Tech-Internet M&A and Investment Database

Internet DealBook is a global database that tracks angel, VC, and private-equity investment and M&A activity across Internet- and technology-related private companies.

Is digital art the next big thing?

Commentary

The advent of the digital technology had artists turning to their computers and drawing tablets to create art. The younger generation, specifically, are more receptive to digital art and are more likely to purchase and invest in pieces. And as the market for “fine” contemporary art becomes more and more expensive, digital art is becoming a more affordable alternative. The burgeoning market for digital art has sparked the growth of online marketplaces, some of which have received funding from investors. Depict, a San Francisco-based platform for digital art has raised $1.6M recently; and Artspace, a digital marketplace for fine art and designs from artists, raised $8.5M last year. Today, Curioos, a curated marketplace for digital art based in New York City, has grabbed $1.9 M from investors. Additionally, sites like Sedition and Art.sy are becoming more and more popular among art aficionados, further proof that technology is indeed changing the art world status quo.

You can read about the Curioos investment here.

Is Telemedicine the future of outpatient care?

Commentary

Rapid advances in computer equipment, software, and internet technology have made telecommuting an acceptable way to communicate in business. Now we can connect digitally, device to device; share documents and files; and even conduct video meetings and conferences. Today the concept of remote communication is now being used in the field of medicine. Coined as “telemedicine,” which literally means healing at a distance, telemedicine is described as the ability to provide interactive healthcare using modern communication technologies. Now patients can consult their physicians live over video to avail of immediate care. Videos and still images of patients with ailments can also be sent to physicians for diagnosis or follow up treatment. The beauty of telemedicine is, wherever you are in the world, you can use the technology to instantly connect you to a specialist.

One startup at the forefront of telemedicine technology is Bright.md, a Portland-based company that has the SmartExam™ platform that connects patients to their physicians using their home computer or mobile device and allows them to receive treatment for less cost. Bright.md has closed a $1 million round of seed funding today. You can read about the funding here.

The rise of Fintech

Commentary

Financial Technology or “Fintech” is changing the financial services industry and redefining the way people bank, borrow, invest and exchange money. Today, there are countless alternatives to traditional banks. There’s online banking, peer-to-peer lending, crowdfunding, online trading and many more. The industry is growing rapidly and venture investment is also on the rise. According to Accenture, global investment in Fintech ventures in the past five years has increased from a little over $900 million in 2008 to more than $2.97 billion in 2013. This trend is expected to continue with a global investment forecast of $8 billion by 2018.

One of the hottest sectors in the Fintech industry today is the peer-to-peer money transfer space. To date, this sector has enjoyed continuous funding from investors. TransferWise recently received an additional $25 million from existing investors and Sir Richard Branson, CurrencyFair raised $2.5 million led by Frontline Ventures, and WorldRemit enjoyed a $40 million investment led by Accel Partners. Today, WeSwap, an online, peer-to-peer travel money exchange service that charges a service fee of just 1%, received $7.5M from investors. Read about the funding here.

Anonymous social networks springing up

Commentary

The recent success of Whisper, Secret, Ask.fm, Yik-Yak and the original pioneers of anonymity Formspring have prompted Facebook to form a team to experiment with allowing users to setup anonymous profiles. Anonymity remains a conundrum for sites like Facebook and LinkedIn who rely on personal data to more effectively target their users with advertising. Recently, peer pressure-sensitive teens and twenty-somethings have increasingly looked towards semi-anonymous’ platforms like Instagram and Tumblr or the scarier Ask.fm.

Colin Fabig founder of Spring.me, a fast growing new semi-anonymous social network for “Making friends through Q&A”, born out of the ashes of Formspring, stated that they “want to be known as the friendlier social network and have taken extensive steps to eliminate the nonsense and anonymous trolling previously seen on Formspring and now seen on Yik-Yak, Ask.fm and YouTube”. In fact, they have enrolled a volunteer force of nearly 1,000 Spring.me “ambassadors” from their members, in a form of crowd moderation. “Volunteer ambassadors help with content filtering and welcome new users with smiles, resulting in a far, friendlier community” says Fabig. Spring.me announced recently that they’ve taken on $5M in further funding from GRP Corporation and are soon to be listed publicly. Is anonymity the next evolution in social networks?

Right Click Capital is an investor in Spring.me.