CrunchBase Weekly Market Momentum

CrunchBase Weekly Market Momentum

It’s been a big news week for tech as Twitch and Snapchat have stirred up enough interest to distract us even from Burning Man. Twitch, the video platform for gamers, along with the social messaging Snapchat app are just two pieces of a notable trend in the gaming and social markets that venture investors poured their cash into this week.

Social media made the strongest comeback this week, with nine companies totalling $44.7M in funding. Rumors that social media management startup HootSuite may be closing a pre-IPO round from Fidelity could significantly increase that figure, which is already up over 15x from last week. The trend in social media this week has had a clear theme, favoring very specific vertical social platforms. Wikia, a user-generated pop culture publishing site, raised $15M to try to expand the business into Asia. The Series D was led by Tokyo-based Digital Garage and included seven other investors including BessemerAmazon and IVP. Similarly, Chinese company Xingyun.cn took in a $6.5M Series A from Shenzen Capital Group for their social media platform geared towards the cultural entertainment vertical.

Social finance service Ayondo of Frankfurt also took $4M in funding from Luminor Capital for their social trading platform enabling members to follow and monitor top stock traders. In the U.S., Boston startup Fancred took in a $3M seed round for their social app targeting sports fans and Vegas company EastMeetEast raised $480k to launch a dating platform for Asians in English-speaking countries. Finally, AdmitSee secured a $250k convertible note as part of the Founder.org program for their crowd-sourced platform to bring transparency to college admissions.

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CrunchBase Daily Featured Fundings

CrunchBase Daily Featured Fundings

Nutanix, a converged infrastructure provider based in San Jose, has raised a $140 million Series E round at a $2 billion valuation from undisclosed Boston public market investors, rumored to be Wellington Management and Fidelity. Nutanix combines storage and compute power in a single box to reduce space, power, cooling, and cost required to run it, serving 800 customers in 43 countries. Founded in 2009, Nutanix has raised over $300 million to date and will use the latest funding to open to offices, hire additional staff, and expand product offerings.

KKBOX, a music streaming service based in Taiwan, has raised $104 million from Singapore GIC with participation from KDDI (Japan’s second-largest telecommunications company),HTC, and Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom. KKBOX offers music streaming services to 10 million users in six Asian markets including Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Founded in 2005, KKBOX will put the new funds toward developing platform technology and continuing expansion into overseas markets.

Wikia, a user-generated content portal based in San Francisco, has raised $15 million in a Series D round led by Digital Garage with participation from previous backers AmazonBessemer Venture Partners, and Institutional Venture Partners along with strategic investors Asuka Investments, video game developer Tose, and former CEO of Sony Nobuyuki Idei. Wikia operates the world’s largest network of collaboratively published content on the web, with over 120 million global unique monthly users and 34 million pages of content. Founded in 2006 by Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, Wikia has raised nearly $40 million to date and will use the latest cash to expand into Japan and other Asian markets.

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Startup Calendar for August 26th

Five events are featured in this week’s Startup Calendar:

And three accelerator programs are currently accepting applications:

Read the weekly newsletter for more… To take part in this program as an organization that hosts startup events, visit the Startup Calendar page for guidelines and send us an email at events@crunchbase.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

CrunchBase Weekly Investment Map

CrunchBase Weekly Investment Map

As August comes to a close, venture capitalists still aren’t ready to slow up the pace on a summer-long investment marathon, shoveling nearly $1.2 billion into 164 companies worldwide last week.

Weekly totals for amount invested and number of rounds have continued at a regular pace since the end of last month, with number of investments this week just slightly lower than last week’s total of 193.

U.S.-based companies raised 108 of these rounds and nearly $900 million of the cash total, dominating last week’s international venture capital scene. Aside from the 8 venture fundings announced in the U.K. and China and 7 rounds out of India, no other country saw more than 3 funding rounds. Continue reading

South Korean Startups from Rocketpun.ch

South Korean Startups from Rocketpun.ch

CrunchBase has partnered with Korean startup database RocketPun.ch to showcase startups from Seoul and the broader South Korean marketplace.

RocketPun.ch, launched in January 2013, also provides a job platform with the goal to connect Korean talent to a broader global tech market. More than 1,200 startups have registered, posting 50 open job positions every week according to Minhee Cho, CEO of Rocketpun.ch.

In a country with deep penetration of smartphones and high speed LTE access, whose capital boasts a population of more than 15M, there is a big opportunity to provide mobile services to this geographically concentrated population. In Silicon Valley the population is 3.5 to 4M by comparison.

On TechCrunch, Sebastian Park writes about the developing tech scene in South Korea with news of smartphone messaging & games platform Kakao Talk‘s plans to merge with Daum, the largest South Korean Internet portal, later this year. Additionally, fast growing e-commerce company Coupang is slated to go public late this year.

Concurrent with Silicon Valley, there are interesting startups in the mobile delivery space. Woowa Brothers, with its app Baedalui Minjok, is a food delivery service that recently received $12M in funding in March 2014 from CyberAgent Ventures, Altos Ventures and IMM Investment. Other delivery apps which are taking off are Yogiyo, a local restaurant delivery and ordering platform; Stonykids, which allows one to discover local shops, order and get delivery; and finally Hey! Bread, a popular Korean bread delivery service.

The most active investors in the region based on the number of investments in CrunchBase include Samsung Ventures, Softbank Ventures, D.CAMP, Stonebridge capital and K Cube Ventures.

Rocketpun.ch has partnered from the start with the top 3 South Korean tech news sites VentureSquare, Platum and beSUCCESS. They are supported by both the Korean Government’s Small and Medium Business Administration (SMBA) and Seoul National University Techno Holdings.

Image by Clint Sharp/Flickr

CrunchBase Weekly Investor Leaderboard

CrunchBase Weekly Investor Leaderboard

Venture investments rode the summer wave back over the billion dollar mark this week, with nearly $1.5B invested over 194 rounds. The 15 Series C growth rounds accounted for over $400M of the total venture investments this week, signalling a pronounced trend towards later stage deals recently.

Sequoia claimed double honors for the most active investor of the week with five venture deals, and also topped the list of total capital committed with $221M in funding. The $100M Series D for Thumbtack was their biggest bet, and enough for Tiger Global, Google Capital and Javelin Venture Partners to also join the Top 4 in capital committed as co-investors in the round.

Accel Partners led a $30M Series C round in TaxiForSure.com, based in India, and also participated in a Series D for Alfresco this week that was led by Sageview Capital. The $75M in total funding between the two rounds was good for the fifth spot.

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CrunchBase Weekly Market Momentum

CrunchBase Weekly Market Momentum

Summer is drawing towards its official close at the end of the month and we’re already halfway through Q3. Thus far in 2014, we’ve seen emerging venture investment categories supported through the creation of seed funds and accelerators designed to target certain verticals. During the last week, however, Education, BioTech and Healthcare startups led all categories with a number of large, later stage venture deals.

Education made the biggest jump as the number of startups funded doubled the prior week. Most notably, Guangzho-based Xingshuai Teach raised a $30M Series B this week from Chinese VC’s Northern Light Venture Capital and Legend Capital for its educational software for designers and animators. Welsh e-learning company MedaPhor also raised £4.7M for its educational technology geared toward medical training. The investment from the Wales Life Sciences Fund is in anticipation of a public offering later this year.

Biotechnology startups also enjoyed an eventful week as 17 companies were funded, led by a $51M Series C for Dermira of Redwood City. Healthsense, based in Minnesota, raised $10M last week in a venture round led by Mansa Capital that also included participation from the Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Radius Ventures. Mansa Capital followed that up with a $3M round for HealthPrize Technologies the next day.

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