Houzz acquires GardenWeb; Coursera raises $49.5 million Series C round; Accodex raises $180,000 seed round
At the end of another busy week across the startup space, home design community Houzz has acquired GardenWeb, investment management firm BlackRock has acquired online financial advisory startup FutureAdvisor, and learning platform Coursera has raised $49.5 million. Closer to home, EnergyTech startup carbonTrack raised $2 million and Adelaide accounting startup Accodex raised $180,000 in seed funding.
Indian travel search marketplace ixigo has acquired Square Hoot Hikes, the parent company of Rutogo, an aggregator service for inner-city taxis. Aloke Bajpai, co-founder and CEO of ixigo, said in a statement, “This acquisition fits well with our overall strategy of providing comprehensive choice across intra-city and inter-city taxi booking options. We will be launching outstation taxis in the coming weeks, and will also be opening up the cabs marketplace and partner with other booking apps in the inter-city taxis space shortly. With flights, trains, buses, and cabs, we are now the most comprehensive transportation search in India.”
Life360, a startup making apps to keep families connected, has acquired Chronos, which has created apps that passively collect vast amounts of a user’s data to highlight connections and trends. In a statement, Alex Haro, cofounder of Life360, said, “The Chronos technology allows us to give our users an even deeper level of contextual awareness around their family’s daily activities. By showing them where they go most often and how much time is spent on specific activities, we can empower our families with key insights around family behaviour.”
Investment management firm BlackRock has signalled its intent to buy FutureAdvisor, an online financial advisory firm. The startup will operate as a business within BlackRock Solutions. Tom Fortin, head of retail technology for BlackRock, said in a statement on the deal, “As demand for digital wealth management grows, we believe that our combined offering will accelerate our partner firms’ abilities to serve the mass affluent in a convenient, scalable way.”
Home design community Houzz has acquired GardenWeb, a site devoted to homes and gardening, from NBC Universal, who had bought the site as part of the $600 million iVillage package in 2006. The GardenWeb platform and its forums are already being integrated into the Houzz platform.
Big data company Hortonworks has acquired Onyara, the creator of Apache NiFi, a top-level open source project they have developed in conjunction with the NSA. A statement from Hortonworks explained that the acquisition will make it easy for customers to automate and secure data flows and to collect, conduct and curate real-time business insights and actions derived from data in motion.
Portuguese fashion startup Chic by Choice, which lets customers rent designer dresses, has acquired German competitor La Remia. The founders of La Remia, Anna Mangold and Claudia von Boeselager, will be staying on as advisors.
Energy-tech startup carbonTRACK announced it closed a new $2 million round of funding. The capital will be used to scale up the organisation within Australia and expand internationally. Last financial year, the company completed a $1.1 million round that was led by Wolf Capital. This has allowed the startup to grow quite rapidly within the local market, adding 15 new people to the team within the last 12 months alone. The company was also recently shortlisted to pitch in the NRMA Slingshot Jumpstart Scale-up Program.
Accodex raises $180,000
Adelaide accounting startup Accodex, which has created a cloud-based platform for freelance accountants, has raised $180,000 in a seed round from private investors around Australia and North America. The funding will go towards expanding in the US; the startup opened its first North American office last month, with CEO Chris Hooper set to relocate next year.
HealthTech startup Mocacare, which ran a $120,000 Kickstarter campaign for its heart health tracker, has raised $2 million in a Series A round led by Singapore-based JDM Mobile Internet Solutions Co. This brings the total raised by the startup to date to $4 million.
Hybrid cloud startup Velostrata, which “”streams production workloads to and from the cloud in minutes while keeping the storage and boot images on-premises,” has this week come out of stealth mode and announced that it has raised a $14 million Series A round led by Norwest Venture Partners and Greylock IL Partners.
Intercom, a startup promising to change the way internet companies communicate with their customers, has raised $35 million in a Series C round led by ICONIQ Capital, with participation from The Social + Capital Partnership and Bessemer Venture Partners. The funding will go towards building new and existing products on the platform.
Modumental, a Seattle company that develops nanolaminated metals for the gas and oil industries, has raised $33.5 million in a round led by Founders Fund. There is a huge opportunity for the startup in gas and oil, industries which lose trillions of dollars a year due to corroded equipment and pipes.
Chinese drone startup EHANG has raised $42 million in a Series B round led by GP Capital, with participation from GGV Capital, ZhenFund, Lebox Capital, OFC, and PreAngel. The startup has also announced the appointment of four new senior executives who have experience at companies like21Vianet, Lenovo, and Microsoft. EHANG raised a $10 million Series A round last year.
Another Chinese drone startup, Yuneec, has raised $60 million from Intel, with the two companies set to work on developing new products together.
Spare5, a startup helping companies outsource menial data-related tasks, has raised a $10 million Series A round led by Foundry Group, Madrona Venture Group, and New Enterprise Associates. The funding will go towards growing Spare5’s engineering, design, marketing, community management, and customer relationship capabilities.
Big data infrastructure startup BlueData has raised $20 million in a Series C round led by Intel Capital, with participation from existing investors including Amplify Partners, and Atlantic Bridge. Doug Fisher, senior vice president of Intel and general manager of its Software and Services Group, will join BlueData’s board of directors as part of the deal, while BlueData and Intel are also embarking on a collaboration through which they will execute a joint engineering roadmap and joint go-to-market strategies that include coordinated product, channel, and sales programs.
Bangkok-based corporate communications startup Eko Communications has raised $5.7 million in a Series A round led by Asian venture capital firm Gobi Partners. The funding will go towards expanding into new markets, growing its team, and upping its marketing efforts.
Online education startup Coursera has raised a $49.5 million Series C round led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, International Finance Corporation, and Indian newcomer Times Internet Limited. This brings the total raised by the startup to $600 million and will be used to further its global expansion.
Recruitment startup Greenhouse has raised $35 million in Series C funding led by Thrive Capital, with participation from return investors Benchmark, The Social+Capital Partnership, and Groupe Arnault. The startup previously raised a $13.6 million Series B round in March. The funding will go towards expanding its team and offering.
Online real estate marketplace Everything by the House has raised a $30 million Series B round led by Greenspring Associates, with participation from existing investors Greycroft Partners and Spark Capital. The funding will be used to expand into additional US markets, grow the executive team, and optimise the user experience. It brings the total raised by the startup to date to $43 million.
Narvar, a startup looking to improve the way online stores interact and engage with customers after an online purchase, has raised $10 million, bringing its total raised to date to $12 million.
Image: Accodex founders Chris Hooper and Markus Cirillo.