We logged nearly a billion dollars in tech-related VC deals today. Here are the highlights.
DFJ Growth, Draper Fisher Jurvetson’s venture capital arm for later-stage companies, has closed a new $470 million fund. Established in 2006, DFJ Growth has invested in Box, Foursquare, Silver Spring Networks, SolarCity, SpaceX, Tumblr, Twitter, and Yammer. It works with companies looking for at least $10 million.
Read more on VentureBeat: DFJ Growth closes a $470M fund to invest in the next round of billion-dollar companies
WordPress powers at least 19 percent of the Web. Now we can finally call its creator, Automattic, a billion-dollar company. Automattic is valued at $1.16 billion thanks to a new $160 million funding round today. This news follows reports last month that estimated Automattic was out to raise $100 million.
Read more on VentureBeat: Automattic, the company behind WordPress, is worth $1.16B in new $160M round
With its handset business in Microsoft’s pocket, Nokia is looking for its next big business opportunity — and it may have found it in connected cars. The Finnish tech company today announced the launch of a $100 million “Connected Car fund” managed by Nokia Growth Partners. The fund will invest in companies poised for growth in the intelligent vehicle sector, the company said.
Read more on VentureBeat: Nokia fuels smart car development with $100M fund
Prosper, a San Francisco-based peer-to-peer money lending outfit, scored $70 million in venture funding today. Prosper raised $45 million in funding last year. Prosper launched in 2005 and currently has 110 employees and 2.1 million clients. Prosper claims that it has funded more than $1 billion in loans. That includes over $100 million in loans in April alone, up from the $9 million it did in February of last year, according to chief executive Aaron Vermut.
Read more on VentureBeat: Prosper reels in $70 million for peer-to-peer consumer loans
Yes, testing all those websites you’ve been building is just as important as throwing together the code. As if you needed any proof, here’s another data point: Optimizely has just scooped up a new bag of cash. The company helps website owners do A/B tests to find out, for instance, if a yellow button or a blue one gets people to click more. Today, Optimizely is announcing that it has a closed its second round of institutional funding, bringing in a new $57 million. Andreessen Horowitz led the round, with additional participation from Benchmark Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. Andreessen Horowitz general partner Scott Weiss is joining the company’s board.
Read more on VentureBeat: A/B testing company Optimizely raises a massive $57M
A Kabbage loan may be a better option than a bank loan — and the lender is now flush with new cash. The financial services startup today announced that it’s raised a $50 million funding round. This new investment comes one month after Kabbage closed a $270 million credit faculty, which it’s using to loan more money to small businesses and online merchants.
Read more on VentureBeat: $50M will help Kabbage expand its small-business loan program
Smartsheet takes $35M
From a publicity email to VB: “Project management software company Smartsheet just received a cool $35 million injection to make spreadsheets sexy again. Palo Alto-based Sutter Hill Ventures led this round of financing which brings Smartsheet’s total venture funding to $70 million and smartsheet says it plans to use this additional funding to drive adoption of the tool within large enterprises, scale its offering internationally, extend its mobile and platform capabilities and grow its Bellevue, Wash.-based teams.”
Read the press release.
France-based car rental startup Drivy has secured a new €6 million ($8.3 million) round of funding that should help the service grow beyond French borders. Unlike other peer-based car startups (Uber, Lyft, etc.), Drivy isn’t a taxi replacement service. Instead, the startup invites people to rent out vehicles they aren’t currently using to people who would otherwise go to a chain car-rental service. I would say Drivy is more like an Airbnb for cars, but the startup says it wants to actually replace the act of purchasing a car for people who don’t really need one all the time.
Read more on VentureBeat: French startup Drivy takes aim at the rest of Europe, grabs $8.3M
UberMedia gets $8M
From a press release: “UberMedia, the leader in leveraging social and location signals to drive mobile advertising results, today announced $8 million in additional funding from Gordon Crawford and Blue Chip Ventures. … With a growth rate of more than 300 percent in 2013, this new round will provide capital to fuel accelerated product development, expanding the company’s product offerings and positioning the company for continued growth in 2014 and beyond.”
Read more on UberMedia’s website.
Pear Sports has taken a $5 million second round of funding to fuel the marketing of it interactive fitness trainer app and white label platform. The Pear (Android or iPhone) app acts like a human personal trainer, offering custom workout sessions and in-workout coaching based on your fitness level and heart rate. The app detects your heart rate using a heart monitor wristband made by Pear, and the audio coaching is delivered through a special pair of Pear headphones. Users can buy new interactive workouts (there are now 500 of them) at the Pear website.
Read more on VentureBeat: Fitness app Pear Takes $5M, with cash from smart TV maker VIZIO
The Menlo Park, Calif.-based security startup Area 1 Security pulled in $2.5 million in seed funding today. Three of the five-member Area 1 Security team are former National Security Agency tech spooks, and the other two come from Disney and MIT, said founder and chief executive Oren Falkowitz.
Read more on VentureBeat: Former NSA teammates launch Area 1 Security, snag $2.5 million
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