Maybe it is because we keep a jar of trail mix here in the VentureBeat offices, or maybe it was those delectable white chocolate macadamia cookies at Demo Day yesterday, but I couldn’t help but see a nutty pattern in today’s funding announcements. You throw me a company called Nutanix and another called sqrrly and expect me not to make a theme out of it? Please. Here is a taste of all the cash[ews] circulating through the technology scene today.
JP Morgan invests in Brazil nuts, otherwise known as online fashion retailer Dafiti
US-based financial firm JP Morgan is to invest $45 million in Dafiti, built with the backing of Berlin incubator Rocket Internet and now the largest online fashion retailer in Brazil.
In the year since Dafiti’s launch in 2011, the e-commerce site has grown from a team of ten to a 1,000-strong workforce, distributing over 60,000 products and getting 30 million website visits per month.
This announcement comes in the wake of JP Morgan’s investment in European commerce giant Zalando and growing interest (and investment) in Brazil’s technology scene. The company said it would also use the new cash to “expand our presence in other countries in Latin America, namely Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Columbia.” Read more on VentureBeat.
Tagged helps you find friends to be the peanut butter to your jelly
Popular social network Tagged has raised $15 million in new capital to grow its membership and acquire other properties, the company announced today. The new funding was led by Lighthouse Capital Partners and Comerica Bank. Tagged has been profitable for the past four years.
Billed as “the social network for meeting new people”, Tagged is in many ways a friend discovery engine. Users build profiles, express their interests, and search for like-minded souls on the network. The technology can also provide friend suggestions.
With a network of 330 million members in 220 countries, chances are you will find a friend.
If not, there may be something wrong with you. Read more on VentureBeat.
Nutanix, Goldman Sachs are nutty for server virtualization
Unlike most other systems, Nutanix’s own combines both storage and computing into a single box. This makes life for the average IT manager easier, as it cuts down on data center footprints. That, in turn, means lower costs on server infrastructure as a whole.
The latest round in funding joins the $38 million Nutanix has previously raised, brining its total to $71 million. The funding was headed by Lightspeed Ventures and Khosla Ventures, and supported by Battery Ventures and Goldman Sachs. Nutanix says the cash infusion will go to bolstering its sales and marketing teams, which will be key as the company battles against larger incumbents like IBM and EMC. Read more on VentureBeat.
Big data startup sqrrl helps collect and protect acorns…if acorns were petabytes of data
Whenever large amounts of data are collected, there are obviously going to be security concerns. Sqrrl launched today and announced that it has secured $2 million to make big data more scaleable, adaptable, and well, secure.
The company provides software that keeps big data secure and controlled. Its products are focused on Apache Accumlo, a data storage and retrieval system that was initially created by sqrrl’s engineering team within the National Security Agency. Apache processes massive amounts of data, and sqrrl provides the technology that enables the data to be brought together and protected. It also helps with scaling issues and provides analytical tools.
With this seed round, the company will expand its product line and work towards releasing an enterprise version of Apache Accumlo. The investment came from Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners. It is now based in Cambridge, MA, having recently moved from Washington DC.
TriPlay applies “Trail Mix” model to synchronizing media content
TriPlay knows the value of bringing together different types of content from different sources. Why have all your nuts and fruit diffused over across various containers, when you can have them all united into one?
For this reason, TriPlay raised $5 million for its technology that allows users to share multimedia content across multiple platforms and devices. Its cloud-based services make it easier to access, manage, store, synchronize, and deliver photos, music, and videos from phones to tablets to PCs and back again.
This is TriPlay’s third round of funding from businessman Kenges Rakishev. This brings its total investment to $15 million. The company has offices in New York and Israel. Read more on VentureBeat.
Ginger enhances English language learning more than pecan pie
Ginger Software has completed an extended round of funding for its language recognition software that helps users master English as a second language.
By referencing billions of sentences on the web and seeking out linguistic patterns, Ginger can provide guidance for non-native speakers on the most contextually appropriate way to express their intended meaning. Users input text into the program and the software will correct any grammatical or contextual errors.
It received $6.3 million in a Series D in February. This additional $5.4 million means Ginger has received almost $21 million in total investment, with $5 million of this round coming from Li Ka-shing’s Horizon Ventures and Harbor Pacific Capital, as well as $400,000 from current investors. Read more on VentureBeat.
Fuhu gives tablets to users who are still just little peanuts
Kids these days demand technology, which is why Fuhu Inc, a creator of kid-friendly technology products, announced today it has raised $10 million.
The funding will go toward expanding Fuhu’s products and services. Fuhu’s flagship product is the nabi tablet, an Android tablet made especially for kids. The round was led by ORIX Ventures, a Dallas-based venture capital firm that focuses its investments on mid- and late-stage companies. This is Fuhu’s fourth round of funding. The company last received $15 million in 2011 from the Foxconn Technology Group and Kingston Digital, Inc. Its total investment stands at $32.75 million. Read more on VentureBeat.