Delivery From Inconvenience

High-Tech Butler Service Launches in NYC, Raises $2 Million

This could be your Alfred picking out your crappy all-natural, raw, vegan granola. (Alfred)

It’s hard to feel fancy when you’re living in a cramped, occasionally-roach-infested apartment in Brooklyn. But guess what? Now you can pay $99/month for an app-controlled butler.

Alfred, the TechCrunch Disrupt-winning app that calls itself “the first human-powered operating system for your busy life,” launched today in New York City and Boston. The company also announced the completion of a $2 million funding round, led by Spark Capital, additional investors SV Angel and CrunchFund. Read More

Pinteresting

Pinterest Valued at $5 Billion Because Mason Jar Crafts Have Huge Growth Potential

Important. (Screengrab: Pinterest)

Investors must see massive growth potential in photos of D.I.Y. Peeps projects, because Pinterest is now valued at $5 billion, ReadWrite reported yesterday.

Pinterest hit the $5 billion mark after successfully completing a $200 million Series F led by SV Angel, TechCrunch reported. Existing investors Bessemer Venture Partners, Fidelity, A16Z, FirstMark Capital and Valiant Capital Partners also reportedly contributed. Read More

3D printing

In 2013, Investors Finally Figured Out That 3D Printing Is Going To Be Huge

(via Makerbot Industries)

3D printing has been talked about for years as a potentially groundbreaking technology, and it looks like investors finally got the memo. Funding for 3D printing companies in 2013 was 319 percent higher than the previous year, says a report on the CB Insights blog.

“Previously, consumers didn’t really know how to get things printed with their 3D printers,” CB Insights founder Anand Sanwal told Betabeat. “By having a growing marketplace to lead the space, the applications will be more clear and usage will have a lower barrier of entry.” Read More

Funding

NYC’s Birchbox Scores $60 Million in Series B Round

All of the Birchboxes. (Facebook)

Birchbox announced this morning that it’s just closed a $60 million Series B led by Viking Global Investors, along with existing investors First Round Capital, Accel Partners, Aspect Partners, Glynn Capital, Comcast Ventures, Sam Lessin, Consigliere Brand Capital, Slow Ventures, Red Swan Ventures and TriplePoint Venture Growth BDC Corp. Read More

Funding

Flatiron School Scores $5.5 Million in Funding, Vows To Become ‘Super High-End Vocational School’

Students at the Flatiron School learnin' stuff. (Flatiron School)

The Flatiron School announced this morning that it closed a $5.5 million funding round, led by Charles River Ventures (CRV) and Matrix Partners. Additional investments came from Box Group and other angel investors.

The money will allow the school —  which offers intensive twelve-week courses in web and iOS development — to really focus on improving the quality of education it offers its students.

“Where most companies take capital to grow, we took it to slow down and make sure we could really get the product right,” Flatiron dean Avi Flombaum told Betabeat. “We can continue our interesting classes, and focus on quality and experience of education — and not just stamping out into other cities and homogenizing our brand.” Read More