Funding roundup - week ending 01/07/11

Ronny Kerr · January 7, 2011 · Short URL:

After the holiday slowdown, fifteen early- and late-stage startups raise altogether over $200M


AssistlyAssistly, a provider of socially-networked customer service, has raised a $3 million second round of funding from Bullpen Capital, Index Ventures and Kenny Van Zant, with participation from existing investors True Ventures and Social Leverage. This follows a $1.7 million round from last year. Assistly offers a customer service solution that consolidates agent-customer conversations--email, phone, Twitter, or chat--all in one place.

Ciris EnergyCiris Energy, a natural gas production company, closed a Series B round of funding led by Khosla Ventures, with participation from previous investors Braemar Energy Ventures, Rho Ventures, and GE Energy Financial Services.  While the company did not disclose the amount, an SEC filing indicates that Ciris raised some $23.8 million of a total $39.7 million.  The company previously raised $4 million in a Series A round.

Dachis GroupDachis Group, a social business consulting company, raised $42.7 million of a planned $43.9 million round. Previous backer Austin Ventures returned for the second round of funding. Founded in 2008 and headquartered in Austin, Texas, Dachis Group focuses on introducing social technology to large corporate enterprises.

GroupMeGroupMe, a free group texting and calling service, closed a $10.6 million Series B round of financing from Khosla Ventures, General Catalyst, First Round Capital, and previous backers SV Angel, Lerer Ventures, and betaworks. The latter investors contributed last year to the startup’s $850,000 Series A round. Joining co-founders Steve Martocci and Jared Hecht on the GroupMe board will be David Weiden of Khosla Ventures and Ken Lerer of Lerer Ventures.

jinniJinni, a Pandora for movies, closed a $5 million Series B round of funding led by Belgacom and a “Tier-1 connected-TV manufacturer,” with help from previous investor DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures. Jinni is a personalized entertainment content site that uses what it calls the Entertainment Genome to determine what you would be interested in. The service breaks movies down into specific categories to meet different moods and tastes.

misoTV check-in service Miso closed a $1.5 million Series A round of funding led by Google Ventures with help from Hearst Interactive Media. Joe Kraus from Google Ventures and Scott Wolfgang from Hearst will be joining the company’s board. Like other TV check-in sites, Miso allows users to follow their favorite TV shows and “check in,” comment on episodes, add links, and earn points and badges for check-ins.

MUBIOnline cinema site MUBI has raised a $2.4 million round led by Eduardo Costantini with participation from existing investors Martin Varsavsky and Alec Oxenford and new investors Aydin Senkut, Georges Harik, Joel Peterson, Bart Decrem and Jose Marin. MUBI is the ultimate movie site for hardcore film aficionados. At its core, MUBI lets users search for films they’ve seen, rate them, become a fan or highlight as a movie you want to watch. The site also has social features and news updates releated to the international film world.

personalPersonal, a new startup working to return control of personal data to the user, closed $7.6 million in Series A round financing, co-led by Grotech Ventures and Steve Case's Revolution LLC with participation from media investment bank Allen & Company and Eric Semler of TCS Capital Management. The service, which is still an invitation-only beta, casts itself as a private network, directly in contrast to social networks. Personal will use its new funding to expand testing and introduce the service to consumers in early 2011.

RootMusicRootMusic, a San Francisco-based startup that helps bands look good on Facebook, raised $2.3 million in equity and debt funding. RootMusic allows users to do more than simply make their profile pretty. It adds the missing feature for default profiles - the ability to add up to two hours of streaming music. Users can also add links to those tracks on sites such as Amazon and iTunes. That way, if a user likes it, they can own it, without the lengthy search.

SCVNGRSCVNGR, the makers of a location-based game, raised $15 million in a round led by London-based Balderton Capital, which has $1.9 billion under management and investments in several gaming-related companies, such as Betfair, Big Fish Games, and CodeMasters. Other participants include Google Ventures and Highland Capital Partners. The funds will be used to expand the game's reach.

33Across33Across, a social targeting platform, closed a $9 million Series B round of funding led by Flybridge Capital Partners with participation from Series A investors First Round Capital and QED Investors. Flybridge Capital's General Partner Jon Karlen will be joining the company’s board. The New York City startup is just one in a growing legion of companies working to help businesses and brands better connect and interact with consumers in their social graph. 33Across identifies existing customers and brand loyalists and, through their connections, targets other high-potential customers.


CODACoda Holdings, maker of the all electric Coda Sedan, raised $76 million in a Series D round led by new investors Harbinger Capital Partners and Riverstone Holdings, each of which will have a seat on Coda’s board.  Previous investors also contributed to the round, including Coda’s founder and co-chairman Miles Rubin, CODA's Interim CEO and Co-Chairman Steven “Mac” Heller, AERIS Capital, and Angeleno Group.  The round brings Coda’s total funds raised to more than $200 million.

Millennial MediaMobile advertising platform Millennial Media raised a new $27.5 million round from Bessemer Venture Partners, Columbia Capital, Charles River Ventures and New Enterprise Associates (NEA). All four had previously invested in the company, along with Acta Wireless. In spite of having to compete with two of the biggest names in mobile right now (Google with AdMob) and Apple with Quattro Wireless), Millennial has carved out a comfortable niche for itself by serving multiple operating systems. After Google first and Apple second, the startup has managed to claim the third largest mobile ad network market share.

qikMobile video streaming app Qik raised $6.4 million in new funding from Marcus Ogawa, Managing Partner at Quest Venture Partners, and Peter Loukianoff, co-founder and Managing Partner at Almaz Capital Partners. Qik last raised a $5.5 million Series C round in July 2009 from Quest Venture Partners and CampVentures and other investors. Weirdly enough, the startup also confirmed reports that it had been acquired by Skype for $100 million. Strange timing for a funding round.

23andMePersonal genomics company 23andMe added another $9 million to its Series C round, bringing the total fundraising round to $31 million. MPM Capital is the latest investor to participate in the round, joining Johnson & Johnson Development Corporation as new investors. Additionally, MPM Capital Managing Director Ashley Ledbetter Dombkowski, PhD will be joining 23andMe’s board of directors. Founded in 2006, 23andMe aims to index genes to make the human genome “searchable."

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