The hot piece of funding news today was Andreessen Horowitz’s $85 million investment in Zulily, a daily deals site that targets moms and their kids. Zulily’s amazing traction clearly demonstrates how much stuff kids need, and how parents are eager to find cost-effective ways of providing it. Founding a startup is in many ways like having a child- both can require tender love and care, both are expensive, and both can be all-consuming. But with young humans as with young companies, the hope is that all the time, money, blood, sweat, and tears will pay off. One way or another, someone other than the government needs to pay for retirement.
Zulily rockets to billion dollar valuation with $85M from Andreessen Horowitz
Zulily, a daily flash sale site for moms and their kids, has just announced raising $85 million from prestigious venture firm Andreessen Horowitz. This fourth round of funding brings the total amount raised to $138 million and sets Zulily’s valuation at $1 billion. Zulily recently crossed the 10 million member threshold and this investment will serve to scale the platform, as well as enter new verticals. Read more on VentureBeat.
Sync.ME means never having to say you are sorry…for outdated contact information
The contacts in my phone contain one piece of information – a cell phone number. Sync.ME provides a synchronization service for iPhone contacts that culls photos, birthdays, and posts from Facebook profiles, so when someone calls you, you can see their most recent updates. WIth the $4 million in investment, the team will continue to introduce new features. Sync.ME launched in March and since then has procured five million users. It is based in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Music startup Chromatik raises $1M, ’cause it’s amazing, just the way it is [enter bridge]
Bruno Mars may be best known for eclectic musical style and soulful croonings, but now this Grammy-award winning artist is entering the venture capital game with an investment in Chromatik. Chromatik strives change the way people interact with sheet music by providing a digitized version that musicians can use to practice, collaborate, and reform. Virgin Records co-chairman Jeff Ayeroff also participated in this round. Chromatik participated in the accelerator Launchpad LA and raised a seed round in May from Learn Capital, 500 Startups, Kapor Capital, MuckerLab, among others. Read the press release.
InboundWriter makes content optimization “as simple as spellcheck”
Creating content for the web involves a lot more than just writing. In order to have the maximum reach, there is site traffic, search engine ranking, and referrals to consider. InboundWriter has raised $2.5 million for its software that makes content optimization “as simple as spellcheck.” The technology gathers information and insights from the web on best practices and automates writing suggestions. InboundWriter has also launched an enterprise class system (before it primarily targeted medium to large businesses) and this investment will promote its expansion into the enterprise market. Participants in this round include Crosslink Capital, Castile Ventures, Rho Canada Ventures, Formative Ventures, and The Entrepreneurs’ Fund III. Read the press release.
NuORDER dons $3 million for its “less-is-more” approach to fashion wholesale
The web has closets full of online fashion retailers, however there are fewer that target the wholesale market. NuORDER is a platform and marketplace that directly connects brands and buyers. Brands benefit from increased exposure and distribution, while buyers benefit from discovering new brands and a suite of management tools to make the purchasing process more efficient.
Big designer names like Helmut Lang, Levi’s, Elizabeth & James, and Citizens of Humanity are actively using the platform and which has attracted the attention of industry professionals, as well as venture capitalists. GRP led the first round, with additional investment by Greycroft, Aileen Lee, David Tisch, Creative Artists Agency, Brian Spaly, Mortimer Singer and Rachel Zoe Inc. Read the press release.
TourWrist wins $250K for being star of travel tech award ceremony
Tourwrist cleaned up at the PhoCusWright Travel Innovation Summit, winning The DEMO Award for the Most Game-Changing Innovation, The Most Innovative Emerging Company, the People’s Choice Award and the General Catalyst Award for Travel Innovation which translates into $250,000. TourWrist is an iOS application where users can create, label, and submit 360° panoramas. People can use the platform to share their photography, or to check out travel destinations, homes, businesses etc… Read more about TourWrist on VentureBeat.
From games to reality: Security startup Fortem raises $1.43M to protect real-life Quebecians
Say this three times fast: 3D software-based security integration platform Omnipresence. Now say it with a Québec accent. Wasn’t that fun? You are perhaps wondering why I have had you do this, and the reason is of course, funding.
Fortem, the company behind Omnipresence, is beefing up with $1.43 million from Anges Quebec, a network of 110 private investors. Fortem started out in the video games industry and provides a Command & Control platform using game-like 3D graphics. The platform unifies various security systems and databases into one interface that can improve detection of and response to breaches. Fortem is based in Montreal and will officially close the round once it hits $2.1 million. Read the press release.