Cortex Raises $500k
CORTEX IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE FOR SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
Company Exits Two-Year Stealth with $500K Round, Customers, and Aim to Eliminate Complexity
Boston, MA - March 25, 2015 - Cortex exits a two-year stealth period today with $500K in early-stage funding, disruptive technology, and multiple satisfied customers. Cortex is artificial intelligence for social media marketing that helps brands increase their return on investment in social via consolidation of tools, automation of redundant work, and adding data to a currently unscientific practice.
“We’re helping companies get more return from their time and investment in social. As a powerful efficiency software, Cortex helps social media managers and agencies be more productive while enjoying work more. Our average customer has seen a 400% increase in engagement and seven hours per user, per week of time saved,” said Brennan White, CEO of Cortex. “By creating more effective and creative social media content, we are making marketing less intrusive and more enjoyable for consumers. The outcome is targeted, timely, and welcomed.”
Coming from eight years in the agency world, White and Chief Revenue Officer Matt Peters were users and clients of all major SaaS social tools. Cortex was created after they realized that existing tools focused entirely on analytics and process management, selling patchwork solutions to small social problems, rather than solving the fundamental underlying issue in social: complexity.
“Cortex coming out of stealth is a dark day for analytics and publishing platforms. These companies make money as long as social is an involved, time-consuming, multi-step process. They have no incentive to simplify social media marketing,” said Peters. “Using Cortex, social teams worry about fewer pieces of the puzzle, get better results, and have more time to focus on the most important piece: creating compelling content. Due to Cortex’s AI, our customers know that competitors will be monitored, content will be promoted, and posts will be executed optimally across their social platforms - all automatically.”
Cortex has more than a dozen active paying customers, and this early-stage round is led by four main funding sources including: Josh Adler, founder & CEO, Sourcewater; and Jere Doyle, general partner, Oyster Angel Fund.
“I invested in Cortex because it will have huge impact for companies that are using social tools and thinking about ROI, consolidation, and time investment in social. Clearly, every company needs to think this way,” said Doyle. “Cortex has already been the driving force behind multiple companies becoming the clear best-in-class. I invite all forward-thinking brands to meet Cortex.”
Cortex is artificial intelligence for social media marketing. Our SaaS platform removes the need for point solutions, social analytics, and social media management tools via machine learning and predictive analytics. Brands and agencies are able to save an average of seven hours per user per week, while increasing social KPIs by up to 400%. Learn more about how artificial intelligence will consolidate your marketing toolset at www.meetcortex.com or email@example.com.
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
Publicis Groupe Acquires Expicient
Publicis Groupe [Euronext Paris: FR0000130577, CAC40] has acquired Expicient Inc. (Expicient), a leading global omni-channel services firm with significant expertise in inventory and order management systems (OMS), a capability that clients increasingly need to manage inventory, pricing and offers across channels for today's connected consumer who moves fluidly across digital and physical stores. Expicient will be integrated into the Publicis.Sapient platform under the Rosetta brand.
"Today's always-on consumer makes no distinction between devices and channels," said Publicis.Sapient CEO Alan Herrick "as a result our retail clients are increasingly looking for us to build systems -- inventory, supply chain, omni-channel commerce that enable the experience a 2015 consumer demands. Expicient joining Publicis.Sapient allows us to significantly strengthen our clients ability to integrate offer information, order information, inventory information and pricing information across channels, which is a significant change from a world where the on-line stores and physical stores operated separately." READ MORE
Localytics Raises $35M
Localytics, the only complete platform for app marketing and analytics, today announced it has raised $35 million in Series D funding, bringing its total investment to-date to $60 million. New investor Sapphire Ventures led the round with participation from existing investors Foundation Capital and Polaris Partners. The new funds will be used to strengthen Localytics’ predictive intelligence capabilities, which enable customers to truly personalize the user experience and improve engagement and retention in their mobile and web apps.
“Companies are struggling to keep up with the growth of apps. Most are unable to leverage user intelligence to improve how they acquire and engage users. Localytics’ investments in predictive app marketing will enable us to deliver the amazing, personalized app experiences that consumers have come to expect,” said Raj Aggarwal, CEO of Localytics. “And, with its deep history in scaling successful marketing technology companies, such as ExactTarget and Criteo, Sapphire Ventures’ expertise will help us continue building the leading solution for apps.” READ MORE
* Learn more about Locatyics on their VentureFizz BIZZpage!
Chitika Invests $4 million in Spin-Off, Cidewalk
Westborough-based Chitika Inc., an Internet advertising company, on Wednesday announced it will spin off its mobile advertising business unit, Cidewalk.
Chitika is investing $4 million to fund the spinoff, according to a statement, and Cidewalk has purchased office space in Southborough to accommodate staffing growth. Its new office is at 154 Turnpike Road, Southborough, in space formerly occupied by Bodyscapes Fitness.
Chitika expects Cidewalk, launched in 2014, to generate $10 million in gross revenue over the next year, the statement said. READ MORE
Ginkgo Bioworks Raises $9 Million
Ginkgo Bioworks, an organism design company, today announced that it has raised $9 million in a Series A round from Felicis Ventures, OS Fund, Data Collective, iGlobe Partners and Vast Ventures. The company was part of Y Combinator’s Summer 2014 class and was the first biotech startup to participate in Y Combinator’s accelerator program.
Ginkgo Bioworks also announced the opening of its new 18,000 square-foot, automated organism engineering foundry, Bioworks1. Bioworks1 uses robotics and advanced software to make the process of engineering organisms scalable. The company used their new investment round to complete the construction of Bioworks1 and will use the funding to operate the foundry to deliver organisms to customers. They have already begun the design of their next-generation foundry, Bioworks2, slated for construction in early 2017. READ MORE
Help Scout Raises $6M
My favorite thing about being an entrepreneur is being stretched beyond my comfort zone on a daily basis. Today is hardly any different, as I’m very proud to announce that Help Scout has raised $6m in funding as part of a Series A round.
People who know me will be very surprised by this announcement. I’m a bootstrapper at heart and always have been. Our business raised a small amount of money ($800k) following Techstars four years ago and has been profitable for the last 18 months. READ MORE
Motorola Solutions Invests in Drone Maker CyPhy Works
Motorola Solutions has made a strategic investment in CyPhy Works, a leading developer of advanced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), also known as drones. Founded by Helen Greiner, co-founder of iRobot, CyPhy Works has developed a drone technology and business roadmap that pioneers use of “microfilament tether” technology that enables long-duration or persistent flight with secure streaming of high-speed data and high-definition video.
“Real-time information is a powerful tool for our public safety and commercial customers,” said Paul Steinberg, chief technology officer at Motorola Solutions. “A tethered drone collecting situational awareness in large or hard-to-reach locations quickly puts eyes and ears on the scene, enabling our customers to read the moment, know what’s relevant and help them make fast decisions about how to deploy resources. This can help not only resolve incidents faster but also provide information to help prevent critical situations from happening in the first place.” READ MORE
KleerMail Raises $1.3M in Funding
As noted on CrunchBase, KleerMail in Boston, Massachusetts has raised $1.3M in funding. KleerMail develops innovative SaaS and business intelligence tools that improve the cost, speed-to-market, and distribution of complex marketing messages for large-scale clients. READ MORE
SimpliVity Raises $175M in Series D Funding
SimpliVity, a leader in hyperconverged infrastructure for IT, announced today it has raised $175 million in series D funding at a valuation of more than $1 billion – a record achievement just 23 months after general availability of OmniCube, its flagship product. Waypoint Capital, the business enterprise for the Bertarelli family’s investments and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, led the round. Prior investors Accel Partners, Charles River Ventures, DFJ Growth, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and Meritech Capital Partners also contributed to the round. SimpliVity’s total venture funding is now $276 million.
Waypoint was inspired to make the investment after transforming its own IT environments across five global sites with SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure solution. READ MORE
G20 Ventures Closes $63M Fund
As reported by Xconomy, G20 Ventures has closed its first fund at $63.45 million. READ MORE from Xconomy.
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.
Voxel8 Announces Strategic Investment with In-Q-Tel
Voxel8 is excited to announce that it has closed a strategic investment and technology development agreement with In-Q-Tel (IQT), the investment firm that identifies innovative technology solutions to support the missions of the U.S. Intelligence Community.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Voxel8 to further develop its multi-material 3D printing technology,” said Megan Anderson, Vice President of Field Deployable Technologies at IQT. “The customization enabled by Voxel8’s technology allows users to quickly create new devices without the inconvenience of tooling, inventory, and supply chains associated with traditional manufacturing methods.” READ MORE
Paydiant Acquired by PayPal
Paydiant is excited to announce that we have entered into an agreement to be acquired by PayPal. This is obviously a very important announcement for Paydiant, PayPal, our customers and partners, our employees, and we believe, the industry at large.
When Paydiant was founded in 2010, we had a simple idea that retailers and banks would want to be able to build mobile payments, offers and loyalty into their own apps. We knew that hundreds of startups and some of the biggest companies in the world would launch mobile wallets, but we also knew that retailers and banks would want a choice - a choice that would let them control the user experience, protect their customer’s data and preserve their own brand. We couldn’t be more grateful to the customers and partners that have shared this vision with us. 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
ERT to Acquire PHT Corporation
ERT, a leading global solution provider for high-quality patient safety and efficacy endpoint data collection, and PHT Corporation (PHT), the eClinical innovator leading the adoption of patient-driven mobile apps for improved clinical research, announced today that they have signed a definitive agreement under which ERT will acquire PHT. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The transaction combines the flexible eCOA platform and world-class customer service of PHT with the leading clinical trial technology and service offerings of ERT, creating the most innovative and comprehensive solution for patient end point collection and data analytics for global clinical trials. 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
Ed Trips Raises $1.9M
As reported by Boston Business Journal, Boston-based field trip software startup EdTrips has raised $1.9 million in equity funding, according to a Wednesday regulatory filing. READ MORE from BBJ.
InMoji Raises $1M
Today, Boston-based InMoji announced it has scored $1 million so it can connect consumers to brands through messaging.
Founded last year, the startup offers clickable icons — called InMoji — that live in a message and can connect you to, say, an offer from Nike.
Investors include David Chang with participation from Paypal’s Start Tank, Atlas Venture, and others. READ MORE from VentureBeat.
Read More about InMoji on VentureFizz from January.
Next Step Living Raises $18.2M in Series C Funding
Next Step Living, Inc., a leader in residential energy efficiency and renewable energy, has raised $18.2 million in a Series C financing. New investor VantagePoint Capital Partners led the round. Existing investors, including Black Coral Capital and Mass Green Energy Fund, also participated in the round, which remains open.
The financing allows Next Step Living to expand its geographic base and thus serve homeowners in Connecticut, Maryland, and other states on the Atlantic Coast. To date, Next Step Living has primarily conducted its operations in Massachusetts...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
Paint Nite raises $13M in funding
As reportered by Sara Castellanos of Boston Business Journal, Paint Nite, a Somerville-based startup that offers nightly group painting workshops with cocktails at various locations, has raised $13 million in equity funding. READ MORE
Bessemer Venture Partners Announces a $1.6 Billion Fund
Today, Bessemer Venture Partners is pleased to announce a new $1.6 billion fund, BVP IX, to invest in innovative companies around the world. We are now looking for the next generation of BVP-funded companies.
In addition to exploring exciting new areas of opportunity, we continue to focus on sectors in which we’ve partnered to build category leaders. READ MORE
Samsung to acquire LoopPay
Today is a great day for LoopPay and all those who have supported us over the last few years. I’m excited to let you know that LoopPay has signed an agreement to be acquired and become a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics America, Inc.
With our earliest supporters at our side, we have been at the forefront of contactless payments to create a platform that brings together issuers, merchants and consumers that facilitate a seamless and rewarding digital wallet experience. We will continue to innovate and operate as an independent team from Boston, Massachusetts.
Thanks to our customers, staff, management team, families, partners and investors who have made LoopPay the world’s most accepted mobile payment solution which leverages existing magnetic stripe readers to receive payments from consumers’ mobile devices.
Our vision of inspiring consumers to transition from a physical wallet to a truly digital wallet will continue. I’m most excited that Samsung shares this vision and has chosen to help change how we shop and pay for goods and services. We look forward to working with Samsung to offer the world’s most secure and compelling mobile platform.
The road ahead is an exciting one, and we look forward to continuing this journey together.
Read More about LoopPay from previous coverage on VentureFizz here.
TraceLink Secures $20 Million
TraceLink Inc., the leader in protecting patient safety and enabling health for global Life Sciences, today announced that it has raised $20 million in new venture funding led by Volition Capital, including participation from Fidelity Biosciences and existing TraceLink investor, FirstMark Capital. With more than 120 countries currently reporting counterfeit drugs in the pharmaceutical supply chain, the Life Sciences industry is facing a global transition, where a wide range of new and emerging regulatory laws will protect more than 75% of global medicines by 2018. As Life Sciences companies work to transform their supply chains, the TraceLink Life Sciences Cloud has quickly become the industry-leading platform that drug manufacturers, distributors, repackagers and dispensers rely on to exchange required compliance information and deliver safe medicines to patients everywhere.
“TraceLink is the clear category leader of track and trace software for the Life Sciences industry, and in just a short time, the company’s Life Sciences Cloud platform has become the trusted solution for more than 100 pharma companies, ranging from the world’s largest pharmaceutical manufacturers to small, independent pharmacies,” said Sean Cantwell, partner at Volition Capital. “What sets TraceLink apart is the unique approach it has taken to efficiently build a network infrastructure on which the entire pharmaceutical supply chain can connect, collaborate and exchange information in the face of new and complex laws. This differentiated approach positions TraceLink to win global market share faster than anyone else in this sector, and we’re excited to help the company drive its plans for future growth and expansion.” READ MORE
RapidMiner Raises $15M in Funding
RapidMiner, the industry’s easiest-to-use Modern Analytics platform, today announced it closed $15 million in Series B investment led by Ascent Venture Partners and Longworth Venture Partners, with renewed commitment from Series A investors, Earlybird Venture Capital and Open Ocean Capital. This brings the total investment in RapidMiner to $20 million. The new capital will enable RapidMiner to execute on aggressive growth plans as the company furthers its global agenda to bring self-service advanced analytics to next-generation data scientists.
“The Big Data rush is here today, and companies that can quickly and efficiently capitalize on this will emerge leaders,” shared Luke Burns, partner at Ascent Venture Partners. “RapidMiner’s code-free advanced analytics platform puts the power of modern analytics into the hands of business analysts and data scientists, optimizing productivity and making it easier for anyone to use predictive analytics.” READ MORE
Cuseum Raises $1.2 Million in Seed Funding
Art tech startup, Cuseum, to bring mobile app platform to the museum and cultural world.
BOSTON, MA (February 18, 2015) – Cuseum, a startup focused on mobile technology for the art and cultural sector, announced today that it closed a seed investment of $1.2 million.
Investors in this round include Foundry Group’s FG Angels, Atlas Venture’s Boston Syndicates, Seavest Capital Partners, Drummond Road Capital, and New Gen Partners. Funds were also raised from angel investors Paul English, Joshua Schachter, Deborah Ellinger, Wayne Chang, Colin Angle, Nicole Stata, David Chang, Jit Saxena and others.
“We are thrilled to close our seed round of funding with a group of investors that are excited and eager to assist in the growth of Cuseum. The funding will allow us to leverage our expertise and grow rapidly towards powering the mobile passport to the art world,” said Brendan Ciecko, founder & CEO of Cuseum.
“We're hugely impressed by Brendan's vision to bring art and culture to life through mobile and beacons, thereby unlocking a world of shareable content for consumers and rich visitor insights for museums,” said investor Brad Feld of Foundry Group.
Cuseum’s technology is currently used at several museums and galleries in Boston and New York City. The company will use the funds to expand their sales, design, and development teams.
“We aim to be the go-to technology leader for the art world,” says Ciecko. Cuseum offers several new tools and technologies, including support for Bluetooth beacons. “We see the introduction of beacons as transformative and know it will significantly enhance the visitor experience. We’re excited to bring this to cultural venues globally with the power and ease of our platform.”
To learn more and stay updated on news from Cuseum, please visit www.cuseum.com
Cuseum (formerly Spotzer) is transforming the way people interact with art and culture using mobile technology and social networking. Cuseum’s platform powers mobile apps that are social, engaging and proximity-aware (using beacons) to enhance the art experience. Cuseum’s platform provides museums, galleries and cultural venues with tools to create new curated experiences, insights through advanced data analytics, and new revenue opportunities. Cuseum is building the infrastructure, network and mobile passport that connects art and millions of art lovers to the digital world.
Fluent Acquires Streak Media
College Marketing Agency to Expand Reach of Popular Student News Service to Campuses Around the Country
Fluent, a Boston-based college millennial marketing and insights agency, today announced it has acquired Streak Media, the daily online newsletter of campus-based, local and global news curated and delivered to college students and alumni of selected schools nationwide. By joining forces with and tapping into Fluent's established network of over 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities, Streak Media has the potential to evolve into a major mainstream college news source that appeals to college millennial's interest in instant, and easily-digestible information that's accessible from any digital device. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"Just when digital media and social networks were starting to converge, Mike and his group of Boston College classmates found an ingenious way to capitalize on the value of immediate, hyperlocal information for campus audiences," said Fluent CEO Chip Rives. "Bringing this talented group of media entrepreneurs onboard is a natural fit for Fluent; it works perfectly within our mission of helping brands create useful, meaningful and lasting connections with college millennials, and that starts with understanding what the college millennial knows and cares about." READ MORE
Buildium Acquires All Property Management
Buildium Acquires All Property Management, the Leading Online Marketing Service for Property Managers.
A letter from Michael Monteiro, co-Founder and CEO of Buildium:
Today I’m excited to announce that we acquired All Property Management™, an online marketing service that connects property management companies with property owners who are looking for property management services in their area. You can read our formal press release announcing the acquisition, but I wanted to tell you why we’re so excited about it, and what it means for you as a Buildium customer. READ MORE
Learn more about Buildium on their BIZZpage.
Grapevine Secures $1.1 million in Seed Funding
As reported by VentureBeat, Grapvine, who connects brands with popular YouTube creators to drive sales, signups, and buzz, has secured $1.1M in Seed Funding.
“Grapevine helps products sell by using YouTube stars,” CEO and cofounder Brendan Lattrell told VentureBeat. READ MORE