Deals

Funding Daily: Let’s stay online

Above: Let's all stay online forever


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Today was a big day for outages. Both The New York Times and Microsoft suffered prolonged downtime that left users without the data they usually have access to, whether its breaking news, email, or cloud storage.

So today’s Funding Daily is dedicated to staying online and making your service or product available to all. Not only do you have the $150 million IPO filing by textbook renter Chegg, which is trying to get more books in college student’s hands, but you also have the $4 million funding round for InstaEDU, which wants to give tutoring access 24 hours a day.

Without further ado, here are today’s deals:

Chegg files $150M IPO to help it break the college textbook racket

Online textbook rental company Chegg filed to go public this morning, showing that the ed tech industry can, in fact, catch on. Chegg plans on raising $150 million in its initial public offering. The company says that it has around 180,000 textbook titles available for rent and that 3.7 million students completed purchases in 2012. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

AvantCredit secures $20M to make financial loans more accessible with big data

Online lending startup AvantCredit has raised $20 million for its big data technology that assesses loans. AvantCredit’s platform uses machine learning to determine lending risk, rather than relying solely on a credit score. The platform takes inputs from dozens of data sources while the customer is filling out an application and it applies a range of algorithms to find a customer’s “true” credit worthiness. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Need a better fitting bra? ThirdLove is an app for that

Thirdlove announced today that it has raised $5.6 million led by venture capital heavyweights New Enterprise Associates and Andreessen Horowitz to launch a lingerie brand and corresponding mobile app. ThirdLove is made up of two distinct halves — the retail side and the technology side. The company designs, sources, and manufactures bras and panties in house and sells them through the mobile app. However its key characteristic is its use of mobile technology to assess every woman’s unique size. This financing will be used to scale the supply chain. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

InstaEDU gets $4M to find you a tutor at anytime, day or night

In the information age, students can turn to a new website called InstaEDU, which can hook you up with a tutor anytime, day or night. Investors believe that students will continue to flock to InstaEDU for homework help, so the company just secured $4 million in venture financing. With the funding, InstaEDU will build out its team and market its online tutoring service to schools and universities. Read the full story on VentureBeat.

Fleksy gets $3M

Syntellia, maker of virtual keyboard Fleksy, has raised a $3 million round of funding. This is the startup’s first institutional raise; it comes from Highland Capital Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Middleland Capital and other institutional and angel investors. Company reps say Fleksy is powerful enough to allow for eyes-free typing, just like on your laptop’s physical keyboard. Part of us is, like, “Yeah, right,” but a much larger part of us is screaming, “Please, technology gods, let it be true and let it be on my phone!” because this autocorrect nonsense is driving us nuts.

Speek grabs $1.1M

Conference call company Speek has tacked on an additional $1.1 million to its fundraise, bringing the total round to $2.6 million. The product, which comes in free and paid “pro” versions, puts a simple visual interface onto conference calling, giving users a custom URL instead of a phone number and PIN and dialing in your call attendees automatically. This is the startup’s first round of institutional funding and includes participation from 500 Startups, CNF Investments, Valhalla Partners, and assorted other firms and individual angels.

Drync sips up $900K to turn amateurs into oenophiles 

Wine app developer Drync has raised $900,000 in funding for its mobile “Shazam for wine” app. Wine drinkers take photos of wines they like and Drync will match it with its wine database, which contains information about 1.7 million wines. You can save details, rate wines and write tasting notes, and see what other people are saying about it. You can also buy wines for delivery through the app. The Drync network has a network of fulfillment partners with over 30,000 wines and will use this financing to expand its network and develop the product. It competes with Vivino and Snooth.