In this new feature, every two weeks we’ll round up some of the biggest fundraises taking place in hyperlocal marketing, commerce, and tech.
July 13: AdYapper yields $4.5M Series A
KGC Capital has spearheaded a $4.5 million Series A for AdYapper, a media advisory firm that builds software to assess the effectiveness of client companies’ digital advertising strategies, according to a press release. Techstars’ Bullet Time Ventures, BW Capital, and strategic angels have also backed AdYapper. The Chicago-based firm will use the funding to sharpen its technology and buttress efforts to assist more clients across the globe. AdYapper’s executives claim its method of gauging advertising success has shaken up the ad ecosystem, replacing the traditional metric of ad impression volume with that of business outcomes. The company prides itself on augmenting its clients’ return-on-ad-spend and revenue.
July 16th: Cinarra Systems Rakes in $20M to Streamline Mobile Advertising
Cinarra Systems, which bolsters the efficiency of mobile advertising by linking up the advertising ecosystem and the data collection capabilities of mobile operators, has scored $20 million in Series B funding, the company announced. Led by Softbank Corp., the round will enable Cinarra to take on more engineers and partner with more mobile operators around the world. Cinarra claims to make use of “vastly underutilized mobile operator data” — a strategy other startups are also employing as tech tycoons realize they are sitting on loads of mobile data that could mean doing advertising smarter. Cinarra seeks to dismiss privacy concerns with its own “privacy-preserving architecture” and the privacy safeguards supplied by mobile operators.
July 20th: SuperAwesome Nabs $7M to Target Ads to Kids
SuperAwesome, the world’s largest ad platform for kids under 13 years old, has secured a $7 million Series A, according to TechCrunch. The round, led by IBIS TMT, Twenty Ten Capital, and Sandbox and Co., will fuel the London-based company’s efforts to expand its geographical reach and build up its staff. SuperAwesome already helps companies cater their advertisements to over 250 million kids in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. As the number of young people using smartphones continues to climb, SuperAwesome is not alone in zeroing in on the market: Industry giants Amazon and Google have recently joined the game, creating a payment option for minors and launching a kid-friendly version of YouTube, respectively, TechCrunch pointed out.
July 20th: Zo Rooms, Hotel Room Dealmaker, raises $15M Series A
Zo Rooms, which partners with hotels to organize deals for its consumer base, has accrued $15 million in Series A funding in a round led by Tiger Global Management, The Times of India reported. With the capital, Zo Rooms will look to upgrade its technology and improve the efficiency of its ground operations, co-founder Paavan Nanda told the Times of India. Zo is already working in 30 cities with over 400 hotels. As it expands, the company will have to compete with industry leader Oyo Rooms, which currently boasts greater investment capital.
July 20th: Made.com Quadruples Total Funding With $60M Series C
Furniture purchase has long been a tedious local market experience, as buyers trek to the nearest store to examine a potential home hardware addition in person. London-based Made.com, which just locked down a whopping $60 million round led by Partech Growth, plucks furniture purchase out of the local market and into the twenty-first century, connecting consumers with manufacturers on a digital platform. Hooking up buyers and manufacturers on the Internet also means cutting out middlemen such as warehouses and physical stores, yielding considerably lower prices, the company’s website boasts. With the funding, Made will seek to expedite operations in the markets it has currently entered, which include some of Europe’s biggest: the U.K., France, Italy, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, according to a press release published by PE Hub.
July 22nd: Granular Takes $18.7M to Bring Local Tech to Agriculture
For the majority of Americans living in suburban or urban environments, local spans far beyond our own property, which is why we have come to use on-demand services like InstaCart to get the groceries we need from the supermarket across town. But for farmers, getting groceries may mean navigating the logistics of a 100-square-mile property, which is exactly the problem Granular addresses. Billing itself as a farm management software and analytics platform, Granular has attracted the interest of major investors such as Tao Capital Partners and Google Ventures, both of which contributed to a recent $18.7 million Series B, TechCrunch reported. Granular is capable of integrating with existing agricultural hardware to turn machines like tractors and drones into data collectors. With the new capital and influence that accompanies it, Granular will look to partner with the nation’s most robust farms.
July 23rd: JetSmarter Raises $20M to Be the ‘Uber of the Skies’
What if on-demand transportation services expanded beyond the traditional local sphere, transforming a trip from New York to Miami from a pre-planned hassle into a spur-of-the-moment affair? The brains behind JetSmarter have answered that question, and with a $20 million Series B under its belt, the company is poised to expand, offering its clients — who already number in the hundreds of thousands — unlimited private jet rides for $9000/year, TechCrunch reported. Hip hop mogul Jay-Z, the Saudi Royal Family, and executives of major corporations such as Goldman Sachs and Twitter contributed to the round. JetSmarter hopes to capitalize on the funding by adding new destinations to its repertoire, building up office operations in South America and Asia, and honing its app, Business Insider reported. Jay Z had previously contributed to industry competitor BlackJet, which closed down in 2013 due to insufficient funding, TechCrunch reported.
Joseph Zappa is an intern at Street Fight.
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