This week saw some big deals take place around the startup world, with messaging platform Viber acquiring Israeli social gaming startup Nextpeer, GitHub raising $250 million, and Dutch startup Catawiki raising $82 million. Closer to home, Brisbane startup GO1 has raised $1 million from Steve Baxter and Tank Stream Ventures as it prepares to graduate from Y Combinator’s Summer 2015 program.
Legacy Republic, a startup helping digitise family photos and videos, has acquired competitor Yarly. Legacy Republic works with families through freelance ‘legacy makers’ who actually do the digitising, and by acquiring Yarly the startup will be adding to this network. Allison Strouse, founder and CEO of Yarly, will be joining Legacy Republic as an executive advisor.
Messaging app Viber has acquired Nextpeer, an Israeli social gaming startup, to start expanding its games arm. Shai Magzimof, co-founder and CEO of Nextpeer, said, “We are teaming up with Viber to help connect players on mobile and deliver a powerful social platform for developers.” Nextpeer’s 12 employees will be joining Viber, with the startup’s SDK and services remaining available to help game developers integrate social gaming into their apps.
Latterly Magazine, an online publishing startup producing narrative journalism, has acquired narrative travel journalism site Compass Cultura. In a letter to subscribers, Latterly editor Ben Wolford said the deal has nearly doubled Latterly’s subscriber base, sustaining its business model into next year. The publications will officially merge in August.
Indian startup Jugnoo, a hyperlocal marketplace that began as an on demand auto rickshaw app, has acquired BookMyCab, an Indian taxi booking startup. According to e27, BookMyCab is the exclusive taxi booking aggregator for Mumbai and Delhi and, with Jugnoo not yet active in those two cities, the acquisition will allow the startup to gain a foothold in the market. There is also talk of Jugnoo looking to raise a $20 million Series B round.
Gaming company Razer has acquired the software assets of Ouya, with the startup’s technical team joining Razer. According to a statement from Razer, the company is planning “significant development of the Forge TV micro-console, controllers and software solutions to enhance the home entertainment experience. The company also intends to bring myriad additional games to the Android platform it purchased, through increased investment in developer and publisher programs, and with complementary technology partner initiatives.”
French professional transportation services company Chauffeur-Privé has acquired French ‘social riding’ startup Djump after troubles following French taxi drivers’ protests against Uber. According to TechCrunch, Chauffeur-Privé will be looking to get Djump users to switch over to its service, however Djump drivers will not be able to join – Chauffeur-Privé hires only professional limo-style drivers who have undergone 250 hours of training, as per French laws.
GO1 raises $1 million
Brisbane staff training software startup GO1, which is soon set to graduate from Y Combinator’s summer 2015 program, this week announced that it has raised $1 million from Steve Baxter and Tank Stream Ventures. Launched last year, the startup has 150,000 across almost 100 companies on six continents, including the Queensland Government, National Australia Bank, and Seek. The funding will go towards expanding the GO1 team and increasing sales.
GitHub has raised a $250 million Series B round led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Institutional Venture Partners, Thrive Capital, and Andreessen Horowitz. The startup is now valued at around $2 billion. This funding brings its total to date to $350 million.
Dutch startup Catawiki, which runs online auctions for “exceptional” – that is, high end or collectible – items, has raised $82 million in Series C funding from Lead Edge Capital, joining existing investors Accel and Project A Ventures. Leading Edge Capital’s Lorrie Norrington will become an advisor to the startup, which also announced that its revenue has increased 300 percent in the last year.
Swedish startup Tictail, which allows people to easily create their own online store and recently launched its own marketplace, has raised $22 million in a Series B funding round from investors including Creandum, Balderton, and Thrive Capital. This brings the total raised by the startup to date to $32 million.
UK equity crowdfunding platform Seedrs has raised $15.6 million in a Series A round led by Woodford Patient Capital Trust and Augmentum Capital. The startup will also launch a crowdfunding campaign through its platform to allow existing and new investors the chance to participate in the round. The funding will be used to expand into the US.
Communications platform Twilio has closed a $130 million Series E round led by Fidelity and T. Rowe Price. The startup said the capital will be used to accelerate its product roadmap and its global expansion plans, deepen its penetration into enterprise accounts, and allow it to pursue strategic opportunities such as acquisitions.
AltspaceVR, a social virtual reality platform, has raised $10.3 million from investors including Comcast Ventures, Tencent, Dolby Family Ventures, and Raine Ventures Lux Capital. The funding will be used to expand the team.
Occipital, a spatial computing startup which has produced an SDK helping enable greater 3D capture, has raised $13 million in a Series B round from existing investors Foundry Group, K9 Ventures, and new investors Intel Capital, Grishin Robotics, and Shea Ventures. The funding will go towards accelerating development.
Indian startup Zovi, an online retail platform, has announced it has raised $50 million in funding for the launch of its hyperlocal deals app Little. Investors include Paytm, SAIF Partners, and Tiger Global.
Alibaba has invested $1 billion in its cloud business Aliyun to expand its global footprint and build new products as it looks to take on Amazon. It will be building new data centres in Europe, the Middle East, Japan, and Singapore. Alibaba Group’s CEO Daniel Zhang said the investment is “just the beginning.”
Online lender China Rapid Finance has raised $35 million in a Series C round at a pre-money valuation of $1 billion. The round was led by Broadline Capital. Zane Wang, founder and CEO of China Rapid Finance, said, “There are an estimated 500 million consumers in China who are economically active but never have had access to bank credit. This latest funding will be used to pursue our goal of socially inclusive finance by accelerating the expansion of our online consumer lending marketplace to the most creditworthy individuals.”
Tripping.com, a platform allowing users to search for holiday homes and long-term rentals, has raised $16 million in a Series B round. Tripping also announced an increase in traffic of 2918 percent, as well as an increase of 2390 percent in monthly revenue since last summer.
Kareo, a startup providing office management software for the medical industry, has raised $55.4 million in a round led by Montreux Equity Partners, with participation from Silver Lake Waterman and all existing investors. The funding will be used to accelerate product development and expand its reach.
Ondemand legal services startup UpCounsel has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by Menlo Ventures,with participation from previous investors including Homebrew and Metamorphic Ventures. This brings the total raised by the startup to date to $13.9 million, and will be used to expand its user base.
Stripe has announced that it has raised fresh funding from investors including Visa, American Express and Sequoia Capital, which values the young company at $5 billion. The amount raised was not disclosed but sources say it was “less than $100 million”; it comes just six months after the startup raised $70 million at a valuation of $3.5 billion.
Company and deal intelligence startup DataFox has raised $5 million in funding from Goldman Sachs, Green Visor Capital, and Stanford StartX. In addition to the funding, the startup announced its new DataFox for Teams service, which enables team members to collaborate on research.
London startup Deliveroo, which provides food delivery from premium restaurants that don’t usually provide a take away option, has raised $70 million in a Series C round led by Greenoaks Capital and London’s Index Ventures. It brings the total raised by the startup to $100 million, with Deliveroo last raising $25 million in January. The startup plans to expand internationally.
Predictive marketing software startup Radius Intelligence has raised $50 million in fresh funding from investors including Rounders Fund, Formation 8, and Glynn Capital Management. The funding, which brings the total raised by the startup to $125 million, will be used to accelerate product development and increase sales.
Business software review platform G2 Crowd has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by Pritzker Group Venture Capital with participation from existing investors Chicago Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, Chairman Godard Abel, and G2 Crowd’s management team. The funding will be used to add to the startup’s leadership team and accelerate growth.
SMS-based ‘personal concierge’ service GoButler has raised $8 million in a Series A round led by General Catalyst Partners, with additional investment from Lakestar, Rocket Internet’s Global Founders Capital, and Ashton Kutcher & Guy Oseary’s Sound Ventures and Cherry Ventures, among others. The funding news comes as the service launches out of beta, with GoButler operational around the US, Canada, the UK, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Video and mobile advertising platform Jun Group has raised $28 million from Halyard Capital and Bridge Bank, which it stated will allow for the acceleration of various growth initiatives.
Vaniday, a platform allowing people to search for and book beauty appointments, has raised 15 million euros from investors including existing backer Rocket Internet. Having launched in March this year, the startup is active across Brazil, the UK, Italy, France, and the UAE, and will be using this funding to expand.
FreedomPop, a US startup providing free mobile calling and data services, has raised $10 million from Asian carrier Axiata and an unnamed investor. The strategic investment from Axiata will allow FreedomPop expand into Asia.
Online photo editing and graphic design platform PicMonkey has announced that it has raised $41 million from Spectrum Equity. As part of the deal, Pete Jensen and Ethan Choi of Spectrum Equity will be joining the startup’s board of directors.
Thrive Market, a marketplace for organic products, has raised $30 million in a Series A round led by Greycroft Partners and e.Ventures, with participation from investors including Scripps Network, the owners of the Food Network. Since its launch in November, the startup has amassed 100,000 active members and a million registered users, with $5 million in monthly sales.
Smartwatch maker Olio has raised $10 million in a Series A round led by New Enterprise Associates. The funds will allow the startup to expand its team and develop its product line, as well as explore new partnerships.
London startup Iwoca, which provides loans to small businesses, has raised $20 million from investors including CommerzVentures, the VC arm of German bank, Acton Capital Partners, and Redline Capital. The funding will allow the startup to provide more loans, as well as expand into new markets and develop new products.
Image: Andrew Barnes, co-founder of GO1. Source: Provided.