In this new feature, every two weeks we’ll round up some of the biggest fundraises taking place in hyperlocal marketing, commerce, and tech.
August 12: Soothe offers massages on demand, locks down $10 million round
With a $10.6 million round led by The Riverside Company, Soothe is set to expand its on-demand massage service, TechCrunch reported. Soothe, which is currently active in 12 cities and connects consumers with local massage therapists who come to their homes, will use the funding to expand to 16 more cities in the United States and others abroad. It will also add to its current bevy of masseurs, which has grown by 600 in the last six months alone. For consumers, Soothe offers the obvious convenience of at-home service, but it also offers massage therapists a great deal, as they take home 70 percent of the amount charged to the customer, which is 3.8 times the industry standard, CEO Merlin Kauffman told TechCrunch.
August 13: Massdrop secures $40 million to catalyze hobby-driven commerce
Massdrop, a company that fuels commerce by connecting consumers with similar interests and commands a user base of over 1 million, has raised a $40 million Series B, TechCrunch reported. Massdrop communities include diverse interests such as writing, mechanical keyboards, and men’s fashion, according to the company’s website. CEO Steve El-Hage told TechCrunch he will expand the site’s offerings by building on its current 11 categories and enlisting experts on those categories to write deft reviews of top products for Massdrop’s users. August Capital led the round, which also involved funding from First Round Capital, Mayfield Fund, and Cowboy Ventures.
August 18: Peach raises $8 million to power lunch delivery on both coasts
Just over a year old, lunch delivery service, Peach, has scored $8 million in funding from Madrona Venture Group and Vulcan Capital, the New York Times reported. The company, which currently operates in San Diego and Seattle, will use the capital to fuel an expansion to Boston and Washington. Differing from companies like PostMates and GrubHub that charge users for food delivery, Peach charges businesses a commission on whatever dishes its users order, setting terms with each partner restaurant individually. The trade-off seems favorable to some Restaurant owners, who told the New York Times that Peach has granted them essential exposure.
August 18: Revel Systems lands $13.5 million
Crossing the threshold of a $500 million valuation, Revel Systems has locked down a $13.5 million addendum to its $100 million Series C, TechCrunch reported. Led by ROTH Capital Partners, the round will allow Revel to target international markets in Europe and Asia. Revel produces iPad software that assists business of all sizes in managing the logistics of shipping and payment processing. Revel’s rapid success — it is adding about 1,000 terminals per month to its current total of about 15,000 — has it looking ahead to an IPO, which should happen within two years.
August 19: Mogl scores $8 million to target new verticals
San Diego-based Mogl, a mobile app that offers spur-of-the-moment discounts to restaurant goers, has raised $8 million, a sum that will allow it to work with retail locations including grocery stores, gas stations, and clothing stores, the San Diego Tribune reported. CEO Jon Carder told the Tribune that this expansion is like starting a “sister business.” Essentially, Mogl is capitalizing on the fact that its business model — using online advertising to drive offline transactions — is applicable to many more verticals than restaurants. A managing principal at Aequitas capital, which led the round, told the Tribune that Mogl stands out from the many apps using digital to augment offline market interactions because its platform is “seamless,” setting up deals for users without the hassle of rewards cards or coupons.
August 19: Kik corrals $50 million to challenge WeChat
Tencent, the same Chinese developer that has fueled WeChat’s spread to one billion users, has poured $50 million into Kik, an American app that provides a similar platform, Adexchanger reported. Kik will court American teens as the primary demographic for its user base, which is already youthful: people ages 13-24 account for 70 percent of Kik users. Still, though young users represent an adaptable, desirable set of consumers, Kik will have to contend with a messenger app industry populated by tech giants, such as Snapchat, Facebook (which commands its own app, Messenger, and acquisition WhatsApp), and WeChat. Kik also works with developers, offering them open-sourced libraries and possible exposure to the app’s 200 million users.
August 20: Zocdoc joins Unicorn Club with $130 million round
Zocdoc has been connecting its users with local doctors for eight years, and on Thursday its valuation jumped well above the benchmark of ten figures, hitting $1.8 billion after a $130 million round, Business Insider reported. Now the third most valuable New York startup, Zocdoc charges doctors an annual fee of $3,000 to put them in touch with potential patients. The company also claims it covers about 60 percent of Americans, TechCrunch reported. The round, led by Atomico and Baillie Gifford, seems to suggest that an IPO is not in Zocdoc’s near future, but company insiders declined to comment on that possibly, TechCrunch added.
Joseph Zappa is an intern at Street Fight.
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