Today, we journey to the far flung reaches of the galaxy and back again. Computers really are taking over the world, and companies are making millions of dollars help them do it. Join me, the Yoda of technology investment news, as I explore the depths of the funding universe.
Chinese company with Arabic name needs $8B to escape from dystopian brutes
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group is raising more than $8 billion in a new round of funding. $7.1 billion of this hot pot will go towards buying back 20% of its shares from Yahoo, which currently holds a 40% stake.
The amount will come from borrowing nearly $4 billion, along with sales of $2.6 billion common shares and $1.5 billion in preferred stock. Among those financing the $8 billion in Alibaba are the sovereign wealth fund China Investment Group and the China Development Bank. The investment comes as Alibaba earned $1.8 billion in revenue during the first half of 2012. Read more on VentureBeat.
Box takes $125 to grow to infinity and beyond!
Box furthers its expansion towards universal hegemony with $125 million in new funding. The money will be used to grow the company globally before its anticipated IPO next year. The round is captained by General Atlantic, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners, DFJ Growth, New Enterprise Associates, SAP Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and new investor Social+Capital Partnership
With that kind of cash, it should be able to do more than just store data for enterprise. It should turn that data into a renewable energy source strong enough to power star (cloud) fleets. Driven by robots. Read more on VentureBeat.
SeoPult stockpiles $10M to help businesses with online marketing… and perhaps space exploration
Online marketing platform SeoPult amassed $10 million in funding from comrade iTech Capital to infiltrate the world market with its internet e-advertising automation technology.
SeoPult’s services enables small and medium businesses without internet marketing know-how to wage more effective campaigns. It helps companies manage search engine optimization techniques and social media tools, and provides data analytics to help them leverage their efforts into improved results. To put it in terms you can grok, it helps strangers in a strange land find their way to success.
Tonara invents artificial intelligence assistant for musicians (otherwise known as an iPad app)
In the future, live music may be obsolete. Who needs symphonies when you have Spotify? That said, there are still a few fifth graders, senior citizens, and French aristocrats holding on to the bastion of musicianship.
Tonara sends sheet music across the screen like comets zooming past the windows of Battlestar Galactica. For those willing to forsake sheet music for iPads, Tonara’s announcement of $4 million in financing is almost as exciting as the climax of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 overture. With the investment, the company will continue to develop artificial intelligence that can play the cello. But not the piano, because that is crazy talk. Read more on VentureBeat.
Instacanvas brings in $1.7M to challenge the metaphysical universe
Instagram print shop Instacanvas grabbed insta-funding of $1.7 million. Instacanvas’s core concept is simple: photographers can display and sell their filtered photos as printed canvases.
What is not simple, however, are the philosophical implications.
First, an Instagram photographer captures a digital image of the real world and sends it off into the cyberland. People anywhere can see the picture and with the simple click of a button, receive a tangible manifestation of the virtual image of the sensory universe.
Maybe I am over thinking this. Let me put this into insta-terms. Yet another Instagram keepsake retailer got money from Founders Fund, First Round Capital, Bullpen Capital, and Scott Banister, and included participation from 15 additional angel investors. Read more on VentureBeat.
Pinfluencer breaks out of cocoon, unleashes Pinterest data analytics on the earth
Pinfluencer emerged out of public beta today like an alien shedding its skin to help brands take advantage of their presence on Pinterest.
This startup applies data analytics to Pinterest so brands can drive content, track metrics, spot trends, and connect with their enthusiastic fans. Even before launching, dozens of companies like 1-800-FLOWERS.com, GNC, HauteLook, Piperlime, and Rent the Runway have adopted the early version.
The company also revealed that it has raised $1.4M in seed/evil spawn money from Freestyle Capital and Baseline Ventures as well as angel investors.
Matrixx Software gets funding to blur line between dreams, reality, and telecommunications
Matrixx Software (with a name that makes the whole Sci Fi theme blissfully easy) reported in an SEC filing that it has raised $12.6 million of a $13 million round of funding.
The company provides telecommunications companies with a solution to adapt to the changing industry. As communication becomes less about actual talking and more about messaging and online sharing, cell phone networks and landline, cable, and satellite businesses can struggle to keep up.
The details of the funding have not been disclosed, although there is a distinct possibility that all the fundraising happened in a virtual reality and was led by sentient machines.
May the force be with you.