Business

Funding Daily: Sweaters and scarves

Image Credit: Shutterstock user kochanowki

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In today’s funding news, there were the usual suspects of e-commerce, security, marketing and storage startups. However a unique British clothing brand that harnesses the “maker ideology” in an effort to “reboot home manufacturing” raised funding today. Its not too often sweaters and scarves make their way onto my funding radar. As a devoted lover of all things snuggly, I was excited by this unusual turn of events. Nothing prepares you for San Francisco summers like wool.

Bigcommerce raises $40M to help small businesses ‘sell more’ online

Bigcommerce helps over 36,000 small business owners create professional stores online. The company provides tools for building a fully-featured e-commerce website, with design templates, search engine optimization, data analytics, security, inventory management, and payment processing. Customers can customize their stores and incorporate features like product reviews, and as well as receive one-on-one help from Bigcommerce’s “Success Squad.” AOL founder Steve Case’s Revolution Growth Fund led this round. It brings Bigcommerce’s total capital raised to $75 million. Read more on VentureBeat.

SolidFire nets $31M from Samsung Ventures to speed up public and private clouds

SolidFire, a maker of high-performance solid-state storage systems, has picked up $31 million in new funding and launched a new flagship storage node. Boulder, Colo.-based SolidFire’s SSD storage targets enterprises and cloud providers that EMC and NetApp are also going after. Today’s funding was led by new investor Samsung Ventures, with participation by prior investors New Enterprise Associates, Valhalla Partners, and Novak Biddle Venture Partners. Including the new round, SolidFire has raised $68 million to date. Read more on VentureBeat.

VidSys takes data from your security cameras and makes it actionable with $15.65M

VidSys, which provides big data anylsis for your physical building security, received $15.65 million in a mezzanine round today. VidSys’ technology pulls data from a company’s physical security system. That’s right, it’s watching the data coming off your security cameras and other sensors that may otherwise be geographically dispersed. That data is then analyzed and turned into “actionable intelligence.” The funding round was led by Newspring Capital with participation from Atlanta Equity, Flybridge Capital Partners, JVax Investment Group, and Motorola Solutions Venture Capital. The company is headquartered in Vienna Virginia and was founded in 2005.

Joor raises $15M to give fashion wholesale a more modern look

Joor has raised $15 million to become the “it girl” of online fashion wholesale. The platform enables brands and retailers to connect and transact online. Its marketplace currently includes 600 brands and 40,000 retailers that use Joor to find potential business opportunities and manage their orders using a suite of software tools. Canaan Partners led this second round of funding, with participation from Conde Nast parent company Advance Publications, and existing investors Battery Ventures, Forerunner Partners, and Lerer Ventures. It will be used to fuel international expansion. This brings Joor’s total to $20.5 million to date. Read more on VentureBeat.

Network security suite Catbird says the market is too fragmented, gets $10M

Catbird knows traditional network security is not going to work in the virtual world. The company, which received $10 million in funding today, is frustrated by the fragmented way security software for the data center is being distributed.Catbird provides, what Costa says, are the four main security needs for contemporary data centers: a firewall, intrusion detection, vulnerability management, and network access control. Medina Capital led this round, which is a follow-on to its $2 million first round of funding announced in December 2012. Read more on VentureBeat. 

Wool and the Gang gangs up with tech and retail investors

London fashion startup Wool and the Gang has raised $2.8 million to build out its sustainable fashion line. Wool and the Gang “harnesses the power of the Internet and the creativity of the maker movement” to manufacture eco-friendly, hand-crafted garments made by its army of knitters. Index Ventures and Wellington Partners led this round, with participation from MMC Ventures. The money will help the company develop more products and enter new markets.

Trover raises $2.5M to build communal photo atlas of the world

Trover wants to help your adventures live on after you return from a trip. The “travel photo junkie” startup closed $2.5 million in investment with the goal of becoming the “online hub for travel photography.” It also announced the release of a redesigned iPhone app. Trover is a social photo-sharing network for travel photography, where visitors can also share travel tips and experiences. Concur led this round through the Concur Perfect Trip Fund. Existing investors General Catalyst Partners, Benchmark Capital, and Ignition Partners also participated. Read more on VentureBeat.

Kontera raises $2M to understand the global online conversation 

Content marketing platform Kontera has raised $2 million in its first round of funding. Kontera uses big data technology to “understand the world’s content.” The company claims to “cross-correlate” 450 million pages, 550 terabytes of videos, 3.5 terabytes of content, 300 billion phrases, 550 million images, and 1.4 billion tweets every day to give businesses greater insight into content relationships and trends, and consumer interests. Brands can use this information to reach target audiences and give their content the greatest impact. Investors on the SEC filing (and on the company’s site) include Sequoia Capital, Carmel Ventures, Tenaya Capital, and Abundant Venture Partners. Read the filing.

Watsi raises first-ever ‘philanthropic seed round’ from Silicon Valley investors

Y Combinator’s first ever nonprofit Watsi is among the first charitable organizations to raise a traditional ’round’ from angel investors. Watsi received donations, and didn’t exchange equity, but in all other respects, the company received funding in an identical manner to its peers at Y Combinator. Watsi helps impoverished people pay their medical bills through small donations. Potential donors can view profiles online — primarily young children — to inspire a personal connection, and can give as little as $5. Read more on VentureBeat. Paul Graham, San Francisco billionaire Ron Conway, Rotten Tomatoes founder Joe Greenstein, and angel investor Eric Wu participated. Read more on VentureBeat. 


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