Mark Suster hosts This Week in Venture Capital, with his guest Jason Calacanis
Our guest this week is Jason Calacanis.
This Week in Venture Capital airs LIVE every Wednesday at 2pm PST / 5pm EST with Host Mark Suster.
Social media monetization platform that benefits non-profit organizations and social causes. Users participate by performing tasks, taking surveys or watching advertiser videos. Joe Marchese and Willan Johnson are President and COO, respectively.
$11.65mm in Series C
Read more: SoCalTECH
A free Q&A site for software developers, blending functionality from wikis, blogs, forums, and social voting (similar to Digg/Reddit); 7.1mm unique visitors per month; new funds will be used to build out engineering team and build out product; monetization path remains unclear.
$6mm in Series A
Read more: VentureBeat
Provider of addressable television advertising and marketing services to cable, satellite and telco-delivered television carriers. Addressable advertisements are capable of being targeted to the individual household. The company’s Advatar platform provides carriers with a comprehensive platform for managing, targeting, delivering and measuring advertising services on content produced by content producers and networks. Consumer privacy is also protected, as no personally identifiable information (PII) is used in the process. Following Microsoft’s addressable advertising trials with NBC in June 2009, many suspect that Google’s investment may have some defensive motivations, as well. Invidi is based in New York and founded in 2000.
$23mm in Series D
Investors: Google (Shishir Mehrotra, Director of Prod Mgmt for Google TV Ads, YouTube Ads)(lead), with GroupM, Motorola Ventures, Menlo Ventures, InterWest, EnerTech Capital, Westbury Equity Partners, BDC Capital
Provides an in-stream advertising platform for any content creator (individual or organization) with an online social presence. Current publishers include Kim Kardashian, Mandy Moore, Deepak Chopra, and Newsweek. Ad.ly partners with PeopleBrowsr to have access to user targeting data via social graph data from Twitter. Advertising clients include: Sony, Microsoft, NBC, and Clicker. Following several completed advertising campaigns, Ad.ly has demonstrated both high user engagement and better than average conversion rates of 1%-3.5% (versus 0.05% for traditional display advertising) for February 2010. Ad.ly currently has 70,000 publishers reaching 45mm readers. Arnie Gullov-Singh (ex-EVP of product, technology and operations for MySpace) also joined as CEO, as Sean Rad will assume the role of President.
$5mm in Series A
Blippy competitor founded by TellMe founder, Angus Davis, in Fall 2009. Swipely is a social network orientated around users credit card transaction data. Users can choose which transactions they would like to share (by category or individual transactions), choose to hide price data, add comments or notes to purchases, and express “like” or “dislike” sentiments for each purchase. Swipely can even append transaction data with relevant information such as menus or store catalogs.
$7.5mm in Series A, following an angel round consisting of “millions” in seed capital
Investors: Index Ventures (Danny Rimer)(lead), Greylock Partners, with existing investors First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital (Chris Sacca), Keith Rabois (Slide), SV Angel (Ron Conway), Anton Commissaris (former VP at Mint)
Klarna provides a service that allows consumers to purchase via invoices or on account (store credit) from online merchants. The service allows users to shop by a personal identification number (instead of providing personal contact information or payment information) and pay by invoice (delayed cash on delivery) or account (credit). Users can aggregate multiple invoices into one monthly invoice and group multiple invoices from different merchants into one monthly payment. Sellers can lower transaction fees by aggregating purchases into fewer transactions, while also providing buyers with an attractive alternative payment method. TechCrunch claims that Klarna is currently one of the biggest providers of such services in Europe. Klarna is also the first European board for Sequoia partner, Michael Moritz, who believes that “Klarna has done a fabulous job serving the needs of merchants and consumers in Europe’s e-commerce market. With e-commerce growing rapidly across the E.U., where card based payments are only 1/3 that of the U.S., Klarna has an incredible opportunity to be the most trusted solution in the $40 billion global payments market.”
Rumored to be appox. $9mm
Develops software tools and management platform that assists content publishers and ad agencies with the creation of display ads. Primarily targets SMBs. CEO/President is Karl Siebrecht (ex-Pres of Atlas at AQuantive and ex-GM of ad platform product management, search and display marketing, and mobile and gaming advertising for Microsoft). Founded in 2006 by Aaron Finn.
$5.3mm in Series C
Read more: TechCrunch
Provider of online ad retargeting services and personalized recommendation service. Leverages persistent cookie to follow a user and display recurring display advertising that matches a previous transaction intent or behavior. Allows brands to pay only for received clicks, while still benefitting from the brand awareness generated through display ads. Target customers: transactional e-commerce companies across various verticals, including more than 400 retailers (and large number of the top 100). According to CEO, JB Rudelle, company is profitable, operates two data centers in the US and has 140 employees worldwide. Criteo was founded in 2005 in France; now based in Palo Alto, CA.
$7mm in Series C; last round was in 2008; total $24mm raised
Provides software and services that help businesses manage SEM and SEO campaigns. WordStream solutions both create, generate, manage and analyze the performance of large keyword databases.
$6mm in Series B; total raise of $10mm
Read more: TechCrunch
Doxo (November 2009 financing, just announced in May 2010 as company exited stealth mode)
Paperless billing for consumers. Cloud-based systems is compatible with major existing systems. Senior exec team is ex-QPass (mobile payments platform sold to Amdocs)
$5.25mm in Series A
Read more: TechCrunch