Deals

Funding Daily: Seeing double (digits)

Image Credit: jimhair">/Flickr

Get all the tech funding news of the day delivered straight to your mailbox! Sign up for Funding Daily and never miss a deal.


Today brought a grand total of six double-digit tech funding stories across the VentureBeat news desk.

That’s a lot of cheddar, no matter how you slice it.*

The big winners of the day were Fancy and Shazam, two consumer-focused web companies you’ve probably heard of by now.

The other fundees of the day span industries such as finance, security, customer service, and good ol’ online marketing. Let’s dive right in:

Fancy gets $53M

Credit card company American Express and actor Will Smith are apparently sinking $53 million into online retail service The Fancy, according to a Bloomberg report that cites anonymous sources familiar with the matter. The Fancy is a site that collects the quirkiest, coolest things from around the web and so you shoppers purchase them. The items range in value and price — from $5,000 rocking chair beds to $5 bamboo paper straws. The site also offers $40 “Fancy Boxes” that contain a random mix of stuff based on your preferences. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Shazam scores $40M

Music and TV “discovery” service Shazam has closed a new $40 million round of funding, the company announced today. Shazam, which now has an audience of 325 million, initially began as a service that recognized and determined what you were listening to using the audio. Over the last year, the company has made great strides using that same audio recognition technology to identify what you’re watching on television or commercials. The small screen is where Shazam plans to use its new capital. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Zebit takes $30M

Zebit, a U.K.-based big data underwriting company for financial products, took a $30 million term debt facility for the company to fuel its global expansion. This round brings the company’s total funding to $95 million since 2009. “With our technology, we’re able to offer the most financially vulnerable people better access to credit,” said CEO Michael Thiemann in an e-mailed statement. “Using sciences … gets us better underwriting and lower fraud rates, allowing us to offer superior rates to traditional underwriting. This is a sector that will be won on analytics and we know analytics.”

Predixion conjures up $20M

Predictive analytics startup Predixion Software has raised $20 million in its third round of funding, the company said today.
Predixion offers self-service analytics software for customers in industries including health care, life sciences, financial services, marketing, government, manufacturing, and e-commerce. The software claims to help managers and workers make better decisions based on predictions. For example, it can help a health care admin predict which patients are most likely to come back in for more treatment or tell a bank manager when a high-quality customer is likely to change banks. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Pure360 secures $15.7M

E-mail and SMS marketing startup Pure360 has closed a £10.5 million ($15.7 million) round of funding. Scottish Equity Partners (SEP) put £6.5 million ($9.7 million) into the company; the remainder of the funding came from Investec and Pure360′s own management. Pure360, which works with brands including Virgin, estimates the U.K. market for e-mail marketing platforms and services will grow to £513 million ($761 million) this year. CEO Stuart Dawson said in a release, “The investment will enable us to develop our platform’s functionalities even further, focusing on segmentation, geolocation and automation so that marketers can send messages at the right time, to the right people in the right place –predicting what they need, before they even know it themselves.”

Seculert gets $10M

While some companies still fear the cloud’s murky standards on handling its data, Seculert believes using the cloud will give companies the most well-rounded infection detection possible. The security software company received a $10 million second round of funding today. The round was led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Norwest Venture Partners, which previously invested in Seculert. Seculert’s Echo technology focuses on watching botnets in order to tell if your company’s systems have been infected. The technology connects into and tracks the botnets and malware servers themselves and then compares them with IP addresses you’ve supplied. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

GeoMetWatch nabs $6M

A company called GeoMetWatch just closed a $6 million funding round to improve the accuracy of weather prediction. It will use the capital to deploy six data-gathering sensors into orbit, 22,236 miles above the equator. These sensors will be stuck on standard communication satellites. From this vantage point, the sensors will gather atmospheric data, which will be analyzed and conveyed to data centers. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Modria raises $5M

“Fairness Engine for the Internet” Modria has raised $5 million in its first round of funding. Modria’s software aims to resolve online disputes quickly. It pinpoints customer problems and automates the process of addressing them. It also offers a cloud-based environment for concerned parties to come together for mediation, negotiation, and arbitration before issues become overblown, costly affairs. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

BlikBook seals $1.3M deal

Irish higher-ed startup BlikBook has taken a $1.3 million round of funding led by Leaf Investments with participation from Delta Partners, Enterprise Ireland, and existing investors Existing Forward Investment Partners. The company’s platform lets professors and students interact, sharing questions and answers and generating an FAQ section for courses. Cofounder Cheyne Tan said in a statement, “Our technology enables universities to improve student engagement, quality ratings and academic performance through an easy to use digital platform for knowledge sharing between lecturers and students. This investment gives us a great boost as we seek to expand further in the U.K. and Ireland.”

*Jolie O’Dell is awarded 10 points for working a subtle “cut the cheese” joke into a VentureBeat post.