It has been another busy week for the startup space. Dell made the headlines when it announced its intention to acquire EMC for $67 billion, the biggest deal in tech history, while Condé Nast acquired Pitchfork Media and online credit startup Kabbage raised $135 million and tripled its credit line to $900 million. Closer to home, Wellington-founded virtual reality startup 8i raised a $13.5 million (NZ$20 million) Series A round from investors including Ashton Kutcher and Samsung Ventures, and daily fantasy sports platform Moneyball raised $1.8 million.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Dell is set to complete the biggest deal in tech history, acquiring IT solutions company EMC for $67 billion. Under the terms of the agreement, EMC shareholders will receive $24.05 per share in cash, with the remainder in securities relating to the value of VMWare, of which EMC owned an 85 percent stake. VMWare will remain a listed company.
VMWare has announced some big news of its own this week, acquiring email management startup Boxer, which it will fold into its AirWatch business. VMWare’s Noah Wasmer wrote in a blog post on the acquisition, “For business users, the most mission critical application is email, followed quickly by content and business apps that contain the data, insights, and information to master their job. We all love the native email experience across iOS and Android devices but what if they were optimized for businesses with the security and control that they require? This is why we are doubling down with the planned acquisition of Boxer, Inc. Upon closing of the acquisition, the combination of Boxer and AirWatch by VMware will create a world-class suite of services that will enable businesses to provide their employees with secure access to their email, content and apps.”
Condé Nast has acquired Pitchfork Media, publisher of leading music site Pitchfork. In a post on the news, Pitchfork stated,”Condé Nast believes, as we do, that Pitchfork has built an editorial voice that stands strongly alongside its others, and that the integrity of that voice— and our opinions— are fundamental to our identity. We’re incredibly fortunate to have found in Condé Nast a group of people who share every aspect of our focus. Their 100+ years of experience in building brands marked by editorial integrity makes them a natural fit for Pitchfork, and their belief in what we do, combined with their additional expertise, will allow us to extend our coverage across all platforms while remaining true to the ideals that have made Pitchfork the most trusted voice in music.”
Zendesk has acquired Montpellier company We Are Cloud SAS, the maker of BIME Analytics software for $45 million. Zendesk stated that the acquisition will help expand its leadership in helping clients apply a data-driven approach to customer service and analytics, with BIME Analytics becoming the core technology powering Zendesk’s customer data platform.
Front-end web hosting service Divshot has been acquired by Google, joining Google’s Firebase team. Divshot will be shutting down its existing products and services mid-December as it migrates to Firebase.
Virtual reality startup 8i, founded in Wellington, has raised a $13.5 million (NZ$20 million) Series A from investors including Samsung Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Ashton Kutcher’s Sound Ventures. 8i is building a consumer media platform that enables users to create, experience and share immersive lifelike 3D video of real people. Its proprietary software transforms regular video from off-the-shelf cameras into realistic experiences for VR, augmented reality, and the web. 8i has also announced the opening of its showcase studio in Los Angeles, where it plans to offer free access to the recording studios in addition to community events such as workshops, demonstrations and introductions to its technology.
CriticalArc raises $1 million
Wollongong workplace safety startup CriticalArc has raised $1 million through VentureCrowd. 11 investors raised the funds, taking an 8.3 percent stake in the startup.
Moneyball raises $1.8 million
Australian daily fantasy sports startup Moneyball has raised $1.8 million through a combination of sophisticated investors and Black Sheep Capital. The funding will be used to grow the startup’s membership base and roll out more sports onto the platform. Black Sheep will serve as a corporate advisor to the startup.
Peer-to-peer and B2C marketplace for space Spacer has announced today that it has closed a $1 million funding round from angel and private investors to support its Australian launch. The startup was founded by Michael Rosenbaum (ex-CEO of Deals Direct) and Roland Tam (former private equity professional) and aims to tap into the market of under utilised assets in the community to solve consumer storage challenges.
FundX raises funds from Collaborate Corporation
Collaborate Corporation, formerly known as QANDA Technologies, has today announced an investment in FundX, a Sydney-headquartered peer-to-peer lending startup supported by venture tech firm BlueChilli. Collaborate’s initial investment of $150,000 for an 8.33% equity stake in FundX, makes the ASX-listed company the largest investor in FundX’s recently completed round.
Quip, a word processing app with a focus on mobile, has raised a $30 million Series B round from Greylock Partners and Benchmark Capital. John Lilly from Greylock will be joining Quip’s board, with Patrick Moran, formerly CMO of New Relic, joining Quip as Chief Customer Officer. The funding will go towards expanding the business.
Mast, a startup that has created a platform allowing users to have both work and personal phone numbers on one device, has raised $7 million in a round led by FirstMark Capital, with participation from DFJ, Eniac Ventures, Harrison Metal, HMM Investors, and Initialized Ventures, according to TechCrunch.
17hats, an all-in-one business management solution for entrepreneurs, has raised a $4 million Series A round led by Wavemaker Partners with participation from a number of private investors. The funding will go towards expanding development, marketing, and education efforts.
Smart parenting startup Hatch Baby, which has created a changing pad that helps track a baby’s growth, has raised $7 million in a Series A round led by True Ventures. The funds will be used to continue building out the startup’s range of smart parenting devices.
Gaming company Niantic, spun out of Google two months ago, has raised $20 million in funding from the Pokemon Company, Google, and Nintendo, with a further $10 million to be fed into the company if certain milestones are achieved. The funding will go towards the continued development of Pokemon GO, the game Ingress, and building out Niantic’s real-world gaming platform.
Kinnek, a marketplace helping SMBs find suppliers and manage purchasing, has raised a $20 million Series B round led by Thrive Capital, with participation from previous investors including Matrix Partners, Sierra Ventures, and Version One Ventures. Thrive Capital’s managing partner Josh Kushner will be joining the startup’s board. The funding will go towards expansion, marketing efforts, and growing Kinnek’s engineering and sales teams.
OpenGov, a startup that has created a cloud-based financial reporting platform for local governments, has raised $25 million in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from investors including Scott Cook, founder of Intuit, Ashton Kutcher, Glynn Capital, Sound Ventures, and Thrive Capital. Marc Andreessen has joined the OpenGov board.
Lifestyle box subscription startup FabFitFun has raised a $3.5 million funding round led by New Enterprise Associates and Upfront Ventures, with participation from investors including Rachel Zoe Ventures, 500 Startups, and Simon Ventures. This is the first round of external funding raised by the startup, which has bootstrapped to an annual revenue run rate of $15 million.
Zwipe, a Norwegian startup looking to say goodbye to card PIN codes through fingerprint reader technology, has raised $5 million in a Series B round led by Photon Future, who now has a 20 per cent stake in the company.
New York activewear brand Outdoor Voices has raised a $7 million Series A round led by existing investor General Catalyst, with participation from Forerunner Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and 14W. The funding will go towards helping take the brand mainstream.
Data stream network PubNub has raised a $25 million Series C round led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Sound Ventures, Envision Ventures, and others. The funding will go towards PubNub’s continued global expansion.
Online lender Kabbage has raised $135 million in a Series R round led by Reverence Capital Partners, ING, Santander InnoVentures, and Scotiabank. New investors include China’s Yuan Capital and Japan’s Recruit Strategic Partners, and existing investors BlueRun Ventures, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, and Thomvest Ventures. This round brings the total raised by the company to date to over $240 million. Kabbage also announced that it has expanded its credit line to more than $900 million.
Bangkok mobile game development startup Playlab has raised $5 million in a round led by Southeast Asia-focused Monk’s Hill Ventures. It’s the first external investment for the startup, and will be used to expand its operations around the region.
Quote-to-cash cloud service SteelBrick has raised $48 million in a Series C round led by Institutional Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Emergence Capital, Salesforce Ventures, and Shasta Ventures. The funding will go towards building out its next generation of software and scaling its services and support globally, including expanding its new London office. SteelBrick has raised over $78 million in the last 18 months.
Security software provider SentinelOne has raised $25 million in a Series B round led by Third Point Ventures, with participation from existing investors including Tiger Global, Data Collective, and Granite Hill Capital Partners, bringing the total raised by the startup to date to $40 million.
Drone startup CyPhy has raised $22 million in a Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from strategic partners Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, UPS Strategic Enterprise Fund, and Draper Nexus, among other investors. The funding will go towards the commercial launch of CyPhy’s Persistent Aerial Reconnaissance and Communications (PARC) vehicle system, and growing out the startup’s engineering, sales, marketing, and customer support teams.
Experience optimisation startup Optimizely, which uses extensive data to help clients optimise apps and services, has raised $58 million in a Series C round led by Index Ventures, with Ilya Fushman, General Partner at Index Ventures, joining the startup’s board. Existing investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, and Battery Ventures also participated in the round.
French startup DoctoLib, which helps patients book appointments with doctors, has raised $20 million in a round led by Accel, with participation from existing investors including Pierre Kosciusko-Morizet, cofounder and CEO of PriceMinister, and Bertrand Jelensperger, co-founder and CEO of LaFourchette. This brings the total raised by the startup to date to $26 million and will be used to expand its platform across Europe.
Image: 8i co-founder and CEO Linc Gasking. Source: Provided