Bluethumb raises $500,000; Udacity raises $105 million Series D round; ClassPass raises $30 million
It has been another busy week around the global startup space. In Europe, Rocket Internet’s home interiors marketplace Home24 has acquired German competitor Fashion For Home, while Udacity has raised $105 million in a Series D round at a valuation of $1 billion and ClassPass has raised $30 million. Closer to home, Australian visual arts marketplace Bluethumb has raised $500,000 from the founders of AussieCommerce.
Rocket Internet’s home interiors marketplace Home24 has acquired competitor Fashion For Home. According to a Rocket Internet release, Fashion For Home’s operations will be integrated within Home24’s, though the Fashion For Home brand will continue to exist independently. Fashion For Home’s founders Marc Appelhoff and Christoph Cordes will be joining the Home24 management team.
Eyefi, a company producing digital photo management apps and services, has acquired OKDOTHIS, a community for photographers to inspire one another. OKDOTHIS founder Jeremy Cowart said, “When I meet photographers around the world, one common theme emerges: exploring new ideas to evolve their skills and get more enjoyment and satisfaction from their photography. That was the idea that led to the creation of OKDOTHIS. Being a part of Eyefi means we can scale this idea and bring OKDOTHIS to photographers everywhere.” The acquisition allows Eyefi to engage with photographers directly.
Czech security software company AVG has acquired Israeli startup MyRoll, which has created an app that automatically sorts your photos into ‘shareable moments’ and another standalone app, Gallery Doctor, that picks out bad or duplicate photos for you to delete and free up device storage. The MyRoll team will be joining AVG’s new Mobile Center of Excellence in Tel Aviv, with its products to be integrated into AVG’s offerings.
Microsoft has announced that it is to acquire Israeli security startup Secure Islands. Microsoft explained in a statement, “Secure Islands’ technology enhances the data protection capabilities available today with Azure Rights Management Service, Microsoft’s cloud-based information protection solution. The company has long been a close Microsoft partner and built its solutions using our rights management technology. Secure Islands will continue to sell its existing solutions and support its customers.”
Mobile marketing startup Swrve has acquired adaptiv.io, a data automation platform for mobile. It has also raised $30 million in a round led by Evolution Media Partners, and a partnership of Evolution Media Capital, TPG Growth and Participant Media, and the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund.
Bluethumb raises $500,000
Australian visual arts marketplace Bluethumb has raised $500,000 in a funding round led by AussieCommerce Group co-founders Adam Schwab and Jeremy Same. The funding will go towards expanding the range of artwork on the site, investing in technology, and expanding globally to take on US-based competitor SaatchiArt.
Udacity, a startup that helps people learn to code, has raised $105 million in a Series D round led by Bertelsmann, with Baillie Gifford, Emerson Collective and Google Ventures joining as new investors and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Charles River Ventures, and Drive Capital also participating in the round. This funding values the startup at $1 billion.
Fiverr, an Israeli startup similar to Freelancer, has raised $60 million in a Series D round led by Square Peg Capital, with participation from existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Accel Partners, and Qumra Capital. Along with the funding, the startup has also announced that it is removing the $5 minimum fee that it has up til now required freelancers to charge, and the rule from which it derived its name, as it begins to establish pricing tiers for packages.
Virtual reality startup NextVR has raised $30 million in a Series A round led by Formation 8, with participation from investors including Time Warner Investments and Comcast Ventures. According to UploadVR, this is the largest Series A round raised by any virtual reality startup, including Oculus. NextVR raised a $5 million seed round in September 2014.
CCP Games, a company creating VR games, has raised $30 million in a round led by New Enterprise Associates, with participation from Novator Partners. Harry Weller, general partner at NEA, has joined the startup’s board of directors, while NEA’s Andrew Schoen will also be joining, as deputy director.
After raising $40 million in January, ClassPass has closed a $30 million Series C round led by Google Ventures, with participation from General Catalyst and Thrive. This brings the total raised by the startup to date to $84 million. ClassPass launched in Australia last month.
Indonesian ecommerce platform Bhinneka has raised $22 million from Ideosource. The funding will go towards marketing, new hires, and increasing market share.
Eyefluence, a startup creating eye-interaction technology for augmented, virtual, and mixed reality devices, has come out of stealth and closed a $14 million Series B round led by Motorola Solutions Venture Capital, with participation from Jazz Venture Partners, NHN Investment, and Dolby Family Ventures. Eyefluence stated it’s currently working with Fortune 500 companies as well as emerging companies and device manufacturers.
CircleUp, an equity crowdfunding platform, has raised a $30 million Series C round led by Collaborative Fund, led the with participation from Capital One co-founder Nigel Morris, Union Square Ventures, Canaan Partners, Maveron, Rose Park Advisors, and others. The startup said the funding will go towards product development and new hires.
Mobile payments startup Bango, which helps app stores and mobile carriers integrate payments so that users pay for purchases through their phone bill, has raised $17 million. The funding will be used to expand and invest in R&D.
Transifx, a startup providing brokerage services to independent over-the-road truck drivers and small carriers, has raised $12 million in a Series A round led by Canvas Ventures, with participation from existing investors including Lerer Hippeau Ventures, Founder Collective, and Bowery Capital. The funding will go towards accelerating the development of Transfix’s automated third-party logistics services and supply chain execution platform for manufacturers and distributors.
H2O.ai, creators of an open source machine learning platform, have raised $20 million in a Series B round from Paxion Capital Partners, with participation from existing investors Nexus Venture Partners and Transamerica Corporation, and new investor Capital One Growth Ventures. This brings the total raised by the startup to date to $34 million. With in, Paxion’s founding partner Michael Marks will be joining the startup’s board of directors.
Image: Bluethumb’s Philip Slusarski and Edward Hartley. Source: Supplied.