Today’s investment news is filled with good vibes. Anyone who claims that the world of technology is cold, hard, and emotionless should take a look at the stories below. We’ve got companies promoting family values, technology that puts people in touch with their feelings, and all sorts of other avenues for personal expression. You may want to read this Funding Daily on a couch with a box of tissues and The Interpretation of Dreams nearby.
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Affectiva puts marketers in closer touch with your feelings than you are
Affectiva absorbed $12 million in a third round of investment for its emotion-measurement technology that helps brands and businesses gain insight into their consumers. Your boyfriend may not get how you are feeling, but Affectiva does.
The company’s flagship products are Affdex, an automated facial coding platform; and Q Sensor, a wearable biometic sensor. Affdex can be integrated into ads, clips, and TV shows. Via a webcam, it reads the emotional response of the viewer and provide an “accurate, scalable” emotional insight. Companies can use this information to improve the relevance of published content, boost online traffic, increase revenue, and optimize ad performance.
Prestigious venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and Li Ka-shing’s Horizons Ventures led today’s investment. Read more on VentureBeat.
Funium lets gamers explore their family issues in a safe, online community
Gaming company Funium took $1.8 million in seed money to spur the completion of its latest game, Family Village. In Family Village, players create a virtual world with members of their actual family as avatars. Players create full lives for their ancestors based on their physical attributes and the time period in which they lived, and they can earn historical documents about their family as rewards. The investment was led by Family Odyssey with participation from angel investors. Read more on VentureBeat.
Care.com takes $50 million of tender love and care from VCs and seals deal with a hug
Caregiver portal Care.com announced today that it’s raised $50 million in new funding. Care.com connects families to caregivers, giving them easy access to people who can help them take care of their kids, elders, pets, and homes.
Care has been on a big international expansion this year: In April, it launched its U.K. arm, and last month it scooped up Besser Betreut, Europe’s largest care portal. Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) led the latest round of funding, with support from Matrix Partners, New Enterprise Associates, Trinity Ventures, and others. The Boston-based company previously raised $61 million, bringing the company’s total funding to $111 million. Read more on VentureBeat.
Vital Insights probes customers’ souls to find the source of their unhappiness (hint: it’s not a Oedipus complex)
Customer experience management startup Vital Insights has raised $20 million in a growth-focused first round of funding. Vital Insights offers various customer experience management (CEM) solutions for desktop and mobile devices that help track customer satisfaction and happiness. It claims to have patent-pending process for altering staff of “unhappy customers in real time.”
The round of funding was led by Bregal Sagemount, a $500 million private equity fund that makes investments between $15 million and $150 million in high-growth companies. Read more on VentureBeat.
The best things in life are free, especially when it is FreeMonee
Gift network FreeMonee has raised $34 million in what’s essentially free money for its consumer incentive program. FreeMonee delivers cash gifts from participating merchants directly into the bank accounts of consumers. Customers then receive the free money, which of course encourages — but doesn’t obligate — them to go patronize that particular store or restaurant. The third party in this cozy little arrangement, the card issuers, stand to gain as well because consumers have to use their card to unlock their gift.
This second round of investment was led by financier Charles E. Ryan and returning investors Opus Capital Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Utter Hill Ventures, and Pinnacle Ventures. It is more than triple the amount of the $11 million Series A from 2010, bringing the total capital raised to $45 million. Read more on VentureBeat.
Infratel wants you to talk it out, using their enterprise telephony service
Communication is key for emotional health, as well as business health, which is why Infratel received $3 million in its first round of funding.
Infratel provides cloud-based telephony services for small businesses, so they make setting up voice-based marketing campaigns easier, respond to customer service inquiries, and manage call flow. The company has over 1,000 customers worldwide and will use the investment to continue expanding. The financing was led by Prostor Capital and Runa Capital.
Acquisio offers helping hands and support for ad agencies worldwide
Acquisio raised an undisclosed million for its technology that helps agencies buy online ads and handle tasks associated with performance advertising. The company also announced acquiring software developer company ScienceCops, whose AdMetrica technology helps large advertisers increase the number of conversions.
The funding was given by Tandem Expansion and Fonds de solidarite FTQ. It follows a $12.1 million Series B round from 2011, also led by Tndem Expansion. Acquisio is based in Montreal and was founded in 2003.