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In the sea of cloud and infrastructure startups, sometimes it’s worth calling out that really cool piece of recreational tech: sports.
Zepp Labs received $15 million today for its sensors, which you can place on your baseball bat, tennis racket, or golf glove. It plays into the cloud-data-love by supplying you with tons of information about your swing and how to improve.
Data will help big companies understand and grow their customer bases, sure, but there’s something awesome about finding data in your backyard or at the park.
Icahn makes $3B bet on Apple, despite accusing board of a lack of finance experience
Carl Icahn made by far his largest single trade on Apple, tweeting that his investment has grown to $3 billion. The outspoken billionaire has repeatedly referred to Apple as a “no brainer.” His stake represents less than one percent of Apple’s stock, and Icahn is not one of the company’s largest shareholders. Shares rose one percent after Icahn published his series of tweets. Read the full story on VentureBeat.
MemSQL raises $35M to future-proof your company’s database
Companies that seek high performance but don’t want to learn a whole new query language to use a newfangled database turn to MemSQL, among others. The company targets real-time analytics. That could mean, for example, identifying the right ads to display to consumers based on the things they click on. The technology appears to be hitting its stride, as MemSQL today announced $35 million in new funding, with Accel Partners and Khosla Ventures signing on beside previous investors Data Collective and First Round Capital. Read the full story on VentureBeat.
Intercom grabs $23M to treat Internet customers more like coffee shop patrons
Intercom, an online platform that enables companies to deliver personalized responses to their customers has raised $23 million in new funding, the company announced today. The round, led by Bessemer Venture Partners, brings the startup’s total financing to $30 million. Using Intercom, companies like Heroku, Hootsuite, and Visual.ly get a live view of the people using their software. They can use filters to split up their customers — say, people who have engaged in the last month but haven’t tried a specific feature — and set up manual or automatic messages for those groups. Read the full story on VentureBeat.
More cash for native ads: Sharethrough raises another $17M
Sharethrough, an in-feed native ad exchange, is raising another $17 million in debt and equity financing. ShareThrough’s ad tech helps publishers create and sell ads in their content streams, an approach that’s proven to be particularly effective on mobile devices (as the likes of Facebook and Tumblr have shown). The funding round was led by existing investors North Bridge Venture Partners and Floodgate, as well as new investors Elevation Partners, Silver Creek, and Patrick Keane (Sharethrough’s president). Read the full story on VentureBeat.
Zepp Labs gets $15M to own the sports data market
There will come a day when every sports game will have some element of data — a brand that brings you the Halftime analysis in whole new way. Zepp Labs, which raised $15 million in funding today, says it’s going to be that brand. The company sells a sensor that can monitor your swing and give you feedback on it. It works with your tennis racket, baseball bat, or your golf glove. Investors in this round include GGV Capital, Bertelsmann and Cherubic Ventures, and existing investor Legend Capital, which provided Zepp’s first round of $5 million. Read the full story on VentureBeat.
Zenefits raises $15M to put the sexy ‘back’ into HR, payroll, and insurance
No one likes to deal with “administrative crap.” Zenefits is hard at work automating this metaphorical excrement out of existence. The startup announced today that it has raised $15 million to fuel product development, sales, and marketing, and continue capturing business away from legacy Human Resources Information System (HRIS) providers. New investor Andreessen Horowitz and existing investors Maverick, and Venrock contributed to this round of funding, bringing Zenefits’ total capital raised to $17.1 million. Read the full story on VentureBeat.
StyleSeat helps 200K beauty & wellness professionals grow their business
Haircuts have the power to make you feel like a million bucks or like an awkward loser with just a few snips of the scissors. StyleSeat has closed $10.2 million in funding for its online marketplace where you can find and book for beauty and wellness appointments near you. Every professional’s profile on the site comes with personal information, the services they provide at what price, examples of their work, and recommendations from other customers. Lightspeed Ventures led this second round of funding, with participation from existing investor Lowercase Capital. Read the full story on VentureBeat.
BitAngels invests $7M into its favorite Bitcoin-disrupting companies
Bitcoins startups are getting some cash love — like, actual dollars. An Austin, Texas-based incubator called BitAngels annoucned today that it invested $7 million into 12 different companies it feels are “distrupting through Bitcoin-based initiatives.” One of these investments when to Blueseed, the company that plans on making an off-shore Silicon Valley tech incubator. BitAngels was founded in May 2013.
Chartio grabs $2.2M for simple but powerful data visualization
Chartio is one beneficiary of the new burst of interest around data visualization. Today the cloud-based visualization software provider announced it had raised $2.2 million in new funding from previous investor Avalon Ventures, bringing its total funding to date to $6.6 million. Read the full story on VentureBeat.
Apptimize lets your team do mobile A/B testing with just a couple clicks
Nancy Hua used to make millions of dollars a year as an algorithmic trader, but left to start Apptimize which she believes is the “larger opportunity.” Apptimize helps companies perform mobile A/B testing for iOS and Android. Today it announced closing $2.1 million in seed funding, as well as the launch of its Visual Apptimizer that lets non-developers A/B test their apps. Investors in this round include Google Ventures, a16z, Maverick, and a number of well-known angel investors such as Quora cofounder Charlie Cheever. Read the full story on VentureBeat.
Salesforce execs get $1.65M for mobile startup m>PATH
Two uber-nerds from Salesforce have founded and received funding for a new venture called m>PATH. This startup, which will make an end-to-end mobile infrastructure product for business and IT workers, is backed by Jump Capital, the investment fund run by Akamai co-founder Randall Kaplan. The funding will be used primarily for hiring — particularly for development and engineering positions. Read the full story on VentureBeat.
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