Raise Report: Radius, Shopkeep, Stripe Rake in Big Rounds
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 27: Radius racks up $50 million
Radius has announced a $50 million round, taking its total funding to $125 million and putting it in position to forge partnerships with more Fortune 500 companies, Business Insider reported. Founded by Darian Shirazi, a tech prodigy who interned with EBay as a teenager and Facebook when the company had only 12 employees, Radius sells marketing software that allows businesses to identify potential customers, advertise to them, and gauge the efficacy of those advertising strategies. Led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, the round will help Shirazi build up Radius’ sales team, a move that should catalyze the company’s efforts to partner up with bigger businesses. Shirazi told BI that he hopes Radius will one day be the go-to marketing platforms for CMOs at top companies.
July 28: Shopkeep scores $60 million series D
Shopkeep, a startup that develops software capable of managing business logistics such as inventory, staffing, and accounting, has raised $60 million in a Series D led by Activant Capital, according to a release. Shopkeep commands a consumer base of over 18,000 business owners and intends to use the funds to grow that base, including an expansion outside the U.S. that will kick off in the U.K. The company has made some big moves in 2015, such as the acquisition of Payment Revolution, which has allowed it to provide payment technology for small businesses. Over $6 billion in transactions have taken place in Shopkeep’s network this year.
July 28: New round for Stripe values company at $5 billion
What do Lyft, Postmates, and InstaCart have in common? They all use Stripe’s native iOS and Android libraries to manage payments on the mobile platform. In fact, Stripe just landed an undisclosed amount of funding from Visa, American Express and Sequoia Capital that has catapulted its valuation from $3.5 billion after a $70 million Series C six months ago to $5 billion, the New York Times reported. Stripe already manages digital payments for companies in 25 countries, and, with financial support from new partner Visa, will look to expand its influence further, collaborating with credit card companies to streamline digital payments and reach more clients around the globe.
July 28: Yozio, big partners Airbnb and Pinterest at its side, raises $7 million Series A
Yozio has raised a $7 million Series A led by Foundation Capital, TechCrunch reported. The company sells software developments kits to developers who in turn incorporate those SDKs into their apps. Once incorporated, Yozio’s SDK sends any app user attracted to the app by a link — say, an app user who has downloaded a retailer’s app to check out an item of clothing — directly to the linked item that made the user download the app in the first place, instead of the app’s homepage, Fortune explains. This system allows Yozio to track the source of the link that drove the new user to download an app — such as Pinterest or Airbnb — using its SDKs, and with that information, companies like Pinterest can market more efficiently, gauging which of their advertising channels are turning in results. With the funding, Yozio will refine its product and build its staff across departments.
July 29: Little collects big kickoff round
Little, a mobile marketplace that currently connects smartphone users in 11 Indian cities to retailers nearby, has launched with $50 million in funding, TechCrunch reported. Founders Manish Chopra and Satish Mani, who also started Zovi, say their app fills a huge hole in the Indian mobile ecosystem, and the influx of cash from big investors Paytm, SAIF Partners, and Tiger Global represents a big vote of confidence in their vision. TechCrunch pointed out that Little can be seen as the Indian version of Alibaba, a successful Chinese site that drives offline commerce. With the capital, Little is looking to take its team from a count of 400 to 1,000 and offer 50,000 concurrent deals.
July 29: Twilio transcends $1 billion threshold
As on-demand communication and transactions become ever more tightly woven into the fabric of smartphone-equipped society, consumers become less willing to navigate outside an app to access another app or send a text. Twilio has taken on that problem, selling customized APIs to app developers that allow the users of those apps to send messages or make calls while hailing an Uber or making a reservation with OpenTable — two of the many popular startups that have partnered up with Twilio. For its coveted solution to within-app communication, Twilio has locked down a $130 million Series E, boosting its valuation above $1 billion, Fortune reported. T. Rowe Price and Fidelity Investments led the round, which will enable Twilio to branch out into international markets and further develop its product, according to Finovate.
August 3: FEM secures $3 million seed funding for video recommendation service
More often than not, the related content or video suggestions at the bottom of a given webpage are irrelevant to the page’s content; sometimes, they border on offensive, attracting clicks with lewd images or sensationalist descriptions. FEM has scored $3 million in seed funding for its plan to reverse that trend, relying on the distinguished smarts of its three female founders to offer a video circulation and recommendation service, Prizma, that takes into account a video viewer’s interest and recommends content on which the viewer will actually click, according to VentureBeat. On the flip side, for video developers looking to get their content out there, FEM offers distribution to sites where users are likely to take a peek. Javelin Venture Partners, MESA+ LLC, and Walt Disney Company subsidiary Techstars, among others, contributed to the round, which will enable FEM to bring Prizma to market and magnify the scale of its operations.
August 5: Payable lands $2.1 million to handle payroll for contractor-model companies
Payable, a startup offering a platform for contractors and the businesses that hire them to keep track of payments, has landed $2.1 million in funding from Freestyle Capital, Redpoint Ventures, Sherpa Ventures, and several other investors, TechCrunch reported. With the rise of so many on-demand services like Uber and Postmates, Payable offers a solution becoming more relevant by the day. The company plans to court a wide variety of SMBs — not only the high-tech contractors storming the media — and will assist companies in filing taxes as soon as the IRS signs off on the service. Though manned by only seven people, Payable has a clear revenue stream in place: Businesses pay $8 per contractor per month and a base of $25 each month if they have at least five contractors on Payable’s platform.
Joseph Zappa is an intern at Street Fight.
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