Posts Tagged ‘Palo Alto’
Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Video phones popular in sci-fi and speculations about the future may finally be taking off via mobile
You can get a feel for what’s hot in the digital space from the large funding rounds two firms disclosed today.
Remember the video phones once so common in science fiction that never took-off in real life? Their mobile equivalent is doing much better.
Tango, a Palo Alto, CA-based mobile video calling service, has closed a $40 million Series C round of funding with investment that included new investors Qualcomm Incorporated, acting through its venture arm, Qualcomm Ventures, and Access Industries Inc., the industrial holding company founded by Len Blavatnik. The financing brings the company’s total funding close to $100 million.
This round also saw additional investment from members of co-founder Eric Setton’s family who have been supporters of the company since the early days. Other prominent Tango investors include Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Michael Birch, Andy Bechtolsheim, and Bill Hambrecht.
Tango has seen record growth and usage in the last few months. The number of daily calls has doubled in the past four months and daily registrations have doubled since July 2011. In just 18 months, 45 million people have started using Tango, over 10 percent of them use Tango every day, and 44 percent are active.
BranchOut trees $25M fore Facebook professional networking app
San Francisco-based BranchOut, the largest professional networking application on Facebook, has surpassed 25 million registered users, adding more than three new registered users every second.
The continued adoption of BranchOut by global users spurred another round of funding, the company says, as it closed $25 million in Series C financing led by Mayfield Fund. Previous investors Accel, Norwest Venture Partners and Redpoint Ventures also participated in the round. This financing brings BranchOut’s total funding to $49 million.
BranchOut’s 25 million registered users can leverage their network connections of more than 400 million professional profiles to help them find jobs, recruit talent, and open doors to new opportunities.
Much of BranchOut’s growth has come from its emerging mobile user base. Since adding the ability to connect with Facebook friends from its mobile application in February, 40 percent of its new users now join from mobile devices. BranchOut is now accessible via Android smartphones, Apple iOS devices, and tablets.
With an average of nearly two million new registered users joining weekly since February, BranchOut is also growing rapidly from increased international adoption. Approximately 50 percent of all new users join from countries outside of the U.S. — primarily in the U.K., Europe, Australia, Canada, and India — to utilize both their personal and professional relationships on a single network.
The Series C funding will allow BranchOut to expand its San Francisco-based team of 45 people.
Monday, April 2nd, 2012
Kevin Colleran, a foundational Facebook employee who developed the initial advertising programs for the social network, is joining Palo Alto, CA-based General Catalyst Partners as a venture partner.
As Facebook’s second-most tenured employee at the time of his departure behind founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Colleran offers tremendous experience for early stage and high growth companies.
In his new role at General Catalyst, Colleran will focus on mentoring young entrepreneurs in early stage investments.“Kevin’s experience monetizing social networks and deep understanding of the consumer experience make him a tremendous addition to our team”
Facebook’s seventh employee
Colleran began his career at Facebook in 2005 as its seventh employee and played a critical role establishing social media as an essential component of every brand’s marketing strategy.
During his tenure at Facebook, Colleran led some of the company’s largest advertising partnerships with companies including Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson, and Coca Cola. His main focus was to help premier brands learn how to evolve their marketing strategies and adapt to the rising popularity of social media. In that role, he helped establish the very first Facebook brand pages for these global icons.
“There’s always been a high volume of talent and innovation coming out of Boston, and there’s been a significant uptick recently. The most recent IPOs of General Catalyst companies like Demandware and Brightcove are proof of that, and I’m especially excited to identify the next great ideas and help develop and nurture them into phenomenal companies,” said Colleran, who will be based in General Catalyst’s Cambridge, MA. office.
Will work with consumer sector firms
In his role as venture partner, Colleran will identify and work with early stage companies in the consumer sector, in addition to serving as a board member and board observer for high growth companies.
Having spent six years at Facebook traveling the world and meeting with brand managers, advertising agencies, and global CMOs he has helped them better understand the new marketing opportunities that social media has to offer.
“Kevin’s experience monetizing social networks and deep understanding of the consumer experience make him a tremendous addition to our team,” said Joel Cutler, managing director at General Catalyst. “We’re excited to have him on board.”
In addition to his experience at Facebook, Colleran brings a lifelong interest in entrepreneurship to his new role. While in high school and college, he won multiple national entrepreneur of the year awards and founded various marketing and Internet-based startups.
After college, Colleran worked as a consultant with BMG Music in NY where he launched a music sponsorship company that focused on artists signed to the Arista and RCA record labels. In 2005 he was recruited to Facebook by Sean Parker, the company’s founding president.
Monday, August 29th, 2011
Finding the right mobile app for your needs can be more of a pain in the nether regions than necessary. A West Coast startup just landed funding to help mobile device users find the apps that do what they want without jumping through a lot of search hoops. Palo Alto, CA-based Quixey — a search engine for apps – has raised $3.8 million in Series A funding. The $3.8 million investment will help fuel growth and partnership development.
Quixey invented a new type of search — functional search — specifically for apps. Quixey’s functional search scans blogs, review sites, forums and social media sites to learn exactly what each app can do. Quixey has hundreds of pieces of data about each app. Quixey searches apps across all platforms — including mobile, web, desktop and browser apps.
Quixey is fundamentally different from other search engines. Other search engines require users to know an app’s name or official description to find the right app. Since Quixey knows exactly what each app can do, users can search by answering the question, “What do you want to do?”
The investment was co-led by U.S. Venture Partners and WI Harper Group with participation by Webb Investment Network in addition to a follow-up investment by Innovation Endeavors.
Tuesday, June 21st, 2011
DisplayLink, a provider of networked display technology for multi-monitor and USB-connected computing, has announced that it will receive eight million dollars of new financing in a fourth round investment, with an option for an additional six million if needed. The Palo Alto-based company did not disclose the investors providing the new capital. DisplayLink has previously received financing from Atlas Venture, Balderton Capital, DAG Ventures, DFJ Esprit and WTI. The company has raised a total of $68 million.
DisplayLink Corp develops hardware and software solutions to enable easy connectivity between computers and displays over standard interfaces such as USB, Ethernet and wireless networks. DisplayLink technology is used in dozens of globally branded PC accessories including monitors, universal docking stations, display adapters, projectors
SolarBridge nabs $19M third round funding
Austin, Texas-based SolarBridge Technologies (SolarBridge), a developer of module-integrated microinverters for the solar industry, announced it has secured $19 million in series C funding. The company has raised more than $46 million to date.
The funds, raised from current investors as well as new financial and strategic investors, will be used to ramp up production capacity, expand sales support and logistics organizations and scale up research and development teams.
ScaleXtre,e weighs in with $11M Series B round
Palo Alto, CA-based ScaleXtreme Inc. the first cloud-based systems management company, today announced it has closed an $11 million Series B led by Ignition Partners with participation from previous investor, Accel Partners.
The new financing will be used to accelerate the rollout of additional product capabilities, and expand marketing and sales for ScaleXtreme’s innovative new way of managing hybrid clouds. Frank Artale, managing director at Ignition, will join the board that includes Ping Li from Accel and Nand Mulchandani and Balaji Srinivasa from ScaleXtreme.
Urban Interactions gets $1.6M
Somerville, MA.-based Urban Interactions Inc. has closed a $1.6 million equity offering, raising the amount from six investors, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The company raised $455,000 in 2010. Urban Interactions matches job hunters with positions that suit them best.
Ping Identity, cloud ID solutions firm, lands $21M fifth round
Denver-based Ping Identity, which sells cloud identity security software, has raised a $22 million fifth round. Triangle Peak Partners and Silicon Valley Bank were new investors. Return investors include Appian Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, General Catalyst Partners, SAP Ventures and Volition Capital. Ping raised about $38 million in previous rounds.
Friday, January 14th, 2011
COLUMBIA, MD – Merkle Group Inc., one of the nation’s largest database marketing agencies, has closed on a $2.8 million equity round, according to a regulatory filing.
The customer relationship marketing firm raised a whopping $87.2 million in three equity offerings in 2010. Investors include Palo Alto, CA-based Technology Crossover Ventures.
Merkle provides customer strategy, business intelligence and analytics, data sourcing, media targeting and measurement, and marketing technology solutions to Fortune 1000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations. With over 800 employees, the privately held corporation is headquartered near Washington, D.C. in Columbia, Maryland with additional locations in Boston, Chicago, Denver, Little Rock, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Hagerstown, MD and Shanghai.
Company clients include such marquee names ad Bank of America, Dell, General Electric, Samsung and the Arthritis Foundation.
The company employs more than 1200 people. It disclosed the raise in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
To contact TechJournal South Editor & Writer Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournalSouth dot com.
Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
PALO ALTO, CA – Facebook investor Accel Partners has sold 17 percent of its stake in the company for $516 million, which values the social networking phenomenon at $35 billion, according to Vator.tv. The Accel sale leaves Russia’s Digital Sky Technologies the major shareholder in the company.
A report from Experian Hitwise this week says that one of every four web pages viewed last week were on Facebook. The service accounted for 24.27 percent of all U.S. pageviews, while runner-up YouTube.com had 6.93 percent.
Security software seller BitDefender says statistics from its Safego Facebook app that monitors their vulnerbility to malware, says that 20 percent of Facebook users are exposed to malicious posts in their news feeds that lead to their accounts being hacked. The figures come from Safego’s analysis of news feed items seen by 14,000 Facebook users.
Facebook feeds may contain malware
More than 60 percent of the malcious attacks come from third-party applications using Facebook’s developer platform. Many offer to perform a task otherwise impossible on Facebook, such as see who has viewed your profile. Other malware offers bogus items for Facebook apps such as Farmville or offer allegedly free gifts such as games or cell phones, the report says.
Other attacks come from viruses such as Koobface or links to videos.
Friday, September 24th, 2010
OWINGS MILL, MD- Nora Therapeutics Inc., which is developing therapeutics to address issues in womens’ reproductive health, has raised $14.8 million of a targeted $32.55 million round, the company disclosed in a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.
We reported in June that Nora had closed on about $3 million of the round, then aimed at $25 million, according to an SEC filing.
Investors so far include Burrill Life Sciences Capital Fund of San Francisco; Prospect Venture Partners III of Palo Alto, CA; Vivo Ventures Fund VI, Palo Alto.
Nora Therapeutics raised $25 million from Burrill, Prospect Venture Partners and Vivo Ventures in 2008.
Nora is developing products to help women who experience repeated assisted reproduction failure or recurrent miscarriage. It was housed at the Emerging Technology Center in Baltimore in 2004.
We mentioned previously that we like seeing West Coast VCs putting some money into East Coast firms.
We have also been impressed with biotech fund raising in Maryland in general this year. The state has driven development with a number of moves supporting the industry, from programs to provide some early stage funding to establishing a biotechnology center.
Maryland and North Carolina have now and then exchanged places among the top five US biotechnology hubs in annual rankings. Its proximity to the governments National Institutes of Health and the Potomac and Mid-Atlantic venture capital community are distinct advantages.
To reach TJS editor Allan Maurer: Allan at TechJournalSouth dot com.