Daily funding roundup - August 19, 2015

Mitos Suson · August 19, 2015 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3f9b

Kik raised $50M; SpotHero pulled $20M; Thrive Bioscience closed a $4M

  • If you thought unicorn fever was coming to an end, I'm sorry to break it to you, but it's still out there. There have been 18 new billion companies in the first half of this year, and 12 of those came in the second quarter alone, including Zenefits, Oscar Health Insurance and MarkLogic. Now we have our newest one in mobile messaging app Kik, which announced on Tuesday that raised a new $50 million round, which valued the company at $1 billion. The investment came from Chinese Internet giant Tencent, the company behind popular mobile messaging service WeChat.

  • Gone, a San Francisco, CA-based on-demand selling app, raised $1 million in funding. Backers included Techstars Ventures, MasterCard, Silicon Valley Bank, Cygnus Capital, NXTP Labs, Grooveshark Co-Founder Andres Barreto, Uber Founding CTO Oscar Salazar, former eBay executive Larry Illg, and early Groupon employees. The company intends to use the funds to expand its concierge service to New York, Boston, and Seattle, where early VIP access is available by signing up through each city’s landing page.

  • Mawdoo3, the Jordanian startup modelling itself on Wikipedia for Arabic content, has just closed a Series A funding round of $1.5 million. Closed last week, the round is completely funded by new Dubai-based investors EquiTrust. Said to be part of a much larger regional company, the investors are at this time declining to disclose where they are coming from.

  • Api.ai, a developer of AI and natural language tech that enables developers to add Siri-like conversational interfaces to their apps, nabbed $3 million in additional funding. The round is being led by SAIC Capital, the U.S.-based venture capital arm of China’s largest automaker, SAIC Motor.

  • Thrive Bioscience closed a $4 million round of seed financing from angel groups, strategic partners and industry veterans to accelerate commercialization of previously unavailable solutions that advance drug discovery, research and delivery of new therapies by improving one of the most important research processes – cell culture. Investors in Thrive's first round of financing include Life Science Angels (Sunnyvale, CA), SideCar Angels (Boston), Triple Ring Technologies (Newark, CA), Optikos Corporation (Wakefield, MA), as well as numerous accomplished industry veterans and prominent angels.

  • Anpac Bio-Medical Science Company, Ltd., a Chinese developer of early cancer detection technology, raised a Series A funding of several million U.S. dollars. Shanghai Zhangjiang Science & Technology Investment Corporation (ZJSTIC) made the investment. Founded in 2008 by by Chief Executive Officer Dr. Chris Yu, Anpac is advancing Cancer Differentiation Analysis (CDA) technology that analyzes non-invasive “Blood Biopsies”. The company currently collaborates with almost 140 cooperative medical institutions countrywide focused on sample collection, storage, logistics, and sales.

  • TrackIF, a free service that allows users to track their favorite products on the web, has a plan to bring business back to online retailers, while clearing out shoppers' inboxes at the same time. the Minneapolis, Minn.-based company secured $5 million in a Series A funding round co-led by Origin Ventures and Grotech Ventures.

  • Boulder, Colorado-based Kindara, which offers fertility tracking tools, raised $5.3 million in a round led by Boston Seed Capital with participation from SOS Ventures, Good Works Ventures, PV Ventures, MENA Venture Investments, and 62 Mile Ventures. The funding included the conversion of $1.9 million in convertible notes.

  • Vancouver-based Grouplendclosed a new $10.2 million funding round, led by PlentyofFish CEO, Markus Frind, and founder of Peer 1 Hosting, Lance Tracey. The funding comes just ten months after the online lending platform’s launch. This round of financing will provide Grouplend the necessary ammunition to accelerate our reinvention of lending in Canada, through new products and strategic partnerships.

  • Aviacode, a provider of medical coding-related software and services, announced a $16 million growth investment from Frontier Capital. The company will use the investment to further develop and market both its network of certified medical coders and its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform to meet the growing demand for solutions that facilitate medical coding and auditing for physician groups, facilities and surgical centers.

  • Gaming-focused startup castAR, raised a $15 million Series A round led by Playground Global Ventures, a hardware-focused incubator launched earlier this year by Android co-founder Andy Rubin. With the new funding, Henkel-Wallace said, castAR plans to hire beyond its current team of nine, with the goal of shipping a consumer unit by Christmas 2016. By the end of this year or early next, he expects all of the company’s 2013 Kickstarter backers will have prototype hardware in hand.

  • Advanced battery developer StoreDot Ltd., succeeded in raising $18 million in their latest round of funding. Investors leading the charge to finance the Israeli company include previous players like Norma Investments Limited on behalf of Roman Abramovich, as well as Singulariteam and Samsung Ventures. Counting this most recent round of funding, the company now sits on a total of $66 million in invested capital.

  • Siklu Inc., a global market leader in the millimeter-wave technology, has closed an $18 million in Series-D funding to further accelerate the company's already impressive growth and market leadership. The new investor in this round Sercomm Corporation, was joined by existing investors Argonaut Private Equity, Evergreen Venture Partners, DFJ Tamir Fishman Ventures, Qualcomm Ventures, The Tamares Group and Amiti Ventures.

  • SpotHero, a Chicago-based parking app startup, is hoping to pull away from competitors with $20 million in new capital. New York-based Insight Venture Partners, which just raised a $3.3 billion fund, is the lead investor. Monkfish Equity, an investment fund formed by the founders of travel site Trivago, also participated, along with existing Chicago backers that include Chicago Ventures, OCA Ventures and Pritzker Group Venture Capital, as well as Bullpen Capital and Draper Associates, both based in Menlo Park, Calif., Boston-based Battery Ventures and 500 Startups, based in Mountain View, Calif.

  • LaunchPoint, a provider of cloud-based solutions, software, and services for healthcare organizations, announced $22.5 million in funding from Carrick Capital Partners, an investment firm focused on technology-enabled businesses. The investment will be used to fund new product development, expand sales and marketing, and enhance the client experience at LaunchPoint and its two divisions, Discovery Health Partners and Ajilitee.

  • Ring, that’s invented smart doorbell technology for your house, announced a $28 million Series B round led by Branson, Shea Ventures, and American Family Insurance. The Santa Monica-based companyfollows on from its $4.5 million Series A round last December.

  • Kahuna Inc. has raised another $45 million as efforts to help companies get the right marketing message at the right time to millions of people continue to evolve. Tenaya Capital led the Series B round, which follows a series of executive hires at Kahuna. Kahuna’s software uses machine learning to help companies engage and communicate with people–whether they are on email, social networks or mobile apps–by focusing on their behavior regardless of where they are.

  • AlienVault, a company that delivers a hybrid threat management solutions combined with a crowd-sourced threat intelligence platform, announced a $52 million investment round today. The round was led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) with Trident Capital, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and GGV Capital also participating.

  • GrabTaxi, an Uber-style e-taxi service operating in Southeast Asia, bagged a colossal $350 million round, taking its total funding speeding past the $700 million mark. Among the participants in GrabTaxi’s latest round are U.S. investment firm Coatue, as well as a handful of big-name newcomers from China —  China’s sovereign wealth fund China Investment Corporation (CIC), and, perhaps more notably, Didi Kuaidi. “Didi” is an e-taxi company based in China, and one of Uber’s biggest rivals in the region.

  • Online marketplace Snapdeallanded $500 million (about Rs 3,269 crores) in a fresh round of funding from a clutch of investors led by Alibaba Group, Foxconn, and SoftBankExisting investors Temasek, BlackRock, Myriad and Premji Invest also participated in the latest funding round, Snapdeal said in a statement. As per market estimates, the new round would value the city-based firm at about $4-5 billion.

If you are interested in being included in our funding roundup, submit your press release or blog post about your financing round to mitos@vator.tv. 

Image source: valeriepecresse.net

Image Description

Mitos Suson

I am currently affiliated with Vator. I co-produce the Vator Events and enjoy the challenge. I am learning and growing a lot, being involved with Vator and I love it!

All author posts

Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Daily Funding Roundup" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs

Battery Ventures

Angel group/VC

Joined Vator on

You’ve got a great idea, a winning product, an amazing team, a great business. You have choices. There are hundreds of firms who could invest in your business. So why choose Battery? Yes, we have a track record of success backing breakthrough companies. We’ve been through hundreds of IPOs and M&A events. We have 30 years of experience. We’ve raised $4.5B since inception and are investing a $900M pool of capital, so yes, we have deep pockets along with big Rolodexes and a smart team.

So what else matters? That we’ll be the most engaged, collaborative and passionate investor around the table. That we remain open to exploring all business ideas, no matter how complicated or far off the beaten track they might at first seem. We will roll up our sleeves and work as hard as you do. We will add value every day, in between board meetings, not just at them. But that doesn’t mean we’ll run your business, we know where to draw the line. We keep our egos in check, operate with integrity and honesty, and put the needs of your business ahead of our own.

Above all, it’s really about chemistry. So get to know us. Talk to the teams we’ve worked with. Ask them how we’ve helped. You’ll discover the value Battery can add long before we write the first check. Here’s a bit more about the companies we’ve backed and the difference we’ve made between a great company and an also-ran.

500 Startups

Angel group/VC

Joined Vator on

500 Startups is an early-stage seed fund and incubator program located in Mountain View, CA. They invest primarily in consumer & SMB internet startups, and related web infrastructure services. Their initial investment size is typically $25K-$250K.

Selected areas of interest include financial services & e-commerce, search/social/mobile platforms, personal & business productivity, education & language, family & healthcare and web infrastructure.
 
 

Bullpen Capital

Angel group/VC

Joined Vator on

Bullpen Capital is second round investor who invests in companies previously seeded by the Super Angel funds.

grotech-ventures

Angel group/VC

Joined Vator on

As one of the longest-established firms in the venture industry, Grotech Ventures has built a reputation for being a collaborative, long-term partner for CEOs and entrepreneurs by aligning our definition of success with that of our partners.

Our strategy is simple: early investors in high-potential technology companies. Grotech Ventures initially invests from $500,000 to $5 million and looks to continue investing and building value throughout the growth of your enterprise. We have the operational knowledge, personal networks, and industry expertise necessary to support our portfolio companies at each stage of the partnership.

Boston Seed Capital

Angel group/VC

Joined Vator on

We seed invest. We seed entrepreneurs. We are Boston Seed.