Tag Archive | "redwood-city"

Deals & More: Gigya grabs $6M to make web sites more social

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Today’s funding announcements include software to help businesses with social networks, employee safety and shopping advice:

Gigya raises $6M for social network integration: The software maker has raised equity and securities in its third round of funding, according to a filing with the SEC. Founded by Israeli developers in 2006, the company helps businesses like ABC, ESPN and Reuters integrate their sites with social networks. Gigya, which last raised $11M in 2008, is backed by investors including DAG Ventures, Benchmark Capital, First Round Capital and Mayfield Fund.

ZoomSafer brings in $1.1M to keep employees safe behind the wheel: The developer of risk management software has raised funding from White Birch Capital and SugarOak Holdings to prevent employees from using mobile phones while driving. Based in Reston, Virginia, the company offers one solution that automatically prevents fleet drivers from emailing, texting or browsing while driving.

MyBuys snags $20M for personalized online shopping: The Redwood City, Calif.-based company has raised a third round of funding led by Rho Ventures with participation from Lightspeed Ventures and Palomar Ventures. The company provides more than 300 clients in the online retail space with its product recommendation technology, which combines a shopper’s behavior with algorithms to make relevant purchase recommendations.

Bubbles & Beyond gets $1.7M for intelligent fluids: The Leipzig, Germany-based company has raised a second round of funding from LBBW Venture Capital, S-Beteiligungen, Hightech-Gruenderfonds and KfW to grow its presence internationally. Founded in 2006, the company develops customized intelligent fluids which have applications in the industrial, cosmetic and medical industries. Products on the market today can be used for graffiti removal and building preservation.

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Clickatell scores $12M to rejuvenate texts with bulk messaging

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sms_kenyaE-mail, tweets, location-sniffing geofencing—the good old text message is still the way to go if you want to reach not just the technologically hip, but virtually every cellphone owner. Clickatell, the Redwood City, Calif.-based SMS gateway company has built its business around business-to-consumer text messages, and offers a way for businesses to send out text messages in bulk, for instance sharing discount offers, ads, or other notifications.

The company also provides solutions for carrying out financial transactions over mobile phones, and is coming up with new transaction services for developing countries.

And business is on the rise: Clickatell has just announced bringing in $12 million in a second round of funding, led by Sequoia Capital and new investor DAG Ventures. The new round makes the company’s total funding $21.5 million.

Up front, text messaging is like e-mail—boring, yet incredibly effective. Even though there are numerous options for mobile communication, the good old text message is still a surefire way to reach the masses. According to Clickatell, 9 out of 10 Americans can receive text messages, when, for instance, Twitter reaches only about a quarter of the population. And, in 2010, around 6.1 trillion text messages were sent globally. The astonishing number (that’s thousands of billions) also represents steady growth, as it is triple the amount of text messages that were sent in 2007.

Therefore, Clickatell aims to take advantage of the text message’s ubiquity and is going to use the new funding to hire more people (the company now employs around 120) develop its product, and expand in emerging markets. To better serve the domestic market, Clickatell is also launching a new, web-based SMS messaging package for small and medium U.S. businesses. Originally founded in South Africa in 2000, Clickatell has 13,000 enterprise, government and small and medium business customers and is profitable, bringing in “double-digit millions” in revenue.

[Photo credit: kiwanja]

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Deals & More: VillageVines grabs $3M so foodies can dine with discounts, EndoSphere gets $1.3M to help you slim down

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Today’s funding announcements include one company that encourages you to eat and another that helps you lose weight:

restaurant-checkVillageVines gobbles up $3M for affordable upscale dining: The New York-based startup has raised a first round of funding from Hearst Interactive Media, GrandBanks Capital and High Peaks Venture Partners for its exclusive restaurant site. The site, launched eight months ago, offers diners discounted restaurant reservations (typically 30 percent off the entire bill) in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

EndoSphere grabs $1.3M to treat metabolic diseases: The medical device maker has raised $1.3M of an expected $5.1M in equity funding to treat obesity and type 2 diabetes, according to a filing with the SEC. The company, which recently moved from Redwood City, Calif. to Columbus, Ohio, has developed a temporary implant that, when placed in the small intestine, helps patients lose weight by slowing the passage of food.

SCHAD raises $4.2M so engineers can manage facilities on the go: The Hamburg, Germany-based company has raised a funding round led by M8 Capital for its mobile technology. Using SCHAD’s product, engineers can remotely access and manage company plants from mobile phones and mobile devices. The company, which works with clients like Ford and Volkswagen, plans to use its funding for global expansion.

Neuroptix brings in $4M to detect Alzheimer’s Disease: The Acton, Mass.-based company has raised funding in its third round led by Swiss investor Inventages Venture Capital, peHUB reports. The company, which plans to use the funding to continue clinical development, is developing a non-invasive laser eye scanning test for early detection and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease.

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Turn raises another $20M for its automated ad tools

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advertisingTurn, one of the “demand-side platforms” (DSPs) that are becoming increasingly important to online advertising, just raised $20 million in new funding.

Advertising agencies use DSPs to centralize all their ad-buying across multiple ad exchanges and networks, usually with some degree of automated bidding and audience targeting. Not only are DSPs managing a big portion of online ad spending, but they’re reportedly a major factor behind the display advertising growth Google has seen.

When Turn launched its platform back in 2008, it emphasized the flexibility that it offers advertisers. When I asked the company via email how it stands out from the DSP crowd today, president and chief executive Bill Demas pointed to the high return on investment it offers advertisers, the breadth of its platform, and its transparency. He wrote:

As a Silicon Valley-based company, we offer a seamless, end-to-end integrated solution – in other words, we put the ‘P” in DSP. As a platform company, this comprises three areas: (1) an enterprise-class technology infrastructure for real-time bidding; (2) an algorithmically optimized data and media platform: it’s about the algorithms and not manual tricks; (3) intuitive self-service software empowering marketers to run their own campaigns.

Demas didn’t offer any specific details about Turn’s success so far, except to say that the company has consistently doubled its revenue every year.

Greenberg Associates led the current round, and all of Turn’s previous investors (Norwest Venture Partners, Trident Capital, Shasta Ventures and Focus Ventures) also participated. The Redwood City, Calif.-headquartered company has now raised $57 million.

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Zuora takes in $20M to help companies deliver online subscription services

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Zuora, provider of a business-to-business online service for managing subscriptions and billing, announced today it has raised $20 million in its third round of funding to further CEO Tien Tzuo’s vision of what he calls the “subscription economy.”

Zuora basically handles everything that happens behind the scenes when a user signs up for a recurring subscription on a site like GigaOm Pro. The company provides businesses with software to create and micromanage any recurring revenue model, and make tweaks whenever they want. Zuora also includes an analytics suite in its software to help business determine which payment models are working and which ones aren’t.

Subscription models have become increasingly attractive for content providers like Netflix and Hulu, which announced a premium service earlier this year called Hulu Plus, which runs on a monthly subscription. The whole recurring subscription market is worth around $7.1 billion yearly — of which Zuora says it has already captured $1 billion.

The announcement came on the heels of another major billing service provider’s funding news: Vindicia, which raised $20 million earlier this month, focuses on providing software to manage billing and fraud protection. But one difference is that Zuora allows for a greater degree of micromanagement than just automating the management of payment models.

“People have a tendency to say, ‘are you guys just a back-end function?’” said Tzuo. “That’s not exactly right, though it’s close — we want to provide people with a way to innovate their payment models and not just manage them.”

Zuora plans to use the funding to hire another 100 employees or so as it expands internationally. The company currently has around 110 employees. It announced it became cash flow positive in the first quarter of the year — so it’s not like Zuora actually needed the funds to manage operating costs, Tzuo said.

The Redwood City, Calif.-based company has raised $41.5 million to date from investors Shasta Ventures and Tenaya Capital. Redpoint Ventures led the most recent round of funding, and Redpoint Ventures’ Tim Haley will join Zuora’s board as part of the funding agreement. Zuora’s clients include business collaboration software provider Box.net and online news publication GigaOm. It has also partnered with PayPal to use it as a billing provider for subscriptions.

[Photo: Martz Agency]

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Life science startup Ingenuity Systems brings in $15.4M

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Ingenuity Systems, a startup that makes software for life science researchers, has closed a $15.4 million round of funding, according to a filing with the SEC. Based in Redwood City, Calif., the company creates tools for analyzing experimental data and researching scientific literature. Investors include Accel Partners, Morgan Stanley Venture Partners and Three Arch Partners. Ingenuity Systems previously raised $5 million in 2003.

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Voyage Medical raises $20.6M more for heart treatment devices

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Voyage Medical, a startup that makes cardiac medical devices, has secured $20.6 million in a third round of funding, according to a filing with the SEC. The company’s devices help with treatment of the heart condition atrial fibrillation. Founded in 2006, the Redwood City, Calif. based company has raised more than $45 million to date. Backers include Three Arch Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and RWI Ventures.

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Host Analytics grabs $15M more for financial management

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Host Analytics, developer of financial software for businesses, today announced it has secured a third round of funding for $15 million. This brings its total funding to around $30 million. It will use the funding to continue product development and feed marketing as well as sales.

Host Analytics helps companies use Web-based software to help companies manage their budget, forecast their revenue, consolidate financial reports, and more. The company calls the process corporate performance management and targets large and mid-sized companies as well as the public sector.

The company’s competitors include Oracle and SAP, which offer high-end solutions, as well as Adaptive Planning, a lower end solution. According to CEO Jon Kondo, the market is a “flat-out race for growth and expansion.”

The Redwood City, Calif.-based company, founded in 2000, began by building traditional software, then switched to an online model. The company secured a first round of funding in 2008 for $6 million and then a second round for $8.65 million.

The current round was led by Next World Capital. Return investors ATV Capital, Starvest Partners and Trident Capita also participated.

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RockYou gets $10M from SoftBank as part of Asian expansion

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Social apps publisher RockYou said today that it has raised $10 million in funding from SoftBank and it has acquired a majority of the shares in its joint venture RockYou Asia.

The deal is similar to an upcoming one that SoftBank is preparing to announce with Zynga, the top social game company on Facebook. It allows SoftBank to participate in the increasingly popular global social games market.

The $10 million financing is a fifth round of funding for Redwood City, Calif.-based RockYou, which previously raised a $50 million fourth round from SoftBank in November. Full told, RockYou has raised $127 million from investors including Sequoia Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Partech International, DCM and SK Telecom.

RockYou said it has been working with a number of game developers throughout Asia to monetize, license and publish its social games on a global scale. The company says it has had success in Japan, Korea and China and further plans to expand in Asia.

“We’ve always been very excited about the Asia market and believe that the market for social applications will really heat up in the coming months,” said Jia Shen, founder of RockYou. “With the further alignment between RockYou and RockYou Asia we can have an increasingly significant impact on the Asia social gaming market and further engage the world through social media.”

RockYou has more than 280 million monthly active users worldwide. Those users generate 15 billion monthly impressions as they play games such as Hugme, Likeness, Pieces of Flair, Speedracing and others. RockYou’s games and other apps are available on Facebook, MySpace, Hi5, Friendster, Orkut, and Bebo.

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Apple: Another iPhone 4G Video; This One In Vietnamese

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So, this Vietnamese guy goes into a cafe with his prototype Apple (AAPL) iPhone 4G…haven’t we heard a version of this story before?
It seems Redwood City isn’t the only place you can find yourself one of Apple’s upcoming new phones. Now posted on YouTube, from a Vietnamese language gadget site [...]

Article courtesy of BARRONS.com: Tech Trader Daily