Thrive Capital, the New York-based venture capital firm helmed by 26-year-old Josh Kushner*, announced today that it has successfully raised a $150 million fund for early and later stage startups. The news comes almost a year to the day after Thrive announced a $40 million raise from investors like Princeton University. The fresh $150 million comes from a slew of some of the same investors, including Princeton, Wellcome Trust and Hall Capital Partners. Read More
A bit of late-breaking news for your Thursday: All Things D reports that men’s lifestyle brand Thrillist has raised a $13 million Series A, led by Oak Investment Partners.
Joining the funding fun were family outfit Lerer Ventures and Bob Pittman’s Pilot Group. Pilot was the first firm to put money into Thrillist, helping founder Ben Lerer get off the ground back in 2005 with $2 million in seed money. This is the first outside capital they’ve raised since. Read More
Last summer, Betabeat documented the rising number of startups–particularly in the ad-tech space–with their base Israel, but a growing presence in New York. Today, Promodity, an advertising platform in that same vein, announced a $1.5 million angel round from investors, including Gigi Levy-Weiss. Mr. Levy-Weiss is a member of the investment group TechAviv Angels, which includes the founders of New York standouts Outbrain and Vringo as well as a cofounder of Face.com, the facial recognition technology recently acquired by Facebook. Read More
Fab Raises Another $105 M. from a Skype Cofounder Just Seven Months After Locking Down a $40 M. Series B
A scant seven months after Andreessen Horowitz “plowed” $40 million into Fab at a $200 million valuation, the pivot-happy flash sales site for design items just announced a massive Series C. The company closed a $105 million round led by Atomico, an international investment firm out of London run by Skype cofounder Niklas Zennström. The Wall Street Journal, which broke the news, says the new round values Fab at $600 million.
Yes, folks, that’s a 200 percent jump in valuation in seven months. We bet even Fab doesn’t sell a sleek-enough vessel to hold all that (theoretical) dough.
In a press release, Fab said ru-Net Technology Partners (RTP), the international fund backed by Russian billionaire Leonid Boguslavsky–with an office in New York City!–also participated. As did Palo Alto’s Pinnacle Ventures and DoCoMo Capital and Mayfield Fund. (It’s worth noting that Mayfield previously backed another flash sales venture, the troubled startup BuyWithMe, which was acquired by Gilt Groupe, the mother of flash sales sites, after major layoffs. Gilt Groupe, of course, later faced its own brutal round of layoffs.) Existing investors, including Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Menlo Ventures, and Baroda Ventures also participated. Read More
Local maker-minded startup LittleBits just announced a $3.65 million Series A, led by True Ventures. Also participating were Khosla Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and Lerer Ventures.
Founder (and MIT Media Lab alum, and TED speaker) Ayah Bdeir told Betabeat that the round will help the company to–pardon the expression–kick it up a notch. “The first phase was really sort of a proof of concept,” she said. The response did not disappoint: LittleBits sold better than expected, “so that we actually now know it’s time to press the peddle.”
The company describes itself as “an open source library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnants for prototyping and play.” And what does that mean, precisely? Think wired Erector Sets. Read More
They grow up so fast, don’t they? Local social shopping site Lyst, which launched April 2011, has just raised a $5 million Series A. Led by London-based DFJ Esprit, with Accel Partners, Alex Zubillaga and Venrex participating, the round will allow Lyst to staff up and work on building out its back end.
Ironic, right? Considering they’re a fashion startup and all. Read More
Bitly CEO Peter Stern, who once told Betabeat he’s been in the process of raising funds ever since he joined the company, finally has a milestone to announce. The company has raised a $15 million Series C led by Vinod Khosla at Khosla Ventures.
“[Mr. Kholsa] has been fascinated with the growth of Bitly all along,” Mr. Stern said by phone this afternoon. “Fascinated with this kind of invisible glue that enables people to share in social media and the insight that you can extract from doing that at scale and thinking about what kind of services and products you can offer consumers to grow that set even more.”
Mr. Stern said he has been in contact with Mr. Kholsa for a while. A Series C has been expected since Bitly raised a $1.4 million convertible note in March. Previous investors RRE and OATV also participated in this round. Read More
While you were clinging to your A/C unit over the weekend, Newark mayor and Twitter addict Cory Booker was ushering his new startup out of stealth mode. The company, called #waywire, is a media platform that combines original and syndicated videos with relevant user-generated content from young adults about what’s important to them and their perspective on issues in the news.
Wait, didn’t Al Gore have the same idea in 2005?
“Traditional news sources aren’t in any way talking to millennials,” Mr. Booker tells TechCrunch. Perhaps the site can start with whether any young adult actually wants to be labeled a “millenial”? Read More
Airbnb and Jetsetter better step up their local luxury game. Today, onefinestay, the London-based home-rental company announced it would be heading stateside, flush with $12 million in financing, and ready to open up its “unhotel” model in New York City. What, exactly, is an “unhotel”? Basically, just a fancy way of saying Airbnb for the fabulous set or Jetsetter’s Homes listings. The company finds high-end private abodes, takes care of the photography, marketing, and insurance, and offers amenities like linens and cleaning.
Global investment firm Canaan Partners, which has offices in New York and Silicon Valley, led the round. Existing investors Index Ventures and PROfounders also participated. Index has certainly been a busy beaver. Since revealing its new $442 million fund Sunday night, Index has already announced four deals, including New York darlings Codecademy and Shapeways. (Onefinestay cofounder and CEO Greg Marsh spent three years on Index Ventures’ IT investment team.) Read More
Some may tsk-tsk the “learn to code” meme, but that hasn’t deterred New York-based Codecademy from sticking to its vision of teaching all of us to code. Today, cofounder Zach Sims announced on the company blog that the startup has raised $10M in series B funding from VC firms Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures and Union Square Ventures, as well as angel investors Yuri Milner and Richard Branson. Read More