Catching up on start-up and venture stuff:
3jam, a Menlo Park text messaging start-up, raises $500,000 — This is part of a $1 million venture capital investment committed from New Enterprise Associates (via PE Week). 3Jam delivers SMS text message conferencing capability to cellphone users. You can send a private SMS text message to as many people as you like, etc (on the bet that email is too clunky). Company hasn’t launched yet, but here’s the blog.
Photobucket, which has offices here in Palo Alto, has raised $10.5 million — It is the company’s second round of funding, and comes from Trinity Ventures, the company told us a couple of days ago. It is another one of those photo hosting services that is big and popular (it has more than 10 million unique monthly visitors!), but that hardly anyone in Silicon Valley seems to know or care about because it doesn’t have the cutting edge gestalt of say, Flickr. Though, Photobucket’s software lets you link you photos between sites, and so it is often not the destination site.
JWire raises $1.25 million — It is a South San Francisco company and lets you know where free and other WiFi hotspots are, and gives you other advice about how to use them. It has raised $1.25 million. Investors include DFJ Frontier, Draper Associates, Nob Hill Capital Partners and Mosaic Technology Fund.
Draper Fisher Jurvetson to go later stage — When we wrote a story about Tim Draper’s recent successes at DFJ a few months ago, the firm hinted to us that its next move might be to start investing in later stage companies. And now Constance Loizos, of PE Week, has the scoop and makes it official. It is being led by DFJ co-founder John Fisher (the “F” in DFJ), former AOL chief exec, Barry Schuler, and venture capitalist Mark Bailey. For us, the hint came when we asked how DFJ planned to stay ahead of the curve, now that it is international and everyone else seemed to be headed that way. They said later stage investing was one possibility. Early-stage firms generally invest fewer dollars into companies (because the companies are still young), and so they raise less money. But by going global, DFJ has spread itself pretty thin, so raising more cash to invest later stage makes sense. It can justify the cost of opening up offices everywhere.
Checkpoint’s Kramer strikes again — Shlomo Kramer, who co-founded the successful security firewall company, Check Point Software Technologies, is back in action.
This time, he’s launched Imperva, a Foster City database security company. He’s focused on what so many other security companies are doing: Shutting down a company’s internal security threats. We talked with Shlomo, and he told us his company is different because it is targeting primarily database security. The database, he says is “where the confidential information sits. This is the crown jewel of any organization.”
He has just raised $17 million in a third round of capital, to expand sales, from Greylock and existing U.S. Venture Partners, Venrock and Accel. He chose the firms because he’s worked them all in the past. And this time, instead of being HQ’d in Israel with offices here (as in case of Checkpoint), it is the other way around. He said the choice for U.S HQ was drive mainly by the investors.
The company has raised about $33.7 million to date, has 65 employees, and pretty soon will be hitting annual revenues of tens of millions of dollars, Shlomo told us.
Mike McCaffery, former chief exec of Stanford Management, launches new hedge fund — In another story by Constance (she’s dominating the VC reportage these days), she writes McCaffery and his new firm, Makena Capital Management, are targeting $6 billion. It is located on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, and apparently a large portion of the hedge fund comes from Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder turned investor and philanthropist. Allen may be contributing up to $2 billion to the fund. Also on the team are David Burke, former managing director of the Stanford University endowment, and Michael Ross, Stanford’s former CIO and Susan Meaney, former director of real estate investments for the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation.
Delivery Agent raises $11 million — The SF company is trying to help people make money from all the new media out there, by “facilitating and measuring revenue-generating connections between viewers and products.” They told us last night they have raised $11 million from venture firms Bessemer, Worldview and Cardinal Venture Capital.