Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world:  

  • Badgy, a loyalty or reward program for social media activities, raises a $600,000 angel round from Mark Cuban & Atlanta Angels
  • Cloudability, which seeks to help companies manage their spending across clouds, lands $8.7 million venture capital funding led by Foundry
  • The Currency Cloud, a cloud-based currency conversion and international payments service, closes £2 million investment from Notion Capital
  • Renthome.ru, which offers a wide selection of short-term vacation rentals across Russia and the CIS, raises $1 million angel funding
  • Open Air Publishing, which builds interactive how-to books for iPad, iPhone & iPod Touch, closes $800,000 seed funding from VC’s & angels
  • Space Monkey, a startup offering a peer-to-peer alternative to cloud storage services like Dropbox, has raised $2.25 million in seed funding
  • Dizzion, which enables employees to securely access applications & data from any device, anytime, anywhere, has closed $680,000 seed funding
  • Sprintly, project management software that brings in the entire corporation to the software development process, raises $500K seed funding
  • Copious, an eBay-like marketplace that leverages your social graph on Facebook, has raised $5 million in Series A funding
  • PokitDok, a consumer health and wellness marketplace that guides you through the health purchase decision, has raised $1.3m in seed funding
  • StackSocial, an e-commerce platform focused on flash sales of software, apps, tutorials & more, has raised a round of angel funding
  • wywy, whose technology synchronizes accompanying TV applications in real-time with the actual live broadcast, lands €2.5 million funding
  • Teamly, which produces tools to help workers prioritize different tasks, has raised angel funding
  • Bangalore-based social gaming startup HashCube Technologies has raised seed funding from Indian Angel Network and Blume Ventures
  • Tradesparq, a Hong Kong-based provider of global online procurement solutions, has raised $500K seed funding from VC’s and angel investors
  • CivicScience, creator of an intelligent online polling application, raises $2.86 million from New Atlantic Ventures & Cox Enterprises
  • Jetpac, maker of an iPad app for travel slideshows, has closed $2.4 million in Series A financing from investors including Khosla Ventures
  • Openbucks, the “Gift Card Payment Network,” has closed a $4.8 million Series A funding round led by Yahoo co-founder, Jerry Yang
  • Promodity, which provides marketing software for teams to optimize their inbound marketing results, has secured $1.5 million angel funding
  • Tweaky.com, the world’s first marketplace dedicated to minor web site customizations, has announced a AUD 450,000 seed investment
  • Audingo, which enables people to interact with celebs via phone, email or text, has received $3 million funding from angel investors
  • Tout’d, a “digital word-of-mouth social media platform and referral engine,” has closed a $1.4 million round of seed funding
  • Gogamingo, a social gaming tournament platform powered by real world prizes, has secured more than £300,000 in funding
  • RollUp Media, a platform that helps independent publishers build successful digital businesses, raises $1.4 Million funding
  • Bomoda, an online community focused on curating luxury fashion and lifestyle for Chinese shoppers worldwide, lands $1.4 million seed funding
  • LogEntries, provides an awesome log management service in the cloud, lands $1.1million funding led by VC firms Polaris and RRE Ventures

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

U.S. Venture Capital Has Its Biggest Quarter Since Dot-Com Days

U.S. venture capitalists put $8.1 billion into 812 deals in the second quarter of 2012, their single largest quarter in more than a decade, according to CB Insights.

Funding was up 37% from the first quarter, and 5% from a year ago. Number of deals were up 3% from the past quarter, and 4% from the past year.

CB Insights believes Facebook’s $1 billion acquisition of Instagram might have prompted such high spending. The company says that the mobile sector saw 102 deals — its highest figure ever. In addition, companies operating in the mobile sector with a photo or video focus nabbed nearly 30 percent of the funding.

On the Web, meanwhile, social services failed to attract the kind of investor attention that they once did, and gave up the lead to education technology, e-commerce, and enterprise technology, according to CB Insights. All told, venture capitalists handed out $3.1 billion in cash across 371 deals to Web companies, making it the biggest investment quarter for that sector since last year.

CB Insights also found that seed funding, which provides cash to early-stage companies, has been on the rise, and accounted for 31 percent of all Internet deals and 34 percent of mobile commitments. All told, over 20 percent of the deals were seed investments.

The full report will be available at https://www.cbinsights.com/blog/venture-capital/q2-2012-quarterly-report at 11.59pm EST on Monday, July 16th.

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Twitter Roundup

Angel Investment News:

  • VC fundraising increases at midyear point. US venture capital funds are on track to surpass 2011’s fundraising totals: https://ow.ly/c8fNq
  • Microsoft to Launch Bing Fund Angel Investment Incubator: https://ow.ly/c8fV1
  • Australian startups feel the tug to Silicon Valley: https://ow.ly/c9mot
  • Justin Bieber, Venture Capitalist – The Forbes Cover Story: https://ow.ly/ca38E. Which other celebs have become VC’s or angels?
  • If you’re hoping to participate in Minnesota’s angel investor tax credit program, you better get your deal done now: https://ow.ly/c9mfe
  • What’s the time? The economic clock suggests it’s time to invest in our businesses once again: https://ow.ly/cal2T

Business Plans & Pitching:  

  • Top tips: how to write a business plan: https://ow.ly/c6qWA. What’s your number 1 bit of advice for people writing their business plan?
  • How to Write and Manage an Effective Business Plan: https://ow.ly/c8hYe

Fund Raising:

  • The President of Own It Ventures helps first time entrepreneurs prepare for meetings with potential angel investors: https://ow.ly/c9kEo
  • VCs say a coachable entrepreneur, strong IP make convergence worth investing in https://ow.ly/ca6Yt
  • 5 steps to get your startup the funding it deserves: https://ow.ly/caLsk. What’s your top funding tip?

Marketing & Social Media:

Start-Up & Entrepreneurship:

  • 6 start-up tips from a college dropout: https://ow.ly/c8glg 
  • 12 Insanely Great Companies Founded By Former Apple Employees: https://ow.ly/c8gRO. Can you think of any others?
  • 12 Entrepreneurs That Are Changing LA Forever: https://ow.ly/c8fqs. Who else do you think is changing the game in LA?
  • 5 Sure Signs A Startup Firm Will Succeed: https://ow.ly/cdnls. What factors do you think determine a start-up’s success?

To stay updated, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Read anything interesting? Feel free to add links to any articles or resources you’d like to share with the angel community.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

 

Infographic – Believable Branding: What Form of Brand Messaging Do Consumers Buy Into?

A recent Nielsen report on the levels of worldwide trust in brand messages and advertising inspired MDG Advertising to develop the following informative infographic.  It reveals the kinds of communications and content considered most relevant and trustworthy by consumers, as well as the advertising formats and formulas winning the battle for brand believability.

This great infographic came from the team at MDG Advertising, a full-service, results-driven, advertising and interactive agency specializing in print, web, and graphic design: https://www.mdgadvertising.com/blog/believable-branding-what-form-of-brand-messaging-do-consumers-buy-into.

Infographic – Social Media vs Traditional Media

Social media has rapidly integrated itself into our everyday lives, both personal and professional, and it’s perhaps had no greater impact than on the world of marketing, with consumers and brands seeing enormous benefits and changes.

But how does social media compare to traditional marketing? What are the pros and cons of each?

The advantages of social media marketing are numerous.

  1. It’s cheaper. A lot cheaper. You can reach 1,000 people for a fraction of the cost using social media than you can through television, billboards or even email
  2. Social media is the only marketing platform that allows you to engage and interact with your consumers – it’s a two-way relationship, which can be hugely lucrative for brands
  3. The results are measurable, and marketers can take immediate action to spot trends and re-align campaigns

It’s not all gravy, though. Social media campaigns can be time consuming and the impact can disseminate very quickly, whereas traditional marketing campaigns, certainly in television, can produce short term results that have greater tangibility.

This infographic from Kuhcoon.com takes a closer look at social media vs traditional marketing.

Source: https://www.mediabistro.com/alltwitter/social-vs-traditional-media-marketing_b25389

Angel Investment Network’s Weekly Funding Roundup

Here’s a roundup of some of the recent seed-stage and angel deals from around the world:

  • AppHero, the Canadian developer of social recommendations for mobile applications, just reeled in $1.8 million in seed financing
  • AppHero, the Canadian developer of social recommendations for mobile applications, just reeled in $1.8 million in seed financing
  • Cherishmaternity, an Indfia-based e-shop offering maternity wear & infant products, secures seed funding from Blume and angel investors
  • QThru, a solution for the common shopper that lets you use your mobile phone for self checkout, lands $3.5 million from angel investors
  • vline, which enables developers to add video chat to their applications, have received $1.5 million in seed funding
  • KnowledgeTree, a provider of cloud-based solutions that help companies “rule their documents,” closes $4.75 million Series B funding
  • NewsWhip, which creates a news stream of the most popular stories based on social media activity, lands around $1 million in angel funding
  • Betable, which allows social games to add real money gambling, has raised “one of 2012′s largest seed rounds” from more than 25 investors
  • PredPol, a cloud-based software company that helps police agencies determine when & where crimes will occur, gets $1.3 million angel funding
  • ThriveHive, an innovative marketing platform solution for local small businesses, has closed $1.5 million in seed stage funding
  • Fetch Plus, which aims to be the world leader in SaaS social media marketing technologies for brand franchises, lands S$720,000 seed funding
  • Twist Mobile, which develops entertainment focused games and apps for Nokia and BlackBerry mobile phones, has raised Series A funding
  • Pingup, the consumer-to-business texting service, has landed a $1 million seed financing round, led by Venture Capital firm Avalon Ventures
  • Hireology, a leading technology platform for employee selection management, has closed a $1 million Series A investment
  • Portalarium, a publisher & developer of premium quality games for mobile platforms & social networks, lands $7 million Series A financing
  • Vsnap, a simple platform, web and mobile, for sending 60 second video messages, has closed a $750,000 seed round
  • Israel-based UppSite, which turns websites into mobile apps, raises $2.1 million seed funding from TheTime incubator & Matomy Media Group
  • Mobikon Asia, which offers an innovative integrated digital marketing & customer engagement platform, closes $1.7 Million Series A funding
  • Chicisimo, a social media site for fashionistas to post & vote on pictures of the latest looks (& buy the look), gets $800,000 angel funding

To get regular updates, come follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/angel__network or register for our blog at https://www.angelinvestmentnetwork.netwp-login.php?action=register.

Have you managed to raise capital for your company?  We always love to hear from entrepreneurs who manage to get funded.

Or are you looking to raise funding?  Send me a summary of your project at mike@angelinvestmentnetwork.co.uk and we’ll try to help.

What’s the time? The economic clock suggests it’s time to invest in our businesses once again.

In February 2007 business leaders thought we were mad to suggest they rein in company spending and slow recruitment. ‘It’s time to cash up,’ we said. ‘But we’re in a boom!’ they replied. 12 months on, the recession started to bite and businesses acknowledged that we had made a good call.

Consider the time frame

Now we are out on a counter-cyclical limb again, telling some 300 people at a recent event, ‘The bad phase is done. It’s time to start investing again.’ You could have heard a pin drop
in that room while the audience reflected on the global economic problems – notably the situation in Greece.

Our views on how to respond to the economy might take people by surprise sometimes. But our commentaries make sense when you take the long view. We are looking back 100 years or more at  previous depressions to generate a deeper understanding of today’s economic trends.

Our observations lead us to make two key points.

• Point one: the economy and the markets have been dislocated since 2007

• Point two: we won’t go straight into a boom

Still dislocated

Asset classes and the economy normally follow each other around the economic clock (see above) and show the same time. But by 2008 the asset classes had already reached seven o’clock while the economy was still back at four o’clock. We believed this dislocation would cause a double dip recession and that the dislocation would remain for some time before full recovery.

The dislocation is still evident today and the markets are all over the place. Some commentators predict the markets will fall off again before the year-end while futurists predict economic worsening. Investment banks are also saying we will have a long wait before the economy recovers.

Ignore the markets for a moment. Statistically we know that once we have had a double dip, the economy has completed its full cycle. The chance of a triple dip recession is very small and so the next stage of the economic cycle must be a return to recovery.

Time to get positive

We are conscious of lead times when we say, ‘Now is the time to invest in your business.’ Investments such as recruitment, innovation or acquisition usually take 12 to 18 months to deliver. This means investing well ahead of recovery for your company to exploit the coming economic upturn.

Back in the 2007 boom we said, ‘It’s time to get negative.’ Now everyone is negative we are saying, ‘It’s time to get positive.’ This countercyclical investment message isn’t winning popularity contests because everyone says,

‘Just hold your money.’ It seems mad to do anything different.

‘Start investing’ doesn’t mean ‘spend madly.’ Instead, invest wisely rather than simply holding cash.

Boom times are a way off yet…

Some people believe we are predicting a boom anytime now – but we have never promised that. For the last five years we have been saying ‘March 2012 is likely to see the double dip announcement’, but we weren’t implying a boom in April 2012. Rather, the next phase will be the start of recovery.

If we take another look at the economic clock, we can see 8 o’clock shows recovery mode. But boom doesn’t occur until 12 o’clock. After ‘recovery begins’ we have three more recovery stages before we hit the boom: hesitant uneven recovery, general recovery and strong recovery.

…but recovery has begun

The current ‘hesitant and uneven recovery’ is exactly that. Even when we enter ‘general recovery’, the key word is still ‘recovery’ and not ‘boom’. After the double dip, we are likely to see one to two years of ‘hesitant and uneven’ and ‘general’ recovery. The business media will still be reporting bad news, but it will increasingly add good news stories.

We now have four countries with budgeted surpluses, whereas between 2008 and 2011 everyone was in deficit. Imagine countries as companies. Compared with company profit and loss, everyone was in loss mode in 2008-11 and no one was in profit. Now four countries are forecasting profits – a sign of recovery, although still not a sign of boom.

Compare three recession strategies

The chart above compares three recession strategies. The purple line represents a company that made massive cuts. The managers retrenched staff and wound the business right back, but in doing so they overcut.

As a result, the graph shows almost stagnant growth from 2012 onwards.  

This business will survive because it cut back. But the cuts damaged morale, reduced access to markets and lost clients. Like a badly pruned tree, a business cut too heavily finds re-growth hard.

The red line represents a company that chose to cut lightly. By 2012 they were still hanging on, ‘Any day now the markets will turn around and we’ll be fine.’ But this business has been burning cash since 2007 to keep afloat. As a result of cash burn, the red line keeps plummeting and this business won’t recover even when the economy does.

The green line represents a company that took a middle course and cut back to the right level. With this strategy management maintained morale, farmed business contacts and preserved relationships. This business still has cash and, as a result of its decisions, will grow once again.

The race is on!

We know our 2012 investment message is harder to accept than ‘slow down’ in 2007. When making money in a boom, it’s easy to stop spending for a while. But when you’re not making money in a recession, it’s hard to start investing again.

The fit athlete finds it easy to comply when their coach says, ‘Take a day off.’ But starting to train after an injury is much harder. Isn’t it time you got off the couch and re-entered the race?

This is a guest post by Darren Shirlaw of Shirlaws (https://www.shirlawscoaching.com/), a business coaching firm that works with both mid-sized, owner-managed businesses and large corporate enterprises in 26 countries around the globe.

Here is a link to Darren’s book – A Guide to a Double Dip Recession: https://www.shirlawscoaching.co.uk/business-guide-to-a-double-dip/