Top 5 Weekly VC Financing Events
July 25 — StackPath emerges from stealth with $180M round
StackPath emerged from stealth mode and announced it had secured a $180M investment led by private equity firm ABRY Partners.
The Dallas-based cybersecurity startup is the first platform to unify enterprise security solutions by leveraging collaborative intelligence that makes each service smarter and more secure with every threat detected, in addition to vastly improving the customer experience. More than 30,000 customers, ranging from Fortune 100 companies to early stage startups already use StackPath technology.
The company also acquired four key technology companies to launch its security-as-a-service platform: MaxCDN, Fireblade, Cloak and Staminus.
CEO Lance Crosby was previously the founder, former chairman and CEO of SoftLayer Technologies, which was acquired by IBM in 2013 and is now the foundation of IBM’s Cloud Computing division.
July 26 — Scopely closes $55M round for mobile gaming
Scopely raised $55M in a Series B funding round led by Greycroft Partners.
Founded in 2011, Scopely is the leading mobile entertainment network. The Los Angeles-based company offers tools for promoting and monetizing mobile games — some of those games are developed in-house, others are created by outside studios.
The company released two hit games last year — The Walking Dead: Road to Survival and Yahtzee with Buddies, which were both ranked among the top grossing games on the Apple App Store and Google Play. Scopely says Road to Survival has been installed by more than 20 million players.
“The vision is creating the most premium experiences on people’s phones across a network of developers,” co-founder and CEO Walter Driver said. “Each [developer] has a deep focus and passion and is using the Scopely platform and brand to scale those audiences and those businesses” (Techcrunch).
July 27 — Upthere raises $77M for personal file storage
Upthere, a provider of cloud-based storage, raised $77M in Venture funding led by KPCB and Western Digital. Other investors included: Elevation Partners, Floodgate, GV, NTT Docomo Ventures.
The Redwood City-based company has finally come out of beta, rolling out its personal data-storage application five years after the startup was founded. The company says its service is “designed to handle a lifetime of personal photos, videos, music, and documents” and to organize them for accessibility.
“We built Upthere from the ground up to be the ultimate personal storage experience,” said Chris Bourdon, CEO of Upthere. “We can now live directly from the cloud instead of battling the limited space on our devices. With the cloud as our primary storage place, we can easily view, find, and share a lifetime of data from any device, anywhere. Upthere solves a widespread capacity problem with current storage services,” said John Doerr, chairman of KPCB. “It is a new, ambitious effort to change how we save and share things in the cloud” (Venture Pulse).
Upthere was founded by former Apple engineers and has been predicting that it will do better than Apple iCloud, Dropbox, Box and others when it comes to quickly storing, organizing, and searching digital photos, videos, and more. This cloud computing and storage company is designed to be the one home for personal data like photos, videos, music, and documents etc. With Upthere Home people can save, view, search, organize and share anything from an Upthere account.
July 27 — PhishMe raises $42.5M in latest big security deal
PhishMe, the developer of an enterprise platform to defend against email phishing attacks among other targeted malware, has closed a $42.5M Series C round led by existing investor Paladin Capital Group, with participation from Bessemer Venture Partners.
Employees can oftentimes pose a security threat to their own companies, but they can also be the first line of attack in identifying outside threats. PhishMe uses the employee as a tool to identify and thwart cyberattacks by educating them to identify phishing emails — a major cyberproblem for businesses, as criminals send fraudulent emails requesting fake supplier payments.
Cybersecurity has recently emerged as one of the hottest categories for investment. The Virginia-based company is the latest of several security companies to announce large VC investments over the past two weeks. Others include cybersecurity startups StackPath ($180 million) and SafeBreach ($15 million), antifraud company Sift Science ($30 million) and threat detection software developer Acalvio Technologies ($17 million).
“Despite the growing number of security vendors in the market, we quickly realized the huge potential behind PhishMe’s business proposition,” explained Alex Ferrara, partner at Bessemer Venture Capital. “The most damaging cyber-attacks almost always involve phishing or spear phishing attempts and that is why empowering the human element or employees to detect these phishing campaigns has become a top priority for modern enterprises” (Venture Beat).
July 28 — EverFi raises $40M Series C led by Bezos Expeditions
EverFi, an edtech startup, raised $40M in a Series C funding round led by Bezos Expeditions. Other investors included New Enterprise Associates, Tomorrow Ventures and Rethink Education.
EverFi is building and operating the nation’s largest network for online education in off-curriculum, but highly valuable content areas such as financial literacy, student loan management, digital literacy, substance abuse prevention and other key life skills for the 21st century student. The company’s proprietary software-as-a-service platform is designed to provide a highly engaging experience for students and features the latest technology and instructional design, including rich media, high-definition video, 3D simulations and social networking. EverFi works with more than 7,000 schools, colleges and universities in all 50 states.
According to EverFi Founder and CEO Tom Davidson, “EverFi has created one of the most powerful and innovative models in the education space and we are trying to get the private sector to really engage in local education. Our goal is to be the learning engine of every major corporation, university, and school district around these critical topic areas” (Venture Pulse).
Michael Walden, a Partner at Rethink Education said, “With its proprietary learning platform, incredibly diverse and growing customer base, wide learner reach, and highly profitable financial model, EverFi has become a major player in the education industry and we’re very excited to be a part of EverFi’s continued growth” (Venture Pulse).
Wonder Workshop raises $20M to help kids learn coding
Wonder Workshop (formerly Play-i), makers of robots that teach children computer science and coding fundamentals, raised $20M in Series B funding led by WI Harper Group and Idea Bulb Ventures.
Israeli edtech startup Matific raises $45M Series B round led by Australian entrepreneur Leon Kamenev
Matific takes a unique approach to teaching K to 6 math using hands-on and interactive mini-games. Founded in 2012, Matific uses software that develops individualized games automatically, suiting it for skill level. The startup already had 15,000 teachers using the platform by January 2015, two thirds of them in the U.S.
Ubtech raises $100M Series B round led by CDH Investments
Ubtech, a Shenzhen-based intelligent humanoid robots maker, raised $100M in a Series B round led by CDH Investments. The startup is now valued at $1B post-money. The company says it will use the latest proceeds on research and development, as well as exploring more applications in new industries including education and entertainment.