Bit9 + Carbon Black Raises $54.5M
Bit9® + Carbon Black®, the market leader in Next-Generation Endpoint Security (NGES), today announced it recently closed $54.5 million in Series F funding. The company will use investment to fuel its accelerating growth, product innovation and international expansion.
The round, the largest in the company’s history, was led by current investor Accomplice’s new EarlyAccess program. All of the company’s other existing investors—.406 Ventures, Blackstone, Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Sequoia Capital—also participated. New investors were Evolution Equity and Founders Circle.
The funding comes as the company expects to end 2015 with record results, including:
- $70M+ in revenue
- 70 percent annual growth
- 7 million+ software licenses sold
- Approaching 2,000 customers worldwide
- 60+ managed security service provider (MSSP) and incident response (IR) partners
Bit9 + Carbon Black started with a government cyber-security grant and has dozens of security experts, many of them trained by the NSA, CIA and FBI.
“Protecting the endpoint is the number-one issue in cyber security today as organizations have realized that the network is not the target of advanced threats; it’s their endpoints—where a company’s digital information lives,” said Patrick Morley, president and CEO of Bit9 + Carbon Black. “Many vendors are trying to get into this space, including network security vendors, IT operations companies, and small startups. We invented the NGES market, and we have more success and experience in it than anyone.
“We’ve grown into the largest pure-play NGES company. Our business model is solid because we’re driven by predictable recurring subscription revenue. We were voted Best Endpoint Protection by security professionals in the SANS Institute’s Best of 2014 Awards, and a 2015 SANS survey found that 68 percent of incident response professionals are using or evaluating Carbon Black,” Morley said.
“The endpoint is the next great wave in cyber security, and that’s why we increased our investment in Bit9 + Carbon Black to fuel the company’s ongoing leadership in this vital sector,” said Jeff Fagnan, founder of Accomplice, formerly known as Atlas Ventures. “The need for effective endpoint security has never been greater, and no company meets that critical need the way Bit9 + Carbon Black does.”
About Bit9 + Carbon Black
Bit9 + Carbon Black is the market leader in Next-Generation Endpoint Security. We have sold more licenses, have more experience, and more customers than any other NGES company because our solution is the most effective way to prevent, detect and respond to advanced threats that target users, servers, and fixed-function devices. That’s why more than 60 MSSP and IR leaders, including Dell SecureWorks, EY, Optiv and Solutionary, have chosen our technology as a key component of their security offerings, and 25 of the Fortune 100 rely on us as a critical element of their advanced threat defense and compliance strategies. By the end of 2015, we expect to achieve $70M+ in annual revenue, 70 percent growth, 7 million+ software licenses sold, and almost 2,000 customers worldwide. We were voted Best Endpoint Protection by security professionals in the SANS Institute’s Best of 2014 Awards, and a 2015 SANS survey found that 68 percent of IR professionals are using or evaluating Carbon Black.
Bit9 and Carbon Black are registered trademarks of Bit9, Inc. All other company or product names may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
Sonian Secures $7.5 Million
Sonian, a pioneer in cloud-based archiving, today announced that it has secured $7.5 million in venture debt from Ares Capital Corporation. This financing follows rapid corporate momentum marked by a record quarter in sales and profitability, and will be used to fuel product development and staffing efforts as the company continues to expand.
In the past year, Sonian has made huge strides by garnering more than 2,500 new customers to bring its total client count to more than 20,000. These customers see tremendous value in Sonian’s solution to store and manage data in the cloud while ensuring optimal security and ease. To accommodate the company’s rapid growth, Sonian has added 13 employees in the past 12 months, including strategic new hires such as the appointment of Tim McKinnon as Chief Executive Officer.
“As evidenced by our record sales performance and continued growth, our solution is filling a major market need among all types of B2B and B2C organizations and in every industry,” said Tim McKinnon, CEO, Sonian. “We’re seeing dramatic need for line-of-business big data visibility within the enterprise. We are committed to continuing our history of innovation in support of this through investment in new technologies delivered through new products.”
An early innovator in cloud-based archiving, Sonian preserves, protects and presents the world’s information. More than 20,000 customers in 40 countries trust Sonian’s secure platform and fast and accurate search to retain and retrieve valuable data and to protect the intellectual property in business email. Sonian manages more than 20 billion objects in the cloud; every day, 17 million new documents are uploaded to Sonian’s cloud archives, which can run on any of the world’s five largest public clouds. Boasting strong partnerships with the world’s leading technology companies, Sonian combines innovative technology with deep archiving expertise to satisfy customers of all sizes and industries. For more information, please visit www.sonian.com.
Cybereason Closes $59 Million Series C Funding Round
Cybereason today announced the close of $59 million in Series C funding, led by a new investor, SoftBank Corp.(“SoftBank”), a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. (TOKYO: 9984) along with existing investors CRV and Spark Capital. In conjunction with this investment, SoftBank will be the leading distributor of Cybereason’s cyber-security platform in the Japanese market. Per the terms of their agreement, Softbank and Cybereason will also join forces to build a joint offering that enables Japanese organizations to defend themselves against advanced persistent threats and other sophisticated cyber attacks.
“SoftBank works to obtain cutting edge technology and outstanding business models to lead the Information Revolution. Our deployment of the Cybereason platform internally gave us firsthand knowledge of the value it provides, and led to our decision to invest. I’m confident Cybereason and SoftBank’s new product offering will bring a new level of security to Japanese organizations,” said Ken Miyauchi, President & CEO of SoftBank Corp.
“Over the past year Cybereason has proven its ability to defend the world’s largest, most prestigious and most highly targeted enterprises against ultra-sophisticated cyber attacks,” said Lior Div, CEO and Co-founder of Cybereason. “We built our relationship with SoftBank to mirror the success we achieved with Lockheed Martin, which also invested in and built a joint go-to-market plan with us. This model enables us to maintain our agility and focus on innovation while leveraging the credibility, resources and experience that only industry giants bring to the table.”
Amane Kito, Chief Information Officer of SoftBank Corp., added, “Cybereason super-charges the ability of security teams to defend against cyber threats and significantly reduce security costs. What makes Cybereason stand out above hundreds of security start-ups is its transformational approach to cyber-security, which leverages machine learning and behavioral analytics to detect and thwart even the most advanced cyber threats.”
Cybereason’s Series C funding round will further accelerate the exceptional growth it has experienced since launching its platform in February 2014, as reflected in the many awards and accolades it has received. Most recently, CRN named Cybereason an “Emerging Vendor” and one of the “10 Coolest Security Companies of 2015 (so far)”. Earlier this year it was named “Best Emerging Technology” by SC Magazine UK, one of the 10 Most Innovative Companies at RSA Conference 2015, one of “Nine Israeli companies to watch” by Inc. Magazine, one of “12 hot security startups you need to know” by Network World and in 2014 Gartner, Inc. selected it as Cool Vendor in Application and Endpoint Security. Additionally, Cybereason’s research arm – Cybereason Labs, has published numerous reports on attack trends, from DGA based malware to the discovery of a new Ransomware-as-a-Service operation to the discovery of a new APT targeting Microsoft OWA, published earlier this month.
“We seek to partner with the biggest and brightest players that can offer a unique platform for market expansion and the development of new product offerings. We are excited to work with the excellent team at SoftBank to launch an advanced security solution in Japan, a region that values great technology,” continues Div.
SoftBank Corp., a subsidiary of SoftBank Group Corp. (TOKYO: 9984), provides mobile communication, fixed-line communication and Internet connection services to customers in Japan. Leveraging synergies with other companies in the SoftBank Group,
SoftBank Corp. aims to transform lifestyles through ICT and expand into other business areas including IoT, robotics and energy.
PTC to Acquire Vuforia
PTC (NASDAQ: PTC) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Vuforia business from Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), for $65 million. Vuforia is the industry’s most advanced and widely adopted augmented reality (AR) technology platform, and will enrich PTC’s technology portfolio and accelerate PTC’s strategy as a leading provider of technologies and solutions that blend the digital and physical worlds.
Under terms of the agreement, PTC will acquire the award-winning Vuforia business, including the developer ecosystem. PTC is committed to continued investment in the Vuforia platform and to the ongoing support and growth of the Vuforia ecosystem.
Vuforia is a mobile vision platform that enables applications (“apps”) to see and connect the physical world with digital experiences that demand attention, drive engagement, and deliver value. Today, Vuforia is supported by a global ecosystem of developers in 130 countries, and has powered more than 20,000 apps with more than 200 million app installs worldwide.
The combination of Vuforia and PTC leverages two transformational technology trends – Internet of Things (IoT) and augmented reality (AR) – to deliver a new class of products that merge the digital and physical worlds. When coupled with PTC’s IoT and analytics platforms, Vuforia unlocks a world of possibilities for creating new ways to design products, to monitor and control products, and to instruct operators and technicians in the appropriate methods of use and service.
“PTC continues to pursue a strategy of providing an incredibly innovative technology platform that customers can use to capitalize on the emerging Internet of Things (IoT),” said PTC CEO Jim Heppelmann. “Because of what IoT is enabling, more and more products are now a mixture of digital and part physical content. So, naturally, the ways in which we interact with these products will evolve toward a mixed-reality model that blends physical and digital interactions. “
“By delivering powerful computer vision functionality through a simple API, the Vuforia platform has enabled developers and leading brands to deliver award-winning experiences to consumers around the globe,” said Jay Wright, Vice President of Vuforia, Qualcomm Connected Experiences, Inc. “Vuforia has also captured the attention of industry leaders who envision the potential for augmented reality to transform work. As part of PTC, Vuforia will allow developers to realize this potential through integration with PTC’s industry leading applications and ThingWorx IoT platform.”
Vuforia has wide adoption from leading companies including 37 of the Interbrand 100 and has consistently been awarded for its performance, robustness, and ease of use, including “Best Tool” at Augmented World Expo in each of the last three years. Vuforia supports multiple developer tools, including Eclipse, xCode, and Unity and runs on multiple operating systems and devices, including iOS and Android phones, tablets, and selected mobile eyewear.
“We are pleased with the prospect of adding the market-leading AR technology platform, together with its large developer community, to our technology portfolio. Vuforia will accelerate our leadership position helping companies to fundamentally change the way their products are created, operated, and serviced,” added Heppelmann. “We are excited about leveraging Vuforia’s technology leadership in the consumer market while unleashing the Vuforia capabilities into the enterprise. We look forward to welcoming the Vuforia team to PTC.”
Vuforia annual revenue is currently not material to PTC financial results. As a result of cost synergies and investment plans, PTC does not expect Vuforia to impact its FY’16 non-GAAP EPS. The transaction is expected to close by the end of calendar year 2015, subject to customary closing conditions.
Dell Acquires EMC
Per Fortune, "The second-largest tech merger of all time is now official."
Dell Inc. this morning formally announced that it has agreed to acquire network storage giant EMC Corp. EMC -1.87% for approximately $67 billion.
Under terms of the complex deal, EMC stockholders would approximately $33.15 per share. This includes $24.05 per share in cash and $9.10 worth of a tracking stock for VMWare VMW -10.35% , an EMC-owned cloud and virtualization software company that already has around a 20% equity “stub” trading on the public markets. READ MORE
LogMeIn Acquires LastPass for $125 million
LogMeIn, Inc. (Nasdaq:LOGM) today announced that it has agreed to acquire LastPass (incorporated as Marvasol, Inc.), the popular single-sign-on (SSO) and password management service. A high growth business with millions of loyal users and an award winning product line, LastPass will immediately bolster LogMeIn’s position in the multi-billion dollar identity and access management (IAM) market, while accelerating one of the company’s key strategic growth initiatives. The deal is expected to close in the coming weeks.
The future identity market is being shaped by realities that come from end-user driven adoption of cloud, web and mobile apps – the bring-your-own-app (BYOA) trend -- and increasingly decentralized approaches to managing identity in the workplace(1). Seventy (70) percent of companies report using employee-introduced applications (as opposed to IT introduced and company procured applications) in the workplace. This is especially relevant to IT professionals and businesses since eighty (80) percent of cloud applications and services contain sensitive regulated or company confidential data (2). Meanwhile, approximately two-thirds (64 percent) of internet users use the same passwords for most or all websites (3).
LogMeIn is building a product and go-to-market strategy that embraces this BYOA reality and introduces new ways to help individuals and businesses secure access to sensitive information. The LastPass acquisition is expected to play a key role in this effort, is highly complementary to LogMeIn’s existing identity portfolio, and offers a natural extension to LogMeIn’s leadership position in the access market.
“LastPass has a great business, a beloved and award winning product, millions of loyal users, and thousands of great business customers – they are synonymous with the category,” said Michael Simon, LogMeIn’s Chairman and CEO. “We believe this transaction instantly gives us a market leading position in password management, while also providing a highly favorable foundation for delivering the next generation of identity and access management solutions to individuals, teams and companies.”
Following the close of the deal, LogMeIn plans to bring complementary capabilities of its early identity management investments, including those of Meldium, which it acquired in September 2014, into LastPass. In the near-term, both the Meldium and LastPass product lines will continue to be supported, with longer-term plans to center around a singular identity management offering based on the LastPass service and brand.
“LogMeIn and LastPass share a great common vision on reshaping identity and access management in ways that not only increase productivity but also improve security for individuals and companies, alike,” said Joe Siegrist, CEO of LastPass. “The striking commonality between our businesses, our products, and cultural DNA make this a great fit for both teams, and we believe a great win for our customers.”
Under the terms of the transaction, LogMeIn will pay $110 million in cash upon close for all outstanding equity interests in LastPass, with up to an additional $15 million in cash payable in contingent payments which are expected to be paid to equity holders and key employees of LastPass upon the achievement of certain milestone and retention targets over the two-year period following the closing of the transaction.
CyberArk to Acquire Viewfinity
CyberArk (NASDAQ: CYBR), the company that protects organizations from cyber attacks that have made their way inside the network perimeter, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Viewfinity, Inc., a Waltham, Mass.-based provider of Windows least privilege management and application control software for $30.5 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Acquiring Viewfinity enables CyberArk to remove administrative privileges from business users, and limit the privileges available to users and applications to only what is needed, allowing only trusted applications to run. This enables organizations to stop the progression of most malware-based attacks at the endpoint, limiting the attacker’s ability to move beyond their initial point of entry.
With the acquisition of Viewfinity, CyberArk will offer protection against privileged-based attacks targeting both business and IT users. Viewfinity’s integrated least privilege and application control solution, combined with CyberArk’s credential vaulting will provide a comprehensive endpoint privilege management solution from the established leader in privileged account security.
The Viewfinity offering is available as either an on-premise or SaaS-based solution.
Aquto Raises $8 Million
BOSTON, October 7, 2015 – Aquto, a leader in sponsored data monetization, today announced the close of an $8 million Series B funding round led by Iris Capital. The round also included participation from STC Ventures and existing investors Matrix Partners and Northbridge Venture Partners. The company has raised over $16 million to date. Aquto plans to use the funding to expand its global footprint, making mobile data accessible for consumers around the world.
"As we move into the next phase of our business, we are excited to partner with investors that have global experience and unique capabilities that will accelerate our growth," said Susie Riley, Aquto CEO. "The new capital gives us fuel and flexibility to forge partnerships and collaborations with operators, brands and app developers who will help shape the future of the mobile experience."
The explosion of smartphones, social media and content has transformed the lives of billions globally. Recognizing the critical need for connectivity, Aquto is advancing the mobile internet in order to make data easily accessible to consumers. Aquto’s sponsored data approach includes:
- "Zero Rating" – allows mobile customers to engage with online content free of data charges
- "Data Rewards" – allows mobile customers to receive free data from third party sponsors that they can use to browse and stream content on their mobile device
"Sponsored data is the next major step in the evolution of mobile connectivity," said Alexander Wiedmer, Iris Capital Partner. "Aquto's strategic vision brings value to the telecom, publisher and advertising ecosystems and thus aligns well with Iris' own strategic partnerships with Publicis, Orange and STC, global leaders in advertising and mobile."
Aquto is the leader in sponsored data and data rewards with tier one operator deployments in the US, Europe and Asia. Founded in 2012 with headquarters in Boston, provides a frictionless way for app developers, advertisers and marketers to engage with users over mobile through zero rated content/apps and data rewards, and a new way for operators to monetize their data and network assets. For more information, visit www.aquto.com or follow @aquto on Twitter.
About Iris Capital
Iris Capital is a European venture capital fund manager specializing in the digital economy. Since its inception in 1986, the Iris Capital team has invested more than €1 billion in more than 250 companies. Iris has a strategic partnership with Orange and Publicis. It provides active support to its portfolio companies on the basis of its strong sector specialization and experience, and has offices in Paris, Cologne, Berlin, San Francisco, Montreal, Riyadh, Dubai, Beijing and Tokyo. For more information: www.iriscapital.com
About STC Ventures
STC Ventures is a venture capital fund, independently managed by Iris Capital, whose anchor investor is the Saudi Telecom Company. STC Ventures is focused on equity investments in the information technology, telecommunications, and digital media/entertainment sectors; seeking to support the development of innovative technology companies in Saudi Arabia, the GCC, Levant, North Africa and Turkey, in addition to funding globally minded international companies seeking capital and access to the MENA region. STC Group is the largest telecommunications company in MENA, ranked in the top 20 mobile networks in the world, and serving more than 160 million subscribers. www.stcventures.com
Digital Guardian Acquires Code Green Networks
Digital Guardian, the only endpoint security platform purpose- built to stop data theft, has acquired Code Green Networks, a provider of Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions for the network, cloud and mobile devices.
Code Green Networks’ TrueDLP™ solution is comprised of Network DLP, Discovery DLP and Cloud DLP, and locates sensitive data resting on databases and network servers, including data in the cloud. Founded in 2004 in Sunnyvale, Calif., privately held Code Green Networks helps enterprises protect and manage regulated and other sensitive digital information. TrueDLP is an all-in-one, appliance-based solution that has been heralded by industry analysts for its simplicity and affordability. The latest Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content-Aware Data Loss Prevention found “solution cost, ease of use, available features and time to implement are key buying considerations for Code Green Networks.”1
Code Green Networks has also developed a strong strategic partnership program by offering tightly integrated solutions with other IT security leaders, including Blue Coat Systems®, which enables organizations to address their data security compliance requirements more efficiently and effectively.
With this acquisition, Digital Guardian becomes the only security company exclusively focused on protecting customers’ most valuable data at the endpoint, on the network and in the cloud from both insider threats and outside hackers. The combination of Digital Guardian and Code Green Networks will ultimately provide organizations with one data protection policy administered by a single management console and enforced regardless of where the data is located or how it is accessed. The combined solution will also provide:
Comprehensive data protection for the network, endpoint, cloud and mobile devices
- Advanced data protection from threats originating inside or outside an organization
- Data discovery for endpoints, network, servers and in the cloud
- Context and fingerprint-based data classification for structured and unstructured data
TrueDLP is generally available today, and will continue to be sold as a separate solution until it is fully integrated into the Digital Guardian Data Protection Platform.
In addition, the acquisition provides Digital Guardian with enhanced threat intelligence, deep packet inspection and wider visibility across the network, significantly strengthening its Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) capabilities.
Ken Levine, president and chief executive officer, Digital Guardian
“Our mission is to provide ubiquitous data protection. Data that is safeguarded regardless of the threat actor, data type and the system, application, or device used to access it. Our acquisition of Code Green Networks represents a significant advancement in that mission, and following on the heels of our Armor5 and Savant Protection acquisitions, it better positions us to meet the wider data protection and cybersecurity needs of enterprises. Code Green Networks has a long tradition of innovation, and its TrueDLP network and cloud solution is the ideal complement to our own endpoint DLP and threat detection and response offerings.”
Mark Menke, chief technology officer and principal architect, Code Green Networks
“Since its inception, Code Green Networks has sought to make data loss prevention easy to use and affordable. The current solution fits a clear market need; however, we see where the future of data protection is headed. We now work in borderless environments which has changed the threats to sensitive data dramatically. Digital Guardian recognized early that the next generation DLP solution has to protect sensitive data from all threats. We believe in Ken’s mission and we’re pleased to now be part of the team that will make ubiquitous data protection a reality.”
Garrett Bekker, senior analyst, enterprise security at 451 Research
“With the rapid pace of data theft incidents showing no signs of slowing, it’s becoming imperative that companies have a sound data security strategy in place. With the acquisition of Code Green Networks, Digital Guardian has taken another big step forward. The combination of Digital Guardian’s proven endpoint security solution with Code Green Networks’ network-based DLP and advanced discovery capabilities for both on-premise and cloud-based resources will enable Digital Guardian to provide one of the most comprehensive system and data protection solutions on the market.”
About Digital Guardian
Digital Guardian is the only data-aware security platform designed to stop data theft. The Digital Guardian platform performs across traditional endpoints, mobile devices and cloud applications to make it easier to see and stop all threats to sensitive data. For more than 10 years, it has enabled data-rich organizations to protect their most valuable assets with an on premise deployment or an outsourced managed security program (MSP). Digital Guardian’s unique data awareness and transformative endpoint visibility, combined with behavioral threat detection and response, let you protect data without slowing the pace of your business. To learn more please visit https://digitalguardian.com.
1 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Content-Aware Data Loss Prevention, Eric Ouellet, December 12, 2013
Kurt Salmon Acquires Mobispoke
Global management consultancy Kurt Salmon announced today the acquisition of digital retail technology agency Mobispoke LLC, the innovation engine behind such technologies as smart fitting rooms, integrated mobile apps and other leading-edge, interactive shopping experience technologies.
The acquisition evolved from a longstanding relationship during which Kurt Salmon and Mobispoke have provided leading national retailers the strategic guidance and tools necessary to bring 1:1 Retailing to life in an omnichannel world. The combination of technology and strategy has allowed top retailers, including Bloomingdale’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Puma, to integrate and personalize consumers’ physical and digital customer experiences across the Web, mobile, social channels, and brick-and-mortar locations.
Following the acquisition, Mobispoke will rebrand as Kurt Salmon Digital and will continue to operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Kurt Salmon. The transaction is expected to complete within the next few weeks.
“Bringing Mobispoke’s cutting-edge digital capabilities in-house under the Kurt Salmon brand continues our drive to help clients best implement the innovative technologies that are the future of omnichannel retail,” said Brooks Kitchel, managing partner for North America and the Global Retail and Consumer Group at Kurt Salmon. “This strategic acquisition opens up some really exciting avenues to push the envelope and develop new technologies and transformative strategies that will help us secure success for what’s next for our clients.”
Under the Kurt Salmon Digital brand, Mobispoke will continue to work with its existing market-leading retail clientele while augmenting the suite of services that is offered under the Kurt Salmon brand more broadly. As Kurt Salmon Digital, Rob Howard will lead the organization, while Eric Shea and Andrew Wong will remain on board to continue driving digital innovation and client services.
“We’re thrilled to be joining the Kurt Salmon team and to bring our digital development and deployment knowledge to their client base,” remarked Andrew Wong, co-founder and VP of Client Services at Mobispoke. “We’ve been working so closely with the team on the 1:1 Retailing concept over the past year that this really feels like the natural evolution of our partnership together.”
Skyworks to Acquire PMC-Sierra for $2 Billion in Cash
Skyworks Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: SWKS), an innovator of high performance analog semiconductors connecting people, places and things, and PMC-Sierra, Inc. (PMC) (NASDAQ: PMCS), a semiconductor and software solutions leader in storage, optical and mobile networks, today announced a definitive agreement under which Skyworks will acquire PMC for $10.50 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $2 billion. This acquisition solidifies Skyworks' position as a highly diversified analog, RF and mixed signal semiconductor leader by significantly expanding its product portfolio, customer base and end market applications. Upon completion of the acquisition, Skyworks expects annual revenues of more than $4 billion with gross margin in the 55 percent range and operating margin exceeding 40 percent.
ezCater Closes $28M Funding Round
ezCater Closes $28M Funding Round to Further its Leadership Position as the Only Nationwide Marketplace for Business Catering
Insight Venture Partners Leads Series C Round Supporting the Dominant Player in the Rapidly Growing $19.6 Billion Business Catering Market
BOSTON, Mass. – October 6, 2015 – ezCater, the only nationwide marketplace for business catering, today announced that it has closed a $28 million Series C round of venture funding led by Insight Venture Partners with participation from existing investors. The round, which brings ezCater’s total funding to $35 million, will help the company scale to meet increasing demand from businesses of all sizes across the U.S., while accelerating the development of new features and functionality for its business catering marketplace.
ezCater, with more than 43,000 caterer and restaurant partners, helps business people easily find and order food online for meetings or events in every city and town in the United States. Today’s funding strengthens ezCater’s leadership position to further capitalize on the massive market for business catering – a market worth $19.6 billion in the U.S., according to the foodservice research firm Technomic.
“What makes ezCater unique comes down to three things – guaranteed reliability, nationwide coverage, and 5-star service,” said Stefania Mallett, co-founder and CEO of ezCater. “Our caterers are rated for on-time delivery and accuracy, so you can be confident you won’t be embarrassed waiting for food at your meeting. We have caterers everywhere, and you can call if you don’t see what you want online. If anything comes up with an order, a call, email or text to our customer service ninjas is all it takes. We’ll handle it while you get back to business. Those are the reasons we’ve been growing exponentially. With the new funding, we’ll grow even faster.”
ezCater’s customers include organizations of all sizes, in all industries – from Fortune 500 companies to local startups, in markets as diverse as construction, finance, and pharmaceuticals. Business people use ezCater to place orders 24 hours a day and up to 365 days in advance of any sales call, training, or other business meeting or event. They have access to nearly 300,000 reviews and on-time delivery ratings to help guide their choices. ezCater’s 5-star-rated customer service team provides users a backstop in case they need any assistance at all.
ezCater also appeals to finance, accounting, and procurement groups in larger organizations by offering enterprise-class visibility and controls. Companies with a large salesforce or offices nationwide can centralize payment and gain deeper insights into their spending on food for meetings. In addition, individual users can connect ezCater to their expense reporting system to centralize e-receipts and make expense management easier.
“Food is becoming an increasingly important part of business culture. In many industries, it’s harder and harder to drag decision-makers out to lunch; it’s easier to get them to listen to you for a few minutes if you feed them and their team. In addition, there’s a crop of younger workers who expect to be fed in the office,” said Jeff Lieberman, managing director at Insight Venture Partners. “ezCater is in a unique position to capitalize on these social trends and the expectations of the on-demand economy. They’re the only player that can address the entire $19.6 billion market for business catering in the U.S., and this funding will help them extend an already impressive service.”
ezCater is the only nationwide marketplace for business catering. ezCater’s online ordering, on-time ratings and reviews, and 5-star customer service connect businesspeople to reliable catering for any meeting, anywhere in the United States. For more information or to place an order, visit www.ezcater.com.
--- RELATED: Could ezCater, the Expedia of Business Catering, be the Next Billion Dollar Company? ---
Censio Closes $10 Million Series A Financing
Censio Announces Close of $10 Million Series A Financing
From General Catalyst Partners, Bain Capital Ventures and Lakestar Funds will be used to hire additional talent in engineering and data science to expand the company’s big data platform to make driving safer and more affordable
BOSTON (October 6, 2016) Censio, a technology company that uses proprietary software and big data to make driving safer and more affordable, today announced it has closed on a $10 million Series A round of funding. The round, which was led by General Catalyst Partners and included funding from Bain Capital Ventures and Lakestar brings total equity capital raised to more than $13 million. The funding will enable Censio to continue developing its leading Usage Based Insurance (UBI) applications and services for the world’s largest insurance carriers in the U.S. and in Europe.
“New cars are safer than they’ve ever been, but drivers face an increasing array of distractions behind the wheel. As a result, distracted driving is becoming a leading cause of car accidents,” said Scott Griffith, former Chairman and CEO of Zipcar and a co-founder of Censio. “At Censio, we’re using technology and big data to turn the mobile phone into a force for good by helping drivers see, understand and change risky driving behavior. At the same time, our insurance company partners are better enabled to offer new pricing and product alternatives based on actual driving behavior.”
Driving accidents are a leading cause of death for people under the age of 34, with distracted driving accounting for 80 percent of all accidents. The prevalence of distracted driving is upending the traditional mechanisms insurance companies have used to measure risk. Censio was founded on the notion that technology can help people become better drivers and to help insurance companies understand and manage new risks that come with the increased use of technology while driving.
Censio offers a turnkey UBI platform for the insurance industry. Its solution includes a downloadable mobile app that captures and helps improve driver behavior; a big data platform that provides clean, comprehensive driving records, driver scores and analytics; and a management and analytics dashboard that allows an insurance company UBI team and customer service representatives to deploy, manage and track a UBI program.
“We’ve already built an incredible team with some of the most talented and driven data scientists, engineers and product developers. In the coming year, we expect to double in size as we scale both the company and platform to meet customer demand, and help insurers grow their business and realize the full potential of the Usage Based Insurance opportunity,” said Kevin Farrell, Censio’s President.
Censio offers its solution to insurance companies seeking to reduce costs, develop new insurance products and/or improve their risk assessment capabilities. By distinguishing between safe and risky drivers and rewarding safe drivers with discounts on their premiums, insurance companies reduce claims costs, attract new and retain existing customers. Because Censio’s primary data source is a driver’s phone and not hardware installed in the car, implementation and administration costs for the insurer are cut by more than 50 percent compared to hardware-based UBI solutions, further increasing the financial performance while improving the consumer attractiveness of the UBI program.
In September 2015, after an 18-month competition among 11 companies, Progressive Insurance announced it had selected Censio as the sole provider to power its mobile UBI program. Censio and Progressive are currently rolling out the technology to a select number of Progressive customers.
Censio uses big data to make driving safer and more affordable. Headquartered in Boston, Mass., its technology platform enables insurance companies to distinguish between safe and risky drivers, reward safe drivers with discounts on their insurance, and revolutionize the industry by enabling pricing based on actual driving behavior. Censio delivers its Software as a Service (SaaS) solution through leading insurers, saving lives and making roads safer for millions of users around the world. The company’s lead investor is General Catalyst Partners, where Censio co-founder Scott Griffith is an Executive in Residence. More information is available at www.cens.io.
Cengage Learning Acquires Learning Objects
Cengage Learning, a leading global education company, today announced the acquisition of Learning Objects, a Washington, D.C.-based education technology company. Learning Objects powers innovative, customized and adaptive online learning programs and courses to higher education institutions through its state-of-the-art learning platform and instructional design services. With Learning Objects, institutions are able to quickly create both competency-based and traditional online programs and courses integrating publisher content, open educational resources, faculty content and other ed tech vendors’ tools.
“Over the last few years, we have successfully established MindTap as the leading course-level digital solution in the market. At this stage, we were looking for a partner that accelerates our strategy of broadening our offering from course solutions to a full-service online program experience, which many institutions are asking for,” said Michael Hansen, Chief Executive Officer, Cengage Learning. “We found that partner in Learning Objects, whose team shares our vision of how the market is evolving. Their expertise in working with institutional customers to deliver a customized solution that meets their unique needs helps us continue to enrich the relationship between educators and students to advance the way students learn.”
“This next chapter in our company’s growth allows us to accelerate our efforts to transform and improve student learning. By combining Learning Objects’ technology and learning services expertise with Cengage Learning’s extensive faculty and student relationships, market-leading content, and unique MindTap platform, we can provide a transformational offering,” said Derek Hamner, Chief Executive Officer, Learning Objects.
Hansen added, “Students will have more educational choices. Our MindTap customers will gain new functionality. In short, with this acquisition, we will better serve institutions looking to grow the impact and reach of their programs.”
Learning Objects complements Cengage Learning’s existing portfolio of award-winning course solutions and enables the company to take advantage of the momentum toward competency-based learning, adaptive learning and open educational resources. In addition, Cengage Learning will be able to offer instructors and institutions a content-agnostic platform with flexible program-level curriculum development and delivery models and a unified learner experience. Cengage Learning will also be able to serve as a preferred technology partner for other publishers seeking new and innovative content delivery solutions.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. For media questions, please contact Kristina Massari at email@example.com orSusan Aspey at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Cengage Learning
Cengage Learning is a leading educational content, technology and services company for the higher education and K-12, professional and library markets worldwide. The company provides superior content, personalized services and course-driven digital solutions that accelerate student engagement and transform the learning experience. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Boston, MA with an office hub located in San Francisco, CA. Cengage Learning employees reside in nearly 40 different countries with company sales in more than 125 countries around the world. www.cengage.com.
About Learning Objects
Learning Objects is a learning innovation partner with higher education and learning science expertise. We design and build innovative programs, courses and learning experiences. Using Difference Engine®, our next generation learning environment and tools, we collaborate with institutions and other education providers to deliver competency-based, personalized and adaptive learning at scale.
Workable Raises $27M
Workable, the startup that’s changing the way small businesses hire, raised $27 million in a Series B round led by Balderton Capital with the participation of Notion Capital and existing investors 83North (formerly Greylock IL). An emerging member of Boston’s B2B software scene, Workable grew five-fold in the last year.
Workable delivers a simple but powerful cloud-based solution for employers who need to post jobs, track candidates and hire as a team. It will use the funding to seal its place as America’s favourite hiring software. More than 3,000 businesses in 52 countries actively use the service today, a customer list that’s growing by 15% every month.
“The need to recruit great people and to do it quickly and efficiently affects businesses of all sizes. Workable have done an extremely impressive job of building a solution for SMBs that leapfrogs the cumbersome methods that came before it,” said Daniel Waterhouse, General Partner at Balderton Capital. “We are incredibly excited to be backing two terrific European entrepreneurs and their amazing team, as Workable take the next step on their journey”.
As well as companies changing up from clunky and outdated HR systems, hundreds of ambitious businesses are joining Workable every month, many of which have never used hiring software before.
“Big companies have been using heavyweight applicant tracking systems for decades”, said Workable CEO, Nikos Moraitakis. “But the majority of America’s 22 million small businesses have not yet tried hiring software. With no solution made for their needs, they were disadvantaged in a function that’s critical for every business”.
“Workable is levelling the playing field for them, giving ambitious companies the chance to compete for talent”.
Tim Sackett, the recruiting tech expert, popular HR blogger and president of $40 million staffing agency HRU Technical Resources, said: “I’ve used a lot of recruiting solutions in my career, but Workable may be the most intuitive and easy to use right out of the box”.
“Workable gets recruiting and keeps it to what it is, or what it should be, which is simple. This is why it works so well for SMBs”.
All kinds of businesses, from creative agencies and tech startups to small hotels and hair salons, are finding they can save time and hire better with Workable.
Typical of these first-time users is Alexander Meeks from the New York-based engineering firm, Armand Corporation: “Before Workable, our firm used a combination of email and Excel,” he said. “Workable did everything we needed at a reasonable, scalable price and with a superior, simple user interface. We will never go back.”
Flywire Acquires Uni-Pay
Flywire (formerly peerTransfer), the leading provider of global payment solutions for the education industry, today announced it has acquired UK tuition processor Uni-Pay. Uni-Pay offers tuition payment services to students attending 60 educational institutions in the UK, the second leading destination for foreign students studying abroad.
Uni-Pay clients include University of Durham, University of Leeds, Manchester Metropolitan University, Liverpool John Moores University, Kings Education, Bell Educational Services and University of Liverpool. The company’s six Warrington-based employees will join Flywire, which began operating in the UK two years ago.
With the acquisition, Flywire will now serve over 120 UK-based educational clients, making it the clear market leader in the UK. Worldwide, the company now provides payment processing of international tuition, room and board payments, on an exclusive basis, for over 800 schools across 12 countries. The company, which raised $22M in early 2015 to accelerate its international growth, is on-track to process $2 billion in tuition payments this academic year. The company recently announced it was changing its name from peerTransfer to Flywire, as it seeks to become the global standard for important, large-sum payments that cross borders. In July, the company announced its expansion into China, the world’s largest market for students studying abroad.
Flywire provides an easy-to-use, cost-effective and secure way for international students to pay their tuition and other expenses at educational institutions located primarily in the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Its cloud-based solution and growing payment volumes enable the firm to provide discounted currency conversion rates that can result in significant savings vs. the rates offered by banks in students’ home countries. Educational providers can offer a range of multi-currency payment options including bank transfers, credit/debit cards, and online banking.
“We are delighted to have Uni-Pay’s outstanding slate of educational clients join the Flywire community, and to be able to offer the industry’s #1 international payment platform to them,” said Mike Massaro, CEO of Flywire. “We’ve worked hard to earn our reputation for providing outstanding customer service and industry-leading technology to students and educational institutions around the world. The considerable experience and talents of the Uni-Pay employees joining our team will add greatly to our capabilities and further solidify that reputation.”
“This is truly a win-win-win situation for international students, educational institutions and the Uni-Pay/Flywire teams,” said Paul Kennedy, acting CEO of Uni-Pay. “Our clients and their students gain access to Flywire’s best-in-class foreign exchange rates, 24/7 multi-lingual servicing capabilities and broad choice of payment options. And the joint team is uniquely positioned to expand the success of Flywire here in the UK and across Europe.”
Uni-Pay has previously been operating as a subsidiary of Collective Enterprises Ltd. (CEL), owner of business services companies based in Warrington, UK.
Flywire, formerly peerTransfer, is the leading provider of global payment solutions for the education industry, providing processing, tracking and reconciliation services for over 800 educational institutions worldwide. The company offers an easy-to-use, economical payment experience for international students from over 200 countries and territories. Using local bank transfers, online payments, and credit and debit cards denominated in local currencies, students can more easily and confidently pay for their international tuition, room and board at educational institutions around the world. Flywire’s discounted currency conversion rates can offer significant savings compared to home-market banks and credit card providers and the company offers outstanding customer service and payment monitoring for both students and universities. Brown University, Cornell, MIT, University of Miami, University of Massachusetts–Amherst and University of Western Australia are just some of the schools offering the service to their international students.
Flywire is headquartered in Boston and has operations in Europe, Asia and Australia. For more information, visit www.peerTransfer.com (soon to become www.flywire.com).
NewStore Has Raised $38 Million
Boston, MA – September 30, 2015 – NewStore, Inc.
establishes the definitive Mobile Retail Platform
. As the future of retail shifts to mobile, brands struggle to maintain a profitable omnichannel presence. NewStore solves this issue by introducing a groundbreaking, high-conversion mobile commerce solution that unifies offline and online buying experiences. The company was founded by Stephan Schambach, an early ecommerce pioneer and founder of Demandware and Intershop. Including investments from Schambach and the NewStore management team, NewStore has raised $38 million, with General Catalyst Partners as the lead investor.
Brick-and-mortar retailers and brands face fundamental challenges as the rapidly growing mobile commerce market evolves: (1) Mobile conversion is only a fourth of desktop web browsing, (2) offline and online commerce are still fundamentally at odds, (3) Amazon has a virtual monopoly on convenience, and (4) mobile offers new forms of engagement that retailers have yet to leverage. Rather than retrofit legacy systems to address these issues, NewStore has built a commerce platform from the ground up, focused on mobile first.
The NewStore Mobile Retail Platform creates a cloud- and mobile-based innovation layer that elegantly integrates stores' existing ecommerce platforms such as Demandware, as well as ERP systems, without requiring major retooling at the backend. NewStore helps brands create closer, more profitable relationships with consumers through its platform that allows brands to provide unrivaled mobile convenience, foster deep consumer engagement, and boost sales.
“Retailers have seen an increase in mobile traffic, yet conversion rates remain low. This means mobile has untapped potential for retailers, and that’s where NewStore comes in,” said Stephan Schambach, Founder and CEO, NewStore. “As a serial entrepreneur who has capitalized on the major turning points in ecommerce, it’s clear to me that mobile represents the next major inflection point. What’s more, mobile is the only way to truly master omnichannel. The combination of mobile and omnichannel into a single, powerful, and customizable retail platform will shatter expectations for mobile commerce, making mobile shopping apps more popular than traditional ecommerce websites.”
LLX Global Business Services SA, part of JAB Holding S.a.r.l. and provider of business services to JAB brands Jimmy Choo, Bally, and Belstaff, is the first NewStore customer. “As part of larger efforts to enhance the consumer experience, we’re adopting the NewStore ‘mobile-first’ approach,” said Mark West, CEO of LLX Global Business Services SA “The NewStore Mobile Retail Platform helps us focus on accelerating revenue growth through brand desirability and unparalleled consumer convenience. It addresses the most substantial issue facing luxury retailers today: meeting the needs of demanding mobile consumers.”
Mobile consumers expect the ability to purchase anything, anywhere and at any time. NewStore is helping brands get their apps into the consumer’s pocket and break the boundaries of offline and online. By transforming today’s linear commerce experience, the NewStore platform reimagines the buyer’s journey as borderless, in which personalized, instant gratification is possible with one single touch.
“Looking at the NewStore model and its Mobile Retail Platform, there is no direct competition in the market. There are piece-players making attempts to address the mobile paradigm shift for retail, but no one has yet tied it all together as Stephan has done with NewStore,” said Larry Bohn, General Partner at General Catalyst Partners and Board Member, NewStore. “We’ve worked closely with Stephan as he brought his vision to life at Demandware, and from our unique vantage point, he is ready to reinvent an industry once again with NewStore.”
“The share of purchases initiated or influenced by mobile devices is growing in tandem with skyrocketing usage. Yet, the majority of mobile browsers fail to convert on the spot, due to a dearth of seamless mobile checkout solutions,” said Scott Galloway, Founder and Chairman, L2 and Board Member, NewStore. “NewStore eases the last part of that shopping journey and unifies it with the rest, fostering brand engagement and loyalty.”
Join Stephan Schambach for a webinar on October 27 where he will share how to future proof your brand against disrupting retail trends. Register here. Meet Schambach at the Shop.org conference – NewStore will be in booth #863.
NewStore provides the only mobile retail platform that promotes conversion, boosts engagement, unifies offline and online, and modernizes fulfillment. Working as a Demandware Link Partner and in conjunction with existing ecommerce platforms, NewStore allows brands to deliver a mobile-first retail experience designed around how consumers want to buy today — anywhere, anytime, with single touch simplicity. Founded by Stephan Schambach, creator of Intershop and Demandware, NewStore is headquartered in Boston. For more information, visit www.newstore.com.
Intronis, Inc. Acquired by Barracuda
Barracuda Networks, Inc. (NYSE: CUDA) today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately held Intronis, Inc. (Intronis), a leader in providing data protection solutions to managed service providers (MSPs), a fast-growing channel delivering IT services to small and medium-sized businesses.This acquisition is expected to greatly expand Barracuda’s channel reach with the addition of nearly 2,000 MSPs and a purpose-built platform designed to streamline how MSPs service the data protection needs of their customers. The transaction is expected to close in Barracuda’s fiscal third quarter.
“The Intronis team has built a strong reputation for delivering a platform that was designed to meet the evolving needs of MSPs. Barracuda and Intronis share a commitment to simplicity, customer experience, and the channel. We believe a larger opportunity exists to add Barracuda’s award-winning security and data protection solutions to the Intronis platform to expand its offerings. This will allow Intronis’ MSP partners to address the broader needs of their customers,” said BJ Jenkins, CEO and President of Barracuda. "Barracuda has a rich history of innovation – with our subscription services, SaaS offerings, and public cloud focus, and this transaction builds on those successes. It also allows us to expand our market reach, and to offer compelling IT solutions no matter how customers want to consume them.”
Organizations continue to explore ways to increase efficiencies in their IT infrastructure.
In fact, according to CompTIA’s 4th Annual Managed Services Trends Survey1, there is a growing number of customers looking to MSPs to procure, deploy, and manage their IT initiatives. Specifically, 72% of respondents use an MSP for backup/disaster recovery initiatives, while 68% rely on their MSP for their security initiatives.
At the same time, a growing number of traditional VAR partners are embracing the MSP model as a platform to better address the requirements of their customers. With the addition of Intronis, Barracuda will be better positioned to address these requirements with its simplified pricing, delivery and support platform that makes it easier for MSPs to manage their customers’ network, security and data protection needs.
Additional highlights include:
- Purpose-Built MSP Platform – Intronis’ growth in the MSP market is driven by its Intronis ECHOplatform, which many of its MSP partners use as the foundation of their managed services business, and traditional VARs have used to accelerate their transition into becoming managed service providers. Closely integrated with the major Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) providers, the Intronis ECHOplatform enables MSPs to easily deploy and manage data protection services for their end customers with comprehensive reporting, centralized account management, and consolidated billing.
- Expanded Customer Opportunity – Research from Markets and Markets2 finds that the annual growth rate of the SMB managed services market will exceed 20% over the next five years. Intronis’ technology and processes deliver an efficient way to better reach those customers, providing the ability for Barracuda to accelerate growth in this market.
- Extended Channel Reach – Intronis’ MSP experience and award-winning infrastructure expand Barracuda’s channel reach in the newer, fast-growing MSP partner segment. This includes the nearly 2,000 MSPs that partner with Intronis today, of which less than 10% overlap with existing active Barracuda partners. Further, many key elements of the managed services market are forecast to grow at double-digit rates according to Gartner3, representing significant opportunities for MSPs to support their clients’ cloud migration plans and their IT service deployment, management and security needs. Barracuda’s award-winning security and data protection products, including Barracuda’s Office 365 offerings, can be adapted over time to take advantage of the current Intronis channel, as well as enable international expansion of the current Intronis offerings.
“We’ve invested heavily in developing and maintaining strong relationships with our MSP channel, which is reinforced by our platform designed to simplify how our partners manage their offerings,” said Rick Faulk, CEO of Intronis. “We are looking forward to working with the Barracuda team as part of the dedicated MSP business to further drive Intronis to the next phase of our growth as we begin to expand our MSP footprint internationally and increase our ability to bring a broader suite of technology products and services to our MSP partners.”
With its focus on the MSP channel since 2009, Intronis has grown to service the needs of nearly 2,000 MSP partners who manage the IT requirements for more than 36,000 customers. Intronis partners rely on the combination of its centralized management portal, PSA and RMM integrations, simplified pricing structure, as well as its award-winning partner support to simplify their data protection and management infrastructure.
"As a long-standing partner of Intronis and Barracuda, we have always appreciated both companies' commitment to our success,” said Eric Janson, President of Parallel Edge. “Intronis’ focus on simplifying how I deliver solutions ensures that I am efficiently providing high quality services to my customers, and Barracuda’s comprehensive, easy-to-use portfolio allows me to address a broad set of customer challenges, efficiently and cost effectively. I believe this combination will further help partners like us create new opportunities to serve the IT needs of our customers even more effectively as we expand our business."
IBM Plans to Acquire Meteorix
IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced plans to acquire Meteorix LLC, a premier Workday (NYSE: WDAY) services partner, to help companies gain new competitive advantage by aligning people with financial performance and redefine work with the speed and simplicity of cloud-delivered finance and HR services.
Executives are under increased pressure to make the best possible decisions faster and with more predictable outcomes to drive growth and competitive advantage. Companies are looking for new ways to attract, engage, develop and support employees amidst the fierce global competition for top talent. Advancements in cloud, mobile, analytics and cognitive computing allow both finance and HR executives to operate with a more complete, real-time picture of their organization.
Verndale Acquires Dustland
Verndale Acquires Dustland to Create One of the Largest Independent Marketing Technology Agencies in the Industry
Acquisition expands Verndale’s global presence and their ability to offer unmatched strategic, creative and technical services.
Verndale, the marketing technology agency that is pioneering the way people and brands connect, today announced that it has acquired Dustland, one of the fastest growing digital agencies in Los Angeles. With the acquisition, Verndale expands on its already robust capabilities and service offerings, deepening its ability to design, implement and manage virtually any branded customer experience on any channel, device or technology platform. Verndale also increases its headcount by 20 percent, making it one of the largest independent marketing technology agencies in the U.S., with almost 200 full-time employees in six offices across the country and two internationally.
“We are committed to tirelessly evolving and expanding Verndale's capabilities so that our clients can stay ahead of the wants and needs of their own customers,” said Chris Pisapia, co-founder and managing partner of Verndale. “Being the first call for brands who want to more meaningfully engage with their customers is a testament to Verndale’s ability to deliver user-centric experiences that cross channel, device and geography. At the same time, the technology backbone must be in place to tightly manage these experiences. With the addition of Dustland's exceptionally talented team, we provide our clients with all this and more. Brands who want to evolve and transform faster than their competitors need to look no further than Verndale.”
Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Boston, Verndale has a successful track record designing, building and evolving customer experiences for global brands like Stanley Black and Decker, SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment and Carnival Cruise Lines. Dustland has implemented digital experiences for marketing trailblazers like HBO, Volkswagen, Visa and Taco Bell. From Dustland, Verndale gains leading creative and mobile application development talent, and expands its geographical footprint to both the western region of the United States and Quito, Ecuador. The combined company will have strong capabilities in marketing strategy, creative design services and back-end development and implementation, strongly positioning it to compete with other top digital marketing agencies. Growing rapidly, Verndale expects to double revenue in 2015 as compared to 2014.
According to Gartner, by 2020 the customer is expected to manage 85 percent of its relationship with an enterprise, bypassing human interaction. This makes the quality and reliability of the customer experience paramount to the success of a business. A long-time Sitecore platinum partner and one of the first EPiServer partners in the United States, Verndale offers unparalleled strategy, experience design, technology and post-launch managed services. Further, it understands the operational, organizational and technological demands an enterprise faces when it extends and manages sophisticated customer experiences. Verndale can work across both centralized and siloed business units to create a cohesive backend strategy that both technology and marketing departments can champion.
“The marketing technology agency space is extremely crowded as marketers race to take advantage of the newest digital and mobile innovations that will help them engage and retain their coveted audiences, but few agencies set up brands to do this well. Verndale stood out to me because it blends strategic, creative and technological expertise in a way that is unmatched,” said Minh Le, CEO of Dustland. “I’m thrilled to combine our all-star team with theirs and have full confidence that our teams will together change the way people and brands connect for the better.”
Dustland and its employees are now part of Verndale and will continue to operate from its Los Angeles office. Le will join Verndale’s leadership team as a managing partner running the west coast operations. He is an industry veteran who before founding Dustland, worked at Razorfish and has experience leading large scale projects for clients such as Singapore Airlines, Ingram Micro, Intermec, Sony, DaVita and Viking River Cruises.
Verndale is the marketing technology agency that brands call when they want to connect with their customers in a more meaningful way. It designs, builds and evolves digital experiences that mid-sized and Fortune 500 companies use to bring their products and services to life for their always-on customers. Offering unparalleled strategy, experience design, technology and post-launch managed services, Verndale works across departments and platforms to create and sustain cohesive experiences that both marketing and technology leaders love. One of the largest independent agencies in the industry, Verndale is headquartered in Boston with five additional offices across the U.S. It counts some of the most recognizable brands in the world as customers including Stanley Black and Decker, The Ohio State University and Carnival Cruise Lines. For more information, visit www.verndale.com
Dustland is a Los Angeles based digital agency with a rare combination of creative and technology talents that enable the company to deliver compelling brand experiences that build equity and maximize the effectiveness of the digital channel. As a certified Sitecore Partner, Dustland focuses on the successful planning and implementation of customer experience solutions. Our clients include Great Clips, Honda, VW, Cisco, UCLA, USC and The Ohio State University.
Renoviso Raises $1.4M Seed Round
Boston, MA -- Renoviso, a service that aims to completely transform the way consumers complete home renovation projects with a transparent ecommerce shopping experience, today announced it has closed a $1.4 million seed round. The round is led by NextView Ventures with RRE Ventures, Accomplice's BOSS Syndicate, NextGen Angels, Wayfair CEO Niraj Shah, Fabrice Grinda, and other well-known local angels participating.
Renoviso enables homeowners to easily buy professionally installed home renovation products, starting with window replacements. Homeowners can get real-time customized pricing online in minutes for their project including premium quality products, professional measurement and installation, and a modern stress-free experience -- all at a great value. Unlike online alternatives, this solution handles the entire process for the homeowner rather than just directing consumers to service providers.
“Completing any home renovation project can be painful and frustrating but it doesn’t have to be. Starting with replacing your windows, we aim to create a much simpler and more transparent experience that homeowners will love. We’re excited to have the support of such highly regarded investors who believe in our ambitious vision,” said Eric Horndahl, CEO & Co-Founder. “This funding will allow us to build a world-class team, expand our core offering into new product categories and geographies, and continue to innovate on the customer experience.”
Horndahl and co-founder Brian Waldman started the company to address the antiquated, time-consuming, and stressful process of completing home renovation projects, which was inspired by the very frustrating experience that Horndahl went through to upgrade his windows. The two co-founders have a long track record of building high-growth online businesses including BuyerZone, Cayan, eBay, and FlipKey (TripAdvisor).
“At NextView, we’ve long-held the view that an increasing number of high-ticket, enduring goods are being purchased on the web”, said David Beisel of NextView Ventures. “Renoviso fits perfectly into that thesis and seamlessly solves a very real problem for the large number of homeowners who are upgrading their homes.”
For more information on Renoviso, please visit www.renoviso.com.
Acquia Closes $55 Million Financing Round
Acquia has closed a $55 million equity financing round. New investor Centerview Capital Technology led the round, with support from existing investors includingNew Enterprise Associates (NEA) andSplit Rock Partners. This funding will help Acquia scale its sales and marketing and the development of its solutions for building, delivering, and optimizing digital experiences.
“At Acquia, we pride ourselves on guiding today’s leading organizations as they digitalize their business,” said Acquia CEO Tom Erickson. “The phrase, ‘If you’re not thinking ahead, you’re falling behind,’ rings ever so true for us, and we strive each day to help our customers stay ahead of the curve and provide amazing digital experiences. This investment in Acquia will enable our team to focus on doing what we do best, helping our customers achieve maximum business impact by delivering digital experiences that are flexible, agile, and open.”
Acquia is a leading provider of web content management solutions, most recently recognized in Gartner’s 2015 Magic Quadrant for Web Content Management. Delivering the best digital experience is no longer optional; it’s the new mandate. Global organizations turn to Acquia to provide technical expertise and strategic insight to build, deliver, and optimize digital experiences that build brand engagement and ultimately drive the bottom line.
“We are delighted to partner with Acquia, the industry leading web-content management solutions company” said Ned Hooper, managing partner at Centerview Capital Technology. “We are strong believers in the massive opportunity in digital transformation for the enterprise, and believe that Acquia, with its technology leadership and strong management team, is uniquely positioned to lead this transformation.”
Acquia is the digital experience company. Intuit, Warner Music Group and Stanford University are among the more than 4,000 organizations that are transforming their digital businesses with Acquia’s open cloud platform. Global 2000 enterprises, government agencies and NGOs rely on Acquia to create new revenue streams, lower costs, and engage audiences more deeply through content, community, commerce and context.
Amino Raises $6.5M
Per TechCrunch, Amino, a startup that’s built 41 different mobile community apps (so far), is announcing that it has raised $6.5 million in Series A funding. READ MORE
SevOne Announces $50 Million Financing Round
World’s largest network and data center operators rely upon SevOne to manage virtualization, cloud, IoT, and mobile Internet initiatives
Boston, MA – September 23, 2015 – SevOne, the leading global provider of digital infrastructure management solutions, today announced a $50 million Series C financing round led by Westfield Capital Management and Bain Capital Ventures. Brookside
Capital, HarbourVest, VT Technology Ventures, and Osage Venture Partners also participated in this round. SevOne will use the financing to accelerate its growth through new technologies and markets, meeting the growing demands of organizations transforming their business for the always-on mobile economy and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The funding comes at a time when mobility sits at the heart of a new and vibrant ecosystem that is uniting the digital and physical worlds. New mobile and broadband connectivity, coupled with ever-expanding virtualized cloud services, are driving the mobile economy and creating a flood of data. Organizations are continually under pressure to interpret this data to unlock real-time business opportunities, reveal competitive differentiators, or optimize everyday operations. Legacy management solutions weren’t built for the mobile economy, and simply can’t provide the power required to deliver real-time insight and business value. The patented SevOne Cluster™ architecture solves this fundamental problem, arming the world’s top carriers and enterprises with solutions to harness the power of their digital infrastructure and deliver on the promise of the mobile economy.
“We are thrilled to invest in SevOne and help them continue on their rapid growth trajectory,” said Will Muggia, CEO of Westfield Capital Management. “We believe their massively scalable data aggregation platform, which is being used by the world’s largest enterprises and service providers, is highly differentiated and disruptive to the digital infrastructure management market.”
Bain Capital Ventures originally invested in SevOne in 2012. The funding fueled the expansion of the company’s alliance network and product ecosystem to support the customer journey to new mobile technologies (4G LTE) and the rapid adoption of virtualization technologies such as software-defined networks (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), and software-defined data centers (SDDC). Since that time, SevOne has matured its global leadership position in several key markets, including:
- 40% of the top technology companies
- 50% of the top fixed and mobile broadband carriers
- 60% of the top investment services firms
“SevOne’s patented architecture is transforming the way the world’s largest enterprises and service providers are managing their digital infrastructure,” said Ben Nye, Managing Director at Bain Capital Ventures. “The company’s rapid growth is driven by forward-thinking companies needing to collect all the data across their end-to-end digital infrastructure in support of mission-critical services.”
SevOne is poised for another year of rapid growth. The company continues to invest in its Delaware roots, constructing a 48,000 square foot, state-of-the-art research and development center on the University of Delaware's Science, Technology and Advanced Research (STAR) Campus in Newark, Delaware. The STAR campus facility opens in October, and will build upon the company’s vision of developing next-generation technologies and pushing the boundaries of digital infrastructure management for SevOne customers.
“The opportunities and challenges of managing digital infrastructures have never been greater,” said Jack Sweeney, SevOne CEO. “SevOne is uniquely positioned to capitalize upon this demand, allowing the world’s largest datacenter and network operators to unlock the true business potential of their digital infrastructure.”
WHOOP Closes $12M
WHOOP today announced the availability of its performance optimization system developed exclusively for elite athletes and teams to help them win more. In conjunction with the launch, the company also announced that it raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Two Sigma Ventures with participation from Mousse Partners, Accomplice, Promus Ventures, Valley Oak Investments, and NextView Ventures. The capital will be used to scale its business targeting professional and collegiate teams and to continue the development of next generation technology.
WHOOP continuously measures every athlete's strain and recovery, which helps balance training plans, prevent injury, and increase team performance. It is currently being used by athletes on teams across all major U.S. professional sports leagues and college conferences. Numerous Olympians are also using WHOOP to train for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
The WHOOP system includes a sleek wrist-worn strap that measures key strain and recovery variables more than 100 times per second, 24 hours a day. WHOOP’s proprietary algorithms then process this data to provide athletes an Intensity score, which informs them about the level of strain on their body and what it means; a Recovery score, which measures the body’s preparedness for strain or exertion; and a Sleep Performance score, which evaluates the hours of quality sleep an athlete got in relationship to the sleep he or she needed. The WHOOP system presents a team dashboard to coaches and trainers to help inform training and game day decisions.
“At the elite level, it’s no longer just about outworking your opponents to get an edge,” said Mike Mancias, the long-time athletic trainer for LeBron James, and now a WHOOP advisor. “In fact, research shows that 30 percent of athletes are overtrained, which can lead to injury and poor performance. It’s only by balancing intensity with recovery that athletes can optimize performance. WHOOP’s system and the data it provides helps me gain a better understanding of each of my individual athlete’s bodies, their capabilities, and their limitations, leading to better and safer athletic performance.”
How WHOOP Works
The WHOOP Strap is a device designed to be always on – worn by athletes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It collects more than 150 MB of physiological data per day based on five metrics:
- Heart Rate (HR) – Tracking and accurately reporting instantaneous heart rate.
- Heart Rate Variability (HRV) – Automatically analyzing, while an athlete is asleep, the tiniest variations in time between beats of his or her resting heart rate, providing detailed insights into the complex relationship of stresses on the body, cardiovascular health, and recovery.
- Skin Conductivity – Monitoring an athlete’s skin moisture, helping understand activity and sleep latency.
- Ambient Temperature – Combining observation of the environment in which an athlete is active with other sensor data to better understand his or her body’s response.
- Accelerometery & Motion – Knowing when and how an athlete is moving to understand not only his or her activity level but also refining the heart rate signal during exercise and providing insights into sleep quality.
That data is streamed via Bluetooth to a sophisticated analytics platform that analyzes Intensity, Recovery, and Sleep Performance. Coaches and trainers can view each athlete’s data on an easy-to-use team dashboard to determine what activities they have engaged in, how much strain they have placed on themselves, and how they have recovered. Coaches and trainers then can easily see which athletes are undertraining or which are overtraining and putting themselves at risk of an injury, resulting in improved individual and team performance. Sophisticated privacy settings allow teams to customize how data is shared between coaches and athletes as well as athletes with one another.
“Elite athletes require the highest level of body awareness,” said WHOOP CEO and founder Will Ahmed. “Given the slim margin between success and failure, it’s surprising that most athletes don’t really understand what they’re doing to their bodies. Even the fittest athletes are susceptible to overtraining, misinterpreting fitness peaks, and misconceptions around recovery and sleep. Coaches and trainers face the challenge of evaluating the status and training plans for 10, 20, or 50 athletes at a time.
“We built a system that is always on: continuously measuring the nuances of an athlete’s strain and recovery throughout the day,” continued Ahmed. “Our athletes and coaches know that they are making more informed decisions thanks to WHOOP; and with highly-tuned, well-established routines, they are loyal to products that service their discrete needs and help them reach the next level. These are the principles of our system’s design. From its comfortable, lightweight form factor to its privacy and security to its presentation of data, WHOOP was built from the ground up to empower elite athletes who need peak performance.”
WHOOP is working with teams across the NFL, NBA, NHL, Major League Baseball, Major League Soccer, and the English Premier League, along with several Olympic teams and trainers for some of the world’s most elite athletes, such as LeBron James and Michael Phelps. At the collegiate level, WHOOP is being used in all major conferences, including the SEC, Big 10, Pac 10, ACC, Big 12, and the Ivy League.
The WHOOP Strap is the first on the market that users can charge either on-the-go or during a night’s rest without having to be removed.
WHOOP is backed by an Advisory Board featuring some of the most influential names in health and technology.
“WHOOP is the first performance optimization system targeted exclusively at elite athletes, teams, coaches, and trainers,” said David Joerg, Managing Director at Two Sigma Ventures. "As a technology-driven investment manager, Two Sigma shares the WHOOP appreciation for the power of data. We’re excited to see the promise of advanced technology and analytics brought to the highest level of athletic competition.”
WHOOP is available immediately for professional, collegiate, and Olympic teams and athletes. For more information, please visit http://www.whoop.com.
WHOOP is the performance optimization system that helps elite athletes and teams win. WHOOP provides athletes, their coaches, and trainers with a continuous understanding of strain and recovery to balance training, reduce injuries, and predict performance. The system is currently being used by professional and collegiate athletes, Olympians, and the United States military. For more information, please visit http://www.whoop.com.
*Learn more about WHOOP and their Job Opportunities on their VentureFizz BIZZpage*
Chef Nightly Raises $1.5M
Per Xconomy, Chef Nightly has raised $1.5 million in seed funding. The round was led by Accomplice with participation by Fullstack Ventures, Kayak and Blade co-founder Paul English, DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins, and Bridge Boys. READ MORE from Xconomy
Alignable Raises $8M
Today, we’re thrilled to announce Alignable received an $8M investment led by Mayfield, a top silicon valley-based venture firm and existing investors Saturn Partners, NextView Ventures and Lead Edge Capital. They are committed to our mission of helping small businesses connect locally and grow together and with their support, we will grow our team and continue developing Alignable into the gathering place for small business owners like you.
Since launching 18 months ago, we’ve seen a half million small business connections made in 7 thousand communities nationwide on Alignable. And that is only the beginning! Our mission is to help all the communities in our network become thriving networks of small businesses helping each other reach more customers, share knowledge and overcome challenges together.
READ MORE from Alignable
ChoiceStream Raises $14 Million
ChoiceStream, a provider of programmatic advertising for brands and agencies, today finalized a $14 million Series C funding round. This round is led by a new investor, North Atlantic Capital, and includes follow on investments from previous investors. ChoiceStream will use the investment to further develop its successful managed services offering, launch an expanded self-service product to bring the power of programmatic into the hands of brands and agencies and boost the Company’s international expansion efforts.
“Over the last year we have taken a number of bold steps to establish ChoiceStream as a genuine technology leader in the hypercompetitive programmatic advertising industry,” said Eric Bosco, CEO, ChoiceStream. “As a company we have developed much of our foundational technology in house, which has been a significant advantage for our clients as well as the company. Our tremendous success that we’ve had with our clients, thanks to the effectiveness of our proprietary technology, has compelled our investment partners both new and old to double down on their investment in the company. We are excited to continue to execute on the plan that we started in 2011.”
The Series C investment marks ChoiceStream’s third financing round since the company’s 2011 transformation into a pure-play advertising technology company. ChoiceStream runs programmatic advertising campaigns for brand and agency clients, managing each phase of a campaign, from pre-launch planning to completion. Through the collection of poll-based, proprietary data specific to each client’s campaign, via Pollshare, ChoiceStream creates custom, targetable audiences, optimizes results in real-time and provides unique audience insight throughout each engagement. Leveraging world-class machine-learning algorithms, via the company’s Thunderdome programmatic optimization platform, in combination with a team of in-house industry experts, ChoiceStream boasts a client retention rate – well above the industry average.
“ChoiceStream’s singular approach to creating targeted branding and performance campaigns that both reach and move consumers makes them a disruptive force in the competitive advertising technology industry,” said David Coit, managing director, North Atlantic Capital. “We are strong believers in the leadership of ChoiceStream’s executive team, and combined with their impressive Pollshare and Thunderdome platforms, we fully believe that our partnership will be a successful one.”
ChoiceStream is a digital advertising partner that manages and optimizes targeted branding and performance campaigns to reach and move audiences that are easy to describe but hard to find. By qualifying audiences before a campaign begins and continuously refining targeting in real-time, this partner exceeds metrics and drives brand awareness. ChoiceStream streamlines complicated programmatic campaigns with a combination of its proprietary polling platform, optimization technology, dynamic creative, and dedicated team of industry experts. For more information, visit www.choicestream.com.
About North Atlantic Capital
North Atlantic Capital is a later stage venture capital firm based in Portland, Maine, investing in enterprise technology companies. North Atlantic provides creative financing structures to high growth companies with differentiated technologies that address large market opportunities. Established in 1986, North Atlantic is currently investing its fifth fund, raised in 2014. Past and current investments include iContact, IDEXX Laboratories, Tangoe, VideoBlocks, Vivisimo, Voxeo, and WEX. For more information on North Atlantic Capital and their current investment activities, visit www.northatlanticcapital.com.
Kyruus Raises $25 Million
SaaS-Based Referral Coordination Platform Addresses Unmet Patient Access Needs
Kyruus, a leading enterprise software company that helps hospitals optimize patient access and referral management, has raised $25 million in funding to further build its commercial team and support the rapid adoption of its ProviderMatch technology. The new funding round was led by New Leaf Venture Partners, with participation from Providence Health & Services, Leerink Capital Partners, and McKesson Ventures. They were joined by return investors Venrock, Highland Capital Partners, Lux Capital, and Fidelity Biosciences.
“In the past few years, we have watched patient access and provider matching rapidly become a ‘Top Three’ issue for health executives,” explains Sam Brasch, Venture Partner at New Leaf and the newest addition to the Kyruus Board. “Kyruus’ approach, which effectively focuses across both internal and consumer facing access points, has been used by some of the nation’s leading health systems to increase capacity utilization, reduce network leakage, and ultimately drive improved clinical outcomes by matching patients with the providers that best meet their individual needs.”
“Patient access has to be a top priority for any health system looking to engage consumers in their care,” noted Dr. Rod Hochman, president and CEO of Providence Health & Services – one of Kyruus’ leading enterprise customers. “Kyruus has been an excellent partner over the past year working with us to help patients find the right physician for their needs from our team of nearly 16,000 employed and affiliated physicians. Providence Venture’s investment in Kyruus fits our model of validating, piloting, collaborating, and investing with great technology partners to solve big problems in health care.”
In recent months, Kyruus has seen accelerated adoption and expansion of its solution at several leading health systems, including Keck Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC), Mercy Health in Ohio, Community Health Network in Indiana, and Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. Deployed throughout call centers, referring physician offices, and hospital websites, the company’s software now helps manage scheduling and referral management for more than 20,000 providers. Many of these health systems have seen productivity increases of 5-10% of their entire provider base while simultaneously ensuring that their patients get to the right provider the first time. Kyruus will use the financing to expand the size of its client development and implementation teams that work closely with these organizations to ensure that their patient access goals are met. Kyruus will also invest in expanding the surface area of its product platform, including its patient-facing search and online scheduling, network analytics, and patient CRM capabilities.
“By taking the ambiguity and hassle out of making the right referral and scheduling the right appointment, Kyruus’ platform helps ensure that patients get the right care at the right time and that health systems are utilizing resources efficiently,” says Tom Rodgers, SVP and Managing Director, McKesson Ventures. “Kyruus taps into a health system’s rich composite of data – including patient preferences, provider specialties, outcomes and availability – and optimizes its referral streams and scheduling activities, letting providers focus on delivering patient care.”
“Our vision is to help human beings better care for other human beings,” said Dr. Graham Gardner, CEO and Co-Founder of Kyruus. “Too often today, patients fail to get matched to the right provider for their healthcare needs. By taking a data-driven approach to understanding each provider’s unique set of skills, we can help make sure that patients are referred to the provider best qualified to care for their condition. When this match is made, patients, providers, and the health network all win.”