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
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.
“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
Fitbit raises $2M in Funding
Fitbit, producer of a sleek little device that clips onto your clothing and tracks your movement throughout the day and night, has raised $2 million from True Ventures, SoftTech VC and several angels in what appears to be the company’s first round of institutional funding...READ MORE
Fitbit raises $12M in Funding
Fitness technology startup and TechCrunch 50 finalist Fitbit has raised $12 Million in Series C funding from existing investors Foundry Group, True Ventures, SoftTech VC and Felicis Ventures...READ MORE
Fitbit raises $8M in Funding
Fitness technology startup and TC 50 finalist Fitbit just raised $8 million in funding, judging by this recent SEC Form D filing. According to information gleaned from the document, the $8 million looks to be part of a Series B round that the company hopes will eventually top out at $9 million...READ MORE
Fitbit raises $43M in Funding
Fitbit, a startup which makes a wide range of digital fitness trackers and health devices, has closed a $43 million funding round, according to an SEC filing. The funding comes as the market for health trackers is heating up, with more money being invested in the space... READ MORE
Teespring acquires Fabrily
Our mission at Teespring is to remove the barriers between great ideas and bringing those ideas to market. That means enabling entrepreneurs to reach the right audience for their idea, wherever that audience might be.
Today I’m thrilled to announce that Fabrily, Europe’s leading custom apparel platform, will be joining the Teespring family...READ MORE
WHOOP Raises $3M in Seed Funding
As per SEC filings, WHOOP (formerly known as Bobo Analytics) has raised $3M in seed funding. Whoop is a technology and data analytics company for performance optimization. READ MORE
ShoeBuy Acquires Minority Stake in Boston Boot Company
ShoeBuy Acquires Minority Stake in Boston Boot Company
ShoeBuy expands into footwear manufacturing business with Micro Shoery
ShoeBuy, a leading global online retailer of shoes and clothing for shoppers seeking the best variety and brands, today announced it has acquired a minority stake in Boston Boot Company. The acquisition marks ShoeBuy’s expansion into the footwear manufacturing business, and provides an opportunity for the company to directly deliver superior products to its customers.
“We are excited to acquire a stake in Boston Boot Company to uniquely expand ShoeBuy’s foothold in all things shoe-related. Boston Boot Company, with its commitment to and passion for quality, brings a new business, new expertise and new opportunities to ShoeBuy,” said Mike Sorabella, ShoeBuy CEO. “With both companies rooted in Boston and strongly committed to delivering a great customer experience – the fit was natural.”
Boston Boot Company’s mission is to craft high-quality boots for men, using the best ingredients in small batches, for customers who appreciate a well-made product. With Shoebuy’s proven track record of innovation in operations, fulfillment and marketing, it is well-positioned to expand the distribution of the Boston Boot products very quickly.
“At its core, Boston Boot Company, is a micro or ‘craft shoery.’ We use the finest materials, take incredible pride in our product from the eyelets to the insoles, and strive to produce superior boots for our customers,” said Joe Lyons, Boston Boot Company Co-Founder. “We are thrilled with the opportunity to benefit from ShoeBuy’s eCommerce expertise and broad reach to ensure maximum exposure for our brand. This partnership allows us to focus on making great boots – one pair at a time.”
Boston Boot Company, founded by Joe Lyons and Joe Prew, began like many start-ups with a few passionate people driven by a common goal; the team’s sole commitment is to create boots that are stylish, comfortable and durable. Initially financed through a creative fundraising campaign via Kickstarter in 2013, the first boots were shipped in Spring 2014. The company now offers several collections, each designed with classic, rugged and independent spirit. Now, the complete Boston Boot Company product line is available at ShoeBuy.com, bringing the brand to millions of shoppers.
Financial details of the deal were not disclosed.
With more than one million products for customers to choose from, ShoeBuy is a leading global retailer for shoes, clothing and accessories for shoppers seeking the best variety and brands. The ShoeBuy customer experience extends beyond shoes through the company’s broad portfolio of products, as well as the exclusive Events.ShoeBuy.com featuring invitation-only private sales. ShoeBuy.com was founded in 1999 and is an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI). Learn more at shoebuy.com, connect with us on Twitter @ShoeBuy, follow us on Pinterest or visit our Facebook page.
About Boston Boot Company
Founded in 2013 and headquartered in Massachusetts, Boston Boot Company brings men new choices in boot options. Combining craftsmanship, comfort and innovation, Boston Boot Company’s line of Horween leather boots is classic in design, while providing a level of durability and comfort not often found in casual boots. The company was founded by Joe Prew and Joe Lyons. Learn more at bostonbootco.com.
Testive Announces $500k Bridge Round of Funding
Testive, an edtech company that makes an online platform to improve standardized test scores, announced today that it has closed a bridge round of $500k to expand marketing and sales outreach to parents, students, and guidance counselors.
Developed at MIT by co-founders Tom Rose and Miro Kazakoff and launched in 2011, Testive’s software uses adaptive learning algorithms to identify student strengths and weaknesses and generates responsive questions at the appropriate difficulty level to build students’ key skills rapidly. “It’s like lifting the right weights at the gym,” said Testive Co-Founder and CEO Tom Rose, “it makes students stronger, faster.” READ MORE
Breakaway Acquires Crunch Brands
We are excited to announce that Breakaway has acquired the agency Crunch Brands, an exceptional multi-disciplinary team led by our new Chief Marketing Officer, Ted Schlueter.
Our mission has always been to help drive value for our portfolio companies and clients. Sometimes that’s investing capital or placing talent. Often it’s developing a new brand strategy, building exceptional creative assets, and activating it across a community. There is always a place these businesses want to go. It might be dominating their category, exponential growth or building towards an IPO. Whatever it is, we have engineered an incredible machine to get them there faster. READ MORE
*Learn more about Breakaway's story in our interview with Baldwin, CEO & Schlueter, CMO after the acquisition - HERE
True Fit Raises $15M
True Fit, a Woburn, Mass.-based retail SaaS company allowing consumers to discover apparel and footwear styles that fit, raised $15m in equity funding.
The round was led by Signal Peak Ventures, Promus Ventures and Jump Capital, with participation from existing investors Guggenheim Partners, Breakaway Ventures and Novel TMT. READ MORE
OpportunitySpace Secures $500,000 Seed Round
The founding team at OpportunitySpace is thrilled to announce that we have secured $500,000 of our first outside funding for our seed round from a diverse set of real estate industry related investors. OpportunitySpace is an online marketplace for urban development opportunities (www.opportunityspace.org). Our team works in close partnership with city and town governments as well as other public entities to identify and drive creative redevelopment to undervalued property in urban areas.
OpportunitySpace CEO Alexander Kapur says, “Our funding validates the investment potential in the surging real estate and public sector technology verticals. More broadly, it signals strong support for ventures that are solving urban issues, such as disinvested real estate. We hope this inspires entrepreneurs and investors who are pushing innovation for cities and towns.” READ MORE
TripAdvisor Acquires Iens
TripAdvisor has agreed to acquire top Dutch online restaurant review and booking sites Iens, the companies said on Thursday, giving the travel website a leading position in the Netherlands.
Iens.nl, which has reviews of 20,000 restaurants and roughly 20 million annual visitors, allows users to book tables through SeatMe, which will also be acquired by Tripadvisor. READ MORE
Learn more about TripAdvisor on their VentureFizz BIZZpage!
Splitwise Raised $1.4M
I’m happy to announce today that Splitwise has raised $1.4MM in new seed funding from leading tech investors. Raising outside money means we can continue to invest in building the world’s best product for reducing the stress of money in relationships. Hooray! READ MORE