ikaSystems raises $120M in funding
IkaSystems, a Southborough, MA-based provider of software for the healthcare payer market, saidit has finalized an investment from New York City and Palo Alto, CA, private equity fund Essex Woodlands Health Ventures, a month afterreeling in capital from Providence Equity Partners. The terms of both deals were undisclosed, but Venture Wire reports that Providence and Essex Woodlands pumped a total of $120 million into the company. READ MORE
Klaviyo Raises $1.5M
Klaviyo, the intelligent platform for ecommerce email campaigns, has raised $1.5M in funding from Accomplice and select angels, including David Cancel, Elias Torres and TJ Mahoney. Founded in 2012, Klaviyo has developed a system that analyzes disparate and often real-time data points, about individual customers and prospects, in order to automate personalized communications. The solution is being used at thousands of ecommerce companies to maximize return on email campaigns; and Klaviyo will use the new funding to accelerate growth in development and sales/marketing.
“Email campaigns have become synonymous with mass blasting giant lists of people with the same email, leading to a world where our inboxes are crowded, spam folders full, and we don’t engage with or like the emails we receive,” said Andrew Bialecki, co-founder and CEO of Klaviyo. “Klaviyo solves this problem. We plug into different data sources that companies already have and use that data to personalize communications to customers and prospects. We are excited that our investors share our vision for transforming ecommerce marketing.”
Almost a trillion emails are sent each month. Current email platforms are primarily focused on sending large quantities of messages that are the same for everyone, with very little personalization. Through its simple and intuitive API, Klaviyo integrates with an ecommerce company’s data sources to better understand their customer’s relationship with the brand (i.e. what they have or haven’t bought, website activity, engagement with previous communications, events attended, products returned and more). As a result, the Klaviyo platform understands the customer’s behavior and can target and/or trigger personalized communications at the optimal time.
“Klaviyo has created a powerful email marketing platform that is incredibly easy to use; being able to run small, hyper-targeted, personalized campaigns is the holy grail for marketers,” said Jon Karlen, a partner at Accomplice. “Andrew and Ed have already built a successful company and they are the perfect team to lead it through this rapid growth phase.”
Andrew Bialecki and Ed Hallen founded Klaviyo in 2012, after working together at Adaptive Predictive Technologies (APT) where they built big data-driven marketing solutions for Fortune 500 companies. “We started working with companies and realized what a frustrating, manually-intensive process it was to email someone who had bought a suit two months ago but not the perfect matching shirt and tie. That’s when the opportunity became clear,” said co-founder Ed Hallen. On average, Klaviyo’s customers earn ~$75 for every dollar spent.
Klaviyo helps brands build stronger relationships with their customers through communications that are personal and predictive. For more information, visit www.klaviyo.com.
See Blog from Klaviyo Founders
Mobee Closes $5M Series A Financing
Mobee, the leader in Real-time Crowdsourced Data & Insights For Brands, Retail & Asset Management Firms, has closed on a $5M Series A financing. The financing was led by Flint Capital (www.flintcap.com) and Flint Capital's Partner, Sergey Gribov, will be joining Mobee's Board of Directors. Funds will be used to expand market reach and client engagement as well as continuing Mobee's rapid evolution of industry-leading technology for crowdsourced intelligence gathering. That real-time technology offers direct visibility to the retail store, aisles and shelves providing alerts and data and analysis tools for an immediate view into brand and retail execution, performance and competition. With a national reach, Mobee is poised to collect thousands of geo-located data points and photographs in a matter of hours, not months.
Existing investors Stage 1 Ventures, Atlas Venture, and InterWest Partners also participated in this round.
"I am thrilled to have Flint Capital on the Mobee team and to have Sergey join our Board of Directors. Flint brings a pragmatic and supportive approach to venture investing and have been a pleasure to work with through this financing," said Hal Charnley, Mobee's President/CEO.
"Mobee personifies the type of investment that we seek at Flint. A young, vibrant team with a firm grasp of their market and the ability to dominate their category. As a Boston-based firm, we're excited to have an investment in our own backyard," said Sergey Gribov, Flint's Partner.
Mobee was founded in 2011 with a vision to use mobile technology and the power of the crowd to collect the world's offline data. Mobee is the leader in real-time crowdsourced data & insight for brands, retail and asset management firms. Mobee provides direct visibility to the stores, aisles and shelves, real-time alerts and data and analysis tools, providing immediate view into retail execution, performance and competition. With a national reach, Mobee is poised to collect thousands of geo-located data points and photographs in a matter of hours, not months. Brands & retailers can now get real-time insights into the leading drivers, "the whys," of their retail sales across critical performance insights including; new product launch, competitive intelligence, seasonal program check, in-store promotions & displays, product availability & shelf positioning, product demonstrations, sales associate training & customer messaging. For more information visit us at http://www.getmobee.com
About Flint Capital
Flint Capital is a $100 million international investment fund with offices in USA (Boston and Palo Alto), Israel and Europe. It was founded in 2013 to support the best entrepreneurs, wherever they are. Flint is a multi-stage venture fund, which focuses on investments in mobile, SaaS, Advertisement, Financial as well as Security and Enterprise sectors of high technology. More information can be found at www.flintcap.com.
SmackHigh Raises $1.65 Million in Seed Capital
SmackHigh, a social consumer start-up for teens, today announced that it has raised $1.65M in its seed round. The round was led by Flybridge Capital Partners, with major participation from an AngelList syndicate led by Wayne Chang, Head of Product Marketing, Mobile Platform at Twitter, and Boston Seed Capital. Also participating were Mike Baker of DataXu, and several prominent angel investors from the Boston area, including David Chang, formerly of PayPal. SmackHigh amplifies the teenage voice, specifically for high school students, by aggregating news-based submissions from high school students themselves via social media vehicles on Twitter and its own website, and then distributing them across thousands of high schools across the country. With hundreds of thousands of teens in communities currently operating in 26 states, SmackHigh plans to use the funding to broaden its nationwide community presence and continue to invest in its technology platform.
SmackHigh is a posting service for teens, organized by geography and based on common interests relevant to every day high school student life. The platform gives teens a way to connect and express themselves within the context of the school communities they care about, and more importantly, within the context of relevant topics and interest groups. By putting community first, SmackHigh empowers teens to define the identities of their communities and the affinity groups that exist within them, e.g. basketball players, freshmen only, etc. This adds context to the discussions and gives all high school students a way to relate and engage, be it with students within their own core affinity groups or those belonging to others. Teens post anonymously through the identity of their school community, thereby allowing full freedom of expression and fluid movement between social groups.
Facilitating the conversations are the SmackHigh reps, thousands of teens from the SmackHigh community who both provide gentle moderation, but also serve as a continued feedback loop between their respective high schools and SmackHigh. This mechanism has allowed the SmackHigh community to grow organically and authentically, yet safely using the voices of teens as the boundaries.
“The teen voice is powerful, but has often been overlooked or gone unheard because it’s been buried in communities that are either too disperse or too general,” said Giuseppe Stuto, CEO of SmackHigh. “SmackHigh gives teens an easy and fun way to build and control the evolution and tones of their own spaces in a very meaningful and relevant way, which is an essential need of our next wave of online community builders.”
This strategy has led to strong organic growth, with over 800,000 opt-in followers concentrated in tight geographic communities that span 26 states via Twitter and, more recently, Snapchat. The pace of growth has increased sharply over the last year; SmackHigh boasts more than 800% growth in monthly submissions from February to June, bringing total monthly timeline impressions to over 450 million.
“Teens are obsessed with group messaging and communicating via their mobile phones,” said Jeff Bussgang, Flybridge general partner. “SmackHigh is appealing to this obsession by providing an open, social networking platform that provides teens anonymity yet in the context of their core school community.”
SmackHigh will immediately invest in growing its platform, expanding its SmackHigh rep presence, and further marketing geography and channel expansion.
About Smack, Inc.
Smack, Inc.’s service, SmackHigh is a geographically centralized social consumer posting service for teens that leverages Twitter and Snapchat to allow teens from the same geography to connect and build community. SmackHigh was founded in 2013 as a casual place for teens to connect on Twitter; under the leadership of Giuseppe Stuto (CEO), Frank Iudiciani (CMO), and Kevin Flynn (CTO), the Company has to date amassed over 800,000 followers nationally, generating over 450 million monthly timeline impressions.
Celect Raises $5M in Funding
Celect, a fully data-driven customer choice modeling suite, launched today with $5 million in Series A funding led by August Capital with participation from Activant Capital Group.
The Boston-based company, founded by MIT professors Vivek Farias and Devavrat Shah, uses a fundamental technological breakthrough in machine learning, which allows retailers to truly understand their customers’ buying patterns. This technology enables merchandisers, retail planners and inventory analysts to create optimized and localized product assortments, and in turn, increase inventory turnover and revenue while fostering a better customer experience. An early pilot of Celect’s technology in ten stores at The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc., a regional department store, operating 270 locations across the US, shows positive increases in in-store revenue over the control group...READ MORE
Toast Raises $3M in Funding
As per SEC filings, Toast in Boston, Massachusetts has raised $3M in debt financing. Toast is an all-in-one POS and restaurant management solution with powerful tools to cut costs, drive revenue, and engage customers... READ MORE
Datadog Raises $31M
Datadog, a cloud service that helps customers monitor infrastructure and software, whether all in the cloud or a hybrid on-premises-cloud environment, announced $31M in Series C funding today.
The round was led by Index Ventures with help from RTP Ventures, OpenView Venture Partners and what they referred to as “other equity holders.” Index and OpenView helped fund the Series B round last February, and RTP has been involved since seed funding in April, 2011.
The $31M brings the total raised to $53.4M. READ MORE
Tesora Closes Addition Funding
Red Hat Expands Collaboration with Tesora, OpenStack Database as a Service Company
CAMBRIDGE, Mass., August 13, 2015 – Tesora, the company bringing OpenStack Trove Database as a Service (DBaaS) to the enterprise, announces that Red Hat and others have invested in the company as a part of Tesora’s latest funding round.
The funding agreement expands on the ongoing collaboration between Tesora and Red Hat, which dates back to February 2014 when Tesora was re-launched with the mission to become the market leader in database as a service (DBaaS) and OpenStack Trove. Most recently, the Tesora DBaaS Platform Enterprise Edition added support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform 6.
Today, Tesora is the number one contributor to OpenStack Trove and ranks among the top 20 companies contributing to OpenStack overall as measured by Stackalytics, alongside Red Hat and other Tesora partners. This reflects the transformation of Tesora’s development team to focus on the OpenStack DBaaS project.
“We are pleased to have an open source pioneer like Red Hat as an investor and partner,” said Ken Rugg, founder and CEO of Tesora. “We look forward to collaborating more closely with Red Hat to provide customers with databases on demand on OpenStack clouds.”
“Red Hat’s participation in Tesora’s latest financing round expands on the technical and go-to-market collaboration between our companies,” said Radhesh Balakrishnan, general manager, OpenStack, Red Hat. “Community-powered innovation like OpenStack Trove and companies like Tesora driving this innovation forward are essential components to accelerate the adoption of OpenStack as the platform of choice for cloud infrastructure.”
In addition to the investment from Red Hat, the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, existing investors including LaunchCapital also participated. In June, Tesora announced investors in the initial phase of the funding round. Funds will be used to further scale Tesora sales, marketing and product development efforts. The closing of the most recent financing round brings Tesora’s total financing to $14.5 million.
About OpenStack Trove
OpenStack Trove database as a service is transforming the way databases are provisioned and managed, to make database capacity that can be consumed on-demand. Trove lets administrators and DevOps manage multiple instances of different database management systems (DBMS), both relational and NoSQL, using a common infrastructure. This makes it much easier and faster to select and operate a database – while retaining all its capabilities – in a secure private or public cloud. The result is that routine tasks like provisioning, and managing regular administrative tasks like clustering, replication, backup and restore are handled in a simple, unified way.
Tesora brings more than 200 years of cumulative database technology experience to the OpenStack community, helping organizations get the most from their OpenStack investment by making it easy to deliver database capacity on demand. The company is the leading contributor to the OpenStack Trove project and developer of Tesora DBaaS Platform Enterprise Edition, the first commercially-available product based on Trove. To learn more about Tesora visit www.tesora.com. READ MORE
RIFT.io Raises $16 Million In Series A Funding
BURLINGTON, Mass. – August 13, 2015 – RIFT.io, today announced the completion of a $16 million series A round of funding, led by North Bridge Venture Partners with participation from other strategic investors. The funds raised will be used to continue the development of RIFT.ware, the company’s open source network virtualization platform, and expand its world-class product, design, and engineering teams, while growing its marketing and customer support capabilities.
RIFT.io was founded in 2014 by CEO Greg Alden, an industry veteran joined by fellow co-founders, CTO Tim Mortsolf and CDO Matt Harper. The company features a talented leadership team including CSO Tony Schoener; CFO Scott Bryce, and SVP, Business & Market Development Vincent Spinelli, who have decades of experience in networking and enterprise software and held senior management roles at Cisco, Starent Networks, Juniper, 3COM, Redback, EMC, Arrowpoint and Movik Networks. Headquartered in Burlington, MA with offices in San Jose, CA and Bangalore, India; RIFT.io specializes in open source, hyperscale network virtualization software that simplifies the development, deployment and management of virtual network services, applications and functions.
The RIFT.io founders believe that network services need to migrate from proprietary appliances to open, hyperscale networking software services in order for virtual network functions (VNFs) to be relevant in cloud networks that support Web, mobile, and IOT-centric applications. RIFT.io promises to fundamentally change the economics of the networking industry and help customers reduce complexity and accelerate service velocity.
“The walls between network product suppliers and network service consumers are disappearing. Our goal from day one was to build a platform that would provide everyone with the same capabilities and technology enjoyed by the largest networking technology companies,” said Greg Alden, chief executive officer of RIFT.io. “Robust Open Source components, high performance general purpose computing, and RIFT.ware make this a reality. Our software addresses the unique challenges and complexities of network applications and leverages the best of open source and hyperscale data center technology to bring innovation, lower cost and an emerging community of value-adding solution providers.”
Network applications and VNFs built with RIFT.ware combine the economics and scale of hyperscale data centers with the security and availability of carrier-grade network services. Companies can start with a single network application or service on a single virtual machine (VM) on any cloud platform and scale to any number applications, VMs, and locations on multiple clouds with no capacity constraints or distance limitations. This dramatically lowers the risks associated with rolling out new services, allowing providers and enterprises to easily trial and evolve services to determine what best meets the needs of customers.
“Benu Networks has been a leader in developing network solutions that embrace virtualization and cloud technologies,” said Dino Di Palma, CEO, Benu Networks. “ Partnering with RIFT.io has sped our development of solutions for the connected home, helped us build a more robust, scalable virtual network application and allows us to target any customer on any cloud infrastructure, at any scale.”
Network function virtualization promises the same transformation in network applications that virtualization delivered to Web-based applications. Virtualization is now foundational to over $3 trillion in annual IT spending. The transformation in network applications, driven by the Internet of Things and the growth in the number of connected devices, will have an even larger impact and the pace of change will be unprecedented. According to Beecham Research, the world will be host to more than fifty billion device connections by the year 2020, emphasizing the importance of scalability, security and efficient connectivity.
“At North Bridge we invest in great ideas and great teams. It is rare to find a team that can adapt so easily to the changing market and technology requirements, especially a team has worked together for many years.” said Ed Anderson, managing general partner of North Bridge. “Our most successful portfolio companies have been the disruptors with bold ideas and the capability to achieve their potential. The pace of software innovation is changing everything and we are thrilled to be working with RIFT.io as a true partner to accelerate the transformation.”
Rift.io recently joined the Intel® Network Builders program in July, an ecosystem dedicated to accelerating the transition to SDN and NFV solutions based on industry open standards.
“NFV service orchestration will require increasing intelligence that can best determine how to take advantage of the underlying hardware capabilities and apply them to the right workload.” said John Healy, General Manager, SDN Division, Intel Corp. “By joining the Intel Network Builders program, RIFT.io will help to accelerate the adoption of NFV and enable service providers and enterprises to take advantage of key capabilities such as enhanced platform awareness (EPA) on Intel architecture.”
RIFT.io will be showcasing their software August 18th – 20th at the Intel Developer Forum being held at the Moscone West Convention Center in San Francisco, CA. Come visit the company in booth # 163.
RIFT.io makes it simple for network service developers, enterprises, and service providers to create, deploy, and manage Web-scale network applications and virtual network functions (VNFs). Network applications and services built with RIFT.io technology combine the economics and scale of hyperscale data centers with the security and availability of carrier-grade network services. RIFT.io is a privately held, global company with offices in the United States and India. For more information about RIFT.io, visit http://riftio.com/. Follow us at @RIFT_io.
About North Bridge
North Bridge Venture Partners and North Bridge Growth Equity are active partners with entrepreneurs providing seed-to-growth financing for innovative companies looking to disrupt big markets. With nearly $4 billion in capital currently under management, North Bridge partners, many founders themselves, work with entrepreneurs to apply their expertise in the creation, operation and scaling of market-leaders. The firm has funded more than 200 companies creating many billions in market value. The firm has offices in Boston, MA and Palo Alto, CA. To learn more about North Bridge go to www.northbridge.com. Follow us at @North_Bridge
 M2M World of Connected Services. 2009. Infographic. Beecham Research, Boston. Web. 22 Jul 2015.
CrowdComfort Announces $273,000 Round of Seed Funding
CrowdComfort, a sustainable clean energy technology company that helps facilities managers make faster decisions by crowd-sourcing geo-located building maintenance and environmental compliance data in real time, has raised $273,000 seed round led by CrowdComfort’s founding team. Investors include several angel investors and one corporate investment. READ MORE
Cleantech startup CrowdComfort raises $344,000
Cleantech startup CrowdComfort, a 2014 MassChallenge finalist, has raised $343,892 out of a planned $1.5 million round from undisclosed angel investors in the Northeast and the company's founders, said co-founder and CEO Eric Graham. The latest funding brings the startup's total investment to about $650,000 to date, Graham said. READ MORE
Ditto Labs Raises $4M
Cambridge, MA, August 06, 2015 — Today we announced a global network of 100 advertising agencies and a roster of veteran ad-tech investors including, Stage 1 Ventures, MDC-Partners, Wavemaker Partners and The Whittemore Collection provided $4 million in new capital.
The additional financing supports the roll-out of thousands of object and scene classifiers to help innovative digital marketers detect what appears in every photo. This deep learning capability helps dog-food companies find pet-owners, diaper-makers discover new parents, outdoor sports retailers reach campers and beer makers target people feasting on nachos.
“Social media photos are a huge blind spot that prevents marketers from understanding the full conversation around their brands,” said David Rose, CEO of Ditto Labs. “For a decade marketers have solely relied on text analytics to detect intent or on-line conversations, but now Ditto offers access to an otherwise invisible population of consumers as revealed through their publicly shared photos.”
“The ubiquity of smartphone cameras, coupled with an insatiable desire to publically share everyday experiences on social media has made sharing photos the preferred form of communication,” said David Baum of Stage 1 Ventures. “Ditto is the only company with computer vision technology purpose-built to parse what appears in Instagram-filtered, poorly lit, and blurry low resolution photos. This photo cloud is essential for today’s marketer.” READ MORE
CashStar Raises $15 Million in Growth Capital
Additional Investment to Drive Continued Innovation in Prepaid Commerce
CashStar, the industry-leading provider of prepaid commerce solutions, today announced the closing of $15 million in growth capital. FTV Capital led the Series D round, joined by new investor Mosaik Partners and existing investors Passport Capital, Intel Capital, North Hill Ventures and others. This financing brings the total capital raised by CashStar to $50 million and will enable the company to continue investing in product innovation, sales and client success.
“Our firm invests in commerce-enabling technology companies with exceptional growth potential that transform the way consumers and businesses transact,” said Miles Kilburn, Mosaik’s founder and newly appointed CashStar board observer. “CashStar is reinventing the prepaid industry for retailers with innovative digital and mobile solutions that drive business growth, and we are excited to partner in their continued success.”
The funding round comes on the heels of several important corporate milestones. During its fifth annual conference, CashStar Innovate, CashStar highlighted its achievement in product development, client and partner successes, and employee investment. The company also recently announced the hiring of Martin Hood as vice president of channel partnerships and Matt Kerper as vice president of strategic business development.
“CashStar has incredible momentum and this growth round enables us to capitalize on a huge market opportunity by investing in innovation and client success,” said Ben Kaplan, CashStar’s president and CEO. “We are very much looking forward to working with Miles and the Mosaik team. His expertise in payments and experience as an operator will be invaluable moving forward.”
CashStar, the industry-leading provider of prepaid commerce solutions, enables the world’s top retailers and restaurants to grow and innovate in the rapidly evolving retail environment. CashStar provides best-in-class capabilities, revenue-optimizing risk management and a client success model based on aligned growth, to optimize digital gifting and prepaid commerce experiences. CashStar powers more than 300 leading brands worldwide including Best Buy, Brookstone, Coach, Crate & Barrel, Dell, Dunkin’ Donuts, Gap, lululemon athletica, Nine West, Office Depot, Petco, Pottery Barn, QVC, Sephora, Staples, Starbucks, The Cheesecake Factory, The Home Depot and Williams-Sonoma. To learn more, please visit www.cashstar.com, follow @CashStar or e-mail email@example.com.
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Jibo, Inc., Raises $11M in Series A Extension Financing
Leading Asia-Pacific Investors Acer, Dentsu, KDDI, LG Uplus and NetPosa Validate Jibo's International Appeal
BOSTON, MA--(Marketwired - Aug 5, 2015) - Jibo, Inc., the company behind Jibo -- the first Social Robot for the home -- has closed $11M in a Series A extension round with strategic investors from Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China. Participating investors include:
- Acer (Taiwan) - Established in 1976, Acer is a hardware + software + services company dedicated to creating innovative products that enhance people's lives.
- Dentsu Ventures (Japan) - Dentsu Ventures invests in technology startups, with a focus on marketing, media, social, devices and others.
- KDDI (Japan) - KDDI is one of Asia's top telecommunications carriers.
- LG Uplus (Korea) - LG Uplus is a telecommunications and mobile phone operator in South Korea.
- NetPosa (China) - NetPosa Technologies Ltd. delivers comprehensive video monitoring and storage solutions.
In January of this year, Jibo, Inc. raised $25.3M in Series A financing. Monies invested in this extension round will be used to accelerate Jibo operations, product enhancements, partner content integrations and Jibo's market introduction. Prior to this strategic investment, Jibo's combined Indiegogo and InDemand campaigns raised approximately $4M with more than 6,500 Jibos sold.
"This round of strategic investment, centered in the target markets of Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China, will be a cornerstone of Jibo's further expansion into international markets," said Steve Chambers, CEO of Jibo, Inc. "We believe these investments in Jibo highlight the appeal of consumer social robots, and of Jibo himself, in the growing Asia-Pacific market."
Jibo helps the family stay connected and improves family communication -- anything from lending a hand in managing your busy life to providing companionship and entertainment. Jibo transforms existing, flat content and application experiences so you can interact with technology in a way never before possible.
"The social/interpersonal exchange inherent to social robotics like Jibo brings a new experience to in-home connected technologies -- one reflective of the intimacy of the home. It will be particularly interesting to watch Jibo evolve for cultural appropriateness across the globe," said Jessica Groopman, an industry analyst with the Altimeter Group covering the Internet of Things. "The vision here is compelling as Jibo will strive to establish a strong personalized relationship between the connected home and the family members living in it. Intelligent interaction design with tightly choreographed and culturally-specific movement, graphics and voice will be critical to successfully localizing Jibo to AsiaPac markets, and beyond."
About Jibo, Inc.:
Jibo, Inc., creator of the world's first Social Robot and Developers' Platform, is a design-driven company dedicated to creating unforgettable experiences through advanced social robotics technology. The Company was founded by Cynthia Breazeal, a pioneer of social robotics and human robot interaction from the MIT Media Lab. Jibo is a capable and engaging Family Companion. He is able to get to know his family, learn from them and adapt to their preferences overtime. With the Jibo SDK, developers have the tools to create and build a wide range of Jibo Skills (robot applications), extending Jibo's personality and capabilities in the home. Jibo was brought here to provide fun, help and companionship to everyone in the home. Get to know Jibo today at www.jibo.com.
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Panorama Education Raises $12M Series A Round of Funding
Panorama Education (www.panoramaed.com), used by schools and districts for educators' professional growth and strategic planning, announced today that it has raised a $12M Series A funding round with participation from Owl Ventures and Spark Capital. Jed Smith, Co-Founder and Partner at Owl Ventures, and Andrew Parker, General Partner at Spark Capital, have joined Panorama's board.
Panorama currently serves more than three million students across 40 states. Schools and districts use Panorama to collect feedback through surveys and to analyze their data. Panorama helps teachers, principals, and district leaders understand and take action on key issues, including student engagement, family involvement, school culture, and teacher recruiting and retention. Of America's Top 100 largest school districts, 14 have already adopted Panorama -- unprecedented for a startup -- along with most major charter networks and hundreds of smaller districts across the country...
Smartvid.io Raises $3.4M
Cambridge, MA based software company developing enterprise platform for video and photo content from mobile devices, GoProTM cameras and drones
Cambridge, MA – August 3, 2015 – Smartvid.io, Inc. has raised an initial round of capital to expand beyond its initial five charter customers and launch a broader private Beta program in the fall. The company is developing a platform for industrial video and photo content from mobile devices, GoProTM cameras, and drones.
“We’re very fortunate to have partnered with leading AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) companies to define our first generation product,” said Josh Kanner, Founder and CEO. “This funding will enable us to further accelerate our product development process and open up access to an even broader audience this Fall.”
“We are generating more and more high-quality video and photography content from our project sites through the use of mobile devices, drones, and GoPro cameras,” said Corren Collura, Chief Information Officer of Suffolk Construction, one of the largest building contractors in the country. “By leveraging Smartvid.io, we can handle the massive amounts of data we are generating, but most importantly we can save significant time in the field, collaborate in new ways with our partners, and provide a superior experience for our clients.”
CommonAngels Ventures led the $3.4M financing with participation from Launchpad Venture Group and other individual investors. “We are excited to invest in Smartvid.io as Josh and his team build a much-needed solution for the AEC industry to smartly collect and mine the data assets of industrial video,” said Maia Heymann, the Senior Managing Director of CommonAngels Ventures.
“We are committed to delivering on our ‘build smart’ promise in everything we do,” added Christopher Mayer, Suffolk’s Chief Innovation Officer. “We see tremendous value in using Smartvid.io as an innovative tool that will allow us to communicate and share important information about our projects more effectively with our internal and external audiences.”
About Smartvid.io, Inc.
Smartvid.io is building an enterprise-class SaaS platform for managing, collaborating, and analyzing industrial videos and photos wherever they come from - mobile devices, GoProTM cameras, or drones (UAVs). Starting in the AEC (architecture, engineering, and construction) industry, the company has five Alpha customers and is launching a private Beta in the Fall of 2015. Members of Smartvid.io’s founding team previously worked together to build Field Software provider Vela Systems, now known as BIM 360 Field, Autodesk’s “fastest growing product”, and also includes the Chief Creative Officer of enterprise mobility consultancy Mobiquity. Visit us at www.smartvid.io to sign up for our Fall Beta release.
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DraftKings Secures $300M In Funding
DraftKings, Inc., a leading daily fantasy sports destination, today announced it has secured a $300 Million Series D round of funding led by FOX Sports. Also participating in the round were major North American sports leagues Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and Major League Soccer; leading sports organizations The Madison Square Garden Company and Legends; as well as existing investors Atlas Venture, DST Global, GGV Capital, The Kraft Group, The Raine Group and Wellington Management Company LLP. DraftKings will use the additional funding to continue building out its industry-leading web and mobile products, launch its product internationally, and explore new opportunities for vertical expansion.
DraftKings has become the fastest-growing company in DFS since its launch in 2012, having just registered its 100 millionth contest entry this month. The company is expected to award well over $1 Billion in prizes in 2015, up from approximately $300 Million in 2014.
"To receive this type of support from such an outstanding group of organizations, including three major sports leagues, is an incredible milestone for us and reaffirms our leadership position in Daily Fantasy Sports," said Jason Robins, CEO of DraftKings. "We intend to leverage these resources to develop even more innovative daily fantasy sports contests and provide new exclusive once-in-a-lifetime experiences for our players."
"Partnering with DraftKings, a clear leader in this field, is a great opportunity for us to capitalize on the growth of daily fantasy sports for the benefit of our viewers," said Eric Shanks, President and COO, FOX Sports. "We'll work with DraftKings to develop ideas and create content to drive deeper engagement with sports fans across multiple platforms, including our national, local, and digital properties."
Fresh off a recently announced exclusive multi-year partnership with ESPN, under which DraftKings will become the official daily fantasy partner of the media network across broadcast and digital platforms, today's announcement builds upon the company's leadership role in the DFS industry and its commitment to player satisfaction over a broad range of platforms. A recent research study by independent firm Eilers, confirmed DraftKings is the favorite daily fantasy sports site among players and has over 10 times the net promoter score (a measure of customer satisfaction and advocacy) of its next significant competitor.
As the first company to take DFS into the mainstream through its original partnership with MLB three years ago, DraftKings now has five major league deals (MLB, NHL, NASCAR, UFC, MLS). Additionally, DraftKings holds relationships with teams across all major sports, branding at marquee facilities like Madison Square Garden and STAPLES Center, and integrated sponsorships with top sporting events, including this year's Triple Crown win at the Belmont Stakes.
The Raine Group worked as exclusive advisor to DraftKings on the transaction.
DraftKings, Inc. is a leading skill-based Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) gaming destination for fans in North America to compete in single-day online games for cash and prizes across the largest variety of professional and collegiate sports. DraftKings is the exclusive DFS partner of Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League, NASCAR, Ultimate Fighting Championship and Major League Soccer. Founded in 2012 by CEO Jason Robins, CRO Matt Kalish and COO Paul Liberman, DraftKings is headquartered in Boston, Mass. For more information about DraftKings, Inc., visit www.draftkings.com.
About FOX Sports
FOX Sports is the umbrella entity representing 21st Century FOX's wide array of multi-platform US-based sports assets. Built with brands capable of reaching more than 100 million viewers in a single weekend, FOX Sports includes ownership and interests in linear television networks, digital and mobile programming, broadband platforms, multiple web sites, joint-venture businesses and several licensing partnerships. FOX Sports includes the sports television arm of the FOX Broadcasting Company; FOX Sports 1; FOX Sports 2; Fox's 22 regional sports networks, their affiliated regional web sites and FSN national programming; FOX Soccer Plus and FOX Soccer 2Go; FOX Deportes and FOX College Sports. In addition, FOX Sports also encompasses FOX Sports Digital, which includes FOXSports.com, FOX Sports GO, Whatifsports.com and Yardbarker.com. Also included in the Group are FOX's interests in joint-venture businesses Big Ten Network and BTN 2Go, as well as licensing agreements that establish the FOX Sports Radio Network.
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Ecovent Closes $6.9 Million in Funding
Emerson Climate Technologies Leads Series A Round Amid Pre-Order Success of the CES 2015 Automation Product of the Year
Ecovent (ecoventsystems.com), the maker of the only intelligent home zoning system that delivers complete room-by-room climate control, today announced that it has closed a $6.9 million Series A funding round led by Emerson Climate Technologies, a business segment of Emerson (NYSE:EMR). The round includes participation from Tamarisc and Blue Fog Capital.
Ecovent started the year being named Automation Product of the Year at CES 2015, and has struck a chord with consumers, bringing in more than $1 million in pre-orders. Ecovent is transforming the home by giving consumers control over their comfort in every room. Ecovent’s advanced system of wireless vents and sensors intelligently diagnose the factors impacting room temperature and automatically adjust airflow into each room to achieve the perfectly desired temperature. With Ecovent, homeowners have the ability to control the temperature of each room individually through an app, saving energy and money by heating and cooling only the rooms that need conditioning instead of the entire home.
“Today’s cars allow passengers and drivers to set individual temperatures, yet most homes have only one adjustable zone, and it’s time to change that,” said Dipul Patel, CEO and co-founder of Ecovent. “We developed the Ecovent system to give people room-by-room temperature control in any home – automatically. It’s incredibly exciting to have the support of an industry titan like Emerson to help us bring Ecovent to a larger audience as we change the way homeowners experience comfort in their homes.”
For HVAC contractors and other industry professionals looking to deliver home climate control to their customers, Ecovent provides a complete, wireless zoning system that is more cost effective, less invasive and far easier to install than traditional zoning systems.
“With Ecovent, we see the potential to fix an issue that has gone unsolved in the residential HVAC industry for decades,” said Bob Sharp, Emerson executive vice president and climate technologies business leader. “Ecovent’s ability to function seamlessly in tandem with Emerson’s solutions for home comfort and energy efficiency makes them a natural fit as an investment and strategic partner.”
To learn more or reserve your Ecovent system, visit www.getecovent.com.
About Emerson Climate Technologies
Emerson Climate Technologies, a business segment of Emerson, is the world’s leading provider of heating, air conditioning and refrigeration solutions for residential, industrial and commercial applications. The group combines best-in-class technology with proven engineering, design, distribution, educational and monitoring services to provide customized, integrated climate-control solutions for customers worldwide. The innovative solutions of Emerson Climate Technologies, which include industry-leading brands such as Copeland Scroll™ and White-Rodgers™, improve human comfort, safeguard food and protect the environment. For more information, visit EmersonClimate.com.
Designed for comfort-focused homeowners, Ecovent is the only intelligent home zoning system that delivers complete room-by-room climate control through easy-to-install, self-configuring sensors and vents. Based in Boston, Mass., Ecovent brings smart HVAC technology to the residential marketplace through an advanced system of vents and sensors that intelligently diagnose the factors impacting room temperature and adjusts airflow going into each room to achieve the preferred temperature. For more information, please visit www.ecoventsystems.com or follow Ecovent on Twitter at @ecoventsystems.
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BevSpot raises $5.25 million
Talk about seizing an opportunity: when Rory Crawford was a graduate student at Harvard Business School last spring, he set up a 30-minute videoconference with one of the school’s entrepreneurs-in-residence, Ajay Agarwal. Crawford wanted to discuss a startup idea with Agarwal, an investor at Boston-based Bain Capital Ventures who splits his time between Massachusetts and California. READ MORE
BevSpot raises $720,000
2014 has been a pretty action-packed year thus far for BevSpot: founded in March by Harvard Business School and MIT students…raised $20,000 in early funding shortly after by the student-run Dorm Room Fund…product launch in August…and now, a $700,000 seed funding round. The startup, currently working out of Harvard’s Innovation Lab, has visions of becoming a web-based intermediary between liquor distributors and bars and restaurants. “We make it easier for bar and restaurant managers to find product, manage their inventory, and replenish it when they need to,” says co-founder and CEO Rory Crawford. “It streamlines what today is a pen-and-paper process.” By doing ordering and inventory management digitally, Crawford says, managers can get a better handle on what they’re spending, and the distributors may be able to take orders and make sales more efficiently. READ MORE
ACT.md Raises $8.4M in Series A Funding
ACT.md, the provider of a team-based care coordination platform for the management of complex patients, announced today a $8.4 Million Series A funding agreement led by Rose Park Advisors, a specialized investment firm that utilizes Clayton Christensen's research to make intelligent and successful investment decisions. ACT.md will leverage this investment to accelerate product development and help manage the company's rapid growth.
National leaders in healthcare informatics and operations - Dr. Isaac Kohane, Dr. Kenneth Mandl, and Ted Quinn - founded ACT.md. "We were inspired to launch ACT.md after observing for decades the constant dropped handoffs across the various providers caring for patients. So we created ACT.md as an operating system for team-based care that drives action toward improved outcomes and reduced costs," said Dr. Kenneth Mandl, Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Boston Children's Hospital Computational Health Informatics Program...READ MORE
Voxel8 Raises $12M in Series A Funding
Voxel8, creator of the world’s first multi-material 3D electronics printer, today announced it has closed a $12 million Series A round of financing. Braemar Energy Ventures and ARCH Venture Partners led the round and were joined by Autodesk through its Spark Investment Fund and In-Q-Tel. Voxel8 will use the capital to expand its world-class team and advance its core technology for the mass customization of electronics and other finished products.
Co-founded by Harvard professor Dr. Jennifer Lewis, Voxel8 leverages more than a decade of patented research on printing functional materials. The company is commercializing a disruptive 3D printing platform capable of printing embedded electronics and other novel devices. As a result, Voxel8 makes it possible to rapidly print functional electronics on a broad scale...READ MORE
AdAgility Raises $1.6M in Seed Funding
AdAgility, a leading provider of personalized, on-site and mobile, cross-selling solutions, announced that it has raised $1.6M to further accelerate its already impressive growth. Tim & Todd McSweeney led the investment with participation from existing investor Boston Seed Capital.
AdAgility has been working closely with Boston Seed Capital who brings years of specialized experience in backing profitable consumer and B2B marketplace companies. Peter Blacklow, a Senior Partner at Boston Seed Capital, will continue to advise the company...READ MORE
VoltDB Raises $9.8M in Funding
VoltDB today announced that it has raised a $9.8 million round of funding to extend its SQL in-memory database to power the next wave of real-time, fast data-driven applications. The round was led by strategic investors with participation from existing investors Kepha Partners and Sigma Prime Ventures.
Innovations in today’s enterprises are occurring at the intersection of fast data and Big Data through in-memory computing, streaming analytics and operational database technology. The rapid growth of mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) drives the need for real-time data analysis and solutions that capture and process fast data to produce faster insight and action...READ MORE
Beacon Raises $7.5M in Funding
Beacon, the premier all-you-can-fly membership for frequent fliers in the Northeast, today announced that it has completed $7.5 million in Series A and other financing led by Romulus Capital with participation from MiVentures, Western Technologies Investment, and several other early stage investors.
Beacon is bringing an innovative, convenient and sleek travel experience to the Northeast, with plans to launch in late summer 2015. For as little as $2,000 a month, Beacon offers unlimited access to regularly scheduled flights, with reservations, changes and cancellations made as little as 20 minutes before departure at no additional cost, via the Beacon app. Beacon’s service will provide efficient travel between New York and Boston, as well as the seasonal destinations of Nantucket and the Hamptons... READ MORE
Ginkgo Bioworks Raises $45M in Funding
Ginkgo Bioworks, an organism design company, today announced that it has raised $45 million in an oversubscribed Series B round. Viking Global, a firm managing more than $30 billion in capital, led the round along with previous investors including OS Fund, Y Combinator and Felicis Ventures. The new funds will be used to expand into new categories such as pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and probiotics, as well as hire additional employees and build out Bioworks 2, the next generation of Ginkgo’s robotic Foundry.
“Ginkgo Bioworks was our first ever biotech investment and was part of the Y Combinator class of 2014,” said Sam Altman, President at Y Combinator. “Synthetic biology is one of the fastest growing areas of tech right now and Ginkgo is leading the category. We're excited to invest again in the company." READ MORE
Cazena Raises $20M in Series B Funding
Cazena today announced its emergence from stealth mode by launching an enterprise Big Data-as-a-Service that can securely move and optimize big data processing in the cloud in just three clicks. Cazena also announced it has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Formation 8, with participation from current investors Andreessen Horowitz and North Bridge Venture Partners.
“Cloud is the next frontier for big data processing, yet complexity and security concerns hold most large enterprises back,” said Prat Moghe, founder and CEO of Cazena. “Cazena’s Big Data-as-a-Service is the first managed cloud service for big data processing that securely and seamlessly extends the enterprise datacenter with trusted cloud infrastructure and multiple, best-of-breed big data technologies. This assures the best price and performance for any big data workload, so enterprises can focus their efforts on delivering value, not managing technology... READ MORE
DataCamp Raises $1M Seed Round
Per TechCrunch, Cambridge-based DataCamp has raised a $1 million seed round.
DataCamp wants to teach data science skills to a generation of people, and it got a million in seed money to continue developing its online data-science learning platform.
The round was led by Chris Lynch at Accomplice, an early stage venture capital firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company had raised $300,000 in seed money previously.
DataCamp is not unlike coding bootcamps such as General Assembly and Codeacademy, but instead of focusing on general coding skills, it concentrates on data science skills. READ MORE from TechCrunch
CallMiner Raises $12M
NewSpring Capital, a family of private equity funds, announced today that NewSpring Growth Capital (“NewSpring”), the firm’s dedicated technology and business services growth equity fund, led a preferred financing in CallMiner, Inc. (“CallMiner”) with a $12 million investment as part of a larger round which included existing investors. The proceeds from the transaction are being used to fund growth initiatives including sales and marketing.
Based in Waltham, MA and founded in 2002, CallMiner provides speech and interaction analytic solutions to clients across a variety of industries including financial services, utilities and energy, manufacturing, government, communications, fulfillment and performance, marketing and travel and hospitality. CallMiner specializes in improving contact center performance and gathering key business intelligence by automatically analyzing contacts across all communication channels.
“We believe CallMiner is the industry leader in speech analytics for contact centers with a ‘best in breed’ differentiated technology to provide customers with agent insights, analytics and compliance–all with speed, scalability and ease of use,” said Glenn Rieger, NewSpring General Partner and newly added Member of the CallMiner Board of Directors. “The Company is experiencing market tailwinds with traction building in sales productivity. When combined with the experienced management team, we have the right combination to execute on this investment opportunity.”
“NewSpring Capital is an ideal partner for CallMiner at this stage of our evolution,” said Terry Leahy, CallMiner President and CEO. “They have been very active in our space, have consistently followed the market as the adoption cycle has accelerated, and demonstrated keen insight into the dynamics of big customer data and interaction analytics. We are delighted to gain their support as CallMiner enters a new phase of strategic expansion and growth.”
CallMiner helps businesses and organizations improve contact center performance and gather key business intelligence by automating their ability to listen to every customer interaction. CallMiner’s market leading cloud-based voice of the customer analytics solution automatically analyzes contacts across all communication channels: calls, chat, email, and social. CallMiner offers both real-time monitoring and post-call analytics, delivering actionable insights to contact center staff, business analysts, and executives. The results include improved agent performance, sales, operational efficiency, customer experience, and regulatory compliance. With over 10 years of industry leadership and over 2 billion hours of conversations analyzed, CallMiner serves some of the world’s largest call centers, delivering highly effective, usable and scalable speech analytics solutions.
Scratch Announces $3.6M in Funding
Today, Scratch launched its invite-only service and announced $3.6 million in funding from Bessemer Venture Partners, NextView Ventures, Red Swan Ventures and Matt Salzberg, Founder and CEO of Blue Apron.
“We invested in Scratch because the endless selection presented by eCommerce today is a huge problem. Consumers only know exactly what they want a tiny fraction of the time, and the tools available to help filter and discover products are limited. We loved the completely different approach that scratch is taking by combining human curation and algorithmic personalization to provide a simple but incredibly powerful way to shop. Matt has faced this problem first hand within CustomMade, and has built a world-class early stage team with veterans from Tripadvisor, Wayfair, and Gemvara to tackle this massive opportunity.” - Rob Go, NextView Ventures... READ MORE