Posts By Annie Baker

Wooplr raises $5 million in funding

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Wooplr is an India-based shopping app that has raised $5 million in Series A funding. Helion Ventures led this round of funding. Rahul Chandra of Helion Ventures will be joining the Wooplr board of directors. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

Bangalore, February 18 2015: Wooplr, India’s first mobile fashion discovery and shopping platform,today announced their Series A funding round of US$ 5 million led by Helion Ventures.

The Wooplr app helps people decide what to buy and where to shop based on their interests, location and social circle. It gives the user a personalized feed of curated fashion products. Wooplr’s fast growing community of shoppers of which 80% are women, share fashion inspirations and the latest trends on the go.

The company was founded by Arjun Zacharia, Soumen Sarkar, Praveen Rajaretnam and Ankit Sabharwal and is based out of Bangalore.

The funds will primarily be used to hire top talent, expand the team and grow the Wooplr community as a whole. This infusion of funds will see Mr. Rahul Chandra, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Helion Ventures join Wooplr’s Board of Directors. The Series A financing builds on an exceptional year for Wooplr which saw a rapidly growing roster of clients and market momentum in the fast burgeoning area of m-commerce.

“Wooplr’s offering is well-timed with the rapidly increasing demand for solutions in m-commerce that brings together both, online and offline retailers on a common platform,” said Mr. Rahul Chandra, Co-Founder and Managing Director, Helion Ventures. “We believe the market will continue to see a shift towards m-commerce. Wooplr is a powerful solution for the industry and we are excited to collaborate with and support them as they work to build a great company in an exciting category” he added.

Commenting on the funding, Mr. Arjun Zacharia, CEO said, “Wooplr has just scratched the surface of the potential that m-commerce has to offer in India to both consumers and merchants. The financial support and domain expertise of Helion Ventures and our angel investors will help us execute our vision even more rapidly and with focus.”

The company previously raised $225,000 from a group of angel investors including Rahul Khanna, Sunil Kalra, Vivek Pandit and Jaspreet Bindra.

The Wooplr mobile app was released in December, 2013 and is currently available for Android, iOS and the mobile web.

About Helion Ventures

Helion is a multi-stage, technology focused venture fund with over $600 million under management. Helion invests in technology and technology-powered businesses such as eCommerce, online services, mobility, enterprise software and outsourcing. Founded in 2006, Helion has over fifty portfolio companies and has backed companies like MakeMyTrip, RedBus, TaxiForSure, YepMe, Ezetap and others. Helion has its offices in Bangalore, Gurgaon (NCR) and Silicon Valley.

Pinterest reportedly raising funding at $11 billion valuation

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Photo pinning website Pinterest is looking to raise $500 million in a round of funding. This round of funding would be more than double its valuation of $11 billion, according to The Wall Street Journal. This round of funding will be raised over the next few weeks.

6sense raises $20 million in Series B

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6sense is a service that predicts who will buy what products when and where. 6sense has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by Bain Capital Ventures. The company has now raised a total of $36 million in funding. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

6sense Raises $20 Million – Predictive Intelligence Platform Uncovers In-Market B2B Buyers

Series B Funding Led by Bain Capital Ventures

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 19, 2015 – 6sense today announced a $20 million Series B funding round led by new investor Bain Capital Ventures, bringing the company’s total financing to $36 million. The new funding comes less than a year after launching the company’s SaaS-based predictive intelligence platform and closing Series A funding. Early investors Battery Ventures and Venrock also contributed to the round. BCV partner Indy Guha will join the 6sense board.

6sense has quickly emerged as an early leader in the fast-growing market for predictive B2B marketing and sales intelligence. Founded in April 2013 by CEO Amanda Kahlow, 6sense has assembled an impressive enterprise customer roster including Cisco, Dell, NetApp, VMware, NetSuite, CSC, Lenovo, CBS Interactive and more.

The 6sense platform is used by B2B sales and marketing leaders to identify net-new, in-market buyers while prioritizing known prospects – predicting with 85 percent accuracy who will buy, when and how much. Early results include:

• 9X increase in marketing-to-sales qualified lead conversions;

• 2/3 fewer sales touches to convert leads to opportunities;

• 2X increase in opportunity size with 70% new prospects found by 6sense; and

• Identification of a $900K prospect that was about to buy from a competitor, but instead became the company’s third largest deal in their history.

The 6sense platform combines robust data science and machine learning with a groundbreaking one-of-a-kind “Buyer Intent Network” that captures time-based, structured and unstructured behavioral data from thousands of sources. The platform currently processes billions of rows of buyer intent data every month from search engines, industry trade publications, blogs, forums and communities. As a result, 6sense is uniquely equipped to help its customers identify prospects in new markets and verticals – or find buyers with a need for products in new market categories.

“B2B lead generation is grossly broken, and it’s time to replace guesswork with real intelligence,” said 6sense’s Kahlow. “In today’s cross-channel digital world, your prospects are self-educating – most buyer activity is anonymous and 70% of the buyer’s journey takes place before a prospect hits your web site or fills out a lead gen form and agrees to be called or emailed. Unlike simple predictive lead scoring tools that wait for a lead to come in, 6sense proactively identifies new buyers early in the buyer’s journey – so our customers can get ahead of their competition and hyper-target their sales and marketing efforts to accelerate growth.”

“Predictive intelligence will fundamentally transform B2B marketing and sales, and 6sense is uniquely positioned with major enterprise customers that have demonstrated what’s possible,” said BCV’s Guha. “We believe enterprise software is moving to a 3.0 model – which we call Adaptive Software – where machine learning and data science are embedded in the solution. Modern marketers are feeling the pressure of trying to harness the data exhaust from increasingly digital buyer journeys. 6sense’s ability to analyze the entire buyer journey is a powerful differentiator.”

6sense will use the new funding to grow its development and data science team, accelerate marketing and sales investments, and expand customer engagement in new vertical markets. 6sense will also host its first annual “INmarket” user conference in July – details to be announced in March.

About 6sense

6sense predicts who will buy what products when and where they are in the buyer’s journey. The company’s predictive intelligence platform helps B2B marketing and sales leaders uncover net-new, in-market prospects based on powerful data science and billions of time-sensitive intent interactions. Headquartered in San Francisco, 6sense is backed by Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, Venrock and Salesforce.

BlueTalon raises $5 million

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BlueTalon is a provider of unmatched data entitlement solutions for Hadoop that has raised $5 million in funding. Investors in this round include Signia Venture Partners, Biosys Capital, Bloomberg Beta, Stanford-StartX Fund, Divergent Ventures, Berggruen Holdings and Data Collective. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

SAN JOSE, Calif.—February 18, 2015—BlueTalon, provider of unmatched data entitlement solutions for Hadoop, today announced the BlueTalon Policy Engine. The technology ushers in a new era of truly secure Hadoop clusters by enforcing granular data-centric access policies across the entire organization and for entire clusters. BlueTalon also announced $5 million in follow-on venture capital funding. Signia Venture Partners, Biosys Capital, Bloomberg Beta, Stanford-StartX Fund, Divergent Ventures, and Berggruen Holdings joined existing investor Data Collective, which also participated in the financing.

BlueTalon is announcing both its ground-breaking new product and its new funding today at Strata + Hadoop World, where BlueTalon has been selected in a competitive process as one of the dozen most game-changing big data startups that will be honored through the conference’s Startup Showcase. Strata + Hadoop World takes place February 17-20 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, CA. BlueTalon is also exhibiting at Strata + Hadoop World in the Innovator’s Pavilion, booth P9.

In today’s data-driven economy, Hadoop is increasingly being implemented as the data processing solution of choice. Forrester coined the term “Hadooponomics” to reflect Hadoop’s power at linearly scaling both data storage and data processing. However, despite Hadoop’s dramatic cost savings, flexibility and scalability, true enterprise-scale adoption has been hindered by Hadoop’s paucity of data entitlement, data security and regulatory compliance solutions. Until now.

The BlueTalon Policy Engine empowers enterprises with fine-grained data access control and provisioning. Compared to current coarse-grained data access approaches that either blindly permit full data access or crudely block access entirely, BlueTalon allows for real-time authorization on a row, column and cell level – at run-time for each query. BlueTalon’s unique capabilities are ideally suited for any organization in which different people or departments have different authorizations to view the same data sets, including almost every global company in a regulated industry. For example, a stockbroker might be able to see sensitive data for his or her clients, but not for clients of another broker. Or the accounting department might be able to view financial information in customer records, while marketing can use – but not see – purchase information to figure out how to better target new customers.

“The value and growth of Hadoop is being driven by its economies of scale, but it now requires enterprise-scale entitlement and fine-grained access security to maintain this growth, extend its value and deliver on its potential,” said Eric Tilenius, CEO of BlueTalon. “BlueTalon’s Policy Engine is the missing link for delivering enterprise Hadoop in production environments for even the most sensitive data. The launch of this breakthrough technology, funding from a who’s who of investors, and the recognition at Strata + Hadoop World as a company to watch, are all major milestones for our company and the Hadoop market.”

The BlueTalon Policy Engine integrates with existing enterprise infrastructures to:

Safeguard data by managing secure data access across different Hadoop access methods. BlueTalon has been built to consistently apply business policy across multiple Enforcement Points, enabling the Policy Engine to protect a wide range of access methods including Hive, Impala, JDBC, ODBC, and – coming at the end of Q2 – HDFS enforcement for bullet-proof Hadoop cluster protection.

Provision data access by enabling role and purpose-based data access policies to be customized and managed from a single, easy-to-use graphical user interface.

Enforce data access rules in real-time to ensure operational security as well as regulatory compliance. In addition, BlueTalon is the only Hadoop security and policy enforcement system to provide on-the-fly masking of sensitive data.

Audit data access to ensure both compliance and security. BlueTalon provides full visibility of both successful and denied data access, enabling suspicious patterns to be quickly spotted before significant data leakage occurs.

“The transition of enterprise data from proprietary and expensive databases to Hadoop clusters is inevitable and already happening at a rapid pace,” said Ed Cluss, managing director at Signia Venture Partners. “We invested in BlueTalon because no other company can ignite the Hadoop marketplace with an ideal data access control solution that makes Hadoop clusters as secure as any enterprise data warehouse on the market.”

“BlueTalon eliminates a major roadblock in the Hadoop ecosystem by making enterprise data on Hadoop as safe – or safer – than that in traditional data warehouses. BlueTalon’s performance, capabilities, and scalability are exceptional,” said Matt Ocko, Managing Partner at Data Collective. “We believe that BlueTalon is the key to unlock widespread Hadoop adoption in giant but regulated global industries such as finance and healthcare, and we are excited to help Eric and his team capitalize on this enormous opportunity.”

More information on the BlueTalon Policy Engine is available at http://bluetalon.com/product/

About BlueTalon

BlueTalon, Inc. delivers unmatched data entitlement solutions for Hadoop. The BlueTalon Policy Engine delivers enterprise-grade data access and security through fine-grained data access control and provisioning that integrates with existing enterprise infrastructures across different data stores. Based in Redwood City, CA, BlueTalon is backed by top tier investors including Data Collective and Signia Venture Partners. Follow BlueTalon at @bluetaloninc or visit www.bluetalon.com.

Message Systems raises $27 million in funding

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Message Systems is a leader in e-mail infrastructure that has raised $27 million in a new round of funding. New investor Hercules Technology Growth Capital and existing Message Systems’ investors LLR Partners and NewSpring Capital participated in this round. Message Systems also secured a new $8 million line of credit for working capital purposes. More details below:

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Message Systems, the global leader in email infrastructure, today announced it has raised $27 million in funding, for a total amount of $65 million to date. New investor Hercules Technology Growth Capital and existing Message Systems’ investors LLR Partners and NewSpring Capital participated in this round. Separately, Message Systems secured a new $8 million line of credit for working capital purposes, also from Hercules.

The capital infusion will be used to drive adoption of SparkPost, Message Systems’ new public cloud email service, via accelerated development and expanded sales and marketing. Launched in November 2014, SparkPost makes available to developers and companies of all sizes the same reliable and robust email platform used by the world’s largest email senders.

“This funding sends a clear signal that Message Systems is extending its leadership position in email infrastructure into the cloud,” said Message Systems CEO Phillip Merrick. “Today, Message Systems provides the world’s largest senders with the most advanced email platform available on the market. In 2015, we are excited to offer the same email capabilities in use at Twitter, Groupon, LinkedIn and other leading enterprises to businesses of all sizes through our SparkPost cloud offering.”

The funding follows a year of record financial results for Message Systems, which moves 25 percent of the world’s legitimate email — more than 3 trillion emails a year — for well-known global brands, including LinkedIn, Facebook, Groupon, Twitter, Epsilon, Oracle and Salesforce.com.

“We are very excited to partner with Message Systems at this important and critical stage to help them accelerate the market adoption of the SparkPost service,” said April Young, managing director at Hercules Technology Growth Capital. “Email remains the most important engagement channel in the world for effective customer communication. By working closely with the Message Systems team, we are able to fund their growth objectives which will help extend their leadership position in the email market.”

About Message Systems

Message Systems is the world’s #1 email infrastructure provider. Collectively, Message Systems customers, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Groupon, Salesforce, Marketo, Oracle, Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T and American Express, move over 3 trillion messages a year — more than 25 percent of the world’s legitimate email. These prestigious companies choose Message Systems because our software outperforms any cloud or on-premises alternative, and provides the flexibility, deliverability and control they need to drive the highest possible customer engagement for their business. For more information, follow us on Twitter @MessageSystems or go to messagesystems.com.

BookingPal raises $5 million in funding

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BookingPal is a cloud-based travel technology service that increases professionally managed vacation rental units exposure and revenue by connecting them to OTA’s, property listings, and vacation rental portals. BookingPal has raised $5 million in Series B funding led by Thayer Ventures. PAR Capital Ventures, Amadeus Ventures, Camp One Ventures and Plug and Play Ventures also participated in this round.

PRESS RELEASE

Irvine, CA (PRWEB) February 18, 2015

BookingPal, a cloud based travel technology service that increases professionally managed vacation rental units exposure and revenue by connecting them to OTA’s, property listing and vacation rental portals, announced today that it has completed a $5 Million Series B financing. The investment will be used to support the demand for the company’s services, accelerate platform development, and expand the team.

The financing was led by Thayer Ventures and includes participation from new investors PAR Capital Ventures, and Amadeus Ventures. Early investors Camp One Ventures and Plug and Play Ventures also participated. BookingPal has received $7.5 million in total funding.

“This new capital will enable us to continue to innovate on the platform, expand our strategic partnerships, and fulfill our mission to help travelers find the perfect vacation rental for their next trip on their favorite website,” says BookingPal CEO Alex Aydin. “We are thrilled to have such world-class investors with deep domain expertise joining forces with us.”

“BookingPal’s technology solution is well-timed with the rapidly increasing demand for vacation rental properties from multiple audiences, including consumers, travel agencies, corporate travel managers, and more,” said Jeff Jackson Managing Director at Thayer Ventures. “BookingPal is an enabling solution for the industry and we are excited to collaborate with and support them as they work to scale the company in this exciting category.”

Along with the funding, BookingPal also announced the appointment of Mark Farrell, Managing Partner at Thayer Ventures, and Jeff Jackson, former CFO of Sabre Holdings, to the company’s Board of Directors.

“We are very pleased and fortunate to have both Mark and Jeff join our Board of Directors,” said Alex Aydin, CEO of BookingPal. “Their extensive professional experience and passionate commitment will bring insightful perspectives and contributions to our Board.”

About BookingPal

BookingPal is a cloud based travel technology company, providing a global distribution system and a centralized booking platform for over 250,000 real time bookable vacation rental properties. Vacation rental and corporate housing property managers can increase their online presence and number of bookings by distributing their inventory via BookingPal’s global distribution channels. BookingPal was founded in 2013 and headquartered in Irvine, California. To learn more about BookingPal, please visit http://www.mybookingpal.com or email info(at)mybookingpal(dot)com.

About Thayer Ventures

Thayer Ventures is a Venture Capital firm that invests exclusively in technology companies that focus on the travel and hospitality industry. Representing more than $10 trillion in annual global economic activity, the space is thriving with entrepreneurial activity, and disruptive change is altering the dynamics of the travel business forever. To learn more about Amadeus, please visit http://www.thayerventures.com/.

About PAR Capital Ventures

PAR Capital Ventures LLC makes early-stage private investments in travel and technology companies. PAR Capital Ventures is managed by Paul A. Reeder, III. Separately, Mr. Reeder is also the president of PAR Capital Management, which manages a private investment fund with more than $4 billion of assets under management. Through PAR Capital Management, Mr. Reeder was an early investor in ITA Software (acquired by Google) and Zillow.

About Amadeus Ventures

Amadeus Ventures is the investment arm of Amadeus IT Group is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the travel and tourism industry. Amadeus customers are travel providers (airlines, hotels, rail, ferries, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and travelers). The Amadeus group employs worldwide about 10 000 employees in its main sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters), Nice (development) and Erding (Operations) and in its 73 local business organizations. To learn more about Amadeus, please visit http://www.amadeus.com.

About Camp One Ventures

Camp One Ventures (C1V) partners with leading emerging growth businesses in the mobility, software-as-a-service and financial technology segments. C1V provide companies with the venture capital and support they need to build world class businesses. To learn more about Camp One Ventures, please visit

http://www.camponeventures.com/.

About Plug & Play Ventures

Plug & Play Ventures is the investment arm of Plug and Play Tech Center which has been seed investor of LendingClub, DropBox, PayPal and CreditSesame among others. Please visithttp://www.plugandplaytechcenter.com/.

Luxury Garage Sale raises $1.5 million in seed round

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Luxury Garage Sale is a Chicago-based fashion startup that has raised $1.5 million in funding led by Chicago Ventures. The funding will be used to expand operations in Chicago and to expand in other markets starting with Dallas. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

2/17/15 — Chicago — Chicago-based fashion startup Luxury Garage Sale has raised $1.5 million in Series Seed funding led by Chicago Ventures and prominent angels including Brian Spaly & Elle Bruno of Trunk Club, Paul Lee, and Lon Chow of Apex Venture Partners.

The investment will enable Luxury Garage Sale to expand operations in Chicago and accelerate expansion to other markets, starting with Dallas, where it plans to launch in the spring. The rapidly growing company’s expansion into this new market is the first step in a targeted city expansion to widen and redefine the scope of their omni-channel business.

“Founders Brielle and Lindsay have proven that there’s a big need for Luxury Garage Sale’s unique, hands-on experience for luxury consignment buyers and sellers,” said Kevin Willer, Partner at Chicago Ventures. “We’re excited about the large market opportunity as they scale their native e-commerce presence and into new cities to address that need, using the successful model they’ve built.”

Luxury Garage Sale was founded in 2010 in Chicago to provide a curated and luxe buying and selling option in the $16 billion women’s fashion resale market. By offering an all-around white-glove service and luxury brand experience to both buyers and consignors, this boutique experience also offers customers the strong brand affinity required to move product quickly and competitively. The luxury consigning and shopping experience is available across four different platforms, including a retail boutique, website (luxurygaragesale.com), eBay store, and pop-up shops around the country.

Co-Founder Lindsay Segal differentiates their offering from other resale experiences: “Luxury Garage Sale is building the preeminent resale brand through our curated, exclusive, high fashion shopping experience. We are not a marketplace. We are not a resale shop. We are a luxury brand.”

The company is also thrilled to announce the addition of Brian Spaly, CEO of Trunk Club, to their board of directors. An experienced fashion entrepreneur, Brian has led two venture-backed fashion startups, most recently selling Trunk Club to Nordstrom for $350 million. Brian Spaly elaborates on Luxury Garage Sale’s upscale differentiation: “Options are plentiful when shopping for luxury products. However, the sharing and resale economy neglects the luxe experience traditionally associated with designer shopping. Luxury Garage Sale stands for this experience. It is what makes their partners – both consigners and buyers – so loyal to their brand and offering. I look forward to supporting LGS as they expand their brand nationally.”

Learn more about Luxury Garage Sale at www.luxurygaragesale.com. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest arrivals, events and more.

About Luxury Garage Sale

Luxury Garage Sale is Chicagoland’s preeminent designer consignment business selling new and gently-used designer brand and vintage wardrobe items both online and in-store. The white-glove full-service offers consignors no upfront fees, anonymity, and up to 65% of the selling price of any item. Buyers can expect fully authenticated, curated offerings across multiple platforms.

Laurel & Wolf raises $4.4 million

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Laurel & Wolf is an online platform where users can receive designs from multiple interior designers after creating a virtual room. Laurel & Wolf has recently raised $4.4 million in funding. Charles River Ventures led this round of funding with participation from Karlin Ventures, Upside Partnership and Draper & Associates.