- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Payments platform Spreedly, which offers customers a credit card vault in the cloud that works with 54 different payment gateways, has raised an additional $500,000 in seed funding from Emerge.be, bringing its total raise to date to just under am. The funding comes less than a year after Spreedly’s pivot from a digital subscriptions service it sold off this July. The company has 130 customers, and will do 125,000 transactions this month, totaling roughly $8.5m.
- Hightail, the file-sharing service formerly known as YouSendIt, is announcing today that it has raised $34m in new funding. The round, which serves as Hightail’s Series E, was led by hard drive maker Western Digital. This brings the total outside investment in Hightail to $83m.
- Signpost, a startup offering an online marketing platform for small businesses, is announcing that it has raised $10m in Series B funding. The round was led by OpenView Venture Partners, with additional investment from Spark Capital, Scout Ventures, and wikiHow founder Jack Herrick. OpenView managing director Dev Ittycheria is joining Signpost’s board of directors.
- Colingo has launched a new program for learning English that offers 1-on-1 personalized training alongside its small group classes. The company has also announced completion of a two-tranche $2.4m round of funding led by Atlas Venture.
- Locket, the mobile application for Android smartphones launched this summer that places ads on the lockscreen, has received an additional investment from Fierce Capital, LLC, the investment arm of The Tyra Banks Company. The size of the investment is not being disclosed, but the company is in the process of raising a round of funding in thems, due to close next year.
- Clypd, founded by the creators of Paypal-acquired WHERE, has raised $7.2m in series A-1 funding, gathering cash from Atlas Ventures, Freestyle Captial, and Boston Seed Capital. Angels included John Battelle and Brightcove. The company wants to make it easier for advertisers to buy small chunks of TV air time as small as 15 seconds long. By partnering with channels, Clypd will be able to allow TV channels to sell “open” airtime to smaller customers.
- Verbling , a language learning startup, raised additional round of seed capital from Sam Altman and Hydrazine Capital, with contributions from Learn Capital, FundersClub, Rothenberg Ventures and Kevin Moore. This follows the $20K Verbling received when it graduated from Y Combinator in 2011 and the $1m in seed funding it raised in the months following from DFJ, Learn Capital, SV Angel, Start Fund, Ace & Company, Meck Investments and Inspovation, among others.
- Shake, a startup aiming to make it easy to reach legally binding agreements with help from your smartphone, has raised $3m in funding. The funding was led by SoftBank Capital with participation from existing investor RRE Ventures and new investors BoxGroup, ENIAC Ventures, Mesa+, WGI Group, and Patrick Keane. SoftBank’s Jordy Levy is joining Shake’s board of directors. Shake first launched on the iPhone two months ago. It has since been downloaded 80,000 times and been used to create and sign $15m worth of legal agreements.
- Illuminate Ventures today closed a $20m fund to invest in early-stage business software startups. Illuminate’s team is dedicated to supporting female entrepreneurs.
- Cloud storage provider Box is raising a $100m round. On Oct 14., Box authorized the sale of 5.55m shares of preferred stock at $18 a share — or a total of $100m – which would value the company at just under $2 billion. Box announced an earlier $125m funding round in the summer of 2012, and then it extended that to $150m this January, when it actually filed the SEC paperwork.
- Mobile branded content company TextPride has completed a $1m seed funding round, the company said. TextPride makes stickers and emojis that mobile messaging apps can add as paid upgrades to their services. The company is currently working with over 200 brands, including the University of Notre Dame, the Chicago Blackhawks, NASCAR, and the U.S. Military, which is bound to be popular. From those 200 partners, TextPride has created over 8,000 branded emoji.
- OpenFeint founder Jason Citron has raised $8.2m for his second game startup, Hammer & Chisel. The company wants to bring League of Legends style play to tablets with a new multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA) called Fates Forever. The funding was led by Benchmark Capital partner Mitch Lasky, who was an investor in Riot Games.
- Wevorce, a startup focused on divorce-related families, raised $1.7m in a new seed funding round from investors including Foundation Capital and Sam Altman. This brings the total invested in Wevorce, which launched out of Y Combinator in March 2013, to $2m.
- The Hunt, an app that is designed for intense shoppers, raised $5.5m in its first round of institutional funding.
- American Giant, the clothing maker that is winning the hearts of the Internet generation, just raised $3.6m of a $2.5m round. American Giant has already raised $5m in funding in 2011, led by Donald Kendall, the former chairman and CEO of Pepsi Co. Kendall is listed on the SEC filing alongside Winthrop, which suggests that he has opted to lead this current round.
- Mobile ad retargeting startup TapCommerce is announcing that it has raised $10m in Series A funding. The new funding was led by Bain Capital Ventures and RRE Ventures, with a strategic investment from Nielsen Ventures and participation from previous backers Metamorphic Ventures, Eniac Ventures, and Nextview Ventures. Bain’s Scott Friend and RRE’s Eric Wiessen have joined TapCommerce’s board of directors.
- San Francisco-based Big Data analytics startup Alpine Data Labs raised $16m in venture funding from Sierra Ventures, Mission Ventures, UMC Capital, and Robert Bosch Venture Capital.
- Mobile shopping service Sift has closed on $2m in seed funding, which includes an additional $1.5m closed last week, led by DN Capital. This new funding also sees participation from previous investors Tandem Capital, Unity Ventures, Sand Hill Angels from its $540,000 angel round, and new investors Social Internet Fund, Future Perfect Ventures, Grey Corp, the CEO of NQ Mobile, Omar Khan, and others.
- Niche, a startup that connects brands with popular users on social media, has opened its website to the public, and also announced $550,000 in funding. The funding comes from David Tisch (Box Group), Michael Kassan (MediaLink), Chris Altchek (PolicyMic), Bryan Goldberg (Bleacher Report/Bustle), John Alderman, and friends and family.
- Centzy, a local search engine which provides prices, reviews, hours, and ratings for nearby businesses, is announcing a rebrand to Locality, and $4.3m in new funding led by Matrix Partners with Cowboy Ventures and ff Venture Capital. This brings the company’s total funding to over $6m, with prior investors including ff Venture Capital, Cowboy Ventures, Lightbank, Founder Collective, and others. Matrix partner Jared Fliesler has joined the company’s board of directors.
- Online education startup Coursera raised an additional $20m in funding, bringing its series B round to $63m. The additional funding was raised from three partner universities that offer courses on Coursera (these institutions have not been announced), GSV Capital and Learn Capital. Coursera current works with 100 universities in 19 countries. According to a news release, 700 professors and 5.5m learners have signed up to take a course.
- Business-analytics tool BIME Analytics announced a $4m in new venture funding. Alven Capital, based in Paris, was the sole investor in the round.
- After announcing its second funding round of $17.5m in September, hot Android keyboard company SwiftKey announced that Accel Partners will also be participating in that round. SwiftKey previously noted that Index Ventures led that funding round, with participation by Octopus Investments. SwiftKey is based in London and has now raised over $21m in total.
- Seedrs, the UK equity-based crowdfunding platform, is listing itself on its site in a bid to crowd-raise £500,000 for international expansion. Armchair investors who put in for a slice of the action will in total get a 8.81 percent stake. This gives the 2009-founded company a pre-money valuation of £5.175m. In early 2012 it raised a £1m seed round from DFJ Esprit, Digital Prophets (backed by Luke Johnson and managed by the investors behind 1seed) and a number of unnamed angel investors.
- Zula, Israel-based mobile collaboration app , announced a seed round from Microsoft Ventures. The two are not publicly disclosing the amount of the investment.
- French startup LeCab announced that it has raised $6.8m (€5m) in Series B funding. The company operates a black car service that is focused on premium services. Company didn’t disclose who invested in this traditional equity round as there is a non-disclosure agreement. Previously, LeCab had raised $4.1m (€3m).
- Atomico, the VC firm co-founded and led by Niklas Zennstrom of Skype fame, has just announced its third and biggest fund, $475m, which the firm says it will use mainly for later-stage rounds in startups to help them scale. Total funds under management by Atomico are at $850m.
- UK-based Diary.com, a website providing the ability to share both publicly and privately to a select group, raised $1.2m from a network of private investors. Terms were not disclosed.
- UK minicab marketplace app Kabbee has raised a £3.8m Series A funding round led by Octopus Investments (previous backers of property search engine Zoopla, Graze.com, SwiftKey and Secret Escapes). Notably, Simon Nixon, the founder of MoneySupermarket.com, also joins the round – adding a significant amount of marketplace experience to the startup’s investor list. This brings total funding to around $9m (circa £5.6m). Kabbee has apps for iPhone, Android and Blackberry 10, and lets users instantly compare quotes from 60 leading London fleets and then book and pay by cash, card or pre-paid account. It launched in June 2011 and claims over 250,000 app downloads to date.
- UK minicab marketplace app Minicabster raised £2m in funding (the round actually closed back in August) from a number of angel investors including David Buttress, CEO of takeout marketplace Just-Eat, Daniel McPherson, founder of Launcha, and Tom Singh, founder of New Look. Minicabster has apps for iOS and Android, and claims 200,000 users.
- London-based Lifecake, a new photo-sharing service designed for families and built by former Skype, Qualcomm, and Yahoo engineers, announced an additional $1.1m in seed funding. The round was led by Balderton Capital, and comes on top of a previous $300,000 angel round from earlier this summer. Also participating in the new round were Techtopia, a team of London-based entrepreneurs and fathers, who were among Lifecake’s first users. Meanwhile, the company’s seed round investors include EC1 Capital, Serge Alleyne, and several of the founders’ former colleagues, like Tony Saigh and James Peck.
- Appear Here, the UK online marketplace for short-term retail space and so-called pop-up shops, has raised £1m in new funding. Leading the round are Howzat Partners, MMC Ventures, and Forward Investment Partners. Also participating are Meyer Bergman, Playfair Capital, Ballpark Ventures, Marc Hazan (of Spotify), and Miroma Ventures. The Company has previous raised an undisclosed round last December from Forward Investment Partners, Ballpark Ventures, and various unnamed angel investors.
- Video summary platform Simpleshow raised $5.4m funding from Japanese investors. The company provides customers with short animated or hand-crafted videos to explain topics or companies, with customers including BMW, eBay, Microsoft, Deutsche Bank and IKEA, along with NGOs such as the German Red Cross.
- Technology Crossover Ventures is making its biggest investment by backing the entirety of Spotify’s new $250m round. The round could be called Spotify’s Series F and brings the company to $538m in total funding. The funding also puts Spotify’s estimated valuation to $4 billion+.
- Multichannel, which manages and tracks marketing efforts across multiple channels, raised a $3m seed round from angel investors in Europe and Asia to bolster its engineering efforts. Most of Multichannel’s $3m seed round is going into research and development.
- Voxpopclothing.com, an Indian e-commerce design apparel company based in Mumai, has gotten an investment from Blume Ventures, an early stage investment fund, and a group of investors. Investment figures for the transaction were not disclosed.
- Urban Ladder, the India-based online furniture seller, has raised $5m from the private equity firms SAIF Partners and Kalaari Capital in a Series A round of funding. Urban Ladder had earlier raised $1m from Kalaari Capital in August 2012.
Mergers & Acquisitions
- PasswordBox, the increasingly popular password management solution, today announced that it has acquired Legacy Locker, a digital afterlife service that – in the inevitable case that you pass away – grants access to your online assets to your friends and loved ones. With this acquisition, PasswordBox says, it is now “the only free service to manage your online accounts during life and after.” Last week, PasswordBox also announced that it had closed a $6m Series A round led by Canada’s Omers Ventures.
- Lovely, the site that aggregates home rental listings, is moving up from studio to duplex status. The startup is announcing its first acquisition, Rentmatic, so that those finding apartments on its site will soon be able to set up their monthly rent payments on Lovely after they move in. And it is gearing up for more growth: it has also closed a Series A round of funding. Lovely now processes over 1.5m rental listings every month; 500,000 people find new homes on its site each month; its iOS mobile app has had nearly 250,000 downloads (with Android soon to come).
- Livefyre, provider of the leading real-time conversation and social curation platform, announced that it has acquired the assets and team of Realtidbits, one of the top enterprise social application providers. This is the second acquisition by Livefyre in two months, having acquired social storytelling platform Storify in September.
- Ziff Davis has acquired TechBargains, a division of Exponential Interactive Inc. TechBargains is a premier online destination for consumers seeking deals, special offers, and reviews for computers, personal electronics, travel, auto, and other high end product categories. TechBargains drives incremental sales to its merchant partners by providing expert and unbiased content to online visitors.
- Aufeminin acquired My Little Paris and will pay around $90m (€66.7m) for the acquisition. Part of Axel Springer, Aufeminin is one of the largest lifestyle website in France. Aufeminin spent $54m (€40m) in cash to acquire 60% of My Little Paris, with future plans to acquire the rest of the company. My Little Paris only raised $6,700 (€5,000) of initial capital.
- Amazon.com has acquired the UK-based audiobook publisher and retailer AudioGo out of administration. AudioGo was put into administration after financial irregularities came to light.
- Umeng, the analytics provider that has collected data from 180,000 apps and 590m active devices throughout China, confirmed that it was acquired by Alibaba. The value of the deal was not disclosed but was rumored to be $70-80m. The company raised $10m in funding from Matrix Partners’ China arm after being incubated out of Kai-Fu Lee’s Innovation Works.
- Mobile online payments company Boku completed its first acquisition, after buying direct carrier billing service Qubecell in an undisclosed amount. The move allows Boku to establish a strong foothold in India and to properly look towards improving its presence in Asia and the Middle East.
- Chinese online publisher Changyou acquired a majority 62.5% stake in Raidcall, previously owned by Kalends Inc, for $50m, which Changyou will pay in cash. Its goal is to use Raidcall, which currently has 20m registered users, to help build a global gamer platform for online and mobile games. A free communication platform handling voice, text and video, Raidcall enables users to create and organise groups for online gaming, music, karaoke and other live performances.
- kuaidadi.com, a Hangzhou-based taxi-calling online services company, has acquired dhf100.com, a Shanghai-based peer company. Kuaidadi.com signed the acquisition agreement with dhf100.com on 22 November and the business integration is expected to be completed in early 2014. Alibaba, a major investor in Kuaidadi.com. will invest approximately $100m in the deal.
- Kreata Global Digital Media Service, a UAE-based digital media company, has bought Flamingos Media, an India-based mobile and digital marketing company.
- Berrybenka.com, the Indonesian fashion e-commerce company, has been acquired by Japan’s Transcosmos for $5m. Lamuda explained that Transcosmos’s presence will enable Berrybenka.com to become a leading fashion ecommerce company in Indonesia.
- 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.
- 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.
Mergers & Acquisitions
- 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.
- 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.