Funding roundup - week ending 11/12/10

Ronny Kerr · November 12, 2010 · Short URL:

Too many startups to list, this was definitely a killer week of funding

We covered nearly twenty startups and companies raising new venture capital this week, quite possibly a record! So much for a slumping economy. This week, we've separated the roundup into two sections, "Early Stage" and "Late Stage."

Early Stage

airbnbAirbnb, a marketplace for renting out space, raised $7.2 million in Series A capital from Greg McAdoo of Sequoia Capital and Reid Hoffman of Greylock Partners. The new funding will be used to make new hires as the company grows and expands to more cities and countries around the world. The San Francisco-based startup has raised $7.8 million in total funding from Sequoia Capital, Greylock Partners, and other prominent angel investors, including Y Combinator and Youniversity Ventures. This week also marked the launch of a brand new Airbnb app for the iPhone, which packages all of the site’s essential functions into one tightly-designed mobile app.

Coro Health

Coro Health, a music therapy provider, closed a $2 million Series A round led by Bob Martin, former CEO of Walmart International, and Kent Lance of KPI Austin. The Austin, TX-based company has developed a suite of Web-based audio products that delivers individualized music therapy to patients. Music therapies are designed by board-certified music therapists and designers who develop content that can be tailored to an individual patient’s schedule and specific needs. Therapies may also extend beyond music to include educational content, current events, audio books, and personalized affirmations from local church groups

datapopDataPop, a paid search ad platform, closed a $1.7 million Series A round led by Rincon Venture Partners, with help from IA Ventures, Momentum Ventures, Accelerator Ventures, and a number of angel investors. Founded in 2008 by CEO Jason Lehmbeck and COO John Zimmerman, Yahoo and Overture Services veterans, DataPop helps clients create customized ad campaigns that deliver relevant ads to Web users. The site is currently in private beta mode, and will be rolling out a self-serve platform within the next year.

EbylineEbyline, an online marketplace for journalists and publishers, raised a $1.5 million Series A round led by The E.W. Scripps Company. This funding will be a welcome addition to the undisclosed amount of seed funding that the company previously raised. eByline is primarily looking to serve publishers, not freelancers, so the site’s growth will likely come from publishers who join the site with a team of their own established and trusted writers.

GlusterGluster, provider of an open source clustered storage solution, has raised an $8.5 million Series B round of funding led by Index Ventures, with participation from previous investor Nexus Venture Partners. The new cash will be used to expand the company’s sales, marketing and support teams. The second funding round is more than double all of Gluster’s prior funding--$4 million. This past May, former Plaxo CEO Ben Golub was named Gluster’s chief executive. Golub had overseen the sale of Plaxo, an online address book, to Comcast in 2008 for over $150 million.

InfochimpsData miner Infochimps raised a $1.2 million first round of funding led by DFJ Mercury. The Austin-based company has developed a marketplace for lists and other data sets. Founded in 2009, Infochimps will use its newfound capital to expand the data available to customers and to hire more workers. In addition to the eight current employees, Infochimps is currently looking for a community manager, who will be able to help them increase their own social media presence, and possibly collect even more data. They also expect to be hiring more engineers in the near future., a video site for scenes and clips from films, secured a $3 million Series A round from Shasta Ventures and First Round Capital, with participation from a long list of angel investors: Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC, Aydin Senkut of Felicis Ventures, Naval Ravikant, Jeff Kearl, Tom McInerney, and prior investor Richmond Park Partners. Tod Francis of Shasta Ventures and Adam Lilling of First Round Capital will be joining MovieClips’ board of directors.

MyShapeMyShape, a shopping site for women’s apparel, secured $5.5 million in funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Tenaya Capital, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson Growth Fund. Founded in 2006, the company’s patented ShapeMatch technology makes it quick and easy for shoppers to find clothes that fit and complement their body types. Shoppers simply log into the site, define their preferred style (such as pant length, necklines, looser or snugger fits, etc.), upload eleven key measurements (more for a more exact fit), and then shop among the selection that MyShape provides for that body type.

PhotoRocketPhotoRocket, a service that makes it dead simple to share photos on the social Web, raised a $1.3 million Series A round. In April, PhotoRocket secured $376,917 in seed funding, according to an SEC filing, which combined with today’s funding brings the company total raised to approximately $1.7 million. To share photos with PhotoRocket, a user need only right-click the picture or pictures on his or her computer and select “Share with PhotoRocket.” A pop-up window appears where the user can select names of people in the photos and the social sites where the photos should be uploaded.


Digital publishing startup ReadOz raised a $2.2 million Series A round, contributed to by unnamed private investors. The funding will help ReadOz continue rolling out its free digital reader and publishing platform to attract more users. Founded in 2007, the Chicago, Ill.-based company develops a digital reader that gives users online and mobile access to newspapers, magazines, catalogues, brochures, directories and other printed materials. The startup’s marketplace currently hosts over 50,000 digital files from a variety of publishers, including the Tribune Company's RedEye Chicago and TribLocal editions.

Sprout SocialSocial CRM company Sprout Social raised $1 million from Lightbank, an investment fund created in March by Groupon co-founders Eric Lefkofsky and Bradley Keywell. Founded in 2009, Sprout Social allows businesses to manage their social presences from a single dashboard, which provides real-time data on their Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yelp accounts. The site was in closed beta until August, and since going live, it has reportedly connected its clients with over 567,000 potential customers via social networking.

TurbulenzGame developer Turbulenz secured $5 million from undisclosed sources. The Guildford, England-based company will use the money to make an easy-to-use game creation and publishing platform geared towards allowing developers to quickly create, publish, and monetize browser-based games with console-quality graphics.

twilioCloud telephony platform Twilio secured a $12 million Series B round of funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from Union Square Ventures, Dave McClure’s 500 Startups and angel investors. The new funding will be used to fuel product development and to make new hires in sales, marketing and engineering. Ty Wang, former senior director of the business communications unit at Oracle, will now serve as vice president of business development at Twilio. Bessemer partner Byron Deeter will be joining Twilio’s board of directors. Previously, Twilio had raised just over $4 million.

Late Stage

angies' listAngie’s List, a subscription-based directory of reviews for services and service providers, closed an additional $2.5 million round of funding led by Saints Capital, adding to the $22.5 million raised last month to bring the company’s total financing for the year to $25 million. Launched in 1995, the Indianapolis-based consumer review site will use the funds to expand its Health and Wellness feature (which allows users to research and review healthcare providers) as well as its group coupon offering, The Big Deal.

SB NationSports blog network SB Nation has secured $10.5 million in a Series C round led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from Accel Partners and Comcast Interactive Capital. The funding will be used to facilitate the site’s growth, fueling acquisitions and driving sales. The Washington, D.C.-based company has now raised about $23.5 million in total from the above investors as well as Allen & Company and various angel investors.


gazillionGazillion Entertainment, makers of MMORPGs, raised $60 million, with capital coming from Temasek Holdings, a Singapore-based private equity firm that seems to have a specific interest in entertainment-based companies. Founded in 2005, the San Mateo, Calif.-based company left stealth mode in March of 2009. It currently holds a license to make a Marvel-themed MMORPG and expects to release two titles under that license, one for adults and one for children. Gazillion is also the maker of the Lego Universe MMORPG, as well as Jumpgate Evolution.

mig33Mig33, a company that makes a social media platform for mobile phones in developing markets, raised a $8.9 million third round of funding led by Sugiono Wiyono Sugialam and Gree Inc., a Japanese social networking service. Other investors in the round include Accel Partners, Redpoint Ventures and DCM. This brings the company's total funding raised to roughly $34 million. Founded in 2005, Mig33 relocated to Singapore last May, in order to bring their services into developing parts of Asia. Other markets it specifically targets include India, Africa, and Eastern Europe. Mig33 is focusing on what it has named “mobile first” markets, which refers to markets where consumers are buying a mobile phone or similar device as a primary computing device, instead of a desktop, laptop, netbook or tablet PC.

tumblr.Microblogging platform Tumblr raised its fourth round of financing from high-profile venture firm Sequoia Capital. Since its launch in 2007, Tumblr has raised $10.25 million (not counting the latest round, details of which have not yet surfaced) from Spark Capital and Union Square Ventures, along with several angel investors including Betaworks, John Borthwick, Fred Seibert, Albert Wenger, and Martín Varsavsk. As part of the latest round, former CFO of PayPal and current partner at Sequoia Roelof Botha has joined Tumblr's board. Additionally, New York Times veteran Derek Gottfrid is departing for a position as director of product at Tumblr.

ZuoraSubscription billing service Zuora raised a $20 million Series C round led by Redpoint Ventures, with participation from previous investors Benchmark Capital, Marc Benioff, Shasta Ventures, and Tenaya Capital. This round brings the company’s total funding to $41.1 million since launching in 2007. Zuora offers a cloud-based subscription billing service for other businesses, providing pricing flexibility for different customer groups, scalability, and key metrics to stay current on the business’s health.

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