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Funding roundup - week ending 01/14/11

14 startups raised a combined $300 million; Groupon triples that with its own $950 million

Financial trends and news by Ronny Kerr
January 14, 2011 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/15fa

Seed

Milewise, a super stealth service that will help users redeem their frequent flyer rewards, raised $1.5 million in debt financing. The company was founded by Sanjay Kothari, who previously acted as a project leader at Boston Consulting Group. The Milewise founders have not said when the service will go live.

PosePose, a new free social fashion app for iPhone and Android, raised $1.6 million from True Ventures, GRP Partners, and Founder Collective, with participation from angel investors Dave Morin and Shawn Fanning. Intended to enhance the in-store shopping experience, the mobile Pose app encourages users to photograph items while shopping; the user can then add details to the item’s entry, like price and the store where it was snapped.

ShopSocialSocial shopping site ShopSocial raised $1.2 million from Marc Michel, a partner at Metamorphic Ventures in New York City, and Rob Siegel, a general partner at X/Seed Capital Management in Silicon Valley. Both Metamorphic and X/Seed Capital are early stage venture firms. ShopSocial was founded by Todd Parsons, who co-founded and once served as CEO for BuzzLogic, a digital media company that helps publishers optimize advertising for social media.

Early-stage

bumpBump Technologies, developer of an iPhone and Android app for sharing data, raised a $16 million second round of funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Sequoia Capital, Sherpalo Ventures (Ram Shriram) and SV Angel (Ron Conway). The startup develops Bump, a free app that lets users share personal data with another user by simply “bumping” hands together. Users can share photos, music, messages, locations, contacts, calendar events; connect on Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn; compare mutual friends, and more.

FoodspottingFood discovery service Foodspotting secured $3 million in Series A funding led by BlueRun Ventures with follow-on participation from seed round investors. Last August, the startup raised its $750,000 seed round led by Aydin Senkut’s Felicis Ventures, with participation from Dave McClure’s 500 Startups, Shana Fisher’s High Line Venture Partners, Zelkova Ventures, and 2020 Ventures and several angels, including Dave Morin.

KabbageKabbage, provider of capital to online merchants, secured $6.65 million in Series A funding led by BlueRun Ventures, with participation from David Bonderman, founder of TPG Capital; Warren Stephens, CEO of Stephens Inc.; and the UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund. Previously, the company had raised $2 million. Offering an alternative to bank lending or other traditional means of borrowing money, Kabbage will advance up to $12,000 to eBay sellers in need of cash flow to acquire inventory.

KLOUTKlout, a social graph measurement company, closed an $8.5 million round of funding led by Kleiner Perkins with help from Greycroft Partners as part of the sFund.  Founded in 2008, the latest round of financing brings Klout’s total funding to $10 million. Using its unique algorithm, Klout determines which individuals have the most influence on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and Klout CEO Joe Fernandez says the company will use the new funds to add more social networking sites to its algorithm

SeeClickFixSeeClickFix, a service for reporting problems in your local community, raised a $1.3 million Series A from Omidyar Network and O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures. The company's founders initially created the site to get their own local community more involved in issues that needed to be addressed, and the site gradually expanded across the country to become a virtual message board for a community of any size to call attention to local issues. 

paper.liSmallRivers, creator of Paper.li, a service that translates social streams into newspapers, raised $2.1 million in financing from Highland Capital Partners, SoftBank Capital and Endeavour Vision. Previously, SmallRivers raised an undisclosed round in July 2010 from various angels, Econa (a German group of Internet companies) and Kima Ventures. The company got its start in 2008 with $1 million in seed funding.

SoundCloudOnline audio platform SoundCloud raised a new round of funding from Index Ventures and Union Square Ventures. Though the size of the investment has not been disclosed, reports say the round totaled $10 million. SoundCloud last raised €2.5 million in April 2009 in a first round of funding led by Doughty Hanson Technology Ventures. At its core, SoundCloud is a site where users can upload and share audio tracks.

SquarePayments company Square closed a $27.5 million Series B round of funding led by Sequoia Capital. The round values Square at $240 million. The company previously raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Khosla Ventures in 2009, which sources said valued the startup at $45 million.

StravaFitness startup Strava closed a $3.5 million Series A round led by Sigma Partners. Strava is a platform for avid athletes—those who exercise three or more times a week and participate in their preferred sport/activity 50+ times a year. Founded in early 2010, the Strava community has grown to 10,000 users in all 50 states and 67 countries, and increases 20% each month, with no marketing to date.

Late-stage

AdknowledgeAdvertiser marketplace Adknowledge raised $200 million in debt and equity financing in a round led by JMI Equity and Bank of America. Adknowledge, which bills itself as the fourth largest ad marketplace (after Google, Bing, and Facebook), says that it will use the funds to power future acquisitions and expand its network so that advertisers can access inventory from segments such as video, mobile, content sites, and display.

BaynoteBaynote, a recommendation, personalization and digital marketing optimization SaaS company, closed $13 million in Series C financing led by SingTel Innov8 with participation from all existing investors, including Hummer Winblad, Steamboat Ventures and JK&B Capital. Baynote is working towards something they call “The Adaptive Web,” a more immersive online experience that predicts what the user wants from their Web surfing experience.

GrouponGroupon closed a $950 million round of funding, giving it a reported valuation of $4.75 billion. Investors in the round: Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Mail.ru Group (formerly Digital Sky Technologies), Maverick Capital, Silver Lake, and Technology Crossover Ventures, with Allen & Company LLC acting as financial advisor.  The deal represents the largest round of VC funding for a startup in history.


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