10 Minutes With, a London-headquartered startup that offers a career matchmaking platform for graduates to help them learn about different career paths and be contacted by and network with companies and executives, has raised $4 million to accelerate growth worldwide — including a forthcoming U.S. push within the next few months.
Investors aren’t being disclosed, except for being described as experienced private equity and VCs, so make of that what you will. I understand, however, that this latest round adds to ~$400,000 previously raised by 10 Minutes With since being founded last year.
Competing perhaps most directly with professional network LinkedIn and the likes of job-finding site Monster, graduates and soon-to-be graduates sign up to 10 Minutes With and create a profile, similar to a CV, which businesses can look at. Students can then search through the list of companies and watch video interviews from different people based in a variety of roles within that company.
The idea is to help educate graduates on the business itself and how it might play into their intended career — its values, role responsibilities and day-to-day happenings within that company.
In addition, the aim is to answer a lot of the questions a graduate job seeker may ask an employer in an interview situation, as well as enabling students to learn about career positions they may not have considered before.
But, perhaps crucially, 10 Minutes With’s functionality includes the option for students to reach out to companies they want to work for directly, while giving these businesses access to the site’s graduate user base. It counts over 100,000 registered students attending more than 1,000 schools worldwide.
To that end, along with its London HQ, the company has offices in Beijing, Singapore and New Delhi — citing Asia as a key market in its traction to date. It will interesting so how or if this translates into making a decent dent in the U.S.
Revenue-wise, 10 Minutes With makes money by signing up business schools and universities and matching their students to the companies registered with the platform. In turn, businesses pay to access the site’s database of graduate students and to work with 10 Minutes With to produce related video content.
10 Minute With’s corporate partners include ING Group, KONE, Hiscox, Atos, Amadeus, Oracle and Telefónica. Meanwhile, its academic partnerships include over 150 institutions globally, such as LSE, London Business School, National University of Singapore, HEC Paris, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, University of Johannesburg and Trinity College Dublin.
It was only at the end of last month that new data appeared showing that fundraising by European startups was emerging from the bad old days of 2001. Dow Jones VentureSource reported that they’d raised more than $2.8 billion from VCs in the second quarter of 2014. That data also showed the UK was the country to beat in Europe, since companies there had raised 28% of the total amount for Europe in the second quarter, followed by France with 19% and Germany with 15%.
Now some new data has appeared to mark out who of those UK VCs have the most active over the last five years.
According to CB Insights, North West Fund and Index Ventures have been the most active venture investors in UK-based tech companies since 2009. Now, before we break out the champagne for North West, we need to note that this is an evergreen fund that makes most of its investments in the North West of England through a subset of funds dedicated to biomedical, digital & creative, energy and clean tech. That means Index is much more in the frame in terms of the TechCrunch constituency.
Out of the funds we are more familiar with, Accel Partners was next in line in terms of activity in the UK, with investments across a variety of stages, with the most recent being Funding Circle’s $65M Series D which included Union Square Ventures, Ribbit Capital and Index Ventures.
The rest of the list consisted, in order, of Balderton Capital, Midven, MMC Ventures, Northstar Ventures, Amadeus Capital Partners, Notion Capital and DFJ Esprit.
It’s interesting to see Notion in this list as it is still a relatively new fund. Northstar Ventures is a Newcastle-based fund typically investing under $1M, while MMC invests almost exclusively in London-based companies.
CB Insights said Index Ventures led all tech VCs at the mid-stage since 2009, with notable investments including participation in Just-Eat’s Series B and C ($48M and $64M, respectively) and Onefinestay’s $12M Series B.
Accel Partners has of course notably done Series B financings for SwiftKey and Hailo.
Balderton Capital’s highlights since 2009 include Wonga’s $117M Series C and HouseTrip’s Series B and C which cumulatively raised $57M. Both companies have Accel Partners as investors.
Foreign investors making noteworthy incursions into UK companies include US-based Accel Partners, Greylock Partners and Spain-based Nauta Capital.
The rest of the mid-stage list consisted of Eden Ventures, DFJ Esprit and Dawn Capital.
In the early stage arena, the names that comes up in the top ten included Index, Notion, Accel, MMC, Passion Capital, Atomico, Balderton, and IP Group. It’s worth pointing out that in the last year Atomico has moved from early stage towards growth funding.
With the corporate and evergreen fund of Google Ventures now launching in Europe, it will be interesting to see who head up this list in five years time.
See original here: Data Shows Which UK VCs Have Been The Most Active In The Last 5 Years
Holiday attractions booking startup, GetYourGuide, has taken in another chunk of outside investment — announcing today that it’s closed a $25 million Series B round, led by prior investors Spark Capital and Highland Capital Partners.
GetYourGuide said its new funding will be used for accelerating growth into new markets, and to support its mobile development focus.
The Berlin-based holiday tour booking startup raised a $14 million Series A round in January last year, and subsequently took in a further $4.5 million in a Series A expansion funding this January — following on from a $2 million seed in 2012, and $500,000 in pre-seed funding raised back in 2009. All of which take’s GetYourGuide’s total funding to around $46 million over five years.
Its focus generally over the past year+ has been on internationalizing its content and growing on mobile. GetYourGuide launched its first mobile apps last October, and CEO Johannes Reck tells TechCrunch the proportion of bookings on mobile vs web is now round 60:40 — and “changing fast”.
Back in January 2013 it was only taking in around 10% of bookings on mobile.
This business is not technological rocket science, but offers obvious convenience for users — with an easy way to search for and book holiday tours and attractions to save on queuing on the day. It has also evidently benefitted from good timing — riding the shift from traditional holiday bookings being made in person at the destination, to more pre-planning and booking being done online and now more spontaneous booking enabled by mobile devices again. GetYourGuide pegs the global market for travel activities at $100 billion annually, with Europe accounting for half the market.
According to Reck, GetYourGuide now has some 25,000 active users on its platform. On the content side, GetYourGuide has partnered with more than 25,000 activities in more than 2,400 destinations worldwide to flesh out what people can find to do on its platform.
Asked about its strongest markets so far, Reck said: “All European markets are growing like a weed. US still continues to be our second biggest market and growing strongly, particularly on mobile.”
He declined to name the markets where GetYourGuide will be expanding into, fueled by its new funding injection, but described its expansion plan as “a landgrab”.
Commenting on the funding in a statement, Spark Capital General Partner Alex Finkelstein, added: “We’ve been extremely impressed with their growth curve over the last year, and we have decided to double down our investment with another $25 million.”
RockYou, once known as a leading social games developer before hitting rough times and making multiple rounds of layoffs, has recently become focused on buying up existing web, social, and mobile games.
Today, the company is announcing that it has raised $10 million in debt from FastPay (a firm that makes loans to digital media companies) to continue funding those efforts.
RockYou’s current model involves finding games that are, as CEO Lisa Marino explained via email, “past their prime” but still have an audience. It then buys those games, keeps them running, and monetizes them through a mix of advertising (particularly video ads) and virtual goods. (In some cases, it works as an ad partner for publishers without buying the games outright.)
“No one is taking the bet we are right now,” Marino said. “The mentality today is that gaming is a hit-driven business, which I talked about in a blog post here. But what we’re doing is taking games past their prime and managing and monetizing them through their lifecycle for years to come.”
She added that RockYou doesn’t have “a single game in development.”
The company says it has made 12 acquisitions, including Words of Wonder, Gardens of Time and City Girl, from publishers such as Disney Interactive and 50 Cubes. As a result, it says it has a user base of 75 million players and has grown revenue 250 percent year-over-year.
Those acquisitions have mostly been funded by RockYou’s cashflow and debt from FastPay, Marino said. Apparently the company also raised “a very small round in March” (a regulatory filing says it was about $3.3 million), and Marino added that the company could raise another equity round later this year or in 2015: “It really depends on how we view the deal landscape.”
Here is the original post: RockYou Raises $10M In Debt As It Shifts To Buying And Monetizing Existing Games
CrowdTwist is announcing that it has raised $9 million in Series B funding.
Since the company offers tools for creating online loyalty programs, co-founder and CEO Irving Fain said that a few years ago, CrowdTwist was sometimes “gravitationally lumped into the intense fervor around gamification,” but he pointed to the new funding is a sign that it has a bigger vision, one that can provide “long-term, sustainable value to brands.”
The real key to CrowdTwist’s approach, Fain added, is the fact that it sees loyalty programs as way to gather data about customers across online, offline, mobile, and social channels — and to do so in a way where all the data is opt-in and owned by the brand itself, not a third-party provider.
“In a world where brands want to customize their experience based on who you are and the things that you care about, they need to look at eight or nine different platforms and points of data and recognize they all come from same individual,” Fain said. “Otherwise they’re never going to be able to deliver on the promise of true personalization.”
Using that data to tailor their pitch to different customers can lead to improved sales — the company says its customers see a 20 percent lift in sales on average. Moving forward, Fain said CrowdTwist will be giving businesses “more intelligence” so that they can act on this data.
He argued that since the company was founded in 2009, an increasing number of brands are talking about “multi-channel loyalty,” for example consumer packaged goods brands who sell through supermarkets or drugstores but still want to have a direct relationship with their customers. New CrowdTwist clients include Ultimate Fighting Championship, L’Oreal USA, Sport Clips, and USA Track & Field.
The company was part of the inaugural TechStars program in New York and it raised a $6 million Series A back in 2011. The new round was led by StarVest Partners, with investment from all previous backers, including Fairhaven Capital and SoftBank Capital.
Read this article: Loyalty And Marketing Analytics Startup CrowdTwist Raises $9M More
AnyPerk, a Y Combinator-incubated startup that aims to help companies of all sizes deliver employee perks, is announcing that it has raised $3 million in additional seed funding.
The startup said it already works with 2,500 customers. (One interesting example: Lyft uses AnyPerk to offer perks to its drivers). While there’s a lot of discussion right now about recruiting top-notch employees, co-founder and CEO Taro Fukuyama (pictured above) said perks and benefits are particularly important for making sure those employees stick around and feel motivated.
According to AnyPerk, there are already 400 perks in the system — the ones featured on the home page as I write this include discounts for movie theaters, gyms, restaurants, and spas. Fukuyama noted that businesses can upload their own perks into the system, making it easier for employees to take advantage of them.
When asked about other startups, such as BetterWorks, that tried and failed to build a business around employee rewards, Fukuyama said that those companies often tried to partner with local businesses. AnyPerk, on the other hand, focuses on working with national chains, making it easier to scale the business. He also said that similar perks-focused companies have already succeeded in other countries — the United States is the exception.
It seems that investors agree that there’s a big opportunity here. The current funding came from Zappos founder Tony Hsieh’s Vegas Tech Fund, Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo, Stephen Ross (who owns both the Miami Dolphins and Equinox Fitness), and others. Combined with its previous funding (from Andreessen Horowitz, SV Angel, YC, Digital Garage, Funders Club, and Cyber Agents), AnyPerk has now raised $4.5 million in seed capital.
A big part of the new funding will go toward expanding the sales and marketing team, Fukuyama said, as well as building a mobile app for redeeming perks.
Appier, an advertising technology startup, has raised a $6 million Series A from Sequoia Capital. The company, which is based in Taipei and has offices in Singapore and San Francisco, develops tech used for cross-screen targeted marketing across a wide range of devices, ranging from wearable tech to smartphones and tablet. Appier has previously raised seed funding of $1 million and its clients currently include Heineken, IKEA, Lancome, and game developers.
Founder Chih-Han Yu told TechCrunch that Appier plans to use its Series A to finance product development and further research for its integrated cross-screen targeting platform as well as expand its international sales offices.
The startup is currently focused on expanding in Asia, where mobile penetration rates are growing quickly.
“For market opportunity, I think there is a huge growth in the region for mobile and multi-screen marketing. End users start getting second, third, fourth screens, etc. Advertisers need a solution to reach targeted audiences via ‘optimal screen path.’ I think there will be more and more demand,” Yu says.
Appier’s platform uses artificial intelligence to match the right recipients with ads and it claims to be the first cross-screen marketing solution in Asia. The company is Sequoia’s first investment in Taiwan. Other cross-screen ad-tech companies the venture capital firm has invested include Drawbridge, which is based in San Mateo and raised a $6.5 million Series A from Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers and Sequoia in May 2012.
In a statement, managing director Shailendra Singh of Sequoia Capital said “Smartphones and tablets have brought about a paradigm shift in buyer behavior. With consumers surrounded by multiple screens at any given time, it has become imperative for marketers to reach their audiences at the right time with the right message. In Appier we have a potential game changer that addresses this challenge and, with a talented and multi-dimensional team led by Chih-Han Yu, we are certain that Appier will redefine marketing in the digital age.”
MediaMath, which offers tools for ad-buying, data management, and other aspects of digital marketing, announced today that it has raised more than $175 million in additional funding, including a $73.5 million Series C and a $105 million debt facility.
That’s a pretty big step up from the $14 million Series B that MediaMath raised in 2011. The new equity funding was led by Spring Lake Equity Partners, with participation from Akamai Technologies, Safeguard Scientifics, Catalyst Investors, and Observatory Capital.
“We have been looking to back a leader in the digital marketing space for quite some time,” said Spring Lake partner Dan MacKeigan in the funding release. “MediaMath’s leading industry position, buoyed by their remarkable triple-digit year-over-year growth and best-in-class marketing platform, presented us with an opportunity that we could not pass up.”
Go here to read the rest: Digital Ad Company MediaMath Raises Another $73.5M, Plus $105M In Debt
UK’s National Crime Agency: You have two weeks to protect against GOZeuS and CryptoLocker malware
HotelTonight takes its curated same-day hotel booking service to Windows Phone
The final month of spring brought quite a few exciting news stories from tech startups and established companies in Central and Eastern Europe. In this round-up, we have put together the most significant tidings to keep you on top of things.
Image credit: Shutterstock
Continue reading here: Catch up on a month of tech news from Eastern Europe: May