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.

A different kind of social network

Commentary
It’s a reality that where there are people consuming content, there are marketers who want to catch their attention. This is true not just in social media but in traditional forms of media as well, like TV, print and radio. It is inevitable and whether we like it or not, advertising is necessary to keep the wheels of commerce going.

One startup in the US aims to go against the norm by shunning advertising. Ello is an invitation-only social network that assures users that their site will always be ads-free. To date, Ello has hundreds of thousands of people signed up and the numbers keep growing. They receive as many 50,000 new invitation requests per hour. They’re growing so fast that their servers, at one point, could not handle the traffic and they had to halt signups temporarily. The belief of Ello, as stated in its manifesto, is that “a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce and manipulate – but a place to connect, create and celebrate life.”

Today, Ello, raised $5.5 million in new venture funding from a consortium of investors. You can read about the funding here.

Get a Moov on

Commentary
Our daily lives are ruled by technology. Now ingrained in our lives, it’s no surprise that technology has also invaded the fitness world. Today, countless apps and wearables are available for every type of fitness enthusiast. There are wearables that will simply measure your heart rate, distance traveled and calories burned. Then there are more sophisticated gadgets that can track your sleeping and fitness habits, and even gently coax you to exercise if you miss a workout. One wearable making waves in the market today is Moov. What makes Moov interesting is it can provide real-time audio coaching just like a personal trainer. It works by tracking your motions and suggests ways to improve your form. Designed by former Apple engineer Nikola Hu, Moov’s algorithm and ideal forms are based on collected data from a number of elite athletes and trainers. To efficiently track body movement, Moov uses 3D mapping to understand how your body is moving without the use of a camera. And since the entire body is being tracked, Moov can be used in different types of fitness activities such as, running, walking, swimming, weight lifting, boxing, golf and even yoga.
Being initially financed by crowdfunding, Moov has recently received funding from Banyan Capital. You can read about the funding here.

HomeZada scores seed funding

Commentary
Managing a home can be a chore. You need to keep track of repairs and maintenance, be on top of fees like insurance, and sometimes, you need to create a budget for a much-needed renovation. Managing all these tasks all at once can be daunting. But thanks to a brand spanking new app called HomeZada, it doesn’t have to be. HomeZada is a cloud-based application that functions as a digital hub for your home. HomeZada will help you organize all your information about your home and help you manage it in a systematic manner. HomeZada allows you to keep track of repairs and renovations; reminding you of any maintenance and tasks outstanding, such as changing of aircon filters, cleaning of gutters, and other duties. It can also be used to track home contents for insurance purposes. It even has a spreadsheet for budgeting expenses, and a Pinterest-like feature that lets you keep design ideas, color swatches and other photo references.This week, HomeZada closed a $2.1M seed round from a consortium of investors. According to its founders, the funding will help boost the development of the platform and increase marketing to attract new users. You can read about the funding here.

It’s Germany’s turn

Commentary
Germany is becoming one of the hottest countries in Europe for tech startups. In 2013, the country experienced some successful exits: Edelight, a social ecommerce platform was acquired by media company Burda International; JouleX, a software company, had a $107 million exit to Cisco; and DailyDeal was bought back by its founders from Google after the search giant had originally paid $114 million for it. Germany’s heat has continued well into 2014 starting with GroupMe’s acquisition of Plista, a digital advertising company; and M. Media Ventures acquiring a 51% stake in messenger app Hoccer. Last week, eight German startups (Arago, Chargepartner, Eperi, Fooboo, Iversity, Milfora, Orderbird, and Termine24) all received funding from investors. Is Germany ready to unseat the UK as Europe’s leading startup hub?