San Francisco is in mourning today following yesterday’s 49ers defeat in the Super Bowl. As an incorrigible optimist, I am seeking out the silver lining in the loss and reflecting on the positive aspects of yesterday’s game. First, my family and friends in Maryland are feeling chipper after their victory. Two, I oohed and aahed at all the right moments, meaning my football knowledge has grown from “nonexistent” to “minimal.” Three, I had pulled pork nachos for the first time. And finally, the Clydesdale ad. I am still misting.
Red rover, red rover, send $7M right over
Pet-sitting marketplace Rover has raised $7 million to grow its platform that matches dog owners with vetted people to take care of them. Rover also provides insurance coverage, emergency/medical support, and a video service so absent owners can stay connected to their pets. This second round of funding could help the Seattle-based company keep pace with competitor DogVacay, which raised $6 million in November. Foundry Group led this round with participation from Madrona Venture Group. Rover has raised $10.4 million in institutional funding to date. Read the press release.
Investors drop dollars into virtual supply-chain management
DropShip Commerce has raised $4.3 million to make sure my online purchases arrive efficiently to my door. The software platform strengthens the connections between retailers and manufactures and provides tools to manage product, inventory, and order data. The company’s founders committed $2.8 million, and the Kickstart Seed Fund filled in the rest of the round with $1.5 million. Peterson Ventures, TechStars David Cohen, and other angel investors also contributed. DropShip Commerce is based in Utah. Read the press release.
Smurfs are better in 3D
3D may give me a headache, but lots of people, including investors, are all about it. Legend3D, which uses image-processing technology to take video content from 2D to 3D, is raking in $8 million in its second round of funding. Augusts Ventures Limited and Northwater Capital Management led this round. Legends3D has worked in movies Top Gun 3D, Oz: The Great and Powerful, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Smurfs, Hugo, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
Piston Cloud nabs $8M to bolster open source cloud adoption
OpenStack private-cloud player Piston Cloud closed an $8 million funding round. The San Francisco-based startup’s claim to fame is that it was the first to launch a commercial OpenStack distribution. The funding will help the 2-year-old company “enhance our products, grow our customer base, and establish new partnerships.” PistonCloud already pulled in $4.5 million in its first funding round in April. Cisco, Data Collective, and Swisscom Ventures invested in the second round, joining existing investors Divergent Ventures, Hummer Winblad, and True Ventures. Read more on VentureBeat.
Samsung to devote $1.1B to investments in the U.S.
Samsung Electronics said today it is creating a $1 billion investment fund, dubbed the Samsung Ventures America Fund, and a separate $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund to invest in global innovation. The investments will kick off a new era of strategic alliances, acquisitions, R&D, and investing, Sohn said at the press event today. Samsung will explore new opportunities related to its Samsung components businesses, with a focus on cloud infrastructure, mobile privacy, internet of things, human interface, and mobile health. The $100 million Samsung Catalyst Fund will be focused on early-stage companies in the components and subsystems businesses. Read more on VentureBeat.
GameStop’s Kongregate to invest $10M in mobile game developers
The world’s biggest game retailer is building more bridges into the digital realm, as GameStop‘s Kongregate division announced it’s investing $10 million into mobile game developers. Like other companies that are expanding from the web to mobile, GameStop and Kongregate are using a familiar tactic: buying the love of developers for its platform. The new mobile gaming initiative will provide financial assistance, consulting services, and marketing support for developers that create free-to-play mobile titles for Kongregate’s platform. Read more on VentureBeat.