Anyone who knows me also knows about my love of pandas. I have a panda tee-shirts, panda slippers, a panda hat, a panda wallet, a panda keychain, and a panda pillow. Qualms about revealing that information to you readers aside, you can imagine my chagrin after reading this article detailing why pandas are a “hopeless and wasteful species.”
Pandas may be expensive and yield questionable value (beyond cuteness), but the same can also be said of many startups. That doesn’t mean you give up on them! Keep on eating that bamboo pandas, and maybe the investment will pay off. Here are the companies investors are betting on today.
Pure Storage hooks huge $150M round to take its enterprise flash storage biz global
Enterprise flash storage bigshot Pure Storage has raised a massive $150 million in new funding to help give it the room to grow and evangelize the power of all-flash storage arrays. The company now offers its third-generation all-flash array, which it claims is 10 times faster and 10 times more space and energy efficient than traditional disk arrays.
T.Rowe Price and Tiger Global Management led the round, with participation from existing investors Greylock Partners, Index Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, Samsung Ventures, and Sutter Hill Ventures. Read more on VentureBeat.
VHX gets $3.2M to distribute videos directly to consumers
VHX is a video distribution platform that makes it easier for content creators and sell their videos to consumers, without using an intermediary like YouTube. It works with big-names and unknowns alike and claims to have generated $2 million in sales in the last year. Union Square Ventures, William Morris Endeavrs, Lerer Ventures, Lowercase Capital, and Alexis Ohanian invested in the Brooklyn-based startup.
Zendrive fuels up with $1.5M to quantify your driving skills
Zendrive is an app that gathers data about your driving habits and gives you real-world rewards for making “good” decisions. The company peeked out of stealth mode today to announce a $1.5 million seed round. Zendrive’s seed round came from First Round Capital and influencers including Max Levchin, Jerry Yang, and Tim Ferriss. Read more on VentureBeat.
Sqwiggle swerves into $1.1M to bring distributed teams together
Sqwiggle has raised $1.1M to make you feel like you are with your coworkers, when you aren’t. It powers a video conferencing application that can run all day so you can stay connected and communicate with your team. There are collaboration features for running live discussions, creating multiple workrooms, and sharing. This round was partially raised using AngelList’s new Syndicates feature. Investors include a range of entrepreneurs as well as partners at Promus Ventures, Detroit Venture Partners, Coyote Ridge Ventures, New Global Fund.
Retention Science nabs $750K to bring big data to retailers
In Santa Monica, a group of technologists founded a company called Retention Science to better understand buying behavior. It’s building analytics tools to pull together reams of data and provide retailers with the insights to attract big spenders. Today, the startup raised an additional $750,000 from Forerunner Ventures, which will augment its $1.3 million seed round from July 2012. Forerunner Ventures is a recently launched, all-women venture firm that specializes in e-commerce. Read more on VentureBeat.