Tech-Internet M&A and Investment Database

Be kept informed of the latest tech deals. Get up-to-the-minute analysis about the day’s most interesting fundings and exits. Internet DealBook is a database that tracks the latest angel, VC, private-equity investment and M&A activities across Internet- and technology-related private companies all around the world.

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On the road to monetisation

Just like Facebook and Twitter that both started out as commercial-free social venues for self-expression, Pinterest is now on the road to monetisation. The popular social-sharing website recently raised $367 million in venture funding from 15 investors, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The new round of funding has set the company’s valuation to $11 billion, making it one of the most valuable startups in the world and also a potential candidate for an IPO this year. According to sources, the bookmarking site will use the money to fuel international growth and bankroll its ecommerce initiatives including its ad platform, the Promoted Pins. Wedbush Securities estimates that the ads could generate $500 million in revenue in 2016. The biggest challenge now for Pinterest is to ensure that Promoted Pins remain fresh and interesting and don’t turn off users. After all, commercialisation is a double edged sword. If done right, it can do wonders for the company’s revenue, but if it’s overdone, it can kill the basic concept of the company and repel loyal users.

Rakuten invests in Lyft

Uber is considered as the cream of the crop among investors’ portfolios and the company has pretty much snagged the biggest tech funding deals in history. Since many major investors have already funded Uber, it seems that Lyft’s options for investors have become quite limited. One of the companies that came to Lyft’s aid is Japan’s biggest ecommerce company, Rakuten. Although majority of its investments and acquisitions have traditionally been in the ecommerce space, Rakuten paid $300 million for an 11.9% stake in the ride-sharing pioneer. New investor Fortress Investment Group was also involved in the fundraising round. The new investment values Lyft at $2.5 billion and brings its total funding to more than $850 million. Although Lyft’s valuation is way behind Uber’s $40 billion, the company has been growing 500% per year in both number of rides and revenue, according to its president John Zimmer. Now the big question is, after Rakuten, can Lyft attract other major investors to boost its fundraising so it can finally go head-to-head with Uber?

Global ecommerce site Farfetch raises $86 million


The latest startup joining the billion dollar valuation club is ecommerce company, Farfetch. Based in the UK, Farfetch’s valuation came as it raised a whopping $86 million in its Series E funding round led by DST Global along with other investors Condé Nast International and Vitruvian Partners. So why is Farfetch so fundable? Farfetch is an online hub for independent boutiques. Its marketplace model allows small luxury fashion boutiques from across the world to sell their merchandise to shoppers online. Farfetch’s marketplace model has been so effective that the company has over 1,000 boutiques from more than 26 countries and more than 100,000 items being sold to buyers worldwide. Sales have been promising as well. In 2013, Farfetch generated sales of $275 million and has since had a revenue growth of 100% a year. In an industry that has long been dominated by large, well-known e-tailers, Farfetch has proved that there’s a chance for independent boutiques to not just survive but thrive in the cut-throat fashion ecommerce sector.

The future of motorcycle helmets

SKULLY, the maker of state-of-the-art motorcycle helmet SKULLY AR-1, is revving up for success. Fresh from its record-breaking pre-order campaign on Indiegogo that raised $2.8 million from consumers, the company recently raised an additional $11 million in Series A funding to get the motorcycle helmet into production. So why is the SKULLY AR-1 getting a lot of buzz? SKULLY AR-1 has been dubbed by its founder Dr. Marcus Weller as the “world’s smartest motorcycle helmet” and with good reason. It uses the SKULLY’s proprietary Synapse™ technology platform that features an advanced head up display optics that is linked to an intelligent network including a near 180-degree rear-view camera, GPS navigation, voice control, and Bluetooth connectivity for smartphone communication. The high tech features are designed to enhance the rider’s awareness so he/she can have a safer riding experience. SKULLY will use the new funds to hire more people and ship its products.