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Funding Daily: Twerk

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Everybody has their talents. For some, it’s building awesome security products that protect your identity. For others, it’s understanding data and being able to help build a better look at what the average customer is like.

For one of our games editors it’s twerking. Yes, between stories about first-person shooters and new Android-based game consoles, this guy gets down.

Sometimes you just need to celebrate life a little, and that’s what these newly funded companies should do. Whether it’s twerking or giving a toast to your recently padded bank accounts, be proud and go forth to create awesome things.

And no, unfortunately no pictures are available.

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Rocket Internet raises $500M to be the biggest e-commerce incubator on Earth

Rocket Internet, love it or hate it, isn’t going anywhere. The Berlin-based e-commerce incubator that routinely launches copies of successful sites in different markets has raised another $500 million in fresh capital. Founded in 2007 by the Samwer brothers (Alexander, Marc, and Oliver), Rocket Internet has started more than 100 companies across five continents. Some of Rocket Internet’s sites have recently raised capital of their own. This round came from Investment AB Kinnevik and Access Industries. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Ping Identity gets $44M to change the way you see your identity online

The appropriately named Ping Identity believes that figuring out how to best manage your identity online will be the key to your security. It has built a number of services to that end, which it says are being used by over half of all Fortune 100 companies. The round was led by W Capital Partnership and DFJ Growth. Existing investors General Catalyst Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Volition Capital Partners, Triangle Peak Parterns, SAP Ventures, and Appian Ventures also participated. Silicon Valley Bank provided some debt funding in the round. Ping Identity says it will use the funding to create more of these identity management services.

Ayasdi’s $30M round proves investors are still rooting for ‘big data’

Ayasdi, the startup that burst on to the scene with the bold claim that it would use “big data to cure cancer,” has raised yet more venture financing. Ayasdi today pulled in $30.6 million in an oversubscribed funding round, after raising $10 million in January. When the company launched six months ago, the founders said they would work with the nation’s top hospitals and medical researchers to uncover more targeted treatments for disease. The funding was led by IVP, with participation from Citi Ventures, GE Ventures (the venture arm of GE, which is a customer), Citi Ventures, Floodgate, and Khosla Ventures. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Context Relevant raises $7M for ‘world’s fastest’ predictive analytics engine

Data scientists are a highly coveted and rare in an industry obsessed with data. Context Relevant helps organizations glean insights from data — but without a menagerie of data scientists to back them up. Today the company announced that it raised $7 million in its first institutional round of funding. Context Relevant claims to be “the world’s fastest predictive analytics application.” It connects to multiple data sources, including SQL, web logs, CRM systems, market data, and social media posts and integrates with existing Hadoop deployments.Madrona Venture Group, Vulcan Capital, Bloomberg Beta, Beoff Entress and others participated in this round. Context Relevant is based in Seattle and has raised $9.8 million to date. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Application testing startup Sauce Labs raises $5M, announces expanded platform

The application testing startup Sauce Labs landed $5 million in Series C funding to support the company’s expansion as the leading provider of cloud-based mobile and web application-testing solutions. Sauce Labs has run over 50 million automated tests since 2009 and ran six million tests by 10,000 users this June. Some of the largest consumer and enterprise brands, including Dropbox, Eventbrite, and Yelp, use the service, and test execution is growing more than 10 percent each month. The $5 million funding round was led by Toba Capital, noted entrepreneur Scott Banister, and existing investors including Triage Ventures, bringing the San Francisco-based startup’s total raised to $9.1 million since 2009. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Water Water Everywhere

Water filter maker Soma has closed a hefty $3.7 million round of seed financing. Soma’s water filters are 100 percent biodegradable and beautifully designed. For every Soma filter sold, the company donates to a partner charity in the developing world. Baseline Ventures, Forerunner Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Collarboative Funds, Cowboy Ventures, Vast Ventures, Mindful Venutres as well as notable angel investors like Tim Ferriss contributed to this round, which came in two parts. The first $1.2 million closed last summer.

TalentBin raises $2M

Recruiting engine TalentBin has announced a $2 million in a round led by Lightbank with participation from NEA, Foundation Capital and FundersClub. The company works with more than 200 corporate clients to provide them with 500 million profiles of potential candidates. The profiles are culled from web crawls that auto-generate composite resumes. Sound like a LinkedIn competitor? Don’t worry — LinkedIn is actually one of those corporate clients. TalentBin is based in San Francisco and was founded in 2011.

Medl Mobile raises $2M to so you can watch celebrities brush their teeth

App development studio and incubator Medl Mobile has raised $2 million for its app Hang w/. Hang w/ allows people to send live real-time video from their phone to many, in the style of a live broadcast. It is targeted for celebrities that can use the service to connect with their fans. Mishaal Alireza led this round, according to The Next Web.

Adbrain gets $1.5M seed round to build better customer profiles for advertisers

Adbrain wants to help advertisers understand their targets on all of their devices. The company has created the Adbrain Engine that builds a customer’s profile looking at their PC, mobile, and tablet usage, bringing all of that information into one place. The company launched today and raised a $1.5 million seed round of funding. The funding will be used to continue the build out the product and business. Investors include Nick Hynes, chief executive of Somo; Sacha Carton, co-founder of Ad Pepper Media; and Tobin Ireland, a board member of the Mobile Marketing Association.

Point.io launches backend-as-a-service, announces $1.5M funding

Backend as a service. BaaS. It just makes us think about twerking. And like twerking, it’s worth a fair amount of money if you do it right. We jest. The point is, Point.io launches today. It’s a backend-as-a-service startup for both “geeks” and “suits,” to use the startup’s terminology, and it’s making its debut with a nice $1.5 million seed round from unnamed investors. The company comes from Wayne, Penn. In addition to the funding, it’s releasing a reference app for iOS and announcing partnership with mobile app developer Stratospherix. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Scoopshot gets photos and videos from around the world with $1.2M in funding

Global crowdsourcing photo and video service Scoopshot secured $1.2 million in funding from the world’s top-selling stock photographer, Yuri Arcurs. Scoopshot allows media and companies to crowdsource mobile photos in minutes, setting geolocation boundaries to indicate which photos they’re interested in. In related news, Arcurs just the single biggest deal ever signed with iStockphoto, but details were not released. Scoopshot competes with CrowdMedia, which we recently covered.

Venturocket can help you get a job without even trying, gets $700K

Venturocket hopes you never have to search or apply for a job again. The San Francisco startup announced that it has raised $700,000 in its first round of funding to get rid of resumes and applications, and improve the hiring process for individuals and organizations alike. Runa Capital led this round, with participation from Talent Equity Ventures and others. Read the full story on VentureBeat.


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