Truphone, a UK-based mobile network that lets its users make free or low-cost calls to other mobile devices, has today announced a large funding injection of £75 million ($118 million) from a group of investors led by Roman Abramovich, the wealthy Russian owner of Chelsea Football Club, among other things. Abramovich’s investment company Minden accounted for £70 million of this investment, giving it a 23.3% stake in the company at a £300 million ($473 million) valuation.
Sequoia And Qualcomm Put $1 Million+ Into Dexetra, Makers Of Friday, The Search Engine For Your Life
Dexetra, the makers of Friday, a contextual personal search application for Android, has raised a Series A round of funding. The investment comes from Sequoia Capital (India) and Qualcomm Ventures, and is in the “millions” (between $1 and $2 million). The company won’t disclose the final amount because there’s still a possibility that new investors will be joining the round at a later date.
Music Lessons Marketplace TakeLessons Grabs $4M From Pinterest Exec, SoftTech & Others To Expand Into New Verticals
If you’re not an aspiring musician, you may not be familiar with TakeLessons, but the San Diego-based startup is on a mission to change that. Today, TakeLessons announced that it has raised $4 million in follow-on series A financing, led by Palo Alto’s Triangle Peak Partners, to expand its online marketplace for music lessons into new new verticals — including tutoring and the performing arts.
With A Fresh $1M From Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, Skillshare Looks To Expand Its Course Menu And Go Big Abroad
Tapping into the growth of online education, Skillshare launched in 2011 on a mission to build a digital marketplace for knowledge. Yet, instead of going in the direction of traditional online education or the new generation of MOOC platforms like Coursera and Udacity, Skillshare eschewed hosting classes in traditional education subjects to instead offer classes that teach people real-world skills that they can apply to their professional or personal projects.
If you’re an independent band, or actor, or clown, or really creative of any stripe, you’re probably looking for a gig. But try as you might, finding that gig is tough. But what if there were a platform that gave creatives their very own LinkedIn or CareerBuilder? In a down economy, where millions are struggling to find regular work, any site that helps musicians connect with gigs at places like SXSW, Bonnaroo or MTV, or helps actors, dancers and performers line up spots in film, TV and beyond, is a step in the right direction.
That is the reason why, in a deal backed by Guggenheim Partners, Backstage decided to shell out about $15 million to acquire the Boston-based Sonicbids. For those unfamiliar, Backstage (besides being a place that I’m not allowed) is a 50-year-old entertainment industry brand known for publishing a weekly trade rag and bimonthly industry directory/digest, among other things. Essentially, the company’s goal is to help those working in the performing arts connect with casting directors, job opportunities and career advice.
Founded in 2007, Linkwell Health partners with health plans, consumer brands that want to be health conscious, grocery chains and drugstores to offer everyday consumers discounts, coupons and content to help them make healthier choices. Today, the company announced that it has raised $11 million in series C financing for its consumer engagement platform.
On An International Buying Campaign, Cisco Acquires Cyber Threat Protection Startup Cognitive Security
Today, it seems that Cisco’s international buying spree continues. acquisition of Israeli mobile startup, Intucell, for $475 million in cash last week, the company announced this afternoon that it is acquiring Czech network security startup, Cognitive Security. The terms of the acquisition were not made public.
In its announcement today, Cisco said that it will be combining the startup’s realtime behavioral analytics with its own cloud-based global threat intelligence system to create a “common policy engine that controls distributed network enforcement in an intelligent network.” Essentially, the goal is to allow Cisco to provide corporations and the enterprise with the ability to better identify and mitigate advanced cyber threats.
Ringadoc has a pretty big vision: To be the “frontline of primary care,” to let anyone and everyone pay a flat fee to instantly talk to a real doctor at any hour of the day. In pursuit of perfecting on-demand medicine, the startup announced today that it has raised $1.2 million in follow-on seed financing, led by Founders Fund’s seed vehicle, FF Angel. The round follows the $750K the startup raised last June from Founders Fund, bringing its total to just under $2 million.
SimilarGroup Raises $2.5 Million To Take On Alexa’s (Often Terrible) Web Rankings With Its New SimilarWeb Service
Tel Aviv-based SimilarGroup, a company whose recently launched web measurement tool SimilarWeb is out to topple Alexa’s stronghold in web rankings, is today announcing $2.5 million in new funding. The round was led by Moshe Lichtman, the former President of Microsoft’s Israel Research and Development Center, and as a part of the funding, Lichtman is also joining the company’s board.
Pluto Media Nabs $500K From OpenFeint, Webvan Co-founder & Others To Create An Educational Gaming Platform For Kids
Another day, another vote of investor confidence for educational gaming. Today, Pluto Media, the Menlo Park-based maker of educational, tablet-based games for kids, announced that it has raised $500K in seed funding from Learn Capital’s Rob Hutter, along with individual investments from NewSchools Venture Fund’s Jennifer Carolan and Peter Relan, the co-founder of OpenFeint, WebVan, Crowdstar and YouWeb. The follow-on seed financing adds to the $500K the startup raised from former Accel partner Abhay Parekh and Silver Lake’s Dave Roux in December 2011, bringing its total funding to $1 million.