Funding Fun

Funding Fun

Cooking Site Food52 Raises $2 Million from Lerer Ventures and Others

Ms. Hesser and Ms. Stubbs

Former New York Times food editor Amanda Hesser made a media splash a few years ago with the launch of a crowdsourced home-cooking site called Food52. Started with Merrill Stubs, who co-authored The Essential New York Times Cookbook with Ms. Hesser, Food52 has become a household name for certain Internet-savvy foodies. The site features recipes, a hotline for asking and answering food questions, as well as plenty of recipe contests. Now, Food52 has raised $2 million, according to a Form D filed with the SEC and published on Read More

Funding Fun

One Funding Announcement That Probably Won’t Restore Your Faith in Humanity: BuzzFeed Raises $20M

BuzzFeed raises $20M to build Snackadium.

BuzzFeed, the Internet’s biggest time suck, announced in a press release today that it has raised $20 million in a series D round led by NEA Ventures, bringing its total raised to $46.3. In addition to churning out more image-heavy listicles and starting spats with fellow popular Internet properties like Gawker and The Oatmeal, BuzzFeed intends to use the money to “build the next great media company.” Read More

Funding Fun

Social Media Referral Platform Tout’d Raises $1.4M in Seed Funding

Mr. Kallenberg (Photo: LinkedIn)

New York-based “Word-of-Mouth” platform Tout’d announced this morning that they raised $1.4 million in a seed round led by Warner Hill Angels. Tout’d, led by Techstars alum Arron Kallenberg and Wall Street vets Rob Morelli and Saro Cutri, allows users to crowdsource questions like, “What’s the name of a good plumber?” to your social connections, who can provide helpful answers.

Tout’d users can sign in using Facebook Connect and have personalized recommendations immediately delivered to them based on their social circle. Picture Foursquare tips, but for anything, and with more in-depth details.

Tout’d CTO Mr. Kallenberg, who is basically the definition of “serial entrepreneur,” has had his fair share of experience knocking around startup ideas. “When I got to college I wanted to study cultural anthropology, but my family operates a commercial fishing boat in Alaska and the fishing industry took a nosedive economically, so I started a consulting company doing app development when I was pretty young,” Mr. Kallenberg told Betabeat by phone. Read More

Funding Fun

Bitly CEO Peter Stern Says the Company Has Not Raised $20 M. [Updated]

Peter Stern, Bitly's CEO (

UPDATE 5/17: Bitly CEO Peter Stern reached out to Betabeat Thursday to dispute much of what was reported in The Verge yesterday. “While I would be delighted to report that we raised a significant amount of money, I’m not in a position to report that just yet,” said Mr. Stern, who did acknowledge that he is in the process of raising funds, but said that has been true since he started his tenure as CEO. The company raised a $1.4 million convertible note in March.

Mr. Stern said Bitly is at work on a consumer product, but the company is not yet willing to discuss it. Last October, Bitly blogged about developing a real-time search engine that lets the company “see into the future.” However, Mr. Stern said, “A Bitly revamp is in the works, but it doesn’t include a viral search, which is only available for business customers.”

Link shortening service Bitly is moving up and out–literally and figuratively. According to The Verge, the company moved out of Betaworks’ offices this week into its own space, and has also landed $20 million in new funding. Read More

Funding Fun

AxialMarket, an Online Network for Deal Professionals, Raises $6.5M

Peter Lehrman, AxialMarket's CEO (

Here’s a quickie for your Tuesday evening: AxialMarket, an online network that connects potential buyers and sellers of private businesses, has raised $6.5 million, according to a Form D filed with the SEC.

According to Crunchbase, AxialMarket is an amalgam of corporations and investment companies that join the platform “to source deals, communicate and promote their firm’s acquisition and investment identity, and uncover opportunities to collaborate with other members.”

The company has largely managed to skirt an overabundance of hype while quietly collecting over 7,000 qualified members on their platform. Perhaps it’s because their idea isn’t as sexy as “sweet delivery spectacles” or “broadcast TV on your laptop.” But with $6.5 mil of fresh dough in their pockets, seems like it’s working out just fine.