News & Analysis

News Corp to acquire Unruly; Crowd Mobile to acquire Track Holdings; ipsy raises $100 million

- September 18, 2015 7 MIN READ

It’s been yet another big week for the global startup space, with News Corp set to acquire Unruly, Snapchat acquiring Looksery, and makeup subscription box service ipsy raising $100 million. Closer to home, ASAP merged with its rival Ketings, and Crowd Mobile is set to acquire Dutch company Track Holdings.


Practo acquires Insta Health Solutions for $12 million

Indian startup Practo, which helps users search for and connect with doctors online, has acquired hospital information management company Insta Health Solutions. In a blog post on the news, Shashank ND, founder and CEO of Practo, explained the acquisition will give hospitals using Insta’s product the option to integrate with Practo’s platform and therefore allow patients to search for doctor availabilities across hospitals and make instant bookings.

Soothe acquires Unwind Me

LA startup Soothe, which lets users book home massages, has acquired Silicon Valley-based competitor UnWind Me just a month after it raised $10.6 million. Currently available in 13 cities, the acquisition will allow Soothe to solidify its presence in the Bay Area.

Accenture to acquire Cloud Sherpas

Accenture has acquired Cloud Sherpas, a cloud advisory service specialising in Google, SalesForce, and ServiceNow for an undisclosed sum. More than 1,100 of the Cloud Sherpas team will be joining Accenture’s Cloud First Applications team, which Accenture said will deliver. cloud services for Google, NetSuite, Salesforce, ServiceNow, Workday and other “pure play” technologies. Paul Daughtery, Accenture’s CTO, said in a statement, “Accenture’s Cloud First agenda is a game-changer that offers transformational cloud services to help clients move their businesses to the cloud and achieve significant business results more quickly.”

Snapchat acquires Looksery

According to TechCrunch, Snapchat has acquired Looksery, a selfie animation app that it is believed is behind Snapchat’s new Lenses feature. Ukrainian news outlet Ain.ua reported that the acquisition price was around $150 million.

ASAP merges with Ketings

Founded by two Sydney university students earlier this year, SMS-based on-demand service ASAP (As Soon As Possible) has merged with former rival Ketings, with the founders saying it made more sense to join forces rather than compete. The joint venture will operate under the name ASAP. Matt Keegan, formerly the co-founder of Ketings and now the co-founder of ASAP said the merger “guaranteed the future of the platform and meant that efforts could now be concentrated on what counts, the customer. With the ASAP team doubling in size, all our effort will be poured into research and development and improving customer experience, as well as expanding our business to the rest of Australia.”

News Corp to acquire Unruly

Media giant News Corp is set to acquire Unruly, a digital and social video ad platform. Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, said in a statement, “The acquisition will serve as a catalyst for our brands, helping to extend our expertise in the digital and mobile video area.” Unruly will continue to be led by its three co-founders and will operate as a separate business unit, reporting to Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News UK. Unruly will work with its existing roster of clients, and collaborate with News Corp businesses globally.

Restalo acquires Restaurantes.com

Spanish restaurant booking startup Restalo has acquired its local competitor Restaurantes. According to TechCrunch, Restalo’s plans after raising a $10 million Series B round in late 2013 were to open in Australia, however after testing the market for 6 months the decision was made to stick to Spain and corner the Spanish market.

Crowd Mobile to acquire Track Holdings for $35.5 million

Australian crowdsourced mobile app and payments startup has entered into an agreement to acquire Dutch m-payments company Track Holdings for $35.5 million. The startup is offering a fully underwritten rights issue to raise approximately $12.8 million in order to fund the acquisition. Domenic Carosa, CEO of Crowd Mobile, said in a statement on the deal, “The acquisition will provide strong revenue and earnings growth for Crowd Mobile, as well as extending the company’s global m-payments reach to over 160 telcos and opening up new markets, leaving the company very well placed to leverage the global mobile economy megatrend.”


Emarsys raises $33 Series A round

Austrian B2C marketing cloud startup Emarsys has raised a $33 million Series A round from Vector Capital to fund its expansion into the US, Latin American, and Asia Pacific markets. Founded in 2000, Emarsys serves over 1,300 clients in 140 countries across 16 global offices. The startup recently opened a Sydney office, with Stuart Barker, managing director of Emarsys Hong Kong and Australia, leading the Australian expansion.

ipsy raises $100 million

ipsy, a makeup subscription box service founded by YouTuber Michelle Phan, has raised $100 million in an investment round led by SherpaCapital and TPG Growth. The startup says it has now reached 1.5 million subscribers, giving it an annual revenue of around $150 million, and has been profitable for the last three years.

MoEngage raises $4.25 million Series A round

MoEngage, an Indian startup providing user engagement and analytics for mobile apps, has raised a $4.25 million in a Series A round led by Helion Venture Partners, with participation from Exfinity Ventures and angel investors including Kunal Bahl, Rohit Bansal, and Raghunandan. The funding will go towards building out the platform and launching globally.

Conichi raises $7.9 million

Berlin travel startup Conichi, which makes the hotel check-in process easier by notifying reception of a guest’s preferences through the use of beacon technology, has raised a $7.9 million seed round from HRS, a hotel portal.

Compass raises $50 million

Compass, a New York startup looking to help people find the right apartment, has raised $50 million in a round led by Institutional Venture Partners with participation from investors including Thrive Capital, Founders Fund, and 406 Ventures. This round brings the total raised by the startup to date to $123 million, with Compass last having raised $40 million in July 2014. The funding will go towards accelerating expansion into new markets, and additions to the team.

Datos IO raises $12.5 million Series A round

Datos IO, a recovery platform for next-generation scale-out databases, has come out of stealth and raised $12.5 million in a Series A round from investors including Lightspeed Venture Partners and True Ventures. This follows on from the raising of a $2.75 million seed round. John Vrionis, partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, and Puneet Agarwal, partner at True Ventures, will be joining the startup’s board. The funding will be used to add to the startup’s team, onboard revenue-generating customers, and continue product innovation.

Moviepilot raises $16 million Series B round

Moviepilot, a platform for millennials to talk about film and television, has raised a $16 million Series B round. The round was led by Webedia, a French company that bought the platform from its German founders for $20 million last year, with participation from existing investor T-Venture.

Quiqup raises ‘multi-million pound’ round

London-based on-demand delivery startup Quiqup has closed a “multi-million pound” Series A round led by Delivery Hero and Global Founders Capital, Rocket Internet’s investment fund.

Neighborly raises $5.5 million

Neighborly, a community investing platform allowing retail investors to invest in municipal bonds, has raised a $5.5 million seed round led by Formation 8, with participation from Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures, and a number of other investors. CEO of Neighborly, Jase Wilson, wrote in a blog post, “What Neighborly is building matters, because it can help rebuild our nation as the land of opportunity for all, where staples of civic life like parks are a given. What we’re building is an engine through which value flows into playgrounds and schools, rather than banker bonuses.”

HelloFresh raises $84.7 million

Berlin-based meal kit delivery startup HelloFresh has raised $84.7 million from Scottish investment bank Baillie Gifford, and is now valued at $2.9 billion, making it Europe’s fourth most valuable company. Rocket Internet’s share of the startup has dropped from 58.9 percent to 57.2 percent.

Lumity raises $14 million

Digital health startup Lumity, which helps employers and employees find the right health care plans, has raised $14 million in a Series A round led by The Social+Capital Partnership, with participation from True Ventures and Rock Health. The funding will go towards scaling the platform.

HappyFresh raises $12 million Series A round

Indonesian grocery delivery startup HappyFresh has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by Vertex Ventures and Sinar Mas Digital Ventures, with participation from investors including Asia Venture Group, Beenext, and Ardent Capital. The funding will go towards expansion across Asia and solidifying its presence in existing markets.

Lyft raises $100 million from Didi Kuadi

Ridesharing service Lyft has confirmed that it has raised $100 million from Didi Kuaidi, Uber’s Chinese rival, in a $530 million round. The investment is part of a partnership that will see Didi app users be hailed a Lyft car while in the US, and Lyft users be hailed a Didi car while in China.

HelloTech raises $12.5 million Series A round

HelloTech, a startup which deploys tech-savvy college students to people who need tech support around LA, has raised a $12.5 million Series A round led by Madrona Venture Group, with participation from all existing investors, including Upfront Ventures, CrossCut Ventures, and Accel Partners. The funding will go towards expanding the service outside LA.

Typeform raises $15 million

Barcelona-based startup Typeform, which is looking to reinvent the online form, has raised $15 million in a Series A round led by Index Ventures, Point Nine Capital, and Anthony Casalena, CEO of Squarespace. The funding will go towards US expansion.

DWNLD raises $12 million

DWNLD, a startup that has created an app maker that easily creates branded apps, has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by Greylock Partners. The funding will be used to expand into new areas and increase monetisation options for app publishers.

Breather raises $20 million Series B round

Breather, a startup providing private workspaces on demand, has raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, with participation from RRE, Real Ventures, SOS Ventures, and Slow Ventures. The startup has raised a total of $28.5 million in funding to date.

Fundera raises $11.5 million Series B round

Fundera, a platform connecting small businesses with loan providers, has raised $11.5 million in a Series B round led by Susquehanna Growth Equity, with participation from existing investors including QED Investors, Khosla Ventures, and First Round Capital. This brings the total raised by the startup to date to $15 million.

Tascent raises $18.5 million Series A round

Biometrics company Tascent has raised $18.5 million in a Series A round led by Tano Capital. The funding will go towards developing new iris recognition and mobile biometric identity solutions, improving its product lineup, and expanding its presence in the government, enterprise, and other market sectors.

Lightspeed POS raises $61 million

Canadian startup Lightspeed POS, a cloud POS platform for retailers and restaurants, has raised $61 million in a funding round led by Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec and Investissement Quebec, with participation from existing investors Accel Partners and iNovia Capital. This brings Lightspeed’s total funding to date to $126 million. The funding will go towards tech infrastructure enhacements, and investment in its omnichannel offerings. The startup has more than 25,000 clients in over 100 countries.  

Image: ipsy founder Michelle Phan. Source: LA Times.