Piston Cloud Computing Inc. said it raised $8 million in a Series B funding supported by Cisco Systems, Data Collective, Swisscom Ventures, Divergent Ventures, Hummer Winblad and True Ventures. The money will go to product development and company growth.
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Mobile rewards network Kiip has secured financing from Japanese Internet business Digital Garage. The strategic investor joins the company’s most recent $11 million round of Series B funding. The company is backed by Relay Ventures, Hummer Winblad, True Ventures, Verizon Ventures, Crosslink Capital and others.
Venture capitalist Kate Mitchell has scored a coveted invitation to President Obama’s signing of the JOBS Act, tentatively scheduled for this Thursday. Mitchell is co-founder of Scale Venture Partners and was chairman of the 17-member IPO Task Force that drafted the recommendations that went into the JOBS Act.
Karmasphere, a Cupertino, Calif.-based company, has inked $6 million in Series B financing. New investor Presidio Ventures led the round, with support from return backers Hummer Winblad and US Venture Partners. The company has raised a total of $11 million since it was launched in 2010. Karmasphere says its software enables data and business analysts to mine and discover insights from big data on Hadoop.
San Francisco-based Piston Cloud Computing Inc. has raised $4.5 million in a round co-led by Hummer Winblad and True Ventures. Divergent Ventures and other, undisclosed investors contributed. As a result Lars Leckie from Hummer Winblad, and Puneet Agarwal from True Ventures will join Piston’s board.
Web-based advertising platform Flite has raised $12 million in Series C financing. General Catalyst Partners led the round, which included participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital, Hummer Winblad and NCD Investors. The company – which was previously known as Widgetbox – will use the money for continued development of its cloud-based advertising platform.
Aria Systems, a provider of cloud-based billing and subscription management technology, has raised $20 million in Series C financing. Menlo Park, Calif.-based InterWest Partners led the financing with participation from existing shareholders Hummer-Winblad and Venrock. An unnamed strategic investor also contributed. San Mateo, Calif.-based Aria Systems has raised a total of $34 million across three rounds. Bruce Cleveland, general partner at InterWest Partners, joined the company’s board as a result of the funding.
Marketing start-up Crowd Factory has raised $6.5 million in a venture round led by new investor Storm Ventures. Existing investors Hummer Winblad, Peninsula Ventures and undisclosed angel investors also participated in the round. Storm Ventures’ Ryan Floyd joins Crowd Factory’s board as a result of the financing. Crowd Factory will use the new money to expand its development and marketing of its social marketing applications.
Confidence is a funny thing: Too little leads to low self-esteem, too much makes one arrogant.
When venture capitalists are confident, it means they expect their startups to outpace the growth in the overall market—a good thing for startups or a bad thing for the rest of the economy.
Mark Cannice has been tracking venture capitalist confidence for half a decade at the University of San Francisco’s School of Business and reports that venture capital confidence is slowly improving from its fourth quarter 2008 low. “Notable return of exit opportunities—especially headline acquisitions—is breathing life into the venture business model,” Canice says. (Read our earlier coverage).
That’s a sentiment that seems to be shared across the board. When the Venture Capital Journal surveyed investors for its January issue, it heard the same optimism for an M&A surge:
Over a dozen IBM execs have descended on Sao Paolo this week to spearhead the expansion of Big Blue’s venture capital group in Brazil.
As part of an open house today for Brazilian venture capitalists, startups, software developers, academics and government officials, IBM is playing matchmaker and is holding an American Idol-style contest, also modeled on Stanford’s AlwaysOn program, for companies to pitch themselves for funding, said Drew Clark, director of strategy for IBM’s Venture Capital Group.