You may be wondering why there are two shovels in the photo above, and the answer isn’t that us here at C:V. have lost our minds, it is actually the US Pond Hockey Championships in Minneapolis and Sport Ngin who has been selected for our Round of the Week is the lead sponsor. Now why would we include this little tidbit of information in our feature about a rather intriguing software company that has just raised a $25M Series D round that was recently expanded to $29M to expand their presence in the sports website and tournament/league software business? More on that in the notables section below…
Name: Sport Ngin
Funding to Date: $39M ($0.7M A, $3.5M B, $6M C, $29M D)
Deal Notables: Sport Ngin is a Minnesota based company and are also the main sponsor of quite possibly the best Pond Hockey tournament in the nation, the US Pond Hockey Championships. Completely non-deal related, but C:V.’s fearless leader actually participated in this awesome tournament last year (and also took the photo of the shovels) so when we saw the funding we knew we had to post it….
Cybersecurity firm CounterTack has raised an additional $5M to bring their total Series B funding to $20M. The endpoint security player, who considers Mandiant (now FireEye owned Mandiant…) its biggest competitor will use this new funding to scale and expand their offerings.
Funding to Date: $34.5M ($14.5M Series A, $20M Series B)
Deal Notables: Two things of note on this round:
- This seemed to be a tranched round of some sort in that news clippings for this Series B go back as far as October 2013. We here at C:V. have never heard of a round having multiple closes of differing amounts over this long of a timeframe so we can only decipher that it was a tranche/milestone type round or that other investors were somehow able to get in at the B round price almost a year after the initial raise. Either way it seems the company is hitting on all cylinders and is well deserved of the additional funding to keep up with demand.
- The investors are a solid mix of future partners (Alcatel-Lucent), Private Investors (Fairhaven Capital Partners), and Public Investors (OnPoint Technologies – the US Army’s VC arm) and we really like to see when the OnPoint’s and In-Q-Tel’s of the world join in on investments to not only further the interests of national security but also help foster innovation in the security sector.
“Total Recruitment Marketing” company SmashFly has just raised a $9M Series A led by OpenView Venture Partners. The funding will go towards accelerating growth and capitalizing on the shift in how companies acquire talent nowadays. SmashFly seems to have really exceeded their metrics with a 236% increase in sales year over year. While they may not have a massive annual revenue base at this point (OpenView likes to invest in companies with $2-$20M in annual revenue), if we here at C:V. know anything about successful investments, SmashFly is definitely on the right path!
Funding to Date: $9M ($9M Series A)
Deal Notables: Less on SmashFly and more on the lead investor….OpenView has a pretty unique model as far as VC firms go in that they have a specific charter as a firm (high-growth, scale-ready, B2B SaaS) but also have a dedicated group, OpenView Labs, that acts as an operational consultant to OpenView’s portfolio companies. When a company with product-market-fit is looking to scale, we can only imagine how invaluable Labs must be in terms of providing structure and process to the company vision. Needless to say, we are intrigued by the concept! Learn more about Labs here!
P.S. Labs produces a weekly newsletter that is required reading here at C:V. so we highly recommend you sign up too!
SpotlightTMS is looking to become the box office for all corporate tickets and events. Their $6M Series A will help them continue down that path. Their software helps companies manage their ticket distribution and measures ROI on the events. Pretty neat niche to disrupt if you ask us! (well, not really a niche seeing that it’s a $20B market…)
Funding to Date: $8.5M ($2.5M Seed, $6M Series A)
Deal Notables: “The company’s typical client spends about $3,350 a year to use Spotlight. But its largest clients are paying over $500,000 a year to manage their tickets and other assets through the Spotlight system.” Those are some pretty far-ranging LCV’s if you ask us! We have a feeling they are all over their customer/business metrics but who knows, maybe the should check out our Valuation World Cup for some additional ideas (and you should too)!
For all you parking “tributes” out there, SpotHero’s $4.5M Series A round will forever put the odds in your favor. This On-Demand parking reservation company has the potential to revolutionize the antiquated parking garage business and as frequent drivers ourselves, we love the idea!
Funding to Date: $7.5M ($3M Seed, $4.5M Angel)
Deal Notables: SpotHero came out of Chicago’s Excelerate Labs/TechStars accelerator program and pivoted from a simple parking for Cubs games solution to the form they are today. We love reading stories about successful accelerator graduates that originally started with a concept and then pivoted to find better product-market fit. Somewhere Eric Ries is smiling…
Sales productivity powerhouse SAVO has won our Round of the Week with their $35M Series C raise. Proceeds from the round will be used to further develop their product suite and fuel global expansion. We are intrigued by all the CRM-inspired tools available to Sales teams today (SFDC, Yesware, InsideSales, etc.) and think SAVO can make a serious dent in the $20B/yr CRM industry.
Name: SAVO Group
Funding to Date: $84M ($10M A, $10M B, $10M Debt, $35M C, ~$19M Unknown)
Deal Notables: While the CRM industry has only really taken off with the proliferation of ubiquitous internet access for all corporations (re: Salesforce.com), SAVO has actually been providing sales enablement tools since 1999. Given its atypical funding to date and long tenure since inception/initial funding (2005 according to our research), we wonder if/how the original investors have exited their investment (secondary capital?) or if they have had to let it ride…
Today we feature property crowdfunding company Fundrise and their $31M Series A round. The crowdfunding real estate arena is pretty full with lots of competing offerings/niches (re: Collaperty, Realty Mogul, CrowdStreet, etc.), but we like how Fundrise has committed in part to local investors in local areas because we also believe that consumers should be able to invest in their communities.
Funding to Date: $33M ($2M Seed, $31 Series A)
Deal Notables: Chinese Social Media company Renren led this round and at first glance that may seem a bit odd, but they also contributed to SoFi’s recent round so they are clearly making a play for the crowdfunding platform space. Who is SoFi you may ask? Check out our feature on them in our ROTW here!
SOFI : Student Loans :: Earnest : Personal Lending?
If you have been following our prior Rounds of the Week, you know we here at C:V. are big fans of the disruption in the student loan space that SOFI is causing. Well, this week we are featuring a company that is armed with $15M to wreak havoc on the personal lending market in the same way SOFI is the student loan market! It’s time for you to meet Earnest.
Funding to Date: $15M ($15M Series A)
Deal Notables: We really like this business model of low-cost loans to qualified applicants via future expectations and less on prior history. That, and the market potential is staggering so we think Earnest has some serious upside. Another interesting note is that the company is based in San Francisco but chose Boston as their pilot city. Earnest claims it is due to the “high population of young working professionals” but we personally think Boston’s general awesomeness was the deciding factor. But hey, we aren’t biased or anything…
Is “On-Demand Delivery Dining” the food equivalent of the Mobile Payments battle of 2014? We seem to be seeing a lot of companies (we see you Sprig, Plated, Blue Apron, GrubHub, Munchery…) in the space raising rounds recently, and SpoonRocket is no exception. They recently raised an $11M A round to further their mission of creating the “Most Convenient Meal Ever”.
Funding to Date: $13.5M ($2.5M Seed, $11M A)
Deal Notables: With all the movement in the space recently, we wonder how everything will shake out. It appears there are a few avenues that these companies can travel down (ready to eat: SpoonRocket, cook yourself: Blue Apron, standard delivery of existing restaurants: GrubHub). We like the fact SpoonRocket claims and $8 fee and under 10 minute delivery in the ready to eat category, but are very interested in finding out what the proper logistical balance is to keep supply and demand in check with the pricing/delivery parameter when they eventually scale the business to greater/more disperse locations.
Coming to a ski resort near you?
Roller Coaster Photo meets Ski Resort? If Deja View Concepts and their $900K funding have anything to say about it, this will become commonplace. Their Paparazzi Pass app allows you to track and record your movements on the slopes and then you can view the video playback later. They also specialize in mPOS security tracking systems for retailers.
Name: Deja View Concepts, Inc.
Funding to Date: ~$1.45M ($900K Equity, $550K Debt)
Deal Notables: Gotta wonder how GoPro feels about this… Think of how many people cruise the slopes GoPro in hand only to get average-at-best video of them chest/head-level going down a mountain. Obviously its in its early stages, but add in some properly placed cameras and editing components and we would take Paparazzi Pass over GoPro any day!