15M in a Series A from Alexis Ohanian, Sam Altman, David Marcus, Joshua Reeves and a bevy of other tech entrepreneurs. There were 17 angel investors and VCs in all who contributed to this series, with Danny Rimer of Index Ventures leading the round.
  • Scivantage, Jersey City, N.J.-based company that sells Web-based front and middle-office technologies to the financial services industry, has raised $20M from earlier investors Brown Brothers Harriman Capital Partners and Edison Ventures. The round also included debt financing provided by Comerica Bank and ORIX Ventures.
  • Inpria, Corvallis, Or.-based developer of high-resolution photoresists, has raised $1.45M led by the Oregon Angel Fund. The capital comes on the heels of a separate, $7.3M round of funding the company announced in February, led by Samsung Ventures, with participation from Intel Capital and Applied Ventures.
  • AnyPerk, an employee perk and discount startup based in San Francisco, has raised $3M in additional seed funding from VegasTech Fund, FundersClub, Vayner/RSE, and a handful of angel investors. AnyPerk helps companies create and distribute employee perks such as discounted gym memberships, hotel deals and movie tickets. Founded in 2012 and incubated by Y Combinator, AnyPerk already works with over 2,500 customers and will use the new cash to create a location-aware mobile app for employees.
  • Skyhigh Networks, a cloud access security company, has raised $40M in a Series C round led by previous investors Sequoia and Greylock with participation from new strategic investor Salesforce. Based in Cupertino, Skyhigh makes security software that manages and analyzes data from apps used by employees. Founded in 2011, Skyhigh has raised $66.5M to date and will use the new funding to ramp up hiring and develop new products.
  • Tanium, an enterprise security and systems management startup out of Berkeley, CA, has raised $90M from Andreessen Horowitz in its first venture capital round to date. Tanium allows IT professionals to control and manage an entire network through its natural language search console. Founded in 2007, Tanium plans to use the new cash to back continued product development and expansion. The investment values the company at $900M.

EMEA

  • Templafy, a business template management startup out of Denmark, has raised $2.5M in seed funding from SEED Capital and Sunstone. Templafy helps managers ensure visual and legal compliance in employee-produced business documents across all devices. Founded in December of 2013, Templafy will use the latest cash to fund global expansion.
  • Social trip planner startup CreateTrips has closed a $600,000 seed round of funding, with investment coming from Butterfly Ventures, Frontier and Rkapital.
  • Finnish mobile-first narrative-driven startup Seriously has announced it’s closed a $2.65M round of what it calls “Series B Seed” funding. Previous investor Upfront Ventures was the lead investor, with previous investors Sunstone Capital and new investor Daher Capital also participating. This round takes Seriously’s total funding to-date to $5M.
  • Deliveroo, food delivery service for premium restaurants that don’t traditionally offer a take-out service, has closed a £2.7M series A round led by Index Ventures, with participation from Hoxton Ventures and a number of individual investors. Currently operating in London only, Deliveroo solves the problem that a lot of take-out food does’t really cut it, and yet most premium or higher-end restaurants don’t deliver to homes or businesses. To do this, it’s built its own online ordering and logistics platform, including recruiting a fleet of drivers.
  • MyOptique Group, London-based online optical retailer, has raised roughly $27.2M in Series C funding from Korys, Beringea, Cipio Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, Acton Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners, and Index Ventures. The company has raised $55.4M to date.
  • Nutmeg, the UK-based online investment management startup, intends to disrupt the world of financial investing by making it affordable for the masses. But to do that it needs cash. Lots of cash. they’ve raised another $32M, taking their total funds raised to $50m. The investors in’s round include Carphone Warehouse founder Charles Dunstone, asset management house Schroders, and top-tier European VC Balderton Capital. Existing investors include Draper Associates and Daniel Aegerter from Armada Investment Group also participated. The new funds will be spent on customer acquisition and product development. Tim Draper calls Nutmeg “among the very best” of “exciting new financial technology businesses.”
  • Definiens, Munich, Germany-based pathology image-analysis company, has raised $20M in new funding led by Wellington Partners. Earlier investors Gilde Healthcare Partners, Cipio Partners, and TVM Capital also joined the round. The company has raised at least $33.3M to date.
  • Kreditech, the credit rating service for enterprise which offer micro-loans to costumers based on social and commerce data, has closed a $40M Series B funding round, the largest ever for a German financial services technology company and one of the largest rounds in Germany in 2014. The lead investor is Värde Partners, a PE fund, which was joined by existing shareholder Blumberg Capital and Point Nine Capital. Kreditech will use money to broaden its financial products and expand into new markets. It claims to have approved more than 1.5M individual loans inside the last 20 months. In January this year it secured $15M in debt financing from Kreos Capital. The company now operates in Poland, Spain, Czech Republic, Russia and Mexico and launched in Australia in Q1, and operates in Peru. Planned for this year is the Dominican Republic and Romania. Brazil is planned for 2015. From 2012 and 2013 they raised $25M funding.
  • VocalIQ, Cambridge, England-based company whose software aims to improve dialogue interactions in voice-activated systems, has raised $1.27M in seed funding. The round was led by Amadeus Capital Partners, with participation from Cambridge Enterprise. The company is a spin-out of the University of Cambridge’s Dialogue Systems Group.

Asia

  • Performance Lab, Auckland, New Zealand-based maker and marketer of real-time exercise measurement analysis and virtual coaching software, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Intel Capital.
  • Moi Corporation, the Tokyo-based startup behind Twitcasting, announced a US$5M series A funding round that will be used to increase the live-streaming platform’s presence outside of Japan. The investment was led by Indonesia’s Sinar Mas, marking the first time that a non-Japanese VC has invested in the company. Seed investor East Ventures1 also contributed. Twitcasting, already the largest live-streaming community in Japan, hopes to grow its user-base in the US and Brazil specifically. Twitcasting received US$640,000 in seed funding from East Ventures in May 2013. In just over a year, its user-base has ballooned from 2.4M users to 6.5M, with 15,000 new signups each day. More than 80 percent of Twitcasting users are under 24 years old and the company claims that, as of late last year, Twitcasting is more popular with Japanese teens and university students than Facebook.
  • Qianmi, a Chinese e-commerce system and service provider, announced 50M yuan (around US$8) of Series A financing led by Bangsheng Capital, a venture capital affiliate of GOVTOR Capital. The funding will be used to accelerate the construction of service outlets nationwide. Launched in Oct. 2013, Qianmi is the wholly-owned subsidiary of Ofpay.com, a leading e-commerce platform for digital products in China. Qianmi is now focused on providing e-commerce services in five industries of local life, mobile, gaming, fast moving consumer goods and office supplies. The startup now claimed more than 2,000 enterprise clients with over 300K outlets nationwide and a monthly turnover of 2.5 billion yuan. According to data from Qianmi, its e-commerce system now covers 80% of first- and second-tier cities, and 95% of third- and lower-tier cities.
  • JPY 51M (US$500,000)M poured into social problem solving service Any+Times. The startup announced the round of funding, noting that gaming giant DeNA and venture capital firm Incubate Fund led the financing. Any+Times has raised six previous funding rounds. Any+Times allows users to crowdsource solutions to everyday problems from their neighbors. Any+Times says it will use the funds to strengthen its business strategy, expand hiring, beef up its technical systems, and increase marketing spend.
  • Housing.com, Mumbai, India-based online real estate portal that helps people rent and buy homes, has raised $19M in its fourth round of funding, from Helion Venture Partners, Nexus Venture Partners, and Qualcomm Ventures.
  • Bigtree Entertainment, India-based company that owns the online entertainment ticketing property BookMyShow, has raised $25M from new investor SAIF Partners. Earlier investors Accel Partners and Network18 also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to $43M.
  • Meet You (aka Meiyou), a Chinese app that originated as a menstruation tracker that since evolved into a social network for all-things-ladylike, closed a US$35M series C investment round led by SIG. The round comes just five months after the company completed a US$15M round led by US-based Matrix Partners. It also comes days after competing startup Dayima netted US$30M from a group of investors that included Sequoia Capital. These are pretty large rounds by any standard, let alone for an app that hasn’t yet monetized. For comparison’s sake, Glow, the highest-profile Silicon Valley analogue, raised US$6M back in August 2013. Meet You claims to have 50M registered users and 3.5M “active users.” Dayima, meanwhile, has 45M registered users and over 3M daily active users.
  • ProjectManager, Auckland, New Zealand-based maker of online project management software has raised $3.5M in Series A funding led by New Zealand’s Zeus Management.
  • KDDI is investing in news curation app Gunosy with a 1.2 billion yen (US$11.8M) funding round – after already providing US$12M in March to fund a Gunosy television advertisement campaign. Jafco and B Dash Ventures joined KDDI for the latest investment.

Other emerging markets

  • Curiyo, Jerusalem-based company whose browser app enables users to look up names, places, and other terms in a pop-up window without leaving a Web page, has raised $1.9M in seed funding from OurCrowd, Cedar Fund, Morton Meyerson, Kima Ventures, Tom Glocer, Gigi Levy, JumpSpeed Ventures, and other private investors. Curiyo was founded by Bob Rosenschein, founder and former CEO of Answers.com. The company has raised $3.3M to date.
  • Israeli startup Parko successfully raised $1.1M in seed funding for its API, which uses crowdsourced data to help drivers find available parking spots in real time. SparkLabs, Global Ventures, OurCrowd, and European angel investors participated in the round. VoIP pioneer and Vonage co-founder Jeff Pulver also joined Parko’s board of advisors. Parko also analyzes parking habits from users who opt in. Using these bits of information, Parko’s algorithms build real time maps of parking availability that are continuously updated from data sourced from the crowd.
  • Webydo, Tel Aviv-based software as a service startup whose technology helps professional graphic designers to create sites on fly, without manual coding, has raised $7M in Series B funding led by the crowdfunding platform OurCrowd, along with Magna Capital Partners and unnamed strategic investors. Webydo has raised $9.7M to date. The business was founded back in 2010.
  • Dynamic Yield, Tel Aviv, Israel-based developer of a real-time website optimization and personalization platform, has raised $12M in Series B funding led by Marker, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, Innovation Endeavors, and the New York Times Co. The company has raised $14.2M to date.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Submodal, a five-year-old, Laguna Beach, Ca.-based Web design and software development studio, has been acquired by Tustin, Ca.-based Mophie, maker of the popular mobile battery case. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Longmaster Information & Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese software developer founded in 1998, acquired 39.net in cash and stock. The price reportedly is RMB650M (more than US$100). Launched in March 2000 by China’s state-owned pharmaceutical company 999Group, 39.net was one of the first health websites in China. In 2006, when 999Group was under restructuring, 39.net introduced funding from IDG Capital Partners, a China-focused investment firm, acquired the site for RMB30M. The site started offering medical and health information and then added features for users to ask doctors questions. The site covers 120M users, with 48% on mobile.
  • Appurify, San Francisco-based startup that makes it possible for developers to automate the testing and optimization of their mobile apps and websites, has been acquired by Google, the search giant announced yesterday. Terms of the deal aren’t being disclosed, but TechCrunch says it will “stay open as freemium cross-platform service.” Appurify had raised $6.3M from investors, shows Crunchbase, including Google Ventures, Foundation Capital, Radar Partners, Felicis Ventures, Webb Investment Network, Data Collective, Inspovation Ventures and individual investors.
  • Virtual reality firm Oculus VR has acquired Carbon Design, the product development studio that built the Xbox 360 controller for Microsoft. Oculus said it hopes to close the deal by the end of summer. Carbon Design will remain in its Seattle offices and work closely with the Oculus R&D team in nearby Redmond.
  • Opera has confirmed that it has acquired AdColony in a deal for $75M in cash, plus potential earnouts of $275M that bring the deal up to $350M. AdColony had raised an undisclosed amount of funding. Insight Venture Partners was among its backers. The deal will bring together one of the bigger startups in mobile video ads with Opera, a company that has built a business in web browsers for mobile handsets, PCs, and TVs. Opera is an alternative to the likes of Google’s Chrome and Apple’s Safari, as it’s a portal to search for apps.
  • 99dresses, New York-based platform whose app helped connect people wanting to buy and sell used clothing, is closing, according to its cofounder and CEO, Nikki Durki. The company, a Y Combinator alum, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Draper Associates, Persefon Ventures, and Fenox Venture Capital.
  • Oracle Corp agreed to buy Micros Systems, a company that sells Internet-connected cash registers, and the software and technical services to power them, to restaurants, retail shops, casinos and other companies. The deal is valued at about $5.3 billion including items such as options, and $4.6 billion net of Micros’s cash. The transaction, expected to close in the second half of this year, requires that Micros’s stockholders tender a majority of the company’s shares outstanding and shares representing vested equity incentive awards.

EMEA

  • Expedia has agreed to acquire the European car-rental reservation company Auto Escape Group from Montefiore Investment and Auto Escape Group’s management. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed..
  • A Little Market, Paris-based online marketplace for handmade items, has been acquired by its bigger U.S. peer Etsy for an undisclosed amount of money, reports TechCrunch. Etsy says it is its “sixth and largest acquisition to date.” A Little Market will continue to operate independently. Etsy has raised $97.3M in funding from Accel Partners, Union Square Ventures, Index Ventures and other investors.

Asia

  • Chinese web giant Tencent– now best known as being the maker of WeChat – announced that it’s paying US$736M for a 19.9% stake in 58.com, which is China’s answer to Craigslist. 58.com, which has 130M monthly unique users, IPO’d last October. Tencent revealed that 58.com’s listings will be integrated in some way with WeChat, the popular messaging app, as well as with Tencent’s QQ IM. Tencent is paying $40 per share for 58.com, which is below the $51.77 at which the stock ended Thursday’s trading. In October it floated at $22 per share, so early investors are still riding a strong return.
  • Chinese Universe Publishing and Media Company bought a 100 percent stake in Elex Technology Company for RMB 2.7 billion. Chinese Universe distributes and publishes books, teaching materials, and other publications including audio and video products. It also has a logistics arm. Some of the biggest games that Elex has helped export include Happy Farm (a.k.a. Happy Harvest), Age of Warring Empire, and Chi-Star. The lattermost has over 300M monthly active users, 50M of them paying subscribers. Elex’s investors include Chinese internet giant Tencent and venture capital and incubation firm Innovation Works. Chinese Universe paid with 130M shares and about RMB 1 billion (US$160M) in cash. The report didn’t mention how the two companies plan to work together down the line.
  • Hong Kong-based Animoca Brands Corporation, mobile publisher Animoca in May 2014 to run its branded games business – including Garfield, Mr Bean, Ben10, Astro Boy etc., is going through a reverse takeover which will see it effectively buy into a currently listed company on the Australian Stock Exchange called Black Fire Minerals. This company will sell off its existing assets, and be renamed Animoca Brands Corporation, while two of its current directors will resign, replaced by five new directors from Animoca Brands Corporation and its parent company Appionics (aka Animoca). As part of the deal, Black Fire Minerals/Animoca Brands will raise between $3 – $5M from the issue of new shares, which will then be used by the ongoing business as its starting capital. In total, Animoca has seen its games and entertainment apps downloaded more than 230M times, mainly on Android, while its Garfield-branded mobile games have recently passed the 30M total.
  • Chinese web portal Sina fully acquired lottery service Aicai.com and rebranded the site as Sina Aicai recently. The founding team of Aicai will remain with the company after the transaction. Aicai is a lottery ticket sales and information platform established in 2007 with Sina as a majority shareholder. The startup is also responsible for building and managing Sina’s own lottery ticket sales and information platform. The company launched a mobile website in May 2009, which partnered with Sina’s mobile portal in August of the same year.
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Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly – 2013-11-04

Private Financing
US
  • Circle Internet Financial has launched with $9m of Series A funding to increase mainstream adoption of digital currencies like Bitcoin by providing a payment platform for consumers and merchants. Investors include Jim Breyer, Accel Partners and General Catalyst Partners. Circle is a payment platform that wants to make it easy for businesses and consumers to use Bitcoin and other digital currencies.
  • The multi-category retailer Nomorerack has raised $40m in Series B financing led by Oak Investment Partners and HTV Industries. Although the company launched as a flash sales site in 2010, Nomorerack has since transitioned to position itself as an online retailer that offers deep discounts across the board in numerous categories. The financing will go toward customer acquisition and building out the depth of its top categories, which include jewelry, apparel, electronics, home and lifestyle. The company did $9m in revenue in 2011, north of $100m in 2012, and is now on track to do close to $300m. It’s profitable, and about 70 percent of sales are repeat purchases from consumers. They are currently seeing around 5m monthly unique visitors to the site.
  • FightMe, a social video app with what may be my favorite startup name ever, has raised $500,000 in seed funding from an undisclosed London investor. Using a hashtag system, app users can post their own 30-second, unedited videos, and they can also browse other videos and post their own footage in response.
  • Y Combinator-incubated legal startup Lawdingo is announcing that it has raised another $690,000 in funding. The company’s goal is to make it more convenient and affordable for users to connect with a lawyer. The new funding comes from angel investors (and funds run by angel investors) including Nathaniel Stevens, Kartik Hosanagar, Gene Alston, Altair Capital, Atsany Captial, and Andrew Moroz. It brings Lawdingo’s total funding to $850,000.
  • Runnable, a recently launched Palo Alto-based startup that aims to make it easy to discover and reuse code snippets, today announced that it has raised a $2m seed round led by Sierra Ventures with additional investments from Resolute VC, AngelPad and 500 Startups. Hiten Shah, the founder of KISSmetrics and Isaac Roth, the founder of Makara, also participated in this round. The service, which launched with about 1,000 code snippets for popular programming languages and APIs, plans to use this new influx of cash to onboard the companies that are currently waiting to bring code snippets for their APIs, libraries and SDKs onto the site.
  • Jibe announced that it’s secured a $4m credit facility from Silicon Valley Bank as it prepares to flesh out its backend services for enterprise partners looking to hire the right people. Jibe has previously raised a $10m Series B from Longworth Venture Partners (which led the round), Polaris Partners, Lerer Ventures, DFJ Gotham, and Thrive Capital in a bid to make it easier to apply for jobs from smartphones.
  • Frontback, the photo app that lets users create composite images using the front and rear cameras on their iPhone handsets, has closed a new round of funding of around $3m  from existing investors Lerer Ventures, Index Ventures and SV Angel; and new angels including CrunchFund’s Michael Arrington (also founder and former editor of TechCrunch); Chris Howard at Fuel Capital; Michael Birch; Charlie Cheever; and Initialized Capital’s Harj Taggar, Garry Tan and Alexis Ohanian. It comes after a $910,000 seed round in June 2012, when della Faille was still mainly working on his previous social publishing venture Checkthis.
  • Nextdoor is one of a handful of companies that has managed to thrive in the local market, and a growing list of investors are betting that the “Facebook for your neighborhood” could be the next big social network. To do so, the startup has secured a whopping $60m round in Series C financing from veteran investors, including John Doerr and Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Lee Fixel of Tiger Global Management. The round, which brings the startup’s funding to over $100m, also includes Comcast Ventures, as well as Nextdoor’s previous investors, Benchmark, Greylock Partners, and Shasta Ventures.
  • Q Factor, a U.S. startup that’s aiming to fix media-rich content delivery on wireless devices so there’s less waiting around to watch that video or access a large file, has closed a $6.5m Series A funding round from Sigma Prime Ventures and Venrock. Investors John Simon, from Sigma, and Venrock’s Mike Tyrrell have been added to Q Factor’s board, joining seed investor Zenas Hutcheson and Q Factor founder and CEO Subhash Roy.
  • Snapverse, an iPhone app that combines 20-second user videos with licensed music, has raised $3.5m from John Hannan of Apollo Management (it’s a personal investment by Hannan, not Apollo). The amount of licensed music available is about to grow significantly, thanks to partnerships with Universal, Warner Brothers, and Sony.
  • Magisto, an app that was designed to magically create interesting videos out of the videos that users had stored on their computers and phones, has raised $13m to take on the ambitious goal of unlocking all the world’s photos and videos and making them sharable. The funding comes from two major strategic investors — Qualcomm Ventures and Sandisk. Existing investors Magma Venture Partner and Horizons Ventures also participated in the round. Magisto has signed up more than 13m users since being founded, pitching them on the idea of “video storytelling.” By using proprietary algorithms, the mobile and web app pieces together multiple video and photo assets and creates sharable videos and photo slideshows. They can then be shared on social networks, or with specific friends and family.
  • Communications platform for mobile and web apps Layer has raised $6m in seed funding, bringing the company’s total seed funding to $7.5m. In addition to existing seed investors CrunchFund, Data Collective, and SV Angel; the round now includes AME Cloud Ventures (Jerry Yang’s investment vehicle) e.Ventures, Ash Patel, Fuel Capital, and Greycroft. Layer is a communications platform that can be added to any mobile app by adding fewer than 10 lines of code into the mix. Once that Layer code snippet has been placed in an app via an SDK, users will be able to send text, voice, and video messages, and share files across different applications.
  • Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada’s largest rural broadband service provider, announced the successful completion of a C$158m ($151.2m) private financing transaction consisting of C$148m of new debt and equity and C$10m in refinanced debt. This additional funding from new and existing investors is an endorsement of Xplornet’s unwavering commitment to the continuing development of rural broadband in Canada.
EMEA
  • 6Wunderkinder, the German provider of online task management services, has raised $30m in Series B funding from new investor Sequoia Capital with the participation of existing investors Earlybird and Atomico. 6Wunderkinder will mainly use the fresh capital to expand in the US.
Asia
  • Apps Daily Solutions, an India-based mobile applications company, has received B series investment from ru-Net, Qualcomm Ventures and IndoUS Venture Partners. The overall size of the investment is put at more than $5m.
Mergers & Acquisitions
US
  • Intuit is acquiring FullSlate, an online scheduling company that allows clients to offer their customers the ability to make appointments directly to web sites and Facebook pages. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The service will become part of Intuit demandforce, a marketing platform for small businesses. Demandforce has tools for communications, to help clients keep in touch with their customers through email and SMS messaging.
  • Soluto, a service that lets users manage PCs and other connected devices remotely, is getting acquired by Asurion, a company that offers device insurance services. The news is being reported as a work in progress by TheMarker and Calcalist.. The purchase price is rumoured to be between $100-$130m. Today the company has clocked more than 3m downloads of its product, and over 15m “actions” carried out through its platform.
  • WebMD acquires Avado to help drive its evolution from media company to patient engagement platform. WebMD announced that its health network saw 138m unique visitors per month and total traffic of 2.95 billion page views during the third quarter its popularity has wavered over the last decade. While the two companies declined to share details in regard to the terms of the acquisition, sources close to the deal said that the price fell in the $20-$30m range and was a positive outcome both for the founders and for its investors. Avado raised $1m back in March from investors that include The Partnership Fund for New York City and healthcare angels like Andy Palmer and Dr. Daniel Schwartz.
  • Twitter just announced that it has closed its acquisition of MoPub, a company which helps mobile publishers manage their ad inventory. An official confirmation followed soon after, though neither company confirmed the $350m, all-stock price that was rumoured previously.
  • Payment infrastructure company First Data has acquired Perka, the mobile loyalty startup. Perka is First Data’s second acquisition in October and follows its purchase of Andreessen Horowitz-backed mobile payments startup, Clover, two weeks ago. With its acquisition of Clover, First Data has been looking to ramp up its support for small businesses, particular around point-of-sale (POS) infrastructure. By teaming up with the largest payment processor in the U.S., Perka will be able to achieve scale faster than it would have on its own, as well as tap into the company’s financial resources, brand recognition and its more than 6m credit card terminal customers in 34 countries.
  • Fab.com has acquired assets from myFab, a home decor and designer furniture portal in France, to build out its European business into that country. The transaction price was rumoured at €3.1m ($4.3m), with possible additional payouts over time. Prior to the acquisition, myFab was 51% owned by a WebMediaGroup, which owns other design commerce sites like Maison Facile, Tek Import and Amateur de Design, and 49% by Alven Capital and BV Capital. MyFab was originally co-founded by Ning Li, who later left and co-founded Made.com in the UK. The company had raised some $10.2m in funding. It’s not clear what assets have been acquired by Fab.com, but $4.3m doesn’t sound like a lucrative exit for the company.
  • Internap Network Services Corporation announced plans to acquire hosting and cloud provider iWeb in a deal valued at approximately $145m. The combination creates a top five pure play IT infrastructure services provider, with trailing twelve months revenue in excess of $320m. Headquartered in Montreal, Canada, iWeb serves 10,000 SMB customers in more than 100 countries and has approximately 200 employees.
  • A new joint venture agreement between BCD Travel and its partner in Brazil positions the travel management company for growth in Latin America’s largest economy. With the agreement, BCD Travel takes a controlling interest in a newly established Brazilian company. Doing business as BCD Travel, the new Brazil operation will employ about 300. Investments will result in enhanced service and better data for clients. For example, call center infrastructure will be upgraded and new workflow management implemented and training and development improved.
  • Figment, a New York-based website aimed at teenagers, announced that it has been acquired by Random House.
  • KiwiTech, the Washington D.C.-based mobile technology company, will acquire a 75% stake in Ruckus Media Group, the three-year-old global children’s digital media company and early entrant in the iOS application space. Ruckus recently transitioned from award-winning, stand-alone applications to an eBook, video and interactive application portal featuring some of the nation’s top brands including Crayola, Hasbro, SeaWorld, and Curious George, among many others.
EMEA
  • zanox, the leading European performance advertising network, has completed the acquisition of Digital Window, the holding company of the multi-award winning UK affiliate network Affiliate Window, by acquiring the remaining 49.9 percent of shares. The acquisition process started in 2009 with the two zanox shareholders Axel Springer and PubliGroupe purchasing a 50.1 percent stake in Digital Window. In 2010, the two companies consolidated their majority shareholding in Digital Window into their joint subsidiary zanox. The zanox Group is owned by German Axel Springer, with a shareholding of 52.5 percent, also by the Swiss PubliGroupe with 47.5 percent.
  • Bygghemma, the Swedish e-retailer for building materials, is to acquire the Swedish furniture e-retailer, Trademax. The acquisition will increase Bygghemma’s expected 2013 turnover from SEK 500m (EUR 57m) to SEK 700m (EUR 80m).
  • Babyshop, the Swedish online baby products retailer, has acquired its Swedish competitor, Oii. The two companies complement each other and the buy will strengthen Babyshop further. Babyshop has a turnover of around SEK 100m (EUR 11.4m) and that Oii is seen as the market number two.
  • Host Europe Group has announced the successful acquisition of domainFACTORY, for an undisclosed consideration. domainFACTORY currently manages 1.1m domains and serves approximately 173,000 customers – mostly in the small and medium enterprises and private professional market segments. This transaction follows the recent acquisition by Host Europe Group of Telefónica Germany Online Services GmbH, a leading enterprise-managed hosting provider.
Asia
  • None this week

Jonathan’s Internet and Digital Media Weekly – 2013-10-07

Private Financing
US

  • ERN is a pioneering big data technology company, committed to enabling all parties of the payment eco-system to analyse transactional Big Data in order to turn data into insights and insights into action. ERN has raised a further $1m in seed funding, bringing the total raised by the London-headquartered company to $5.6m. ERN’s analytics platform, dubbed “Looop,” enables banks/card issuers and participating merchants to boost customer loyalty by creating new products and offers based on the analysis of their card transactions.
  • Lark, which launched a wearable silent alarm, has raised $3.1m of an intended $3.6m round of funding, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Although Lark started out with a silent alarm, it expanded its product lineup to include a sleep coach product called Lark Pro and a more general device and app called Larklife. Lark previously raised $1m in funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners, CrunchFund and others.
  • A new startup in Los Angeles called IRIS.TV wants to give video publishers the tools to make streaming video more personalized and keep viewers hooked for longer. The company is coming to market with $1.7m in seed funding from angels in the media and finance worlds. The team has raised a total of $1.7m from angels in the media and finance worlds. That includes folks like Bob Jacobs, who was Bill Cosby’s long-time agent and is considered the “godfather of television syndication”; Nick Rau, co-founder of Vizu (which recently sold to Nielsen); former Viacom exec Jimmy Barge; and entertainment attorney Jor Law.
  • Loom, a cloud storage and syncing service in the form of a mobile application for iOS and desktop app for Mac, announced $1.4m in seed funding. The round included participation from Google Ventures (MG Siegler, disclosure: previously a TechCrunch employee and current contributor); Tencent, Great Oaks VC, Overbrook Entertainment (Will Smith), Damon Way (founder, DC Shoes), and a few other angel investors.
  • MongoDB, a database technology, has raised $150m from T. Rowe Price Associates with new investors Altimeter Capital and Salesforce.com. Existing investors Intel Capital, NEA, Red Hat and Sequoia Capital also participated in the round. MongoDB has raised $231m since the founders started the company in 2007. The new funding will be used to further support the core MongoDB project and to fund its new managed services offering, which includes a suite of tools and services to operate the database at scale
  • Mobile app search engine Quixey, which has built a search engine to tackle app discovery by allowing consumers to find apps by searching for the kind of functionality they’re looking for, has closed a $50m Series C funding round, led by Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group. Others participating in the round include new investor GGV Capital, and existing investors Innovation Endeavors, TransLink Capital and U.S. Venture Partners in the U.S., as well as Atlantic Bridge in London and Dublin and WI Harper in Beijing. The new funding round brings Quixey’s total raised to-date to $74.2m.
  • Tulip Retail, which develops an end to end technology platform for in-store and online sales for retailers, has raised $2.4m in funding led by SoftTech VC with Founder Collective, BoxGroup, Lerer Ventures, iNovia, Promus Ventures, KIMA Ventures, Matt Mullenweg, the founders of Bufferbox, and Greg Kidd participating.
  • Netskope, a company which performs deep usage analytics and enforces business and security policies in cloud apps, raised $21.4m in funding from Social+Capital Partnership and Lightspeed Venture Partners. That $21m has come in two tranches, both raised while Netskope was still in stealth mode. The first was a $5.5m seed round from Social + Capital; the second, a $15.9m round closed earlier this year from Lightspeed.
  • Influencer marketing company Pursway has raised $7.2m in Series B funding. The new funding comes from Battery Ventures and Globespan Capital Partners, who both previously invested.
  • Koality, a continuous integration platform that parallelizes your test suites, prevents broken builds, and works behind your firewall, has closed its seed round. The $1.8m round was led by FF Angel‘s Peter Thiel. Other angels and small funds participated as well.
  • Quantopian, a community where around 11,000 or so quants collaborate on algorithmic trading strategies, has raised $6.7m from Khosla Ventures and Spark Capital. The new round brings the company’s total funding to $8.8m. Quantopian says it is the world’s first browser-based algorithmic trading platform. Developers can build and test algorithmic trading strategies on the platform. Then, they can share their work and collaborate with others.
  • CardFlight was founded to enable any developer to create his or her own branded app and take in-person credit card payments from it. The company received $1.6m in funding that was led by ff Venture Capital, with additional participation from Payment Ventures, Apostolos Apostolakis, Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator, Plug & Play Ventures, and Great Oaks Venture Capital. Along with the funding, ffVC founding partner John Frankel will join the company’s board.
  • Online attorney marketplace UpCounsel raised $1.5m in seed funding from investors that include Homebrew, Bobby Yazdani, SV Angel, Collaborative Fund, Haroon Mokhtarzada, and other angels. The funding comes as UpCounsel has seen growth not just in the number of attorneys on the platform, but also in companies using the service. Since launching 14 months ago, the marketplace has been used by more than 1,000 small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Video interviewing platform HireVue raised a $25m Sequoia-led Series D round of funding to continue to fund its growth. Sequoia Capital’s Mickey Arabelovic is joining the company’s board as a result of this new round, which also saw participation from Kickstart Fund and the company’s previous investors (Granite Ventures, Investor Growth Capital, Peterson Ventures, Rose Park Advisors).
  • “Motion books” platform Madefire is announcing that it has raised $5.2m in Series A funding led by True Ventures (the firm also led Madefire’s $1.1m seed round), with participation from Anthem Venture Partners, Crosslink Ventures, Correlation Ventures, and various angels including former Apple SVP Sina Tammadon, former Macromedia chairman Bill Woodward, entrepreneur and investor Richard Seet, and Hollywood attorney Gary Stiffelman. Among other things, Wolstenholme said the investment means that Madefire is starting to build connections to the media world.
  • Listia, the marketplace for used and free goods, has closed a $9m Series A led by General Catalyst, with partner Neil Sequeira joining the startup’s board. As mobile growth takes off for the startup, the team will be using that financing to build out their iPhone and Android apps.
  • Quri, a retailer analytics and intelligence company whose software has been adopted by half of the top twenty-five CPG (consumer packaged goods) brands around the world, including Tyson, Nestle, Dannon, Procter & Gamble, Unilever and others, raised a $10m in Series B funding in a round led by Dana Stalder of Matrix Partners, who will now join Quri’s board. Also participating were Quri’s $4.25m Series A investors, Catamount Ventures and Simon Equity Partners.
  • Wrike, a cloud-based solution combines task and project management functionality, has raised $10m in Series A funding from Bain Capital Ventures.
  • Telogis has raised $93m from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to deepen its location-based services platform for operations that have large mobile workforces. The funding will further help fuel the company’s expansion in the anticipation of an IPO next year. The company expect $85m in revenues this year and more than $100m next year.
  • San Francisco-based real estate startup Reesio is announcing that it has closed on $1.096m in new funding for its transaction management software for real estate agents. Investors included Digital Garage, MicroVentures, Hiten Shah, and other angels. The company had previously raised a seed round of $205,000.
  • SocialSafe, the social media back-up startup co-founded by serial entrepreneur and angel investor Julian Ranger, has added a further $1m in funding to its coffers, bringing the total raised by the UK company to around $1.855m since it was founded in 2009. In what is being described as a second “interim” round, the additional funding comes from existing backers Marco Sodi and others, along with a number of investors from the UK-based group Knight Ventures.
  • LogEntries collects and analyzes huge quantities of machine-generated log data, helping companies track their application logs, received $10m in Series A financing, once again led by Polaris Partners, and participated in by Floodgate, RRE Ventures and new local Irish firm Frontline Ventures.
  • Tackk, which offers tools for creating content that combines text, images, audio and video, is coming out of beta and announcing that it has raised $1.2m in a second round of seed funding. The new funding was led by ff Venture Capital, with participation from previous investors Hatch Partners and Drummond Road Capital. Celeste (who joined Tackk from Hatch) said that one of the appealing things about working with ff is that the partners aren’t forcing Tackk to specialize.
  • DoorDash has raised a $2.4m round led by Khosla Ventures’ Keith Rabois and Charles River Ventures’ Saar Gur. SV Angel’s David Lee, YC partner Paul Buchheit, Benchmark co-founder Andy Rachleff, angel investor Russell Siegelman, and Pejman Nozad‘s new fund Pejman Mar Ventures were also in on the round. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Twitch, a popular video game streaming service, has raised a $20m Series C round led by Thrive Capital. WestSummit Capital participated in the funding, as did, notably, well-known game publisher Take-Two Interactive. Twitch currently sees 45m monthly unique viewers on its service. Twitch allows gamers to stream their play, which might sound niche, but as competitive gaming grows in popularity, the company has been riding its wave.
  • BeachMint, an e-commerce company consisting of members-only websites linked to celebrities, has received a minority investment from twin celebrity businesswomen and fashion designers Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen.
  • Through a capital increase, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) secured around 2% of the shares in Zalando. Further capital increases of up to 2% of the shares in Zalando may follow as part of this financing round, led by OTPP. Zalando had sales of EUR 1.15bn in 2012, with a negative EBIT of EUR 80m.

EMEA

  • Swedish startup Memoto, a small camera is designed to be worn on person, features no buttons and takes pictures constantly while worn, rebrand to Narrative with $3m in new funding. Both the rebrand and the new money will help Narrative expand on a global scale. The round is led by San Francisco’s True Ventures. True Ventures has previously invested in hardware startups including MakerBot and Fitbit, and Narrative’s aims are somewhat parallel to those of Fitbit, with more of an emphasis on quantifying non fitness data. The round also included LDV Capital and London’s Passion Capital, which has backed photo sharing apps including EyeEm and Loopcam in the past.
  • Skyscanner, one of the largest flight search engines on the Web, finalized an undisclosed investment from Sequoia Capital, led by partner, Sir Michael Moritz — who will also be joining the company’s board of directors. The investment came at a $800m valuation. Skyscanner has raised $5.2m to date and was seeing $30m in turnover a year ago.
  • Flea market-style mobile apps has raised a “seven-figure” founding round led by Tivola Ventures, and Leverate Media. Nothing out of the ordinary there — an undisclosed funding round is very European. The overall funding amount isn’t being disclosed, beyond that “seven-figure” mention, Tivola Ventures is said to be taking 25 percent equity. It has to be said that it’s unusual for what is otherwise an opaque funding round to break out equity numbers, but, with a mixture of cash and “media equity,” this deal is nothing if not convoluted.
  • Russian mobile-first banking startup RocketBank secured $2m in seed funding from Runa Capital. RocketBank is not a bank itself, rather it’s a mobile app with banking abilities — much like an MVNO is not a mobile network operator but can still offer cellular services by piggybacking on carriers’ networks.
  • Pitango Venture Capital, the Israel-based investment company behind like Apple-acquired Anobit, Samsung-acquired Boxee and many others, has closed a $270m fund, which it will use to back “Israeli companies and companies with an Israeli nexus” that may otherwise be operating in the U.S. and Europe, according to Chemi Peres, co-founder and managing general partner. He says a “meaningful portion” of the investment in the fund came from Asia, specifically investors from China, India, Korea, Taiwan, Japan and Singapore — many investing in Israel for the first time.
  • Soundrop, a social music service that aims to democratize the way people discover and experience music with friends, announcied a $3.4m round of funding led by Spotify’s lead investor, Northzone. In addition to Northzone, Norwegian-government-back Investinor also participated. Northzone also led the previous $3m round in the company last year.
  • Plenummedia, a company that provides a full suite of technology tools and services to help small and medium sized companies do business on the Internet, raised a $6.5m Series B round led by Seaya Ventures. The Madrid-headquartered company provides a full suite of technology tools and services to help small and medium sized companies do business on the Internet, ranging from desktop and mobile websites, email, SEO, Social Media to SEM.
  • Yemeksepeti, the Turkish online catering company, has made an investment into the Greek Click Delivery (www.clickdelivery.com). Yemeksepeti will invest EUR 3m to help Click Delivery with its planned geographic expansion.

Asia

  • None

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • IBM has announced the acquisition of Xtify, a provider of mobile messaging tools that allows push notifications to reach customers. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Xtify’s platform leverages a company’s CRM environment, business rules and other data to run targeted campaigns. It offers the capability to target campaigns with scheduled messages according to the time zones, frequency and a host of other factors. Xtify, founded in 2009, will become part of the IBM Smart Commerce group and will target chief marketing officers and the new ecosystem of digital marketing managers and developers.
  • Google acquired Flutter, a gesture recognition technology startup with an app that provides gesture detection and recognition from standard webcam devices, for around $40m.
  • GoDaddy has bought Ronin, a company that specializes in online invoicing services to help businesses bill customers and keep track of how they get paid. The deal actually closed in April, says GoDaddy, but the company is making it public now because it has now integrated the service into GoDadddy Online Bookkeeping, its SMB-focused accounting business. Terms have not been disclosed.
  • Biotech company Monsanto has bought Climate Corporation for approximately $1.1 billion. While the Monsanto press release says $930m, the actual price is past the $1 billion mark, because part of the all-cash deal will be paid out over time as an employee retention plan. Climate Corporation is backed by Founders Fund, Khosla, Google Ventures, NEA, Index Ventures and Atomico. The company uses machine learning to predict the weather and other essential elements for agribusiness.
  • Yahoo is set to acquire Hitpost, the maker of a handful of sports-centric mobile apps, to beef up its own sports offerings on iOS and Android, say sources familiar with the deal. The company’s team of seven or so is heading over to join Yahoo.
  • Copper.io, a provider of cloud management tools, acquired Pandastream, a video platform that runs on AWS and supports multiple video codecs. Copper.io provides a single interface for many of the tools used in a modern application stack.
  • Intel has acquired Sensory Networks for $20m to further extend its security capabilities. Sensory Networks, based in Palo Alto, was founded in 2002 as a hardware company, providing high-performance technology that maps networks by looking for patterns such as spam, malware and other types of intrusions.
  • Syncsort is acquiring Circle Computer Group, a software maker that allows organizations to make data securely available for analytics on platforms such as Apache Hadoop. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
  • Proofpoint, a leading security-as-a-service provider, announced that it has acquired Silicon Valley based Sendmail, Inc., a leading provider of solutions that simplify business messaging complexity and reduce IT infrastructure costs for enterprises throughout the world. The acquisition brings a unique set of technical talent to the Proofpoint engineering team and strengthens the company’s position in enterprise security and messaging. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Proofpoint paid approximately $23.0m in cash. The acquisition was structured as a simultaneous signing and closing and requires no additional approvals.
  • Leaf, creator of the LeafPresenter, a tablet specifically designed for commerce, announced it has closed $20m in its first round of institutional funding from Heartland Payment Systems, one of the nation’s largest payments processors and a leading provider of merchant business solutions.
  • TellApart, the preeminent provider of personalized marketing solutions for omnichannel commerce, announced that they have completed the acquisition of AdStack — a leading email marketing optimization provider.

EMEA

  • Apple has acquired personal assistant app Cue for $50-$60m. Backed by SV Angel, Sequoia Capital, Lerer Ventures and Index Ventures in addition to some notable angels, Cue was born as Greplin, a social search startup. Cue had previously raised a $10m round in November of 2012 from Index Ventures, which the startup chose not to announce.
  • Curated accessories market Boticca acquired L’Atelier De La Mode, a leading Paris-based fashion designer marketplace, and simultaneously launching its French website Boticca.fr, its first non-English language website. Launched in 2008 by Jonathan Lipfeld, L’Atelier De La Mode has garnered close to 100,000 customers in France which now brings Boticca’s own database to 500,000 customers globally. L’Atelier De La Mode’s site will be redirected to Boticca.fr. No employees from L’Atelier De La Mode will be joining Boticca as part of the transaction. The acquisition was for cash and terms were undisclosed sum.
  • Love Home Swap, the UK-based holiday home exchange marketplace startup, has raised a further £1m from existing backer MMC Ventures, bringing the total invested by the London VC in the company to approximately £2.65m. To-date, the startup says 55,000 “inspiring properties” are listed on its service, in over 150 countries, claiming that members save an average of £2,202 per home swap.
  • Azimo, the UK-based social money transfer service that competes with legacy players Western Union and Moneygram, and to a lesser extent, PayPal, has raised just over $1m in seed funding from the European arm of VC firm eVentures. Existing angel investors also participated in the round, including CapitalOne founder Matt Cooper, which brings the company’s total funding to-date to around $1.5m.
  • Jaywing announced that it has completed the sale of its e-commerce arm, Tryzens Limited (“Tryzens”), for a total transaction value of GBP 6.0m in cash. The funds were provided by Scottish Equity Partners to allow for the acquisition of the total share capital of Tryzens through a management buyout.
  • Meetic, the European online dating company, announced that it has signed an Agreement for the acquisition of the assets of e-kontakt, owned by Intodate International AB. Meetic is only acquiring the assets relative to the brand, the domain names and the user base, via its Swedish subsidiary Match.com Nordic AB, for an undisclosed sum.
  • Inflexion announces that it has completed the GBP 73m secondary buyout of On The Beach, the UK’s leading beach specialist online travel agent.

Asia

  • None