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Funding Daily: Fuel for innovation


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It’s hard to say which is more important in fueling the tech scene’s entrepreneurs- venture capital or boutique coffee. The startup ecosystem could not survive without either. Fortunately, investors are funneling their money into coffee as well as the cloud to keep it all percolating smoothly.

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Blue Bottle takes a leaf out of its customer’s books

San Francisco artisanal coffee company Blue Bottle Coffee has raised $20 million from Index Ventures. Third-wave coffee and other hipster fetishes generally fall outside the scope of VentureBeat’s coverage, but this particular brand is beloved and consumed in mass quantities by techies. In true startup form, the company sought institutional funding which will most likely be used to expand into new markets. Read the filing.

The wheels on Message Bus go round and round for better email delivery

The wheels on startup Message Bus keep on turning, as it drives into $11 million in growth funding.

This company is building the Message Bus Global Delivery Network, which delivers communications across multiple channels without having to deploy multiple servers. Its service powers email and mobile messaging through a cloud-native app. This round brings its total funding to $14 million. It was led by North Bridge Venture Partners with participation from True Ventures, Ignition Partners, and angel investors. Read more on VentureBeat.

Lettuce unwraps $2.1 million seed funding

For small businesses, order management can be a cumbersome and expensive ordeal.  Venice-based startup Lettuce hopes to simplify the process with its new automated order-and-inventory-management-system. CrossCut Ventures led the seed round, which included investments from 500 Startups, Launchpad LA, Baroda Ventures, Zelkova Ventures, Double M Capital and other angel investors, according to Mobrem. Read more on VentureBeat.

UrbanSitter finds you a babysitter through your social network

Nanny booking company UrbanSitter is nursing $6 million in its first round of funding. The service connects parents with caretakers, allowing them to search, vet, and book babysitters online.There are many online childcare booking services, but UrbanSitter distinguishes itself by leveraging social networks to add a layer of trust into the system.  The investment was led by Canaan Partners, with money also coming from First Round Capital, Rustic Canyon Partners, Menlo Ventures, and angels. This round brings the total fundraising to $7.75 million, following a seed round last November. Read more on VentureBeat.

Referly rewards consumers for referrals, gets $1M reward for itself

Y Combinator company Referly closed its seed round of $1 million from New Enterprise Associates, Ignition Partners, 500 Startups, Jeff Lawson (CEO of Twilio), Elliot Loh, Eileen Burbidge, Ullas Naik, Michael Liou, Damien Tanner, Matt Monahan, and Carter Rabasa.helps online businesses create referral programs to expand their markets. With Referly, companies can create incentives for customers to do things like like recruiting new customers, opting for upgrades, and offering recommendations. Businesses can dole out rewards to promote user acquisition and loyalty, and individuals can receive rewards for helping to drive sales. Read more on VentureBeat. 

North Carolina startup brings home more than the bacon

Durham-based Appia secured $1.5 million from Yankee VC firm The Social Internet Fund. Appia builds and powers stores where consumers can buy software apps for their smart phones. It has raised $30 million to date. The Social Internet Fund is a new, smaller fund that has made nine investments in total.

TTV Capital invests in global payment platform and the luck of the Irish

3V Transaction Services provides a global payment platform for mobile operators and online retailers. It integrates mobile, card, and web based technology to make issuing and acquiring payment easier for businesses. The technology has been used by companies like Telefonica, eBay, and PayPal. TTV Capital led the $6.5 million round to support global growth. 3V is based in Dublin and this is its second round of institutional financing. Existing investors include Balderton Capital and Atlas Ventures.

A Metacloud pushed along by a Storm

Metacloud emerged from stealth mode today and disclosed backing by Storm Ventures. Metacloud provides an enterprise cloud solution based on OpenStack. As companies increasingly run and conduct business online, operating on a private cloud that can manage and store large amounts of data is a growing demand. The founders have extensive experience managing large-scale infrastructure for Yahoo and Ticketmaster and founded this startup to address the problems they saw in IT. Read the press release.