Luvocracy is a social shopping service that has a similar user interface as Pinterest. Luvocracy allows users to buy products recommended by friends. The company has raised $11 million in funding from Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Marissa Mayer, Ali Pincus, Jim Lanzone, Tony Robbins, CrunchFund, RPM Ventures and XG Ventures. Bing Gordon of Kleiner Perkins is joining the Luvocracy board of directors. Luvocracy was co-founded by Nathan Stoll and Roger Barnett.
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Google Ventures has invested in OpenCoin, a company that created a Bitcoin exchange platform called Ripple. Ripple is considered the “world’s first open payment network.” Ripple can also be used to exchange other currencies besides Bitcoin.
Rocket Lawyer is an online legal services company that has raised $15 million in funding from a strategic investor. The company previously raised $40 million in funding from August Capital, Google Ventures, and Investor Growth Capital (IGC).
About.me is a website where users can create a landing page profile with a large background image and links to their social media profiles. The founders of About.me, including Tony Conrad, bought the company back from AOL for around $5.7 million three years after the acquisition took place. Today About.me announced that they have acquired Wefollow.
CircleUp is a company that focuses on helping passionate consumer entrepreneurs to find support needed to grow their brand. CircleUp believes that great entrepreneurs deserve funding from passionate investors so they have built a crowd-funding platform that connects product businesses with accredited investors. CircleUp has raised $7.5 million in funding led by Union Square Ventures. Google Ventures, Rose Park Advisors, and Maveron Venture Partners also participated in this round.
On Deck has announced that they have raised a $17 million expansion for their Series D round led by Google Ventures. PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Industry Ventures also participated in this round. On Deck previously closed $42 million in Series D funding led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP), RRE Ventures, SAP Ventures, and First Round Capital. This brings the total Series D funding to $59 million total. On Deck plans on using the funding for growth, hiring new talent, and developing new products.
Facebook has acquired Parse, a mobile backend-as-a-service startup. Parse is a company that sells tools and services that helps build mobile apps. The deal was worth around $85 million and includes retention, according to TechCrunch. Facebook had to outbid multiple Silicon Valley companies for the deal.
Optimizely is an A/B testing company that has raised $28 million in Series A funding led by Benchmark Capital. New investor Bain Capital Ventures participated in this round with existing investors Battery Ventures, InterWest Partners, and Google Ventures. Through the funding, Peter Fenton (Benchmark) has joined Optimizely’s board of directors.