Pandora draws new round, BookRenter, Giiv, Snapfinger, and others also get funding
Pandora, one of the most popular providers of online radio, raised a new round of funding this week led by GGV Capital and supported by Allen & Company. Though the amount of the round is still undisclosed, we can expect it to be huge. In July of last year, the company raised a $35 million round, and this past April, the service registered its 50 millionth member.
Though Pandora just launched its iPad app, its biggest moment to shine is just on the horizon. When iPhone 4.0 OS launches sometime this summer for iPhone and iPod Touch and in the fall for iPad, users will finally be able to multitask. That is, they will be able to listen to Pandora ceaselessly while switching between other applications.
Here are all the other notable technology fundraisers that happened this week:
Awareness Technologies, a Los Angeles-based enterprise threat management startup, raised $6.5 million from Brad Miller, the former CEO and Chairman of Perimeter eSecurity, and First New England Capital. The company develops a SaaS threat management platform called InterGuard, which helps enterprises monitor and control all its network activity. Over 10,000 companies and 200,000 users already employ the company's platform.
BookRenter, a San Mateo, CA-based startup offering a textbook rental service, raised $10 million in a Series B round led by Norwest Venture Partners and contributed to by Storm Ventures and Adams Capital Management. The company has now raised $16 million. Offering a service similar to that of Chegg and Barnes and Noble, BookRenter wants to diminish student spending by offering a service for renting textbooks. Since March, BookRenter has served more than 1.3 million students with the help of 75 bookstore partners, including the City College of San Francisco, North Carolina State University, the University of Memphis, the University of San Diego, and the University of Texas at Austin.
Giiv, a Los Angeles-based startup for mobile gifting, raised $3.35 million in Series A funding from Google's CEO Eric Schmidt, Saban Ventures, Founder Collective, and SK Telecom Ventures. To use the service, one creates an account on Giiv, shops around for potential gifts for friends, and enters in a friend's mobile number. The friend then receives a coupon code for a local retailer. Current partners include Macy's, Fandango, Amazon, Krispy Kreme, Barnes & Nobles, and around ten others.
HauteLook, a Los Angeles-based startup for members-only sales of big designer brands, raised $31 million in Series C funding led by Insight Venture Partners. Offering a service similar to that of Gilt Groupe and Ideeli, HauteLook allows members of its site to purchase high-quality products, like clothing, jewelry, handbags, and home accessories, at great discounts. The site now has 2.5 million members and is partnered with over 1,000 brands, including Marc Jacobs and Versace.
LucidMedia, a Reston, VA-based online advertising demand-side platform (DSP) with integrated real-time bidding (RTB), raised $4.5 million in new funding. The company has now raised $13.3 million. This funding news was announced in the same week that Google acquired rival Invite Media for around $70 million.
Marin Software, a San Francisco-based creator of search engine management software for advertisers and agencies, raised $11.2 million in Series D funding from Amicus Capital, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Focus Ventures, and Triangle Peak Partners. The company has now raised $35 million. Over 180 companies, including Razorfish and FreeCreditReport.com, use Marin's software.
Metamarkets, a San Francisco-based startup aggregating price data and analytics for global media companies, raised $2.5 million in a seed funding round led by IA Ventures and contributed to by a hefty list of investors: Village Ventures, True Ventures, Founder Collective, Mike Maples, Stan Shuman (Managing Director at Allen & Company), AOL Ventures, Jim Pallotta, Josh Stylman, Peter Hershberg, and Dennis Crowley.
Rummble, a London-based location discovery app, raised $800K from m8 Capital. Like Foursquare, Gowalla, and others, Rummble lets iPhone, Windows Phone, and Android users check-in to and share locations with friends. The app has already aggregated recommendations in over 3500 cities across 126 countries.
Snapfinger, a subsidiary of Atlanta-based Kudzu Interactive, raised $7 million in a Series B round led by Norwest Venture Partners and supported by individual investors. Snapfinger is a Web and mobile service for ordering takeout from over 28,000 restaurants from nationwide chains like the California Pizza Kitchen, Outback Steakhouse, Boston Market, Subway Express, Carrabba's Italian Grill, and Baja Fresh. The service is in the process of adding independent businesses to its already strong list of partners.
Transpera, a San Francisco-based mobile video ad network, raised $9 million in a Series C round led by BlackBerry Partners Fund and contributed to by existing investors Flybridge Capital Partners, First Round Capital, Intel Capital, and Labrador Ventures. The company has now raised $19.3 million. Focused mainly on delivering mobile video ads to multiple platforms (mobile Web, iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry), Transpera also announced the launch of a new product, the Attention Network, which delivers interactive video ads with a variety of placement options.
Trefis, a Boston-based stock analysis startup, raised $1.6 million in funding from Village Ventures. In 2008, the company raised $550K in angel funding led by Semyon Dukach, former president of the MIT Blackjack team, Bob Johnson of the MIT corporation, and Timothy Weller, CFO of Enernoc and former CFO of Akamai. Providing a suite of tools to help one make stock predictions, Trefis also announced the launch of a pro version of its service that includes in-depth financial content.
WOWIO, a York, PA-based social network of sorts for comic book artists and fans, raised $1.7 million in funding led by CEO Brian Altounian. In October 2009, the company closed a $1 million seed round. WOWIO also announced the acquisition of social networking platform WEvolt.