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Good thing we start happy hour late here at VentureBeat, or we would have missed Fab.com’s big news yesterday afternoon. In other $100+ announcements, Penguin took an independent, self-publishing platform under its wing, and Microsoft and Yammer sealed the deal. If its under $100 million, does it still count as news? Yes! So keep on reading for what happened today, above and below the $100 million threshold.
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Penguin Group brings Author Solutions under its wing for $116M and a Heartsong
Penguin parent company Pearson has purchased Author Solutions, Inc from Bertram Capital for $116 million. There are a lot of family dynamics happening in that statement, so I will break it down for you.
Pearson is the granddaddy company that has been around since 1844. It has a long legacy of education, fiction, and newspaper publishing and a presence all over the world. Penguin Books is under Pearson’s wing, its chick if you will. Author Solutions Inc is an independent publishing platform that allows aspiring authors to self-publish their work. Bertram is the venture capital firm in the middle, mediating the adoption.
This deal marks the first major acquisition by Penguin of a large self-publishing company and displays a growing acceptance of e-books and tablets as a player on the scene. I hope Penguin is nice to the newest member of its Colony and won’t mock ASI’s radical ways, like it did to poor tap-dancing Mumble in Happy Feet. Read the press release.
Fab.com snags more than GitHub…apparently online shoppers are a slightly better investment than developers
Fab.com announced last night (for some reason) it raised a whopping $105 million in a third round of funding. Fab.com is an e-commerce website, designed almost like a lifestyle magazine, intended to mimic the experience of window shopping with friends. The round was led by Atomico with participation from Pinnacle Ventures, re-Net Technology Partners, Mayfield Fund, DoCoMo Capital, and existing investors Menlo Ventures, Andreessen-Horowitz, Baroda Ventures, and First Round Capital. This brings the grand, fabulous total to $157 million thus far. Read more on VentureBeat.
Break out the flat champagne: Microsoft and Yammer make it official for $1.2B
Microsoft announced today that it completed the highly-anticipated-already-well-known $1.2 billion deal acquisition of Yammer. Yammer raised $142 million in funding before being acquired by Microsoft. The product has roughly 5 million corporate customers, including 85 percent of the Fortune 500. This revelation is kind of like a surprise celebrity engagement you’ve known about for weeks. You don’t really care anymore, but still acknowledge the pseudo-momentousness of the actual occasion. Congratulations you two. May your union be a happy one. Read more on VentureBeat.
K9 Ventures raises $40M fund to support dog-run startups (not really)
K9 Ventures has raised $40 million for its second fund, a tech-focused micro-VC fund. The K9 Ventures II fund will be run by Manu Kumar, who headed the earlier fund. K9 Ventures started its first fund of $6.25 million in 2009. That fund made investments of around $100,000 to $250,000 in concept- and seed-stage tech companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. The idea was to invest in four to six companies a year and be actively engaged with them during the seed stage. The new fund will operate in a similar way, with a one change. The initial investment amount will be bigger, between $250,000 and $750,000. Read more on VentureBeat.
SAY Media nabs $27M to help creative types nab $27
Digital publishing company and ad network SAY Media announced today that it closed a $27 million round of financing. SAY is a startup that helps turn online editorial voices into media brands and connect them with advertising opportunities. It is for creative types who want to increase their traffic and leverage that traffic into cash. The platform also puts advertisers in touch with a large audiences and enables them to target specific communities.
The new round was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Shea Ventures, and Correlation Ventures and had participation from existing investors. The investment will help the company build out the various genres of content it offers, particularly in the fashion and beauty space. Read more on VentureBeat.
Those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t teach, launch edtech startups (and probably make more money doing it)
Edmodo‘s campaign to bring collaborative, social media tools to the classroom was bolstered today with a $25 million investment led by New Enterprise Associate’s Tony Florence. This is just months after its $15 million series B round led by Greylock Partners’ Reid Hoffman and Benchmark Capital’s Matt Cohler. With this round of financing, Edmodo has raised $47.5 million to date
The digital education startup uses a social network to connect students, teachers, and classrooms around the world. K-12 classes can privately log-in via a smartphone or web browser to a social network to receive homework advice, grades, discuss classroom topics, and view school notices. Schools and districts can establish their own Edmodo URLs to access management and analytic tools within a completely private and secure network. The money will be used to expand its global network of teachers, the “heart and soul” of Edmodo. Read more on VentureBeat.
Firespotter Labs raises $15M to save your fingers from dial-in PIN code fatigue
After Carpel Tunnel Syndrome from mouse clicking and back pain from slouching in front of a screen, finger fatigue is one of the major health issues plaguing Silicon Valley. Fortunately, Firespotter Labs has raised $15 million to build out UberConference, which eliminates dial-in numbers and PIN codes from the conference call equation.
The service won the top award at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2012 and is spearheaded by Google Voice creator Craig Walker. The new round of funding was led by Andreessen Horowitz, with participation from prior investor Google Ventures. In total, the company has raised $18 million. Read more on VentureBeat.
33Across raises $13.1M so brands can have with social graphs too
Today 33Across announced that it raised $13.1 million in a third round of funding. 33Across approaches the ever-growing social graph as a big data problem, allowing brands, publishers, and advertisers to gain insight into how their customers and readers behave. The round was led by Pelion Venture Partners. Existing investors also participated in the round, including Flybridge Capital, Greycroft Partners, First Round Capital, iNovia Capital, Panorama Capital, QED Investors, Metamorphic Ventures, and Great Oaks Venture Capital. The company is going to use the funding to drive growth in new products, expand its infrastructure, hire talent, and expand globally. Read more on VentureBeat.
Catch a shooting star (or webpage) and put it in your Pocket
Pocket has raised $5 million in a second round of funding, led by Foundation Capital with participation from Baseline Ventures and Google Ventures. Formerly known as “Read it Later”, this bookmarking app for web, Android, and iOS makes it easy and convenient for anyone to collect content on their mobile devices for perusal at a more convenient time (i.e. not the work day). A million people are already using the re-branded Pocket to save articles, tweets, videos and more to enjoy later. Like a mini Snickers bar. Or a flask of whiskey. Read more on VentureBeat.
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