With $150B already invested, VC is set to have another recording breaking yearRead more...
Softbank secured $118M; Namely swept $45M; Fitbit landed $732M
- Softbank, made two big announcements regarding its robotics division on Thursday, specifically in regards to Pepper, the "personal robot that reads emotions," which it unveiled in June of last year. First, the company announced that it has reached an agreement with Alibaba and Foxconn, for them to help fund Softbanks's robotics division, with of them each separately investing JPY 14.5 billion (U.S. $118 million). That will reduce Softbank's ownership of that division to 60%, giving each of the other two partners 20% each.
- Namely, a provider of a cloud-based package of human resource applications, help companies manage their HR in a more efficient manner. And now it's raised $45 million in Series C funding.The round was led by Sequoia Capital, with Matrix Partners, True Ventures, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Greenspring Global Partners also participating in the round.
- Fashion startup Mezaaj nabbed an undisclosed amount of seed capital from private investor Arshad Latif. The startup is valued at US$500,000 following the investment round. Mezaaj is a platform for fashion and textile design students to showcase their work on a global stage. The startup works with local universities to source emerging talent and offers them a three-month incubation program. During incubation, the students are mentored by business and fashion executives. There are also opportunities to partner with large retail outlets in an effort to showcase designs and stock products in cities across Pakistan.
- The startup Are You A Human raised $4.2 million for its approach to handling the bots that causes Internet problems, Deborah Gage reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The Series A round was led by Detroit Venture Partners and includes MDC Dream Ventures, Foundry Group Angels and NCT Ventures. The company has code that analyzes behavior across the Internet, determining what is natural and what is automated. The company said its technology has authenticated more than 200 million real people on the Internet.
- A tech executive who had worked at several startups, including deal site LivingSocial Inc., Ms. Tyson approached New Enterprise Associates and other investors to seed Framebridge Inc. Now, less than a year after launching, the startup has framed and shipped more than 20,000 pieces and has secured $7.7 million in funding to expand operations and redefine what has been a mostly offline industry.
- Managed by Q, a New York-based startup that link companies via an iPad platform with its on-demand staff of office cleaners, maintenance employees, and office suppliers, swept a $15 million Series A funding led by existing investor RRE Ventures, (and supplemented by Jessica Alba, who is one of half dozen angel investors). The raise, which brings its total to $17.4 million, will allow the company to expand to San Francisco.
- High-end audio record startup Devialet secured a $20 million appropriation turn currently as a French association opens pre-orders in a U.S. for a musty turn “Phantom” wireless speaker. There has always been demand for high-quality audio, which is why news of Devialet’s $20 million funding round, led by French business magnate Bernard Arnault, should come as little surprise. This takes the company’s total funding to the $50 mark, having raised $30 million back in 2012.
- Hong Kong’s Spacious raised funding to simplify the process behind finding property to buy or rent. Spacious closed a $3 million round, following in the footstep of 99.co (Singapore), Zipmatch (Philippines), Lamudi (emerging markets) and Housing.com (India) among others. The new capital is provided by a range of investors, including Nest VC partner Billal Naveed, and Ticketflap.com CEO Martin Haigh. Ghafoor told TechCrunch that he is unable to disclose the identity of other investors.
- Palo Alto, California-based MentAd landed a $4.7 million to support its particular approach: “your next customer will be similar to the last.” The company has developed a mass analysis and segmentation of historical customer data as a way of identifying the next wave of customers and the kind of advertising that will appeal to them.
- GoFundMe raised venture capital financing infusing the previously bootstrapped company with cash that will give it room to grow. GoFundMe landed $1.2 billion from its campaigns to date. Earlier this year said it was approaching $100 million in funds raised from campaigns every month. Accel partners and Technology Crossover Ventures led the round, with Greylock and Meritech Capital Partners also participating. John Locke from Accel Partners, Max Motschwiller from Meritech Capital Partners and James Slavet from Greylock will be joining GoFundMe’s board as part of the funding round.
- Wearable device manufacturer Fitbit is finally going public tomorrow, and raised a hefty sum of money in the process. The company has set its IPO price at $20 a share, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday. With a total of 36.6 million shares sold, that means the company has raised $732 million in its offering. While that is nothing compared to something like the Facebook or Alibaba IPOs, which raised billions, it still makes this the third-largest U.S. IPO this year, according to the Wall Steet Journal. It also values the company at $4.1 billion.
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