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Big Data startup Platfora pulls in $20M to ‘make Hadoop amazing’
Platfora, the startup that made a splash at the recent Strata conference with a promise to “unleash the potential of Hadoop” has raised its second round of funding. The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has been baking its technology for over a year. In a nutshell, it crunches raw data in Hadoop, the popular open source framework, and turns it into intelligence for business users. Platfora claims to be the first big data startup to use HTML5 canvas technology, which makes it easy to use and enables collaborative data analysis on any device.
Battery Ventures led this round of funding, with participation from existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Sutter Hill Ventures. In-Q-Tel, the CIA’s venture arm is also an investor, but is not specified in this round. Read more on VentureBeat.
Google pledges €1M to Berlin startub hub The Factory
Google is the latest to jump on board with new Berlin tech hub The Factory. The company has pledged €1 million ($1.27M) over three years through its “Google for Entrepreneurs” program. The yet-to-be-completed Factory is a 12,000 square meter property development in central Berlin, which aims to bring established companies and new startups together in a unique (to Berlin) work-play environment. The funds Google has pledged will be allocated through The Factory and are earmarked for training, mentoring, events, and other programs to support startup development. The Factory is backed by JMES Investments, an investor in several Berlin startups, in partnership with s+p Real Estate. Read more on VentureBeat.
Amicus puts the ‘fun’ back in social fundraising
Amicus has raised $3.2 million to help nonprofits turn their social networks into support networks. The startup mines social data from Facebook and leverages it into fundraising and outreach. In a nutshell, this platform modernizes traditional mobilization campaigns by providing an online replacement for phone calls, emails, and snail mail.
The company participated in Y Combinator’s 2012 summer class and investors include YC partners Alexis Ohanian, Garry Tan, and Harj Taggar. Other investors include Omidyar, Y Combinator, Peter Thiel’s FF Angel, Andreessen Horowitz, Start Fund, SV Angel, and General Catalyst, IA Ventures, High Peaks Venture Partners, and 500 Startups, as well as existing investors RRE, Quotidian Ventures, Esther Dyson, and other angels. Read more on VentureBeat.
Former Yahoo execs’ startup makes it easier to plan family vacations
A Los Angeles-based startup called MiniTime is launching today to help parents find activities that are fun for the whole family. You register to the site (or browse anonymously), select your kids’ ages and preferred destination, and in seconds you’ll be able to review a short-list of recommended places with reviews from MiniTime users. The team applied its experience in online dating and digital media to develop an algorithm that ranks hotels and attractions for families with kids in specific age ranges. It takes into consideration kid-friendly amenities, proximity to activities that are fun for kids, the price, and reviews from families with kids in the same age group. MiniTime has also pulled in $1 million in funding from Ross Levinsohn, the executive who served as the interim CEO of Yahoo until Marissa Mayer took over. Read more on VentureBeat.
DataSift nabs $15M from SVP, Northgate, & Daher to better analyze & process social data
Social data startup DataSift has raised $15 million in its second round of funding, cash that will help it continue to swiftly grow and brew better social data technology. DataSift made our recent list of 10 startups leading the way in ‘big data’ because its tech can analyze data across the social web, which helps companies get a handle on public opinion and better shape marketing messages. The new funding was led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from Northgate Capital and Daher Capital. This brings DataSift’s total haul to about $30 million. Rory O’Driscoll, managing director with Scale Venture Partners will join DataSift’s board. Read more on VentureBeat.
European consortium builds €8.4M Paasage in the cloud
Bridging clouds used to be the domain of rainbows and magic carpets. Now with the proliferation of cloud applications, technology companies are taking on this lofty task. A group of 14 European partners have banded together with €8.4 million to launch a major research initiative called PaaSage.
The goal is to develop an open and integrated platform to support the lifecycle management of cloud applications.The project is supported by the European Research Consortium in Informatics and Mathematics. Of the €8.4m, €6.3 comes from the European Union. Flexiant, a company which provides cloud orchestration software, has joined the initiative along with these organizations. Read more on VentureBeat.