Funding roundup - week ending 01/21/11

Ronny Kerr · January 21, 2011 · Short URL:

16 companies, one seed and several early- to late-stage startups, raised just over $160 million


vChatter, a Facebook application and standalone site that lets you video chat with friends and strangers, raised an additional $350,000 in funding from a group of angel investors led by Dave Kennedy. 


CloudTalkCloudTalk, a free text and voice messaging service, has raised $3.8 million in equity and $1.2 million in debt financing. Formerly known as, CloudTalk allows for asynchronous conversations by allowing users to send each other voicemail-like messages. Its platform also aggregates SMS, IM and voice all in one place.

FanBridgeFanBridge, a startup that helps everyone from rock groups to businesses manage their fan relationships, made two big announcements this week: the closing of a $2 million Series A round of financing and the acquisition of Damntheradio.

Flat World KnowledgeFlat World Knowledge, a provider of online and open-source textbooks, secured $15 million in Series B funding led by Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments (BDMI) and Bessemer Venture Partners with participation from returning investors Valhalla Partners, GSA Venture Partners (formerly Greenhill SAVP), High Peaks Venture Partners, and several angel investors.

LawPivot, a Q&A site focusing on legal questions, secured $600,000 in venture financing from Google Ventures, and high-profile angels, including David Tisch from TechStars and Richard Chen, founder of AngelPad, a site that could be accurately described as the Best Buy of India, raised $6 million in a fundraising round led by Helion Venture Partners, with participation from Accel Partners and Tiger Global.


QwikiQwiki’s, a company whose goal is to “forever improve the way people experience information,” closed an $8 million Series A round led by none other than Facebook co-founder and elusive billionaire Eduardo Saverin.

Energy efficiency company Scientific Conservation Inc. closed a $15.65 million Series B round led by Barry Schuler, Managing Director of DFJ Growth Fund, with help from DFJ Ventures and the Westly Group.  The round brings Scientific Conservation Inc’s total funds raised to $24.65 million.

Vook, a mixed media reading platform (vook= book+video), closed a $5.25 million Series A round led by VantagePoint Venture Partners and Floodgate. The platform is a mixture of e-book reading, video clips, and social media, allowing users to read and watch video highlights while discussing passages with friends.




Q&A site ChaCha closed $3 million of additional funding including $900,000 of outstanding warrants from new investor Qualcomm Ventures. The relatively small round extends a $20 million Series F raised by the company in October 2010. ChaCha has raised approximately $75 million to date.

Cheezburger, the publisher of LOLcats, FAIL blog, and other meme websites raised $30 million from Foundry Group, Madrona Venture Group, Avalon Ventures and SoftBank Capital.



KabamKabam, a developer of massively multiplayer social games, raised a $30 million Series C funding round led by Redpoint Ventures and Intel Capital with additional funding from original investor Canaan Partners, which incubated Kabam in its seed stage. Founded in 2006, Kabam has raised $39.5 million to date.


komliIndia-based advertising network Komli Media raised $15 million in funding led by Norwest Venture Partners (NVP), with participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Helion Venture Partners. Komli has raised $28 million to date.

Perfect MarketPerfect Market, a startup that helps publishers monetize their online content, raised $9 million in Series D financing led by Comcast Interactive Capital, with participation from existing investors Idealab, Rustic Canyon Partners, Tribune Company and Trinity Ventures.

SnagFilmsSnagFilms, an advertising-supported website that lets users watch documentaries for free, raised $10 million in a new round of capital from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Comcast Interactive Capital (CIC) with participation from existing investors Ted Leonsis and Steve Case, former chairman and CEO of AOL.

Vidyo, provider of HD, multi-party video conferencing solutions, raised $11.5 million in new funding. Added to a $25 million round in April 2010, a $15 millionround in March 2009 and others, Vidyo has now raised $74.5 million in total.

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CloudTalk is a mobile broadcast service platform that integrates sms, IM and voice into a single platform. CloudTalk provides a suite of communication services such as phone casting, audio blogging, micro blogging, instant and large scale group communication (calling, texting, voicemail, sms voicemail).


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In 1911, Henry Phipps founded Bessemer Securities to reinvest the proceeds of his sale of Carnegie Steel for the benefit of his descendents. The start-up investment operations were spun out into Bessemer Venture Partners, which now operates out of seven offices around the globe.


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TechStars is a different. It’s a mentorship-driven seed stage investment fund located in Boulder, Colorado which is quickly becoming one of the country’s top startup hubs.

vChatter, Inc.


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Launched on May 20, 2010 vChatter is already the top video chat application on Facebook. vChatter allows you to connect with friends or discover new friendships all over the world.



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Vook was created in 2008 by Internet entrepreneur Bradley Inman, with the vision to unite the disparate worlds of books and videos into one complete, blended story.

Vook has created an innovative platform where all forms of media come together to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts. Vook weaves together content from incredible writers and professionally shot and edited videos by filmmakers from TurnHere. Vooks also enhance the community and discussion associated with reading great books and watching great films.

You can read your book, watch videos that enhance the story and connect with authors and your friends through social media all on one screen, without switching between platforms.

Vooks are available in two formats: As a web-based application you can read on your computer and a mobile application for reading on the go.

With the web-based application you don't have to download programs or install software. Just open your favorite browser and start reading and watching in an exciting new way. You can also download and install the mobile applications through the Apple iTunes store and sync them with your Apple mobile device.



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Kabam is an interactive entertainment company leading the next wave in social gaming, developing and publishing massively multiplayer social games (MMSG’s), including the popular and critically praised title Kingdoms of Camelot and Dragons of Atlantis. Our studios focus on combining the best elements of traditional and social gaming to appeal to a growing audience of players looking for deeper, more engaging social games. The first wave of Kabam’s new games for Facebook and leading media sites have been widely recognized for their depth of play and social interaction.



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ChaCha answers who, what, when, where and why, and has emerged as the No. 1 way for advertisers and marketers to engage their audience. Through its unique “ask-a-smart-friend” platform, ChaCha has answered nearly one billion questions since launch from more than 15 million unique users per month via SMS text (242-242™), online (, Twitter (@chacha), Facebook app, iPhone app, Android app, and voice (1-800-2-ChaCha™). Working with major brands such as Paramount, AT&T, Palm, Johnson&Johnson, P&G, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Sonic, and presidential political campaigns, is one of the fastest growing mobile and online publishers according to Nielsen and Quantcast.

ChaCha was co-founded by proven innovator and entrepreneur Scott Jones and is funded by VantagePoint Venture Partners, Rho Ventures, Bezos Expeditions; Morton Meyerson, former President and Vice Chairman of EDS as well as Chairman and CEO of Perot Systems; Rod Canion, founding CEO of Compaq Computer; the Simon family; and Jack Gill, Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

Perfect Market


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Perfect Market works with professional publishers to create distribute and monetize content more effectively online. Perfect Market’s patented solutions helps publishers, including San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel and Chicago Tribune serve readers with exactly what they are looking for in online content. By delivering the right content in the right format to the right user with the right relevancy, Perfect Market has significantly increased the revenue for its publishing partners. Perfect Market is headquartered in Pasadena, CA with offices in New York.



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Vidyo’s solutions address known cost and performance challenges impacting the broad scale adoption of internet-based video communication and collaboration. We bring the price, performance and quality of video conferencing in line with user expectations by applying Vidyo’s unique intellectual property that leverages the recently approved H.264/SVC standard — Scalable Video Coding. The result is a VidyoConferencing™ solution that delivers HD/Telepresence quality at the industry’s best resilience and lowest latency over converged IP networks. We encourage partners and customers to experience the difference our products can make to the quality of video communications.


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