How Oculus Plans To Be Riding High When The Virtual Reality Wave Breaks

Posted December 14, 2013 & filed under Funding, Gadgets, Games News, Mobile Apps Feeds, Startups.

oculus-largeA company that was conceived less just over a year ago announced its Series B round of funding late last night, with a massive raise of $75 million to add to its existing $16 million Series A and $2.4 million in Kickstarter crowdfunding dollars. That company is Oculus Rift: A virtual reality headset dreamt up by Gaikai veteran Brendan Iribe and a team of other startup vets. With nearly $100 million invested, expectations are huge, but the company is ready to meet those expectations, Iribe tells TechCrunch, and exceed them with a vision of the future that blurs the line between the virtual and the real. Continue reading

iBeacon Pioneers Estimote Raise $3.1M Seed Round

Posted December 10, 2013 & filed under Funding, Gadgets, Mobile Apps Feeds, Startups.

estimoteJakub Krzych, founder of Estimote, has announced a $3.1 million seed round raise from Innovation Endeavors, Betaworks, Bessemer Venture Partners, Birchmere Ventures, Valiant Capital Partners and others. The company is already shipping its small Bluetooth products, called Beacons, to retailers and they expect a huge rush in orders as they line up large clients next year. Continue reading

Now With 2M Users, CreativeLive Lands $21.5M Led By Social+Capital To Bring Free, Live Courses To The World’s Entrepreneurs

Posted November 14, 2013 & filed under Funding, Mobile Apps Feeds, Startups.

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 6.26.30 AMBeginning with the likes of Khan Academy and Coursera, over the last two years, a new kind of learning has begun to emerge on the Web, bringing with it the promise of affordable, quality education at scale. Looking to capitalize on this fast-growing opportunity in online learning, Chase Jarvis and Craig Swanson launched CreativeLIVE in early 2010 to put a twist on the Khan-inspired, video-focused online learning model. They decided to offer their content not only for free, but totally live, while catering to a particular audience that they knew well: Creative entrepreneurs. Since raising $7.5 million from Greylock and hiring former president of Viacom Digital, Mika Salmi, as the its CEO, CreativeLive has been growing fast. Today, with over 2 million students have consumed more than one billion minutes of CreativeLive’s skills-based learning content, CreativeLive is adding more coin to its coffers. Over the last six months, the team has moved to scale production to keep pace with the growing opportunity in online education and content delivery, building new state-of-the-art studios to broadcast is live, online lessons. With two studios in Seattle and two in San Francisco, CreativeLive is looking to continue its expansion and ramp up its investment on the infrastructure side. To do that, the company has raised $21.5 million of Series B financing in a round led by The Social+Capital Partnership, with participation from existing investor, Greylock Partners, and a handful of others. With this new round, CreativeLive has now raised just under $30 million in about 16 months, which new CEO Mika Salmi tells us the company will use to invest in people, technology and content. When Salmi stepped into his new role as CEO last June, he tells us, CreativeLive had a total of eight full-time employees. Today, that number has grown ten-fold to 80 and, with its new capital, the company will look to continue that expansion, adding to its engineering and data science teams over the next year, he says. Furthermore, though he remained tight-lipped about details, the CreativeLive CEO said that the new investment would become part of a “major investment” the company is making in its technology and infrastructure. It seems that, with four studios (two of them new), the company decided that its time to update its front-end video architecture and player, as well as the back-end support systems that help it produce and display its content. Today, CreativeLive Continue reading

Online Real Estate Veteran Redfin Lands $50M From Tiger Global, Investment Giant T. Rowe Price As It Looks To Gain Market Share In The U.S.

Posted & filed under Funding, Mobile Apps Feeds, Startups.

oAs the real estate market regains some life after an extended dip, people are beginning to get comfortable with the idea of selling their home again and, in turn, getting comfortable with looking around for that special place. To help in an increasingly fast-paced market, technology-powered real estate brokerage, Redfin, has been on a mission to help people not only find the right house, but to help potential sellers get feedback on the price of their home from hundreds of potential buyers. On the heels of launching a series of these “Price Whisperer”-like tools that aim to reduce the cost of the real estate search process for both homebuyers and sellers, Redfin is doing a little price whispering of its own. The company today announced that it has raised $50 million in late-stage growth capital from a handful of investors, beginning with Tiger Global and T. Rowe Price Associates. The new round, which also includes contributions from the company’s existing investors, like Greylock Partners, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Vulcan Capital, Globespan Capital Partners and The Hillman Company, brings the company’s total funding to just under $100 million. In addition, from what we’ve been hearing from sources, the round values its online brokerage and search business in the ballpark of $500 million. Fortune also reported a similar valuation. With the new injection of capital, Redfin becomes yet another addition to the list of companies pursuing growth capital from backers outside the usual confines of the venture capital world. The investment is the second of its kind that T. Rowe Price has made in recent months, following its investment in MongoDB last month, for example. Furthermore, a raise of this size, at this point in Redfin’s growth, seems to give credence to and provide further supporting evidence to recent reports that have pegged Redfin as a potential IPO candidate in 2014. However, while an IPO is very likely in Redfin’s future, this could also buy the company some time. With the help of firms like Tiger Global, which have plenty of experience investing in mature companies in later stages of growth, the round also allows Redfin to extend its runway as a private company and delay an IPO for that much longer if it so chooses. In either case, the new capital allows Redfin to focus on increasing its existing marketshare, increase marketing and spend on boosting consumer awareness, which according to Fortune, Continue reading

With $3M In New Funding, Memoto Lifelogging Startup Rebrands To Narrative To Go Global

Posted October 3, 2013 & filed under Funding, Gadgets, Mobile Apps Feeds.

narrative-clipSwedish startup Memoto did well on Kickstarter – well enough to earn the company 11 times its funding goal, or $550,000 to drive the creation of its lifelogging camera. The small camera is designed to be worn on your person, features no buttons and takes pictures constantly while worn, but as of today it’s called the “Narrative Clip,” not the Memoto, as its creators rebrand to Narrative with $3 million in new funding. Both the rebrand and the new money will help Narrative expand on a global scale, the company says. Continue reading

Game-Streaming Platform Twitch Lands $20M Series C Ahead Of Its Xbox One, PS4 Integration

Posted September 30, 2013 & filed under Funding, Games News, Mobile Apps Feeds.

2013-09-30_08h20_51Twitch, a popular video game streaming service, announced today that it has raised a $20 million Series C round led by Thrive Capital. WestSummit Capital participated in the funding, as did, notably, well-known game publisher Take-Two Interactive.

According to its release, Twitch currently sees 45 million monthly unique viewers on its service. Twitch allows gamers to stream their play, which might sound niche, but as competitive gaming grows in popularity, the company has been riding its wave. Continue reading

Salesforce + Zillow? RealScout Lands $1.1M From DCM, Formation 8 For More Personal, Collaborative Real Estate Search

Posted August 23, 2013 & filed under Dev News, Funding, Mobile Apps Feeds, Startups.

Screen shot 2013-08-21 at 11.54.21 AMRealScout, a new real estate technology company based in Sunnyvale, is the latest to join a growing list of startups operating on the premise that the tools we use to search for local real estate are outdated and broken. As such, companies like Redfin, Zillow and Trulia, for example, have found success by focusing on improving consumer experience, bringing simpler, user-friendly tools to the opaque and confusing world of real estate search. However, while this shift in focus to the end-user has been a boon for the space, improving the consumer experience by leaps and bounds (and minting a few IPOs in the process), RealScout CEO Andrew Flachner believes the change has come at cost, which few are talking about. Continue reading