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William Mulcahy 2016-07-29

While mobile gaming continues to grow in China at a rapid pace, some developers are looking to what s next in an effort to stand out in the crowded market.Mirage Interactive, a game studio based in Beijing, has raised $1.5 million in funding to push forward into virtual reality development.

SongHe Capital and mobile-game developer Wistone led the investment round.

The company just launched its first-person ocean-traversing VR game Heroes of the Seven Seas for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR worldwide.

With this latest influx of cash, Mirage is aiming to bring even more original games to a VR market that analysts predict could generate $40 million in spending by 2020.

Advanced technologies and sophisticated VR gaming devices are enabling an entirely new dimension of immersive gameplay experience, Mirage founder and chief executive Ke Wang said.

We re passionate about helping to drive the innovations taking place in this emerging segment, which is projected to be an $80 billion market by 2025.

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Jason Hill 2016-11-23
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Apptopia, an app intelligence startup based in Boston, has raised a $2.7 million seed round of funding from Ashton Kutcher s and Guy Oseary s Sound Ventures VC firm, existing investor Mark Cuban, 500 Startups, and a handful of other VC firms.Founded in 2011, Apptopia serves up what it calls the most accurate downloads, revenue numbers, and SDK data across all mobile app and publishers in the world.

The company had raised a number of small seed funding rounds since its inception, but this latest tranche represents its biggest raise to date and takes its total funding to the $5 million mark.Apptopia claims some big name clients, including Google, Pinterest, Facebook, NBC Universal, Deloitte, and more.

The company says that it will use its fresh cash injection to make better products with more intelligence to create the next generation platform, according to a press release.

We ve seen tremendous growth over last year, tripling annual recurring revenue since the beginning of 2016, said Apptopia CEO Eliran Sapir.

There s so much opportunity in this space still.

Our goal is to bring more transparency to the app ecosystem and make it easier for people to both enter and succeed.

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Beatrice Patterson 2016-05-31
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A new artificial intelligence AI startup has raised $3 million and launched its first product to help people find information buried in documents, files, email attachments, and more.Cofounded by Gary Fowler and Dr. David Yang, Findo has unveiled the Findo.io intelligent assistant for iPhone and the Web.

This feature allows users to search locally stored files or connect their cloud-based accounts from Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, Box, Gmail, Exchange, Outlook, and more to unearth information even if they can only remember vague details.For example, while a user can search by specific keywords they know are included in file names or subject headings, Findo also uses natural language processing NLP to understand a very general search query such as phone number of that guy I met in London or PDF sent by Jonathan last Thursday.

It also has involved some notable people, including Bill Reichert from Garage Technology Ventures, who s serving as an advisor and board member, and Rick Orloff, formerly chief security officer at Apple, who also sits on the board.

Our estimates show that over 300 million of the total email and file searches have failed over the last 24 hours.

But before then, the company is also bringing its search smarts to third-party messaging platforms, including Slack, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and Skype via bots.

This means you can actually use Findo on any platform supported by your messenger service.You simply ask Findo to find whatever information you need, and the response comes back at you without your leaving the messenger app — this could be information from within an email or a specific file from your Dropbox account, such as an annual report.Findo is one of many tech companies embracing the emerging bot revolution, with the likes of Poncho, 1-800-Flowers, CNN, and Foursquare launching bots in recent months.

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Jose Hilton 2016-08-24
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A startup specializing in computer vision technology capable of controlling automated drones has raised $6.5 million in funding from Crosslink Capital, with participation from Joe Montana s Liquid 2 Ventures, Haystack, and WI Harper Group.Founded out of San Carlos, California, in 2013, Prenav is developing a commercial drone system aimed at helping companies inspect and maintain their physical infrastructure, including building, roofs, cell phone towers, and any entity that may otherwise be difficult to access by people.Constituting a drone, a ground-based guidance robot, and software to plan the project and analyze the resulting data, Prenav s system traverses within a few inches of a structure without the need of a skilled human controller.

The little robots snap photos from multiple precise locations to recreate accurate 3D representations of the target.Today s news comes a year after Prenav raised a $1.2 million seed round, and its latest cash influx will be used to accelerate product development, marketing, and sales of its commercial drone system, according to a company statement, with a planned commercial launch some time in 2017.

Prenav is solving a fundamental gap in the drone ecosystem around automated flight up close to structures, said Nathan Schuett, founder and CEO of Prenav.

By unlocking this capability, we make drone technology accessible and affordable for many industries that are underserved by today s off-the-shelf drones.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration FAA has new drone regulations coming into effect at the end of August, designed to harness new innovations safely, to spur job growth, advance critical scientific research, and save lives, said the FAA.

The new rules are aimed at unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds that are carrying out non-hobbyist operations, and some estimates reckon it could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy over the next decade.Drone technology has been fairly ripe for investment in recent times, with the likes of PrecisionHawk recently closing a $18 million round for its land-surveying drones, with countless other startups nabbing VC cash over the past couple of years.

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George Comer 2016-05-19
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E.ventures, a global investment firm with offices across Europe, the Americas, and Asia, has announced a new $150 million fund targeting early-stage European startups.Founded in 1998 as BV Capital, the organization unified its various international funds under one umbrella back in 2012, when it rebranded as E.ventures.

Today, the firm says it manages more than $1 billion and has some notable names in its portfolio, including App Annie, Sonos, Groupon, Azimo, and Delicious.In addition to the new $150 million fund, E.ventures will draw on a $290 million pot to begin making growth investments across Europe, with the plan to accompany entrepreneurs through the full investment life cycle, it said.

Our willingness to explore every corner of the continent and provide operational support to the businesses we invest in increases the potential of our funds.

E.ventures also announced that it s adding a new partner — Bernardo Hernández, who founded real estate listing platform Idealista.com and has also served as senior director of product at Google and general manager at Flickr.

Hernández isn t new to the investment realm either, having previously started StepOne Ventures in San Francisco back in 2008, a firm geared toward helping European startups hit the U.S. running.E.ventures latest fund is just one of many to arrive on the scene in recent times.

Notion Capital introduced a $120 million fund for cloud startups last year, while Lakestar launched a $400 million fund for both European and U.S. startups.More recently, Index Ventures closed a fresh $550 million fund for seed and venture investments in Europe, the U.S., and Israel; Accel unfurled $500 million for Europe and Israel; a Chinese investment vehicle announced $715 million to help European startups target China; and just this week, Runa Capital raised a $135 million fund for later-stage U.S. and European startups.

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Arthur Morgan 2016-08-24
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DroneDeploy, a software-as-a-service SaaS platform for commercial drone operators, has raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors as well as High Alpha Capital.Founded out of San Francisco in 2013, DroneDeploy works with any drone and device, enabling professional-grade imagery and analysis and 3D modeling.

The company offers a mobile app for Android and iOS devices that s compatible with the popular DJI drones, letting anyone map, survey, or inspect aerial views and gather data in the process.

Though it can be used by anyone, DroneDeploy is largely aimed at industries with a need to manage specific data captured from drones — it has been used in construction, agriculture, mining, insurance, and more.

The company claims its users have mapped more than five million acres across 130 countries.Prior to today s announcement, DroneDeploy had raised $11 million over two rounds between 2014 and 2015, and its latest cash windfall will be used to develop additional enterprise features and enable businesses to extract even deeper insights, according to a press release.Today s funding news is perhaps most notable because it comes a week before the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration FAA introduces new regulations designed to bring clarity, simplicity, and safety to the burgeoning drone industry.

The new rules target unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds and carrying out non-hobbyist operations, which covers businesses offering drone-related services.

Some estimates reckon that opening up the nation s airspace to unmanned aircraft could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy over the next decade.

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Arthur Morgan 2016-06-02
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Tile, the San Mateo-based startup that sells little Bluetooth-connected trackers to help people find their misplaced items, has raised a further $18 million in a round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors GGV Capital, Khosla Ventures, Tandem, and Chinese tech giant Tencent.Founded in 2012, Tile makes little fobs that can be attached to almost anything and work in conjunction with a mobile app to help you find keys, wallets, you name it.

It also works in reverse, meaning you can find your phone by pressing a Tile.

The company says it has sold more than five million of the $25 devices to date, drummed up $43 million in revenue last year, and is gearing up to double that number in 2016.Mike Farley, cofounder and CEO at Tile, said that the new cash influx will help the company take aggressive steps toward achieving true global scale.

It will also open its smart location technology platform to other companies so they can embed in their own wares.Tile is one of a number of companies to receive VC backing for such a device, with the likes of Trackr closing a $8 million round back in October.

Smart location is an enormous opportunity and has the potential to become the most valuable application for connected devices,  said Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.

With powerful network effects, a foothold in retail and a platform that solves the problem of location for other companies, we are confident Tile will win this emerging category.

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Timothy Guardado 2016-06-29
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What3words, a global addressing system that uses three words to describe precise locations, has raised $8.5 million in a Series B round led by logistics giant Aramex, with participation from existing investors, including Intel Capital, Force Over Mass Capital, and Mustard Seed.Founded out of the U.K. in 2013, What3words has partitioned the entire planet into around 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares — built upon the Google Maps API — and allocates each square a random three-word address.

For example, a search for the Houses of Parliament in London reveals that part of it is most.native.shuts.

Drag the pin around on the map, and you ll see a random three different words for any other location.Available on the web and through native mobile apps, What3words gives users access to an addressing system that bypasses zip codes, postal codes, and GPS coordinates.

While it can be used for well-known points of interest and tourist attractions, it s perhaps better used for places that don t have an easy-to-describe location — for example, a tent in the middle of a large field or a hut in the desert.Increasingly, the London-based company has been selling its location-based smarts to companies and organizations — last month, What3words partnered with Mongolia s national postal delivery service, which has now adopted the addressing system in lieu of a consistent addressing system of its own within what is an expansive country.Aramex is a major win for What3words, too — the logistics and transportation provider operates in 60 countries.

Indeed, in addition to investing in the startup, it will now also adopt What3words within its ecommerce fulfillment operations across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

By integrating three-word addresses into our ecommerce operations across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, we are better able to reach more consumers worldwide, even those in difficult-to-access locations, explained Aramex CEO Hussein Hachem.

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John Feeney 2016-08-25
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Songkick, the company behind the music-monitoring app that lets you track when and where all your favorite bands and artists are playing live, has raised another $15 million in funding from Access Industries.This latest funding comes eight months after the U.K. startup nabbed $10 million from Access Industries, and takes its total amount raised past the $60 million mark.Founded out of London in 2007, Songkick has built a solid brand in the music realm for the way it helps users discover live shows based on the music they listen to.

The mobile and desktop service links in with a user s music collection — either in the cloud e.g.

Spotify or locally stored — and matches it with Songkick s inventory of live gigs.

This means that users don t have to manually keep tabs on when their favorite band or singer is performing nearby, as they receive alerts whenever they re scheduled to be in town.In June last year, Songkick announced it was merging with artist-ticketing service Crowdsurge, in what was a natural extension to Songkick s existing offering.

Unlike other ticketing services, Crowdsurge serves as a direct bridge between the artist and fans, cutting out the middlemen.

This is no small-time venture for unsigned acts or rising stars — Songkick now claims a number of notable artists selling tickets through the platform, including Paul McCartney, Adele, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Metallica.

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Joseph Cormier 2016-09-21
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Pay-per-mile car insurance service Metromile revealed that it has raised a whopping $191.5 million over a number of rounds dating back to 2014.The San Francisco-based startup says it closed a hitherto unannounced $38.4 million Series C round back in late 2014 and closed a $103.1 million Series D round in Q1 2016, before nabbing a $50 million strategic investment from China Pacific Insurance CPIC just this month.

This is in addition to the $14 million the company was already known to have raised previously.The new investors, in addition to CPIC, include Index Ventures, Intact Financial, New Enterprise Associates NEA , Mitsui, First Round Capital, SV Angel, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and Metromile s own founder and chairman, David Friedberg.Founded in 2011, Metromile currently operates in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

The company has developed a device called the Metromile Pulse, which drivers plug into their car to monitor their time on the road.

Related to this, Metromile also offers car insurance — through partners — that is priced based on the number of road hours rather than as a flat monthly fee.

Metromile actually partnered with Uber last year to let drivers pay for insurance for the time they re on the road — it was a decent perk, given that many Uber drivers work on a part-time basis.In addition to the funding, Metromile has also announced that one of the first outcomes of its new-found wealth is the acquisition of an insurance carrier called the Mosaic Insurance Company.

This move transforms Metromile from a technology company into an insurance company that s approaching car insurance in a whole different way, according to a company statement.

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Dion Esparza 2016-09-15
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Security ratings company BitSight has raised $40 million in a Series C round led by GGV Capital, with participation from Flybridge Capital Partners, Globespan Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures, Shaun McConnon, and the VC divisions of Comcast Ventures, Liberty Global Ventures, and Singtel Innov8.Founded in 2011, BitSight offers a platform that helps companies mitigate security risks associated with sharing sensitive data with business partners.

It does so by collating and analyzing a wealth of data related to companies activities and allocating security scores accordingly.

It s similar to the way credit ratings work in the consumer realm, insofar as it s based on information that s already available, and the process is entirely automated.BitSight s latest cash influx takes its total funding to $95 million, and the company says it will now ramp up its expansion, forge partnerships around the world, and pursue acquisitions.

Our customers vote with their checkbooks, as do investors who see our future, said BitSight CEO Shaun McConnon.Cybersecurity has emerged as a major target for investors in recent years, with a number of deals closing in the past few months alone.

SafeBreach recently raised $15 million for a platform that simulates hacks on companies systems to identify vulnerabilities, while SecurityScorecard closed down $20 million for its security rating and risk-monitoring platform.

Some have contended that breach analytics is the next billion-dollar industry, and if that s the case, BitSight could be well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunity, as it serves companies looking to assess the security risk posed by potential partners.

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James Lamb 2016-09-21
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D.light, a for-profit social enterprise that sells solar-powered products, has raised $22.5 million in funding to push its wares into more off-grid communities around the world.Founded in 2006, D.light manufactures and distributes a range of solar lighting products, including the D30 bundle, which includes a solar panel, battery-charging pack, solar lights, switches, FM radio, and a torch and is underpinned by D.light s pay-as-you-go platform.Prior to today, D.light had raised north of $25 million dollars, and its latest cash influx consists of a number of components.

The round includes $15 million Series D funding from Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar; KawiSafi Ventures Fund, a new VC firm specializing in off-grid energy; Energy Access Ventures; and NewQuest Capital Partners.Additionally, the company has raised a $5 million grant from Shell Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development – Development Innovation Ventures USAID-DIV , and United Nations Capital Development Fund UNCDF .

D.light has also nabbed $2.5 million in debt funding through SunFunder.With its fresh funding, D.light says it will push to accelerate sales for its D30 solar home system, in addition to bringing to market new products capable of powering more devices, including televisions and fans.

We are thankful for the support from these global organizations, which is instrumental for achieving our goal to bring safe and affordable energy to off-grid families, said D.light chief finance officer Kamal Lath.

Consumer financing for solar home systems makes the technology significantly more affordable for our customers.

This funding will enable more families and business owners to enjoy access to the affordable, clean, and reliable solar energy solutions they need to improve their quality of life.

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Michelle Briggs 2016-11-07
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Swedish eye-tracking company Tobii has announced plans to invest in large scale initiatives involving smartphones and virtual reality, and is seeking to raise SEK 400 million $50 million in a new rights issue of shares.Founded in 2001, Tobii serves up tools that enables technology such as computers and smartphones to detect a user s eye-orientation, thereby determining what they are looking at on-screen.

Tobii s smarts have been used by a number of big-name brands and is often used in the gaming realm, including machines produced by Acer and Alienware.

Acer has actually launched three monitors with Tobii s eye-tracking technology built in, and around 40 games have been brought to market that support the nascent eye-tracking tech, including Tom Clancy s The Division, Assassin s Creed Syndicate, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Watch Dogs 2.Tobii had raised around $70 million in equity funding until it went public on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in April last year.

Having priced its initial public offering IPO at SEK 25 $2.8 per share, the company went on to hit a peak of around SEK 80 $8.90 last month, and is currently sitting at around SEK 70 $7.80 — almost three times its IPO price.The company s plans to raise a further $50 million are still subject to approval at a forthcoming extraordinary general meeting — if approved, the subscription period for the fresh rights issue will run from December 6 through December 20, 2016.The company says that its ambition is to make substantial investments in technology and market development specifically for eye-tracking in virtual reality VR and smartphones, noting that the the demand for eye-tracking in such consumer markets has moved faster than it had originally expected.

The interest for eye-tracking in various consumer applications has developed at a substantially more rapid pace than we anticipated at the time of the IPO in April 2015, explained Tobii CEO Henrik Eskilsson.

At that point, we believed it would take longer time for eye-tracking to become current for use in smartphones and VR-headsets than what we see today.

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Lillian Barnwell 2016-07-07
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BevSpot, a web-based platform that helps hospitality businesses manage their alcoholic beverage programs, has raised $11 million in a Series B round led by Bain Capital Ventures.Founded out of Boston in 2014 by a team from MIT and Harvard, BevSpot serves up a suite of mobile tools that lets its users — which include restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and hotels — manage their alcohol inventory and related invoicing.

It s also compatible with point-of-sale systems, so sales can automatically be accounted for.Ultimately, BevSpot promises to help clients cut their inventory and ordering time, as well as providing analytics on what products are selling or not on a week-to-week basis.

The hospitality industry is one of the last staple industries still operating without world-class, web-based software, forcing individual establishments and the industry as a whole to operate largely offline without access to critical, real-time data, said BevSpot CEO and cofounder Rory Crawford.

Our goal is to provide every single business in the industry with the insights it needs to become more efficient and successful.

We have an opportunity to deliver the most powerful and intuitive software to help move this entire industry online.

Today s funding takes the company s total capital raised to around the $19 million mark, and BevSpot says it will use its latest cash influx to develop new and existing products and grow into new markets.

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Benny Parkhurst 2016-11-16
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BetterUp, a new startup that serves to open career coaching to anyone, has officially launched today and announced $12.9 million in funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson DFJ , Social Capital, Freestyle, Crosslink, SV Angel, and Vista Venture Partners.

The overall funding constitutes a $2.9 million seed round and $10 million Series A round.Based in San Francisco, BetterUp connects employees with certified, executive-level coaching, with members meeting their mentors for weekly 30-minute sessions over video-chat or phone.

Between meetings, coaches give employees activities and exercises, along with resources such as videos, podcasts, and readings to aid their professional development, while on-demand support is also available by text.Through the platform, BetterUp provides analytics to track progress across areas such as leadership effectiveness, happiness, and productivity.

The company claims to have already nabbed some notable clients during its stealth phase, including Logitech, Capital One, and Deloitte.

The very best companies are looking for ways to engage their people not just as employees, but as humans, because they realize that the best performers and most effective leaders are those who bring their whole person to work, explained Alexi Robichaux, BetterUp cofounder and CEO.

At BetterUp, we enable companies to provide employees of all levels access to expert coaches that can help them grow as leaders, by developing the skills that drive personal excellence and professional performance.

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Michael Vaughn 2016-09-20
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Online used car platform Vroom announced that it has raised a fresh $50 million Series E round from newcomers Altimeter Capital and Foxhaven Asset Management, with participation from existing investors L Catterton, General Catalyst Partners, and Allen & Company, among others.This cash injection takes the company s total funding to $218 million and comes a little more than a year after Vroom s $54 million Series C round, which was followed swiftly by a $95 million Series D round five months later.Founded out of New York in 2013, Vroom sidesteps second-hand car salespeople by offering what it touts as quality pre-owned cars through its website.

Vehicles are delivered to your door with a seven-day test-drive included as part of the package.

But the platform isn t just aimed at making buyers lives easier, the company also wants to get sellers on board by removing friction from the listing process — sellers only need to scan the vehicle identification number VIN , submit some photos, and answer a few questions.Back in June, Vroom named former Priceline chief Paul J. Hennessy as its new CEO, and he believes Vroom has positioned itself well to capitalize on the growing shift toward buying and selling cars online.

The reaction to both the ease of the car buying and selling experience, as well as the unparalleled quality of refurbished cars, has been overwhelming, said Hennessy, in a press release.

For a company that is only three years old, we are just beginning to roll out our product innovations that will soon include 100 percent digital paperwork and auto financing enhancements.

The used-car industry has emerged as a market ripe for disruption, with the likes of Carvana recently raising $160 million to help people buy cars online — an effort that includes expanding its quirky coin-op car vending machines.As part of Vroom s $95 million raise last December, the company snapped up Texas-based competitor Texas Direct Auto, before announcing just last month that it would soon let people browse for used cars through virtual reality showrooms.

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William Mulcahy 2016-07-29

While mobile gaming continues to grow in China at a rapid pace, some developers are looking to what s next in an effort to stand out in the crowded market.Mirage Interactive, a game studio based in Beijing, has raised $1.5 million in funding to push forward into virtual reality development.

SongHe Capital and mobile-game developer Wistone led the investment round.

The company just launched its first-person ocean-traversing VR game Heroes of the Seven Seas for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Samsung Gear VR worldwide.

With this latest influx of cash, Mirage is aiming to bring even more original games to a VR market that analysts predict could generate $40 million in spending by 2020.

Advanced technologies and sophisticated VR gaming devices are enabling an entirely new dimension of immersive gameplay experience, Mirage founder and chief executive Ke Wang said.

We re passionate about helping to drive the innovations taking place in this emerging segment, which is projected to be an $80 billion market by 2025.

Beatrice Patterson 2016-05-31
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A new artificial intelligence AI startup has raised $3 million and launched its first product to help people find information buried in documents, files, email attachments, and more.Cofounded by Gary Fowler and Dr. David Yang, Findo has unveiled the Findo.io intelligent assistant for iPhone and the Web.

This feature allows users to search locally stored files or connect their cloud-based accounts from Facebook, Dropbox, Google Drive, Evernote, Box, Gmail, Exchange, Outlook, and more to unearth information even if they can only remember vague details.For example, while a user can search by specific keywords they know are included in file names or subject headings, Findo also uses natural language processing NLP to understand a very general search query such as phone number of that guy I met in London or PDF sent by Jonathan last Thursday.

It also has involved some notable people, including Bill Reichert from Garage Technology Ventures, who s serving as an advisor and board member, and Rick Orloff, formerly chief security officer at Apple, who also sits on the board.

Our estimates show that over 300 million of the total email and file searches have failed over the last 24 hours.

But before then, the company is also bringing its search smarts to third-party messaging platforms, including Slack, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and Skype via bots.

This means you can actually use Findo on any platform supported by your messenger service.You simply ask Findo to find whatever information you need, and the response comes back at you without your leaving the messenger app — this could be information from within an email or a specific file from your Dropbox account, such as an annual report.Findo is one of many tech companies embracing the emerging bot revolution, with the likes of Poncho, 1-800-Flowers, CNN, and Foursquare launching bots in recent months.

George Comer 2016-05-19
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E.ventures, a global investment firm with offices across Europe, the Americas, and Asia, has announced a new $150 million fund targeting early-stage European startups.Founded in 1998 as BV Capital, the organization unified its various international funds under one umbrella back in 2012, when it rebranded as E.ventures.

Today, the firm says it manages more than $1 billion and has some notable names in its portfolio, including App Annie, Sonos, Groupon, Azimo, and Delicious.In addition to the new $150 million fund, E.ventures will draw on a $290 million pot to begin making growth investments across Europe, with the plan to accompany entrepreneurs through the full investment life cycle, it said.

Our willingness to explore every corner of the continent and provide operational support to the businesses we invest in increases the potential of our funds.

E.ventures also announced that it s adding a new partner — Bernardo Hernández, who founded real estate listing platform Idealista.com and has also served as senior director of product at Google and general manager at Flickr.

Hernández isn t new to the investment realm either, having previously started StepOne Ventures in San Francisco back in 2008, a firm geared toward helping European startups hit the U.S. running.E.ventures latest fund is just one of many to arrive on the scene in recent times.

Notion Capital introduced a $120 million fund for cloud startups last year, while Lakestar launched a $400 million fund for both European and U.S. startups.More recently, Index Ventures closed a fresh $550 million fund for seed and venture investments in Europe, the U.S., and Israel; Accel unfurled $500 million for Europe and Israel; a Chinese investment vehicle announced $715 million to help European startups target China; and just this week, Runa Capital raised a $135 million fund for later-stage U.S. and European startups.

Arthur Morgan 2016-06-02
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Tile, the San Mateo-based startup that sells little Bluetooth-connected trackers to help people find their misplaced items, has raised a further $18 million in a round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors GGV Capital, Khosla Ventures, Tandem, and Chinese tech giant Tencent.Founded in 2012, Tile makes little fobs that can be attached to almost anything and work in conjunction with a mobile app to help you find keys, wallets, you name it.

It also works in reverse, meaning you can find your phone by pressing a Tile.

The company says it has sold more than five million of the $25 devices to date, drummed up $43 million in revenue last year, and is gearing up to double that number in 2016.Mike Farley, cofounder and CEO at Tile, said that the new cash influx will help the company take aggressive steps toward achieving true global scale.

It will also open its smart location technology platform to other companies so they can embed in their own wares.Tile is one of a number of companies to receive VC backing for such a device, with the likes of Trackr closing a $8 million round back in October.

Smart location is an enormous opportunity and has the potential to become the most valuable application for connected devices,  said Byron Deeter, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners.

With powerful network effects, a foothold in retail and a platform that solves the problem of location for other companies, we are confident Tile will win this emerging category.

John Feeney 2016-08-25
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Songkick, the company behind the music-monitoring app that lets you track when and where all your favorite bands and artists are playing live, has raised another $15 million in funding from Access Industries.This latest funding comes eight months after the U.K. startup nabbed $10 million from Access Industries, and takes its total amount raised past the $60 million mark.Founded out of London in 2007, Songkick has built a solid brand in the music realm for the way it helps users discover live shows based on the music they listen to.

The mobile and desktop service links in with a user s music collection — either in the cloud e.g.

Spotify or locally stored — and matches it with Songkick s inventory of live gigs.

This means that users don t have to manually keep tabs on when their favorite band or singer is performing nearby, as they receive alerts whenever they re scheduled to be in town.In June last year, Songkick announced it was merging with artist-ticketing service Crowdsurge, in what was a natural extension to Songkick s existing offering.

Unlike other ticketing services, Crowdsurge serves as a direct bridge between the artist and fans, cutting out the middlemen.

This is no small-time venture for unsigned acts or rising stars — Songkick now claims a number of notable artists selling tickets through the platform, including Paul McCartney, Adele, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Metallica.

Dion Esparza 2016-09-15
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Security ratings company BitSight has raised $40 million in a Series C round led by GGV Capital, with participation from Flybridge Capital Partners, Globespan Capital Partners, Menlo Ventures, Shaun McConnon, and the VC divisions of Comcast Ventures, Liberty Global Ventures, and Singtel Innov8.Founded in 2011, BitSight offers a platform that helps companies mitigate security risks associated with sharing sensitive data with business partners.

It does so by collating and analyzing a wealth of data related to companies activities and allocating security scores accordingly.

It s similar to the way credit ratings work in the consumer realm, insofar as it s based on information that s already available, and the process is entirely automated.BitSight s latest cash influx takes its total funding to $95 million, and the company says it will now ramp up its expansion, forge partnerships around the world, and pursue acquisitions.

Our customers vote with their checkbooks, as do investors who see our future, said BitSight CEO Shaun McConnon.Cybersecurity has emerged as a major target for investors in recent years, with a number of deals closing in the past few months alone.

SafeBreach recently raised $15 million for a platform that simulates hacks on companies systems to identify vulnerabilities, while SecurityScorecard closed down $20 million for its security rating and risk-monitoring platform.

Some have contended that breach analytics is the next billion-dollar industry, and if that s the case, BitSight could be well-positioned to capitalize on the opportunity, as it serves companies looking to assess the security risk posed by potential partners.

Michelle Briggs 2016-11-07
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Swedish eye-tracking company Tobii has announced plans to invest in large scale initiatives involving smartphones and virtual reality, and is seeking to raise SEK 400 million $50 million in a new rights issue of shares.Founded in 2001, Tobii serves up tools that enables technology such as computers and smartphones to detect a user s eye-orientation, thereby determining what they are looking at on-screen.

Tobii s smarts have been used by a number of big-name brands and is often used in the gaming realm, including machines produced by Acer and Alienware.

Acer has actually launched three monitors with Tobii s eye-tracking technology built in, and around 40 games have been brought to market that support the nascent eye-tracking tech, including Tom Clancy s The Division, Assassin s Creed Syndicate, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, and Watch Dogs 2.Tobii had raised around $70 million in equity funding until it went public on the Stockholm Stock Exchange in April last year.

Having priced its initial public offering IPO at SEK 25 $2.8 per share, the company went on to hit a peak of around SEK 80 $8.90 last month, and is currently sitting at around SEK 70 $7.80 — almost three times its IPO price.The company s plans to raise a further $50 million are still subject to approval at a forthcoming extraordinary general meeting — if approved, the subscription period for the fresh rights issue will run from December 6 through December 20, 2016.The company says that its ambition is to make substantial investments in technology and market development specifically for eye-tracking in virtual reality VR and smartphones, noting that the the demand for eye-tracking in such consumer markets has moved faster than it had originally expected.

The interest for eye-tracking in various consumer applications has developed at a substantially more rapid pace than we anticipated at the time of the IPO in April 2015, explained Tobii CEO Henrik Eskilsson.

At that point, we believed it would take longer time for eye-tracking to become current for use in smartphones and VR-headsets than what we see today.

Benny Parkhurst 2016-11-16
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BetterUp, a new startup that serves to open career coaching to anyone, has officially launched today and announced $12.9 million in funding from Draper Fisher Jurvetson DFJ , Social Capital, Freestyle, Crosslink, SV Angel, and Vista Venture Partners.

The overall funding constitutes a $2.9 million seed round and $10 million Series A round.Based in San Francisco, BetterUp connects employees with certified, executive-level coaching, with members meeting their mentors for weekly 30-minute sessions over video-chat or phone.

Between meetings, coaches give employees activities and exercises, along with resources such as videos, podcasts, and readings to aid their professional development, while on-demand support is also available by text.Through the platform, BetterUp provides analytics to track progress across areas such as leadership effectiveness, happiness, and productivity.

The company claims to have already nabbed some notable clients during its stealth phase, including Logitech, Capital One, and Deloitte.

The very best companies are looking for ways to engage their people not just as employees, but as humans, because they realize that the best performers and most effective leaders are those who bring their whole person to work, explained Alexi Robichaux, BetterUp cofounder and CEO.

At BetterUp, we enable companies to provide employees of all levels access to expert coaches that can help them grow as leaders, by developing the skills that drive personal excellence and professional performance.

Jason Hill 2016-11-23
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Apptopia, an app intelligence startup based in Boston, has raised a $2.7 million seed round of funding from Ashton Kutcher s and Guy Oseary s Sound Ventures VC firm, existing investor Mark Cuban, 500 Startups, and a handful of other VC firms.Founded in 2011, Apptopia serves up what it calls the most accurate downloads, revenue numbers, and SDK data across all mobile app and publishers in the world.

The company had raised a number of small seed funding rounds since its inception, but this latest tranche represents its biggest raise to date and takes its total funding to the $5 million mark.Apptopia claims some big name clients, including Google, Pinterest, Facebook, NBC Universal, Deloitte, and more.

The company says that it will use its fresh cash injection to make better products with more intelligence to create the next generation platform, according to a press release.

We ve seen tremendous growth over last year, tripling annual recurring revenue since the beginning of 2016, said Apptopia CEO Eliran Sapir.

There s so much opportunity in this space still.

Our goal is to bring more transparency to the app ecosystem and make it easier for people to both enter and succeed.

Jose Hilton 2016-08-24
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A startup specializing in computer vision technology capable of controlling automated drones has raised $6.5 million in funding from Crosslink Capital, with participation from Joe Montana s Liquid 2 Ventures, Haystack, and WI Harper Group.Founded out of San Carlos, California, in 2013, Prenav is developing a commercial drone system aimed at helping companies inspect and maintain their physical infrastructure, including building, roofs, cell phone towers, and any entity that may otherwise be difficult to access by people.Constituting a drone, a ground-based guidance robot, and software to plan the project and analyze the resulting data, Prenav s system traverses within a few inches of a structure without the need of a skilled human controller.

The little robots snap photos from multiple precise locations to recreate accurate 3D representations of the target.Today s news comes a year after Prenav raised a $1.2 million seed round, and its latest cash influx will be used to accelerate product development, marketing, and sales of its commercial drone system, according to a company statement, with a planned commercial launch some time in 2017.

Prenav is solving a fundamental gap in the drone ecosystem around automated flight up close to structures, said Nathan Schuett, founder and CEO of Prenav.

By unlocking this capability, we make drone technology accessible and affordable for many industries that are underserved by today s off-the-shelf drones.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration FAA has new drone regulations coming into effect at the end of August, designed to harness new innovations safely, to spur job growth, advance critical scientific research, and save lives, said the FAA.

The new rules are aimed at unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds that are carrying out non-hobbyist operations, and some estimates reckon it could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy over the next decade.Drone technology has been fairly ripe for investment in recent times, with the likes of PrecisionHawk recently closing a $18 million round for its land-surveying drones, with countless other startups nabbing VC cash over the past couple of years.

Arthur Morgan 2016-08-24
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DroneDeploy, a software-as-a-service SaaS platform for commercial drone operators, has raised $20 million in a Series B round led by Scale Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors as well as High Alpha Capital.Founded out of San Francisco in 2013, DroneDeploy works with any drone and device, enabling professional-grade imagery and analysis and 3D modeling.

The company offers a mobile app for Android and iOS devices that s compatible with the popular DJI drones, letting anyone map, survey, or inspect aerial views and gather data in the process.

Though it can be used by anyone, DroneDeploy is largely aimed at industries with a need to manage specific data captured from drones — it has been used in construction, agriculture, mining, insurance, and more.

The company claims its users have mapped more than five million acres across 130 countries.Prior to today s announcement, DroneDeploy had raised $11 million over two rounds between 2014 and 2015, and its latest cash windfall will be used to develop additional enterprise features and enable businesses to extract even deeper insights, according to a press release.Today s funding news is perhaps most notable because it comes a week before the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration FAA introduces new regulations designed to bring clarity, simplicity, and safety to the burgeoning drone industry.

The new rules target unmanned aircraft weighing less than 55 pounds and carrying out non-hobbyist operations, which covers businesses offering drone-related services.

Some estimates reckon that opening up the nation s airspace to unmanned aircraft could generate more than $82 billion for the U.S. economy over the next decade.

Timothy Guardado 2016-06-29
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What3words, a global addressing system that uses three words to describe precise locations, has raised $8.5 million in a Series B round led by logistics giant Aramex, with participation from existing investors, including Intel Capital, Force Over Mass Capital, and Mustard Seed.Founded out of the U.K. in 2013, What3words has partitioned the entire planet into around 57 trillion 3m x 3m squares — built upon the Google Maps API — and allocates each square a random three-word address.

For example, a search for the Houses of Parliament in London reveals that part of it is most.native.shuts.

Drag the pin around on the map, and you ll see a random three different words for any other location.Available on the web and through native mobile apps, What3words gives users access to an addressing system that bypasses zip codes, postal codes, and GPS coordinates.

While it can be used for well-known points of interest and tourist attractions, it s perhaps better used for places that don t have an easy-to-describe location — for example, a tent in the middle of a large field or a hut in the desert.Increasingly, the London-based company has been selling its location-based smarts to companies and organizations — last month, What3words partnered with Mongolia s national postal delivery service, which has now adopted the addressing system in lieu of a consistent addressing system of its own within what is an expansive country.Aramex is a major win for What3words, too — the logistics and transportation provider operates in 60 countries.

Indeed, in addition to investing in the startup, it will now also adopt What3words within its ecommerce fulfillment operations across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

By integrating three-word addresses into our ecommerce operations across the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, we are better able to reach more consumers worldwide, even those in difficult-to-access locations, explained Aramex CEO Hussein Hachem.

Joseph Cormier 2016-09-21
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Pay-per-mile car insurance service Metromile revealed that it has raised a whopping $191.5 million over a number of rounds dating back to 2014.The San Francisco-based startup says it closed a hitherto unannounced $38.4 million Series C round back in late 2014 and closed a $103.1 million Series D round in Q1 2016, before nabbing a $50 million strategic investment from China Pacific Insurance CPIC just this month.

This is in addition to the $14 million the company was already known to have raised previously.The new investors, in addition to CPIC, include Index Ventures, Intact Financial, New Enterprise Associates NEA , Mitsui, First Round Capital, SV Angel, entrepreneur Mark Cuban, and Metromile s own founder and chairman, David Friedberg.Founded in 2011, Metromile currently operates in California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington.

The company has developed a device called the Metromile Pulse, which drivers plug into their car to monitor their time on the road.

Related to this, Metromile also offers car insurance — through partners — that is priced based on the number of road hours rather than as a flat monthly fee.

Metromile actually partnered with Uber last year to let drivers pay for insurance for the time they re on the road — it was a decent perk, given that many Uber drivers work on a part-time basis.In addition to the funding, Metromile has also announced that one of the first outcomes of its new-found wealth is the acquisition of an insurance carrier called the Mosaic Insurance Company.

This move transforms Metromile from a technology company into an insurance company that s approaching car insurance in a whole different way, according to a company statement.

James Lamb 2016-09-21
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D.light, a for-profit social enterprise that sells solar-powered products, has raised $22.5 million in funding to push its wares into more off-grid communities around the world.Founded in 2006, D.light manufactures and distributes a range of solar lighting products, including the D30 bundle, which includes a solar panel, battery-charging pack, solar lights, switches, FM radio, and a torch and is underpinned by D.light s pay-as-you-go platform.Prior to today, D.light had raised north of $25 million dollars, and its latest cash influx consists of a number of components.

The round includes $15 million Series D funding from Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar; KawiSafi Ventures Fund, a new VC firm specializing in off-grid energy; Energy Access Ventures; and NewQuest Capital Partners.Additionally, the company has raised a $5 million grant from Shell Foundation, the U.S. Agency for International Development – Development Innovation Ventures USAID-DIV , and United Nations Capital Development Fund UNCDF .

D.light has also nabbed $2.5 million in debt funding through SunFunder.With its fresh funding, D.light says it will push to accelerate sales for its D30 solar home system, in addition to bringing to market new products capable of powering more devices, including televisions and fans.

We are thankful for the support from these global organizations, which is instrumental for achieving our goal to bring safe and affordable energy to off-grid families, said D.light chief finance officer Kamal Lath.

Consumer financing for solar home systems makes the technology significantly more affordable for our customers.

This funding will enable more families and business owners to enjoy access to the affordable, clean, and reliable solar energy solutions they need to improve their quality of life.

Lillian Barnwell 2016-07-07
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BevSpot, a web-based platform that helps hospitality businesses manage their alcoholic beverage programs, has raised $11 million in a Series B round led by Bain Capital Ventures.Founded out of Boston in 2014 by a team from MIT and Harvard, BevSpot serves up a suite of mobile tools that lets its users — which include restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and hotels — manage their alcohol inventory and related invoicing.

It s also compatible with point-of-sale systems, so sales can automatically be accounted for.Ultimately, BevSpot promises to help clients cut their inventory and ordering time, as well as providing analytics on what products are selling or not on a week-to-week basis.

The hospitality industry is one of the last staple industries still operating without world-class, web-based software, forcing individual establishments and the industry as a whole to operate largely offline without access to critical, real-time data, said BevSpot CEO and cofounder Rory Crawford.

Our goal is to provide every single business in the industry with the insights it needs to become more efficient and successful.

We have an opportunity to deliver the most powerful and intuitive software to help move this entire industry online.

Today s funding takes the company s total capital raised to around the $19 million mark, and BevSpot says it will use its latest cash influx to develop new and existing products and grow into new markets.

Michael Vaughn 2016-09-20
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Online used car platform Vroom announced that it has raised a fresh $50 million Series E round from newcomers Altimeter Capital and Foxhaven Asset Management, with participation from existing investors L Catterton, General Catalyst Partners, and Allen & Company, among others.This cash injection takes the company s total funding to $218 million and comes a little more than a year after Vroom s $54 million Series C round, which was followed swiftly by a $95 million Series D round five months later.Founded out of New York in 2013, Vroom sidesteps second-hand car salespeople by offering what it touts as quality pre-owned cars through its website.

Vehicles are delivered to your door with a seven-day test-drive included as part of the package.

But the platform isn t just aimed at making buyers lives easier, the company also wants to get sellers on board by removing friction from the listing process — sellers only need to scan the vehicle identification number VIN , submit some photos, and answer a few questions.Back in June, Vroom named former Priceline chief Paul J. Hennessy as its new CEO, and he believes Vroom has positioned itself well to capitalize on the growing shift toward buying and selling cars online.

The reaction to both the ease of the car buying and selling experience, as well as the unparalleled quality of refurbished cars, has been overwhelming, said Hennessy, in a press release.

For a company that is only three years old, we are just beginning to roll out our product innovations that will soon include 100 percent digital paperwork and auto financing enhancements.

The used-car industry has emerged as a market ripe for disruption, with the likes of Carvana recently raising $160 million to help people buy cars online — an effort that includes expanding its quirky coin-op car vending machines.As part of Vroom s $95 million raise last December, the company snapped up Texas-based competitor Texas Direct Auto, before announcing just last month that it would soon let people browse for used cars through virtual reality showrooms.