Blog Archives

Jonathan’s Internet And Digital Media Weekly Update – 2015-03-16

Private Financing
US

  • Startup Altocloud is emerging from stealth mode and releasing what it says is the first predictive analytics solution with machine learning for real-time communications like chat and phone calls, has raised $2M in seed funding led by Delta Partners, Digicel Group, and ACT Venture Capital.
  • Audvisor, a startup who offers advice in the form of three-minute audio clip from more than 100 contributors, has raised $1.4M in seed funding from angel investors including Formation 8’s Shirish Sathaye.
  • Asseta, a marketplace for capital equipment and other spare parts, has raised an additional $1M in seed funding from Red Swan Ventures, Zpark Venture, FundersClub, Gil Penchina, Jeff Epstein, Winklevoss Capital, Sandy Kory and Mission and Market.
  • Splash, events marketing CRM, raised a $6M Series A led by Spark Capital.
  • TransitScreen, a timetable for mass transit through smart TV, raised a $600,000 angel round with a group of unnamed VCs in transportation, real estate, and finance.
  • Greenhouse, a recruitment SaaS startup, as raised a $13.6M Series B led by Benchmark and joined by The Social+Capital Partnership, Felicis Ventures and Resolute Ventures.
  • SignalFX, a software application monitoring company, has raised $20M in Series B funding led by earlier investor CRV, with participation from earlier investor Andreessen Horowitz. The company has raised $28.5M altogether from the two firms.
  • Liaison Technologies, a company that makes cloud-enabled data-integration and data-management products, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Merck Global Health Innovation Fund. The company says the round brings its total funding to $90M.
  • Favor, a personal delivery service whose “runners” wear blue tuxedo T-shirts and fetch and deliver goods for $5 per trip (plus 5% of the cost of the items and a driver tip), has raised $13M in Series A funding. The company has now raised $17.9M altogether, including from investor Tim Draper and Silverton Partners.
  • EVEN Financial, a startup that connects online lending marketplaces with borrowers and verified potential lenders, has raised $2.8M in seed funding led by Canaan Partners, with participation from Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Conversion Capital, Social Leverage, 555 Capital, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and individuals investors.
  • Classkick, a platform that enables teachers to give immediate feedback to students working on iPads, has raised $1.7M in seed funding from Great Oaks Venture Capital, Kapor Capital, Lightbank, and Yammer cofounder Adam Pisoni.
  • Bugcrowd, a company whose software helps companies run crowdsourced, software-bug bounty programs to track the bugs down, has raised $6M in Series A funding led by Costanoa Venture Capital, with participation from Rally Ventures, Paladin Capital Group and Blackbird Ventures. The company has raised $9M to date.
  • VaporChat, a New York-based company whose newly launched mobile application offers users more control over their messages’ content, has raised $1.5M led by Social Starts, with participation from numerous angel investors.
  • Steelwedge, a supply-chain planning company, has raised $22.5M in new funding led Camden Partners, with participation from Mainsail Partners, Shea Ventures and the company’s chief executive, Pervinder Johar.
  • StarMaker Interactive, a San Francisco-based online platform that invites users to record and share music videos of themselves, has raised $6.5M in new funding led by Raine Ventures, with participation from Crosscut Ventures, GREE International, iGlobe Partners, Qualcomm Ventures, Three Bridges Ventures, and individual investors.
  • Snapchat, the messaging company, has raised $200M in new funding from Alibaba Group at a valuation of $15 billion.
  • Memebox, an online and mobile beauty brand company, has raised $17.5M in Series B funding, bringing its total funding to $29.4M. Its investors include Formation 8, Goodwater Capital, AME Cloud Ventures, Pejman Mar Ventures, Y Combinator, Winklevoss Capital, FundersClub, Cowboy Ventures, and Altos Ventures.
  • Lyft, the three-year-old, San Francisco-based ride-hailing service, has raised $530M in new funding, led by the Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. The new round brings Lyft’s total funding to $850M and establishes its value at about $3 billion. Others of its backers include Andreessen Horowitz, K9 Ventures, GSV Capital, QueensBridge Venture Partners, Coatue Management, Mayfield Fund, and Founders Fund.
  • Kira Talent, a Toronto-based online talent assessment platform, has raised $1.2M in seed financing led by Relay Ventures, with participation from the Business Development Bank of Canada and numerous angel investors. The company has now raised $3.2M altogether.
  • Classkick, an online learning platform that enables teachers to give students immediate feedback, has raised $1.7M in funding from investors, including Great Oaks Venture Capital, Kapor Capital, Lightbank and individual investors.
  • Bento Labs, a startup that’s developing a customizable home screen for Android devices, has raised $2M in seed funding from investors, including First Round Capital, Google Ventures, and the Social+Capital Partnership.
  • Agilence, a company whose software helps retailers monitor their stores and prevent theft, has raised $4.3M in funding led by earlier backer Laurel Capital Partners, with participation from new investor Drayton Park Capital and previous backers Aster Capital, Granite Ventures, and NextStage Capital. The company has raised $18.5M to date.
  • Zuora, an business whose software allows customers set up subscriptions for their goods and services, has raised $115M from investors that include Wellington Management, BlackRock, Premji, and Passport Capital. Earlier investors also joined the round, including Benchmark, Greylock Partners, Redpoint Ventures, Index Ventures, Shasta Ventures, Vulcan Capital, Next World Capital, Workday co-CEO Dave Duffield and Salesforce founder Marc Benioff. Zuora has now raised $250M altogether.
  • ThinkCerca, a company offering online academic reading and writing instruction, has raised $3.2M in Series A funding led by Follett Knowledge Fund, Amicus Capital, Great Oaks Venture Capital, and Math Venture Partners.
  • Splash, an event-planning software startup, has raised $6M in new funding led by Spark Capital. The company has now raised $7.7M altogether.
  • SpareFoot, an online service for finding and booking self-storage units, has raised $33M in new funding led by Revolution Growth. Monkfish Equity and earlier backer Insight Venture Partners also joined the round, which brings the company’s total funding to roughly $50M.
  • Prevoty, a security software company that enables enterprises to embed security within their applications, has raised $8M in Series A funding led by U.S. Venture Partners. The company has now raised $11.1M altogether.
  • Pager, a company whose mobile app facilitates doctor house calls, has raised $10.4M from existing seed investors Lux Capital and Montage Ventures, as well as new investors Goodwater Capital and Summation Health Ventures.
  • Looker, a business intelligence platform, has raised $30M in Series B funding led by Meritech Capital Partners, with participation from Sapphire Ventures and earlier backers Redpoint Ventures, First Round Capital and PivotNorth.
  • Independa, a startup that embeds remote-monitoring technology for elderly people into television sets made by LG Electronics, has closed its multi-tranched Series B round at $6M, with its newest capital coming largely from Mesa Verde Venture Partners.
  • HealthMyne, an informatics company focused on bringing imaging analysis to the point of care, has raised $4.5M in Series A funding led by local firms Venture Investors and 4490 Ventures, with participation from HealthX Ventures and several angel investors.
  • Groupon, daily deals and local commerce company, is taking steps toward spinning off its Asia business, Groupon India and raised $20M from Sequoia Capital.
  • Elastica, a cloud security company, has raised $30M in new funding led by Third Point Ventures, with participation from Pelion Venture Partners and earlier backer Mayfield Fund.
  • Decolar, an online travel agency — the largest in Latin America — has taken $270M from Expedia Group in exchange for less than 20 percent of its business.
  • SimpliVity, a converged infrastructure company, has raised $175M in Series D funding led by Waypoint Capital, with participation from earlier backers Accel Partners, CRV, DFJ Growth, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Meritech Capital Partners. The company has now raised $276M altogether.
  • RayVio, a company that uses solid state UV technology for a variety of applications, including to disinfect drinking water and prevent food spoilage by eliminating bacteria, has raised $9.3M in Series B funding, including from Applied Ventures, Augment Ventures, New Ground Ventures and Tolero Ventures. Earlier backers DCM Ventures and Capricorn Investment Group also joined the round.
  • Onshape, a computer-aided design startup that has been operating in stealth mode, has raised $64M in funding over the years, including from New Enterprise Associates, North Bridge Growth Equity & Venture Partners, and Commonwealth Capital Ventures.
  • Flashnotes, an online marketplace that invites students to exchange academic materials, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Barnes & Noble. The company had previously raised $11.4M from investors, including Atlas Venture, SoftBank Capital, and Runa Capital.
  • E8 Security, a maker of cyber security analytics software, has raised $9.8M in Series A funding led by March Capital Partners, with participation from Allegis Capital and The Hive.
  • Do, a startup that makes meeting software, has raised $2M in seed funding, including from New Enterprise Associates, Slow Ventures, Queensbridge Venture Partners, and numerous individual investors, including Zynga founder Mark Pincus.
  • 21 Inc., a stealthy bitcoin startup, has raised $116M in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz and RRE Ventures, with participation from Yuan Capital, Qualcomm Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Data Collective and numerous individual investors, including PayPal cofounders Peter Thiel and Max Levchin.
  • Quixey, a mobile search startup, has raised $60M in new funding led earlier backer Alibaba Group, with participation from Goldman Sachs, GGV Capital, and SoftBank Capital. The company has now raised $134.9M altogether.
  • Photobucket, a 12-year-old, Denver-based image and video hosting site, has raised $3.6M in new funding. The additional capital is reportedly part of an $8M round that’s still in progress. Photobucket was sold in 2007 to Fox Interactive Media for $250M, then sold again in 2009 for $60M to a Seattle-based imaging startup called Ontela. The merged company kept the Photobucket brand.
  • CoverHound, an online insurance marketplace, has raised $14M in Series B funding from Core Innovation Capital, Route 66 Ventures, Thomas Lehrman, Tugboat Ventures and American Family Ventures, along with earlier backers RRE Ventures, Blumberg Capital, and Bullpen Capital. The company has now raised $23.4M altogether.
  • Blippar, a New York-based image-recognition platform that uses augmented reality technology, has raised $45M in Series A funding from undisclosed investors. According to Crunchbase, the company had previously raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Qualcomm Ventures.

EMEA

  • Passion Capital has invested an undisclosed level of seed funding in Ravelin, an early stage online fraud prevention startup.
  • Vienna, Austria-based mySugr, an app using digital products to take the strain out of aggregating diabetes-related health data and managing the chronic condition, raised $4.8M from two new investors, Switzerland-based Roche Ventures and U.S.-based iSeed Ventures. Existing investor XLHealth, from Germany, also participated in the round. Total funding raised to date is around $5.8M.
  • Ravelin, a London-based online fraud prevention startup, has raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Passion Capital..
  • Growth Intelligence, a London-based startup that makes predictive marketing software, has raised $3.4M in Series A funding from 83North, MMC Ventures, and individual investors.

Asia

  • Retty, Japanese restaurant recommendation and review site, raised JPY 1 billion (US$8.24M) in series C funding. Fidelity Growth Partners Japan joins this funding round alongside previous investors Gree Ventures and Mizuho Capital.
  • Food ordering and delivery Oddle raised a S$1M (US$718,000) seed round led by Singapore-based VC East Ventures. The company has in its pocket 350 outlets from 200 merchants. All Oddle customers in Singapore are paying the startup. It also has paying clients in Hong Kong and just started free trials in Vietnam. It has processed S$2M (US$1.43M) in transactions in its one year of existence, representing a month-on-month growth of 20 percent.
  • Daily deals site Ensogo has raised A$10M (US$7.6M) from investment firm Ward Ferry Management. 58.8M shares will be issued to the Hong Kong-based fund at A$0.17 (US$0.13) apiece, giving it a 10.6 percent stake in the company.
  • Mobile advertising technology provider Vserv has raised $15M from hedge fund Maverick Capital and venture capital firm IDG Ventures India.
  • Quikr.com, a Bangalore, India-based classifieds portal that connect buyers and sellers on their mobile phones and other online devices, is close to raising $150M from Tiger Global Management and other investors, including Steadview Capital of Hong Kong.
  • Sugar, a deals discovery mobile app with a novel process to give users discounts, has raised over S$1M (US$720,000) to date from Singapore Post chairman Lim Ho Kee as well as Koh Boon Hwee, the former chairman of SingTel, DBS Bank, and Singapore Airlines.
  • IndoTrading, a company that operates a directory for small businesses in Indonesia, raised a US$1.5M series A funding round led by OPT SEA, the Southeast Asian business arm of OPT Group. The round was followed on by Singapore-based Golden Gate Ventures, GMO Venture Partners, Jakarta’s Convergence Ventures (formerly Convergence Accel), Aucfan, existing investor Rebright Partners, and an anonymous angel investor.
  • Ola, a Mumbai, India-based cab-hailing service, is close to raising about $400M in a round that will be led by DST Global and could value the startup at about $3 billion. Ola’s earlier investors, including SoftBank Corp. and Tiger Global Management, are also expected to participate in the funding. Earlier this month, Ola acquired TaxiForSure, a nearly four-year-old, Bangalore-based aggregator of car rentals and taxis in India, for $200 in cash and stock.
  • Moonfrog Labs, a Bangalore-based startup that makes mobile games for players in India, has raised $15M in Series A funding from Tiger Global Management and earlier investor Sequoia Capital, which had previously provided the company with $1M in funding.
  • ChargeBee, an India-based startup that helps companies manage their subscription billings, has raised $5M in Series B funding led by Tiger Global Management, with participation from previous backer Accel Partners, which provided the company with $800,000 in Series A funding early last year. The company has now raised roughly $6.2M altogether.
  • Speakwell Enterprises, an India-based English language learning service company, has raised $10M from investors led by Gray Matters Capital.
  • Group buying site Joinem launched to the public and announced a $5M raise from undisclosed investors, including “two senior members of Facebook’s executive team.”
  • Grocery shopping app named HappyFresh raised seven-figure undisclosed round of pre-series A funding from a group of venture capital firms, international angel investors, and institutional backers.
  • Lamabang, a Beijing-based Chinese social network and ecommerce company for mothers and expectant mothers, has raised $100M in Series C funding from Matrix Partners, Morningside Ventures, and Greenwoods Asset Management, reports Tech in Asia. The company has raised $130M to date.
  • Chinese C2C ecommerce app Jiemi has raised “several million USD” in series A funding from IDG Ventures.
  • Mumbai-based startup Codigami, which owns Crowdfire a social media management app, announced a series A funding round of US$2.5M from Kalaari Capital.
  • Malaysian online wedding portal Wedding.com.my announced the raising of MYR 1M (US$274,000) in a seed funding round led by Kathrein Ventures and joined by N Capital Partners and an angel investor.
  • Shopback, a Singapore-based ecommerce cashback startup, raised US$600,000 from Accel-X and East Ventures.

Other emerging markets

  • Lingua.ly, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based language learning app, has raised $1M from Yochy Investments, the Washington, D.C.-based seed fund 1776, and individuals, including earlier investor Udi Netzer. The company has now raised $1.8M altogether.

Mergers & Acquisitions
US

  • Facebook has acquired personalized shopping search engine TheFind to help improve its commerce ads. TheFind had raised $26M from Lightspeed and Redpoint since getting off the ground around 2005, but will now be shut down.
  • Lasso, a private photo-sharing and chat app cofounded by the founders of the photo and video-sharing service Photobucket, has been acquired by Photobucket for undisclosed terms.
  • BGPmon, a provider of network and routing monitoring services, has been acquired by OpenDNS for undisclosed terms.
  • ARX, a San Francisco-based digital signature company, has been acquired by longtime partner DocuSign for undisclosed terms.
  • 2lemetry, a startup whose enterprise-focused platform tracks and manages IP-enabled machines and other connected devices, has been acquired by Amazon for undisclosed terms. 2lemetry had raised $4M from Salesforce Ventures.
  • Kitematic, a startup whose tool helps speed up the ability of Docker’s software containers to ship applications across different cloud computing systems, has been acquired by Docker for an undisclosed price.
  • AppCrawlr, an app that lets you compare feature checklists and reviews to find the best app for any purpose, has been acquired by desktop software discovery site Softonic.
  • Blue Coat Systems, an enterprise security company that helps clients ensure they have secure connections to the Internet,on will be acquired by investment firm Bain Capital for $2.4 billion in cash, a move that sets the stage for the cybersecurity company to go public again.
  • Twitter has acquired Periscope, a startup that’s building an app for streaming video from smartphones, for $75-$100M.
  • Veenome, a service that analyzes online video to reduce fraud, eliminate objectionable material and more, has been acquired by Integral Ad Science, a company whose technology aims to direct the right viewers to the right ads. Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. According to TechCrunch, Veenome had raised at least $2.5M from investors, including Stardust Venture Partners, India Venture Partners, and Piedmont Investment Advisors. Integral Ad Science has raised nearly $50M from investors, including August Capital, Atlas Venture, Pelion Venture Partners, and Founder Collective.
  • Stitch, a sales productivity software company, has been acquired by SugarCRM, which is reportedly shutting down the service. Stitch had raised $3.3M from investors, including Freestyle Capital, SoftTech VC, Google Ventures and Foundation Capital. SugarCRM, an 11-year-old, Cupertino, Ca.-based maker of customer relationship management software, has raised $104M from investors over the years, shows Crunchbase. Its backers include DFJ, New Enterprise Associates, Goldman Sachs, and Walden Venture Capital.
  • Appfluent Technology, a company that makes data analytics software, has been acquired by Attunity, a publicly traded company. Appfluent had raised at least $4.1M, from Updata Partners and The New Markets Growth Fund.

EMEA

  • Rocket Internet, the publicly-listed German ‘startup factory’ and e-commerce behemoth, has increased its stake in Foodpanda worth $110M.
  • Spain’s Percentil has acquired Kirondo, European ‘pre-owned’ kids clothing company.

Asia

  • Consumer-to-consumer marketplace Lamido will merge with Rocket’s larger ecommerce entity Lazada. Lamido was a Lazada venture originally set up to offer a consumer marketplace platform separated from Lazada.
  • VCCircle, a Noida, India-based media company whose news sites include VCCircle.com and Techcircle.in, has been acquired by News Corp. for undisclosed terms. The deal represents News Corp’s third, recent investment in India. News Corp. also invested $30M in the real estate sales platform PropTiger last November and acquired the online financial planning company Bigdecisions in December.

Other emerging markets

  • CyActive, a two-year-old, Be’er Sheva, Israel-based “predictive” cyber security company, has been acquired by PayPal for at least $60M. CyActive had raised one, undisclosed round of funding from Siemens Venture Capital in the form of a convertible note.
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