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2010 Q1 venture funding dips slightly from previous quarter, but there's still money out there
As might have been expected, venture funding in the first quarter of 2010 fell 2% from the quarter just before, according to data from VC database VentureDeal. 281 companies from four distinct technology sectors (Internet, digital media, e-commerce, and software) raised $1.8 billion.
Nevertheless, the length of this list proves there is still venture capital out there to be pursued, if that's what your startup needs right now.
Here are all the companies from the past week blessed enough to have received new venture capital financing:
Audioboo, a UK-based social sound platform, closed its first major funding round, raising an undisclosed amount (sources say £1.5 million, or $2.2 million). Available as a free app for either iPhone or Android or simply on the Web, Audioboo lets users quickly and easily record clips of audio to share with family and friends.
BigDoor Media, a Seattle-based startup looking to inject just about any site with game-like mechanics and reward systems, raised $5 million from Foundry Group, the early-stage investment firm responsible for originally backing companies like Gist and Zynga. The company makes it easy to add points, badges, leaderboards, virtual currency, and other game-like mechanics to any Web site or application.
Connotate, a New Brunswick, NJ-based data collection and analysis service for the enterprise, raised $5.25 million in venture capital from .406 Ventures. Current Connotate clients include Ask.com, Associated Press, Dow Jones & Company, and Reuters.
Crowdcast, a San Francisco-based provider of social business intelligence (SBI) solutions, raised a $6 million Series A funding round led by Menlo Ventures and contributed to by Alsop-Louie Partners. Current Crowdcast clients include EA, GM, Hallmark, Harvard Business School, and MIT.
CustomMade, a Cambridge, MA-based marketplace for connecting artisans with furniture and cabinetry customers, raised a $1.5 million angel round from three unnamed Boston-based angel investors. Like a similar startup on this list (Thumbtack.com), CustomMade provides a place for artisans like woodworkers, metalworkers, and glass makers to sell their goods to the right audience.
eToro, a Cyprus-based site for easy commodity, currency and index trading, raised a $2.4 million third round led by Social Leverage. Founded in 2007, the company has raised $10.6 million to date. With 1.5 million registered users, eToro has seen $100 billion traded on the site so far.
Etouches, a Ridgefield, CT-based online event management software startup, raised an undisclosed amount of venture capital funding from a group of investors led by Greycroft Partners II. Originally founded in 1998 as an independent meeting planning company, Etouches has come a long way. Available in 27 languages, the company's SaaS software serves over 2,000 events globally every year.
Footbalistic, a San Francisco-based professional statistics and analytics site for soccer data, raised a $500K round from angel investors, including Eric Di Benedetto. The company also announced a partnership with Radio Monte Carlo (RMC), a top French sports radio station, and the launch of a Firefox search plugin. Raising money on the eve of the World Cup 2010, Footbalistic is looking forward to a spike in popularity as soccer (or football, to the rest of the world) takes over everyone's minds in the coming month.
JackRabbit Systems, a Sante Fe, NM-based developer of online travel software for destination and travel portal Web sites, raised $1.33 million in funding from Kickstart Seed Fund and Sun Mountain Capital. The company has raised $3.7 million. BookDirect, JackRabbit's central software, lets sites easily integrate a direct hotel booking system.
OpenPeak, a Boca Raton, FL-based developer of tablet computers, raised $52 million from Intel Capital, Horizon Technology Finance, and Velocity Financial Group. The company has raised $59.1 million to date. Competing directly with the Apple iPad, OpenPeak recently announced the OpenTablet 7, a portable touchscreen device based on Intel’s Moorestown platform.
RevenueLoan, a Seattle-based funding startup for early-stage technology companies, raised $6 million from Voyager Capital, Summit Capital, and Founder’s Co-op. $4.5 million of that is going straight to the startup's main offering: loans. RevenueLoan
provides funding to companies in exchange for a small percentage of future realized sales.
RockYou, a San Mateo, CA-based social networking app developer, raised a $10 million Series E round of funding from SoftBank and acquired a majority stake in its joint venture, RockYou Asia. Having last picked up a $50 million Series D, also from SoftBank, in November 2009, the company has now raised a total of $127 million to date from investors like Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Partech International, DCM and SK Telecom.
Schoology, a New York-based developer of a learning management and social networking suite of software, raised $1.25 million in funding from Meakem Becker Venture Capital. While the company's software is available freely for individuals, schools, and districts, add-on features like custom branding and/or support packages come at a premium.
SoGeo, an Amsterdam-based provider of a context-aware infrastructure for mobile and Web, raised a €1 million Series A round (about $1.2 million) from investor group BlueBubbleLab. The company is targeting businesses with its location-aware social platform.
Soonr, a Campbell, CA-based mobile cloud computing storage platform, raised $4.5 million from HighBAR Ventures and existing investors. Founded in 2005, the company has now raised over $20 million. Soonr, which works with mobile devices (iPhone, netbooks, other phones), Macs, and PCs, lets users sync files to cloud storage via a downloadable client.
SponsorPay, a Berlin-based virtual currency monetization platform, raised €3.8 million (about $4.6 million) in funding from original investors Hasso Plattner Ventures, Moscow’s Kite Ventures, and Team Europe Ventures. The company, having recently acquired competitor GratisPay, seeks to maintain its leading role in Europe for ad payment systems.
Trazzler, a San Francisco-based travel site, raised $1.1 million from a bunch of big investors: led by Ron Conway’s SV Angel, the round included Steve Case, Jack Dorsey, Dave Morin, Betaworks, Founder Collective, and AOL Ventures. Co-founded by co-founder of Twitter Biz Stone, Trazzler nicely places an emphasis on local travel destinations and oddities, instead of the obvious locales.
Thumbtack.com, a San Francisco-based online marketplace for finding and listing local services, raised $1.2 million from a long list of prominent angel investors, including Scott & Cyan Banister (PayPal & Zivity), Joshua Schachter (Delicious), and Mark Goines (Intuit & Mint). Founded in December 2009, Thumbtack has already attracted over 40,000 service professionals to join the site.
TRUSTe, a San Francisco-based online privacy certification company, raised a $12 million Series B round led by Jafco Ventures and contributed to by DAG Ventures, Accel Partners and Baseline Ventures. Founded in 1997 but only for-profit since 2008, the company has raised $22 million to date.
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Thumbtack helps you accomplish the personal projects that are central to your life.
Whether you need to paint your home, learn a new language, or plan your daughter's birthday party, Thumbtack is the easiest and most dependable way to hire the right professional for your projects.
Get started by answering a few questions about your specific needs. Within hours, Thumbtack will introduce you to several available and qualified professionals. Compare custom quotes, reviews, and profiles and hire when you’re ready.
By connecting customers like you to the right pros, we enable independent professionals to grow their businesses and do what they love. We’re proud that many of our pros have doubled or even tripled the size of their businesses through Thumbtack.
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The Crowdcast Team Intelligence Platform:
- Reveals information and insight that otherwise may remain hidden
- Is up to 60% more accurate than traditional forecasting methods
- Delivers qualitative and quantitative analysis of the forecasted metric
- Delivers fast time to value using Software as a Service (SaaS)
How Crowdcast works:
Unlike traditional forecasting systems that rely solely on inputs from the owner of the business metric, the patented Team Intelligence Platform™ taps insight anonymously from a diversified team who may have insight into the metric. The system aggregates and balances this intelligence using a prediction market, which rewards and empowers those contributing accurate forecasts.
- The number of participants can range from 10 to many thousands, depending on the metric
- For management, the system generates exceedingly accurate and insightful forecasts and communicates these forecasts using a powerful reporting interface
- For the participants, it is presented as a game, using a familiar betting analogy
- The system is supported by our highly trained application consultants and prediction market experts to guarantee success