Archive | February, 2015

Weekly Featured Company: Google DeepMind

FoundedHeadquartersSectorEmployeesRevenueTotal InvestmentRecent Investment
2011Mountainview, CaliforniaSoftware & Services75

The future of AI?

Despite the warnings of Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates about the potential dangers of machine superintelligence, Google recently announced that its DeepMind division is accelerating its efforts in Artificial Intelligence or AI. Google DeepMind has recently partnered with the renowned Oxford University for AI research. Google acquired UK-based DeepMind in 2014 for more than $500 million. Founded by neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, a former child prodigy in chess, Shane Legg, and Mustafa Suleyman, DeepMind is a formidable player in the AI community. The company specializes in an advance form of Machine Learning called Reinforcement Learning. In a nutshell, Reinforcement Learning (RL) is a branch of AI that allows software to learn by interacting with its environment. Rather than acting from what it has been explicitly taught, the software or RL agent learns from the consequences of its actions and selects its actions based on past experiences and new choices. A numerical reward signal is provided to encode the success of the action’s outcome. This week, Google DeepMind announced that they have developed AI software capable of learning to play video games just by watching them. The software scored highly against its human opponents in Atari games such as Video Pinball, Boxing and Breakout.


Mack Weldon’s underwear revolution

Ecommerce has democritised retail. Today, the sheer volume of retail being conducted online is staggering. Startups like Etsy, Warby Parker and Rent the Runway are all changing the game and have enjoyed the support of investors. Mack Weldon, a relatively new player in the ecommerce scene, also aims to make its mark. Mack Weldon is a New York-based ecommerce company that is reinventing men’s basics and challenging the retail world. To start, Mack Weldon’s shirts and underwear are made with a signature blend of cotton, Lycra, and Lenzing Modal®, a type of fabric that is twice as soft as cotton and can kill bacteria immediately to prevent odor. What’s more, its underwear are designed with comfortable no-roll waistbands, elastic in the legs so they they stay in place, and have “mesh zones” to keep the wearer cool. Secondly, Mack Weldon products are sold only through their website that has an auto-replenish feature that allows customers to sign up if they want products sent on a regular basis or when they need it. While its products are a bit more expensive than other brands, the company gives as much as 25% discount for bulk purchases.Today, Mack Weldon raised raised $4 million in Series A funding from a consortium of investors. You can read about the funding here.

Weekly Update – February 24, 2015

      Total Deal Value (USD) – $2,596,445,534             Total Deal Number – 79

Deal No.Amount Paid (USD)CompanyInvestor/BuyerSectorDeal Type
2$270,000,000Conductor ConsortiumMarketingInvestment
4$200,000,000Panaya InfosysSoftware & ServicesAcquisition
5$100,000,000WorldRemit Technology Crossover Ventures, Accel PartnersTransactionsInvestment
6$60,000,000Betterment ConsortiumTransactionsInvestment
8$43,000,000ScienceLogicIntel Capital, NEA, Goldman SachsSoftware & ServicesInvestment
9$40,000,000InstructureConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
10$35,000,000Pindrop SecurityConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
11$35,000,000PostmatesSpark CapitalTransactionsInvestment
12$34,000,000SpringpathConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
14$27,000,000Message SystemsConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
15$25,000,000Axcient ConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
16$25,000,000Carmudi ConsortiumTransactionsInvestment
17$25,000,000Synack ConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
18$25,000,000WeTransferHighland Capital PartnersSoftware & ServicesInvestment
19$24,000,000MachinimaWarner Bros.GamesInvestment
20$21,000,000Urban AirshipConsortiumMarketingInvestment
21$20,000,0006sense ConsortiumMarketingInvestment
23$16,000,000AlleyNYCEntrepreneur Media, Vandewater Capital HoldingsTransactionsInvestment
24$15,500,000Glint Norwest Venture Partners, Shasta VenturesSoftware & ServicesInvestment
25$15,000,000Grovo ConsortiumTransactionsInvestment
26$15,000,000RapidMiner ConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
27$14,800,000Muse & Co.MixiEcommerceAcquisition
28$13,000,000Capital Float ConsortiumTransactionsInvestment
29$12,500,000VivIconiq CapitalSoftware & ServicesInvestment
30$10,500,000Applicaster Pitango Venture Capital, 83NorthMediaInvestment
31$10,000,000AgileCraftConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
32$8,000,000Firefly Games ConsortiumGamesInvestment
33$7,800,000Coffee Meets BagelConsortiumMobile & AppsInvestment
34$7,000,000inDineroConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
35$7,000,000SqrrlConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
36$6,500,000MobeewaveSBT Venture CapitalMobile & AppsInvestment
37$6,500,000Radius Networks ConsortiumHardware & InfrastructureInvestment
39$6,000,000Nvoicepay ConsortiumTransactionsInvestment
40$5,000,000BlueTalon ConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
41$5,000,000Sindeo ConsortiumTransactionsInvestment
42$5,000,000WooplrHelion Venture PartnersMobile & AppsAcquisition
43$4,500,000Onfido ConsortiumTransactionsInvestment
44$4,000,000ApptimizeCostanoa Venture CapitalMobile & AppsInvestment
45$4,000,000News In Shorts ConsortiumMediaInvestment
46$3,000,000CoVentureConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
47$3,000,000RoboCV ConsortiumHardware & InfrastructureInvestment
48$3,000,000Roundme April CapitalMobile & AppsInvestment
49$3,000,000SkyGiraffe500 Startups, Trilogy Equity PartnersMobile & AppsInvestment
50$2,000,000ArmorTextCervin VenturesMobile & AppsInvestment
51$2,000,000FedoraAtlas Venture, AngelListSoftware & ServicesInvestment
52$2,000,000TripteaseNotion Capital, Episode 1Software & ServicesInvestment
53$1,845,534Grabble ConsortiumMobile & AppsInvestment
55$1,600,000Notey ConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
56$1,500,000FabricUndisclosedMobile & AppsInvestment
57$1,500,000Luxury Garage Sale ConsortiumEcommerceInvestment
58$1,300,000BARTRENDr Band of AngelsMobile & AppsInvestment
59$1,300,000KonektConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
60$1,200,000CuseumConsortiumMobile & AppsInvestment
61$1,100,000iGetBetterUndisclosedSoftware & ServicesInvestment
62$1,100,000Tailor BrandsDisruptiveMarketingInvestment
63$800,000Glencoe SoftwareConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
64$700,000Boldomatic UndisclosedMediaInvestment
65$500,000APImetrics Bain Capital VenturesSoftware & ServicesInvestment
66$500,000Hakka LabsConsortiumMediaInvestment
67$500,000Verified.CodesUndisclosedSoftware & ServicesInvestment
68UndisclosedaltusInsightHigh-Tech Gründerfonds ManagementSoftware & ServicesInvestment
69UndisclosedContaAzulConsortiumSoftware & ServicesInvestment
72UndisclosedGrivy UndisclosedEcommerceInvestment
73UndisclosedGymsurfingFitmobMobile & AppsAcquisition StepStoneTransactionsAcquisition
78UndisclosedSinDelantal.MxJust EatTransactionsInvestment

More information

  1. Uber Expands Funding Round by $1 Billion (CNBC)
  2. Conductor Proves Web Presence Management Is A Real Thing With $27 Million In Series D (TechCrunch)
  3. Lyft Seeks To Raise Another $250 Million At A $2 Billion Valuation (TechCrunch)
  4. Infosys Acquires SaaS Provider Panaya In Deal Valued At $200M (TechCrunch)
  5. WorldRemit Raises $100M Funding (FinSMEs)
  6. Betterment Raises $60M in Funding (FinSMEs)
  7. Content Curation Startup Livefyre Raises $47M More, Brings On Adobe And Salesforce As New Investors (TechCrunch)
  8. ScienceLogic Raises $43M Series D Round Led By Goldman Sachs (TechCrunch)
  9. Instructure Raises $40M in Series E Funding (FinSMEs)
  10. Pindrop Security Closes $35M in Series B Financing (FinSMEs)
  11. Postmates Picks Up $35M In Series C From Spark Capital (TechCrunch)
  12. Springpath Raises $34M in Funding (FinSMEs)
  13. Tealium Closes $30.7M in Series D Financing (FinSMEs)
  14. Message Systems Raises $27M in Funding (FinSMEs)
  15. Axcient Raises $25M in Funding (FinSMEs)
  16. Rocket Internet-Backed Car Listings Site Carmudi Raises $25M To Fuel Growth In Asia And Mexico (TechCrunch)
  17. Synack Raises $25M in Series B Funding (FinSMEs)
  18. WeTransfer, Funky Dutch Cousin Of Dropbox And Box, Gets $25M To Go Large In The U.S. (TechCrunch)
  19. Warner Bros. invests $24M more into game video site Machinima (VentureBeat)
  20. Urban Airship Closes $21M in Series D Funding (FinSMEs)
  21. 6sense Raises $20M in Series B Funding (FinSMEs)
  22. India’s Stayzilla Raises $20M For Its Hybrid Hotel/Airbnb-Like Booking Service (TechCrunch)
  23. AlleyNYC Co-Working Space Raises $16 Million (TechCrunch)
  24. Glint Raises $15.5M in Venture Capital Funding (FinSMEs)
  25. Grovo Closes $15M Series B Financing (FinSMEs)
  26. RapidMiner Closes $15M Series B Funding (FinSMEs)
  27. Not satisfied with Monster Strike, Mixi acquires Japanese fashion startup (Tech In Asia)
  28. Capital Float Raises $13M in Series A Funding (FinSMEs)
  29. Viv, Built By Siri’s Creators, Scores $12.5 Million For An AI Technology That Can Teach Itself (TechCrunch)
  30. Second Screen TV Apps Startup Applicaster Pulls In $10.5M Series B Funding (TechCrunch)
  31. AgileCraft Raises $10m in Series A Funding (FinSMEs)
  32. Firefly Games Raises $8M in Series A Financing (FinSMEs)
  33. Coffee Meets Bagel Closes $7.8M in Series A Funding (FinSMEs)
  34. After Relaunching As A Full-Service Accounting Startup, inDinero Raises Another $7M (TechCrunch)
  35. Sqrrl Raises $7M in Series B Financing (FinSMEs)
  36. Mobeewave Raises $6.5M in Series A Funding (FinSMEs)
  37. Radius Networks Raises $6.5M in Venture Funding (FinSMEs)
  38. NoRedInk Secures $6M in Series A Funding (FinSMEs)
  39. Nvoicepay Raises $6m in Funding (FinSMEs)
  40. BlueTalon Raises $5M in Funding (FinSMEs)
  41. Sindeo Raises $5M in Series A Funding (FinSMEs)
  42. Wooplr Lands $5 Million For Its Fashion Discovery Service In India (TechCrunch)
  43. Onfido Raises $4.5M in Series A Funding Round (FinSMEs)
  44. Apptimize Closes $4m Series A Funding Round (FinSMEs)
  45. India’s News In Shorts Raises $4 Million Series A Round Led By Tiger Global (TechCrunch)
  46. CoVenture Raises $3M To Build Software For Startups (TechCrunch)
  47. RoboCV Secures $3M in Funding (FinSMEs)
  48. Roundme Raises $3M To Turn Panoramic Photos Into Virtual Tours (TechCrunch)
  49. SkyGiraffe Raises $3M More To Help Companies Build Mobile Apps (TechCrunch)
  50. ArmorText Raises $2 Million For Its Secure Mobile Messaging Service For Enterprise (TechCrunch)
  51. Armed With $2M, Fedora Hopes To Create The Next Million Dollar Teachers (TechCrunch)
  52. Triptease Raises $2M To Help Hotels Increase Direct Bookings (TechCrunch)
  53. Grabble Closes £1.2M Seed Funding Round (FinSMEs)
  54. NewCo. Raises $1.7M in Seed Funding (FinSMEs)
  55. Notey Raises $1.6M in Seed Funding (FinSMEs)
  56. Fabric Closing 1.5M Seed Round from Top Investors, Launches on the App Store to Inspire People to Do More of What They Love (Business Wire)
  57. Luxury Garage Sale Secures $1.5M in Seed Funding (FinSMEs)
  58. BARTRENDr Closes $1.3M Seed Funding (FinSMEs)
  59. Konekt Raises $1.3M in Funding (FinSMEs)
  60. Cuseum Closes $1.2M Seed Funding (FinSMEs)
  61. iGetBetter Raises $1.1M in Series A Funding Round (FinSMEs)
  62. Tailor Brands Raises $1.1 Million in Seed Funding To Build Out Its Automated Design Process (TechCrunch)
  63. Glencoe Software Completes $800K Seed Funding (FinSMEs)
  64. Boldomatic Closes $700K in Seed Funding (FinSMEs)
  65. APImetrics Raises $500K in Seed Funding (FinSMEs)
  66. Hakka Labs Raises $500K in Funding (FinSMEs)
  67. Verified.Codes Raises $500K in Seed Funding (FinSMEs)
  68. altusInsight Receives Investment from High-Tech Gründerfonds (FinSMEs)
  69. ContaAzul Raises Series C Financing (FinSMEs)
  70. India’s Snapdeal Buys Exclusively.In To Add Luxury Goods To Its Online Marketplace (TechCrunch)
  71. BuzzFeed Expands Mobile Team By Acquiring “Visual Conversation” Startup GoPop (TechCrunch)
  72. Auction site for leisure deals Grivy nabs funding from Indonesia’s big families (Tech In Asia)
  73. Fitmob Buys Gymsurfing To Add Day Passes For More Than 200 Gyms (TechCrunch)
  74. StepStone acquires and (FinSMEs)
  75. StepStone acquires and (FinSMEs)
  76. Samsung Acquires LoopPay, Maker Of An Apple Pay Competitor (TechCrunch)
  77. Publicis Buys Paris-Based Relaxnews (Mediapost)
  78. Just Eat Acquires Mexican Online Take-Out Ordering Service SinDelantal.Mx (TechCrunch)
  79. Australian Service Directory Oneflare Acquires Review Site WOMO (TechCrunch)

Unstoppable Uber

Despite being accused of sexism and using underhanded tactics against its rivals and critics, Uber is still on a bullish streak. In early December, it raised $1.2 billion, which valued the company at $40 billion, making it one of the world’s most valuable technology startups. In the same month, it also received $600 million from Baidu and closed $1.6 billion in convertible debt from Goldman Sachs. To top that off, Uber recently raised another $1 billion, bringing its total Series E to $2.8 billion. So why is Uber stirring up so much interest from investors? According to news reports, Uber has been telling potential investors that it expects a gross revenue run rate of around $10 billion in 2015 or more than double its 2014 projected revenue of $4 billion. With 300% gross revenue growth last year, the company expects another 300% this year, making its projected $10 billion gross revenue a very real possibility.