ecommerce, niche content
Beatport, which offers a DJ and electronic music download store and community, is being acquired for approximately $50 million by SFX Entertainment, which operates an electronic dance music platform. Sellers include Insight Venture Partners. The company’s downloads are available in MP3, MP4, and WAV formats on a pay per download basis for DJs and club music enthusiasts. The company also provides access to music news, industry news, music reviews, Podcasts, videos, DJ profiles, event listings, and nightclubs details.
GlobeIn World, a company operating a website that allows artisans to either sell their products or syndicate listings to other eCommerce sites such as eBay or Google Stores, has raised $1.1 million in seed funding from individual investors. The company’s main competitor is Etsy, which has become the go-to service provider for artisans selling their products online in North America and much of Europe.
Wanelo, which operates a website that allows users to bookmark items they like and buy those items via direct links from the site, raised between $5 million and $10 million in a round led by an undisclosed strategic investor, at a valuation of more than $100 million. The company operates similarly to Pinterest, but instead of providing a magazine for online items, it offers a catalog.
mobile content/apps, ecommerce, classifieds/auctions/p-to-p
Hong Kong-based Snaptee, which provides a mobile app that enables users to turn photos into graphic t-shirts, raised $0.6 million in seed funding from a group of individual and angel investors. SnapTee also functions as a marketplace, with users given the option to make their designs available for purchase.
SportsGrid.com, a trendy sports news and opinion website from The Abrams Media Network, has been acquired by RotoExperts, a leader in providing fantasy sports content. The acquisition will result in a new media enterprise, with a true multi-platform fantasy sports and news portal.
LocalResponse, an online ad network that leverages social location data, raised an additional $1.2 million in funding from Cava Capital, Extreme Venture Partners, Verizon (NYSE:VZ), and Advancit Capital. This brings the company’s total funding to $8 million. Local Response, which has run campaigns for Coca-Cola, General Motors, and Walgreens, is a social advertising platform that allows companies to respond to the social signals and check-ins with marketing and ad campaigns.
teleservices/eservices, search marketing
OpenBook.net, a service from Yellowstone Hotel Systems that offers property management systems for the hospitality industry, has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Accelerate Ventures. The company’s property management systems enable the management of room inventory through multiple channels such as online travel sites and call centers. The company also offers Internet marketing services to hospitality, destination, and excursion services companies.
Knowland Group, a provider of data and software for the hospitality industry, has raised an undisclosed amount of new private equity funding from Serent Capital. Included in the company’s offerings is Target Net, a sales force automation and meetings management tool that enables users to manage their sales funnel from generating new leads to turning those opportunities into bookings and planning events.
database/analytics, online lead generation
UK-based LBM Holdings, a provider of complete customer lifecycle solutions via its data, customer intelligence, multichannel contact, technology, and digital services, has been acquired for an initial consideration of $40.8 million by business process outsourcing company Stream Global Services, which offers customer relationship management services. Terms also include an additional $3 million earn-out for a net transaction value of $43.8 million.
The Tulsa World, a Tulsa area daily newspaper with circulation of 95,000 and a Sunday circulation of 133,000, is being acquired by BH Media Group, a division of Berkshire Hathaway. Terms were not disclosed. BH Media Group now owns 28 daily newspapers and 42 weekly publications.
Israel-based JethroData, an analytics database company that combines the storage scalability of Hadoop with the query performance of a fully indexed, columnar analytic database, raised $4.5 million in funding in a round led by Pitango Venture Capital. Analytic database and data warehouse companies that compete with JethroData include HP Vertica, EMC Greenplum, IBM Netezza, Teradata Aster, and InfoBright.
ObjectRocket, which has developed a MongoDB database-as-a-service that was created to address a deficiency in database cloud infrastructures, was acquired by cloud computing provider Rackspace US. Terms of the deal are not disclosed, but ObjectRocket, which is about a year old, was in the process of raising a Series A round. The company had raised $0.4 million from two angel investors
data management software, data center technology
Nexenta Systems, which offers open source enterprise class storage software solutions that provides cloud- and virtualization-optimized storage management, raised $24 million in Series D funding led by new investor Four Rivers Group. The company’s software-only storage operating system is based on Linux and a storage-optimized file system. The company previously raised more than $21 million from Javeline Venture Partners, Razor’s Edge Ventures, Sierra Ventures, and TransLink Capital.
Tuition.io (fka Binksty), a company offers a student loan management portal, raised $1 million in seed funding from investors that include Mohr Davidow Ventures, Mesa+, and individual investors. The company also provides a suite of tools to help its users find the most relevant repayment options.
Armor5, a cloud service provider that’s solving the problem of secure mobile access to enterprise data and applications, has emerged with $2 million in convertible debt funding. The seed funding, whose valuation is capped in the neighborhood of $10 million, was led by Trinity Ventures and includes Nexus Venture Partners and Citrix Systems (NasdaqGS:CTXS). The company’s entirely cloud-based solution enables access to a company’s network, virtualizes enterprise data and applications, and provisions secure and compliant access for every end user.
Information & Business Services
STELLAService, a company that leverages its network of mystery shoppers to continuously evaluate the customer service performance of online retailers, raised $15 million in Series B funding led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors Battery Ventures, DFJ Gotham Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Forerunner Ventures. The company got its start in 2010 by measuring the service metrics, such as email response times and hold times, of online retailers and supplying the best of them with a StellaService Seal to display on their website.
The Tribune Company has hired investment banks to weigh a sale of its top newspapers, including The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times. The company, which emerged from bankruptcy late last year, has retained JPMorgan Chase and Evercore Partners as advisers. A sale would help Tribune focus more on its bigger broadcasting operation, which includes WGN America and about two dozen stations across the country.
The New York Times is putting The Boston Globe on the auction block for a second time as it seeks to focus solely on growing its flagship newspaper. The sale would also include the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. The New York Times paid $1.1 billion for the newspaper in 1993, but analysts estimate that the company would sell for approximately $150 million today.