Funding Daily: Today’s tech funding news, in one place

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Here’s a list of today’s tech funding stories, updated as the day unfolds. Tip us here if you have a deal to share.

Songkick raises $10 million

Songkick, the company behind the eponymous cross-platform app that lets you track when and where all your favorite bands are playing live, has raised an additional $10 million in funding from Access Industries.

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Technology Will Save Us raises $1.8 million

A U.K. startup that creates DIY gadget-building kits for kids has closed a £1.2 million ($1.8 million) seed round led by SaatchInvest, with participation from European seed-stage VC fund Backed, along with a handful of other individual investors.

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UploadVR raises $1.25 million

A year ago, UploadVR was formed as one of many meetups for developers interested in virtual reality. Today, the company has raised $1.25 million in seed funding from China’s Shanda Group.

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This list will be updated with breaking funding news all day. Check back for more.

Online Publisher Purch Acquires ShopSavvy

purch Purch just announced that it has acquired ShopSavvy, the mobile shopping startup backed by Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Purch was formerly known as TechMediaNetwork and operates sites including Tom’s Guide and AnandTech. The company recently raised a $135 million funding round, and has been actively buying up companies — this is its fourth acquisition in the past year.… Read More

Why Does India Celebrate Rahul Yadav?

The reason, according to Sumanth Raghavendra - in his post titled "Why a prize idiot like Rahul Yadav is precisely the kind of startup hero India deserves…and exactly the opposite of the one it needs" - is our "obsession with funding". First a quick extract from Sumanth's post: Despite all the buzz around India having arrived as a hot startup destination, there have been precious few

36 tech companies that could go public in 2016

NYSE Jeffrey Zeldman Flickr

This year a bunch of tech companies have gone public, including Apigee, Atlassian, Box, Etsy, Fitbit, GoDaddy, Match Group, Shopify, and Square. But 2016 could be even more exciting.

The 2016 Tech IPO Pipeline from private company research startup CB Insights has many staggering figures. Never before in the annual report has there been so many companies that have raised rounds of $100 million or more. The average total amount of funding they’ve raised is higher than ever, at $182 million. The number in the pipeline with new valuations of at least $1 billion has never been higher, at 39. AThe pipeline now contains 80 private companies based in the U.S. that have raised money at a valuation of $1 billion or more. (Last year, there were 40 such companies.)

Today venture-backed CB Insights is highlighting the 36 unicorns with the greatest “momentum,” a metric that takes into account social media messages, news articles, web traffic, business deals, and other information. Some of these companies might not seem like IPO material now, and some obvious ones are missing (Cloudera and Pinterest, for example), but who knows what will happen next year? This list isn’t a bad place to start if you want to know which companies could end up going public in 2016.

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Without further ado, here’s a list of the 36 fast-moving unicorns, with some commentary appended:

1. Actifio. This company makes data center storage backup software that runs on commodity servers. Backup isn’t the sexiest industry, but it’s important, because big companies like to be sure that they won’t lose their data in the event of a disaster. Actifio announced a $100 million funding round in March.

2. Airbnb. This home rental startup is one of the biggest unicorns around, and its ascent has brought about industry consolidation and controversy. Earlier this month Airbnb submitted a filing for a $1.5 billion funding round.

3. AppDynamics. This application performance management company saw competitor New Relic go public late last year. AppDynamics raised $158 million earlier this month.

4. Apptus. This Salesforce-backed quote-to-cash software company announced a $108 million funding round in September.

5. Automattic. The company behind the WordPress content management software last raised funding in mid-2014 and more recently open-sourced

6. Avant. The online lender formerly known as AvantCredit said in September that it had raised $325 million, at a valuation reportedly just shy of $2 billion.

A BuzzFeed event in 2013.

Above: A BuzzFeed event in 2013.

7. BuzzFeed. Yes, that BuzzFeed. The meme-friendly media outlet boasts 200 million monthly unique visitors, with NBCUniversal investing $200 million in the company in August.

8. CloudFlare. This company offers a content distribution network with security features that’s popular with developers. In September CloudFlare announced a $110 million funding round with Baidu, Google Capital, Microsoft, and Qualcomm all participating. When I spoke with CloudFlare cofounder and chief executive Matthew Prince at the time, he said an IPO wouldn’t happen in 2015 or even 2016 — the earliest would be 2017. “If it were 2018, I wouldn’t be surprised,” he said. “If it were 2019, I wouldn’t be surprised. If it were 2020, I would be surprised.”

9. Coupa. The company with cloud-based expense, procurement, budgeting, and invoicing software announced an $80 million round of funding in June, with T. Rowe Price participating.

10. Datto. The disaster recovery hardware company announced a $75 million round of funding last month.

11. Docker. Arguably the hottest company in enterprise software, Docker has kicked off a great deal of interest in Linux containers for packaging up source code that can be run on servers. The company is still in the process of building a major revenue-generating machine, having launched the Docker Trusted Registry and Universal Control Plane products in 2015. Docker announced a $95 million round at a reported $1 billion valuation in April. “I think that we have the opportunity to build a truly world-class company that changes the way we build, ship, and run applications and that goes for a big IPO and beyond, and that’s how we’re organizing the company,” Docker chief executive Ben Golub told VentureBeat in an interview in September 2014. “We clearly wouldn’t have taken a big round at a big valuation if we were planning on selling in the near future.”

Docker celebrates its open-source software accumulating 10,000 stars on GitHub in February 2014. (The number now exceeds 27,000.)

Above: Docker celebrates its open-source software accumulating 10,000 stars on GitHub in February 2014. (The number now exceeds 27,000.)

Image Credit: Docker

12. DocuSign. The e-signature company announced a $233 million round at a reported $3 billion valuation. In October Reuters reported that chief executive Keith Krach had told employees he was looking for his replacement.

13. Domo. The Utah-based cloud-based business intelligence software maker faces competition from many companies, including Salesforce and Amazon Web Services. Domo finally came out of stealth mode after five years in April. At that time it announced a $200 million funding round at a $2 billion valuation.

14. Fanatics. The sports merchandise retailer hired Moxie Capital cofounder Lauren Cooks Levitan earlier this year to be its new chief financial officer. In August Fortune reported that the company had taken a $300 million investment from private equity firm Silver Lake.

15. GitHub. It feels like yesterday when the hosted source code repository software company took on a $100 million Series A funding round. BBut GitHub announced a bigger but less star-studded $250 million round at a reported $2 billion valuation this past July. GitHub now has more than 10 million users.

The GitHub Octocat figurine.

Above: The GitHub Octocat figurine.

Image Credit: GitHub Shop

16. Houzz. The home design software company carried a $2.3 billion valuation as of June 2014. In October Houzz announced a $165 million funding round.

17. Illumio. The security software startup announced a $100 million funding round in April, with BlackRock Funds participating.

18. InsideSales. The predictive sales software company based in Utah disclosed a $60 million round in March, with Salesforce Ventures leading the round. Microsoft has also backed the company.

19. Medallia. The customer feedback software company announced a $150 million funding round in July.

20. MuleSoft. The application integration software company unveiled a $128 million funding round in May, with Salesforce Ventures leading the round and ServiceNow participating in the deal.

21. Nutanix. This company’s hardware brings together servers and storage hardware that are traditionally sold separately, allowing for cost cutting. Nutanix has been ready to go public for a while now, having raised a $140 million round in 2014 and partnered with Dell and more recently Lenovo.

22. Okta. The identity management software company raised a $75 million funding round earlier this year. Okta chief executive Todd McKinnon told the San Francisco Business Times in September to expect an IPO within 12-18 months.

23. Palantir. The secretive big data software company with a reputation for working with government agencies disclosed earlier this month $129 million in funding that was tacked onto an earlier $555 million round, according to the Wall Street Journal.

24. Qualtrics. The Utah-based survey software company announced a $150 million round in September 2014.

25. Simplivity. The converged infrastructure hardware company that competes with the likes of Nutanix announced a $175 million round in March.

A Slack pillow at a Slack event in San Francisco on December 15.

Above: A Slack pillow at a Slack event in San Francisco on December 15.

Image Credit: Ken Yeung/VentureBeat

26. Slack. The hot team communication software company is building out a third-party application ecosystem and it’s even giving out venture capital money, with the help of some of its own investors. But Slack was valued at $2.8 billion in a $160 million funding round in April, and now Slack boasts 2 million daily active users.

27. Snapchat. This messaging app with more than 100 million daily active users is one of the most exciting consumer-facing startups around. And Snapchat’s moves into advertising and third-party publisher content could give the company staying power. Snapchat said in May that it had raised $537.6 million since February. But the $16 billion valuation reported back in May is said to have decreased 25 percent thanks to a markdown from Fidelity.

28. SoFi. The online lender $1 billion at a $4 billion valuation over the summer, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. SoftBank is among the startup’s investors.

Stripe's San Francisco office.

Above: Stripe’s San Francisco office.

Image Credit: Stripe Facebook page

29. Stripe. The developer-focused payment service startup has launched integrations with Apple Pay, Bitcoin, Alipay, and even the Stellar currency. Earlier this year Visa announced that it had made an investment in Stripe. The startup’s valuation hit $5 billion as a result of the deal, according to Re/code.

30. Tanium. The endpoint security software company announced a $120 million funding round at a $3.5 billion valuation this past September.

31. Twilio. The company that provides developer tools for VoIP calling and text messaging announced a $130 million funding round in July. Fidelity and T. Rowe Price both participated.

Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick.

Above: Uber chief executive Travis Kalanick.

32. Uber. The app-enabled alternative cab service is one of the most highly valued private venture-backed companies. Earlier this month Bloomberg reported that the company was raising $2.1 billion at the staggering valuation of $62.5 billion. Uber faces legal, regulatory, and competitive challenges, and the company’s self-driving car initiative also costs money. In August Reuters estimated that Uber would generate around $2 billion in revenue in 2015.

33. Uptake. The data analytics company announced a $45 million round of funding in October, with Caterpillar (!) participating.

34. Warby Parker. The eyewear e-commerce company told the Wall Street Journal in April that it had taken on a $100 million round of funding, with T. Rowe Price leading the round. Other investors include J.Crew and American Express.

Zenefits has its headquarters in San Francisco.

Above: Zenefits has its headquarters in San Francisco.

Image Credit: Zenefits

35. Zenefits. The human resources software provider and health insurance broker suddenly rose to prominence this year, especially after it announced a $500 million funding round at a $4.5 billion valuation. These days when you walk around in San Francisco, chances are you’ll see someone with a Zenefits hoodie. The company had been attempting to achieve $100 million in annual revenue this year, but last month reports said revenue wasn’t growing as much as executives had hoped.

36. Zscaler. The cloud application security company announced a $100 million round in August, with TPG leading the round, and followed that up about six weeks later with news of a $25 million investment from Google Capital.

The Tell: This outrageous prediction says oil will hit $100 in 2016

How does oil rebounding to $100 a barrel in 2016 sound? Or the euro surging to $1.23? Or maybe even Brazil staging an Olympic Games-driven comeback out of recession? Sound outrageous? Well, while most analysts keep their crystal-balling for next year in tight ranges, Saxo Bank has complied 10 unlikely events that could rattle the financial markets in 2016 if they were to happen. Of course, they aren't Saxo Bank's official calls for 2016.

Technology Will Save Us raises $1.8M to help kids build their own gadgets

Synth 1

A U.K. startup that creates DIY gadget-building kits for kids has closed a £1.2 million ($1.8 million) seed round led by SaatchInvest, with participation from European seed-stage VC fund Backed, among a handful of other individual investors.

Founded out of London in 2012, Technology Will Save Us is one of a number of companies across the country offering starter kits designed to tease youngsters into technology — there’s Kano, which invites kids to build their own micro-computers, and Raspberry Pi which offers something similar.

But Technology Will Save Us doesn’t just focus on mini-PCs — it offers everything from DIY synth kits and gamer kits, to build-your-own speaker kits. It tries to focus on practical use-cases including hobbies such as music, cycling, gaming, and gardening to make the the kits appeal to young minds.

DIY Speaker Kit

Above: DIY Speaker Kit


Priced starting at £15 ($22), the company claims to have shifted more than 50,000 kits to date, and it was also called on to design the BBC Micro:Bit, a miniature computer that will be donated to 1 million kids across the U.K.

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All the kits are designed in-house, with manufacturing taking place in the U.K. So far, the company has distributed to almost 90 countries, including the U.S. where it says the Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) shop sold out within hours of launch.

As with other similar startups such as Kano and Raspberry Pi, Technology Will Save Us’s core raison d’être — beyond making money — is to address the much-maligned digital skills gap, where companies struggle to find an adequate resource of tech talent, and kids leaving school don’t have the skills to fit an increasingly tech-focused world.

“Having taught alongside our developing careers, we were both aware of the crisis in technology education,” said Bethany Koby, co-founder and CEO at Technology Will Save Us. “While kids are very much consumers of technology, they typically find computing complex and scary.”

Today’s announcement follows the previous £750,000 ($1.1 million) in angel and grant funding the company received from Google, Nesta, Saatchinvest, and some angels. The fresh cash influx will be used to expand its DIY product range and build more retailer partnerships.

Indie Media Startup The News Lens Wants To Be The Voice Of Reason For Asia

Asia Shutterstock Since launching two years ago, Taiwan-based media startup The News Lens has gained a readership of five million readers a month by presenting a levelheaded alternative to the country’s scandal-obsessed newspapers. Now the site, which is backed by North Base Media and 500 Startups, hopes its focus on balanced news reports and analysis will help it gain an international readership. Read More