On the content creation side of its business, the startup reports that 2.5 million unique users have already created 25 million “Gfycats,” or short, silent, looping animations and video clips.
Gfycat also boasts 75 million monthly active users on the viewer side of its platform, who watch 1.5 billion user-generated GIFs and clips there per month.
CEO and founder Richard Rabbat said the clips are not technically the same as GIFS. Technically, the company’s site is a Webm host that lets people convert videos into short-form, shareable, looping and fast-loading clips.
“My cofounders and I were avid GIF creators but just found them hard to make, slow to upload, and when you shared them, the quality wasn’t very good. We wanted to make it easier to upload a video, say this is the part I want to turn into a GIF and then to share it,” he explained.
Gfycat is already ranked as a top 100 site in the U.S. by Alexa, however it is not yet generating revenue. A repeat media entrepreneur, Rabbat started the company formally with Dan McEleney and Jeff Harris in 2015.
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Online merchants spend a lot of money on chargebacks, which are demands by credit card providers to reimburse for fraudulent charges. That’s why Signifyd created technology that assesses a transaction risk before the card is processed.
The San Jose-based company is raising $19 million in financing for its fraud protection services. Investors include Menlo Ventures, TriplePoint Capital and American Express Ventures.
Many e-commerce businesses do not have the resources to screen for risky transactions, so Signifyd’s financial guarantee has allowed them to secure clients like Jet.com, Lacoste, and Peet’s coffee. Signifyd says it has developed machine learning capabilities that are accurate enough for them to feel confident reimbursing the merchant on the rare occasions when its predictive technology is wrong.
Petnet, the leader in personalized feeding for pets, today announced it raised a $10 million Series A financing round, led by Petco. With the new funds, Petnet will continue to expand its product line, develop its pet food delivery service, and enhance its infrastructure. Beginning this week, Petnet’s SmartFeeder ($149) and SmartBowl ($49) are available at select Petco stores nationwide and online at Petco.com.
Carlos Herrera, CEO and co-founder of Petnet, said: “Petnet was born out of love for our pets and the passion to improve their lives. We are pleased to partner with Petco to leverage their know-how and existing infrastructure to reach more pet owners across the U.S. These new funds will enable us to further develop our personalized pet feeding service to keep pets everywhere happy and healthy.”
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ApolloShield, which was originally incorporated as Airfence Inc., has launched an anti-drone system that detects drones flying where they’re not authorized or wanted, and forces them to fly home.
The startup intends to sell its technology to owners or managers of venues that have intense security needs such as oil refineries, nuclear facilities, airports, prisons, stadiums or hotels and buildings where high-net worth individuals or public figures may reside.
Co-founders Nimo Shkedy (CEO) and Gilad Beeri (CTO) explained that the ApolloShield system includes a unit installed on the ground that contains a radio and antennae. Each unit scans an area for drone communications.
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Just eight weeks after raising $24 million in a funding round led by Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation, Andela, one of Nigeria’s best-known startups, is saying goodbye to its co-founder Iyinoluwa ‘E’ Aboyeji.
Aboyeji, the face of the high profile Lagos-based coder training company, is now starting a new startup called Flutterwave, a digital payments infrastructure platform that will aggregate various payment methods for merchants, banks, and money transfer operators across Africa.
Payments has been one of the biggest challenges for Africa’s fledgling e-commerce market and Aboyeji, 25, whose previous startups have focused on the education and training sectors in the past, believes solving the payments challenge for merchant partners across the continent could unlock billions of dollars in value.
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Memebox, an e-commerce company specializing in beauty products from Korea, has closed a significant $65.95 million Series C funding round to fuel further expansion.
The financing was led by new investor Formation Group, with participation from returning backers Tekton Ventures, Goodwater Capital and Pejman Mar Ventures. The deal takes Memebox, which graduated Y Combinator in 2014, to $95 million from investors to date. Its $17.5 million Series B round closed in March 2015.
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Forget food delivery. Just the organic slice of the grocery delivery business remains competitive in the U.S. with giants from the brick and mortar world, tech titans and upstarts all muscling in for a piece of an annual market that sees more than $40 billion in sales domestically.
Some have flamed out, like Farmigo, which recently closed shop. And others done some belt-tightening, like Good Eggs.
Now, a relatively young player called GrubMarket has raised $20 million in a Series B round of funding to pull ahead of the pack. The company employs about 25 full-time today in San Francisco with another 20 employees in Los Angeles, where the company expanded its service earlier this year.
Chief executive Mike Xu said GrubMarket is, “A marketplace that connects farmers and food producers directly with consumers, with no middle man.”
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Photo via Deako.
Seattle-based smart light switch builder Deako has raised $3.5 million in funding, and its technology will be used in close to 10 percent of new homes built in the Seattle area next year.
With the latest funding, Deako has now raised close to $6.8 million in the last eight months, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Co-founder and CEO Derek Richardson said six venture capital firms from Silicon Valley, New York and Chicago have invested in Deako so far, but he would not name them.
The company says it has just finished up an alpha test and has refined the interface and added the ability control any light in a house with any switch. Users can also control lighting through a smartphone app.Deako’s customers are not home-buyers but rather home-builders and their electricians, who install the hardware in new homes. Richardson would not say which home-builders he is working with, but he said the number is in the double digits.
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France-based recruiting company Up Group led the financing round, putting $3 million on the table. As part of the investment, Ifeelgoods made “an exclusive distribution agreement” with Up Group.
“Ifeelgoods platform will help to enhance UP Group products and solutions and offer to its clients the largest international digital rewards catalog as well as a unique tool to build campaigns within a few hours,” the startup explained.
Idinvest and Tugboat Ventures, previous Ifeelgoods investors, also participated in the round.
To date, Ifeelgoods has raised at least $17 million.
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When Steve Carlson, chief executive of emerging online lender Ascend Consumer Finance Inc., considered fundraising this year, he realized the market wasn’t nearly as receptive as a year ago, when his startup received a $1 million equity seed round.
The sector has been beset by problems this year, including lower demand from debt investors for loans originated by alternative lenders, to the ouster of the chief executive at LendingClub Corp., one of the largest online lenders.
So Mr. Carlson opted to take new money in the form of a convertible note, rather than equity.
And so San Francisco-Ascend became one of the few online lenders to raise new capital this year.
It raised $11 million in new funding, the company told The Wall Street Journal. About half of that was in the form of debt to be used to underwrite loans; another half was in the form of convertible notes from OCA Ventures, Mucker Capital, Partech Ventures, Tekton Ventures, Cendana Investments, as well as the venture arm of Securian Financial Group.
Monster.com announced this morning it has acquired the San Francisco-based startup Jobr, which had been developing a job-finding app the company described as a Tinder for jobs,thanks to its use of swipe-based gestures. Deal terms were not disclosed, but Jobr had raised $2 million in seed funding in 2014. The app is not being shut down, but will rather be integrated with Monster’s platform further, though it already featured Monster.com job listings prior to this deal.
Jobr was not the only company with the idea to pursue a Tinder-like job hunting app. Others, including a direct competitor Switch, were focused on similar concepts.
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Gurgaon-based Oku Tech Pvt Ltd, which operates a mobile collaboration startup for real estate brokers under BroEx, has raised Series A round of funding from existing investor Lightspeed Venture Partners and a clutch of new investors. The startup raised Rs 21.37 crore ($3.22 million) from Blume Ventures, Lightspeed, Tekton Ventures, GrowX Ventures and CyberAgent Ventures, according to VCCEdge, the data research platform of VCCircle.
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A report co-authored by Google this week tipped Southeast Asia’s internet economy to grow six-fold to reach $200 billion annually in the next decade, with e-commerce set to account for over 40 percent of that figure. But, with a cumulative population of over 600 million, the region is already seen as lucrative opportunity for many online retailers — among them, Alibaba recently invested $1 billion in Rocket Internet-backed Lazada.
Althea, which was launched in July 2015, aims to take advantage of the popularity of Korean culture — such as K-Pop and Korean drama series — in the region. Founded by ex-Ticket Monster duo Frank Kang and Christopher Cynn alongside CFO Jae Yoon Kim, the Korean startup sells to consumers in Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Philippines with plans to enter Southeast Asia’s two other major markets — Thailand and Vietnam — before the end of this year.
This new funding round is provided by a range of investors that include Mirae Asset Ventures, Posco Ventures, 500 Startups, Tekton Ventures and Cherubic Ventures with the aim of carrying out that market expansion, adding to the company’s 25 staff with new hires, and investing in marketing and logistics.
–SAN FRANCISCO, April 20, 2016 – Bugcrowd, Inc., the pioneer and innovator in crowdsourced security for the enterprise, today announced it has closed $15 million in a Series B funding round led by Blackbird Ventures. Existing investors Rally Ventures, Costanoa Venture Capital, Tekton Ventures, Partech Ventures and Paladin Capital Group participated in the round, and were joined by new investors Industry Ventures and Salesforce Ventures. The company’s flagship product, Crowdcontrol™, is used by leading brands including Fitbit, Motorola, Tesla, TripAdvisor, Western Union, as well as a broad range of top-tier private clients. Using Crowdcontrol, Bugcrowd customers proactively uncover and resolve security bugs in their products — all powered by a curated, vetted community of more than 27,000 security researchers, the largest of its kind in the world. Bugcrowd customers include Fortune 500 companies across e-commerce, financial services, automotive, healthcare and more.
Bugcrowd has raised a total of $24 million and has led the surge in global market demand for trusted bug bounty programs. From beginnings in the Startmate accelerator in Sydney, Australia, Bugcrowd has experienced over 200 percent bookings growth year-over-year, with 10 consecutive quarters of revenue growth. The additional funds will be used to accelerate customer and crowd growth, pursue strategic partnerships and accelerate engineering and R&D efforts.
Financing by Techstars Ventures, Tekton Ventures, Force Over Mass and several angel investors will help accelerate expansion into new markets
London, January 29, 2016 – dopay, the company which uses payroll to reach the largest untapped sector in retail banking, has secured US$2.4 million in pre-series A funding in a round led by Techstars Ventures and Force Over Mass Capital. The funds will further the launch of the company’s services in Egypt and help drive expansion into new markets in the Middle East and Africa.
Banking the unbanked makes good business sense. Not having a bank account is expensive for everybody, employee and employer alike. — Frans van Eersel, founder & CEO dopay
Currently, two billion people worldwide have jobs but no bank account. This means they are cut off from even the most basic financial services. Companies that employ these people feel this acutely; they have to manage large amounts of cash, which is costly and inconvenient.
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BENGALURU: Truebil, an online market for buying and selling second hand cars, has raised a Rs 35 crore series A funding from venture capital investors Kalaari Capital, Inventus Capital and San Francisco-based Tekton Ventures. The rounds also participation from existing investor, Kae Capital.
The Mumbai-based startup, whose founders include former Housing employees, is focused on peer to peer sales of cars unlike large classified players like CarDekho and CarTrade.
Entrepreneur Sohrab Jahanbani tells us why his start-up appealed to investors from across Silicon Valley and Singapore – raising over $1.7m in funding
Tell us what your business does:
Bidvine is an online platform that connects customers looking for jobs to be completed with professionals who have the skills, qualifications and availability to complete them.
From the professional’s perspective, Bidvine’s online process is more efficient and costeffective than traditional ways of finding and quoting for work. From the consumer’s perspective, we’re an easy way to find and hire the best person for the job.
Where did the idea for your business come from?
Whilst we were looking to getting professionals for jobs like finding a language tutor for our children or looking for someone to renovate our bathroom, we were spending too much time on the searching rather then focusing on the important things in life. This is why Bidvine came to life. It removes all the legwork of finding a provider that is interested, qualified and available to carry out consumers’ projects.
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BrightFunnel announced today that it has raised $6 million in Series A funding.
The startup offers attribution tools to track the sales impact of customers’ marketing efforts, and it also predicts the future impact of upcoming campaigns. CEO Nadim Hossain said this data is particularly important as “marketing is eating sales.”
In other words, marketing was traditionally the first step in the process, and then potential customers were handed over to the sales team. Nowadays, marketing continues throughout — in fact, BrightFunnel has found that 47 percent of marketing “touches” occur during the sales cycle.
In the past, Hossain has said his goal is to build “the Google self-driving car for marketers.” He said BrightFunnel hasn’t gotten there yet, but it’s giving marketers “that basic data-driven map get from Point A to point B.”
“The way you might optimize a route using Google Maps, we can help you optimize the path to revenue,” he added.
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