Deals & Funding (51)

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Social customer service company Lithium Technologies will announce on Thursday morning that it has acquired Klout for almost $200 million in cash and private stock, says Fortune.

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Hindsight is always 20-20, that is, unless you're looking through virtual-reality goggles — then, things may get really crazy.

Just minutes after Facebook's announcement that it acquired Oculus VR for $2 billion on Tuesday, early supporters of the project took to Kickstarter to voice their displeasure about the deal.

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If its good enough for Facbook...

Chinese online retail giant Alibaba has jumped into the messaging market with a $215 million investment in Tango, a four-year-old messaging and social-networking app.

Part of a total fundraising round of $280 million, the investment provides Tango with capital to compete in the increasingly high-stakes competition between messaging apps that has blossomed outside the U.S.

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iChuangye, a Kickstarter-like crowdfunding service in China previously known as 5ichuang, today held its first-ever demo day to debut projects that are raising funds on the platform.

CEO Gu Bing, who preferred to name himself as chief service officer of the site, since he consider his works as offering services to entrepreneurs and venture capitalist in an effort to bridge their demands.

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Darren Westlake of Crowdcube knows what it is like to start a business. It was the very same process now faced by many of his customers that was to be the genesis of Crowdcube. After experiencing the difficulties of obtaining financing first hand as an entrepreneur, Darren noticed that the financial sector had not adopted technology, which could lead to greater efficiency and access to capital for small businesses. Enter Crowdcube.

Saturday, 22 March 2014 00:00

funding update: Shopping-Data Startups Cash up

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Here’s a look at some of the startups that announced new funding this week.

Gigwalk

On Thursday, San Francisco startup Gigwalk announced a $10 million Series B round led by Nokia Growth Partners, with participation from Randstad Holdings, August Capital, Harrison Metal and SoftTech.

Gigwalk is a software platform that allows offers on-the-ground, in-store information about products and promotions. According to the company, there are 500,000 independent contractors working for the company, whose customers include Frito Lay, Microsoft and 7Eleven.

CEO Bob Bahramipour says the new round of funding will be used to expand the Gigwalk paltform’s capabilities and build out its team. Currently, Gigwalk has 25 employees on staff, and Bahramipour says he is looking to hire at least 15 more by the end of the year.

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A new startup is harnessing the power of the crowd to help entrepreneurs and tech companies do their jobs better.

Testbirds, a German crowdtesting company, just raised €2.1 million ($2.9 million) as its first institutional funding, with French venture capital firm Senventure Partners leading this round. It’s also releasing a new product, BirdFlight, which enables customers to distribute and test their apps with their own testers.

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We visited demohour.com, Chinas leading tech-focused crowdfunding site. The site seems to be doing better every time we visit. This month had more new projects raising larger amounts of funding than we’ve seen in the past. Our top picks have all reached their goals but are still raising money.

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U.K based cloud software company Invenias, specialising in HR and recruitment sector and has a GUI that works within Microsoft outlook has just topped up its funding with an additional round for expansion. The allocation was for US$ 2 Million and came from an existing investor.

Last summer Invenias received US$ 1.5 million in series A funding from MMC ventures and in addition several private investors, including Mark Farmer the founder of Eden Ventures. MMC Ventures took the lead again investing for a second time. Farmers credits include founding Cramer Systerms. Cramer Systems, was founded in 1996 by Jon Craton, Mark Farmer and Don Gibson, and developed OSS systems for the telecommunication industry. In August 2006 Amdocs announced the completion of the acquisition of the company for $425m, and has also joined the company as Chairman.

Invenias’ cloud-based software platform integrates with Microsoft Outlook so users can manage and view candidate data within the email program, rather than having to utilise separate software. Candidates’ LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter feed accounts are also pulled into the Outlook app for easier viewing.

Invenias said today it plans to use the new financing to continue growing the business and for further international expansion, reportedly telling one source in the media that they have just under 500 customers, serving “thousands” of users across more than 30 countries. The company currently employs 80 of its own staff, across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
Commenting on the new tranche of funding in a statement, Jon Coker, Investment Partner at MMC Ventures, said: “Since initially investing in Invenias in July 2013, we have seen impressive growth and development from the team and we are delighted to be providing follow-on funding. Working with Invenias over the last year has strengthened our view that there is a big opportunity in this sector and we are pleased to further support the company.”

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The UK’s Meducation, an online education network for medical students and practitioners, has raised $1 million in seed funding. Part of the round — approx. $300,000 — comes from the UK taxpayer-funded Technology Strategy Board, with the remaining being funded by unnamed private investors.

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