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Funding Daily: Media frenzy


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Today was a big day for media. The Knight Foundation announced the winners of its third 2012 challenge, a slew of media-oriented companies raised funds, tensions rose between Time Warner Cable and Netflix, and most importantly, a scandal video leaked of naked Selena Gomez kissing naked Justin Bieber in the ocean. Gasp!

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SurveyMonkey raises $800M to give shareholders back some love

SurveyMonkey has raised a gorilla of a round, raising approximately $450 million in equity financing and $350 million in debt financing to give its shareholders some returns. This is one of the largest capital raises by a privately-held US internet company. SurveyMonkey makes it simple to create web surveys. It has more than 14 million users, including large Fortune 100 companies, and generates significant profits from its subscription-model. This financing will go towards buying back shares from employees and investors, since the company wants to create liquidity without going public. Read more on VentureBeat.

Led by a 23-year-old, digital health startup Audax Health nets $21M 

Washington D.C. based company called Audax Health raised almost $21 million, according to an SEC filing. Backed by former Apple CEO John Sculley, the company works with insurance companies like Cigna to help consumers devise online personalized health plans. The company’s flagship product is Zensey, which combines gamification tactics, social networking, and secure medical data sharing. Eight of the companies’ heavy-weight directors are named on the SEC filing, including Sculley, former National Cancer Institute Director Richard Klausner, and John Rowe of Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The Washington Business Journal reports that this is part of a larger $45 million fundraising effort. The company raised funds in a mix of debt, options and other securities. Read more on VentureBeat.

Samsung opens its wallet to OpenX 

OpenX has raised $22.5 million in its fifth round of institutional funding. OpenX provides online advertising technology for digital media companies. Its platform combines ad serving, an ad exchange, a supply side platform, and content valuation, and offers solutions for publishers, advertisers, and networks. This brings its total investment to more than $70 million. Samsung Venture Investment Corporation led this round, with existing investors Accel Partners, Index Ventures, SAP Ventures, Mitsui & Co Global Investment, and Presidio Ventures. Read the press release.

AppGratis closes $13.5M in funding with revenue at $1M/month and users growing at 300K/day

AppGratis announced today that it closed a $13.5 million series A round of funding to get bigger and even more international, even though the French app-discovery company is already profitable and growing at breakneck speed. The company partners with app developers who want more downloads by offering a paid app for free for 24 hours. It’s a strategy that has worked — sometimes driving more than 500,000 downloads in a single day. The funding round was led by Europe’s Iris Capital, with participation from the Orange Publicis Fund. Read more on VentureBeat.

Keek videos more viral the flu, raise $18M to support global growth

Keek.com announced that it not only closed an $18 million deal, but also registered 6 million new users in the past month. Toronto-based Keek is a free social network centered around 36-second videos. People upload video states updates known as ‘keeks’ through a webcam or smartphone and share them across social networks. It is growing at a rapid pace, spurred by widespread adoption in Europe, the Middle East, and South America. The $18 million in new funding was led by AGF Investments, Pinetree Capital Ltd, and Plazacorp Ventures, with participation from Cranson Capital. It will support infrastructure expansion and continued growth. Keek.com has raised $30 million to date. Read more on VentureBeat.

Intigua rolls clouds over management layer of enterprise

Intigua, not to be confused with the more tropical Antigua, is ramping up with $8.6 million. Intigua “virtualizes the management layer” of enterprise infrastructure. It assists in the transition of critical applications to cloud infrastructure and the management of their performance. It won the Best of VMworld 2012 Gold Award” for new technology. Bessemer Venture Partners led this round, with participation from seed investors Cedar Fund and individual investors. Intigua is based in Newton, Mass. Read the press release.

Squirro scores additional acorns with new funding

Content curation platform Squirro recently completed a round of financing, bringing its total to $2.4 million. This money will promote international growth. Squirro scans content from various internet channels social media, private databases, and internal systems to harvest the information most relevant to users’ interest. It updates continuously and automatically, resulting in a “living collection of content” to do with as you please.  The technology is based on “Aggregation Intelligence” that understands the contextual relevance between keywords and sources. This money came mostly from an international consortium of investors. Squirro is based in Switzerland. Read the press release.

Philadelphia gets attention for more than cheese steaks

If a pin drops on the internet, is anyone around to hear it? Curalate seeks to answer this question and measure the strength of its sound. This Pinterest analytics and marketing suite has raised $3 million in its first round of funding. Curalate applies image recognition algorithms to visual social media sites to provide a glimpse of the path from “pin” to revenue. Brands can use Curalate’s tools to get the most out of social media, by improving consumer engagement, building brand awareness, and driving conversions and sales. New Enterprise Associates led this round, with participation from FIrst Round Capital and MentorTech Ventures. Curalate previously used $750k in seed financing from the same three investors. Read the press release.

Eight innovators dubbed knights of mobile media innovation  

Hear ye hear ye, the Knight Foundation named the winners of its third Knight News Challenge 0f 2012 today. The Knight Foundation is dedicated to supporting “transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.” It holds a series of challenges every year to support “breakthrough” ideas. This challenge was themed around mobile technology, and the eight winners were collectively awarded $2.4 million. Read more on VentureBeat.

StartWire throws $1.5 million into ‘resume black hole’

Searching for a job is an incredibly painful process, up there with root canals and building furniture. StartWire raised $1.5 million to soothe this pain by providing job search organizational tools. The platform helps applicants track their progress and activity and receive daily updates on job applications. It also offers a “common application” for jobs, and this investment will go towards building out this feature, as well as user acquisition. Baird Venture Partners led this round. Startwire is based in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

Online community organizer rallies up with $5 million

Telligent provides enterprise-grade software to build online communities in 60 seconds. Businesses can create social networks around customers, employees, and partners to improve communication and collaboration. It is used by more than 3,000 companies worldwide including Cadbury, Dell, Investec, Microsoft, Oxfam, Rackpace, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Telligence took a $5 million venture loan from NXT Capital Venture Finance to support growth initiatives. Read the press release. 

Celtra puts $4 million in the basket  

Impressed by my sporting knowledge? Celtra, an mobile ad tech company based in Cambridge, Mass. (near the home of the Boston Celtics), raised $4 million. This money will boost the company’s expansion efforts, following significant revenue growth and passing the profitable threshold in 2012. The AdCreator platform provides ad templates, as well as tracking and analysis tools, and is used by more than 200 clients and partners on the sell side. SoftBank Capital led this round. Read the press release.

San Diego firm sends rays of sunlight to Colorado

From the chilly climes of Denver, Levels Beyond heats up the scene with $4.5 million in its first round of funding. Levels Beyond provides software to simplify video management and distribution. Media organizations, live event producers, production houses, advertising agencies and departments can use the platform to streamline workflow and optimize the each of their content. This financing will expand sales, marketing, and business development. TVC Capital, a growth equity firm based in San Diego, was responsible for this heat.

VoxOx adds $5.3 million into its cloud communication cart

Telcentris raised $5.3 million in its first round of institutional funding, as reported by TechCrunch. Telcentris is the force behind VoxOx which it claims is “Universal Communicator” and represents the future of communications. VoxOx provides unified VoIP solutions over an array of channels, networks, and devices, as well as a slew of integrations. This recent investment came from SBD Global FUnd  and brings Telcentris’ total to $33 million.

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