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Last Thursday was 3/14, otherwise known as Pi Day. This Thursday is 3/21, and I wanted to make it, if not equally as delicious, at least on the tasty radar. Just think of all the yummy things that come out of a microwave. Popcorn. Leftovers. Hot fudge. See? 3/21 isn’t so bad after. Here are the companies coming hot and steamy out of the investment microwave.
Accel’s massive new $475M fund is all about startups in Europe & Israel
It’s a good day for European and Israeli startups seeking funding, as Accel Partners announced a new $475 million fund today for early-stage tech companies. The new fund, Accel London IV, was raised in just eight weeks and makes Accel London one of the largest venture capital firms in the region, with $2 billion raised to date across its previous funds. The new fund’s total is more than what was initially rumored back in February, as VentureBeat previously reported. Read more on VentureBeat.
Social marketing startup Dachis Group closes $7.5M funding round
Dachis Group, a social marketing software company, has announced a $7.5 million round of funding. The startup combines a few disciplines: social marketing, social analytics, and big data. The company’s products can track brand advocates’ social media impact, employee’s online activities, online marketing campaigns, and overall brand social performance, allowing clients to optimize accordingly and — with any luck or skill — profit. Previously, the startup took a huge $30 million round from Austin Ventures in 2011. Austin Ventures was also responsible for the current round, which is Dachis’ Group’s third infusion of institutional funding. Read more on VentureBeat.
ClearFit reigns in $7M for builders, servers, chefs and more
ClearFit, which has developed a solution for human resources and recruiting, announced the close of a $7 million round of funding. ClearFit’s software helps businesses in the construction, retail, restaurant, hospitality, and franchise industries find job candidates and uses data analysis to predict employment success. GrandBanks Capital and Relay funding led this firs ground of institutional funding. ClearFit is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario.
Tapad taps into $6.5 million
Of all the unified cross-device advertising solutions out there, Tapad claims to be the leading one. This startup, which works with more than 75 brands of Fortune 500 companies, secured $6.5 million in its second round of funding after significant revenue growth in 2012. The funding, led by Firsthand Technology Value Fund and with participation from FirstMark Capital and Avalon Ventures will be used to “maintain Tapad’s pace of growth in the U.S.” Read the press release.
Video marketing startup Vidyard gets a $6M first round of funding
Vidyard, a video marketing startup, has just announced its first institutional round of funding. The cash, which amounts to a healthy $6 million, comes to the Toronto-based company from OMERS Ventures, which led the round. The funding also saw participation from previous investors iNovia Capital and SoftTech VC (Jeff Clavier’s firm). The Vidyard platform gives marketers tools for analyzing and optimizing video marketing for lead generation, customer conversion, and good ol’ ROI (that’s return on investment). Read more on VentureBeat.
Japanese high-class groupons bring in $5.3M
Daily deals sites often target the economically-minded consumer. Luxa, however, is a Tokyo-based startup that offers coupons and discount on more expensive, higher-quality products, like fancy restaurants and food products, premium sake, spa treatments and cosmetics. Japanese venture capital firm JAFCO led this round, following up to the $5.3 million it invested in Luxa in August of 2010.
Glide glides into seven figure of funding
Israeli video messaging startup Glide launched today and announced that it is backed by a “seven-figure” sum from venture capitalists and private investors. Glide’s real-time video streaming technology enables live video chats between friends without uploading/downloading time. Messages are saved to the cloud and can be played back later. Invesotrs include Orey Gillam and Philippe Schwartz. Read the press release.
Import.io imports funding, along with big data
UK big data startup Import.io has pulled in $900K in seed financing from Wellington Partners to expand and develop its platform. The technology seeks to turn the web into a database by harnessing trapped data. Import.io “lets companies, developers, and cores extract, connect and fuse disparate sources of data from the web to let them build and create powerful new data sets and applications.” Alta Vista founder Louis Monier and French investor Emmanuel Javal also contributed.
Investors place bets with Vegas startup to take on Ustream
Livestreaming company iStreamPlanet raised its first round of funding today, though the company is not disclosing the amount. iStreamPlanet competes with companies like Ustream and Livestream, though the company focuses on delivering live video to different device types at one time. The round comes from Juniper Networks’ Junos Innovation Funding and will be used to build out the product line. iStreamPlanet was founded in 2000 and is headquartered in Las Vegas.
Tapjoy starts fund to invest in Australian developers
Tapjoy, the mobile advertising and publishing platform, has announced it will invest in Australian app developers. The San Francisco company has created its Tapjoy Australia Fund and made its first investment in a game studio called Defiant Development. Tapjoy, whose platform is used in 97,000 apps, plans to invest in iOS and Android developers and give them marketing and distribution support and money. Read more on VentureBeat.