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  • PixelFish raises $4 Million in Series B of Funding for Online Video Advertising Solutions for Small Companies

    One of the most important businesses on the market of providing online video advertising solutions for small companies, PixelFish, has recently announced their closing of the round B of funding which has helped them raise $4 million. This founding round has been led by the early-stage venture company, Bullpen Capital. The previous investors have also participated in this round of funding. So, the names of investors from FLOODGATE and Mack Capital have been once more related to PixelFish. But there have also been new funders from Tomorrow Ventures, 500 Startups and Western Technology Investment.

    The company has previously raised the amount of $2.1 million in the series A of funding. This first founding round has been led in December 2010, moment when Mike Maples, one of the investors and venture capitalists funding the company has joined the start-up business’s board of directors. At the moment, the total amount of funding received by the company raises to the value of $7.5 million.

    John McIntyre, the founder and the CEO of the company, stated that the money received in this new round of funding is going to be used in order to increase the number of personnel in the sales and marketing teams.

    PixelFish is a start-up company which provides visibility to small businesses by providing them the opportunity of video advertising, which means of using video as a customer acquisition and conversion tool. The founder of PixelFish stated that the real value of the proposition made by his company stays in the way in which the firm customizes video for the viewer. The company generates ads which are comprehensible ach and every user. This is an accomplishment acquired after the performance of quite some time-requesting actions before. The copywriters first use publicly available information from the Internet, either location or social data graph info, to which they add a bit of secret sauce, generating thus comprehensible ads.

    As they believe that the ads to be found on YouTube to be notoriously questionable, as they often get the feeling of being produced after a cookie-cutter formula, the persons at PixelFish have thought about working with the video giant in order to help them make their ads more targeted experience, which is definitely good news both for the advertisers and the customers.

    During the month of April, PixelFish has acquired Backyard/Citysquares, which is the backed local deal search company of Eric Schmidt and Tomorrow Ventures. This company is going to help refine the technology which stays behind the ability of PixelFish of producing videos which are target based on profession, interest and location. It is to be known that the targeted local video advertising is a business which has lots of growth potential as it can turn out to be incredibly valuable both for advertisers and for local businesses. The founder of PixelFish is now focusing mainly on the partnership with YouTube. The company has already turned out to be successful in its early providers of advertising to GoogleTV. The company is now focusing on its plans of expansion in the near future.

  • Supersonic Ads raises $4.2 Million from Greylock

    Supersonic Ads, the Israeli start-up company based in London, recently managed to raise $4.2 million in venture capital. The company develops social in-game advertising solutions. The round A of funding has been led by Greylock Israel. Up to this moment, in the company there have already been invested $6 million, which has guaranteed a fast pace of growing for the Israeli start-up. After this round of funding, Greylock IL is to send its partner, Yoram Snir, to join the board of Supersonic Ads.

    It is recently that the company has been selected as one of the few firms which have the right to sell Facebook credits. This actually enables the firm to run brand engagement campaigns and direct response offers for facebook Credits.

    The recent funds raised by the company are going to be used in order to expand the international presence of Brand Connect, which is the Cost Per Engagement monetization solution when it comes to social games. The officials at Supersonic Ads state that the Brand Connect in-game videos and widgets have recently been receiving engagement rates between the values of 20 and 80 percent. Also, they have announced that they are benefiting from a captive targeted audience, which helps them have a fast pace of growth. Their service enables users to take action during the game in order to have the possibility of gaining Facebook credits which can afterwards be used for social games, virtual goods etc.

    It is known that there are already several brands which are using the services provided by the Supersonic Ads units. In this category we can include Kellogg’s Hasbro and Disney. The charts which have been made public at the announcement of the successful funding round led by Supersonic Ads indicated the fact that increase in Facebook “likes” and high engagement on the video front is pretty high, pointing out to results such as the following:

    • over 50 percent, up by 80 percent, of the persons exposed to a campaign have watched the entire video
    • more than 20 percent of the persons who have watched the video have decide to like the product which was being advertised on Facebook
    • more than 40 percent of the persons who watched the video visited, at a later moment, the website of the company advertising through Supersonic Ads.

    Gil Shoham, the CEO of the company, stated the following: “This investment from Greylock will enable us to grow our global team faster and continue to deliver outstanding results for leading brands and publishers.”

    The headquarters of the company is to be found in London, UK, while satellite offices can be found in the United States and in Israel. The company currently employs about 26 persons.

  • Solar Edge raises $8 Million from the Silicon Valley Bank

    SolarEdge Technologies, the developer of photovoltaic power optimization, has recently managed to raise the amount of $8 Million as a credit line from the Silicon Valley Bank. This amount is destined for the financing of the company’s need for working capital requirements and of the company’s growth initiatives which are to become effective in the short and mid-term.

    This founding round has been preceded by another one which has brought the company the amount of $60 million from Genesis Partners, Vertex Venture Capital, Walden Israel, Lightspeed Ventures and other venture capital funds from Israeli and from other foreign countries.

    The Chairman and CEO of the SolarEdge Company, Guy Sella, declared in an interview for the Globes, that the company he is running brings tens of million dollars income from its annual sales. He has also declared the fact that the new credit line established recently has the ability of providing the chance of continuing the company’s growth at this rapid pace. He announced that his predictions point out to a sales figure for the year 2012 which is to indicate a figure near $200 Million. He added the following: “Nothing has happened to make me think that we won’t meet this target.”

    The technology provided by SolarEdge monitors PV cells in order to maximize their receptors and to optimize their energy yield. It is important to know the fact that the previous 18 months have been very fulfilling for the company as SolarEdge has managed in this period of time to expand its products offering. They have launched a commercial production line at the Flextronics Israel Ltd. plant in Migdal Ha’Emek. As well, the company managed to consolidate its position on the international logistics and other market networks around the globe. This has helped the stuff at SolarEdge to sign cooperation agreements with PV receptor manufactures, installations and distributors which are spread all over the world.

    The company’s intention is that of finding suitable renewable energy solutions for the future. David Cohen, the SVB Israel Advisors Ltd., the general manager, declared the following: “SolarEdge is a fast growing company with ambitious plans for the future. Not only is the business run by an impressive management team with whom SVB Israel has built a great partnership, but it is also backed by a top tier venture capital syndicate that we are fully aligned with. Together, SolarEdge and its investors have done an exceptional job building this business into a well-positioned company.” The company is presenting thus the way in which the path towards the future of electricity is to be achieved in a society which is more and more concerned about the negative evolution of the petrol market.

  • Transcend Medical raises $51 Million in Round B of Funding for expanding the Surgical Glaucoma Study

    Transcend Medical, Inc., has recently managed to raise $51 million in round B of funding. The company specializes in producing ophthalmic devices which serve to developing minimally invasive glaucoma therapies. This round of funding has been led by the previous investors from Canaan Partners, Finistere Ventures, HLM Venture Partners, Kaiser Permanente Ventures, Latterell Venture Partners, Morgenthaler Ventures, Split Rock Partners and Technology Partners. The only new partner who has joined the funding at the moment is Investor Growth Capital.

    Abhijeet Lele, the Managing Director and Head of Healtfcare Investing at IGC declared the following: “Transcend’s promising clinical outcomes and R&D progress to date demonstrate that the company is well positioned in the existing $4.5 billion global glaucoma therapy market. look forward to working closely with the management team to expedite development of this exciting minimally invasive glaucoma therapy.”

    The company intends to use the funds in order to develop an additional infrastructure and resources for its US pivotal study of the CyPass® Micro-Stent, but also in order to develop next generation glaucoma solutions and to for ongoing international clinical trials. One of their important studies relates to the CyPass Micro-Stent, which is a very small implant which can be placed in the eye of the patient by the means of a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The purpose of this implant is that of offering the patient the chance of having an early intervention which is far less invasive than the conventional surgical treatments. Moreover, the implant called CyPass Micro-Stent is very likely to reduce or to completely eliminate the need for glaucoma medications though it very well provides a continuous control of the intraocular pressure.

    Brian Walsh, the president and Chief Executive Officer of Transcend Medical stated the following: “We are pleased with the strong support from our investors and it represents the industry-wide validation surrounding our CyPass Micro-Stent for treatment of early glaucoma. The additional capital ensures that we are well-positioned to complete our clinical and corporate objectives.”

    Transcend Medical is a company based on the development of medical devices which are intended to help the treatment of glaucoma, which is the main cause which leads to the irreversible blindness of adults. Reports estimate that there are more than 4 million persons in US and over 60 million persons worldwide which are affected by this disease. Moreover, the figures are expected to grow up to almost 6 million in the US and more than 70 million all over the world by 2015. The company is based in Menlo Park, in California. This is the first company to spin-out from the ForSight Labs, LLC, which is an incubator concerned only with the ophthalmic innovations.

  • First Round of Funding brings $14.6 million to DVS for Novel Single-Cell Analysis Technology

    DVS Sciences, Inc., a company developing high multi-parameter single-cell analyzers and reagents for biological research and clinical applications, has recently managed to raise $14.6 million in the first round of funding. The money is intended to be used in order to accelerate the commercial manufacturing scale-up of the company’s paradigm-shifting multi-parameter singe cell analysis solution.

    The company is based in Ontario, Canada and in Sunnyvale, California. The firm is a spin-off from the University of Toronto. This round of funding reunited numerous investors; including 5AM Ventures, Pfizer Venture Investments, Roche Venture Fund, Mohr Davidow Ventures and the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

    Andrew Schwab, the Managing Partner from 5AM Ventures declared the following: “DVS Sciences has made great strides in demonstrating the significant demand for quantitative, highly multiparametric biomarker assays performed in single cells and we are pleased to be part of this significant Series A financing. The company is well positioned for high growth and to expand the cellular analysis marketplace. We believe that the CyTOF®– MAXPAR® platform will transform the performance of cellular analysis. By enabling the measurement of many biomarkers simultaneously in single cells, researchers will be primed to better understand the cellular dynamics of disease states, stem cells and other biologically relevant systems.”

    The money is going to be used in order to develop a high-throughput mass cytometer for individual cell analysis, CyTOF, and a suite of MAXPAR reagents, including stable-isotope-tagged antibodies. This new technology eliminates the inherent spectral overlap issues and enables quantitative multi-biomarker analysis for scientific research, which are likely to have quite incredible results when it comes to developing applications in clinical trials and in personalized medicine. The efficiency of this type of analysis has been demonstrated by the researchers at Stanford University, which have been led by the professor of microbiology and immunology, Garry Nolan, Ph. D. Their study has been conducted on a 34-parameter bone marrow immunological and functional assay where subtle transitions between cell states have been shown. Dr. Garry Nolan stated the following: “Using this technology, we can tell not only what kind of cell it is, but essentially what it’s thinking, what it’s been doing, and what it may soon do or become.”

    Scott Tanner, the CEO and the co-founder of the company, declared: “This significant Series A financing puts us in a position to broadly commercialize our innovative instrumentation and reagents and help scientists accelerate biomedical research, delivering a quantum step towards personalized therapeutic diagnosis and prognosis, and transform drug discovery. By enabling the simultaneous detection of up to 100 disease markers in single cells, the CyTOF technology is an important tool in providing a dramatic increase in the information data rate and determining a personalized signature of disease, which will be useful in guiding diagnosis and treatment.”

    DVS Sciences is a company specialized in distributing bioanalytical solutions which can be of a use for the biomarker discovery, biological research and probably for clinical applications. These research technologies have been already used in laboratories across the US, Canada and Asia. Their manufacturing points are near Toronto, in Canada, while the company’s headquarters is to be found in Sunnyvale, California.

  • Apica raises $2 Million for US Expansion

    The leading load testing and performance-monitoring provider for cloud and mobile applications, Apica, managed to raise $2 million in a second round of funding. The series B round of funding has been led by Industrifonden, but KTH Chalmers Capital, one of the previous investors, and ALMI Invest, one of the new investors, also participated to this funding round. All these investors are based in Sweden and they are putting their hopes on Apica’s development of its services and its expansion on the US market.

    Sven Hammar, the CEO at Apica, stated the following: “We’ll use the investment to build out sales and marketing in the U.S. to compete against the likes of SOASTA on load testing and Keynote Systems on performance monitoring, for example. We compete with these companies; however, Apica offers the best fully integrated testing and monitoring solution for cloud and mobile applications.”

    It is recently that the company has released a new product, the Apica Watch, which is a new cloud service which provides full support for Selenium, allowing their customers to be able to monitor their websites from the perspective of a final customer, the end-user. Also, the company has recently developed an iPhone application which allows users to be able to monitor their performance on a non-stop basis from anywhere. The company has also been working on developing strategic partnerships with the leading cloud players from RightScale and Rackspace.

    The partner at KTH Chalmers Capital, Jonas Rahmn, announced the following: “Since our first investment in spring 2007, Apica has undergone fantastic growth — from a small local player to the point where it is now seriously positioning itself in the U.S. With this investment, the company will have the opportunity to take another big step forward in executing on its expansion plans.”

    The Investment Manager from Industrifonden, Johan Englund, declared the following: “We’re delighted to invest in Apica’s business. Given the company’s strong entrepreneurial team and robust market segment, we believe that Apica’s prospects for success are excellent.” Industrifonden is a fund which generally supports small and medium sized companies from Sweden. They are generally interested in businesses which have the potential of growing at the international level. This Swedish fund possesses assets of about SEK 3 billion, SEK 1.5 billion of which is already invested in 80 companies operating in the technological field, cleantech, life science and the industry field.

    Apica is a company which provides load testing and performance monitoring solutions which are intended to test, monitor and optimize cloud and mobile applications. They now have more than 250 customers, gathering names such as Newsday, PricewaterhouseCoopers, eBay Sweden and Thomas Cook. The products offered by Apica are uniquely designed in order to suit the cloud infrastructure and they are extremely qualitative as they can perform some of the largest published load tests which have ever been conducted. Some of their best known applications which estimate the maximum capacity and the real-time performance and which provide solutions for improving load times are Apica LoadTest, Apica WebPerformance and Apica WebOverload. The company has been founded in 2005 and it operates from Stockholm, Sweden and Palo Alto, California. They also have offices in the United Kingdom.

  • Badgeville raises $12 million to construct Gamification

    The Gamification start-up Badgeville managed to attract capital in amount of $12 million in a second round of funding. This amount is destined to be use in order to develop a strategy of adding game-like features to the non-game applications.

    The Chief Executive from the Menlo Park, which is the Californian-based Badgeville, Kris Duggan, declared that this amount of money is going to be used by the company in order to accelerate its growth and to manage to leave behind quickly the other dozen or so gamification start-ups. The advantage of Badgeville is that it’s Dynamic Game Engine and Widget Studio helps clients become loyal in a way which can easily be measured. Duggan declared that Badgeville allows its customers shower their users with achievements and rewards which generally help to the improvement of the key user-driven objectives, such as retention, to a percentage of 30%. It has been recently that the company has launched the 2.0 version of its engine platform.

    This second round of funding has been led by the Norwest Venture partners and the El Dorado Ventures, along with the already existing investors, the Trinity Ventures and the Webb Investment Network. After this new round of funding, Tim Chang, from the Norwest, and Tom Peterson, from El Dorado, are to join the board at Badgeville.

    The funding has been revealed by Duggan today, at the GamesBeat 2011 conference in San Francisco. He declared the following: “This investment comes [on] the heels of two consecutive seven-figure sales quarters, and 40 percent quarter over quarter growth”. He also added that the intention for these funds is that of increasing the team and scaling up the offering of the company.

    The company started-up last fall and now has more than 75 customers coming from the following fields of activity: e-commerce, entertainment, media, education, fitness, enterprise and service. Some of the most known customers are: Discovery Communications, NBC, Interscope Records, Major league Gaming,, The Active Network, LiveMocha and Deloitte Digital. On these data, the board expects the company to increase by several hundred other customers by the end of the year to come. Badgeville would like its services to be a good mix of custom work and automation. Duggan added the following: “We needed to get more ammunition into the company to scale the business and be recognized as the clear leader. Our plan is to be the of gamification.”

    Despite the demand for this type of products, there are critics who believe that gamification is a superficial way of persuading customers to engaging with websites, which is totally fad and boring. On the other hand, Duggan did not contradict this point, stating that the benefits of gamification should not be exaggerated: “You won’t turn all of enterprise software into a game. You can make it a little more game like, make it more fun, and make it meaningful, genuine and desirable.”

    Gartner, the market researcher, announced that it is likely that more than 70% of the top 2,000 worldwide companies are to have at least one gamified application by 2014. In the previous round of funding, Badgeville raised $3 million.

  • Private Equity Firm, Atlantic Bridge, Leads $18 Million Investment in Series D Funding Round for SiliconBlue

    Based in Santa Clara, California, SiliconBlue is an innovator in custom mobile device solutions. The company has announced on June 29, 2011, that it has raised $18 million in a series D funding round led by the London and Dublin based private equity firm, Atlantic Bridge. Other investors who participated in this funding round include the company’s existing investors, BlueRun Ventures, Crosslink Capital, New Enterprise Associates (NEA), and Apex Ventures.

    SiliconBlue Technologies is a leading innovator of mobile device solutions and the company has become attractive to investors because of the wide variety of products that can meet all the needs of mobile device users. Some of the solutions that SiliconBlue offers include applications for hand sets, IP portals, and other important solutions needed by mobile device users today.

    One of the bigger solutions that SiliconBlue has designed which has met the biggest demands of mobile device developers are applications that run on low power, thus conserving battery power. The biggest issue with mobile devices is battery power and the power required to run many of the complex mobile devices and smartphones of today.

    One of the solutions that SiliconBlue has developed to combat the issue with battery power and the quick consumption of average mobile device batteries. With the new technology developed by SiliconBlue, iCE65 and mobileFPGA devices, which have been designed to minimize battery consumption thus extending battery life by using applications which are designed to minimize both static and active current consumption, allowing mobile device designers to develop mobile devices that meet their needs.

    According to Brian Long, General Partner at Atlantic Bridge, his team at the private equity firm is very excited to have SiliconBlue as one of the firm’s portfolio companies. Mr. Long further stated that the leadership position that SiliconBlue has held with the introduction of its 65nm products shows the team at Atlantic Bridge that the company shows great promise in the future.

    Atlantic Bridge is a private equity firm that has offices in both London and Dublin. The firm primarily invests in middle market technologies and primarily invests in Europe and North America. Atlantic Bridge primarily invests late stage venture capital into companies who are going into series D or higher. Atlantic Bridge also invests in LBOs and MBOs, as well as other private equity investments. Other companies in Atlantic Bridge’s portfolio include Acision, Nero, PoplarLake, Panda Security, and others.

  • Prominent Investors, Intel Capital, FlyBridge Capital Partners, and Sigma Partners Lead $17 Million in Investment Capital Round for JouleX

    Based in Atlanta, Georgia, JouleX is an innovator in energy management solutions for data solutions. The company announced on June 10, 2011, that it has secured an enormous investment round of $17 million led by three new investors, who are Intel Capital, FlyBridge Capital Partners, and Sigma Partners and have also been joined by the company’s existing investors, who are Target Partners and TechOperators.

    What makes JouleX stand out from the crowd and so attractive to such large investors is that the company has been a leader in innovations within the energy management and data management industry. The company has developed unique technology that has filled the gap that many data management companies and services were looking for. The high energy consumption of data management systems. The flagship technology which JouleX has developed the JEM system, which is a full energy management and allows both Global 2000 companies and government agencies to monitor, analyze and control corporate energy utilities throughout all of the corporation from distribution offices to data centers and facilities.

    Many of the investors who chose to take part of this funding round had good things to say, including Mr. John Mandile, Managing Director at Sigma Partners, who stated that JouleX is the first company to develop a system that can successfully address the needs and meets the challenges that many enterprises face when they are finding ways to conserve the energy their servers and networking systems for their companies. Mr. Mandile further added that JouleX has set a new market standard for energy waste management generated from networking servers. Mr. Mandile also stated that he is very excited about his firm investing in JouleX and play an important contribution in this vision.

    Sigma Partners is a large early-stage investment firm which was founded in 1984 and is primarily aimed at funding young companies who are in the business services, consumer, and tech industries. Some other companies in Sigma’s portfolio include Acquia, Attribut, Autovirt, Azuki Systems, Crown Peak, Dambella, and others.

    Like Sigma Capital, FlyBridge Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm which primarily invests in the consumer energy, IT, and healthcare industries. FlyBridge Capital currently has $560 million in capital under its management and has a goal to find the right entrepreneurs who have the stamina to help build strong and valuable world-class companies. Some other companies in FlyBridge’s portfolio include 33Across, Black Wave, BzzAgent, Digital Lumens, and others.

  • Battery Ventures Leads $14 Million in Series B Investment Round for Israel-Based XtremIO

    Based in Tel-Aviv, Israel, XtremIO, which is a developer of storage systems for the next generation has announced on June 6, 2011, that it has closed a $14 million series B funding round led by Battery Ventures. Other investors who took part in this funding round include Giza Venture Partners and Jerusalem Venture Partners.

    XtremIO is a company which is dedicated to developing different storage solutions for the next generation and to meet the demands of today’s computing needs. So far, the company has developed sophisticated storage technology for cloud computing systems and develops systems that can meet the often unmet needs for today’s computing needs.

    Proceeds from this funding round will go to engineering and developing even more sophisticated storage systems for the computers and computing systems of tomorrow.

    What makes XtremIO so attractive to investors is that there are many issues that IT providers face and the company seems to be able to meet the exceeding demands that IT providers are facing. One of the major demands and challenges that IT providers and technicians face are storage and I/O issues. In many networks these two are a major bottleneck where data can get jammed. The fact is that more people are transferring electronic data with much higher bandwidth than most IT systems are designed to handle.

    According to the CEO of XtremIO, Ehud Rokach, it’s an honor to have such a prominent investor in the tech industry such as Battery Ventures investing in the company. Mr. Rochak further added that the resources that the executive team can use to excel its business in providing the best storage and I/O solutions available to customers.

    As part of the agreement of the funding round, Mr. Itzak Pamafes, Partner at Battery Ventures, will join XtremIO’s board of directors. Mr. Pamafes had this to say about the company. Since Battery Ventures was founded, we have been dedicated to funding those entrepreneurs who are dedicated to meet the needs and develop new innovative technologies to improve IT services of the next generation. Mr. Pamafes further added that XtremIO has many of the things that the team of investors is looking for in a company to invest in. He further added that the entrepreneurship that the executive team of XtremIO shows is exactly what Battery is looking for when investing in companies. Furthermore, the the technology that XtremIO has to offer is truly innovative and is destined to disrupt the entire IT industry.

    Battery Ventures is a VC firm that is truly dedicated to the IT and tech industries. With offices in both North America and Israel, the firm primarily invests in companies which provide game changing technologies that have the potential of disrupting the markets. Some other companies in Battery’s portfolio include Infoseek, BlueStem, SkullCandy, InfoBridge Technologies, and others.

    Giza Venture Partners is a prominent Israeli venture capital firm and it primarily invests in the communication industry. Besides the communications industry, Giza also invests in the life sciences, electronics, semiconductor, clean tech, and media industries. Other companies in Giza’s portfolio include Butterfly (acquired by TI), Envara (acquired by Intel), CellGuide, Lucid Technologies, and others.

  • Shacho Raises over $10 Million in Angel Capital

    Based in Provo, Utah, Shacho, INC is a company with a temporary working name and its cofounder, Josh James has announced on May 19, 2011, that he has raised $10 million in angel capital from some prominent and highly visionary angel investors. These investors include Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO of; Ron Conway; Lars Dalgaard, founder and CEO of Success Factors; Andreesen Horowitz, Mark Gorenberg, managing director of Hummer Winblad Venture Partners; Hiroshi Mikitani, CEO of Rakuten in Japan; John Pestana, cofounder of Omniture; Dan Rose, vice president of Facebook; Paul Sagan, CEO of Akami; S. Steven Singh, chairman and CEO of Concur; and John Thompson, CEO of Symentic, and CEO of Virtual Instruments.

    The startup has also received some institutional capital from Hummer Winblad Venture Partners. This large pool of capital will allow the new company to grow and find a permanent working name. Though much of Shacho’s business has yet to be disclosed, Mr. James has stated that the capital will finance the aggressive marketing of his product, which does have something to do with the business intelligence industry.

    Basically, the vast majority of the investors who were involved in this basic funding round are some of the world’s most prominent angel investors. Many of the angels who funded this company are also in the executive teams of other larger companies in the same or similar industry. The biographies of some of the angels involved in this funding round are listed below.

    Besides being the chairman and CEO of, Mr. Benioff is also a cofounder of the company and is a seasoned entrepreneur. He invests in those budding entrepreneurs whom he believes will disrupt the industry in the business services industry. Other achievements that Mr. Benioff has accomplished include being the cochairman of President George W. Bush’s Information Technology Advisory Committee from 2003 to 2005.

    Another prominent angel involved in this funding round is Ron Conway. Mr. Conway is no stranger to successful angel investing. He has been a highly active angel investor for over 15 years and has also founded one of America’s largest angel syndicates, Angel Investors, LP, which was in business from 1998 to 2005. Besides being a successful and prominent angel investor, Mr. Conway is also a seasoned entrepreneur and has been a key part of National Semiconductor Corporation and has also played a key role in co-founding other major companies. Mr. Conway’s previous investments include Google, Paypal, Brightmail, and many other major startups of today.

    There are many more angels involved in this funding round and all of them believe that the undisclosed product which Josh James has will greatly affect the business intelligence market and help companies protect their trade secrets and intellectual properties.

    According to Mr. James, his executive team is highly ecstatic to have such a large group of angel investors who share the vision of Shacho. The most important thing about this round of angel capital is that many of the angel investors who have invested in this venture are also key members of the executive teams in some of the world’s largest SaaS companies.

    Shacho has been doing quite well, for not yet completely disclosing its product and services. In 2010, the company has bought Corda Technologies, and Mr. James is the CEO of the new combined company. Mr. James is also quite a successful entrepreneur, because prior to starting this latest venture, he was also a cofounder of Omniture, which has become the fastest publicly traded software company in three years in a row.

  • Sequoia Capital Places a Multimillion Dollar Investment in China’s Online Women’s Retailer,

    Based in Beijing, China, has become one of the biggest global online women’s retailers based in China. The company announced on April 25, 2011, that it has partnered together with Sequoia Capital, one of America’s largest global venture capital firms. Just being known in China was not enough for the founders of The online merchant has also become one of the largest retail and wholesale merchants worldwide, primarily selling fine jewelry, women’s lingerie, formal wear, wedding wear, Cosplay items, shoes, and more. may mainly have women’s wear on their website, but women’s apparel is not all that sells. The online merchant also has a large inventory of men’s fashion and accessories, as well as bedding and other merchandise also.

    Among some of the men’s apparel that has in its inventory include a wide variety of canvas sneakers which have fashionable colors and are very stylish for very reasonable prices. The athletic selection of the men’s footwear is anything but athletic. Most of the athletic shoes are mainly dressy casual shoes of the Rockport style or shoes for rainy weather. also has some fancy interior decoration accessories. For example, for those living in Africa or who want the colonial African look in their home, the merchant also provides a wide variety of different mosquito netting that can be slung over the bed. The merchant also has a large selection of bathroom towels, bedding, pillows, and more.

    Like many other online merchants, operates by drop shipping merchandise from a factory warehouse directly to the customer’s door. Drop shipping is an economical method to get the product to the customer, providing much lower prices by eliminating the middleman. In some cases, drop shippers are the manufacturers of the product themselves. Merchants who use the drop shipping method never see the product they are selling before it goes to the customer.

    Founded in 2008, is grown by over 600%, thus attracting Sequoia Capital. With Sequoia Capital investing in the online merchant, it has made one of the top Chinese B2C merchants.

    Sequoia Capital is one of America’s largest investment firms which primarily invests in companies who are in seed, early, and growth stage in a wide variety of different industries worldwide. Some other companies in Sequoia’s portfolio include Action, Agile, AirStrip, Oracle, PayPal, and others.

  • Intuit Supports Entrepreneurs by Committing $37 Million

    Based in Mountain View, California, Intuit announced on April 20, 2011, that it has committed $37 million in capital to support entrepreneurs as their part of participation of the Startup America Partnership Program.

    Intuit is a financial institution which specifically caters to small businesses. Intuit brings about several different services and products that help small entrepreneurs. One of the programs that Intuit provides small businesses is software which help business owners manage their finances and file their taxes. One of the programs that Intuit provides is the Personal Finance Software solution. The Personal Finance Software works together with the financial software, Quicken, known for its tax prep software. This package includes programs which can allow you to keep track of where you are spending your money, see all your account in one convenient place, and set a budget which you can stick to. As the creator of Quicken, Intuit has many other great financial solutions for both your personal and business finances.

    Intuit also provides some great internet marketing services which allow for businesses to attract more customers online. Intuit advertises on its website a service that makes it so easy for business owners to design a professional website which has everything a business website needs. The system allows business owners to simply drag and drop items on a website template and have it hosted online at a modest fee. Intuit also provides a large variety of different templates which small business owners can choose from. This allows the individual business owner to choose a motif that fits their business or products he is manufacturing or marketing.

    Intuit also provides services that allow businesses to easily manage and pay taxes as well as run payroll. With this attachment for QuickBooks, you can easily manage payroll and know when entrepreneurs need to pay their employees.

    This partnership was announced by Intuit and other prominent Silicon Valley business services and financial institutions to help entrepreneurs survive these tough economic times.

    According to the executive vice-president and general manager of Intuit, Kiran Patel, small businesses are crucial for the nation’s economic recovery. Most of the jobs that many people depend on are provided by small businesses or corporations that hire 200 to 300 people within the region. Mr. Patel further stated that he is very pleased that Intuit is able to celebrate and help small entrepreneurs get started and get their businesses to take off.

    One tidbit of fact, entrepreneurs have had a positive affect on the US economy by providing jobs. When commerce gets the funding it needs, everyone wins.

  • Schooner Capital Leads $4 Million Investment in Funding Round for Zixi

    Based in Waltham, Massachusetts, the industry leader of online cloud HDTV broadcasting, Zixi, has announced on April 12, 2011, that it has secured $4 million in additional funding found led by Schooner Capital. Other investors who participated in this funding round include prominent private investors who are veterans in the broadcasting industry from the time cable television was released. These investors are the former CEO and chairman of Scientific Atlanta, Sidney Topol, and one of the first cofounders and CEOs of CNN, the founder and president of the Food Network, Maurice Schonfeld, who is commonly known as Reese to his friends and colleagues.

    Zixi was founded in 2006 and has quickly become the leader in creating one of the first broadcast quality HDTV portals for the internet and cloud computing organizations. One of the great benefits that Zixi has brought to the multibillion dollar broadcasting industry is that broadcast companies can deliver high quality HDTV videos for videos and movies on demand at a much lower cost than that of most of the movies on demand and pay per view services which many broadband cable companies offer today. What makes Zixi’s product stand out and disrupt the broadcasting industry is that its proprietary technology has allowed a wide variety of different companies that range from large enterprises to mass media broadcasting companies to offer video on demand services for movie viewing at the consumer’s leisure, as well as for live uninterrupted real-time broadcasting in HD quality over the internet for a fraction of the cost that most companies pay for conventional services that have been in the industry for over a decade.

    Zixi has services that are specified for everyone in the broadcasting industry or in need for video for training films and video conferencing. For broadcasters in the entertainment industry and mass media, Zixi offers live vivid color broadcasting solutions that provide HD quality video on a cloud system which can be accessed over the internet. The software that Zixi offers broadcasting companies allows them to broadcast full HD quality video worldwide over the internet. With the advent of high tech TV sets on the market, which are a combination of both a TV set and the internet, more people are both watching TV and surfing the internet in their living room with a keyboard and mouse attached to the family television. The technology that Zixi provides gives consumers the added ability to watch a wide variety of different programming online at the same quality of their favorite TV programs. This will definitely seal the future for internet TV and possibly transform the merger of both TV and the internet in the future.

    As the internet has been bringing in an astronomical number of different video services which can provide everything from marketing videos to news, sports, and entertainment for select consumer tastes, well, Zixi’s technology can benefit these services as well. Even on existing broadband networks, many users have often experienced all the troubles of watching videos online that can range from jitters, buffering, and frame freezes. Zixi’s technology still allows online video services to use the same broadband that most cable companies offer at the same bandwidth, but with a much higher quality picture and without any of the buffering, frame freezes and jitters used by many of the commonplace online video portals used today. This means that users are able to watch HD quality video clips from a wide variety of different websites.

    Enterprises and multinational corporations who need to have teleconferences and real-life training videos for new employees can also benefit from special technology developed by Zixi. The HD quality video technological platform that Zixi provides can help corporate meetings that span on several different continents with high HD quality video for video conferencing and the accurate showing of graphs and other business graphics when executives in different corporate branches worldwide need to collaborate and work together.

    According to the managing director of Schooner Capital, Ted Henderson, Zixi first got the attention of the team at Schooner Capital by seeing the wide variety of clientele that the company has acquired because of its unique platform. The end-to-end HDTV quality video portal that Zixi provides not only allows large media companies and online video services to deliver high quality video for news and entertainment purposes, but also allows for enterprises and corporations to use the technology to have superior quality video conferences in real time which never has the same issues that most internet video portals have online today. Mr. Henderson further added that with this high quality technology and many long term customers who are ecstatic about the high quality video that Zixi’s portal provides, the potential of the high ROI made the company very attractive to the team at Schooner Capital.

    The CEO and founder of Zixi, Israel Drori further stated that he is very pleased by the additional funding provided by Schooner Capital and the other participating investors, who are prominent figures in the broadcasting and media industries, as it will help the company to continue to develop its amazing HD quality video portal that can be transmitted across the regular public and private internet.

    The broadcasting and media veterans also extolled Zixi and stated their reasons for investing in the company. According to Mr. Topol, the thing that made Zixi stand out to him was that its disruptive technology and software is poised to revolutionize the way video and television is broadcast in the future. As a pioneer in satellite communications and RF technologies before becoming a key executive of Scientific Atlanta, where he worked in leadership roles for 19 years. During Mr. Topol’s tenure at Scientific Atlanta, the company grew a massive profit, raking in over $600 million in revenues.

    Since its inception in 1971, Schooner Capital is a private investment firm based in Boston, Massachusetts, has lead investments in a wide range of different media and communications industries and stages of a company’s life. The primary focus, however, is in the cable television industry. Other companies in Schooner’s portfolio include Seventh Generation, RailComm, Milestone Medical Outsourcing, Colo Rail Road Builder, and others.

  • Business Lender, Direct Capital Infuses Small Businesses with Working Capital

    Based in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Direct Capital is a nationwide business lender which makes commercial and business loans to small businesses announced on April 11, 2011, that it is planning to infuse small businesses with working capital to keep them afloat during these difficult economic times. The business loans that Direct Capital is planning to infuse small businesses could not come at a better time. In a time where the economic climate is rather difficult and with many business lenders not eager to dole out small business loans to struggling small businesses, the loans that Direct Capital is providing will allow small businesses to continue to function and help local economies by keeping their doors open and people working.

    Furthermore, there are many businesses and small companies all over the United States who are just recovering from the recession and are having difficulties making ends meet. The working capital that Direct Capital will provide these companies will help those businesses recover fully.

    Direct Capital was founded in 1993 and since then has grown to provide business lending services to businesses all across the United States. Primarily providing debt capital, the business lender typically provides small business loans to help businesses keep a handle on payroll costs as well as making important business related purchases, such as technology and equipment. The current funds that the lender has available for the new working capital it plans to provide is up to $60 million.

    According to Scott Lynch, who is the director of Client Services of Direct Capital, the small business sector, which is the backbone of many local economies has experienced an increased demand for working capital. Likewise, this demand for capital has also been experienced by Direct Capital among its clients. Mr. Lynch further added that the primary reason why small businesses need this working capital is to bridge capital gaps to cover necessary business expenses, such as increasing their inventory, bridge payroll costs, improve their efficiency, and more.

    Other services that Direct Capital provides its clients with include a wide range of business loans, which include franchise financing, business financing, and vendor financing. The franchise financing is provided through a fund that reaches to $250 million and is primarily for small franchises of restaurant chains or other small businesses which are part of a larger nationwide conglomerate, such as Dunkin Donuts and the like. The financing is designed to support the top nationwide franchise brands by allowing local franchises of that local brand to have the necessary capital to continue to operate.

    The vendor financing that Direct Capital provides its clients helps vendors have the funding they need quickly and when they needed to keep up with inventory costs and the lender provides vendor loans at highly competitive rates to make it simpler for merchants to the necessary funding at a much faster rate than at other business lenders or merchant banks. Currently, Direct Capital also has $250 million in capital for vendor loans.

  • Third Rock Ventures Together with Private Investors, Drs. Nick Lydon, PhD and Brian MD Lead $40 Million Investment in BluePrint Medicines to Further Develop Translations of New Molecular Data for Personalized Cancer Treatments

    Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, BluePrint Medicines is an innovative company that is developing revolutionary new solutions for the effective treatments of cancers. BluePrint announced on April 11, 2011, that it has secured $40 million in series A funding, led by Third Rock Ventures and two private investors who are also involved with the founding of the company, Drs. Nick Lydon, PhD and Brian Druker, MD. Proceeds from this funding round will go to innovative new solutions which can help health professionals translate new molecular data into personalized cancer treatments.

    Since its inception, BluePrint Medicines has dedicated its mission to develop sensitive therapies to treat cancer by translating new molecular data into personalized cancer treatments that are aimed for cancers for the individual patient. The great benefit of personalized cancer treatments means that each individual cancer patient can have an effective treatment that will work best for his particular situation. This type of treatment works by being able to read new molecular data from the individual patient and develop molecular based treatments for that patient based on his genetic data and on the mutations of the individual patient.

    The solutions that BluePrint Medicines is developing involve the molecular blueprint of the genetic make up of each cancerous mutations. By analyzing the molecular data of cancer mutations of individual patients instead of an individual group will allow oncologists and other medical professionals develop a personalized treatment which can affect the individual patient in a positive way.

    Besides being on BluePrint’s advisory board, Drs. Nick Lydon and Brian Druker also have major experiences in life sciences and molecular medicine under their belts, which include the 2009 Lasker DeBakey Clinical Medical Research for their role in the development of the drug, Gleevec. Gleevec is a kenase inhibitor. This kenase inhibitor is primarily used for the treatment of myeloid leukemia, which has since its employment into treatment has turned this once deadly cancer into a manageable disease.

    According to Dr. Lydon, over the past ten years, the kenase inhibitor has been successfully developed for the treatment of cancer. These unique inhibitors have already gone through a battery of clinical trials where they have been administered to cancer patients and have the potential of revolutionizing how cancer will be treated in the future. Dr. Lydon further added that by causing molecular change in individual cancer patients that can create a selective treatment against some of the deadliest forms of cancer can seriously affect the way people can deal with cancer and the management of this terrible disease can become much easier and ensure a better quality of life for patients.

    Founded in 2007, Third Rock Ventures is a venture capital firm that primarily invests in entrepreneurs who are willing to transform their companies into world-class corporations. The primary industry preference of Third Rock are companies who are in the life sciences industry and who’s teams are passionate in developing sciences that are disruptive in the marketplace and provide exceptional care and quality of patients. Some other companies in Third Rock’s portfolio include AB Lexis, Agios, Alnara Pharmaceuticals, CytomX Therapeutics, NinePoint Medical, Zafgen, and others.

    Dr. Lydon is on BluePrint Medicines scientific advisory board and is also one of the scientific founders of the company. Before working on the foundation of BluePrint, Dr. Lydon has had other entrepreneurial experience as well. He also founded Granite Biopharma, LLC, where he also served as the company’s president. Prior to his entrepreneurial experience, Dr. Lydon also worked for the Swiss pharmaceutical company, CIBA Geigy, based in Basel, Switzerland. At CIBA Geigy, Dr. Lydon worked on their scientific team and identified several important kenase proteins, much like the ones used in the inhibitors that BluePrint is developing today.

    Dr. Druker is also on the company’s scientific advisory board and is a scientific founder of BluePrint together with Dr. Lydon. Dr. Druker’s partnership with Dr. Lydon has deep roots and has worked together with Dr. Lydon on the development of Gleevec, which won both of them the 2009 Lasker DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award. Dr. Druker is a dedicated researcher and has won many other awards as well, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

    To read more about Drs. Lydon and Druker, along with the other members of BluePrint’s scientific advisory board, click here.

  • Intel Capital Leads $30 Million Investment in Online Textbook Publisher, Kno

    Based in Santa Clara, California, Kno, which is a market leader in online textbook publishing has announced on April 8, 2011, that it has secured a $30 million investment led by Intel Capital in a series C funding round. Other investors who participated in this funding round include Advanced Publications, which is also a new investor to the company. Kno’s existing investors, Andreesen Horowitz, First Round Capital, FLOODGATE, and SV Angels. The lion’s share of the funding round was provided by Intel Capital, which is the investment arm of Intel Processors, the manufacturer of the famous Pentium Central Processing Unit line of CPUs installed in many of the computers in service worldwide.

    Kno is revolutionizing the textbook industry as more educational institutions, public and private schools worldwide are going online and many of the curricula are becoming computerized. Computerization of class curricula are not only limited to grade and high schools, but many colleges and universities are also going online for many of their classes. Furthermore, many colleges and universities offer online classes to people online nationwide where people can learn and earn a degree from the comforts of their own home. Kno has taken a lead position in this rapidly growing industry by designing textbooks that can be interactive with the students who are taking online classes.

    Founded in 2009, Kno was founded by a seasoned internet entrepreneur who founded many other collegiate related internet companies, Osman Rashid, who is the cofounder of the widely used online textbook purchasing and rental site, Chegg. Another cofounder who joined Rashid in founding Kno, is a seasoned entrepreneur in the consumer electronics industry, Babur Habib. Kno was founded on the basis to make textbooks more interesting and fun to use. The actual name of the company, Kno, was designed to be a shortened term for Knowledge. The idea behind Kno is to make textbooks come alive with multimedia educational materials that include text, video, audio, and colorful graphics.

    What has made Kno attractive to Intel is that the use of tablets, such as the Apple iPad and other similar tablet devices are being used on a regular basis and the object of Intel is to coordinate together with Kno to develop its textbook software to work on such tablets and develop its revolutionary textbook software to work on tablets which students can use to study their course material on the go. This is the main reason why Intel Capital has invested the largest portion of $20 million in this funding round.

    According to Intel’s executive vice president and president of Intel Capital, Arvind Sodhani, Intel, as a major tech corporation is very excited to be able to join into a partnership with a very unique company, team of entrepreneurs, who have developed an innovative learning program which can be incorporated in Intel’s line of electronic learning devices and in tablets designed to give the students that special one-to-one learning experience, which students have only been able to get with certain professors or teachers in the past. Mr. Sodhani further added that the software solutions that Kno has designed directly corresponds with what Intel’s e-learning ideals.

    Mr. Rashid, who also works for Kno as its CEO, further stated that he and the other cofounders of Kno are excited to be able to broaden their products into the broader markets that Intel is able to provide them. Mr. Rashid further added that he is glad that the executives at Intel, which helped him make this agreement share the same ideas about making education more fun and engaging for students.

    The innovative technology that Kno has developed has also found favor with Bill Kircos, who is the general manager of Intel’s NetBook and Tablet line of products. The Atom Processors and related technologies are a great fit for the touch-based textbook software that Kno offers, added Mr. Kircos.

    Intel Capital is the strategic corporate investor of Intel, which has its claim to fame from its Pentium Processors, many of which are the central processing units in many of the personal computers worldwide. The primary function of Intel Capital is to find unique companies with innovative technologies that can benefit Intel and enhance its technologies. Besides companies who develop a wide range of different software products, Intel Capital also invests in companies which develop computer hardware, and other devices that are aimed towards business services, consumer electronics, internet, and social media. Intel Capital also invests in companies which design and develop semiconductors, used in most computer hardware devices. Some other companies in Intel Capital’s portfolio include Adaptive Computing, Airway Communications, Althena, and others.

  • Forbes Came Out With the 100 Midas List of Tech Investors of 2011

    Forbes Magazine, one of the most read financial magazines worldwide, has announced its 100 Midas List for 2011. The 100 Midas List is a list of one hundred investors who are in the tech industry and have had the largest ROI in the previous year. Many of these investors invest in innovative tech companies who are primarily startups and have increased their value to investors over five fold.

    Investors who are listed in the 100 Midas List are primarily venture capitalists and angel investors who invest either seed capital or early stage companies and have increased their ROI along with the ROI of the company’s other investors as well.

    Some of the top 10 of the Forbes 100 Midas List include Jim Breyer of Accel Partners, Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital, Reid Hoffman of Greylock Partners, Peter Fenton of Benchmark Capital, Scott Sandell of New Enterprise Associates, Kevin Efrusy of Accel Partners, Peter Thiel of the Founders Fund, Peter Barris of New Enterprise Associates, David Sze of Greylock Partners, and Marc Andreesen of Andreesen Horowitz. These investors have made the top ten of the Forbes 100 Midas List, since these investors have produced the largest ROI on the investments for their firms.

    The first on the top ten is Jim Breyer of Accel Partners. Accel Partners is a world class venture capital firm which has offices in the United States, London, China, and India. Jim Breyer has been an investor with Accel Partners for quite some time and also leads a rather eccentric life. Besides being an avid collector of contemporary art and also enjoys fine wines, travel, and a wide range of music that range from classical all the way to new age rock, like Nirvana.

    Mr. Breyer has also brought deep investing experience to Accel Partners. He graduated first from Stanford University with a B.S. degree. He then went on to graduate from Harvard University with an MBA, where he made the top five percent of his class. Mr. Breyer’s investment experience includes investing in the largest discount store chain, Wal-Mart, where he currently sits on their board of directors. Other investments that Mr. Breyer has made for Accel Partners include Actuate, Agile Software, Hyperion Solutions, Oracle, and more. Forbes named Mr. Breyer number one on the 100 Midas List because of how successful his investments have been. As mentioned in Forbes Magazine, whether Mr. Breyer invests in a hoody clad college dropout or some kind of off the wall comic book company, he seems to turn to gold everything he touches.

    Besides being a venture capitalist for Accel Partners, Mr. Breyer is also an angel investor and has invested a large chunk of his personal funds, which he has also turned into record profits.

    The second in the Forbes 100 Midas List is Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital. Sequoia Capital is an early stage venture capital firm which primarily invests in companies who are in the energy, financial services, healthcare services, mobile, outsourcing services, and tech industries. The firm primarily invests $100,000 to $1 million in seed capital and $1 million to $10 million in series A early stage capital. Mr. Moritz joined Sequoia Capital in 1986 and primarily invests in companies who are in the outsourcing services, internet, and tech industries. Prior to joining Sequoia Capital, Mr. Moritz has worked for Time Warner, where he held several key management and executive positions. Along with working in key management at Time Warner, Mr. Moritz is also the founder of Technologic Partners.

    Forbes named Mr. Moritz number two in the 100 Midas List because he was an early investor in some of the biggest internet companies of today, which are Google, Yahoo, and Paypal. Mr. Moritz also led the investment in Pure Digital, which was later acquired by Cisco for $590 million. Mr. Moritz also played a key role in the largest internet shoe and apparel vendor,, where he still plays a key role in turning the rubber soles of Zappos gym shoes into gold.

    The third in Forbes Magazine’s list of 100 Midas List is Reid Hoffman of Greylock Partners. Greylock Partners was founded in 1965 and has invested in over 100 companies. The firm has gone global with offices in Boston, Massachusetts; Menlo Park, California; Herzliya, Israel; Bengalore, India; and London, England.

    Coming to Greylock in 2009, Mr. Hoffman has deep experience in the consumer internet industry and has had many successful investments in companies which cover a broad span of the consumer internet industry, including social gaming, mobile and social networking, online payment solutions, and many others to name a few. Prior to coming to Greylock, Mr. Hoffman is one of the cofounders of Linkedin, the world’s largest professional social network. He also played an influential role in the founding of Paypal and also played an instrumental role in Paypal’s acquisition of Ebay. Mr. Hoffman also led the partnerships of Paypal with Visa, Mastercard, and Wells Fargo.

    Forbes Magazine named Mr. Hoffman number three in the 100 Midas List, because he has become known as the “elder statesman of Silicon Valley.” Mr. Hoffman has basically created the entire internet social network environment and his investments have made the social networking industry one of the most lucrative in the 21st Century.

    There are many more achievements that all the top ten investors have accomplished, as well as all 100 of the Midas List. If you want to find out more about the Forbes 100 Midas List of 2011’s top tech investors, click here.

  • Private Chinese Investors Invest $100 Million in US-Chinese Therapeutics Joint Venture, Ascletis

    With two headquarters based in both Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Hangzhou, China, Ascletis is a US-Chinese joint venture that aims to provide effective therapeutic solutions for infectious diseases and cancer. The company announced on April 6, 2011, that it has raised $100 million led by the Hangzhou Binjiang Holding Company and private undisclosed Chinese private investors. The fund is primarily design to enhance the development of important therapeutic solutions for both cancer and infectious diseases. The company has also received the first tranche of this massive funding round, totaling $50 million. Besides private investors from China making the lion’s share of this funding round, private investors from the United States and other countries also participated in this funding round.

    As part of this massive deal, Ascletis will conduct all of its major operations in its corporate headquarters in Hangzhou, China, however, at the same time, the company will also have its foot in the United States, with company offices running some major operations in the Research Triangle Park area in North Carolina. This is an investment that is designed to benefit the business community in both countries.

    The person who is the life blood of Ascletis is Dr. Jinzi J. Wu, PhD, who is both the company’s cofounder and CEO. Dr. Wu, prior to founding Ascletis was also a key figure at one of the biggest movers and shakers in the Research Triangle companies, GlaxoSmithKleine, where he played a key role in the Global HIV Drug Discovery at the company. Dr. Wu is well qualified to be at the helm of Ascletis, since prior to working on HIV drugs at GlaxoSmithKleine, he has over 18 years of experience in both in the successful development of effective drugs and other therapeutic solutions at both major pharmaceutical companies and startup biological and life science companies.

    Proceeds from this funding round will go to realize the company’s two-prong business strategy, which entails both accelerating revenues by sustaining a business that can address and lead the rapidly growing pharmaceutical marketplace in China and to build long-term value by developing, commercialization innovative therapeutic solutions, as well as partnering with innovative entrepreneurs who can also contribute their compounds to develop powerful drugs that can treat many of the life threatening diseases that many suffer from today.

    According to Dr. Wu, the multinational team at Ascletis is very pleased to have such a large multinational group of investors supporting the aim that the company has at finding powerful therapeutic solutions to fight many of the most life threatening diseases that plague major groups of populations around the world. Dr. Wu further added that this investment as well as the funding of Ascletis is a merger of both Chinese finance and research and the innovation found in the United States.

    Neither Hangzhou Binjiang Holding Company nor any of the private investors who led this funding round do not disclose their portfolio companies to the public.

  • Incubator, Houston Technology Center Proposes New $100 Million Venture Fund for the Houston Technology Future Fund

    Based in Houston, Texas, the Houston Technology Center is an incubator for new entrepreneurs who are in the tech industry that show promise to become large corporations. The incubator announced on April 5, 2011, that it has proposed a new $100 million venture fund for its Houston Technology Future Fund, which is a fund that the Houston Technology Center has earmarked for the entrepreneurs whom it incubates in its incubation program. The incubator wants to allocate funds from this new future fund to select companies the Houston Technology Center sees fit to disrupt the entire tech industry. The primary candidate entrepreneurs who are to benefit from this fund are primarily early stage tech companies who are within a 30 county region in southern Texas.

    The Houston Technology Center is an incubator for south Texas entrepreneurs who need the right education and insight that young entrepreneurs need, as well as access to the necessary capital that young entrepreneurs need to bring their innovative technologies to the market. The incubator focuses on helping entrepreneurs commercialize their product and develop their companies into the position where they have the potential to change the world. The Houston Technology Center has also not gone on without recognition. Many companies which have received funding from the Houston Technology Center have also been recognized by using the tools the incubator has given them. One example is that portfolio company, RecycleMatch was named one of the 100 Most Brilliant Ideas in Entrepreneur Magazine in June 2010.

    Other portfolio companies have also received recognition for their efforts and they have all attested that the results come from the insight and valuable lessons they have learned at the Houston Technology Center. The biggest recognition the incubator has received, however, was from Forbes Magazine, which named the Houston Technology Center as one of the Ten Technology Incubators Changing the World.

    According to John White, who is both the CEO and general partner at the Houston Technology Future Fund, the fund managed by the Houston Technology Center, the Houston Technology Future Fund will not only allow entrepreneurs to have the funding to commercialize their innovative technologies, but as other investors invest in these fledgeling companies, they will have more potential to provide a high ROI for their investors.

    Though Mr. White has a positive out look on the proposal, he is not the only one who is able to give the green light for the $100 million fund. Other members of the incubator’s board of directors include Scott Crist, Managing Partner of Texas Ventures, J. Benton Mayberry, President of Winston Sage Partners, David McWilliams of BoiHouston INC, and Dennis Murphee, who is the Managing Director of Murphee Ventures.

    The realization of this new $100 million Houston Technology Future Fund looks bright, since many of the above mentioned people believe that the fund would help investors gain a higher ROI on companies who become clients of the Houston Technology Center. Some of the incubator’s portfolio companies include RecycleMatch, Aptia Systems, Blue Box Health, CO2AL, Cognitas Technologies, the Covelo Group, and many other great tech companies got their head start at the Houston Technology Center.

  • Undisclosed Investors Invest in Two New Investment Funds Totaling $2 Billion for Insight Venture Partners

    Based in New York, Insight Venture Partners announced on April 4, 2011, that it has just closed two new funds that total over $2 billion for new software and tech companies. This large investment was offered by undisclosed investors who are interested in the firms continual investing in world-class companies who are in the software and tech industries.

    Founded in 1995, Insight Venture Partners has become one of the leading global investment firms which primarily invests in growth oriented funds for companies and entrepreneurs who are primarily in the software, internet, and new media industries. One of the reasons why Insight has had a strong track record of successful investments, because the firm’s team of investors has over 150 years of investment experience collectively.

    The funds that were closed by the firm are two funds for revolutionary software and technology investments. The first new fund has been named the Insight Venture Partners Fund VII, which has received a ballpark figure of over $1.5 billion in institutional capital and roughly $70 million in both affiliate and friendly commitments. The Fund VII is in many respects, much like the other funds the firm holds under its management. The primary purpose of Fund VII is primarily to invest in global companies who are in software and internet industries. The funding for such companies will be deployed like many of the firm’s other funds, in both minority and control transactions.

    The other fund is the Insight Venture Partners Fund II, which will be earmarked for co-investments in larger syndicated investments together with other investors. This fund was given a total of $450 million.

    According to the firm’s co-founder, Jeff Horing, Fund VII, which has seen the lion’s share of the funding proves the commitment that the partners at Insight Venture Partners has for companies who fall within the firm’s criteria to achieve their strategic and operational goals, while at the same time building value for their customers and for investors alike. Mr. Horing further added that the firm’s investors like the investment approach that Insight has to investing in portfolio companies with both financial flexibility and business expertise.

    Since the very foundation of Insight Venture Partners, the firm has believed in a strong dual approach to investing and in the process, Insight has built a strong network of companies and investors in the software, new media, and internet industries.

    Some of the companies in Insight’s portfolio include Argus Software, Enigma, Dorado Software, GFI, Parallels, Twitter, and many others.

  • Global Investment Firm, NEA Leads $30 Million Investment in Funding Round for TidalTV

    Based in Baltimore, Maryland, TidalTV is an industry leader in video advertising and optimization as well as a leading provider of management solutions for advertisers in today’s complex and ever changing advertising industry. The company announced on March 31, 2011, that it has raised $30 million in a funding round led by New Enterprise Associates, or NEA. Other investors who participated in this funding round include the company’s existing investors, Comcast Interactive Capital and Valhalla Partners.

    TidalTV has made a bang in the modern-day advertising market by providing a solution that has effective video advertising and optimization of a brand’s message to a targeted audience. Along with the effective video marketing platform, the company also provides yield management solutions to brand companies to effectively process the data and mathematics of a brand’s targeted demographics. Currently, TidalTV’s video platform works only on the internet, but the company is also working to have its video advertising platform to be available on all video delivery systems, including the older types, such as television and the growing number of more sophisticated mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.

    For advertisers, TidalTV has provided a very useful service in providing them the knowledge of who their customers really are. Typically, large name brands spend billions of dollars to see exactly who their customers are and to know what their tastes are so they can effectively target them demographically and zero in their advertising dollars on that group of people who is most likely to buy their product. The platform with the yield management solutions that TidalTV provides advertisers with allows them to do exactly that. The product seems to be doing quite well, since among TidalTV’s clientele include large brands, such as Dell, Geico, A&E, Sonics, Southwest Airlines, Macy’s, Kraft, All State Insurance, and many others.

    Besides advertisers, however, publishers can also benefit from TidalTV’s proprietary platform for great monetization methods of their websites. The video monetization and yield management technology that TidalTV has allows publishers to effectively monetize their websites and other electronic publications they have to offer their customers.

    Proceeds from this funding round will go to fuel the ongoing aggressive expansion effort that TidalTV plans to carry on into 2011. The funding will also enable TidalTV to develop and enhance its proprietary technology, so it can be deployed into multi-screen media presentations for advertisers, media agencies, and publishers.

    Since launching its proprietary platform in 2007, TidalTV has experienced phenomenal growth to the point that it has made TidalTV a formidable player in this highly competitive industry. Just as recently as last month, TidalTV has launched the mobile version of its platform and has already sealed a leadership position in the mobile video advertising industry. The ambitions of the amazing team that runs the company doesn’t even stop there as they are developing a television version of their platform to be launched in the very near future. TidalTV executives believe that within the next few months, spending on targeted video advertising will exceed $1.97 billion and within the next few years spending could reach up to $5.71 billion.

    New Enterprise Associates , or NEA, is a venture capital firm that is designed specifically for entrepreneurs who want to take their companies to a global scale. Currently NEA has $11 billion in committed capital under its management and primarily invests in companies who are in the IT, energy technology, and healthcare industries. With offices in the United States, China, and India, the firm does have a global presence. Other companies in NEA’s portfolio are not disclosed to the public.

  • Oak Investment Partners Leads $25 Million Investment in Funding Round for Movik Networks

    Based in Littleton, Massachusetts, wireless networking product developer, Movik Networks announced on March 31, 2011, that it has secured $25 million in a funding round led by Oak Investment Partners. Other investors who participated in this funding round include the company’s existing investors, Highland Capital Partners and NorthBridge Venture Partners.

    Movik started out by being a pioneer in the emerging mobile network pioneer and developed one of the first RANs or radio accessible networks in the country. The technology that Movik Networks offers allows users to have a safe wireless network which they can access on any portable communication device, such as a smartphone or other mobile device. The networks that Movik provides come it three tiers to help users navigate the web while they are on the go. The three tiers include content aware edge, service plane exchange, and policy and personalization engine.

    The first tier, the content aware edge comes with the network policy aware engine, which allows networkers to both create and implement policies on multiple network dimensions based on real-time conditions. The content aware edge also allows mobile network services to monitor their RAN networks for congestion, application and subscriber types, and more. The content aware edge is a revolutionary monitoring tool that mobile network companies can use for a wide variety of diagnostic and general network functions.

    The second tier, the policy and personalization engine or PPE is designed to allow mobile network operators to have access to a fully functioning element management system that is responsible for fault, configuration, alarm, and security of the entire network. The service also works together with the third tier of the networking solution the company provides, the Service Plane Exchange, or SPX.

    The SPX is an entire umbrella of technical networking tools that mobile network service providers can use to provide users an integrated service plane across a wide range of different mobile devices and applications. The tools meet an unmet need in the mobile networking industry which is currently experiencing an explosion in growth with many network providers looking for new innovative network tools to provide mobile network users with the necessary security.

    Proceeds from this funding round will allow Movik Networks to scale field operations and to introduce trial operations of its products to a global marketplace. The company also needs to develop its RAN aware content delivery technology, to which some of the proceeds of this funding round has also been allocated. The company has impressed its investors with the amazing growth it has experienced in the last quarter with an extended presence in both Europe and the Middle East.

    According to the CEO of Movik Networks, John St. Amand, the company has completely transformed the way content has been delivered over the growing number of mobile networks to its subscribers. The innovative technologies that Movik provides its clients have obviously met many of the previously unmet needs that many network providers have been trying to meet as they were launching their mobile networks. Mr. St. Amand further added that he is very pleased and excited about the support and funding that Oak Investment Partners has provided the company together with Movik’s long time existing investors, who also participated in this funding round.

    The praises to Movik also came from Oak Investment Partners, who’s leadership role in this funding round was key for the company to receive the funding it needs to expand its market base of its innovative technologies. This could not be more underlined by what Oak’s managing partner, Ed Glassmeyer, had to say about the company and the growing mobile network industry. Mr. Glassmeyer went on to say that the team at Oak Investment Partners has been very impressed at the unbelievable growth of mobile broadband networks and that all the partners at the firm also have concerns whether many mobile network providers will be able to meet the demands that many smartphones and other portable communication devices, such as tablets and laptop computers put on all those networks. What Movik Networks has to offer meets the unmet needs that many of these mobile network providers have. The aware systems that Movik offers allows network providers to track where traffic originates and how much demand from what kinds of devices are requesting the data. This is why the team at Oak believes that Movik can easily be an industry leader as the mobile network industry continues to grow and evolve.

    Founded in 1978, Oak Investment Partners is an investment firms which provides growth capital to entrepreneurs who have innovative technologies and who have ambitions go take their business on a global scale. The firm typically invests in companies who are in the internet and broadband industries. Oak does not just invest in these industries, however. If they see other opportunities elsewhere, such as in the consumer media, clean tech, and healthcare industries, they will invest high growth capital in those companies also. The firm does invest globally, and has three offices in the United States, which include Westport, Connecticut, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Palo Alto, California. Other companies in Oak’s portfolio include Aculynk, Actel Corporation, Avici Systems, Campus Pipeline, Trapeze Networks, US Auto Parts Network, and others.

  • Private Equity Firm, Adams Street Partners Lead $10 Million Investment in Series C Funding Round for LogRhythm to Finance the Company’s Rapid Growth

    Based in Boulder, Colorado, the log data company, LogRhythm has announced on March 30, 2011, that it has raised $10 million in series C funding with Adams Street Partners leading the funding round. Other investors who participated in this funding round include the company’s existing investors, Access Venture Partners, Colorado Fund I, Croghan Investments, and Grotech Ventures. Proceeds from this funding round will be used to fund the company’s expansion and growth, this has seen record-breaking numbers.

    LogRhythm is a major player in the log management industry. The company manages a service known as SIEM 2.0, which not only delivers an effective log data management system that businesses can use, but also a complex and effective security system that allows businesses to protect its log data in several layers. These layers of security in the SIEM 2.0 include an entire security event management. This security event management incorporates file integrity monitoring together with user monitoring under one single umbrella. The products and services that LogRhythm provides its clients empowers them to perform a number of important functions for their networks. These functions include compliance with their regulations, security of their networks, and optimization of their entire IT infrastructures.

    One of the tokens of the company’s monumental business achievements include being awarded a place in the 2010 Red Herring Top 100 Award, and the SC Magazine’s Innovator of the Year Award. The company has won even more awards then mentioned in this article. Furthermore, with the constant presence of new cyber threats and other pitfalls that can plague IT networks, the products and services that LogRhythm offers meets many unmet needs that companies have to secure their sensitive and network data.

    One of the major items that LogRhythm has that makes it so attractive to its customers is that its system has all the security and log data management incorporated in one system, streamlining the whole data management and network security under one system, thus reducing IT costs. One of the key factors in many business concerns of enterprises and corporations is that valuable information can be gleaned from analyzing log data. If the wrong people analyze a company’s log data, they could gather sensitive data that could ruin a company in many areas of business functions. The most devastating damage can be corporate espionage, which is typically done by stealing sensitive information that contains trade secrets.

    The ability of both managing log data and monitoring users can allow the customer to monitor who is accessing company data and give the customer more tools to prevent sensitive corporate information from falling into the wrong hands. Furthermore, the event management that comes with LogRhythm’s system allows customers to monitor every event from all users to enforce compliance to network regulations.

    One of the most unique and important aspects of the network and user monitoring is that LogRhythm has to offer is that its monitoring system is endpoint to endpoint to check if authorized users or unauthorized users are on the network. The user and network monitoring system is even able to eject USB devices to prevent an intruder from downloading sensitive information from the network onto a removable hard drive or other portable storage device. There are many other services incorporated in the SIEM 2.0 system.

    According to the CEO of LogRhythm, Andy Grolnick, SIEM has become a central focal point for both security, monitoring, and compliance, in effect killing three birds with one stone. By having network and user monitoring, network security, and regulation compliance in one system, this definitely centralizes the entire nervous system of a company’s entire IT network. The SIEM 2.0 solution provides company’s with a profound visibility across the entire distributed IT network, thus allowing companies to pinpoint potentially serious problems that can later lead to serious data breaches as well as audit violations and noncompliance of regulations, including down time, should that happen. Mr. Grolnick further added that with the pattern recognition that SIEM 2.0 offers is only the tip of the iceberg of all the other potential that LogRhythm’s platform has for clients.

    Other great words also came from LogRhythm’s investors, who include David Welsh, who is a partner with Adams Street Partners. Mr. Welsh stated that the team at Adams Street Partners looks for companies who are rising stars in the market and offer disruptive technologies which are in high growth markets. After researching all of LogRhythm’s credentials, the team decided that the company meets all the investment criteria that Adams Street Partners requires for investments. Mr. Welsh further added that after consulting with his partners at Adams Street Partners, he believes that LogRhythm is definitely poised to take the lead in the emerging SIEM market and stated that he and his team are looking forward to helping the company achieve a solid leadership position in this emerging industry.

    Having been around for close to 40 years, Adams Street Partners is a large private equity firm which has its headquarters in Chicago, Illinois and has gained extensive experience in making successful investments in prosperous companies. The firm has a global presence and has deep confidence from all of its clients by having deep understanding in the global private equity market. Besides its main offices in Chicago, Adams Street Partners also has offices in Menlo Park, California, London, England, and Singapore. Portfolio companies of Adams Street Partners are not disclosed to the public.

  • Investment Firm, Kennet Partners Leads $13.9 Million Investment in Growth Capital for Prolex Technologies

    Based in Hollywood, Florida, IT security provider, Prolex Technologies has announced on Monday, March 28, 2011 that it has closed $13.9 million in growth capital led by Kennet Partners. Other investors who took part in this funding round also include IPVG Corp., which is an IT company listed on the Philippines Stock Exchange. IPVG offers all kinds of IT services which include online gaming, and other services which can benefit from the added security that Prolex Technologies provides.

    Founded in 2003, Prolex Technologies is an IT company which has developed innovative IT security systems that are designed to make corporate data from intrusion and exposure. The company’s major platform is designed to provide solutions to close the security breach with DDoS problems. So what exactly are DDoS problems? DDoS problems arise when an IT system when it gets attacked by some kind of malicious software, such as a virus, which can damage the entire network or retrieve classified information to the wrong hands. According to the latest statistics, the number of attacks of corporate and government IT systems by malicious software and viruses have raised to epidemic proportions by 2009. Furthermore, with the current leaks of information by organizations, such as Wikie Leaks, many corporations, organizations, and governments are looking for solutions that can protect their DDoS systems from such attacks.

    Typically, a DDoS attack is an attack on a server from a hacker which typically uses a computer, much like good users do, but the difference is that with a DDoS attack, a user is capable of compromising secure information to target its victims to commit such crimes as identity theft, cyber-stealing, and like crimes. In the case of identity theft, intruders can compromise a bank’s or other financial or government institution’s secure database and take sensitive personal information, such as social security numbers, bank account numbers, and other sensitive numbers. Thieves can then use this data to take on new identities to open new credit accounts in someone else’s name or steal money electronically from someone’s bank account.

    The Prolex solution includes a vast variety of solutions that provide a multilayer security system for IT networks from intrusions. The first layer is DDoS Mitigation, which minimizes the threat of someone intruding into the network and being able to easily steal any of the sensitive data on the network. The mitigation system works by using Prolex’s proprietary software for mitigating the attacks. This mitigation and control software allows IT operators to easily detect a potential DDoS attack and act upon it before it can do any damage. A DDoS attack is typically a distributed denial of service attack. When a DDoS attack happens without Prolex’s security systems in place, typically, an entire network is down and no one is able to access a website or use the services that are on it.

    According to the managing director at Kennet Partners, Javier Rojas, DDoS attacks of IT networks for both the public and private sectors alike has become one of the most frequent and costly cyber-crimes of the 21st Century. Mr. Rojas further added that his team of investors at Kennet Partners has also seen a growing demand for solutions among entities in both the public and private sectors to effectively deal with DDoS attacks at the same time restoring the network and conserving cost. Prolex Technology has a product that has been proven to be effective in mitigating DDoS attacks and provides customers the resources to also control DDoS attacks if they do occur.

    Another partner at Kennet Partners, Gustavo Alberelli, further added that cloud computing has become a staple of the vast majority of organizations and corporations IT infrastructures, and as cloud computing has become so prevalent, DDoS attacks are more than likely to be a part of an IT network’s life, and thus Prolex has a technology which can meet an unmet need of many IT providers and their clients.

    As part of the agreement of the funding round, both Mr. Rojas and Mr. Alberelli will join Prolex’s board of directors. Proceeds from this funding round will go to help the company expand into new markets on a global scale.

    Kennet Partners is a global growth equity firm which primarily invests in US and European companies who are in both the IT and tech industries. The firm currently has $600 million in funds under its management and typically invests in companies who seek the capital to grow and expand into new markets. Some other companies in Kennet’s portfolio include BuyV!P, GoViral, SchoolWires, SpecificMedia, and others.

  • European Investment Firms, High-Tech Grunderfonds and Corporate Finance Partners Together with Private Investor, Klaus Wecken Lead € 4.25 Million ($5.91 Million) Investment in a Series B Funding Round for Clickworker

    Based in Essen Germany and having opened new offices in both San Francisco, California, and Rochester, New York, Germany’s largest online outsourcing company, Clickworker, announced on March 24, 2011, that it has secured a €4.25 Million ($5.91 million USD) funding in series B funding round led by two European investment firms, High-Tech Grunderfonds and Corporate Finance Partners together with one of Europe’s largest private investor, Klaus Wecken. Other investors who participated in this funding round have not been disclosed to the public.

    Clickworker is a company that was founded in 2006 in Essen Germany designed to outsource labor globally for companies who need labor and want to save money. The company has an effective outsourcing platform that includes the employment of crowd-sourcing both workers and know-how through different click workers. A click worker describes an individual who works as an independent contractor who works by using his or her own computer, electronic equipment, and schedule. Click workers who use the website work for different tasks for a company’s project on a basic web browser and work on individual tasks for a piece rate charge per task. The vast majority of the tasks that click workers work on are typically a larger more complex project that a company who employs click workers through the site.

    Typically, most of the services provided by click workers who use the site are either content writing, data entry, research, and survey processing. Though is not new to the industry and has some rivals, such as Elance, who is a pioneer in the online outsourcing portal industry and oDesk, which has as much of a presence as Elance, does provide a unique approach to the industry, allowing it to grow so rapidly.

    As far as content writing is concerned, the philosophy that holds is that “Content is King!” advertises that the contact writing that its click workers do write rich content and SEO, or search engine optimized, texts for articles or blogs that are rich in content in a wide variety of languages. Click workers who are on the portal are expected to provide top quality work for companies and individuals who outsource their writing to independent contractors worldwide.

    Likewise, when it comes to data entry, data and survey processing, advertises that its click workers are expected to do the highest quality of work done for clients who find outsourced labor on

    Click workers also do research and provide information to clients on the web. Typically, research is done by finding information about different companies, organizations, and other institutions that clients might be looking for and need outsourced labor to do this tedious work.

    What is great about is that almost anyone is able to join and become a click worker. If someone has a computer, internet connection, and a basic web browser, they do have the qualifications of being a click worker. Furthermore, registration on is quite simple and there are no rings and hoops to jump through or pass complicated comprehension tests, like independent contractors who sign up for Elance and oDesk are required to do before they can find work.

    Once a click worker has registered on the site, they can choose a wide variety of different jobs that are posted on and can communicate with clients. Furthermore, provides a communication message board where all client and click worker communications are confidential and click workers also have access to a secure payment system to receive payments for their work.

    Registration on is free for click workers, however, before a click worker can start working on jobs with the site, they do need to take a special grammar and language assessment test to test basic writing and oral language skills to ensure that quality work will be done. These assessment tests are different from the tests which Elance and oDesk provide. As a provider on Elance and oDesk, they will need to take a complicated multiple guess exam to ensure they understand all the rules of those two sites. Furthermore, Elance requires a provider to score at least 80% on its rules comprehension test, prior to being able to look for jobs on Elance. Elance allows for three tries before refusing services to a provider, but oDesk can be a bit more complicated. With oDesk, independent contractors need to take an oDesk exam together with verifying three different identification documents, such as a passport, driver’s license, or other identifying document, a secondary identification document, and a bank statement from the last six months. The bank statement must have the independent contractor’s name and address on it. This can be a complex process and many independent contractors are denied due to errors in the identification process that oDesk requires. bypasses all this electronic red tape, making it much easier for click workers to find work and for companies who are outsourcing labor to get the services they need done without any hassle. For this reason, Clickworker is projected to do well in the future. Indications of the company already experiencing rapid growth are already quite visible. Only last year, in 2010, Clickworker has grown to such high proportions, that it has already opened two offices in the United States of America to run its US and Canada operations. Its main office in the US is located in San Francisco, California, and the company has also opened a second office in Rochester, New York.

    Proceeds from this funding round will go to help Clickworker to continue its expansion operations in the US and Canadian markets. The company also plans to develop its platform to meet the needs of both companies and click workers in the US and also to augment its European base.

    According to the CEO of Clickworker’s US operations, Greg Curhan, many people have found the internet to be a great place to be able to find part-time work and earn money from home for a wide variety of reasons. Clickworker is prime to tap into this market and enable people who are eager to find work and get paid without having to leave the comforts of their own home and work at their own schedule. Not only is outsourcing much easier as people find ways to earn money online by doing part-time work, but Clickworker has also found that its crowd sourcing platform, which chooses a crowd of people to micro task, or different people who are working independently on individual tasks of one larger project has been found to be a very efficient way for corporations to get massive projects done at a much lower cost than with more conventional methods. The primary cause of Clickworker’s growth is primarily happy customers, who are large corporations and other organizations who are constantly looking for cheaper ways to outsource labor and reduce their labor and human resources costs. Mr. Curhan further added that Clickworker is great for those new startup companies who do not have the capital yet to finance a large human resources department and the cost of hiring a large number of employees to do work that individual click workers can do, and best of all for Clickworker’s clients, the labor any of the client companies needs done is all on demand, eliminating the need for a human resources representative to filter through thousands of job applications.

    The private investor, who played a leading role in this funding round, Klaus Wecken, also had many great things to say about Clickworker. In fact, after looking at the market for crowd sourcing, Mr. Wecken thought that his investment in Clickworker was a highly promising one due to the rapid growth of this emerging market that he has even increased his investment into the company and believes that his ROI will exceed his expectations. Mr. Wecken further stated that a high growth tech and internet company, such as Clickworker plays a key role in his investment strategy.

    High-Tech Grunderfonds is an investment firm that invests in young companies who are in the tech industry. The firm prefers to invest in those tech companies that show great promise for growth and have a highly experienced and energetic management team who drive the company down the road to success. The firm invests high risk venture capital in companies who are primarily in either seed or early series A or B stage. Some other companies in High-Tech Grunderfonds portfolio include Pas Analytik,, Confweaver, TM3 Software, and others.

    Corporate Finance Partners is an international finance advising service company which has its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, in Germany. The firm provides clients with a wide variety of financial services on a global scale in different fields, which include corporate financing services that include mergers, acquisitions, private equity, and venture capital investments. The firm has a wide variety of industry and stage preferences and invests worldwide. Some other companies in Corporate Financial Partners portfolio include Kauf Da, Brille24, eBay, and others.

  • Investment Firm, Trident Capital Leads $10 Million Investment in Series B Funding Round for 8thBridge

    Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, 8thBridge has become a pioneer in the social networking industry and has also announced on March 22, 2011, that it has raised $10 million in series B funding round which was led by Trident Capital. Other investors, who participated in this funding round include Split Rock Partners, who originally participated in the company’s series A funding round.

    8thBridge provides a social network to allow online merchants to partner with the company in order to build a social shopping network for their customers through Facebook and the merchants individual e-commerce sites. The platform that 8thBridge offers is unique in that it is able to reach a vast pool of potential customers who can provide enormous business for online merchants. The platform works by offering customers a shopping experience that is specified to the individual shopper’s tastes. As the individual shopper uses the platform that 8thBridge provides, he or she directly engages the merchant and makes purchases on his or her own terms. The merchants willing to accommodate to the shopper’s wants or needs allows for the customer to have a pleasant shopping experience, thus providing more revenue for the merchant.

    Some of the products that 8thBridge offers to its clients to provide this shopping experience to customers include News Feed Stores. News Feed Stores are a product that targets advertisements specifically to an individual shopper according to his or her shopping habits with that merchant. The News Feed Store actually appears on a shopper’s Facebook page and allows the merchant to show brands that are available, which a shopper may what to buy. These News Feed Stores are very successful in generating sales by employing a tactic known as NFO or News Feed Optimization. This means that these News Feed Stores optimize the news feeds, such as RSS feeds to the customers and features brands and other merchandise that may be according to the customer’s tastes due to previous shopping habits.

    One other product that has been a very effective revenue maker for 8thBridge’s clients in the Fan Page Store. This particular product works by making is much more easier for customers to negotiate with customers on their own terms. Basically, what 8thBridge aims to do with the Fan Page Stores is to bring the shopping experience directly to the customer’s Facebook page, which means that a customer does not need to search a merchant’s site to decide what he or she wants. The one thing, however, that 8thBridge has pioneered with both the News Feed Stores and the Fan Page Stores is that not only are they news feeds or new fan pages that appear on customer’s Facebook pages, but these stores also have an online checkout, just like on the merchant’s e-commerce site. This not only allows the customer to view merchandise right from their Facebook page, but they can also make a spur of the moment purchase if they choose to. This allows for a massive increase of sales for the merchants and thus the business that online merchants will be giving 8thBridge is projected to continue to grow.

    Other products that 8thBridge provides to customers also include shareable storefronts, which allow customers to share a merchant’s storefront with their friends on Facebook. This is basically a high-tech version of the typical word-of-mouth advertising. This is actually the most affective product that 8thBridge offers its merchant customers, since over 80% of online sales made from 8thBridge’s products has been from this one, where shoppers have shared with their other friends and their friends have also made purchases and shared the storefront with even more people. Another great revenue generator for 8thBridge’s clients, thus more projected growth for 8thBridge.

    Proceeds from this funding round will go to fund the expansion of 8thBridge’s current operations and to further entrench the company’s leadership in the emerging social network marketing industry.

    According to the CEO and founder of 8thBridge, Wade Gerten, the executive team at 8thBridge has originally searched for investors to help with this funding round because the company’s solutions have been proven to be an asset to its clients and meet the growing demands of the social graph. Mr. Gerten further added that the new era of social networks opens a whole new door of possible sales to online merchants who can engage with shoppers directly on their social pages on big social networks, such as Facebook. In fact one of the first clients of 8thBridge was Delta Airlines, which has used 8thBridge’s products to create their travel store on Facebook, allowing passengers to book flights and hotel reservations directly from their Facebook pages.

    Since then, 8thBridge continued to grow and is still growing to this very day. Besides Delta Airlines, 8thBridge has also successfully monetized all the social media from other big brands, including Lands End,, Brooks Brothers, Hallmark, HauteLook, and the list of large brand clients continues to grow.

    According to the managing director of Trident Capital, Evangelos Simoudis, the advent of social networks, such as Facebook, has revolutionized how merchants can market their products. In fact, with major social networks constantly connecting people, such as Facebook, Twitter, Bing, and others, marketing has taken on a whole new dimension. The products that 8thBridge brings to the market brings out a new phase of intimacy with the customers, making them more apt to purchase from that merchant. This is truly a revolutionary product that is sure to take over and dominate the emerging social network marketing industry. Mr. Simoudis further added that 8thBridge offers a unique variety of products that have already been proven to be successful in the social network marketing industry which is only projected to grow, thus the company proves to be a good opportunity for Trident Capital.

    As part of the agreement of this funding round, Mr. Simoudis will also join 8thBridge’s board of directors. As he joins the board, Mr. Simoudis will work together with the other members to steer the company forward to success.

    As part of 8thBridge’s expansion plans, the company will also enhance its social network marketing platform and provide a new product, which will be called StoreCast, which empowers a new feed of shopping on the social networks. This product will enhance the shopping experience on Facebook’s news feeds and fan pages, allowing consumers to stream shop at a much faster pace. This new product is projected to generate more leads that have the potential to generate even more sales than the products out on the market now.

    Trident Capital is one of America’s leading venture capital firms in the IT industry. The firm currently holds over $1.9 billion on capital under its management and since its inception in 1993, it has invested in over 160 companies. Trident benefits its portfolio companies by not only providing the necessary capital to keep them up and running, but deep expertise in the industry. Other companies in Trident’s portfolio include Actea, HIP Digital, Exto!e, HomeAway, Kayak, iRobot, and others.

  • Baird Venture Partners Lead $11.5 Million Investment in Series B Funding Round for Core Essence Orthopedics

    Based in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania, Core Essence Orthopedics is a company which develops orthopedic devices for high volume medical procedures in sports medicine that involve both soft tissues and skeletal repairs of an athlete’s extremities. The company announced on March 21, 2011, that it has secured an $11.5 million investment in a series B funding round led by Baird Venture Partners. Other investors who participated in the funding round include the company’s existing investors, who include NewSpring Capital, Robin Hood Ventures, and other individual undisclosed private investors.

    Devoted to sports medicine and high impact injuries that can often happen to those who engage in high intensity contact sports, Core Essence has devoted its production to developing and marketing orthopedic devices that can help injured athletes return to their prime condition they had prior to the injury. In many cases athletes can incur a wide variety of injuries when on the playing field, which can range from fractures to torn ligaments. Core Essence has developed orthopedic devices that can aid surgeons in performing less invasive surgeries involving the soft tissue and bone structure of the extremities. Two of the main devices that the company has developed include those for healing injuries to both the upper and lower extremities.

    Upper extremities include an athlete’s shoulders, arms, wrists, and hands and lower extremities include an athlete’s hips, legs, knees, ankles, and feet. These are the typical parts of an athlete’s body that get injured in the sport. One of the devices used in surgeries to repair injuries to the shoulders is the TACtite. This is actually a knotless suture that can be used to repair torn ligaments in the shoulder and works by suturing the injured ligaments in the shoulders while being anchored to the bone. The suture itself has an effective anchoring system, where it does not require the surgeon to tie a knot when he has finished suturing the injury. According to the company’s website, the TACtite suture protects the bone’s surface, has superior footprint pressure, and intelligent locking eyelet. The best feature of this suture is that it is easily removable and maintains tension, and more.

    Seg-Way is another orthopedic device that Core Essence has developed for sports related injuries to the hand and wrist. This device works by having a synchronized endoscopic guide system. This works by allowing the surgeon to guide an endoscope in the ulnar zone, which gives the surgeon a better field of view, thus requiring a smaller incision and allow for perfect positioning in areas of the hand or wrist where the injury may need to be sutured.

    For the lower extremities, there is also a TACtite suture for the foot and ankle also. This suture works very similarly to the TACtite suture for the shoulder. This allows for the suture to be tied without a knot and helps heal the injured tendon and adhere to the bone. The suture also has an intelligent locking eyelet and other of the similar features as the TACtite for the shoulder. The difference is that the foot and ankle TACtite suture is specifically designed for foot and ankle injuries. Core Essence also develops a wide variety of other orthopedic devices for the legs as well.

    Along with orthopedic devices, the company also develops tools that surgeons can use to help perform the surgeries and affix the devices where needed.

    According to the CEO and chairman of Core Essence, John Moran, the team at Core Essence is very excited about developing a new partnership with Baird Venture Partners together with the ongoing support of the company’s existing investors. Mr. Moran further added that there is a rising demand for new and innovative ideas in making orthopedic surgeries easier and be less invasive and thus less painful for the patient. The proceeds from this funding round will help Core Essence to continue to meet this growing demand.

    Pete Shagory of Baird Venture Partners further added that the market that Core Essence has attacked is the most demanding and lucrative market in orthopedic medicine. That is the market of sports medicine and orthopedic medicine of the extremities. The fact that Core Essence has a novel portfolio of different products, the company provides an unmet need to orthopedic surgeons who are constantly looking for better surgical devices to make surgeries more easier and less painful for their patients.

    As part of the agreement of this funding round, Mr. Shagory will join the company’s board of directors. He was further welcomed by Mr. Zev Scherl, who is a general partner of NewSpring Capital and also a member of Core Essence’s board of directors.

    Baird Venture Partners is a private equity firm that is subsidized by the Robert W. Baird & Company. The firm has a global presence with offices across the United States, Asia, and Europe. Baird Venture Partners is actually the US based arm of Baird Private Equity, which is the firm’s name on the global venture capital and private equity scene. Other companies in Baird’s portfolio include Accume Partners, American Auto Auction Group, Backyard Discovery, MedData, New Vitality, Pentagon Technologies Group, and others.

    NewSpring Capital is a private equity firm that is headquartered in Randor, Pennsylvania, and has other offices in Short Hills, New Jersey, Washington, DC, and Baltimore, Maryland. The firm primarily invests private equity in companies who are located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. NewSpring currently has over $600 million in committed capital within three investment strategies in a strong private family of funds managed by the firm. NewSpring Capital primarily invests in companies who are in the healthcare industry. Other companies in NewSpring Capital’s portfolio include Continuing Care Rx, EKR Therapeutics, CorridorPharma, Nitric Bio Therapeutics, RedPath Integrated Pathology, and others.

  • One Of America’s Top 25 Manufacturers, Barton Nelson Receives $5.7 Million Investment from Advantage Capital Partners

    Based in Kansas City, Missouri, Barton Nelson announced that it has received a $7.5 million investment from Advantage Capital Partners. Barton Nelson is one of America’s top 25 manufacturers and the company produces a wide variety of products, which include sticky notes, scratch pads, desk calendars, memo cubes, and many other such office supplies. Many of the items that Barton Nelson manufactures are typically sold under the name Bebco, and Barton Nelson has also made significant publicity stunts that caught the public’s eye. One of the biggest publicity stunts that Barton Nelson has done was hire the world’s famous cheapskate, Jack Benny, to work for them as a spokesman to pioneer the idea of providing premiums when people make deposits.

    Barton Nelson has had a long PR reputation, being named a “Firm par Excellence” by Forbes Magazine. Barton Nelson has gone by the initials BNI when it was founded in 1961. The subsidiary company, Bebco, which was founded in 1975 was acquired by Barton Nelson early on in life, and when it was incepted, it first manufactured mall books for advertising purposes. Currently, under the command of Barton Nelson, Bebco has developed a wide variety of different products that companies can order and have custom designed with their company logo on the item. Many of the items that Bebco manufactures include the above mentioned sticky notes, removable magnets and more. One of the latest products that Bebco have been manufacturing in recent times include removable self-adhesive notes branded Toutch-Down Notes and tack on notes which are under the brand name “SpiderTac. Some of these products were also independently designed and produced by 3M, which include the famous Post It Notes.

    Barton Nelson has been in operation since 1950 and has been a privately owned family business. What has made Barton Nelson so attractive to its customers is because the company has used brightly colored papers to make their products. Currently, Barton Nelson and its subsidiary, Bebco, have also gone hi-tech to accommodate the new fast-growing e-commerce market.

    Proceeds from the funding will go to provide Barton Nelson with growth and working capital to help the company continue to grow and expand its business. The funding came to much joy for the Kansas City, Missouri area, since the company is projected to add 73 more jobs in the region, improving the local economy.

    According to the managing director of Advantage Capital Partners, Louis Dubuque, there are actually two economic development plans which enabled the firm to invest in Barton Nelson. The first is the Federal New Market Tax Credit Program and the second is the state counterpart, the Missouri New Market Development Program. Due to these programs, Advantage is able to provide private growth funding to the company.

    According to the company’s CEO, Barton Nelson, the company’s management has been struggling to maintain its business growth before receiving the funding from Advantage Capital Partners. The fact that during this struggling economy, many business lenders have turned Barton Nelson down, the funding from Advantage has come in the nick of time, allowing the company to continue to run its operations and help improve the economic situation in its community.

    Founded in 1992, Advantage Capital Partners has become a prominent investment firm, which already has over $1.3 billion of committed capital under its management. The firm primarily provides venture capital and business loans to small businesses and primarily focuses its investments in growth capital when a company shows support of both the local and state economic situation. Advantage Capital Partners has a stage preference of early stage, expansion equity, and mezzanine funding in the private equity and venture capital arena. When it comes to business loans, the firm provides both senior and subordinate business loans. Other companies who are in Advantage’s portfolio include A.V. Smoot, AblePlanet, Adventure Central, AGIS Network, AlfaLight, Anark Corporation, and others.

    Administered by the US Department of Treasury, the Federal New Market Tax Credit Program is a program that is designed to provide an incentive to private investors or investment firms to invest in companies who are located in areas who are in distressed economies. The program works by providing private investment firms with tax credits when they invest in small businesses who are struggling and aim to provide jobs to struggling communities. The application process to this program is highly competitive and awards the tax credits to the qualifying investment firms each fiscal tax year. The program was created in 2003, with the intention of encouraging investors to invest private capital in low income communities.

    Like the Federal New Market Tax Credit Program, the Missouri New Market Development Program is designed to help poor communities within the State of Missouri by giving private investors and investment firms incentives in the form of tax credits when they invest in small businesses who are attempting to provide jobs to low income communities throughout Missouri. The state enacted this program in 2007, much later than its Federal counterpart, and allows for up to $186 million in capital investments throughout the State of Missouri. The state aims to use this program to attract serious long-term investors to invest in companies who plan to expand into Missouri’s struggling communities, thus providing jobs in those communities and improving the economic situation in those parts of the state.

  • Ravio Mobile raises $42 Million in Series A Funding Round

    Ravio Mobile Ltd., the producer company of the Angry Birds game, has raised $42 million in the series A financing round led by the venture capitalists at Accel Partners, Atomico Ventures and Felicis Ventures. With this occasion, Niklas Zennstorm, one of the co-founders of Skype and Atomic Ventures, has joined Ravio’s board.

    Nobody would have believed that a game based on some angry birds and several pigs will raise such a big amount of funds as the game was not expected to attract so many players from the beginning. But the public has been so fascinated with this addictive game that they bid into it even faster than they did with Skype. The huge growth of the popularity of the game made investors trust this product with their funds. Mr. Zennstrom declaired on Thursday that “Angry Birds is one of the fastest-growing online products I’ve seen, growing even faster than Skype, and the company has done a brilliant job of extending it across different platforms and merchandise.”

    The Angry Birds game has turned Ravio into the fastest growing company producing mobile games. The game has been released in 2009, as a suitable product for iPhones. Since then, the game attracted more than 40 million active users who have purchased not only the game, but also products from the plush toys line. The company has declared that its offline merchandise venture is continuously growing, reaching more than two million sold units. By offering their public more products related to the Angry Birds game, the managers at Ravio satisfy the needs of the public, grow the scope of interest onto far much more clients and maintain a constant growth of their revenues.

    As a matter of fact, this is one of the purposes for which they will use the venture capital money raised in this Series A of funding. The staff at Ravio plans to develop and enlarge the scope of action of the Angry Birds. That is to say that they will use the funds from venture capitalists to adapt and to push Angry Birds onto new platforms, such as video game consoles, and to widen their market onto other countries worldwide. Mikael Hed, the Chief Executive at Ravio Mobile, has stated on Thursday that “We will strengthen the position of Rovio and continue building our franchises in gaming, merchandising and broadcast media.”

    This is a market that will continue to develop due to the new technologies on which you can upload games. It is due to the latest mobile devices and social media sites that more games become an active consumer’s culture. These are the platforms that allowed Ravio and Zynga to develop at this amazing speed and to become so popular in the last several years. Despite the obvious tendency, some analysts are still skeptical about this type of businesses that generally rely on few blockbuster games which cannot sustain a long time growth.

    But the venture capitalists who decided to fund Ravio announce that they have full confidence in the continuous growth of this company. Richard Wong from Accel Partners declared that: “Mario brothers started as a very specific arcade game and then moved across a lot of different. Once you have a huge audience, you can start to develop new pieces of intellectual property.”


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