Archive | February, 2015

Weekly Featured Company: Google DeepMind

Founded Headquarters Sector Employees Revenue Total Investment Recent Investment
2011 Mountainview, California Software & Services 75
Commentary

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

Commentary
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) Company Investor/Buyer Sector Deal Type
1 $1,000,000,000 Uber Undisclosed Transactions Investment
2 $270,000,000 Conductor Consortium Marketing Investment
3 $250,000,000 Lyft Consortium Transactions Investment
4 $200,000,000 Panaya Infosys Software & Services Acquisition
5 $100,000,000 WorldRemit Technology Crossover Ventures, Accel Partners Transactions Investment
6 $60,000,000 Betterment Consortium Transactions Investment
7 $47,000,000 Livefyre Consortium Marketing Investment
8 $43,000,000 ScienceLogic Intel Capital, NEA, Goldman Sachs Software & Services Investment
9 $40,000,000 Instructure Consortium Software & Services Investment
10 $35,000,000 Pindrop Security Consortium Software & Services Investment
11 $35,000,000 Postmates Spark Capital Transactions Investment
12 $34,000,000 Springpath Consortium Software & Services Investment
13 $30,700,000 Tealium Consortium Marketing Investment
14 $27,000,000 Message Systems Consortium Software & Services Investment
15 $25,000,000 Axcient Consortium Software & Services Investment
16 $25,000,000 Carmudi Consortium Transactions Investment
17 $25,000,000 Synack Consortium Software & Services Investment
18 $25,000,000 WeTransfer Highland Capital Partners Software & Services Investment
19 $24,000,000 Machinima Warner Bros. Games Investment
20 $21,000,000 Urban Airship Consortium Marketing Investment
21 $20,000,000 6sense Consortium Marketing Investment
22 $20,000,000 Stayzilla Undisclosed Transactions Investment
23 $16,000,000 AlleyNYC Entrepreneur Media, Vandewater Capital Holdings Transactions Investment
24 $15,500,000 Glint Norwest Venture Partners, Shasta Ventures Software & Services Investment
25 $15,000,000 Grovo Consortium Transactions Investment
26 $15,000,000 RapidMiner Consortium Software & Services Investment
27 $14,800,000 Muse & Co. Mixi Ecommerce Acquisition
28 $13,000,000 Capital Float Consortium Transactions Investment
29 $12,500,000 Viv Iconiq Capital Software & Services Investment
30 $10,500,000 Applicaster Pitango Venture Capital, 83North Media Investment
31 $10,000,000 AgileCraft Consortium Software & Services Investment
32 $8,000,000 Firefly Games Consortium Games Investment
33 $7,800,000 Coffee Meets Bagel Consortium Mobile & Apps Investment
34 $7,000,000 inDinero Consortium Software & Services Investment
35 $7,000,000 Sqrrl Consortium Software & Services Investment
36 $6,500,000 Mobeewave SBT Venture Capital Mobile & Apps Investment
37 $6,500,000 Radius Networks Consortium Hardware & Infrastructure Investment
38 $6,000,000 NoRedInk Consortium Transactions Investment
39 $6,000,000 Nvoicepay Consortium Transactions Investment
40 $5,000,000 BlueTalon Consortium Software & Services Investment
41 $5,000,000 Sindeo Consortium Transactions Investment
42 $5,000,000 Wooplr Helion Venture Partners Mobile & Apps Acquisition
43 $4,500,000 Onfido Consortium Transactions Investment
44 $4,000,000 Apptimize Costanoa Venture Capital Mobile & Apps Investment
45 $4,000,000 News In Shorts Consortium Media Investment
46 $3,000,000 CoVenture Consortium Software & Services Investment
47 $3,000,000 RoboCV Consortium Hardware & Infrastructure Investment
48 $3,000,000 Roundme April Capital Mobile & Apps Investment
49 $3,000,000 SkyGiraffe 500 Startups, Trilogy Equity Partners Mobile & Apps Investment
50 $2,000,000 ArmorText Cervin Ventures Mobile & Apps Investment
51 $2,000,000 Fedora Atlas Venture, AngelList Software & Services Investment
52 $2,000,000 Triptease Notion Capital, Episode 1 Software & Services Investment
53 $1,845,534 Grabble Consortium Mobile & Apps Investment
54 $1,700,000 NewCo. Consortium Transactions Investment
55 $1,600,000 Notey Consortium Software & Services Investment
56 $1,500,000 Fabric Undisclosed Mobile & Apps Investment
57 $1,500,000 Luxury Garage Sale Consortium Ecommerce Investment
58 $1,300,000 BARTRENDr Band of Angels Mobile & Apps Investment
59 $1,300,000 Konekt Consortium Software & Services Investment
60 $1,200,000 Cuseum Consortium Mobile & Apps Investment
61 $1,100,000 iGetBetter Undisclosed Software & Services Investment
62 $1,100,000 Tailor Brands Disruptive Marketing Investment
63 $800,000 Glencoe Software Consortium Software & Services Investment
64 $700,000 Boldomatic Undisclosed Media Investment
65 $500,000 APImetrics Bain Capital Ventures Software & Services Investment
66 $500,000 Hakka Labs Consortium Media Investment
67 $500,000 Verified.Codes Undisclosed Software & Services Investment
68 Undisclosed altusInsight High-Tech Gründerfonds Management Software & Services Investment
69 Undisclosed ContaAzul Consortium Software & Services Investment
70 Undisclosed Exclusively.In Snapdeal Ecommerce Acquisition
71 Undisclosed GoPop BuzzFeed Media Acquisition
72 Undisclosed Grivy Undisclosed Ecommerce Investment
73 Undisclosed Gymsurfing Fitmob Mobile & Apps Acquisition
74 Undisclosed ictjob.be StepStone Transactions Acquisition
75 Undisclosed ictjob.lu StepStone Transactions Acquisition
76 Undisclosed LoopPay Samsung Transactions Acquisition
77 Undisclosed Relaxnews Publicis Media Acquisition
78 Undisclosed SinDelantal.Mx Just Eat Transactions Investment
79 Undisclosed WOMO Oneflare Transactions Acquisition

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 ictjob.be and ictjob.lu (FinSMEs)
  75. StepStone acquires ictjob.be and ictjob.lu (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

Commentary
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.