Showing posts tagged funding

AirWatch Gets $200 Million Series A Funding

#SuryaRay #Surya Mobile device management startup AirWatch has raised a massive series A round of $200 million, led by Insight Venture Partners. The startup competes with others such as Good Technology and SAP’s Afaria in the mobile device management space. This rides the current “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend, where companies are supporting employee-owned devices such as smartphones and laptops in the workplace. The entrance of new and varied devices into the enterprise can be a mess to manage for companies in terms of plugging the security holes created by the devices accessing the company network. Mobile device management companies come in to help that process, and many also promise to harmonize the implementation of internal software on employee devices across the various platforms they run on. The investment in AirWatch is the biggest in an enterprise company so far this year, according to Business Insider. So far, AirWatch has been bootstrapped by founders John Marshall and Alan Dabbiere since its launch in 2003. It has about 6,000 customers, and said it adds about 500 new ones each month. These include Lowe’s, Toyota, and United and Delta Airlines. @suryaray

PayrollHero Gets $1 Million In Seed Funding For Dev Efforts In Asia

#SuryaRay #Surya When we first met was aiming to change the way small business timekeeping is done in Asia. With a $1 million seed round from 500Startups, LX Ventures, Futura, and others, it looks like they may do just that. @suryaray

Pinterest raises $200 million in new funding, company now valued at $2.5 billion

#SuryaRay #Surya Pinterest has raised a new funding round of $200 million led by Valiant Capital Management, putting the company’s valuation at $2.5 billion, AllThingsD first reported and Pinterest has now confirmed.

The company said it will use the new funding to develop new technology, continue hiring, expand its user base internationally, and make strategic investments. Existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital all participated in the round as well.

“Our focus is on helping millions of people discover things they love and get inspiration to go do those things in their life,” said Ben Silbermann, Pinterest co-founder and CEO announced in a statement provided by the company. “This investment gives us more resources to help realize that vision.”

It was reported earlier this month that the company was in funding talks that would raise its valuation above $2 billion. Most recently, Pinterest had raised $100 million in May 2012, putting the company’s valuation at $1.5 billion at the time. The May round was led by Japanese site Rakuten, in addition to Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital.

The company allows users to pin photos to virtual pinboards, collecting them in groups called boards around the web. Pinterest has exploded in recent success, especially with women, and has continued to drive increasing amounts of traffic on the web. CEO Ben Silberman spoke at GigaOM’s Roadmap conference in November, explaining that they didn’t set out to target any specific group in building the site:

“When we built Pinterest, we didn’t build it with a specific demographic in mind,” Silbermann said. “We built it for ourselves.”

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
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* The state of cross-platform media measurement
* How to stand out in the app development game
* Social media in Q1: commerce and discovery dominated @suryaray

MacDock Wants To Expand Your MacBook Pro’s Connection Capabilities Without Added Bulk

#SuryaRay #Surya Thunderbolt expansion docks for MacBook Pro have been slow to come to get started with offerings from Matrox and Belkin only now coming to market after lengthy delays. And they’re pricey, too, at $299 and $249 respectively. A new Kickstarter project called the MacDock argues you can do almost as much for considerably less, and without adding Thunderbolt into the mix. @suryaray

Method Raises $3M Series A To Help It Spread CRM Solution Beyond QuickBooks To Other Accounting Platforms

#SuryaRay #Surya Method, a Toronto-based CRM solution, today announced the closing of a $3 million dollar investment round led by Klass Capital. The company, which is the number-one rated such app for Intuit’s QuickBooks platform, will be using the cash injection to help it jumpstart a platform redesign, and the development of integrations with other leading bookkeeping software like Wave, Xero, FreshBooks and Intaact. @suryaray

e27 Gets $615K, Plans Southeast Asia Expansion

#SuryaRay #Surya Singaporean media outfit, e27, has raised about US$615,000 (S$760,000) through a funding round with investors in the region, and plans to expand into Southeast Asia. The round was raised with B Dash Ventures from Japan, Pinehurst Advisors in Taiwan, Ardent Capital in Thailand and Dan Neary in Singapore. e27 has been around since 2006 and runs a news site on tech startups in Asia, and organizes conferences. Mohan Belani, e27’s CEO and co-founder, said that he is looking to hire editorial staff in Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. The company’s focus, however, will remain on its annual flagship event called Echelon, he added. Last year, about 3,000 people attended Echelon, which also drew 50 startups and 150 investors. Echelon 2013 will be held on June 4 and 5 in Singapore this year. After this funding round, B Dash Ventures CEO, Hiroyuki Watanabe, will join e27’s board. Current members are Nic Lim (8capita) and founders, Belani and Thaddeus Koh. Belani said that the company has been bootstrapped so far, except for a small angel round raised in early 2012 by 8capita. @suryaray

Pinterest reportedly in funding talks that would value it at over $2 billion

#SuryaRay #Surya Pinterest is raising a funding round that would put the company’s valuation between $2 billion and $2.5 billion, the _Wall Street Journal_ reported Tuesday, noting that the talks aren’t yet finalized.

Pinterest allows users to bookmark images across the web and post them to personal boards, then share and like people’s photos to create virtual pinboards. The company was a stealthy startup success, and most recently raised a funding round of $100 million in May 2012 that put its valuation at $1.5 billion. That round was led by the Japanese site Rakuten, along with Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners and FirstMark Capital.

A Pinterest spokeswoman said the company has no comment on “speculation or rumors.”

Speaking at GigaOM’s Roadmap conference in November, Pinterest CEO Ben Silberman talked about how the company has appealed to a variety of people who aren’t necessarily early tech adopters in New York and San Francisco, although they didn’t necessarily set out to capture any particular user:

“When we built Pinterest, we didn’t build it with a specific demographic in mind,” Silbermann said. “We built it for ourselves.”

Related research and analysis from GigaOM Pro:
Subscriber content. Sign up for a free trial.

* The state of cross-platform media measurement
* How to navigate the new world of digital advertising
* How to stand out in the app development game @suryaray

Home Remodeling Platform Houzz Raises $35M Series C Round Led By NWA And GGV Capital, Launches Paid Pro+ Accounts

#SuryaRay #Surya Houzz is one of those Silicon Valley startups you don’t hear all that much about, but the company is quickly disrupting the $300 billion home remodeling market by providing home owners with inspiration for their projects and connecting them with the designers, architects and contractors who can turn their ideas into reality. Today, Houzz announced that it has raised a $35 million Series C round led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and GGV Capital, with participation from Sequoia Capital, Comcast Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Yammer founder David Sacks. @suryaray

Old McDonald had an app: FarmLogs lands $1M to modernize farm management

#SuryaRay #Surya There are apps that cater to salesmen, to cooks, to contractors and to stockbrokers. Why not an app for farmers? FarmLogs — a Y Combinator grad relocated to Ann Arbor, Mich. — has raised $1 million to invest in its digital management platform for farmers – and by farmers I mean the ones out of Steinbeck novels, not the ones on Facebook.

FarmLogs has designed software-as-a-service platform that helps small growers plan, manage and analyze their agricultural operations with the aim of maximizing crop yield and therefore profits. FarmLogs will track inventory, forecast profits, and digitize paperwork. It even follows the weather. The software is hosted in the cloud, which subscribers can access through an Android app, an HTML app optimized for the iPhone and iPad or a standard web browser.

Crain’s Detroit Business has an excellent description of just how sophisticated FarmLogs’ software is:

According to [CEO and co-founder Jesse] Vollmar, a midsize farm of 3,000 acres might have 60 separate fields, which can get complicated when it comes to keeping track of what needs to be tilled, watered, planted, fertilized, sprayed or harvested.

FarmLogs does that, with color-coded calendars for each bit of the mosaic that makes up the Google Earth image of a decent-size farm.

FarmLogs has hourly weather forecasts so farmers can plan when to get in or get out of fields. It tells them the price all the area grain elevators are paying for various grains, as well as prices at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. It has video feeds of various experts at the Chicago Board of Trade talking on issues of the day.

The $1 million round was led by Chicago’s Hyde Park Ventures and Ann Arbor’s Huron River Ventures with Hyde Park Angels, Silicon Badia Ventures, First-Step Fund and angel investors also participating. According to Crain’s that includes the $245,000 in seed funding it raised from Silcon Valley’s Start Fund and Andreesson Horowitz.

While farming might seem like an odd place for tech investment, FarmLogs points out that agriculture employs 36 percent of the global workforce. Big agribusiness companies like Cargill and ConAgra Foods, being gigantic corporations, have access to technology that not only engineers their food products but streamlines their business operations. Smaller farmers, though, don’t have access to such resources.

An emerging sector of startups is starting to feed that small farm base. For instance, New York City’s FarmersWeb has built an online e-commerce platform that links small growers and meat producers to local restaurants, grocery stores, institutional kitchens and wholesalers. @suryaray

More fodder for bubble debate: ed tech startups get $1.1B in 2012

#SuryaRay #Surya Ed tech bubble watchers just got more fuel for debate: venture capital database CB Insights reported Monday that ed tech companies received a total of $1.1 billion in 2012 from venture capitalists, angel investors, corporations and private equity shops. That’s down just a hair from the $1.14 billion the sector took in 2011, but represents slightly more deal activity and is part of a general trend towards more financing for ed tech startups.

For those who see the recent rise of ed tech startups as a sign of a frothiness in the sector, this report could be yet more evidence that ed tech is getting over-inflated. Over the past few months, reports of a brewing bubble have swirled around the ed tech blogosphere, with some drawing parallels between the recent surge in ed tech companies and the dot com boom in 1999. Perhaps to nip that kind of talk in the bud, CB Insights headlined its report: “There is no ed tech bubble.”

Heightened funding in education technology is mirroring financing trends in the wider world of technology, the company said. About 70 percent of the deals were at the seed and Series A stage, meaning that ed tech startups will similarly face a “Series A crunch.” And CB Insights says that’s a healthy thing for the market. If too many of these emerging startups get follow-on funding, that could be a sign of a bubble. But, for now, they say, it’s just too early to tell.

According to the report, one-third of the funding last year went to just about ten companies — take a look at a list of them below.

1. Desire2Learn | $80m

2. Open English | $43m

3. Lumos Labs | $31.5m

4. Echo360 | $31m

5. 2U | $26m

6. Chegg | $25m

7. Kaltura | $25m

8. Edmodo | $25m

9. The Minerva Project | $25m

10. Orbis Education | $24.33m Regardless, you can be sure that 2013 will see even more investment in ed tech and the B-word will likely continue to surface. But as Audrey Watters over at HackEducation has argued before, asking whether there is a bubble in ed tech is a limiting question. What’s important about the new crop of ed tech companies isn’t just how much money they can raise but how much value they can generate — to students, teachers, schools and investors. @suryaray

Ed tech startup Top Hat Monocle takes $1.1M in follow-on funding from Felicis Ventures

#SuryaRay #Surya Top Hat Monocle is filling up its coffers just a little bit more. Back in July, the Toronto-based education technology company announced that it had raised an $8 million Series A round for its web-based platform that turns students’ cell phones and laptops into classroom learning tools. The company said Friday that it had raised $1.1 million in a follow-on investment from Palo Alto-based Felicis Ventures.

The startup didn’t need the funding, said COO Andrew D’Souza, but given Felicis’ familiarity with education (it has also invested in startups Inkling and Piazza), they wanted to work with them.

“They know the space really well and mobile is a big focus for them as well,” he said. “We heard their vision for what higher education will look and we share a similar vision.”

As opposed to “clickers” that give professors just a basic way to gauge their students’ engagement, Top Hat lets teachers use the smartphones, laptops and tablets students already bring to class as complementary teaching tools. With the software, teachers can create in-class contests and competitions, as well as provide demonstrations and experiments. As students increasingly rely on mobile technology and web-enabled devices out of the classroom, Top Hat shows one way educators can put it to good use in the classroom.

In the past six months, its grown its team from 20 people to 70 and nearly doubled the number of colleges and universities using its platform to 285. About 90 percent of the colleges using its technology are in North America, with the majority based in the U.S. @suryaray

AngelPad’s 62 Companies Raised $56 Million In 2012; Round Size Grew Year-Over-Year

#SuryaRay #Surya AngelPad, the startup accelerator program founded back in 2010 by ex-Googler Thomas Korte, is today releasing new data about the progress its companies have made to date, as well as funding aggregates for those participating in its program. The announcement comes ahead of Thursday’s application deadline for the Spring session. @suryaray

Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Hamlet Book Breaks Kickstarter Record

#SuryaRay #Surya

Webcartoonist Ryan North’s Kickstarter campaign has broken the all-time record for being the most funded publishing project ever. His reinvention of Shakespeare’s classic, _Hamlet_ — _To Be Or Not To Be: That Is the Adventure_ — is a choose-your-own-adventure style story.

The illustrated book is described as “80,000 words of comedy and mayhem,” with jokes, swordfights and ghosts. It allows readers to either choose the actual path through the book by following the choices marked by Yorick skulls or make their own decisions and find themselves in comical alternate universes.

North set a goal of $20,000 and asked $20 for a signed paperback copy plus a digital version. He reached his goa…
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Koozoo Raises $2.5M Seed Round Led By NEA And Tugboat To Cover The World With 24-Hour Mobile Video

#SuryaRay #Surya San Francisco-based Koozoo today announced a seed funding round of $2.5 million, led by New Enterprise Associates and Tugboat Ventures. The round also includes Salesforce co-founder Dave Moellenhoff and TMG Partners CEO Michael Covarrubias, and will be used to help Koozoo hire engineers to build out its vision of a world where crowdsourced, 24-hour mobile video provides a window on the world to anyone who wants to watch. @suryaray

Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI.Asia Announce Strategic Alliance For Asian Startups

#SuryaRay #Surya Top Southeast Asia VCs Golden Gate Ventures and JFDI.Asia have announced a new strategic alliance that will focus on supporting early-stage digital start-up companies as they transition from concept to substantial pre-series A funding. @suryaray