Showing posts tagged Venture

Ingredient Subscription Service Blue Apron Raises $3M To Help You Cook Fresh Meals

#SuryaRay #Surya Blue Apron, a startup that aims to help you cook new foods while taking a lot of the inconvenience and waste out of the process, announced today that it has raised a $3 million Series A. The company delivers fresh ingredients and instructions for up to three meals a week, for $9.99 per person per meal. When we wrote about the company last fall, it was only available in the Northeastern US. Now the company says that it delivers to 50 percent of the country (it hasn’t reached the West Coast yet) with 6,000 meals delivered each week. It has also added a vegetarian option. @suryaray

Iterations: How Founders Can Fight Through The Great Fragmentation Of Talent

#SuryaRay #Surya The #1 request I hear when talking to founders in San Francisco is: “We are hiring engineers. Know any?” We all know this is a big issue that’s only getting worse, and so do most of the investors. But, I’m now starting to hear this so often, I’m beginning to worry that all the conventional tactics simply won’t work. Early-stage startups that don’t start experimenting with new ideas to source, recruit, and close engineers and other technical hires may end up running out of money or never achieving the product traction they need to get to the next level. I don’t have data to support this, but my intuition is that technical talent is so fragmented right now, all options need to be reexamined and placed on the table. @suryaray

Nomi Raises $3M To Help Retailers Understand Their Customers, Online And Offline

#SuryaRay #Surya Nomi, a startup led by former executives from and Buddy Media, has raised $3 million in seed funding led by First Round Capital. Additional investors in the round include Greycroft Partners, SV Angel, Forerunner Ventures, Ralph Mack, Dave Tisch, Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn, and Mass Relevance CEO Sam Decker. @suryaray

Snapchat Raises $13.5M Series A Led By Benchmark, Now Sees 60M Snaps Sent Per Day

#SuryaRay #Surya Snapchat, the impermanent messaging app that won “Fastest Rising Startup” at the 2012 Crunchies, has finalized a $13.5 million Series A round led by Benchmark’s Mitch Lasky. According to The New York Times, Snapchat is now valued between $60 and $70 million. @suryaray

DataXu Raises $27M For Real-Time, Data-Driven Ad Buying

#SuryaRay #Surya DataXu, a startup that sees itself at the head of a “programmatic marketing revolution, has raised $27 million in new funding. DataXu was founded by MIT aeronautics and astronautics engineers who teamed up with tech entrepreneurs to create software that optimizes ad buying across multiple exchanges, which they launched at the TechCrunch 50 conference in 2009. Its demand-side platform now supports bidding on display, tablet, smartphone, video, and Facebook Exchange ads, and 80 percent of its customers are running campaigns across multiple channels. @suryaray

Stack Exchange Co-founder Jeff Atwood Launches Forums Startup Discourse, With Funding From First Round, Greylock, And SV Angel

#SuryaRay #Surya Jeff Atwood, co-founder of Q&A network Stack Exchange, announced today via blog post that he’s launching a new startup called Discourse, which offers an open source platform for running discussion forums. The full name of the company is actually Civilized Discourse Construction Kit, Inc., and its aim is indeed to improve the quality of online discussion. However, Atwood writes that he’s following a very different strategy from Stack Exchange, which aims for “the absolute minimum amount of discussion necessary to produce great questions and great answers”: @suryaray

How To Say No, And Other Tips From Inside SRI’s Venture Process

#SuryaRay #Surya Editor’s note: _Norman Winarsky is the Vice President of Ventures at research and technology development organization SRI International._ What have we learned over more than 65 years of invention and commercialization? There are several specific ways in which our venture processes stand in contrast to what is in vogue today. These are lessons that anyone in the business of innovation should consider. @suryaray

Sand Hill Road’s True Belieber

#SuryaRay #Surya Scott Hartley, a venture capitalist at Mohr Davidow, decided to completely overhaul his investment strategy today after returning from a trip to New York. Hartley, who is originally from Palo Alto, spent a few days in New York for meetings and an interview on Bloomberg TV. When he unlocked his Sand Hill Road office today, he found that his colleague Abhas Gupta had cheerfully Bieberized his new desk on the other side of Mohr Davidow’s office. While at first he was shocked, with a little reflection, it sunk in that the mobile-social wave is over, and that while enterprise is cool, the next wave of disruption is Bieber. “I have a belief that ‘Tech is a Horizontal Enablement Layer‘ that disrupts traditional verticals,” he said. “First, we saw this with the Internet in the 90s, then with mobile as a dominant form factor, and social as a proxy toward authenticity. We believe that the next wave will include Bieber, and we are well positioned in this space.” His colleagues and the firm’s LPs, while stunned by this sudden pivot, were understanding and said they felt confident in Hartley’s abilities to identify the very best early-stage teams in this new Bieberification wave. “The question is how will Bieber disrupt traditional verticals,” he said. “We’re investors in RockHealth, pioneers in the digital health category, and we’re actively seeking opportunities in the vertical disruption Bieber is applying on Sand Hill Road.” He’s now working on partnering with Y-Bieber-cubator to source deal flow on companies that have evidence of Bieber-gagement and Bieber-tention. He added: If I was your VC, I’d never let you go I can scale you places you ain’t never been before Baby take a chance or you’ll never ever know I got money in my hands that I’d really like to blow Swag swag swag, on you @suryaray

Extole Raises $7.5M To Build Brands’ Word-Of-Mouth On Social Media

#SuryaRay #Surya Extole, a startup offering tools for brands to manage their “social advocacy” programs, has raised $7.5 million in new funding. The round is a follow-on to the $10 million Series C that Extole raised about a year ago, and it comes from existing investors, including Shasta Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures, and Trident Capital. The company has now raised a total of $29.9 million. @suryaray

Ben Horowitz: “We Like To Invest In College Dropouts With Insane Ideas Going After Tiny Markets With No Way To Monetize”

#SuryaRay #Surya At the DLD conference in Munich today, venture capitalist Ben Horowitz took the stage to discuss why he and his firm Andreessen Horowitz invests in a company and its founders. Last year, he said, Andreessen Horowitz found 2,355 companies that were potentially worth investing in that passed the company’s initial screen. In the end, Andreesen Horowitz only closed 24 deals (excluding seed deals). The companies that made it, he cheekily argued, are those started by “college dropouts with insane ideas going after tiny markets with no way to monetize.” @suryaray

Telcentris Raises $5.3M For Calling, Chatting, Faxing (And More) App VoxOx

#SuryaRay #Surya Telcentris, the maker of “unified communications” app VoxOx, says it has raised $5.3 million in its first institutional funding. The VoxOx desktop and iPhone apps combine features like VoIP calling, texting, chatting, faxing, as well as aggregated contact info from Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere, plus Google Voice-style support for calling multiple phones with one number. Back in 2008, TechCrunch old-timer John Biggs described it as “not a Skype killer, but close.” @suryaray

Mobile Ad Startup Celtra Raises $4M Led By Softbank Capital

#SuryaRay #Surya Celtra, a company offering tools for rich media ad creation, mobile ad serving, and analytics, just announced that it has raised $4 million in new funding. The round was led by SoftBank Capital, and SoftBank’s Ron Fisher is joining the board. Existing investors GrandBanks Capital and Fairhaven Capital also participated in the new funding. @suryaray

Hipster’s Doug Ludlow Joins AOL Ventures As Its First ‘Innovation Partner’

#SuryaRay #Surya Doug Ludlow, formerly the CEO of AOL-acquired photosharing startup Hipster, is leaving the company’s mobile team (where he was a senior director) to become the first innovation partner at AOL Ventures. Since this is a new role, it sounds like a lot of the details are going to be figured out on-the-job. Ludlow said the position arose from discussions he had with AOL CEO Tim Armstrong and AOL Ventures President Jon Brod about “how do you really get some early stage startup innovation and energy into new, big company products?” (In case you’ve forgotten: AAOLl is the big company that owns TechCrunch.) @suryaray

Moontoast Raises $5M For Premium Social Ads

#SuryaRay #Surya Social advertising startup Moontoast just announced that it has raised $5 million in Series B funding. CEO Blair Heavey told me that the company currently works with about 50 clients. It’s not an enormous list, but one that includes names like Universal, Lexus, Nike, Ford, Lady Antebellum, Time, and Simon & Schuster. Advertisers use Moontoast to create custom, interactive ads for social media — the ad types listed on the Moontoast site include a “social store”, surveys, sweepstakes, and a unit to offer free MP3s in exchange for email addresses. @suryaray

Y Combinator-Backed InstallMonetizer Is A Selective Ad Network For Desktop Software

#SuryaRay #Surya InstallMonetizer is an ad network for desktop software developers, a group that co-founder and CEO Vince Mundy says he once belonged to himself. “We looked really really hard to find legitimate sources of income [from free downloads],” Mundy said. “We found that there were other developers facing the exact same problem, so we created InstallMonetizer.” @suryaray