Another busy week in the startup space has seen music discovery service Pandora acquire TicketFly, Apple acquire artificial intelligence startup Perceptio, and Impossible Foods raise $108 million to create plant-based foods like burgers that still taste like meat. Closer to home, Canva raised a US$15 million Series A and Mad Paws raised AU$1.1 million.
Mergers & Acquisitions
Music discovery platform Pandora has acquired music ticketing and marketing company TicketFly, in a bid to create “the definitive music platform for connecting fans, artists and event promoters.” Pandora CEO Brian McAndrews said in a statement that the move is “a game-changer for music. Over the past 10 years, we have amassed the largest, most engaged audience in streaming music history. With Ticketfly, we will thrill music lovers and lift ticket sales for artists as the most effective marketplace for connecting music makers and fans.” Founded in 2008, TicketFly last year sold 16 million tickets to 90,000 live events.
IBM is set to acquire Cleversafe, a data storage vendor. According to a statement from IBM, the company will be integrating the Cleversafe portfolio into its IBM Cloud business unit to give clients “strategic data flexibility, simplified management, and consistency with on-premise, cloud, and hybrid cloud deployment options.”
Apple has acquired artificial intelligence startup Perceptio, which allows companies to run advanced AI systems on smartphones without needing much user data. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Sony has acquired Belgian startup Softkinetic Systems for an undisclosed amount. The company has created time-of-flight range image sensor technology, or depth sensors. Sony will be using the company’s tech expertise in its own virtual and augmented reality work.
Chinese group buying giants Meituan and Dianping, whose backers include Alibaba Group Holding and Tencent Holdings, have announced a merger that will see the forming of the country’s largest online-to-offline player. According to Reuters, the company could be valued at $15 billion or more.
Design platform Canva has raised a US$15 million Series A round of funding to continue expanding its platform, which is now being used by more than five million marketers, designers and small business owners. This latest round of capital brings the total amount raised by the Sydney-based startup to $27 million and gives it a valuation of $165 million. This round was led by Felicis Ventures and in fact was the largest cheque that Felicis Ventures – who is also an investor in fellow Australian startup Culture Amp – has ever written for a startup.
Sydney-based Mad Paws, a fast-growing marketplace for pet services, has raised $1.1 million in an oversubscribed funding round. Investors that contributed to the round include Macdoch Ventures, cofounder of HotelsCombined Michael Doubinski, Commonwealth Bank Group Executive Matt Comyn and Managing Director of Amazon Web Services Paul Migliorini. Mad Paws now claims to be the largest marketplace of its kind within the Australian market with over 3,500 verified pet sitters across Australia and over 50 percent month-on-month growth.
Ooooby, which stands for ‘Out Of Our Own Backyards’, puts together boxes of local and organic produce sourced directly from both professional growers and amateur gardeners. The startup recently became the first New Zealand company looking for impact investment to ever raise money via equity crowdfunding on Wellington-based crowdfunding platform PledgeMe. Ooooby raised a total of over NZ$285,000, well above its tipping point of $200,000. The campaign was backed by 156 people who now own 2.4 percent of Ooooby.
Impossible Foods, founded in 2011 by Stanford biochemist Patrick Brown, has raised $108 million in a Series D round from investors including Bill Gates, Li Ka-shing, and Viking Global Investors. The startup is creating plant-based foods that taste like their actual meat and dairy counterparts but take less resources to produce.
Employee performance startup Reflektive has raised $3.6 million in funding led by Andreessen Horowitz. Founder Rajeev Behera wrote in a blog post that the funding will support the development and expansion of the Reflektive platform, which looks to reinvent the way people give feedback.
Singapore-based HipVan, an ecommerce store selling designer furniture and lifestyle products, has raised a $3.3 million Series A round led by Singapore-based VC firm Golden Gate Ventures, with participation from East Ventures, Skype co-founder Toivo Annus, and LionRock Global. According to Tech in Asia, the startup will use the funds to grow its investment in its own product label, increase its range, and offer better deals.
Israeli virtual container security startup Scalock has raised a $4 million Series A round led by Tel Aviv-based TLV Partners. According to TechCrunch the company will be opening a sales and marketing office in the US next year.
Hulbee, a pro-privacy semantic search company, has raised $9 million from a number of angel investors that will be used to expand its consumer search engine, which was launched a few months ago.
AppDirect, a startup making it easier for companies to buy and sell cloud services, has raised $140 million in fresh funding in a round led by JP Morgan, with participation from all existing investors including Foundry Group, iNovia Capital, and Mithril Capital Management. This brings the total raised by the startup to date to $245 million.
German home climate control startup Tado, a competitor to Nest, has raised $17.1 million from investors including Siemens’ VC arm, Statkraft Venture Capital, and existing investors including Target Partners, Shortcut Ventures, and BayBG.
London-based contributor-driven football media platform 90min has raised $15 million in a funding round led by ProSiebenSat.1 Media SE, with participation from existing investors Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital and Gemini Ventures. The funding will go towards further international expansion and developing multimedia content.
Code42, an enterprise security startup, has raised $85 million in a Series B round led by JMI Equity, and New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Accel and Split Rock Partners. This brings the total raised by the startup to date to $137 million.
Robin Systems, a startup helping companies set up data-centric IT infrastructure, has raised $15 million in a new funding round from a USAA subsidiary and DN Capital, with participation from Hasso Plattner Ventures and existing investors. The funding will go towards further development of the startup’s offering.
Image: Impossible Foods founder Patrick Brown. Source: The Wall Street Journal.