It has been another busy week, with German media giant Axel Springer acquiring an 88 percent stake in Business Insider for $343 million and Google acquiring Jibe Mobile. A number of FinTech startups raised funds this week, including German company Kreditech, and online lender Social Finance, which raised $1 billion. Closer to home, Melbourne FinTech startup Clover raised over $1 million.
Google has acquired Jibe Mobile, a provider of Rich Communications Services (RCS), a new standard for carrier or SMS messaging that brings features we now associate with messaging apps, like group messaging, to texts. Mike Dodd, an Android RCS software engineer and minister of messaging, wrote in a blog post that Jibe Mobile will help Google introduce RCS to Android.
“We’re excited to team up with mobile operators, device makers and the rest of the Android ecosystem to support RCS standards and help accelerate their deployment in a more consistent way. We’re already working closely with many of our partners on implementing RCS, and look forward to growing the RCS ecosystem together,” Dodd wrote.
German media giant Axel Springer has acquired Business Insider. According to Business Insider, Axel Springer already owned a portion of Business Insider from previous funding rounds and is now acquiring an additional 88 percent for $343 million. This brings its total ownership to 97 percent, with the remaining 3 percent retained by Jeff Bezos’ investment arm.
Tonic Health Media acquires INFO-MED
Tonic Health Media, a company that produces and distributes health-related shows to screens in medical waiting rooms, has acquired INFO-MED, a provider of patient information, creating products such as patient information brochures and waiting room posters. The acquisition will allow for cross-collaborative media opportunities.
Melbourne FinTech startup Clover, an automated investment advice platform, has announced the raising of a seed funding round by a number of investors including superannuation fund Equipsuper. Though the startup wasn’t willing to reveal the exact amount, Startup Daily was able to confirm that Clover raised over $1 million. The investment from Equip, which has $7 billion under management, will see Clover’s technology be rolled out through its own automated advice service, aimed at its younger members, in March next year.
Velpic raises $4 million
Perth elearning startup Velpic has raised $4 million ahead of an expected reverse listing on the ASX later this month. Tony Gandel, son of Melbourne property developer John Gandel, was a major investor in the round.
GP2U raises Series A round
Australian telehealth startup GP2U has raised a Series A round, with diagnostics company Sonic Healthcare acquiring a 12.5 percent stake in the startup. Scott Beattie, Sonic Clinical Services group executive, will be joining the board. Also investing was Dr Andrew Pascoe, co-founder of Medical One, which runs nine medical centres in Melbourne and Adelaide, who is also set to join the startup’s board.
Paranta Biosciences raises $7 million
Paranta Biosciences, a biopharmaceutical startup, has raised $7 million in a new financing round, bringing the total raised by the startup to date since its founding in 2011 to $16 million. The funding will go towards furthering the company’s work with follistatin, a naturally occurring glycoprotein which is a critical regulator of multiple cellular, inflammatory and fibrotic pathways within the body, and exploring commercial opportunities.
German FinTech startup Kreditech, which helps people with no credit history access financial products and services, has raised $92 million in a Series C round led by J.C. Flowers & Co, with participation from Värde Partners, HPE Growth Capital, and Blumberg Capital. Loren Felsman of J.C. Flowers will be joining the startup’s board.
Italian startup ShopFully, which helps stores create digital flyers of sorts, has raised €10 million to help it expand internationally. Already active in the US and a handful of other countries, the startup wants to have a presence in ten markets by the end of 2016.
US startup Ibotta, which has created an app that partners with brands to offer shoppers cash back on their grocery shopping, has raised a $40 million Series C round led by Jim Clark. The funding will help the startup expand across the US; the app is already being used by 10 million shoppers.
Taiwanese startup Pinkoi, dubbed ‘Asia’s Etsy’, has raised $9 million from Sequoia India and GMO Venture Partners to help expand internationally.
Data centre management startup NodePrime has emerged from stealth mode with $7 million in seed funding from investors including Menlo Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, Formation 8, and Ericsson. The startup also announced the launch of a new platform that will allow clients to centrally view, diagnose, and control their IT infrastructure in minutes.
Entrepreneur community General Assembly has raised $70 million in a Series D round from new investors Advance Publications and Wellington Capital Management LLP, and existing investors including IVP, Learn Capital, Maveron, and Rethink Education. Steve Newhouse has joined the company’s board. General Assembly is closing in on 25,000 alumni.
Lytmus, a startup helping companies recruit new employees through an automated reviewing process, has raised $7.2 million from NEA and Accel.
Pennsylvanian wireless charging startup uBeam has raised $10 million, bringing the total raised to date to $23 million. It also hired Jeff Devine, formerly of Nokia and Cisco, as COO and Monica Hushen, previously of Apple and Palm, as CFO.
Blogging platform Medium has raised $57 million in a funding round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from Google Ventures, Greylock Partners, Obvious Ventures, and a number of other investors. Medium’s Andy Doyle wrote in a post announcing the funding, “With this round we aim to make Medium the dominant pipeline for connecting quality content and conversation. As a reader you will find all of the best stories and ideas on the internet, personalized for your interests and made richer by the activity of your Medium network. As a creator you will find Medium the best place to build a voice, develop your own audience, and create value for yourself and others. We have big plans.”
Madison Reed, a startup delivering hair colour treatments to customers’ doors, has raised $16.1 million in a Series C round led by Comcast Ventures and Shea Ventures, with existing investors Norwest Venture Partners and True Ventures participating. The startup will look to leverage Comcast Ventures’ media relationships with Comcast/NBC Universal to support its plans to expand its TV advertising and marketing efforts around the US.
Civitas Learning, a startup that has created an analytics platform to help universities better understand and engage with students and in turn decrease dropout rates, has raised $60 million in a funding round led by Warburg Pincus. The funding will go towards expanding the platform’s capabilities, strategic acquisitions, and international expansion.
Indian grocery delivery startup PepperTap has raised $36 million in funding led by Snapdeal’s parent company Jasper Infotech, with participation from Ru-net, JAFCO, Beenext, and existing investors SAIF Partners and Sequoia Capital. According to the Economic Times, this $36 million is the first tranche of a Series B round, with a further $20 million expected to be closed in a few weeks.
Credible, a startup helping students find or refinance student loans, has raised $10 million in a Series A round from investors including Carthona Group, Redbus Group, and Soul Htite.
Farmigo, an ‘online farmer’s market’, has raised $16 million in a Series B round led by Formation 8 Partners, with participation from existing investors Benchmark Capital and Sherbrooke Capital. The startup will use the funding to expand around the US.
Acquia, a startup providing web content management solutions, has raised $55 million in a round led by Centerview Capital Technology led the round, with participation from existing investors including NEA and Split Rock Partners. This funding will go towards expanding its global operations, sales, and marketing.
Walker & Company Brands, a shaving subscription startup focusing on people of colour, has raised $24 million in a Series B round led by Institutional Venture Partners, with participation from a number of US-based athletes.
Online lending company Social Finance, or SoFi, which helps college students refinance loans, has raised $1 billion led by SoftBank, with participation from existing investors including Third Point Ventures, Wellington Management Company, and Institutional Venture Partners. This brings the total raised by the company to date to $1.42 billion.
French dating app Happn has raised $14 million in a Series B round led by Idinvest, with participation from investors including Alven Capital, DN Capital, and Raine Ventures. The funding will go towards expansion into Asia and solidifying Happn’s presence in existing markets.
Dolly, a startup providing a peer to peer moving service, has raised $8 million in a Series A round led by Maveron, with participation from Jeff Wilke, senior vice president of consumer business at Amazon, Chris Capps and Dick Kiphart from KGC Capital, and others. The funding will go towards helping Dolly scale.
A new Seattle ‘startup studio’ has raised $12.5 million from 13 VC firms and over 50 angel investors. The round was led by Foundry Group, with managing director Brad Feld to sit on the company’s board. According to GeekWire, Pioneer Square Labs is not an incubator or accelerator but “a small 8-person team of founders, developers, and designers that rapidly test and validate new startup ideas before recruiting an executive team to build out an actual spin-off company.”
Image: Kreditech founders Alexander Graubner-Müller and Sebastian Diemer.