Echo Nest will continue working in its present structure, and locations, and its API will be kept free for developers. Though the amount of the deal is not officially disclosed, TechCrunch says it is around $100 million, most of which will be paid in equities.Read More
PrestaShop, French e-commerce platform that provides very modular e-shops for SMEs, raises $9.3 million Series B funding from XAnge Private Equity, Seventure Partners and Serena Capital. Company says they will use the money to increase visibility and grow internationally. They are planning to add new offices to the existing ones in Paris and Miami, and recruit new developers and country managers within 2014.
Being one of the most client-friendly and modular open-source e-commerce platforms, PrestaShop had grown rapidly to host over 165,000 active online stores today worldwide, the official press release reads.Read More
The platform which is preparing to end its soft-launch period within a month, already has a very interesting list of previous investors, that includes Jim Moloshok, former president of Warner Bros Digital, Larry Braitman, lead Flixster investor, and Steve Wadsworth, former president at Disney Interactive Group.Read More
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), the second largest banking group of Spain, has agreed to buy American online banking company Simple for $117 million in an all-cash deal. Portland, US-based bank will contribute to and support BBVA’s strategy to bring state-of-the-art technologies and tools to their global operations.
Simple is a banking platform where the account-holders can carry out all banking transactions except those made in traditional bank offices and branches. It also provides customers with apps on both iOS and Android, that help them to keep track of their accounts and save more.Read More
Hypothesis 1: Facebook has almost reached saturation in its user base (with almost 1.2 billion members as of today) whereas WhatsApp is on a fast growth track that, as Mark Zuckerberg puts it, “dwarfs anything we have seen”.
Hypothesis 2: Aiming to be the ultimate platform for the entire web experience, Facebook has no other way but growing organically on mobile and other verticals.
In the light of the above hypotheses, Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp for a staggering $16+3 billion may in fact seem rather reasonable. Though some do not agree, Zuckerberg’s depiction of the figure as “incredible” is quite right. The addition of 450 million messaging users to Facebook’s mobile realm is pretty incredible, especially when FB Messenger has so far failed to get the attention of the masses.Read More
Swedish e-commerce platform Tictail has raised $8 million funding in Series A led by Thrive Capital. Company also announced the number of stores opened via the platform reached 35,000, representing a sharp rise from 23,000 in summer 2013. The money will, of course, be used in international expansion, to start with the opening of an office in New York.
Tictail provides a very easy-to-use platform for ‘indie’ retailers and brands to open their full-fledged but affordable-to-maintain online shops in seconds. Store owners on Tictail can customize their pages using tools and apps provided by the company.Read More
Socialbakers, a globally well-known social media analytics and optimization company, has closed a $26 million Series C financing round led by Index Ventures. Existing investor Earlybird also participated in the round. This is one of the largest funding rounds for a social analytics company outside North America.
Third round came after a very successful year for Socialbakers, when the company added at least 1000 new corporate clients including Samsung, Disney, Universal and Discovery, and increased its revenues three-fold, according to the company announcement.Read More
Old-school engineering giant Siemens set up a new VC fund of $100 million to support early stage startups that develop digital technologies, particularly for industrial automation and ‘internet of things’. Titled “The Industry of the Future Fund“, the new capital will be injected into very young and pioneering startups from around the world, with already developed innovative technologies that have high potential to transform manufacturing and industrial markets.
This is the first VC fund by German giant to focus solely on very early stage digital startups. It will extend Siemens’ existing venture capital activity which typically involves more mature tech companies.Read More