Posts By Noah Long

Practo raises $30 million in Series B

Practo Logo
Practo is a Bangalore, India based doctor search engine. The company recently announced that it has raised $30 million in Series B funding. Investors in this round include Sequoia Capital and Matrix Partners. Practo’s search engine hits around 4 million searches per month. And Practo’s clinic management software application Practo Ray is used by 30,000 doctors that manage tens of millions of patients.

Twitter has acquired Niche

Niche Logo
Twitter has acquired a company called Niche. Niche is a startup that helps influential social media experts with endorsement deals. Niche has offices in New York City and San Francisco. Niche is backed by SoftTech, Box Group, Lerer Hippeau Ventures, SV Angel, Advancit Capital and William Morris Endeavor.

Bivarus raises $1.9 million

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Bivarus is a patient-centered analytics service that works with healthcare companies to measure the patient experience. Bivarus has raised $1.9 million in funding. Excelerate Health Ventures led this round of funding. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

DURHAM, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Bivarus, a patient-centered analytics company working with healthcare organizations to measure and analyze the patient experience, announces that it closed a $1.9 million round to capitalize on demand for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. Excelerate Health Ventures led the round, joined by other investors.

Bivarus is the response to the frustration that exists among leaders of hospital-based outpatient service lines, community-based clinics and group practices and their inability to acquire statistically precise data around the patient experience and its impact on care delivery. Current measurement tools are burdensome to patients, plagued by low response rates, and are neither timely nor actionable.

Bivarus has flipped the current method of surveying patients by providing sophisticated yet simple cloud-based services and analytics. This approach dramatically reduces response fatigue, improving patient response rates 3-5x over traditional methods.

“As a member of the UNC Healthcare Heart & Vascular Network, every patient encounter becomes an opportunity to learn and improve,” observed Joel E. Schneider, MD, FACC, Cardiologist at North Carolina Heart and Vascular. “With Bivarus, we’re now able to measure the patient experience with much higher response rates, increasing our confidence in the validity of the data and our ability to exceed our primary goal of improving our quality of care.”

Bivarus has experienced rapid growth, doubling its customer base over the past few months. The company is hiring additional customer success managers, sales professionals and software developers to support its continued growth.

“The market is well established, but has seen little innovation throughout the years. Physicians and nurses continue to express their frustration with tools that are overly focused on external benchmarking. It’s a market ripe for disruption,” noted Gary Abrahams, Managing Partner, Excelerate Health Ventures. “We have talked with dozens of physicians and healthcare leaders who haven’t been well served by the status quo and are desperately searching for alternatives. With Bivarus, providers ‘in-the-trenches’ now have more precise data they can actually act upon to make appropriate improvements.”
Bivarus is committed to building its operations in the Research Triangle region. For more information on current job openings, please refer to http://bivarus.com/company/#openings.

About Bivarus
Bivarus brings an entirely new science of measuring patient experience with its cloud-based analytics platform to hospital-based outpatient service lines, community-based clinics, and large group practices. Measuring and improving care delivery and quality of life outcomes – from the patient’s perspective – has become one of the top priorities of the healthcare system. Bivarus is at the forefront of providing a patient-centered analytics platform for accurately measuring meaningful and actionable insights into drivers impacting organizational and provider performance. With Bivarus, healthcare organizations can more easily identify service recovery opportunities, as well as improve quality, care coordination, team performance and patient safety. For more information, please visit www.bivarus.com.

About Excelerate Health Ventures
Excelerate Health Ventures is a management team of experienced healthcare entrepreneurs with start-up, corporate and investment expertise. EHV leverages the domain experience and contacts of their network of healthcare providers, payers and strategic partners to select, validate, mentor and grow their portfolio companies. This focused approach accelerates the adoption and revenues of a portfolio companies’ products and associated services. EHV offices are located alongside fellow entrepreneurs at the First Flight Venture Center, a technology incubator in the Research Triangle Park of NC. For more Information, please visit: http://www.ExcelerateHealth.com.

CloudVelox raises $15 million in Series C funding

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CloudVelox is a company that focuses on hybrid cloud disaster recovery and migration that has raised $15 million in Series C funding. The company has raised a total of $33 million. Cisco Investments participated in this round of funding with participation from Mayfield Fund, Pelion Venture Partners and Third Point Ventures. More details below:

Press Release

CloudVelox, a leader in hybrid cloud disaster recovery (DR) and migration, today announced that it has closed $15 million in Series C funding, bringing the total raised to $33 million. Cisco Investments participated as a strategic investor along with previous investors Mayfield Fund, Pelion Venture Partners and Third Point Ventures. CloudVelox plans to use the funding to build out sales and marketing and further expand its product development efforts.

The Company’s One Hybrid Cloud™ software platform enables seamless mobility of application workloads across data centers and clouds for hybrid cloud use cases, including Pilot Light DR and cloud migration.

Pilot Light DR involves the use of public cloud as a secondary data center. In the event of an outage, the stored environment in the cloud can be “ignited” into production on a pay-as-needed basis. Testing and migration between the premise and the cloud is highly automated. Benefits include substantial reductions in DR costs with heightened trust in DR environments.

CloudVelox cloud migration involves the automation of critical cloud migration processes, including discovery, blueprinting and provisioning of workloads from the data center into the cloud. Benefits include faster and lower cost cloud migrations.

“This is a key milestone for CloudVelox, which supports our view of the market for hybrid cloud automation software,” said Rajeev Chawla, chief executive officer of CloudVelox. “The funding will help us to continue our product leadership while scaling our teams and resources for growing market demands for automated cloud DR and migration.”

Morgan Van Wely, senior director of IT at Impinj, a CloudVelox customer, said, “CloudVelox reduced our expenses while making it much easier for us to actually use and test our environment in AWS. They have built an outstanding product that has greatly increased our trust in our hybrid cloud environment.”

About CloudVelox

CloudVelox is the first company to deliver an automated cloud DR and migration platform specifically developed for the unique operating demands of existing, multi-tier apps. Led by a deeply experienced team of system software and networking executives, CloudVelox gives data center teams the ability to easily protect, scale and mobilize their distributed apps and services into and between clouds, eliminating many of the major barriers to the enterprise adoption of cloud. For more information, please visit: http://www.cloudvelox.com.

Unchained Labs raises $25 million

Unchained Labs Logo
Unchained Labs is a life sciences tools company that has raised $25 million in Series A funding. Novo Ventures, Canaan Partners, and TPG Biotech led this round of funding. Unchained Labs has also acquired Optim, a company that is known as the world’s first and only multiplex protein stability platform for biologics. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

PLEASANTON, Calif., Feb. 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Start-up life sciences tools company Unchained Labs burst onto the scientific scene today, announcing a $25 million Series A Financing and the acquisition of Optim, the world’s first and only multiplex protein stability platform for biologics. The financing was led by Novo Ventures, Canaan Partners and TPG Biotech.

Unchained Labs is committed to building the next cool life science tools company. One that matters. One without old school rules. One with products that’ll make a real difference in the research scientists do every day.

The first Unchained product, Optim, lets scientists unlock optimal biologic formulations simply and quickly. For the first time, researchers can measure multiple protein stability parameters – including denaturing temperature and aggregation onset temperature – on multiple samples simultaneously. Assays are high throughput, label-free, ultra-low volume and very easy to run.

Over 60 Optim platforms have been sold to biopharma and academic customers worldwide. Unchained Labs purchased the Optim technology from The Avacta Group. The start-up plans to continue to buy businesses and product lines and add their magic touch for developing breakthrough products and selling them like crazy.

“We had a great experience with Tim in the life science tools space in the past and we believe there is a real opportunity to build another substantial company together,” said Jack Nielsen from Novo Ventures. “Combining organic and inorganic growth has proven to be a powerful strategy for creating value in this space and we can’t wait to see Unchained Labs grow.”

“I love what I do and I am completely pumped about building another great tools company,” said Tim Harkness, Founder and CEO of Unchained Labs. “For me this is all about people. The right group of people can accomplish anything, and we are starting out with fantastic investors and employees who are committed to creating something special together. Optim is a one-of-a-kind product that will provide a solid foundation for us.”

About Unchained Labs

Unchained Labs is committed to building the next cool life science tools company. One that matters. One without old school rules. One with products that’ll make a real difference in the research scientists do every day. We plan to buy businesses and product lines and then add our magic touch for developing breakthrough products and selling them like crazy. Our first product, Optim, is the world’s first and only multiplex protein stability platform for biologics. We are located in Pleasanton, CA and can be found online at www.unchainedlabs.com.

Borro raises $19.5 million in funding

Borro Logo
Borro is a leader in the alternative lending sector that has raised $19.5 million in funding led by OurCrowd and Rocket Internet. Existing investors Canaan Partners, Eden Ventures and Augmentum Capital also participated in this round. Borro lets users use their luxury assets like antiques, fine art, luxury watches, fine wine, and classic cars as collaterals for loans. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, Feb. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Borro, an online platform for luxury asset-backed lending, today announced it has raised$19.5 million in funding, led by OurCrowd and Rocket Internet. Borro is a leader in the alternative lending sector, which is one of the fastest growing segments of the Financial Technology sector. This funding will be used to fuel Borro’s continued, rapid growth across the US and the UK.

Borro powers a unique platform for offering fast and efficient loans, where individuals, entrepreneurs, and business owners can use luxury assets –including fine art, antiques, jewelry, luxury watches, fine wine, prestige and classic cars — as collateral for loans. Borro launched in the UK in 2009, the U.S. in 2012, and has extended close to $200 million in luxury asset-backed loans since its inception.

“This funding will enable us to accelerate our growth in our core US and UK businesses. We will continue to grow through our already successful partnership channels as well as our expansion into new product areas,” said Paul Aitken, founder and CEO of Borro.

Over $6 million of the capital invested came from OurCrowd, the leading equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors. Rocket Internet increased its stake in Borro to 10 percent, and existing investors Canaan Partners, Eden Ventures, and Augmentum Capital also participated in the funding round.

“In less than two years, OurCrowd went from participating in early seed rounds, to now leading a $19.5 million funding round together with global venture capital firms such as Canaan and renowned internet company, Rocket Internet,” said Jon Medved, founder and CEO of OurCrowd. “Working with Borro marks the single largest equity crowdfunding round ever completed and demonstrates how equity crowdfunding can complement traditional funding sources. We are thrilled to be investing in quality companies like Borro that are redefining the FinTech industry.”

“Financial Technology is one of the most attractive and fastest growing online sectors and continues to be a key focus sector for Rocket Internet,” said CEO of Rocket Internet Oliver Samwer. “The financial services sector is ready for major disruption by innovative online companies. Borro is clearly one of them and with our investment we underline our belief in the company’s highly promising development and expansion potential.”

With this funding, Borro will fuel long-term growth and aims to exponentially increase its lending volume over the next couple years. In 2014, Borro raised $112 million of debt from Victory Park Capital to expand its pool of capital to lend to clients. This round pushes Borro’s total capital raised to over $200 million.

Financial Technology Partners LP and FTP Securities LLC (together “FT Partners”) were the exclusive advisors to Borro on this transaction.

About Borro

Borro launched in 2009 in the UK, and has gone on to open offices in New York and Los Angeles. It is the leading online platform for luxury asset-backed lending and has defined a new lending category in a climate where loans to individuals, SMEs and entrepreneurs were few and far between.

Borro offers loans from $5,000 – $2,000,000 secured against luxury assets including fine art, antiques, jewelry, luxury watches, fine wine, prestige and classic cars and other high value assets.

Borro investors include: Canaan Partners (Lending Club), Eden Ventures, Augmentum Capital. Borro’s board of directors includesNigel Morris (co-founder Capital One) as Chairman, and Paul Gratton (ex-CEO Egg, First Direct).

About OurCrowd

OurCrowd is the leading hybrid venture capital equity crowdfunding platform for accredited investors who wish to invest in Israeli and global early stage companies. Managed by a team of well-known investment professionals and led by serial entrepreneur Jon Medved, OurCrowd selects opportunities, invests its own capital and brings these startups to its accredited membership. Members choose those deals they invest in via OurCrowd-managed partnerships. OurCrowd investors must meet stringent accreditation criteria and invest a minimum of $10,000 per deal. OurCrowd provides post investment support to its portfolio companies, assigning industry experts as mentors and taking board seats. OurCrowd has raised over $100 million in equity crowdfunding for its 57 portfolio companies which include leading companies, such as: BillGuard, Consumer Physics (SCiO), BioCatch, Abe’s Market and ReWalk, OurCrowd’s first portfolio company to complete a successful IPO on the NASDAQ. Visit us online: www.ourcrowd.com.

About Rocket Internet AG (RKET)

Rocket’s mission is to become the world’s largest Internet platform outside of China and the United States. Rocket identifies and builds proven Internet business models and transfers them to new, underserved or untapped markets where it seeks to scale them into market leading online companies. Rocket is focused on online business models that satisfy basic consumer needs across three sectors: e-Commerce, marketplaces and financial technology.

Rocket started in 2007 and now has more than 25,000 employees across its network of companies, which operate in more than 100 countries on five continents. Rocket Internet AG is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (ISIN DE000A12UKK6, RKET). For further information visit www.rocket-internet.com.

Grapevine raises $1.1 million

Grapevine
Grapevine is a YouTube native marketing company that has announced they raised $1.1 million in seed funding. The investors in this round include Boston Seed and Atlas Venture through Boston Syndicates. Grapevine’s network of over 4,000 YouTube stars receives over 350 million views per month that average a click-through rate 50 times higher than traditional display for customers. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

BOSTON, MA — February 10, 2015 — Grapevine, the YouTube native marketing experts, today announced that the company has closed $1.1 million in seed funding. Grapevine’s network of more than 4,000 YouTube stars gets 350 million views monthly with videos averaging a click-through rate 50 times higher than traditional display for beauty, fashion and lifestyle customers, including Groupon, NYX Cosmetics, Remington and Walgreens.

YouTube is quickly proving to be one of the strongest platforms for introducing and selling products to consumers. Grapevine supercharges a brand’s YouTube vision by combining powerful marketing analytics with the creativity of YouTube stars to deliver videos consumers trust and act upon.

Grapevine’s on-demand platform makes it easy for brands to promote products with YouTube stars. Brands can review creative proposals submitted by interested YouTubers, monitor audience analytics as the views roll in, and ultimately gauge success with detailed conversion metrics.

For YouTube stars, Grapevine offers unique product sponsorships with no exclusive agreements. YouTubers have the flexibility to work on deals with interesting brands while maintaining the creative freedom necessary to make original, compelling content.

“While producing shows for Discovery Channel, I noticed many YouTubers were getting more views than primetime TV programs. This gave me the idea to create Grapevine,” said Brendan Lattrell, founder and CEO of Grapevine. “It’s daunting for brands to find YouTubers that have a relevant audience and collaborate with them. Grapevine solves this problem by placing products into the hands of trusted YouTube stars while providing technology that generates click-through and conversion rates which are nothing short of game changing.”

Grapevine has brought together a world-class group of investors including Boston Seed with Dave Balter as the leading partner and Atlas Venture via Boston Syndicates. Additional notable investors participating in the round include Diane Hessan, Joe Caruso, Jere Doyle and TJ Mahony.

“Grapevine’s model represents a significant evolution in the word-of-mouth industry that BzzAgent pioneered a decade ago,” said Dave Balter. “YouTube amplifies word-of-mouth marketing to reach millions, and Grapevine has figured out what few have been able to achieve — how to measure ROI and prove actual results in sales lift. I’m excited to be working with Brendan and his team as they lead the charge to unlock this powerful new marketing channel.”

Shopline raises $1.2 million

Shopline
Shopline is a do-it-yourself e-commerce platform company that has raised $1.2 million in seed funding. Investors in the seed funding include 500 Startups, Ardent Capital, SXE Ventures, East Ventures and COENT Venture Partners. More details below:

PRESS RELEASE

Hong Kong, 9 February 2015 — Shopline (www.shoplineapp.com), a startup that offers a localized, DIY e-commerce solution targeting merchants in Asia, is announcing that it has raised US$1.2 million in seed capital in order to grow its operations. Having also completed the 500 Startups Accelerator program in San Francisco several months ago (Batch 10), this funding will allow Shopline to position itself as the go-to online shop builder in Asia, beginning with Hong Kong and Taiwan. They are also looking to expand into select markets in SEA later this year. This represents the first major round of funding for the startup since their launch in 2014. Participants include 500 Startups, Ardent Capital – founding investor of aCommerce, SXE Ventures – an early stage fund by Danny Yeung, co-founder of Groupon HK, East Ventures and COENT Venture Partners.

Shopline’s mission is to provide a completely localized solution for SMEs to quickly to launch their own e-commerce website in Asia. It has integrated regional payment gateways, delivery options and offers live localized customer support. In a few short months, Shopline’s growth soared and now boasts over 15,000 merchant shops created, with early adopters already averaging tens of thousands of USD in monthly sales through their shops. This shows huge promise for Shopline in a region where B2C ecommerce continues to mature and total sales are already exceeding that of North America. Additionally, with Shopline’s mobile approach to everything they build, it empowers the merchants that use their smartphones as their only means of accessing the Internet. Aside from organic growth, Shopline’s solid partnerships with payment gateways, existing platforms and agencies gives the company access to a large number of high quality merchants.

With Shopline, merchants are able to quickly set up a shop within a few minutes and begin selling immediately. The platform provides an easy-to-use admin panel for its merchants to manage their shops. Everything from basic settings, to uploading products, to configuring design can be done, and in the local language. Merchants can also grab a domain name and assign it to their shop directly, without additional cost. The platform has payment and delivery options that fit the local culture. Payment methods such as bank transfers and C.O.D. or delivery options such as convenience store pickups and local meet-ups are all commonplace for merchants in Asia, Shopline has all of these integrated. The system has payment gateways in place for credit card processing as well, and if the merchant does not have a payment gateway account, they can set one up directly within Shopilne. The company also offers its merchants marketing tools. Among them are capabilities to create professional marketing videos and social media integration. The opportunity here is to service non-tech savvy merchants in Asia, who do not speak English, and with limited budget. What is even more attractive about the platform is that it also does not charge any transaction fees.

This lowers the barrier tremendously for local businesses to get online quickly.

In a region dominated by marketplaces, merchants are left with very few options when it comes to creating their own standalone e-commerce websites. “The brand building aspect of this is huge. Merchants in Asia can now create something that they are proud of, something they can place on their business cards, giving them credibility as a merchant. All without the need of technical skills. This holds especially true for fashion designers selling online. So it’s not just another profile in a crowded marketplace.” says Raymond Yip, Co-founder & CEO. With this round of funding, Shopline plans on aggressively growing the product and it’s merchant base in its core markets and expanding into S.E.A. thereafter. “This capital puts Shopline in a position to grow the team and to refine our product at a rapid pace. There are a lot of talented people in Asia, we’re excited at the possibilities.”

Shopline has already doubled their team in size in the past several months, bringing on board senior engineers and also marketing and customer success talent. “We’re constantly launching new features that we know works for our customers. Our ultimate goal is to become the go-to platform for merchants in Asia looking for an end-to-end solution. Localization is key, and understanding the local cultures is also a big part of that. We have the knowledge and the right partnerships to achieve this.”

About Shopline

Currently powering thousands of e-commerce sites in Asia, Shopline is the easiest way for anyone to create a fully featured, selfbranded, online shop within minutes. It differs from other global services in that it is targeted at low-tech savvy merchants in Asia, providing native language support, and integrated with regional payment gateways. Also, the entire experience, both from the merchant’s perspective and the consumers’ side, is 100% mobile-optimized. Anyone can set up an online shop using just their smartphone. All of its shops are completely responsive and adapts to all screen sizes so the consumer experience is consistent on every device. With mobile usage skyrocketing over the past several years, they are focused on giving merchants in Asia a solution that will help them manage their business on the go, as well as for shoppers to purchase via their mobile devices.

Shopline was co-founded by Raymond Yip (CEO, NYC/HK), Tony Wong (CTO, Venezuela/Vancouver/HK) and Fiona Lau (COO, Hong Kong/Toronto) in late 2013. The trio brings a wealth of experience in business, management, engineering and design.

Collectively, they have worked in both large and small companies, in industries ranging from finance and consulting to lifestyle and media. The team met at Startup Weekend 2013 in Hong Kong, where Raymond and Tony were winners of separate awards.

Raymond built an extensive career managing technology and engineering between New York and Hong Kong. Tony was previously a co-founding member at a mobile startup in Asia, which was acquired. Fiona Lau is a CFA with strong business acumen and a great sense of economics and finance. She is also the chief marketer for Shopline, both online and offline.

Shopline is a graduate of the 500 Startups Accelerator (Batch 10, 2014)