Toonimo, a startup that says it can make websites more engaging and lucrative by adding custom animations, is announcing that it has raised $2.5 million in funding.

The idea is that online visitors might appreciate having a cartoon character who can point out the important parts of a website and walk them through some of the trickier bits — and that, in turn, can lead to increased sales. For example, when you visit the Toonimo site, animated characters lead you down the page and explain the concept behind the company, in the hopes that you’ll sign up for a free trial.

Published in Deals & Funding
Tuesday, 29 April 2014 00:00

6 Australian Startups On the Rise

 

1. Record funding for email marketing platform Campaign Monitor

Australian email marketing platform Campaign Monitor has raised US$250 million in funding from American VC firm Insight Venture Partners. The funds will be used for expansion to the US and Europe as well as for acquisitions. Owners Dave Greiner and Ben Richardson have bootstrapped the business to date. Campaign Monitor has 100,000 paying customers in 19 countries. The equity stake in exchange for the investment is not disclosed, but it is estimated that the latest funding pegs Campaign Monitor’s value at US$600 million. This is an exciting time for the Australian ecosystem and represents the largest amount ever raised for an Australian startup. They’ve done it their way with an office on the beach in Sutherland with 40 local staff.

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Could the next billion-user Internet company be one that focuses on literature? It might sound unlikely, but that's Wattpad's goal.

Wattpad, an online community for writers and readers to share and discover good stories, announced Tuesday that it has raised $46 million in a Series C round of funding led by OMERS ventures. The latest funding round brings the company's total funding to more than $60 million and is intended to help Wattpad accelerate product and user growth.

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French native advertising company Adyoulike acquired Content Amp. According to Rude Baguette, the British company was acquired for $2.5 million. Adyoulike appears to be at the same time an advertising technology company and a more traditional advertising network for native content.

Thursday, 10 April 2014 00:00

Zopim To Be Acquired by Zendesk


Zendesk, the cloud-based helpdesk startup, has made what looks like its first acquisition: it has announced that it is buying Zopim, whose flagship product is piece of live chat software that is used by some 120,000 websites. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but we are trying to find out.

As a result of the acquisition, Zendesk will be phasing out its own chat software and integrating Zopim’s “superior” one into its platform, writes Adrian McDermott, SVP of product development, in a blog post announcing the news.

Published in Deals & Funding


Eko is one of a new wave of stripped-down, souped-up business messaging apps. Today the Thai-American startup revealed that it has secured US$1 million in seed funding from 500 Startups and unnamed angel investors. Eko’s apps for iOS and Android are reminiscent of the simplicity of WhatsApp or iMessage, but also add in a few extra tools for enterprise users, such as tasks and networks. There’s also a web app for desktop-based users. The startup launched the service last September. The messaging app is up against a ton of biz-focused rivals, such as HipChat, Flowdock, Convo, Cotap, Fleep, and TigerText. They’re all treading on the toes of venerable enterprise platforms like Yammer and Campfire.

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It's not every week that you see a tech founder who has worked as an analytics associate at Google and as a nurse assistant at a hospital. Sean Duffy has always straddled these two worlds: his mother was a nurse and he developed a fascination for medicine, but he never could shake the fact that he was "huge tech geek."

Published in Deals & Funding


Twitter has acquired Cover, an Android lock screen app, the two companies announced Monday. Terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

Cover was founded by former Google employees and launched on an invitation-only basis in October. Cover displays the six apps on the Android lock screen that users are most likely to want to use, based on daily analysis of the user's smartphone habits and the current context (whether you're at home, work or driving somewhere). The app attracted "hundreds of thousands" of users prior to the acquisition.

Published in Deals & Funding


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.

Published in Deals & Funding