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As we re-emerging from the haze of Labor Day weekend and officially enter autumn, funding news was appropriately multi-hued. Investments fell in an array of colors from an array of places today. In tune with back-to-school season, ed-tech companies are successfully pulling in their fundraising. Tis far, far more pleasant to be raking in the big bucks than the leaves.
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Education, not vodka, is the essence of life
Russian ed-tech startup Dnevnik closed a $5 million deal with Runa Capital. Dnevnik’s platform provides management systems for learning materials and administration, as well as a social network. Users can access digital versions of text books, classroom materials, and grade, as well as online training courses and test-taking. It is widely used by schools, students, parents, and teachers in Russia and the Ukraine, and the capital will be used to expand the solutions globally. It will also go towards developing additional services, including mobile applications and a version for institutions of higher education. Dnevnik previously raised $1.7 million in 201 rom Prostor Capital fund.
Conde Nast puts a little summin’ summin’ extra in Flite’s investment pouch
Flite received an extra injection of $3 million from magazine publisher Conde Naste, the company reported today. Flite’s platform makes it easier for marketers to create innovative ads online. The company raised $12 million in its third round of funding last year, and this money is considered an extension of that round. In exchange for the investment, Conde is taking a 3% equity stake in Flite. The Series C was led by General Catalyst Partners. Previous investors Sequoia Capital, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, and NCD Investors also invested in the new round. This brings the total fund raises to $29.5 million.
Desire2learn pulls in largest-ever VC investment in a Canadian software startup
Desire2Learn, a startup that has bootstrapped for over a decade, has raised its first round of venture capital funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and OMERS Ventures, the venture arm of one of Canada’s largest pension fund managers. Desire2learn (“D2L”), which specializes in cloud-based teaching tools, plans to use the funding to hire more staff and step up its marketing efforts. Read more on VentureBeat.
VC network aims new $377M fund at Latin America
Amérigo, a public-private network of venture capital funds, was officially launched today by Telefónica, the fifth largest mobile carrier in the world and formerly a part of the Spanish national telecom monopoly. The fund network totals around $377 million and is intended to be “an international network of capital for those investors and industrial partners that want to participate in the acceleration and financing of high potential technology companies.” Read more on VentureBeat.
“Blitzkrieg” story continues: JP Morgan pumps $40M-$80M into Russian fashion company Lamoda
U.S. financial firm JP Morgan is continuing to buy up stakes in select Rocket Internet online fashion retailers – first in Europe (Zalando), then in Brazil (Dafiti) and now in Russia, with Rocket’s Lamoda today announcing a cash-for-equity deal, terms undisclosed.
According to an insider source speaking to Russian newspaper Kommersant, the deal could be worth between $40 million and $80 million, which would make it one of the largest investments so far in a fashion e-commerce company in Russia. Read more on VentureBeat.
Seyyer Inc transforms video footage into realistic online avatars
Seyyer Inc launched last week and announced $1.5 million in funding. The company offers a cognitive video realization platform that can easily create large amounts of customized, original, video content. The technology uses artificial intelligence to create customizable online avatars out of video footage, using facial expressions, gestures, and speech.
The product is attractive to online commercial prodders, advertising agencies, and multimedia developers who can use Seyyer to deepen customer engagement by tailoring it to each user. Read the press release.