Recent Tech Funding: TheBig, iFamily, Veveo, Vadver, and Federated Media
Amount Invested: Undisclosed
TheBig is a video channel website that is based in India. The company has raised angel funding from Suhel Seth and Swapan Seth. Suhel is a Managing Partner with Counselage and Swapan is the CEO of Equus Red Cell. Gaggan Duggal and Chetan Sharma were also investors. Chetan is a consultant for ZeeTV and Duggal is the founder of Matrix, a brand name in international calling cards.
TheBig does not focus on strictly user generated content, but also has original programming. Some of TheBig’s original programming includes Sudarshan: The Lonely Boy, Professor Aye Tein, News With Leela Loose, and Agony Tau.
“With the progressive emancipation of bandwidth and the acutely swift growth of the Internet, we see a long term play in this space. Www.thebig.tv is also very different from a concept like YouTube. YouTube only uploads third party provided content. With www.thebig.tv, there is a lot of content creation from the site itself. Furthermore, over time we will also be offering films that can be downloaded,” stated Swapan Seth.
Amount Invested: $250-$500K
Series: Seed Financing
iFamily gained popularity as a Facebook geneaology application. Below is a screen shot of the application when it is active in a profile:
iFamily’s investor is a boutique investment banking company called CountryRoad Capital. iFamily has about 83,000-plus total profiles and the company was recently given a valuation of about $1 million.
“This investment from CountryRoad Capital will allow iFamily to accelerate its product and business development and sustain its leadership position as the first and foremost genealogy application on Facebook,” stated Ilya Nikolayev, the CEO of iFamily. “CountryRoad has a distinguished track record of identifying and catalyzing unique emerging technology opportunities and we are pleased to partner with CountryRoad’s Managing Partner Andrew Merkatz and his team. Rather than take an existing genealogy application and try to bend it to work within Facebook, and rather than develop a competing family oriented social network, we have chosen to build this application from the bottom up to fully leverage and integrate the power of Facebook. I believe this market positioning is unique and will allow us to drive significant value for our shareholders.”
CountryRoad Capital also invested in SocialMedia.com, the parent company of other Facebook Applications: Happy Hour, Trakzor, Foodfight.
Amount Invested: $28 Million Total
Series: Second Round ($14 Million)
Veveo is the company that created Vtap, a mobile video/Internet search service. The company’s official launch date is September 10th according to VentureBeat.
Vtaps’s search technology focuses on predictive technology rather than the number of incoming links that Google’s PageRank uses. An example that VentureBeat provides is that if you type “Gwy,” then Vtap will suggest Gwenyth Paltrow as the top result. And then users can seamlessly watch clips that feature Paltrow in them.
The investors in Veveo include Norwest Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, and North Bridge Venture Partners. Murali Aravamudan is currently the CEO of Veveo and is a former researcher at Bell Labs.
Amount Invested: $1.7 Million
Series: Series A
Vadver is a start-up site that is aiming to become a video-discovery service. Draper Fisher Jurvetson invested $1.7 million in the company. Vadver is run by Patrick Koppula.
Koppula is also part of iLike.com, Gcast.com, GarageBand.com. Vadver is based in San Francisco.
Amount Invested: $6.75 Million Total
Series: 2nd Round ($4.5 Million)
Federated Media Publishing is company that acts as a brokerage for advertisements to be placed on some of the top web publication and news companies including Digg, TechCrunch, BoingBoing, Mashable, Alarm:Clock, Ars Technica, GigaOM, ReadWriteWeb, VentureBeat, Wikia etc. Inevitably, Pulse 2.0 (P2) is aiming to become a client too, but P2 is still in the growth phase.
Federated Media was founded by John Battelle, author of The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture and co-founding editor of Wired. Investors that participated in this round of funding includes JPMorgan and Omidyar Network (started by eBay’s founder).