Consumer Web

Drafted Announces $2.5M Seed Funding

Drafted Announces $2.5M Seed Funding from Accel, General Catalyst, and Lightspeed

Drafted, a mobile app focused on hiring through referrals, has raised a total of $2.5M to date in seed financing from VC firms Accel, General Catalyst, Lightspeed Venture Partners, and others. The funding will be used to accelerate Drafted’s growth and continue building the team.

Drafted launched in beta exclusively in the Boston tech community in May 2015, with plans to expand to other cities and verticals later this year. In less than two months, more than 50 Boston employers joined the platform, including companies like Hubspot, M.Gemi, and Drizly. Almost $500,000 in rewards are up for grabs, with some individual rewards as high as $15,000.

“Referrals work because of the people that make them. We are making it super easy and rewarding for people to do what they already do - helping their friends. And unlike many other aspects of the process, Drafted is actually fun to use,” said founder and CEO, Vinayak Ranade.


The mobile-first platform enables hiring managers to enter the vital details of the job they are trying to fill in a matter of minutes. They can then set a reward for filling the position and share it with their colleagues through social networks, text and email. Those who receive a job notification on Drafted can either apply themselves, or simply forward the job along to a friend. A job can be forwarded many times, creating chains of referrers that connect the hiring manager to prospective hires. When someone is hired, everyone in the successful chain of referrers splits the reward, including the new hire.


“It’s probably the easiest fun way in the world to make a few grand. It takes two minutes. Plus you are helping somebody get a job.” said Paul English, KAYAK co-founder and Drafted investor.


About Drafted


Drafted makes referral-based hiring fast, fun, and rewarding. The free Drafted mobile app is available in both the iOS and Android app stores. Designed and built in Boston by alumni of KAYAK and MIT, Drafted is the easiest way to help your friends find jobs while being appreciated by the companies that hire them.

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Fullbridge Secures $15.4 Million

Fullbridge, Inc., a professional development and education company that prepares students and young professionals to succeed in the global economy, has secured $15.4 million through the sale of a series of preferred stock. The round was led by learning innovation investor, GSV Capital, with active participation from several high net worth individuals and family offices from the U.S. and Europe.

The investment is instrumental as the company expands its leadership team, program availability, geographic reach and offerings with colleges, companies and ministries worldwide – all with the goal of preparing students to succeed as young professionals. The funding also allows Fullbridge to expand its technology platform by developing a multi-user offering which streamlines program enrollment and enhance communication between Fullbridge clients, coaches and students. READ MORE

 

Whetlab acquired by Twitter

Over the past year, we have created a technology to make machine learning better and faster for companies, automatically. Twitter is the platform for open communication on the internet and we believe that Whetlab’s technology can have a great impact by accelerating Twitter’s internal machine learning efforts. READ MORE


Cure Forward Raises $15M

Per BetaBoston, Cure Forward, a patient activation company, has raised $15 million. READ MORE


Ministry Of Supply Raises $1.5 Million

Per Sara Castellanos at Boston Business Journal, Ministry Of Supply, makers of High-tech performance professional clothing for men, has raised $1.5 million in new funding. 

Total funding to date for the company is now more than $6 million.

Investors in the round are undisclosed. READ MORE



 

PillPack Raises $50M

Per Dennis Keohane of PandoDaily, PillPack has raised $50 million. 

With $50 million in new funding, TJ Parker and PillPack take aim at the pharmacy establishment

Growing up in Concord, New Hampshire, TJ Parker kind of figured that he would end up one day running the family pharmacy business.

Parker filled various roles for the pharmacy his father ran, working behind counter or delivering medications to the nursing homes and assisted living facilities. He even color-coded one customer’s pill bottles so that she knew which time of the day to take each medication. So it was quite natural that TJ Parker would go on to the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences to follow in the footsteps of his father.

However, a few unexpected things happened along the way that eventually led to the formation of pill packaging startup PillPack, which announced today that it has received $50 million in new funding. READ MORE

* Learn more about PillPack on their BIZZpage - They're HIRING!




Dockwa Raises $1.1M

Dockwa, a mobile app company providing seamless reservations to boaters and the marine industry, announced today that it had raised $1.1 million in additional seed funding. Investors include David Skok of Matrix Partners, HubSpot's CEO Brian Halligan and CMO Mike Volpe, Driftt's CTO Elias Torres, and several private investors. The new capital will fuel expansion of the platform, as well as growth of the Dockwa team.

“With over seventy marinas in the major ports of New England, Dockwa is fast becoming the OpenTable for the marine industry, demonstrating an incredible customer experience, valued inventory, and convenience,” said Mike Melillo, founder and CEO of Dockwa. “We remain focused on building a singular customer experience. The additional funding is a testament to Dockwa’s growth potential, and I couldn’t be more excited about our team, product, and trajectory.” READ MORE

 

Weathermob Joins Weathernews Inc.

Weathermob is just delighted to announce…

Weathermob is just delighted to announce that we have joined Weathernews Inc., www.weathernews.com/, a large Japanese weather company already committed to the power of crowdsourced weather reporting; the power of people reporting, the potential and poetry!

Our forecast, together, is sunnier!


We remain committed to keeping the same warm and welcoming weather community and creating better, safer weather data, as we grow into this new global partnership. READ MORE

 

MOO Raises $5M in Funding

Moo received $5 million in series A funding in April from The Accelerator Group, Atlas and Index Ventures. The nine person company was founded by Richard Moross of London...READ MORE

BookBub Raises $7 Million in New Funding

Dear BookBub Partners,

Today I have an exciting milestone to share with you. We recently closed $7 million in new equity and debt financing for BookBub. Now we have even more resources to pursue our two core goals — to make it easier for readers to discover great books, and to help authors and publishers reach avid readers.

I’m happy to report that the new equity funding comes from the same investors in last year’s $3.8 million round of financing. It’s a group of people that I’ve known and trusted for more than 15 years, and who share our company vision. We’ve all been excited with the progress and feedback on our new initiatives, and decided to take additional capital to accelerate expansion. READ MORE

 

Drizly Secures $13 Million In Series "A" Funding

Drizly, the technology company powering a superior shopping experience for beer, wine and liquor, today announced it has secured $13 million in Series A financing from Polaris Partners with participation from First Beverage Group and existing investors.   

Drizly will use the proceeds to continue expansion of the industry standard for legally connecting alcohol supply and demand for the three-tier system, which comprises distributors, suppliers and sellers.  The company expects to invest heavily in product development, sales and marketing, operations and global distribution. 


Conceived in 2012, Drizly's technology and business model have created a legal framework for enabling licensed retailers to exploit opportunities in e-commerce, digital media, and data-driven marketing and operations.  With the consent of regulators across the United States, Drizly currently operates in more than 15 American cities, with more than 150 retail and supplier partnerships.  


"Off-premise alcohol sales is a $100 billion business that's untouched by technology," said Pat Kinselventure partner with Polaris Partners who will join the Drizly Board. "With Drizly, we are investing in a legal framework that connects alcohol supply and demand with full support of the industry players, who are all eager to see how innovation will transform their business."


The funding announcement follows a Drizly strategic alliance with the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA). The alliance expands Drizly's presence with retailer partners across the country, enabling Drizly to serve more consumers and to provide those consumers with unparalleled choice and convenience.  As part of the alliance, the WSWA took a small non-controlling interest and a seat on the Drizly Board of Directors.

 

A SUPERIOR SHOPPING EXPERIENCE

Drizly's apps and Web site feature an emphasis on ease-of-use and product discovery, adding new dimensions of surprise, delight, and interactivity to the unprecedented experience of getting alcohol delivered responsibly in 20-40 minutes. Users simply log in and are instantly able to browse from thousands of products with a shopping experience that parallels the best-in-class e-commerce platforms offered in other industries. With a few taps of a finger, product is scheduled for immediate delivery, or at pre-determined time in the future. Drizly also allows the consumer to send beer, wine or liquor as a gift to others across the country.


For the retailer, Drizly delivers incremental revenue and an added layer of security through its propriety ID verification system. Every retail partner of Drizly's is given this technology to use at the point of delivery to ensure the purchaser is of legal drinking age.


"In the past year, we've expanded from two cities to 15, grown our staff from three to 42 and built a product that makes purchasing alcohol informative, convenient and fun," said Nick RellasCEO and co-founder of Drizly. "We've laid the foundation and now through this latest round of financing, we've set our sights on growing our footprint across North America, increasing our visibility through larger marketing spends, and continuing to build out innovative products that produce new opportunities for brands and publishers."


In addition to powering a superior shopping experience, Drizly also offers an unprecedented set of technology and tools through its API, pioneering e-commerce opportunities in alcohol for publishers, social networks, and recommendation engines. The Drizly API provides third parties with a turnkey solution for deploying fast, convenient and responsible alcohol delivery inside of any consumer media experience, leveraging the largest and most sophisticated infrastructure delivery in the US.


ABOUT DRIZLY

Drizly is a technology company powering a superior shopping experience for beer, wine and liquor. Combining the best selection and price, content-rich and personalized shopping experiences, and the speed and convenience of on-demand delivery, Drizly delivers "The Joy of Drinking" to legal-age drinkers across the United States. Backed by a world-class group of angel and institutional investors, the company has raised $17.8 million to become a superior place to shop for beer, wine and liquor in Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, New York City, Providence, Seattle, St. Louis and Washington D.C., and other cities across the United States. For more info, visit www.drizly.com.

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Circle Raises $50M

Today we announced a major step forward in the execution of our vision and product strategy. We've closed a new $50 million strategic investment round co-led by Goldman Sachs and IDG Capital Partners.

And for the first time, we're giving Circle customers the ability to hold, send, and receive US dollars as well as bitcoin -- instantly, securely, and with no fees. In addition to sending and receiving dollars, customers can also enjoy the benefits of the Bitcoin network without the risk of price volatility.

New Investors

Goldman Sachs and China-based IDG Capital Partners were joined by all of Circle’s existing investors in the round, including Breyer Capital, General Catalyst Partners, Accel Partners, Oak Investment Partners, Fenway Summer, Digital Currency Group, Pantera Capital, and strategic individuals. READ MORE

 

Crayon Raises $1.5M

Crayon, the visual inspiration platform for marketers, announced today that it has raised a $1.5M round of angel investment to help marketers execute better digital marketing projects. The funding comes from top Angel investors in Boston, New York and San Francisco, including Dharmesh Shah, Brian Halligan, Mike Volpe, Eric Ries, Ed Roberts, Othman Laraki, Jonah Goodheart, and Jennifer Lum, among others. Common Angels and Boston Syndicates are also backing the company. The funding will be used to accelerate product development. READ MORE


Hello Alfred Raises $10.5 Million

Hello Alfred, the company building the next generation of the on-demand economy, announced the close of a $10.5 million Series A financing led by NEA and Spark Capital, with additional participation by Sherpa Ventures and CrunchFund. The new funds allow Hello Alfred to invest in its automation platform and continue the rapid growth of the company’s user base to new cities. 

Alfred combines all the subscriptions and services you use to power your home in one place. “Our mission is to automate the on-demand economy,” explained Marcela Sapone, co-founder and CEO of Hello Alfred. “In the last year, we’ve proven that we can delight our customers by anticipating their needs and doing their to-do’s as well, if not better than they would themselves. With this funding we’re ready to step on the gas and scale the Alfred experience to a wider base of customers.” 

“We are thrilled to partner with the Hello Alfred team,” said Scott Sandell, Managing General Partner at NEA who led the firm’s investment. “So many people in the professional ranks are leading lives that are incredibly unmanageable. Hello Alfred gives them back control over their home life and frees up their time to live. ” 

Hello Alfred currently operates in New York and Boston. Every day, the company’s employees help its customers save hundreds of hours of time by anticipating their needs. In the last 5 months, Hello Alfred gave back nearly nearly 40,000 hours — almost 4.5 years worth of time that would have otherwise been wasted on basic tasks — to busy families, entrepreneurs, and young professionals by making over 18,000 runs that included dry cleaning 57,600 shirts, delivering 3,326 pounds of dog food and placing 1280 flower arrangements in homes.

“My Alfred visits on Tuesday and it’s become my favorite day of the week,” said Megan R., a busy entrepreneur and Hello Alfred customer living in New York City. “Coming home to a perfectly stocked fridge, your dry cleaning not only picked up but put away, and the pair of shoes that didn't fit returned is real magic. Hello Alfred gives me back the thing I need the most: time.” 

Hello Alfred continues to expand its customer base in New York and Boston. The company plans to roll out service in San Francisco in the June 2015. San Francisco residents interested in the service can sign up for the waitlist by visiting: www.helloalfred.com

 

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About Hello Alfred

Founded by Marcela Sapone and Jessica Beck, Hello Alfred aggregates household services to provide white-glove oversight that radically changes how the modern consumer gets things done. Alfred is a recurring, in-home service that takes care of tasks its users don’t have the time to do — whether it’s laundry and dry-cleaning, grocery shopping, or coordinating deliveries — and even learns users’ routines to anticipate what they need done. Whether you're an entrepreneur busy launching a business, a parent juggling work while growing a family, or a young professional putting in long hours at the office — Hello Alfred will give you back your most valuable resource: time. It launched this September at TechCrunch Disrupt also winning the Disrupt Cup, Hello Alfred rose to the top over thousands of other startups that applied to claim the grand prize and is also the winner of the 2014 Harvard Business School Venture Competition. Hello Alfred has offices in Boston and New York City.

Driftt Acquires Fetchnotes

During my sophomore year at the University of Michigan, I took a class called “Entrepreneurship Practicum.” It was a bootcamp in the “lean startup” method taught by one of the cofounders of Aardvark, and I became really interested in how people capture ideas and reminders. In fact, it was around exactly this time in 2011 that I sent out the first “alpha” invites of what would eventually turn into Fetchnotes... READ MORE

 

 

Pixability Completes $18 Million Series C Financing

As global brands increasingly turn to online video marketing as a key revenue generator, Pixability, a video ad buying and marketing technology company, today announced it has closed a $18 million Series C financing round led by Jump Capital and Edison Partners, bringing total funding to $28 million. All existing investors, including Point Judith Capital and Quad Graphics, also participated in the round. Pixability has achieved a cumulative sales compound annual growth rate of 240% over the past five years. The cost efficiencies of digital advertising are leading global brand marketers to aggressively shift media allocations, particularly to online video. Worldwide digital ad spend is projected to reach $253 billion by 2018 (up from $145 billion in 2014); with U.S. digital video ad spend projected to rise by 30.4% this year alone, reaching $7.77 billion[1].

“The Pixability platform has allowed us to reach our core customers and target new passionate soccer fans with data-driven video campaigns that increase awareness of our new brand positioning and bring engagement to an unprecedented level,” said Hermann Hassenstein, Global Head of Communications Planning at PUMA. “With the targeting that Pixability delivers, we are able to achieve better results through online video in a more efficient way.”

The capital will be used to READ MORE



Disney to Invest $250 Million in DraftKings

Per The Wall Street Journal, Walt Disney Co. is investing $250 million in online fantasy sports business DraftKings Inc., valuing the company at roughly $900 million, people familiar with the matter say.

The Boston startup lets fans play fantasy sports with real money at stake. They can do so on a per-game basis rather than committing to manage teams for an entire season. READ MORE

ZappRx Raises $5.6 million

Today, ZappRx announced it has received $5.6 million in new funding from GlaxoSmithKline’s new venture arm SR One, and Atlas Venture (the life sciences VC firm, not the tech startup one that split from the firm and is seeking a new name). Additionally, the company revealed a long undisclosed partnership with biopharma company Zafgen, as well as another major partnership that it cannot reveal yet.

While ZappRx hasn’t raised anything approaching the gaudy investment numbers you will often see attached to biotech companies, the company has raised a total of $8.8 million for what is currently a niche space but has the potential to be lucrative in the long term. READ MORE from Dennis Keohane at Pando Daily

 

Metromile Raises $10M in Funding

As per SEC filings, Metromile in San Francisco, CA has raised $10M in funding.  Metromile is building a platform for services designed around the needs of drivers—everything from useful data and insights to a revolutionary pay-per-mile insurance offering... READ MORE

Metromile Raises $4M in Funding

A Bay Area startup called MetroMile Insurance Services LLC has raised $4 million in Series A funding to sell car insurance by the mile, with a high-tech twist.

"The less you drive, the less you pay," says Chief Executive and Co-Founder Steve Pretre. The CEO hopes to incentivize people to make healthy and green lifestyle choices like riding their bikes to work, for example, or using public transportation when reasonable....READ MORE

M.Gemi Raises $14M

Ben Fischman, founder of flash sale fashion site Ruelala, has raised a $14 million seed and series A round for a new startup, M.Gemi.

M.Gemi launched Tuesday to make beautiful Italian shoes more affordable for international markets — like American shoppers. Fishman says hand-crafted shoes made in Italian factories often cost $500 to $2,000. M.Gemi's cost between $98 and $300. 

Investors include General Catalyst, which also invested in Ruelala, Forerunner Ventures and Breakaway Ventures. READ MORE

 

WiGo Raises $1.5M In New Funding

Wigo Extends Seed Round With $1.5M In New Funding Led By Great Oaks Venture Capital

Wigo, the "who's going out" app for college students, today announced that it has closed a $1.5M extension of its seed round of funding led by Great Oaks Venture Capital. Other investors in the round include Greylock Partners, GGV Capital, Blade, KEC Ventures, as well as angel investors including Jean Pigozzi and Brian Guttman. This extension follows an initial seed round of $550k that the startup raised in the summer of 2014 with investors including Tinder co-founders Sean Rad and Justin Mateen, Kayak.com founder Paul English, Facebook's first sales guy Kevin Colleran, and Super Bowl champion Vince Wilfork. 

"The entire Wigo team is excited to have such great partners supporting our mission to change the way students plan their social lives. We want to build an app that college kids physically can't function without," said Ben Kaplan, Wigo's founder and CEO. "We've seen some awesome initial traction across college campuses thus far, but we think this is just the tip of the iceberg." READ Full Release

* Read More about WiGo in VentureFizz's coverage from their launch.

Ditto Labs Raises $1.3M

As reported by Sara Castellanos at Boston Business Journal, Ditto Labs, a Cambridge-based startup that offers businesses analytics on social media photos with brand names and logos in them, has raised $1.3 million, according to a March 3 regulatory filing. READ MORE 

Linkable Networks Raises $11.7 Million in Funding

Linkable Networks today announced $11.7 million in funding along with three key executive team hires as the company positions itself for accelerated growth in 2015. In addition to driving enhancements to its core platform, the additional working capital enables Linkable to scale its direct to consumer loyalty platform that allows retailers and CPG brands to engage the next generation of shoppers.

To support acceleration and product enhancement, Linkable is planning to double its staff over the next six months with a focus on expanding development, client support and sales. The company welcomes three senior executives to its leadership team... READ MORE

Workable Raises $5M

Workable, the software of choice for SMBs looking to take their hiring online, has secured $5m of additional funding from its existing investors. Workable enables smaller companies to post to multiple jobs boards, review candidates and schedule interviews.

Workable is persuading people to switch from spreadsheets and email to affordable hiring software. It saw a ten­fold growth in revenues last year by putting tools that used to be the preserve of large organizations within realistic reach of SMBs.  READ MORE



FamilyID Raises $850,000

FamilyID, Inc., a Waltham, MA-based online registration and payment platform for all types of programs such as schools, camps, teams and clubs, raised $850k in its first institutional round.

The round was led by Boston Seed Capital with participation from CommonAngels Ventures. In conjunction with the funding, Peter Blacklow, a senior Partner at Boston Seed Capital and formerly the president of WorldWinner, a subsidiary of GSN (Game Show Network), is joining the FamilyID board. READ MORE

 

Lineage Labs raises $4M in funding

As reported by The Boston Business Journal, Lineage Labs has raised $4M in funding.  Investors in the round include Paul English's Blade, The Kraft Group, CommonAngels Ventures, and Windspeed Ventures.  Lineage Labs' first product is called Bevy, which is creating new ways for families to experience digital photos and video... READ MORE

GrubHub Acquires DiningIn

GrubHub  GRUB 3.08%  is a $3 billion company known for helping to connect hungry users with restaurants that will deliver them food. Now GrubHub wants to deliver the meals itself, in a major preemptive move against on-demand delivery aspirants like Google  GOOG 1.73%  and Amazon  AMZN 0.19%  .

The Chicago-based company already had been testing its own service in three markets — San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago — but this morning announced that it has acquired DiningIn (based in Brighton, Mass.) and signed an agreement to acquire Restaurants on the Run (Aliso Viejo, Calif.). The two deals are worth approximately $80 million, and mean that GrubHub will be executing deliveries for nearly 3,000 restaurants in around one dozen U.S. metro markets. READ MORE on Fortune

 

Iora Health Raises $6.3M in Funding

As per SEC filings, Iora Health in Cambridge, MA has raised $6.3M in funding.  Iora Health is building a new model of primary health care delivery from the ground up to ensure radically improved customer service, better health outcomes, and dramatically lower overall health care costs... REAM MORE

TripAdvisor Acquires ZeTrip, Inc.

TripAdvisor(R), the world's largest travel site*, today announced it recently acquired ZeTrip, Inc., including its product Rove, the personal journal app that helps users log activities including places they have visited and photos they have taken. ZeTrip employees have moved into the TripAdvisor Palo Alto office and have integrated with the TripAdvisor mobile team.

"We are pleased to welcome the innovative ZeTrip team to the TripAdvisor family," said Adam Medros, senior vice president, Global Product, TripAdvisor. "The team will be a valuable addition to our mobile group and we look forward to integrating the company's technology to further enhance the experience for TripAdvisor mobile app users." READ MORE