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Funding Daily: Macadamia butts

macadamia butts

Above: "Macadamia butts"

Image Credit: Meghan Kelly/VentureBeat

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Sometimes, you’re in Hawaii where the breeze is warm, the beach is beautiful, and the trails are just waiting for you to lazily get out of bed and explore. Then, sometimes your editor goes to Hawaii and brings you back a box of chocolate-covered macadamia nuts that look like little rear-ends. Let’s call them macadamia butts.

Unfortunately, it seems the 14 newly funded companies below aren’t going to be spending their newly acquired cash on Hawaiian getaways, either. Instead, they’ll be building companies in health care, new television technology, online marketplaces, and more. And then maybe one day they’ll sell and get the vacation of a lifetime.

But rest assured that we’ll still be here eating macadamia butts and telling you about other people getting money.

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Horton hears a Hadoop

Hortonworks has raised $50 million to “do Hadoop.” Hortonworks’ platform is an enterprise-grade, Apache Hadoop distribution that offers data services to store, analyze, and access data; operational services to manage and operate Hadoop, and platform services. Hortonworks competes with Cloudera and Imapala and will use this funding to scale global operations, hire engineers, and increase its rate of innovation. Tenaya Capital and Dragoneer Investment Group led this round with participation from existing investors Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures, and Yahoo. Read the press release.

GainSpan gaines $19M for semiconductors

GainSpain manufactures chips that add Wi-Fi connectivity to nearly any product. It is part of a growing trend of Internet of Things startups, developing solutions to turn anything into a connected device. Its low-power Wi-Fi semiconductors are well suited to this field. The company spun out of Intel and will fuel its growth. New investors include Zebra Technologies Corporations and Oplink Communication, as well as previous investors Opus Capital, Intel Capital, New Venture Partners, Sigma Partners, Camp Ventures, and Hatteras Funds. This brings its total capital raised to $75 million.

Orlando startup Kony raises $18.3M to help big brands stay afloat on mobile

Kony has raised $18.3 million in its fourth round of funding. Kony powers apps for enterprise organizations and brands across multiple channels and operating systems. It works with more than 70 of the Fortune 500 companies to build and deploy their mobile applications. Kony is based in Orlando, Fla., and this brings its funding to $52.4 million to date. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Biba promises to help make business communication less ‘awful,’ pulls in $15M

Biba is a mobile app that facilitates corporate communication. It delivers conference calls and messaging inside and outside of company networks and across multiple devices. Biba includes solutions for audio and web conference, enterprise instant messaging, and unified communications. The company raised a $15 million round led by InterWest Partners with participation from existing investors Benchmark Capital and Trinity Ventures as well as former CEO of Symantec Enrique Salem and CEO of Trapit and former president of WebEx Gary Griffiths. Customers include Symantec, Hotwire, Atlassian, and LiveFyre. Biba is based in San Francisco and is available on iOS, Android, or Mac. It was founded in 2011. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Why do students drop out? Civitas Learning gets $8.75M to bring “big data” to colleges

The White House has called for “better data systems” to provide insights into student progress, and technology startups are stepping up. One such startup, Austin, Tx.-based Civitas Learning, is bringing big data analytics to schools. Just one year after launching, it has pulled in $8.75 million in venture capital, a large sum for an ed-tech company. Silicon Valley-based firm Emergence Capital led the funding round with participation from Austin Ventures, First Round Capital, Floodgate, Felicis Ventures, and New Markets Venture Partners. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Keas raises $8M to get employees to exercise and eat more veggies

Keas is off and running with $8 million in new funding. Businesses use Keas to create and manage their workplace health programs. The system promotes healthy behavior and teamwork by rewarding people for achieving simple exercise and nutrition goals through games and social motivation. Keas was founded by former Google Health leader Adam Bosworth to promote corporate wellness in 2008. It has raised $25.5 million in institutional funding from Ignition Partners and Atlas Ventures. The company is based in San Francisco, while its namesake, the Kea parrot, resides in New Zealand. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Quartzy snaps $6.6M in new funding to bring some order to labs

Quartzy is yet another startup born out of frustration of its founders. Jayant Kulkarni and Adam Regelmann met while conducting research at Columbia University. Frustrated by disorganization, poor communication, and endless administrative tasks at their lab, they came up with a solution. And thus Quartzy was born in 2009. The Palo Alto-based online lab management platform Quartzy raised $6.6 million in venture capital, according to a regulatory filing. It raised a seed capital of $1.2 million in 2012, taking the total amount of funding to $7.8 million. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

PeerTransfer raises $6.4M to smarten up international tuition payments

The world of higher education is notoriously slow to innovate. PeerTransfer is a startup that hopes to take college payment systems out of dusty dark corners and bring them into the modern era. The company announced today that it has secured $6.4 million to accelerate its global expansion and develop new products. QED Investors led this round, along with Spanish firms FIDES and KIBO Ventures. Existing investors Spark Capital and Maveron also participated. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Artisan Mobile raises $5.5M to update your mobile app’s design on the fly

Artisan Mobile announced today that it has raised $5.5 million in a first round of funding led by FirstMark Capital. The funding comes on top of $1.5 million in seed money that it raised a few years ago. Seeing an opportunity, Artisan developed Optimize, a product that lets iOS developers instantly tweak their mobile app designs without resubmitting to the App Store. Optimize also lets developers easily test their designs to figure out what works best. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Second screen TV startup Watchwith grabs $5M

Watchwith, a startup that provides sync-to-broadcast technology to many second-screen TV services, has secured a new $5 million round of funding, the company announced today. Watchwith’s service allows broadcast stations to provide things like factoids, trivia questions, and other such information via mobile devices or the TV screen as you’re viewing a program on the TV set. Founded in 2012, the San Francisco, Calif.-based startup’s new funding was led by Rogers Venture Partners with participation from ARRIS (formerly Motorola Mobility) and Gracenote. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Invi gets $3M from Ashton Kutcher & others to ‘replace your native SMS’

The latest tech startup to attract the interest of Hollywood actor-investor Ashton Kutcher? It’s Invi, a mobile messaging app based in Israel, which has pulled in a $3 million seed round today. Invi is focused on making the SMS texting experience a bit more interactive and visually appealing. If you’re so inclined, the Invi app for Android (and in the coming months, iOS) will even stream YouTube while texting. And if a friend sends you a news article via Invi, it will appear as a piece of interactive content — not a bland link. Investors include Horizon Ventures (the firm funded another Israeli startup at the early stage, Waze), UpWest, and unnamed Silicon Valley angels from tech giants like Google, Cisco, Nokia, Yahoo, and Spotify. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Turkey’s version of Airbnb gets $2.5M

Turkey’s version of Airbnb HemenKiralik raised $2.5 million in its first round of funding today. The company says it gets more than 10,000 new listings for its Turkey and Middle East to North Africa location base. Investors include 212 Venture Capital, a Netherlands-based venture capital firm, and Aslanoba Capital. The company has raised a total of $4 million since it was founded in 2012.

Angie’s List competitor Buildzoom gets $1.395M for its contractor marketplace

Buildzoom, a digital company that helps people through the process of remodeling their homes, got $1.395 million in its first round of funding today. The company has built a marketplace of licensed contractors, similar to Angie’s List, but it also shows examples of remodeling projects that you can do. The contractors are given scores to help you choose from them. The funding was led by Formation 8, and includes participation from Hydrazine Capital, DV Playground, Digital Garage, Goldcrest Investments, and a number of others.

The Bouqs Company gets $1.1M — think they wooed investors over with flowers?

The Bouqs Company
, an online flower market founded in 2012, scored $1.1 million in a seed round today. So, what makes this flower company any different from the 1-800 Flowers and FTD websites we’re used to? The company says that each bouquet is shipped for a flat fee of $40. You can choose from flowers grown on a “partner farm” or those grown near an active South American Volcano. The funding comes from Quest Venture Partners, Siemer Ventures, and a number of angel investors.

BabyList helps future families organize their registries with $620K in seed funding

So, you’re pregnant. The little pink plus sign is in your face. What’s your first move? Obviously shopping, right? BabyList takes all of the online registries you create wish lists on and compiles them into one, big registry for your family to visit. The San Francisco company received $620,000 in seed funding from 500 Startups, Okapi Venture Capital, Altair Capital, and a number of angels.