In this new feature, every two weeks we’ll round up some of the biggest fundraises taking place in hyperlocal marketing, commerce, and tech.
September 21: Alignable picks up big money to connect small businesses
Alignable announced $8 million in new funding last week, an infusion of cash that will help it continue constructing a social network of small businesses across North America, according to Business Wire. The round, led by first-time investor Mayfield, will finance Alignable’s efforts to grow its user base and refine its product. Alignable has already connected thousands of small business owners across the U.S. and Canada. Participating business owners use the network to trade tips, promote each other’s companies, and build partnerships within their local communities.
September 22: CoverHound snags $33 million to make auto insurance shopping easier
CoverHound, which works like Travelocity for auto insurance, offering a platform where users can compare premium rates across the industry, raised $33 million in Series C funding last week. ACE Group, a property and casualty insurer, led the round, which takes CoverHound’s total funding to $56.7 million, according to Silicon Valley Business Journal. CoverHound will use the funds to improve its platform, expand product offerings, and locate new talent.
September 24: Premise corrals $50 million Series C
Premise, a three-year-old company that supplies global organizations like the World Bank with economic data from the developing world, announced $50 million in new funding last week, Bloomberg reported. Valor Equity Partners led the round, which will allow Premise to expand its engineering team, bolster marketing efforts, and enhance its data collection capabilities. Premise gathers data through crowdsourcing: Individuals living in developing countries get paid for reporting prices of everyday items with their smartphones, a model that has great potential for growth as smartphones become ubiquitous in across the developing world.
September 29: Urgent.ly raises $7 million so you don’t get stuck roadside
Urgent.ly, a roadside assistance startup, scored $7 million in Series A funding this week, according to a company press release. Urgent.ly calls itself the “Uber for roadside assistance” — when an Urgent.ly user gets stuck on the side of the road, she can use the app to find the nearest service provider, track the provider’s progress to her location, and communicate with the driver. With the round, led by Forté Ventures with participation from Verizon Ventures and Allianz Digital Corporate Ventures, Urgent.ly will look to “rapidly scale” the rollout of its operations across the U.S.
September 29: Thumbtack joins unicorn club with $125 million round
Thumbtack, which provides a platform on which users can post jobs that other nearby users then bid on to complete, racked up $125 million in new funding this week, catapulting its valuation to a whopping $1.25 billion, Forbes reported. Scotland’s Baillie Gifford led the round, which also saw participation from Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global, and Google Capital. Thumbtack will use the funding to expand its platform’s capabilities, helping users not only post and find jobs but also handle logistics like payment and scheduling, Fortune reported. The local services space is crowded, as industry giants Google, Amazon, and Angie’s List have also staked claims to it, but experts foresee a lot of cash to go around: Local services should be at least a $400 billion industry, according to Forbes.
September 29: SheerID nabs $5.3 million
SheerID, which helps retailers verify the identities of customers receiving special offers (such as college students or military members), announced $5.3 million in new funding this week, GeekWire reported. SheerID will use the fresh funds, provided by Voyager Capital, to hire senior business managers and refine its technology. The company, headquartered in Oregon, currently employs a team of 27.
October 1: Ibotta secures $40 million to save money for mobile shoppers
Ibotta, which offers its 10 million users discounts on retail shopping, announced $40 million in Series C funding this week, TechCrunch reported. Ibotta board member Jim Clark led the round, which will assist Ibotta in growing its 105-person team as well as its user base. Ibotta works like an information-age coupon system: Users complete tasks like sharing something on social media or responding to a trivia question for the brands they like to buy at the supermarket. Once they’ve bought items from the brands whose tasks they’ve completed, users scan barcodes and upload photos of their receipts, earning them cash back.
Joseph Zappa is an editorial assistant at Street Fight.
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