Hunch is a startup service that allows users to answer questions using crowd-sourcing techniques. Khosla Ventures is rumored to be leading a $10-$12 million round of funding in Hunch. Other investors include General Catalyst Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, and Ron Conway. Hunch was started by Caterina Fake, the co-founder of Flickr. Chris Dixon is also a co-founder in Hunch. Dixon started SiteAdvisor and sold it to McAfee in 2006. Hunch receives about 1.2 million uniques per month according to internal numbers. [AllThingsD]
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Chomp.com is an iPhone application recommendation service that has about 300,000 users that left about 1.5 million reviews. Now Chomp has raised about $2 million in funding.
Chomp also has an iPhone application that allows users to click Like or Dislike for applications. Based on your reviews Chomp puts together a list of other apps you might like.
The $2 million in funding is from Bluerun Ventures, David Lee, and Brian Pokomy. Chomp previously raised $556,000 from Ron Conway, Auren Hoffman, Aydin Senkut. [VentureBeat]
URL shortening service Bit.ly has been growing at an aggressive rate as they have become the default for Twitter. Given their current growth rate, the company needed another injection of cash as they have raised $1.5 million from previous investors. These investors include Betaworks, SoftTech (Jeff Clavier), Ron Conway, Mitch Kapor, Chris Sacca, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, and Howard Lindzon. The funding was added to an SEC filing and TechCrunch confirmed the round with Bit.ly President John Borthwick. The $1.5 million round was set up as a convertible debt note. Bit.ly received 2.7 billion clicks last month. last week alone about 744 million Bit.ly links were clicked on. [TechCrunch]
Ron Conway is one of the most influential venture capitalists in Silicon Valley. Some of his investments include Yammer, Gowalla, DailyBooth, Foursquare, Bit.ly, Y-Combinator, Seesmic, Twitter, Facebook, DanceJam, Mint.com, Digg, Google, Simply Hired, and Answers Corporation. Conway is now raising $10 million for his SV Angel investment company. Conway averages about 4 investments per month. [TechCrunch]
Vook is an Alameda, California based video book publishing service. Vook intends to connect text with video and social media. Vook has partnerships in place with HarperStudio, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette Filipacchi Media. Vook has just raised $2.5 million in seed capital from Ron Conway, Kenneth Lerer, Maples Investments, Baseline Ventures, and Founder Collective.
Kakai is a stealth company that was started by Chegg founder Osman Rashid and Babur Habib. Interestingly Kakai is still in stealth and raised a Series B round of funding already. The second round is $7.5 million and the investors include venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, Josh Kopelman, and Ron Conway. Marc Andreessen is joining Kakai’s board of directors as a result of the funding.
Kakai’s previously raised $1.85 million in Series A from Osman Rashid and Mike Maples. Rumor has it that Kakai has something to do with electronic readers. The portable consumer electronics products made by Kakai will be Linux-based. Kakai currently has about 40 employees. Rashid’s other company Chegg.com has about $144 million in funding and was started in 2005.
WePay, a startup where groups of people manage financial accounts has just raised $1.65 million in their first round of funding. August Capital and several angel investors were involved in the WePay funding. WePay can be used for invoice production, money collection, and transaction management.
WePay was founded by Boston College students Bill Clerico and Rich Alberman. The company has been moved to Silicon Valley ever since and has moved into Palo Alto’s University Avenue where Facebook used to be based. Interestingly WePay’s founders had a hard time finding funding out in Boston. The investors in Boston said that they were too much in the early stages. Y Combinator ended up accepting WePay.
WePay makes money by taking 3.5% from every transaction, similar to the PayPal business model. WePay is starting by partnering with small companies and professional groups. Some of the angel investors include Max Levchin (PayPal co-founder), Paul Buccheit, Ron Conway, Mark Goines, Angus Davis, Andrew McCollum, and Joe Campanelli.
Gowalla is a location based social networking website that has raised $8.4 million in funding. Greylock Partners was the lead investor and the company plans to use the funding to strengthen their development capabilities. Thus far Gowalla has raised over $10 million since they started in 2007.
“Gowalla has rapidly attracted a passionate user base by creating an innovative, useful service that is also a lot of fun,” stated Greylock’s David Thacker. “It’s exciting to discover new places and earn stamps for your passport from places as diverse as Buckingham Palace and the Sydney Opera House to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the coffee shop down the street. Gowalla also connects you with your friends, letting you share your travels and meet up with others in real time.” Thacker has joined the Gowalla Board of Directors as part of the investment.
LinkedIn co-founder and Greylock Partner Reid Hoffman also joined Gowalla’s board of directors as an observer.
Other investors in Gowalla include Jason Calacanis, Kevin Rose, Maples Investments, Shasta Ventures, Ron Conway, Gary Vaynerchuk, Shervin Pishevar, and Chris Sacca. Previous investors Alsop-Louie Partners and Founders Fund also participated in this round.