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AdSafe Media, BuyWithMe, Livefyre, My-Wardrobe, Soho OS, and ThredUp--the VC industry is still alive
Six companies made our funding roundup this week, considerably less than roundups from previous weeks. Maybe it was the 4th of July or maybe it's just the midsummer heat, but this week might be an anomaly in an increasingly optimistic venture capital climate.
Venture fundraising rounds, which took a mighty plunge in 2009, are back on the rise, with 72 funds raising $7.5 billion, according to Dow Jones LP Source. Matching up perfectly with news that venture capital firm Venrock has opted for a smaller fund to focus on early-stage startups, fundraising for multi-stage and early-stage funds are up as late-stage funds show no sign of growing. The full report betrays that funding is still incredibly low compared to previous years, but nevertheless the VC industry appears to be showing signs of better health.
Here's our roundup of the week's biggest funding announcements:
AdSafe Media, an online brand protection and risk management platform, raised $7.25 million in Series B funding led by Atlas Venture with participation from existing investor Founder Collective and others. The New York City-based startup, which launched May of last year, employs an elegant combination of algorithms and human verification to assure marketers their advertising only appears on sites consistent with said marketers' brand image and corporate philosophy.
BuyWithMe, one of many Web services to connect consumers with the best deals and offers from local merchants, closed a $16 million Series B round of funding led by Bain Capital Ventures with participation from existing investor Matrix Partners. Matrix invested $5.5 million in the company in January 2010. The New York City-based startup, which already publishes daily deals in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and San Diego, plans to be in 20 markets by the end of the year.
Livefyre, an embeddable real-time commenting and conversation platform, raised an $800,000 Series A round led by Hillsven Capital with participation from Zelkova Ventures, ff Asset Management, and angels Travis Kalanick and Paige Craig. The San Francisco-based startup seeks to transform comment sections into live conversations with a whole new spin on online conversations, including features like conversation check-ins, real-time game mechanics, and a moderation and reputation system.
My-Wardrobe, an online retailer of "accessible designer fashion," raised a $9 million Series A investment round led by Balderton Capital, and supported by existing angel investors. Launched in April 2006, the UK-based retailer now sees more than 800,000 visitors on its site each month, up 110% from the year before.
Soho OS, a cloud-based business platform for small and micro business owners, raised $1 million from The Time, adding to the company's $250,000 pre-seed round. Along with the funding announcement, Soho OS exited beta with a newly improved interface and communication features.
ThredUP, an online used kids clothing exchange, closed a $1.7 million round of funding led by Trinity Ventures with participation from Founder Collective, High Line Ventures, and NextView Ventures. The new round quickly follows small seed funding the startup raised four months ago, when the site launched. The Cambridge, MA-based company, which lets parents exchange boxes of outgrown kids clothing for newer items, already has helped some 12,000 members save an estimated $195,000.
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