Purch raised $135M; Nantero landed $31.5M; Udemy nabbed $65M
- Mobile P2P payments startup MyPoolin raised seed investment from a group of angel investors including Sharad Sharma of iSPIRT, Rajan Anandan of Google India, Sunil Kalra, Amit Ranjan of Slide Share, Rohan & Arjun Malhotra of Investopad and ex-Googler Gautam Gandhi.
MyPoolin has developed a group payment social app to help users plan and pool/collect money for purchases or others such requirements. The company claims to have reached Rs 10 lakh in revenue within its first 4 months of operation on its web app.
- Online city and lifestyle guide Little Black Book Delhi (LBBD) landed a seed investment of $150,000 from a group of angel investors. The investors in this round include Google India's Rajan Anandan of Google India, Outbox Ventures's Niraj Singh, MakeMyTrip co-founder Sachin Bhatia, Singapore Angel Network and Aseem Vadehra of Vadehra Art Gallery. "The primary aim of generating this round of funding has been to grow the technology wing of Little Black Book. This investment will go into bettering our content creation, consumption and distribution, expand our reach in the Delhi/NCR region. We also aim to use this investment to start operations in our second city in India," said Suchita Salwan, founder & CEO of Little Black Book Delhi.
- Equippo, a global online marketplace for used heavy equipment, closed its first seed financing round with a mid-six-figure sum. The round was led by the venture capital company b-to-v (St. Gallen/Berlin). International angel investors from the b-to-v network were also involved. The Zug (Switzerland) based startup, which was founded in 2014, will invest the fresh capital to expand and amplify seller acquisition, online marketing, and organizational structure with focus on Russia, Africa, and South America.
- 3D printing pen creator CreoPop completed a seed funding round. The round is led by Wavemaker Partners and the Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF), while other investors include Malaysian venture capital firm Kumpulan Modal Perdana via its E&E Catalyst fund, Ruvento Ventures, Australian 3D printing company 333D, and a number of private investors. CreoPop declined to disclose the amount, but claims it has raised more than S$2 million (US$1.48 million) in total so far. This presumably includes a previous funding round led by 500 Startups in January, but it is unclear if it takes into account the US$186,000 the company raised through crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The company will use the funding “to cover ongoing operating expenses, working capital for inventory, and marketing launch with a focus on the US,” co-founder Andreas Birnik told Tech in Asia.
- Bookme.pk — an e-ticketing platform for cinemas and bus services — landed seed stage funding from Element Ventures at $4 million valuation. Company didn’t reveal the exact value of investment but said that the money it raised is well north of six figures. With this development, Bookme.pk also announced the appointment of Mr. Faisal Sherjan as its director, who had been associated with Jang Group at various senior level positions for over 12 years.
- DataScience, a startup that relies on the labor of data scientists to provide a cloud service non-technical people can use to answer tough questions raised a $4.5 million Series A funding round led by Greycroft Partners. The round follows a recent $1.5 million seed round from Pelion Ventures Partners, Crosscut Ventures and TenOnTen, who also participated in the Series A funding.
- Alternative memory chip designer Nantero landed $31.5 million in a fifth round of funding for its carbon nanotube technology. The funding is a rare investment in a semiconductor company in an industry dominated by giant corporations. Investors include Charles River Ventures, Stata Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Harris & Harris Group, and Draper Fisher Jurvetson.
- Technology Crossover Ventures, an investor in big names like Netflix, Facebook, and Spotify, led a $45 million round for recruitment startup HireVue. Following the deal, TCV pricipal Nari Ansari will join HireVue’s board of directors. The funding from this round will be used to fuel HireVue’s “Team Acceleration” software, which sorts out ideal new hires by giving managers access to digital video tools and predictive analytics.
- Udemy, a San Francisco, CA-based marketplace for online courses, closed an $65 million Series D financing. The round was led by Stripes Group, with participation from Norwest Venture Partners (NVP) and Insight Venture Partners. In conjunction with the funding, Stripes Group Founder and Managing Partner Ken Fox will join Udemy’s Board of Directors. Udemy was the Vator's 2010 Splash Winner.
- The San Francisco, CA-based Doorman, a startup that aims to solve our very real problems with missed mail and package deliveries, announced this morning that it completed $1.5 million in seed funding. In addition to the funding, the company will also be launching an API that will allow retailers to integrate Doorman’s scheduling functionality into other company sites and apps. the funding was led by Motus Ventures (who currently serves as Doorman’s advisors), and included participation from WTI, MicroVentures, and VGO Ventures. Before raising this seed round, the company had raised $375,000 from smaller investors
- Urban Massage, a U.K. startup that offers an Uber-style massage booking service similar to U.S.-based Zeel, secured a new round of funding. The backing — amount undisclosed — is being led by Firestartr. Existing investor Passion Capital also participated alongside new investors Samos, LCIF, and a number of unnamed angel investors. Noteworthy is that the London-based startup says the new funding gives Urban Massage a post-money valuation of $12 million.
- Purch, a digital media firm which has a suite of technology content and eCommerce websites landed a funding of $135 million to drive acquisitions. Company’s Chief Executive Greg Mason said that the website mainly focuses on product reviews across more than 1,000 categories and target consumers who are in the final stages of research before making a purchase. Further he said 55% of Purch’s revenue comes from eCommerce, lead generation and performance marketing, with the remaining 45% coming from advertising. The company in 2014 made a revenue of $100 million and has aimed to bring in more than $100 million by the end of 2015. The present series C round of funding led by Canso Investment Counsel Ltd. ($16 billion Canadian portfolio group with extensive digital-media holdings) brings the company’s total funding to $175.5 million.
- Saama Technologies Inc, a US-headquartered Big Data solutions and services company with an office in Pune, nabbed $35 million in Series A round of funding from California-based Carrick Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on technology-enabled service-based businesses. As part of the deal, Marc McMorris, co-founder and MD of Carrick Capital, will join Saama’s board of directors. “The critical business problem companies need to solve in deploying analytics is not about technology platforms; it’s about designing a complete analytics value chain that can deliver concept-to-action-to-value within an effective performance period. Delivering to this need has powered our growth to date,” said Suresh Katta, founder and CEO, Saama. “With this funding and support from Carrick, we will expand our Ready Analytics solutions and increase our Big Data leadership to drive competitive advantage for our customers,” Katta added.
- Revolution Growth, a firm founded by CEO Steve Case in 2005 along with former AOL execs Donn David and Ted Leonsis, raised another $450 million for its third fund to invest in growth-stage startups, according to a SEC filing. Some recent investments from Revolution Growth’s second fund include self-storage marketplace Sparefoot, organic restaurant chain Sweetgreen, on-demand home services company Handy, and custom printing e-commerce startup CustomInk.
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Udemy is a website that enables anyone to teach and learn online. Udemy tries to democratize online education by making it fast, easy and free to create online courses. Udemy is an open platform, so anyone can build an online course by posting videos, presentations, writing blog posts, or hosting live virtual classroom sessions.
Udemy tries to solve a simple problem: there are millions of smart people in the world (authors, speakers, coaches, trainers, subject matter experts and teachers) who want to teach over the internet. Currently, it costs $10,000 to create a website to teach, and there are thousands of instructors doing this (we've talked to them; they hate it). We provide instructors with the ability to create their own course without any up-front costs. That way, they no longer have to deal with the technology and can focus entirely on teaching.
Udemy Live is Udemy’s live virtual conferencing and classroom tool. It is entirely web-based and built on component architecture. Each component was built separately, and there is an internal API so third party developers can build components on top of Udemy’s virtual conferencing tool. The API is not currently public.
Udemy was founded by MobileCrunch writer Gagan Biyani, Eren Bali and Oktay Caglar. Eren and Oktay worked at SpeedDate.com, an online dating site that has received over $8M in funding from Menlo Ventures.
Udemy will start by focusing on a specific niche: Poker education. We will roll out Udemy to enter the $100M business of online poker education. Udemy has deals with more than 15 extremely popular poker instructors to teach on Udemy Poker over the internet. After that niche, Udemy will begin to enter additional markets in which there is a willingness to pay by consumers and a clear set of high-quality instructors interested in teaching.