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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Is on-demand the new normal?

Times are really a-changing. Today’s sharing economy is evolving into something new and we are seeing the rise of the on-demand economy. Defined “as the economic activity created by technology companies that fulfil consumer demand via the immediate provisioning of goods and services”, the on-demand economy is rapidly altering consumer behavior and challenging traditional businesses. Thanks to the ubiquitous smartphone, instant gratification has become the norm. One can now shop at a push of a button, summon a driver at a moment’s notice, order restaurant food, and have anything delivered anywhere instantly. According to experts, over $9 billion has been invested in the space since 2010 and more investors are eagerly jumping in, encouraged by the growing popularity of the business model and profits that are already being realized. This week alone, on-demand startups like Goodservice, Zoom2U, and Postmates all received funding from investors while WeDeliver was acquired by Deliv. With investors bullish on the on-demand space, we expect to see continued growth in this sector in the coming months.

Weekly Featured Company: The Honest Company

FoundedHeadquartersSectorEmployeesRevenueTotal InvestmentRecent Investment
2012Santa Monica, CAEcommerce201-500$150M$122M$70M

The Honest Company: The rewards of being honest

It all started when Hollywood actress Jessica Alba had her first child, Honor, in 2008. In her desire to provide her daughter with healthier alternatives to existing baby care products that contain petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances, Jessica conceived her idea to launch a line of non-toxic baby products. The Honest Company was established in 2012 with Jessica at the helm as founder and with co-founders Brian Lee, Sean Kane, and Christopher Gavigan. With an online store, the company offered a line of eco-friendly baby diapers, wipes, bath & body care products, and non-toxic cleaning products. The products were a huge success and raked in $50 million in sales in 2013 and later $150 million in 2014. The company has also been the darling of investors with a total accumulated funding of $122 million from three investment rounds and a valuation of almost $1 billion. What makes The Honest Company tick is it really lives up to its promise. Every product has a guarantee that informs the consumers what type of toxins and chemicals the product does not contain, providing the buyer honest and credible information. The success of the company is also a sign that consumers today are becoming smarter and that eco-friendly products now have a greater chance to succeed in the mainstream market.

Dollar Shave Club: the little startup that could

Dollar Shave Club, the LA-based membership service that delivers affordable fresh razors to customers by mail, has proved that using humour, authenticity, and social media is a powerful way to connect with consumers. If launched a decade ago, the startup would not have survived against industry giants like Gillette and Schick, who dominate the $13 billion men’s shaving industry. But thanks to the power of the internet and social media, Dollar Shave Club is now best remembered as the startup that successfully launched on the strength of a single hilarious viral video on YouTube. The video, released in 2012, was so effective that 12,000 people signed up for subscription in the first 48 hours and eventually amassed more than 19 million views. Today, Dollar Shave Club has over 2 million subscribers and is now a legitimate threat to Gillette, who launched a similar subscription service last year. To protect its market position, Dollar Shave Club has closed a $75 million Series D round at a valuation of $615 million. The capital infusion will be used to introduce new products and hire more employees, according to its founder and CEO Michael Dubin.

Samsung’s IoT dreams

Predictions for the Internet of Things are looking good: 500 connected objects in the home by 2022, 1.5 trillion connected devices by 2020, and a $19 trillion market opportunity. With stats this promising, it’s no surprise that big tech companies are funding IoT startups. This week, in its quest to be a pioneer in the IoT space, Samsung has invested an undisclosed sum in French IoT startup Sigfox, a firm that provides low energy, low cost global cellular connectivity to smart objects. The funding comes on the heels of Samsung’s acquisition of IoT startup SmartThings last year, a substantial $100 million investment in IoT development early this year, and the launch of Artik, Samsung’s open platform that other companies can use to create connected devices. According to reports, Samsung’s grand vision is to connect all its digital devices to the IoT by 2020. With all its strategic investments and an aggressive plan to dominate the IoT market, Samsung might just be able to turn its vision into reality.