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When in doubt, put a “social” on it. Three out of ten of the companies that announced funding so far today have the word “social” in their name, and all with the exception of a biotech company are social in nature. Maybe with the impending holidays, investors are reminded of the importance of togetherness and everyone is feeling outgoing with all the festivities. Or maybe “social” just seems to be the not-so-secret sauce behind startup success. At any rate, all these social butterflies are raising capital.
Myspace seeking $50M to take on Spotify & Pandora
Sponsored by VB
The once great all-purpose social network Myspace is apparently seeking to raise a $50 million round of funding to further revamp the site into a streaming music competitor on par with Spotify and Pandora. The information comes from what looks like a leaked presentation from Myspace owner Interactive Media Holdings (aka Specific Media), which was obtained by BusinessInsider today.The leaked document reveals that Myspace is expected to generate $15 million in revenue this year, which is an improvement from the previous year’s $9 million revenue total. The document also shows Interactive Media’s master plan for Myspace’s future, which includes raising $50 million to transform it into a direct Spotify competitor that will launch in the second quarter of 2013. Read more on VentureBeat.
Seeds, seeds, and more seeds: O’Reilly AlphaTech Venture raises its latest fund
O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures is raising its third fund of $85 million. OATV specializes in seed stage investing. The firm typically invests between $250K to $2 million in emerging startups that are trying to bring their product to market. The intention is to provide early companies with 18 months of cash runway, with no revenue, to tweak and test assumptions. OATV is unique in that it only makes seed stage investments. A few of the notable investments include Bitly, Chartbeat, Code Academy, Foursqure, and Fitness Keeper. This is its largest fund yet. Read the filing. http://oatv.com
Starfish waves $2 million over to Australian email provider
Australian email provider AtMail closed a $2 million deal with Starfish Ventures. AtMail powers email and web communication for enterprise, as well as other collaboration tools. Products include Atmail Cloud Services, Atmail Webmail, Atmail Email Server, and Atmail Email Server Appliance. Its service is used by large corporations like FedEx, GlaxoSmithKline, NASA, and Virgin Atlantic, with more than 15 million users. Last month, Atmail launched Unified Communications Plus which allows people to make and receive phone calls through email. It also pivoted to a Software-as-a-Service model with Atmail Cloud, and this investment will contribute to further expansion into the cloud sector, as well as international expansion. Starfish Ventures in an Australian venture capital fund with over $400 million under management.
Keddem gets $15 million for drug discovery, not the fun kind
Drug discovery company Compugen raised $15 million for its subsidiary Keddem Bioscience. Compugen specializes in the discovery of therapeutic proteins and antibodies that can be used to develop pharmaceutical products for immunology and oncology patients. Keddem’s technology enables the discovery of “small molecule modulators,” which is typically a long and unreliable process. The investment will be used to bring Keddem’s platform to market. Compugen is headquartered in Tel Aviv.
Socialbakers whips up $6 million for social media analytics
With Thanksgiving upon us, baking is at the forefront of our minds. Should you make pumpkin pie or pecan pie? Both? Neither? What is the appropriate quantity of nutmeg? What if someone is gluten free?
Socialbakers has added $6 million into its pie for a different kind of analysis. The startup provides social media analytics for major brands and Fortune 500 companies like McDonalds, Nestle, Henkel, and Vodafone. Its technology measures performance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+ and provides comparative reports that businesses use to inform their marketing strategies. The platform is growing fast and this investment, from Index Ventures and Earlybird Venture Capital will be used to scale accordingly. Socialbakers has offices in Prague, London, Munich, Paris, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Dubai and Istanbul.
Modria forms the “community circle” of the internet for conflict resolution
All is fair in love, war, and the internet. Modria today rolled out its “Fairness Engine for the Internet,” with $1.25 million from investors under its belt. The platform strives to resolve online disputes quickly and painlessly. Its software pinpoints customer complaints and collects relevant data. It also offers a cloud-based space for concerned parties to come together for mediation, negotiation, and arbitration before issues become overblown, costly affairs. eBay and PayPal use the technology to resolve the millions of disputes that arise, but Modria is also available to small and medium businesses. This round of funding came from Esther Dyson, Mitch Kapor, Battery Ventures, and Advanced Technology Ventures.
SocialFinance helps nonprofits seal the deal with the right investors
Fundraising is like dating, an at-times awkward dance of subtleties, power plays, and ulterior motives. SocialFinance creates tools that keeps nonprofits and investors stay in step. Its mission is to align the interests of investors with charitable organizations. The platform connects the social good sector to capital markets to find matches that are pleasing to both. It is a non-profit organization and has raised $525,000. Read the filing.
Pass me a Tweet, bro
SocialBro has pulled in €500K to analyze tweets, a very manly undertaking. The company’s cloud solution provides management and analysis of Twitter communities. It provides tools that corporation, brands, and agencies can use to ramp up user engagement, grow their user base, and maybe even find monetization possibilities in their social networks. It is used by businesses like CBS, NASCAR, Coca-Cola, and T-Mobile to get the most out of their Twitter presence. The investment came from a group of angel investors in the UK. SocialBro is based in London.
SkinnyScoop gets the lowdown on what women want
Skinny jeans and skinny lattes, I like. SkinnyScoop? Not so sure. This Pinterest competitor claims that while Pinterest is fantasy, SkinnyScoop is reality. The platform “empowers women to unloose their inner Oprah” by sharing their favorite things. It then uses data analytics to connect women around their shared interests. This approach allegedly fuels more meaningful recommendations by putting the conversations women regularly have about practical purchases online. SkinnyScoop has raised $1 million in seed funding from a group of angel investors.
Artkive presents the refrigerator door for the modern age
Ed tech company Artkive secured $500K in seed funding to grow its application, which allows people to take, tag, and store children’s art. Rather than sticking projects of the refrigerator door, parents can digitally log their children’s’ masterpieces from their mobile devices. The app will document the time and date and includes a place to comment and title. The service became available just 10 weeks ago and 250,000 pieces of artwork have already been uploaded. Starting in December, users can print coffee table pictures books based off their galleries. Artkive recently joined startup accelerator Amplify LA.