Wednesday, June 30, 2010

foursquare closes $20m series B funding led by Andreessen Horowitz

Today foursquare closed a $20m Series B round with Union Square Ventures, O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures and our newest partner, Andreessen Horowitz. We’re thrilled to have the continued support of our original investors and additional support and expertise from the team at Andreessen Horowitz.  The two big names behind Andreessen Horowitz - Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz - are each legends in Silicon Valley. They know better than anyone how to transform startups into successful organizations. As we continue to rapidly expand to take advantage of the opportunities in front of us, Ben and Marc’s expertise in growing companies will be invaluable.  With this new round of financing, our main priority will be to expand our organization to supplement the amazing core team we’ve assembled already (know any great engineers? send them our way!). We’re hoping to build a world-class engineering organization, based primarily in our headquarters in New York City, to help us develop the next generation of mobile + social + local products that will excite our users and provide unique value for local merchants. The new investment capital will also help fund the infrastructure needed to house our team (we’re finally getting a new office!) and support our growing audience of nearly 2m users.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tesla Motors - NASDAQ's newest IPO (shares rise 41.4%)

Today Tesla Motors went IPO and the stock soared in spite of a very weak market. Here is an excerpt form CNBC: Shares of electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc opened nearly 12 percent above their initial public offering price on Tuesday as investors bet that electric cars would define the future of transportation. Tesla's shares were still up 10 percent in afternoon trading despite weakness in the broad market and as other auto stocks were hit by concerns of a global slowdown. Tesla, which at the IPO price of $17 had a market capitalization of $1.6 billion, is the first initial public offering by an American automaker since Ford's debut in 1956. The IPO comes amid heightened interest in electric cars and as major automakers gear up to launch various types of battery-powered vehicles, including plug-in hybrids.

"They're competing against both internal combustion engines and alternative fuels like fuel cells, compressed natural gas and things like that," said Matt Therian, an analyst with Connecticut-based IPO research house Renaissance Capital. "It's probably too early to say that electric vehicles are definitely going to be the next thing in cars, but if they are I think the potential is huge." Analysts say that the cars may be sleek, but the shares will be volatile in the near term. The Palo Alto, California-based company is losing money and does not expect to be profitable for at least two years. "A lot of people were puzzled about why we were going public without profits," CEO Elon Musk, dressed in jeans and wearing a plaid blazer and a shepherd's checked shirt, told reporters outside the Nasdaq building in Times Square, near several Tesla Roadsters. "The reason we are not profitable today is because we are in the midst of expanding with the Model S (sedan)," Musk added. The IPO is also the first for the eccentric and charismatic Musk, who is the inspiration for Robert Downey Jr's Tony Stark character in "Iron Man" and also has a cameo role in this summer's sequel. The serial entrepreneur, who turned 39 on Monday, previously sold most of his bigger ventures, including online payment company PayPal to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002. Track the stock via CNBC

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Compute.Org to Give $5M in Seed Grants to Tech Startups, a non-profit foundation based in Seattle, will put its money where its mouth is by giving out substantial seed grants to a wide variety of Internet and software startups. The foundation hopes to reach its target goal of $5 million in financial support by the end of 2010. “I’m really inspired by seeing other people succeed in their businesses,” says Andrew Conru, founder of “I absolutely understand that a relatively small amount of money can create huge results.” Conru ‘s long history in the tech industry has led to the formation of at least twenty companies, and an acute understanding of the intricacies involved in successful online ventures. As part of’s grant program, recipients will also receive direct mentoring and consultation from Conru.

“I’ve been called a serial entrepreneur many times,” Conru admits. “Being able to share some of that knowledge and experience is as important to me as the financial support.” While promises its grants will have no strings attached, there are some guidelines in place for companies seeking funding. Applicants must show that their motives include a philanthropic element; either through direct charitable giving or as a result of the service they plan to provide. “There is no reason why a company can’t be for profit, and still be for a cause,” Conru explains. “Helping others through technology is the core of our belief behind this project.” With venture capitalists shifting their funding to larger and more established companies,’s timing could not be better. Economic hardships have slowed the growth of Internet startups, something that Conru hopes to remedy through his organization’s giving.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MMV Financial Commits $3.0MM Financing for Unitrends, a Back-up and Recovery Vendor

Unitrends has secured a $3.0MM financing from Toronto based MMV Financial. Unitrends is a leader in disaster recovery and business systems continuity for the small and medium business (SMB) market providing an integrated hardware and software solution for data backup and BareMetal disaster recovery. The company’s disaster recovery solutions are currently deployed to more than 1,500 customers, primarily in the U.S. “We’re excited about the investment that MMV has made in Unitrends,” said Tim Wallick, CFO, Unitrends. “This funding will enable Unitrends to accelerate its investments in R&D, marketing, and sales.” “Unitrends addresses a critical need of small and medium-sized enterprises as well as a range of public agencies and non-profit organizations to protect mission critical data in times of crisis. MMV is delighted to be a Unitrends financial partner,” said April Young, MMV’s Managing Director, US.

IQ Engines Receives $1 Million in Series A Financing

IQ Engines has secured $1 million in a Series A financing. The company plans to use the capital to support the public launch of its any-image recognition engine, an application programming interface (API) that enables retailers, handset manufacturers, wireless carriers, and application developers to build visual search, image labeling, and augmented reality applications for mobile phones. The IQ Engines any-image recognition API is now available via the company's new developer portal at The company also announced today that it has received a $119,000 research grant from the National Institute of Health, which will be used to support further development of its any-image recognition engine's ability to provide accessibility tools to assist the vision-impaired, and a $200,000 supplement to its SBIR Phase II grant from the National Science Foundation to advance the development of 3D object representations for visual search.

"I believe that visual search powered by IQ Engines' any-image recognition technology will change the way that people use mobile devices."  "I believe that visual search powered by IQ Engines' any-image recognition technology will change the way that people use mobile devices," said David Austin, a former Apple Inc. executive who joined the IQ Engines Board of Directors in conjunction with the financing. "During my 17 years with Apple, our goal was to make every interaction with the computer elegant and intuitive, and IQ Engines shares that goal.


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