Fitbit announces plans to acquire FitStar

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Fitbit has announced that it is buying digital health and fitness platform FitStar. FitStar’s investors include Google Ventures and Trinity Ventures. The terms of the deal were undisclosed. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Fitbit Inc., the global leader in the Connected Health and Fitness category, today announced it has agreed to acquire FitStar, one of the largest platforms for delivering personalized video-based exercise experiences on mobile devices. Users will be able to track their daily activity with leading Fitbit devices and then get a tailored exercise program designed specifically for them with handcrafted workouts from fitness authorities, including football legend, Tony Gonzalez and yoga expert, Tara Stiles. The acquisition broadens Fitbit’s leading platform by adding new services that will provide even more motivation and encouragement for people to lead healthier, more active lives.

Following the global availability of Fitbit’s latest additions to the Fitbit line: Fitbit Charge™, Fitbit Charge HR™ and Fitbit Surge™ activity trackers, this integration builds on Fitbit’s already robust and engaging mobile and interactive experience that consumers love. With a large community of users on its mobile app, Fitbit helps its users tap into this community to deliver more encouragement, rewards and friendly competition to help them successfully reach and beat their goals. Now with the addition of FitStar’s personalized streaming video workouts, users will find even more motivation through individually customized workout sessions, offering a holistic mobile fitness solution that is accessible, convenient and inspiring.

“FitStar has created some of the most popular and top-rated fitness apps in the world with a mission very similar to ours and a history of success,” said James Park, CEO and Co-Founder of Fitbit. “The addition of FitStar to our Fitbit family will allow us to offer a custom-fit experience based on personalized tracking data and also deliver on our promise of providing enhanced services and coaching.”

Available immediately, FitStar users will be able to seamlessly publish their FitStar workouts into Fitbit to see how their personal training or yoga practice impacts their overall health. Coming soon, Fitbit users will be able to set up a FitStar account by using their Fitbit account login. Additionally, when using new Fitbit trackers like Fitbit Charge HR or Fitbit Surge that are equipped with Fitbit’s PurePulse™ continuous heart rate tracking, FitStar users will soon be able to see their heart rate trends during FitStar logged workouts.

“Fitbit was the first hardware tracker FitStar integrated with over two years ago, so FitStar had a long time to get to know the team and realize that the two companies have a shared vision of where the digital fitness space needs to go,” said Mike Maser, FitStar’s CEO and Co-Founder. “By combining forces, Fitbit and FitStar can collectively expand to offer users around the globe new, motivating ways to reach their health and fitness goals.”

Fitbit products are carried in more than 30,000 North American retail stores, 45,000 stores around the globe and are sold in 54 countries. FitStar’s personal trainer and yoga apps are consistently top rated, with users primarily residing in the U.S., followed by UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, China and nearly 190 other countries.

About FitStar

FitStar’s mission is to build a digital health and fitness platform to inspire people to live healthier lives. Founded in 2012, the company has been backed by several prominent angels and venture investors including Google Ventures, Trinity Ventures and other high profile investors. FitStar has a footprint of over three million downloads, with users in 195 countries to date, across the FitStar Personal Trainer and FitStar Yoga apps. FitStar is based in San Francisco. For the latest information and on-going updates, please visit www.fitstar.com or follow FitStar on Facebook and Twitter.

About Fitbit

Fitbit helps people lead healthier, more active lives by empowering them with data, inspiration and guidance to reach their goals. As the leader in the Connected Health & Fitness category, Fitbit designs products and experiences that track everyday health and fitness. Fitbit’s diverse line of award-winning products includes Fitbit Surge, Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Charge, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit Zip and Fitbit One activity trackers, as well as the Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. Fitbit products are carried in more than 30,000 North American retail stores, 45,000 stores around the globe and sold in 54 countries. Headquartered in San Francisco, Fitbit is privately held and funded by Foundry Group, Qualcomm Ventures, Sapphire Ventures, Softbank Capital, SoftTech VC and True Ventures.

HoneyBook raises $22 million

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HoneyBook is a service that empowers top event professionals to become more connected and productive with clients and vendors. HoneyBook’s collaborative platform lets you tap into the power of your network to receive new business and easily work with everyone involved to organize a single event. HoneyBook has raised $22 million in Series B led by Norwest Venture Partners with participation from Aleph and Hillsven. More details below:

Press Release

HoneyBook Raises $22M to Fuel Growth as the Trusted Network for Event Professionals

Series B funding round led by Norwest Venture Partners will accelerate US expansion

SAN FRANCISCO, March 5th, 2015: HoneyBook, the invite-only service empowering top event professionals, today announced it has closed $22M in a Series B round of funding led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from Aleph and Hillsven. With a total $32M invested to date, this funding will help HoneyBook scale its collaborative platform and make it available to even more event professionals in every major US city.

HoneyBook offers a collaborative platform that streamlines all of the elements and processes of event planning—from booking and collecting payments to collaboration—through an elegant, intuitive interface. HoneyBook has quickly become the most trusted tool for top event professionals to run their businesses and connect with their networks. In the last six months, the company has seen 10x growth, primarily from satisfied customers inviting their vendor networks to transact and do business together on the platform.

“An event professional’s purpose is to create unforgettable moments for their clients. When an event comes together, every element—from the space to the sound to the visuals—works together in harmony to create the perfect experience,” said Oz Alon, CEO, HoneyBook. Unfortunately, the processes and tools used to plan these events are too often disconnected. At HoneyBook, we believe that this process should be as fluid as the event itself. We’re here to change that by enabling event pros to collaborate effortlessly with their networks, speak the same language with each other, and deliver those “wow” moments from the very first interaction with a client.”

Until recently, HoneyBook’s services have been available only by invitation in the San Francisco Bay Area, following a people-first approach which has built a community based upon trust and shared social interactions. With the Series B funding, HoneyBook will launch similar communities in Los Angeles and New York, and will accelerate its city-by-city rollout to every major hub in the US within the next 12 months. HoneyBook will also continue to focus on unrivaled customer service, building infrastructure, and engineering horsepower to support rapid growth.

“HoneyBook is part of a new breed of services that connects markets and people, around multiple transactions, creating new business opportunities that would have otherwise not existed,” said Jeff Crowe, Managing Partner, Norwest Venture Partners. “With an estimated market size of hundreds of billions, the events industry presents a ripe opportunity. HoneyBook has created a unique and very compelling ecosystem, with the right talent and proper positioning to take full advantage of it.”

The events industry, worth an estimated market size of $350B1, has traditionally been driven by paper and disparate communication systems. In a short amount of time, HoneyBook freed event professionals from the hassles of paperwork, checks, and redundant email, by providing a better, proven method for transacting payments, contract signatures and proposals. Beyond streamlining administrative processes, event vendors are also winning more business on HoneyBook by building their networks and collaborating with other professionals. With HoneyBook, event pros can focus on the creative work they love while enjoying better success with their clients and vendors.

Previous investors included Aleph, UpWest Labs, Hillsven, Ev Williams, James Currier and Stan Chudnovsky of Ooga Labs, Naval Ravikant of AngelList, Ben Ling of Khosla Ventures, Michael Birch of Bebo, and Ben Narasin.

About HoneyBook:

HoneyBook was founded in 2013 and is headquartered in San Francisco. HoneyBook is an invite-only service that empowers top event professionals to be more connected, productive, and successful with their clients and vendors. Our collaborative platform allows you to tap into the power of your network to win new business and easily work with everyone involved in organizing a single event. Whether you’re the planner in charge of a 300-guest event, a photographer leading a high-profile fashion shoot, or the host of your company’s holiday party, HoneyBook organizes your jobs seamlessly in one place—from proposals, to payments and design briefs—so you can focus on what matters most: creating unforgettable moments. Visit www.honeybook.com to request an invite.

Geofeedia raises $3 million

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Geofeedia is a service that focuses on location-based social media monitoring, intelligence, and analysis for corporate security, media and marketing teams. Geofeedia has raised $3 million in Series A4 funding. Hyde Park Venture Partners led this round of funding with participation from Tim Kopp (former CMO of ExactTarget) David Gupta (founder and CEO of SDI Enterprises) and Gene Delaney (former president at Motorola). More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

CHICAGO – Geofeedia, the pioneer in location-based social media intelligence, today announced the closing of a $3 million series A4 financing. Hyde Park Venture Partners led the financing round with follow-on participation from Tim Kopp, former CMO of ExactTarget; David Gupta, founder and CEO of SDI Enterprises; and Gene Delaney, former president at Motorola. The financing brings the company’s total funding to $6.8 million and will enable Geofeedia to hire key talent, to invest in marketing, and to expand into additional vertical segments.

“We have a huge opportunity to become one of the fastest growing software businesses in the country. We’ve just reached over 10,000 users on our platform and are on pace to quadruple our customer base in 2015,” said Phil Harris, CEO and cofounder of Geofeedia. “This round provides the capital needed to hire the very best talent available so that we can execute on marketing, sales and overall growth as we expand into even more verticals.”

Geofeedia experienced tremendous growth last year with bookings in 2014 expanding to over $3 million, representing an 857% year-over-year increase. Geofeedia recently opened an office in Indianapolis’ iconic Circle Tower building and expects to hire a total of 50 additional team members between the Chicago and Indianapolis offices in 2015.

“We’ve seen more than a thousand B2B SaaS companies and never have we seen a startup hit a vein like Geofeedia. They make product and sales look easy by staying true to a core value proposition – location matters. Marketers and public safety agencies need the location and contextual insight of social media that only Geofeedia can provide,” said Guy Turner, managing director of Hyde Park Venture Partners.

Geofeedia enables organizations to filter and analyze social media content by location in real-time across multiple sources. Users search for a city, address or location name, draw a virtual perimeter around their specific area of interest, and access geo-tagged social media content from within those boundaries in a matter of seconds.

Hundreds of the world’s leading brands and most respected organizations, including Fortune 500 companies like McDonald’s and Dell, leading news outlets like the AP, BBC and CNN, and public safety agencies like the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department utilize Geofeedia’s powerful subscription-based patented platform to gain real-time, actionable intelligence through hyper-local social media monitoring.

Geofeedia will be rolling out innovative new features and functionality in the coming months to further penetrate additional markets. The company was one of 100 companies named to the TechPoint Mira Awards honoring “the best tech in Indiana” and was also included in Gartner’s 2014 Cool Vendors report.

About Geofeedia

Geofeedia is the market leader in location-based social media monitoring, intelligence and analysis for corporate security, public safety, media and marketing teams. Geofeedia’s patented platform enables organizations to filter and analyze public, geo-tagged social media content across multiple sources in any global location to understand, in real-time, what’s happening within the areas most important to them. Geofeedia is headquartered in Chicago and has offices in Indianapolis and Naples, Fla. The company was founded in 2011 by Phil Harris, Mike Mulroy and Scott Mitchell. To learn more about Geofeedia visit http://geofeedia.com.

Farfetch raises $86 million

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Farfetch is an online fashion company that has raised $86 million in funding from DST Global and other existing shareholders. Farfetch is now valued at $1 billion. Farfetch works with over 300 of the largest designer boutiques on its website Farfetch.com and has raised more than $195 million. Farfetch will be using the funding to launch its service in local language websites, including German, Spanish, and Korean. Some of Farfetch’s existing shareholders include Conde Nast and Vitruvian Partners.

Culture Amp raises $6.3 million in Series A funding

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Culture Amp is a “culture-first” software company that has built the leading people analytics platform. The Culture Amp is known for combining deep knowledge in psychology, user experience, and engineering into a platform that transforms organizations worldwide. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 4, 2015 – People Analytics company Culture Amp, which counts Airbnb, Uber, Pandora, Adobe, Pinterest and Warby Parker among the companies using its platform, today announced that it has closed $6.3 million in Series A funding. The round is led by Felicis Ventures, Index Ventures and Blackbird Ventures. Culture Amp will use these funds to accelerate expansion of its platform that provides real-time data and insights into company culture through customizable and specialized surveys. As part of the investment, Felicis Ventures managing director Wesley Chan, founder of Google Analytics, will join the Culture Amp board.

“Culture Amp has swiftly become indispensable to heads of talent and CEOs, because for the first time they can understand in real time what makes their people tick,” said Aydin Senkut, founder and managing director at Felicis Ventures. “We are excited to back them because there is nothing more important than retaining and motivating key talent at every successful company now.”

Second only to finding and hiring the right employees, retention has been one of the biggest challenges for startups and established companies alike, with the costs associated with low-employee engagement running as high as $550 billion a year.

“Culture Amp’s platform has grown to date through word-of-mouth,” said Culture Amp co-founder and CEO Didier Elzinga. “With this investment, we want to accelerate development of our technology, and expand our marketing and sales efforts, so we can continue to provide the most insightful platform available for company culture and people analytics.”

To find out what keeps employees engaged and motivated, Culture Amp uses its know-how in psychology, statistics and user experience in its platform to create data-driven human resources insights. Recent Culture Amp data reveals that 69 percent of employees are motivated to go “above and beyond” in their work role. However, among the top five percent of companies that perform highest across all key drivers and engagement indicators, that rises to more 90 percent of employees.

The funding comes on the heels of Culture Amp’s second Benchmark report, which sets the industry standard for companies to track their progress on cultural metrics against competitors. The company plans to release a number of reports this year, which will investigate links between employee data and other business metrics, as well as reports on gender, tenure, innovation drivers and age diversity across industries.

About Culture Amp: Culture Amp is a culture-first software company that is building the world’s leading People Analytics platform for people and culture. The Culture Amp team combines deep knowledge in psychology, statistics, user experience and engineering into a platform that is transforming organizations worldwide. Founded in 2011 by Didier Elzinga, Doug English, Jon Williams and Rod Hamilton, it has offices in San Francisco and Melbourne. For more information, visit www.cultureamp.com or follow on Twitter at @cultureamp.

Tricida raises $30 million in Series B funding

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Tricida is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on treating renal disease. Tricida has raised $30 million in Series B funding. OrbiMed led this round of funding. Sibling Capital Ventures and Limulus Venture Partners also participated in this round. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tricida, Inc., a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of first-in-class chronic therapies addressing complications of renal disease, announced today the closing of a $30M Series B financing. The financing was led by existing investor OrbiMed, with participation by Sibling Capital Ventures and Limulus Venture Partners.

Tricida’s clinical lead candidate, TRC101, is on track for an IND submission later this year. “I am excited by our rapid progress that has allowed us to advance TRC101 from discovery into development in record time,” said Dr. Gerrit Klaerner, Ph.D., Tricida’s CEO, President, and Board Member.

Dr. David Bonita, Tricida’s interim Chairman and Private Equity Partner at OrbiMed, stated, “Tricida’s experienced team has demonstrated yet again the ability to identify a clinical candidate that holds great potential in addressing a significant unmet medical need in chronic kidney disease.”

About Tricida, Inc. Tricida, Inc., is a pre-clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of first-in-class therapeutics. Tricida’s lead program is TRC101, a chronic treatment for complications of renal disease. More information is available at www.tricida.com.

Tricida Team: Gerrit Klaerner, Ph.D. (CEO, President and Board Member) and Jerry Buysse, Ph.D. (Chief Scientific Officer and Senior Vice President). On the Tricida Board are David Bonita, M.D. (interim Chairman, OrbiMed), Sandra Coufal, M.D. (Sibling Capital), Robert Alpern, M.D. (independent; Dean and Ensign Professor, Yale School of Medicine), and Klaus Veitinger, M.D., Ph.D. (independent).

For more information about Tricida’s investors, please see the following websites:

OrbiMed:

www.orbimed.com

Sibling Capital Ventures: www.siblingcapital.com

Terralux raises $11 million in funding

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Based in Longmont, Colorado, Terralux has raised $11 million in funding. EnerTech Capital led this round of funding. Terralux is known for designing and manufacturing LED lighting and building intelligence solutions. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

LONGMONT, Colo.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–TERRALUX, Inc. announces that EnerTech Capital, a leading energy technology venture capital firm, led an $11 million growth investment in the company. Joining EnerTech in this round are investors Generation Investment Management, Crawley Ventures, Emerald Technology Ventures, GC&H Investments, and Founder & CTO Dr. Anthony Catalano.

“TERRALUX has built elegant solutions that allow building owners to begin retrofitting the enormous base of existing buildings with energy efficient LED technology,” said Bill Kingsley, Managing Director with EnerTech Capital. “The pace, quality and the market acceptance of their new product releases caught our attention. The new LEDSENSE® technology with sensory, communications and controls capabilities will allow building owners to take advantage of previously unavailable information. We believe in this strategy and look forward to working with the existing investors and management team to drive the rapid growth of TERRALUX.”

The funding will be used to continue TERRALUX’s strong sales growth and further develop its rapidly expanding portfolio of its LED retrofit products, OEM products and LEDSENSE® cloud-based technology.

“LED lighting retrofit is quickly becoming more than just saving energy,” said TERRALUX CEO Steve Hane. “The massive footprint of commercial buildings challenge basic and separate systems in use today. LED retrofit with a cloud-based lighting system is the most economical way to connect a building’s infrastructure to the Internet of Things (IoT). We are very pleased to have EnerTech endorse our strategy, join our investor group, and together with our existing investors, enable our continued growth.”

About TERRALUX Inc. TERRALUX designs and manufactures LED lighting and building intelligence solutions. TERRALUX’s illumination-grade technology can be found in commercial and industrial applications. TERRALUX solutions are easy to install, highly reliable and economical. TERRALUX holds 30 patents across the most critical aspects of LED technology. For more information visit: www.terralux.com.

About EnerTech Capital EnerTech Capital invests in companies that offer products or services that dramatically improve the profitability of producing or consuming energy. Founded in 1996, the firm has managed approximately $500 million and has delivered over 30 exits. EnerTech Capital is currently investing out of its fourth fund and has offices in Philadelphia, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary, and Menlo Park.

Luxe raises $20 million in funding

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Luxe is an on-demand parking service that has raised $20 million in funding from Venrock and Redpoint Ventures. Luxe said that its service will be expanding to several other cities across the country by the middle of 2015 starting such as Boston, Chicago and Seattle. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

SAN FRANCISCO, March 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Luxe, the leading on-demand parking service, announced today that it has secured Series A financing of $20 million USD from lead investor Venrock as well as Redpoint Ventures. The company also announced that its service will be available in cities across the country by mid-2015, beginning with adding Boston, Chicago and Seattle this quarter, as well as the release of its Android app. The funding paves the path towards national availability of its increasingly popular service, which connects drivers with trained and pre-screened valets via its mobile app. As part of the funding round, Brian Ascher of Venrock and Ryan Sarver of Redpoint Ventures will join Luxe’s Board of Directors.

In addition to expanding its footprint across the US, Luxe will also continue to build its team, including hiring Ro Choy, former Chief Operating Officer of BitTorrent as Chief Business Officer. Luxe will focus on building a presence in major urban hubs where parking has become an increasingly difficult and expensive painpoint for everyone from daily commuters to those driving to meetings and appointments.

“Parking in the core of most cities is a nightmare and apps that list garage locations, parking prices, or handle payments have not solved the problem,” said Ascher. “Luxe’s service oriented solution turns a headache we all routinely encounter into an awesome experience. It’s an operationally complex business but the Luxe team blew us away with their vision and focus on execution.”

Rapid Growth in San Francisco and Los Angeles In the last six months, Luxe has seen explosive growth in demand in San Francisco and Los Angeles, with the average customer parking with Luxe two times a week, 90 percent month over month growth in customers and 97% growth in transactions month over month. This growth and increasingly habitual use of Luxe were key factors for Redpoint’s Ryan Sarver to invest in the Series A. Sarver said, “Luxe’s success proves out the importance of delivering a service that consistently delights people. Luxe has created new daily habits for a wide set of consumers which is when the magic of network effects starts to kick in. We’re proud to have backed the Luxe’s team from its early days as they have scaled their technical and operational functions to meet demand.”

Launching in Boston, Chicago and Seattle in Q2 Currently available in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Luxe will be available in Boston, Chicago and Seattle by the end of April, and plans to continue its expansion in several more cities this year. The team will begin recruiting valets and open up private beta access for interested consumers in both cities in the coming weeks via its website at www.luxevalet.com/boston, www.luxevalet.com/chicago and www.luxevalet.com/seattle.

Luxe’s CEO and Co-Founder Curtis Lee explained, “The fact is, 90 percent of Americans have to drive to work or to daily appointments like visiting the doctor, and in major metropolitan areas parking costs have continued to rise as inventory in parking garages is reduced. Luxe’s model, where we bring a breakthrough business model together with the latest mobile technology creates efficiencies and cost savings for consumers.”

About Luxe Luxe, the leader in on-demand parking, is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Available for free download on iOS and Android and currently serving San Francisco and Los Angeles, Luxe solves the parking problem by doing the parking for you. Currently expanding to additional cities across the U.S., Luxe’s team is backed by the investors behind consumer technology standouts like Uber, Sonos, Netflix and Nest and is led by a veteran consumer technology team with experience from Zynga, Google and Tesla Motors. Read more about us here: www.luxevalet.com