Funding roundup - week ending 12/20/13

Steven Loeb · December 20, 2013 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/33dd

Robinhood, Freshdesk, ResolutionTube, Freenom, Manalto, Soundhawk, Curoverse, Trinity Pharma

Seed stage

Robinhood, a mobile financial services company, raised a $3 million seed round, led by Index Ventures, with commitments from a16z seed, Rothenberg Ventures and angel investors Tim Draper and Howard Lindon joining.

Pymetrics, a career assessment and recruiting platform provider, closed $2.5 million in seed funding. Khosla Ventures led the round with participation from angel investors Bob Pittman, Jeff Hammerbacher and Andy Palmer, as well as Terry McGuire.

FlyCleaners, an on-demand laundry and dry-cleaning app, raised $2-million in seed funding from a group of private investors and Zelkova Ventures. 

Ecommerce fraud prevention startup Trustev added a $500,000 investment from Notion Capital to its seed round. 

Deck, an app that lets users create presentations on the go, raised a $600,000 seed round from Qualcomm Ventures and angel investors led by Sabeer Bhatia. 

Online body shape and garment fit visualisation company Metail raised £2.8 million in funding in a round led by New World Private Equity Partners, with participation from Stefano D’Anna and John Gleasure.

ResolutionTube, which uses augmented reality to help field technicians do their jobs, raised a $1.5 million Series Seed funding led by Madrona Venture Group with participation from Acceleprise Ventures, David Cohen, Rudy Gadre, Owen Van Natta, Vijay Vashee and others. 

Manalto, a social media management platform, raised $1 million in seed capital from Europlay Capital Advisors and Raven Capital, as well as a group of Australian angel investors. 

Curoverse, the developer of commercial software products based on Arvados, raised $1.5 million in seed money from Hatteras Venture Partners, Point Judith Ventures, Common Angels, MassVentures, and Boston Global Ventures.

Minube, a social travel startup, closed 1 million euros in funding. The investors were Kibo Ventures, Bonsai Venture Capital and Sputnik Ventures.

Online marketplace Bubbles raised an additional £200,000 in seed funding from a group of private investors.

 

Early stage

SensioLabs, creator of the Symfony PHP framework, raised a $7 million round from CM-CIC Private Capital.

Space and analytics company Planet Labs raised $52 million in Series B funding from Yuri Milner, Industry Ventures, Felicis Ventures,Lux Capital, Ray Rothrock, DFJ, Capricorn, O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures, Founders Fund, First Round Capital, Innovation Endeavors, Data Collective and AME Cloud Ventures.

MyOptique Group, an online optical retailer selling prescription glasses sunglasses and contact lenses, secured £8 million in a round led by Acton Capital Partners, Highland Capital Partners and Index Ventures, along with Cipio Partners and GP Bullhound Sidecar.

Entitle, an eBook subscription service, launched with $5.3 million in Series A funding from unnamed investors. 

Floored, a company for 3D data capture and visualization solutions, raised $5.26 million Series A round. RRE Ventures led the round, with participation from Greycroft Partners, Two Sigma Ventures, Lerer Ventures, and Felicis Ventures.

Datameer ,a provider of self-service Big Data analytics for Hadoop, completed a $19 million Series D round led by Next World Capital. Workday, Citi Ventures, Software AG, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Redpoint Ventures also participated.

Freenom, a free domain name provider, closed $3 million in Series A funding from a group of investors led by Kima Ventures.

Soundhawk, creator of a wearable device to enhance the listening experience, launched with a $5.7 million round led by True Ventures. 

Trinity Pharma, a provider of cloud-based data, analytics and mobile solutions for the global life sciences industry, closed $15 million in Series A funding. Health Enterprise Partners led the round.

Blacklane, a global chauffeur service portal, raised $14 million from RI Digital Ventures, ALSTIN- Alternative Strategic Investment, b-to-v Partners, car4you Holding and s Daimler Mobility Services GmbH.

Open-source nonrelational database RethinkDB raised $8 million in funding from Highland Capital Partners, with contributions from Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Webb Investment Network.

Enterprise parking software company PassportParking raised $6 million in Series A funding co-led by Grotech Ventures and Relevance Capital with participation from a consortium of angel investors.

Datical, which supports proven open source projects for use in enterprise environments, raised $3 million in Series A financing led by Mercury Fund.  Austin Ventures and other investors also participated.

Onde Ficar, a Portugese online infrastructure for booking rooms, raised $2 million from David Kloeppel, Joe Maxwell,  the Nashville Capital Network Angel Group and affiliated investors.

Web and mobile prototyping tool InVision raised $11.6 million from FirstMark Capital and Tiger Global.

 Taxibeat, a Greek taxi-hailing startup, raised a $4 million funding round from Hummingbird Ventures.

 

Late stage

Public transportation app Moovit raised $28 million led by Sequoia Capital, with BRM Group and Gemini Israel Ventures participating. 

Life360, a smart home integration company, raised an additional $7 million from The Duchossois Group in follow-on funding as part of its Series B.

Crowdfunding website Crowdtilt raised $23 million in Series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from SV Angel as well as Sean Parker, Matt Mullenweg, Oliver Jung, DCM, Felicis Ventures, Naval Ravikant, Alexis Ohanian, Elad Gil, and others.

Social and mobile casino games startup Plumbee raised $14 million in Series B funding. Endemol put $13 million into the company, with the additional $1 million coming from Idinvest Partners.

Maxwell Health, a human resources platform that manages benefits and promotes employee health, raised$6 million series A1 financing round led by Vaizra Investments, with participation from Catalyst Health Ventures, Tribeca Venture Partners, Serious Change, Lerer Ventures, BoxGroup, and angel investors.

iROKOtv, the Africa-based movie platform for Nigerian movies, raised an $8 million round led by Tiger Global, with further participation from Kinnevik and Rise Capital.

Sailthru, a provider of automated marketing personalization solutions, raised $20 million in a Series C financing round led by Scale Venture Partners.

CloudFlare, which offers cloud-based services to improve security and website performance, raised $50 million in Series C funding from Union Square Ventures and Greenspring Associates, with New Enterprise Associates, Pelion Venture Partners and Venrock also participating.

WyzAnt, an online marketplace for private tutoring, raised$21.5 million investment from Accel Partners.

Check-in service Foursquare raised $35 million in a Series D round from DFJ Growth and Capital Group. 

Telly, a social discovery platform for movies and shows on mobile and PCs, raised $8 million in a Series B financing, from Cinemagic, Lumia Capital, Azure Capital, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Felicis Ventures and Georges Harik.

Sojern, a traveler engagement platform, raised $10 million in Series C funding. Triangle Peak Partners led the round with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, Trident Capital, Focus Ventures and Industry Ventures.

Ticket search engine SeatGeek raised $2.2 million in a funding round from its existing investors. 

CyanogenMod, an aftermarket firmware for Android phones, raised $23 million from Andreessen Horowitz and Tencent, as well as Benchmark and Redpoint.

Freshdesk, a customer support software company, raised $7 million from Accel Partners and Tiger Global Management.

Infinio, a provider of downloadable storage performance, closed$12 million Series B financing. Bessemer Venture Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Osage University Partners participated.

Knewton, an adaptive learning company, raised $51 million in a round led by Atomico. GSV Capital, Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, First Round Capital, FirstMark Capital and Founders Fund also particpated, along with debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank. 

Online designer frame company Warby Parker raised $60 million in a round led Tiger Global Management. General Catalyst Partners, Spark Capital and First Round Capital also contributed.

AlienVault, a provider of Unified Security Management solutions and crowd-sourced threat intelligence, added a $3.5 million investment from  Intel Capital to its Series D round, bringing the round to $30 million.

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Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Crowdtilt

Startup/Business

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Kickstarter for groups of friends.

We've taken our favorite elements of crowdfunding and provided them for groups of friends instead.

So instead of a $40,000 documentary, you and your friends pool your money online for a $1,400 party bus, bridesmaid's gift, tailgate, community cause, or anything in between. And like Kickstarter, no credit cards are charged unless the campaign reaches the objective, and it 'tilts'.

Startup areas: Collaborative consumption, social commerce

SeatGeek

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SeatGeek forecasts the price of sports and concert ticket on the secondary market, analogous to what Farecast (now Bing Travel) does for airline tickets. For ticket buyers this helps determine whether to buy a ticket immediately or wait for a price drop. For sellers it helps identify the optimal time to unload their tickets.

SeatGeek’s crawlers have compiled millions of ticket transactions and have also aggregated other factors that influence prices. SeatGeek's patent-pending technology uses this data to accurately predict prices.

SeatGeek offers a free version for buyers and will soon release a premium version for brokers and other sellers.

Bubbles Online Services Ltd

Startup/Business

Joined Vator on

For videos about Bubbles please see below

Background

Bubbles is a marketplace created around a proprietary matching engine. Its core solution and ‘problem solver’ is ‘time’, utilising the time we are not able to search whether we are ‘on’ or offline, bringing results in the form of products or services to significantly reduce the overal time spent searching but with features that dramatically improve accuracy in finding the right product (or service) at the right price.

It is being rolled out in 3 stages starting with the availability of products, followed by services and thereafter combined with an application developer store (similar to an App store) realising the hundreds of thousands of programmers and their solutions through 3rd party applications. 

For the retailer Bubbles unique 24/7 matching process delivers unprecedented product exposure, for the shopper a unique, entirely intuitive and seamless answer to the rapidly growing need for personal search. For the advertiser Bubbles is combining product and services into a global marketplace with able to deliver highly targeted solutions that in turn will herald a break-through opportunity in customer acquisition and sales.


Introduction

Bubbles is a virtual personal shopper for consumers who buy online. Based on what’s being searched it works in the background, continuously looking for better products and deals on behalf of the shopper even after they log off. Results are then delivered to the user at their convenience. As the shopper’s search remains live in the system, the search is constantly being matched to products ensuring buyers never miss a deal and retailers never lose a sale.

Bubbles’ solution binds commerce covering B2B and B2C. It is global, scalable, substantial in size and has a revenue potential worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Consumers

For shoppers, whether purchasing as a consumer or business, the problem is the time and effort required to ‘shop’, i.e. to find the right product at the right price and to make sure that it is available. Consumers have come to expect instant gratification and have little or no time to browse, manually filter results, or to compare and contrast a raft of products against one another. And yet most fear and will regularly miss out on a deal.

Bubbles has solved these issues through a proprietary process allowing consumers to shop without the need to be actively browsing online for hours on end – we call it ‘Search without Searching’. In essence, Bubbles solves the limitations of traditional search whilst retaining its helpful elements. Using Bubbles delivers a faster, easier and crucially, a far more engaging and enjoyable shopping experience than the currently available alternatives.

Retailers

For retailers, the Bubbles service ensures that their products are available and matched 24/7. In other words the product is brought to the search (term) so the problem of missing a potential sale is averted.    

Bubbles instantly matches products (to searches) that may even have only just been added into stock, whose prices have changed, or where deals have been created. These revisions to products that impact buying decisions would be lost on any other platform, where the search ends once the user logs off.

Advertisers

For advertisers, Bubbles will be in a position to provide trend and data analysis showing the complete shopping journey from start to finish. This will include invaluable information showing when, where and what influences buying decisions. Something which occurs during a typical shopping experience. We learn about our search from the results received and if these are imperfect we’ll narrow down or amend our search terms (e.g. adding a brand name or specific feature). On other shopping platforms each amendment would constitute a new search and no trackable connection would exist. With Bubbles, this journey or ‘quest’ will be monitored from start to end on the platform, providing a phenomenally marketable insight into shopping behaviour.

Monetisation

The primary revenue stream is a sales commission of 5% plus sales tax on the total transaction value (including delivery). This is charged to retailers at the point of sale.

Advertising, cross-promotion and complementary marketing with and between products and services offer one of the most significant revenue streams for Bubbles. With features that include, ‘Shoppers Paradise’, ‘Daily Deal’, ‘When it’s gone... it’s gone!’ and ‘The 60 minute deal’ Bubbles will be able to fine-focus marketing messages to buyers throughout the entire shopping process, including prior to the point of decision making, at the point of buying and post-purchase. This degree of interaction has never been accomplished by any other marketing agency.

Additionally, there will be significant value in the data that Bubbles will collate around consumer behaviour, buying habits and trend predictions. Bubbles will track, monitor and report the entire shopping process from start to end. Analysis will be available on what influenced buyers to move interest from one product to another, what shaped their decisions, how and why they altered their search terms and ultimately what level of incentivisation, if any, was used to drive the purchase. This is highly valuable data that will have a direct impact on product development and marketing.

Team

JFBubbles was founded by CEO Julian Fisher who launched the UK’s first internet exhibition in 1995 which he sold to IDG. Just as smartphones were taking hold he developed Kwickee, Europe’s first mobile publishing platform, raising €1m, exiting to BNP Paribas.

 

Martin AdamsJulian is supported by CTO Martin Adams with over 10 years of technical development experience with a focus on user experience, web architecture & software development. Martin was previously a software engineer at Ericsson and IBM.

 

Alex Azarov, Head of Development - 10 years IT development experience, a degree in Computer Sciences.

Anton Shabanov, Lead Developer 7 years development experience with a strong relational database skill set, “big data”, essential for Bubbles.

Mandy Cornick, Product Promotions Manager - 10 years’ experience in frontline retail management.

 

BUBBLES Advisory Board

Scott McGinley, Dalepak - formerly Operations Director at Play.com, is the eCommerce Director at Dalepak second only in fulfilment distribution services to Amazon.

Robert Jarrett, BIRA - Board Director at BIRA, the British Independent Retailers Association (7,500 retail members).

Mike Fauconnier-Bank - angel investor, previously at Citigroup where he advised clients on transactions in the Consumer, Retail and Leisure industries. 

Sara Galloway - former senior buisness analyst eSellerPro (UK's largest independent ecommerce business management provider)

 

Traction achieved

Bubbles v.2.0 has been operating in beta since end August 2013. Since then the team’s focus has been on onboarding merchants to the platform. A limited run of social media campaigns to attract consumer activity and feedback, for test purposes, was highly successful.

- 175+ merchants onboarded in less than 2 months, offering over 300,000 products

- High merchant demand with 300+ retailers in pipeline offering over 2 million products

- Average of 20,000 unique page views per week pre-promotion

- Numerous partnerships agreed with major players in the e-commerce and fulfilment space, including 

eSellerPro 
3P-Logistics
Dalepak (video)

 

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