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Boombotix Raises $4M For Its Wearable Action Speakers And Audio Sync Software

Posted by on Feb 1, 2014 in funding, Gadgets | 0 comments

IMG_9543Kickstarter funding will often lead to the more traditional kind, and in the case of Boombotix, that’s exactly what happened. The California startup raised $17,000 for its music syncing app, which allows people to synchronize playback of music across multiple devices using mobile networks, and nearly $130,000 for its Boombot Rex mobile Bluetooth action-ready portable speaker. Now, it has also raised $4 million in venture funding from Social+ Capital, Baseline, Red Hills and many others. May of its partners in this round are strategic in nature, and Boombotix co-founder Lief Storer says they were chosen for their ability to help build the brand. “The investors’ interest is vested in amplifying our brand through product development and strategic marketing,” he explained in an interview. “There isn’t a single expense [in terms of using these funds] that stands out, but having key human capital in place to continue building the talent in the organization will be essential to the long-term strategy.” Boombotix isn’t saying how many speakers it managed to see since its launch back in 2010, but it has seen its sales grow by triple figures since the debut of its Kickstarter campaigns, which also led to deals secured with retailers including Amazon, T-Mobile, Microsoft and Apple.com. The selling point of the Boombot REX is that it can stand up to mud, dust and some water exposure, as well as take spills, while providing quality sound, portability and also speaker phone functions, including the ability to use Siri on the iPhone from the gadget. Its audio sync tech was designed to be an answer to user requests to broadcast to multiple speakers at once, which isn’t supported with standard Bluetooth. It isn’t perfect, but the app gets around this by allowing multiple devices (i.e. smartphones or tablets) to sync playback of music perfectly over a mobile network, which means that each can output music to their own attached Bluetooth speaker for what is effectively multi-speaker sound. Of course, you need more than one device to make it happen, but it’s a step in the right direction. Boombot has begun to position its speakers as a wearable play, in part to capitalize on the growing interest in that device category. It’s true that they’re small and clip-mounted, and can be easily attached to clothing, but the key to growth will be holding appeal beyond the current action sports group of core buyers.

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Vector Capital Makes Controlling Investment In CollabNet Developer Platform

Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in funding | 0 comments

CloudsCollabNet is one of the leading agile development platforms in the enterprise and the company behind the Subversion version control software. It has millions of users on its platform, which launched back in 1999. Today, Vector Capital is making a controlling investment in the company as part of a concurrent equity round that includes another, undisclosed investor. The company did not disclose the size of the round, but Vector Capital currently manages over $2 billion in equity capital and typically invests from $100 million to $300 million in each of its portfolio companies. Vector Capital may not be a household name, but the company has previously invested in companies like Corel, LANDesk, RealNetworks, Register.com and WinZip. The firm says it usually invests in companies with at least $100 million in revenue. As Vector Capital partner Rob Amen told me, CollabNet is exactly the kind of company the firm likes to invest in. “CollabNet is a gem,” he told me. “It is rare, as a technology investor, to get an opportunity like this. It’s A+ technology and an incredible management team with a ton of experience. All it needs is a partner with deep pockets that can help it grow.” As part of this investment, Amen will take a seat on CollabNet’s board. Last year, CollabNet raised a $2.5 million debt round, which today’s round will wipe out. The company raised most of its funding in its early years, with an $11 million round in 2002 and a $9.5 million Series B in 2005. Previous investors include Benchmark, Norwest Venture Partners and Intel Capital. According to CollabNet CEO Bill Portelli, the 300-person company used this funding to grow through the recession but the industry wasn’t quite ready for its solutions yet. While CollabNet was among the first companies to enable software development in the cloud, enterprises weren’t quite ready for this concept. It’s only now, in his view, that enterprises are starting to catch up with CollabNet’s vision and are starting to adopt agile development. “What we are seeing now,” he told me, ” is that the world is moving to a distributed and fragmented development model, with data inside and outside the company. There is an ever-increasing need for developers to use their favorite tools, but enterprises also need transparency into this.” This fragmentation, he also stressed, is leading to integration issues for enterprises. CollabNet’s tools include its set of TeamForge application

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Now With 2M Users, CreativeLive Lands $21.5M Led By Social+Capital To Bring Free, Live Courses To The World’s Entrepreneurs

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in funding, Startup | 0 comments

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 6.26.30 AMBeginning with the likes of Khan Academy and Coursera, over the last two years, a new kind of learning has begun to emerge on the Web, bringing with it the promise of affordable, quality education at scale. Looking to capitalize on this fast-growing opportunity in online learning, Chase Jarvis and Craig Swanson launched CreativeLIVE in early 2010 to put a twist on the Khan-inspired, video-focused online learning model. They decided to offer their content not only for free, but totally live, while catering to a particular audience that they knew well: Creative entrepreneurs. Since raising $7.5 million from Greylock and hiring former president of Viacom Digital, Mika Salmi, as the its CEO, CreativeLive has been growing fast. Today, with over 2 million students have consumed more than one billion minutes of CreativeLive’s skills-based learning content, CreativeLive is adding more coin to its coffers. Over the last six months, the team has moved to scale production to keep pace with the growing opportunity in online education and content delivery, building new state-of-the-art studios to broadcast is live, online lessons. With two studios in Seattle and two in San Francisco, CreativeLive is looking to continue its expansion and ramp up its investment on the infrastructure side. To do that, the company has raised $21.5 million of Series B financing in a round led by The Social+Capital Partnership, with participation from existing investor, Greylock Partners, and a handful of others. With this new round, CreativeLive has now raised just under $30 million in about 16 months, which new CEO Mika Salmi tells us the company will use to invest in people, technology and content. When Salmi stepped into his new role as CEO last June, he tells us, CreativeLive had a total of eight full-time employees. Today, that number has grown ten-fold to 80 and, with its new capital, the company will look to continue that expansion, adding to its engineering and data science teams over the next year, he says. Furthermore, though he remained tight-lipped about details, the CreativeLive CEO said that the new investment would become part of a “major investment” the company is making in its technology and infrastructure. It seems that, with four studios (two of them new), the company decided that its time to update its front-end video architecture and player, as well as the back-end support systems that help it produce and display its content. Today, CreativeLive

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Online Real Estate Veteran Redfin Lands $50M From Tiger Global, Investment Giant T. Rowe Price As It Looks To Gain Market Share In The U.S.

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in funding, Startup | 0 comments

oAs the real estate market regains some life after an extended dip, people are beginning to get comfortable with the idea of selling their home again and, in turn, getting comfortable with looking around for that special place. To help in an increasingly fast-paced market, technology-powered real estate brokerage, Redfin, has been on a mission to help people not only find the right house, but to help potential sellers get feedback on the price of their home from hundreds of potential buyers. On the heels of launching a series of these “Price Whisperer”-like tools that aim to reduce the cost of the real estate search process for both homebuyers and sellers, Redfin is doing a little price whispering of its own. The company today announced that it has raised $50 million in late-stage growth capital from a handful of investors, beginning with Tiger Global and T. Rowe Price Associates. The new round, which also includes contributions from the company’s existing investors, like Greylock Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Vulcan Capital, Globespan Capital Partners and The Hillman Company, brings the company’s total funding to just under $100 million. In addition, from what we’ve been hearing from sources, the round values its online brokerage and search business in the ballpark of $500 million. Fortune also reported a similar valuation. With the new injection of capital, Redfin becomes yet another addition to the list of companies pursuing growth capital from backers outside the usual confines of the venture capital world. The investment is the second of its kind that T. Rowe Price has made in recent months, following its investment in MongoDB last month, for example. Furthermore, a raise of this size, at this point in Redfin’s growth, seems to give credence to and provide further supporting evidence to recent reports that have pegged Redfin as a potential IPO candidate in 2014. However, while an IPO is very likely in Redfin’s future, this could also buy the company some time. With the help of firms like Tiger Global, which have plenty of experience investing in mature companies in later stages of growth, the round also allows Redfin to extend its runway as a private company and delay an IPO for that much longer if it so chooses. In either case, the new capital allows Redfin to focus on increasing its existing marketshare, increase marketing and spend on boosting consumer awareness, which according to Fortune,

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Nginx Raises $10M Series B Round Led By NEA

Posted by on Oct 15, 2013 in funding | 0 comments

4157426778_5a67edcc85_oNginx, the company behind the increasingly popular web server by the same name, today announced that it has raised a $10 million Series B round led by New Enterprise Associates. This round also includes full participation by the company’s existing investors, including Series A investors, e.ventures, Runa Capital, MSD Capital, as well as participation from Aaron Levie, CEO and founder of Box. Today’s announcement comes almost exactly two years after Nginx raised its $3 million Series A round.

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With $3M In New Funding, Memoto Lifelogging Startup Rebrands To Narrative To Go Global

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013 in funding, Gadgets | 0 comments

narrative-clipSwedish startup Memoto did well on Kickstarter – well enough to earn the company 11 times its funding goal, or $550,000 to drive the creation of its lifelogging camera. The small camera is designed to be worn on your person, features no buttons and takes pictures constantly while worn, but as of today it’s called the “Narrative Clip,” not the Memoto, as its creators rebrand to Narrative with $3 million in new funding. Both the rebrand and the new money will help Narrative expand on a global scale, the company says.

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