There were so many funding announcements, it would have been helpful to have a squad of robots to sift through it. Unfortunately, the robots are busy saving the earth by recycling. These robots and I have something in common, I realized. We both sort through a lot of waste (I mean this in the nicest way possible) to find raw materials.
I began to think of all the other ways I could use a robot in my daily life. To pick out my clothes in the morning. To give me a piggyback to work, avoiding traffic and the urine scent on public transportation. To cook me dinner and massage my shoulders while I eat it. Whilst scientists are busy creating these delightful machines (get to it!), I shall share the rest of today’s funding news.
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ZenRobotics embraces the four R’s: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Robots
ZenRobotics has raised $17 million by creating Wall-E for industry. The company brings together high technology and recycling to address the world’s trash problem. Its flagship product is the ZenRobotics Recycler, an artificial intelligence system that separates raw materials from waste. Customers are commercial and industrial organizations, particularly those that generate construction and demolition waste. The investment was provided by international equity investment firm Invus and Lifelife Ventures, a Finnish technology accelerator. Read more on VentureBeat.
Keek snags $7M for social video service
Keek has eked out an additional $7 million in funding to support the promising growth of its web and mobile service for sharing 36-second video clips. The social network encourages users to post short video updates, called “keeks” and follow or subscribe to the updates of other users. Keek’s latest round was led by Cranson Capital Securities, and included participation from Pinetree Capital and Whitecap Venture Partners. The startup has raised more than $12 million to date. Read more on VentureBeat.
Flash storage startup Virident Systems pulls in $26M, brings on a new CEO
Virident Systems has secured $26 million dollars in its fourth round of funding. Virident Systems offers flash storage to high-tech businesses. Apparently data centers are running out of storage space and flash storage is the wave of the future. It promises to reduce costs to tackle high-performance applications in the enterprise and is 10 times faster than the competition. The investment was led by Mitsui Global Investors, with participation from Globespan Capital Partners, Sequoia Capital, and Artiman Ventures. This latest round brings the company’s total funding to $76 million. Read more on VentureBeat.
Luxury Retreats pulls $5M into its lap of luxury
Online travel site Luxury Retreats welcomed $5 million into its sumptuous, landscaped, columned, decorated home (with a pool) today, from iNovia Capital. Luxury Retreats provides rental listings for high-end, quality assured villas, geared towards affluent travelers. This is the company’s first round of funding, as it has been able to exist thus far on internal profits. It plans to add at least 50 new destinations in the next year. Read more on VentureBeat.
Tely Labs nabs $13M from Comcast, DCM for Skype calling on your TV
Skype-calling-on-your-TV startup Tely Labs has raised $13 million of a $15 million round of funding from Comcast Ventures and DCM, according to a new filing with the SEC. Tely Labs offers a $249 TelyHD system for making Skype calls on televisions. The product plugs directly into a TV’s HDMI port, and the service doesn’t have a monthly fee. Read more on VentureBeat.
‘Smokey Bear’ of cloud hosting FireHost protects enterprise from hacker fires
Secure cloud hosting company FireHost raised $10 million in its third round of financing. FireHost offers enterprise level solutions for large companies that need to protect their data. It uses virtualization technology, multiple layers of hacker protection, and compliance expertise to create a safe, high-performing, and scalable hosting platform. Last year, FireHost took $10 million in a Series B investment to infiltrate Europe and open additional data center facilities. This most recent investment came entirely from previous investors The Stephens Group, LLC, and angel investors that have stuck with FireHost from its beginning in 2009. Read more on VentureBeat.
Cabbage is far more lucrative when it begins with a K
Kabbage got $30 million in funding today, led by Thomvest Ventures. Kabbage gives loans to small online merchants. In order to get an advance from Kabbage, you must be selling products via eBay, Amazon, Yahoo Stores, Etsy, Shopify, Magento, or using PayPal to process payments. Kabbage will put your cash advance directly into your business’ PayPal account. Sellers pay Kabbage back over six months. Each month Kabbage takes a sixth of loan amount adds on an extra fee, which is to be paid by the seller. This brings the company’s total funding to $17 million. Read more on VentureBeat.
GENWI takes extra $2M to be the delivery boy of mobile content
Cloud publishing company GENWI has added $2 million to it first round of funding. GENWI helps outlets like magazines, blogs, and brands easily create apps to distribute their content on smart devices. The additional investment was spearheaded by from Mike Maples, Jr. of Floodgate Partners and Roger McNamee from Elevation Partners. It adds to the $4 million GENWI took last Fall from Nexus Venture Partners, Inventus Capital Partners, and Quest Venture Partners. Read more on VentureBeat.
Swedish Fish Truecaller swims in Open Ocean
Global crowd sourced phone directory Truecaller rang up $1.3 million in its first round of funding. Truecaller will use the money to develop the product and expand internationally into North America, Asia, and the Middle East. The krona came from Open Ocean, an early stage venture firm that invests in European software startups that use community business models. Open Ocean is best known for its investment in MySQL AB which sold to Sun Microsystems fro $1 billion in 2008. That catch was more of a king salmon.
OpenSignal draws heat maps for cellphone signals
OpenSignal received $1.3 million in investment to continue building mobile coverage maps that show cell phone users how reliable phone networks are in certain areas. The company crowd sources information about signal strength and adds it to the maps, which can be found on the website. Since beginning two years ago, over 2 million people have downloaded the app and there are maps for over 200 countries across 1,000 different networks. The funding came from O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, Passion Capital, and Qualcomm Ventures and will be used to further develop the product. The company also announced releasing the first version of its API. Read the blog post.