In today’s funding and acquisitions round up, the last of 2015, Buffer has acquired Respondly, Yahoo Japan has launched a bid to buy travel website Ikyu for $828 million, Digital Guardian has raised $66 million, and Indian home services startup Housejoy has raised $23 million in a round led by Amazon. Closer to home, VentureCrowd closed a $2 million round, while ERM Power acquired sustainability monitoring software provider Greensense.
Social media scheduling startup Buffer has acquired Respondly, a startup working in the social media customer support space, allowing it to move into a space that its customers had been urging it to for a while. Buffer’s Joel Gascoigne wrote in a blog post that “the Respondly product is very solid and feels pretty “Buffery” in its aesthetic and user experience. It also fits exactly how we would want to approach moving into this market – to have a separate product and ensure that both products remain simple.” Buffer will be rebranding Respondly to Respond; it will remain a standalone tool, with Gascogine saying that “we believe there is a power in keeping products separate, to continue our philosophy of simple products with clear purposes.”
Used car sales platform Vroom has announced its intentions to raise $95 million in Series C funding in order to acquire competitor Texas Direct Auto.
Yahoo Japan has announced that it launched an offer to buy travel website Ikyu for 100 billion yen, or $828 million, in a bid to expand its travel and restaurant booking offering.
Salesforce has acquired MinHash, the startup behind an AI platform and personal assistant called AILA aimed at marketers. Terms of the deal were undisclosed, with a message on the MinHash site stating that “at Salesforce, we will continue to pursue our passion for search, data science and machine learning on a much broader scale, as part of the world’s #1 CRM company.” The MinHash platform will be discontinued in January next year.
Sustainability monitoring software provider Greensense has been acquired by electricity retailer ERM Power. A statement from Greensense read, “One of the things that has surprised us the most over the last few years is how much change and innovation is going on in the utility space, and we think this is only going to accelerate. Data and digital services are going to be at the heart of the utility of the future, which is what makes joining ERM Power so exciting. We also really like the fact that we share a common culture of agility and innovation with ERM Power, along with a really strong focus on customer service.” Greensense will continue to operate as an independent unit within ERM Power.
Equity crowdfunding platform VentureCrowd has raised $2 million in an oversubscribed funding round, and partnered with Melbourne-based Kentgrove Capital to give Australian investors the opportunity to invest in Israeli startups. VentureCrowd had last month announced its intention to raise $1.5 million, with $500,000 of the round to be raised through its own platform. It has ended up raising $1 million through its platform, with $1 million coming from “a small group of cornerstone investors”, with over 30 wholesale investors taking part in total.
Data protection platform Digital Guardian has raised $66 million from existing investors including GE Pension Trust, Fairhaven Capital Partners, Loring Wolcott & Coolidge, Special Situation Funds and Brookline Venture Partners. New investors include LLR Partners and Mass Mutual Ventures, with David Stienes of LLR Partners joining the company’s board of directors.
Video network Tastemade has raised a $40 million Series D funding round led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from existing investors including Redpoint Ventures, Raine Ventures, Comcast Ventures, and Liberty Media. This round brings the total raised by the startup to date to $80 million.
Health insurance startup Clover Health has raised $35 million in a Series B round led by Sequoia, with participation from investors including First Round Capital and Athyrium Capital Management. Sequoia’s Michael Dixon is joining Clover’s board of directors.
Indian home services startup Housejoy has raised $23 million in a Series B round led by Amazon, with participation from existing investor Matrix Partners, Vertex Ventures, Qualcomm, and Ru-Net Technology Partners. The funding will go towards helping solve operational issues, making strategic acquisitions and partnerships, and building the existing team.
3D imaging sensor company Vayyar Imaging has raised $22 million in a Series B round led by Walden Riverwood, with participation from previous investors including Battery Ventures, Bessemer Venture Partners, Israel Cleantech Ventures, and Amiti Ventures. This round brings the total raised by the startup to date to $34 million, and will go towards global expansion.
Songkick, a platform that provides information about and tickets for live music events, has raised $10 million from Access Industries, the owner of Warner Music Group. The startup raised a $16 million round in June.
Ecommerce platform CupoNation has raised 10 million euro in a Series B round from investors including Rocket Internet, Holtzbrinck Ventures, New Enterprise Associates, e.ventures, ru-Net, and Deutsche Telekom Strategic Investments. The funding will go towards further global expansion.
German mapping and navigation startup NavVis has raised $8.2 million in a Series B round led by Munich-based firm Target Partners, with participation from existing investors including MIG Fonds and BayBG Bayerische Beteiligungsgesellschaft, and new investor Don Dodge, developer evangelist at Google.
Textio, a startup whose platform analyses business documents as they’re being written to forecast and improve their performance, has raised $8 million in a Series A round led by Emergence Capital, with participation from Cowboy Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, and Upside Partnership. Gordon Ritter of Emergence Capital will join the company’s board of directors.
Image: Housejoy founders Arjun Kumar, Saran Chatterjee, and Sunil Goel. Source: YourStory.