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As you can imagine, the investment circuit is in a tryptophan induced haze today, as investors, entrepreneurs, PR people, and journalists are preoccupied with other pursuits. Whether you are battling the crowds at Target, crafting towering masterpieces of leftover sandwiches, or hiding in the garage from family members, here are the three deals that trickled in [like gravy] on Black Friday.
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Swoop gets $3 million to make ads seem like helpful hints
The Thanksgiving story involves Native Americans, and the Swoop story involves Native Advertising. Swoop has raised $3 million out of $5 million round for its service that makes ads seem like helpful hints. The platform push relevant content in front of site visitors to help them discover relevant offers without leaving the original site. It has focused in the food industry as of late, to help brands engage with consumers at the “Zero moment of Truth.” For example, someone perusing recipes for chocolate chip cookies may subtly find themselves presented with a deal on a specific type of butter. The contributors to this round have not yet been disclosed. The investors in Swoop’s previous round include U.S. Venture Partners and Valhalla Partners. Read the SEC filing.
The Gates Foundation gives grant to “crack the nut of curriculum sharing”
Curriculum sharing site BetterLesson received a $3.5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its platform that connects educators to help them share and organize resources. BetterLesson gives teachers access to instructional content for pre-K through twelfth grades across a range of subjects. Content includes documents, presentations, full lessons, and even complete units and courses. The inventory is searchable, and there are collaboration, communication, and management tools. BetterLesson is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Read the blog post.
Lookout Gaming will use warm and fuzzy words, cold beer, and $1.3M to change the gaming industry
Stealthy startup Lookout Gaming nabbed $1.3 million to make gaming meaningful. What exactly this entails is sell under wraps., although it is “something really special to share with the gaming world to help better monetize games.” Lookout will be helped in its efforts by Atlas Ventures, Nextview Ventures, and gaming industry veterans, who invested to help bring the company’s first product to market.
Likely uses data to figure out consumer passions
England has many famous roundabouts such as Piccadilly and Oxford Circus that help funnel vehicle traffic. British company Likely has raised $1.6 million for “Silicon Roundabout”-based social data analytics. Likely Limited collects and analyses social media data. It looks at brands as a collection of “passion points” to better understand how people interact with products they feel strongly about, and what types of marketing efforts are the most likely to engage them With this investment from New World Private Equity and Charlotte Street Capital, Likely will expand its efforts internationally.