Funding roundup - week ending 11/05/10

Ronny Kerr · November 5, 2010 · Short URL:

Andreeseen + $650M fund, also AeroScout, BringIt, H. BLOOM, Rocket Ninja, SurveyMonkey, Wrightspeed

I don't know if it was because of the World Series, Election Day or just post-Halloween drowsiness, but the funding announcements all seemed to pile on at the end of the week this time around. Still, we have a healthy selection of old-timers and new-timers here, giant rounds and smaller ones. But a startup's a startup no matter how small.

Startups looking for funding should make sure not to miss this news. Andreessen Horowitz, funder of Digg, Foursquare, Skype and Zynga, raised a $650 million second fund this week. It will be interesting to follow where that money goes over the next few years.

Here's this week's roundup:

AeroScoutAeroScout, a real-time location systems (RTLS) provider, raised a $16 million fifth round of funding, led by new investor Evergreen Venture Partners, with participation from all of AeroScout’s existing investors--Cisco, Greylock Partners, Intel Capital, Menlo Ventures, Pitango Venture Capital and Star Ventures. The Redwood City, CA-based company boasts over 600 global customers, including Adventist Health System and Yale-New Haven Hospital (healthcare is the biggest focus for Aeroscout).

BRINGITBringIt raised a $1.5 million round, led by Blumberg Capital, Seraph Group and Ergo Media, bringing the company's total funding to $2.8 million since its creation in 2008. The San Francisco-based startup is dedicated to helping social gaming companies like RockYou find monetization and increase user engagement.


H.BLOOM, a floral delivery service, raised a Battery Ventures-led $2.1 million Series A round, which, added to an earlier $1.1 million angel investment, brings the company's total funding to $3.2 million. The New York-based startup does not maintain any brick-and-mortar stores, offering an online-only subscription-based floral delivery service. The advantage is that H. BLOOM can sell professionally designed boutique-style arrangements for 70% off their normal retail price.

Rocket NinjaSocial gaming startup Rocket Ninja raised a $3.5 million first round of funding from a group of unnamed angels. The San Francisco-based startup just exited stealth mode and will begin releasing games to the Facebook platform, a highly competitive space (see: Zynga or EA).

SurveyMonkeySurveyMonkey raised $100 million in senior debt financing, led by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.  Other banks who participated in the syndicate include JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., Royal Bank of Canada, Webster Bank, N.A., and Zions First National Bank. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup was founded in 1999, serves surveys to 25 million people monthly, and counts every Fortune 100 company among its clients.

WrightspeedWrightspeed, developer of the world’s fastest street-legal electric vehicle, raised a $5 million Series A round led by a private investor. The San Jose, Calif-based company will use the funding to improve upon its Digital DriveSystem, an extended range hybrid electric drive system designed for practically every vehicle-type. Wrightspeed says vehicles with its technology installed will pay for itself in three years by saving customers on gas cost.

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Wrightspeed Inc.


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At the dawn of the energy age, there is increasing interest in minimizing the amount of oil used for personal transportation. With recent and ongoing advances in battery technology, the electric car is making a comeback. With 3 times the energy efficiency of the best hybrids (4 times better than fuel-cell vehicles), and the ability to use energy from any source via the existing grid, electric cars probably are the long-term solution. But oil is still relatively cheap, and batteries are still expensive. When the rising curve of oil price crosses the falling curve of battery price, there will be a mass market for electric vehicles. In advance of that market, we at Wrightspeed are developing advanced electric drivesystem technology, and making use of an interesting property of electric drivesystems: there’s no tradeoff between performance and efficiency. Internal combustion engine (ICE) cars have an intrinsic conflict: if they are built for performance, they are thirsty; if they are built for efficiency, they are slow. This is not the case for electric cars. Our Wrightspeed X1 prototype is faster than anything available except the Bugatti Veyron, yet it returns 170mpg equivalent in city driving. If we reduced the power to one quarter of the current power, the car would be correspondingly slower – but it would be no more efficient. This means we can design and build and sell very interesting cars – extremely fast cars – without compromising energy efficiency. The drivesystem technology we develop can be applied to other vehicles in the future, as economics permit. If reduction in fuel consumption is the goal, it would be better to replace 10mpg cars with 20mpg cars, than to replace 50 mpg cars with 100mpg cars. 5 times better. Counter-intuitive? Here’s the arithmetic. The 10mpg car uses 10 gallons to go 100 miles. The 20 mpg car uses 5: a saving of 5 gallons. The 50 mpg car uses only 2 gallons for 100 miles, so replacing it with a 100mpg car only saves one gallon. The fuel consumption problem is not that the current hybrid cars only get 50 mpg. That’s not where the fuel is going. Look around you on the freeway, and count the 10-15mpg cars. That’s where the fuel is going. If we can replace a 10mpg car with an electric car, at roughly 100mpg well-wheels equivalent, we save 9 times as much fuel per mile than if we replace the 50mpg hybrid commuter car. At Wrightspeed, we will do exactly that, starting with extreme performance supercars. And the improvements we are making in electric drivesystems raise the performance driving experience to a new level. Faster, more fun, and safer. We expect that some of these enhancements will eventually find their way into all cars.



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As the first online, locally-focused flower business, H.BLOOM delivers designer-quality, hand-tied bouquets, to both residential and business customers, for approximately 70 percent off traditional floral boutique pricing. By working directly with premium growers around the globe, H.BLOOM gains access to more extraordinary stems and can deliver those flowers to its customers five to seven days sooner (from the time flowers are cut) than traditional retailers.


Greylock Partners

Angel group/VC

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Greylock partners with entrepreneurs to help them build market-leading businesses. Over the past 45 years the firm has worked with hundreds of companies, 150 of which have gone on to IPOs and 100 of which have gone on to profitable M&A events. Such companies include Ascend Communications, CheckFree, CipherTrust, Constant Contact, Continental Cable, Decru, Data Domain, DoubleClick, Farecast, Internet Security Systems, Ikanos, Legato, Media Metrix, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, Openwave, Open Market, OutlookSoft, Polyserve, Red Hat, RightNow Technologies, Success Factors, Sun Edison, Tellabs, Trilogy and Wily Technology. Current Greylock portfolio companies include Cloudera, Data Robotics, Facebook, Imperva, LinkedIn, Palo Alto Networks, Pandora, Picarro, Redfin, Workday and ZipCar. For more information about Greylock Partners, visit our Web site ( or blog ( or follow us on Facebook ( or Twitter (@GreylockVC).





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RockYou is a leading provider of applications and widgets on the web. RockYou widgets include photo slideshows, glitter text, customized Facebook applications and voicemail accessories that are simple to use and enable people to frequently refresh their online style. Founded in 2006, RockYou has over 35 million users, serving over 180 million widget views per day in more than 200 countries. RockYou applications are customized for easy integration across all social networks including Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, Friendster, Tagged and hi5.

Ian Wright

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