VC Deals & Data to your Inbox. Sign Up | Forward 

venture pulse logo

The New York Times is backing TheSkimm, the fast-growing newsletter that wants to be more than a newsletter

It’s not a huge investment, but it’s an interesting one. TheSkimm, the fast-growing newsletter aimed at young women, has new backers, including the New York Times. The Times is part of a group of investors putting a total of $500,000 into the New York-based startup. TheSkimm co-founders Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin say the money is an add-on to an $8 million round, led by 21st Century Fox, that they announced this summer. [ Recode ]

How Tech Startups Are Waking Up The Sleep Industry

From data analysis to innovative wearables, new companies are working on solutions for Americans' sleep problems. A whole panoply of new sleep apps, sites, and devices are waking up the digital health industry—and they go far beyond the tracker market. The digital health sector experienced record highs for funding in the last two years, with 2015 reaching $4.5 billion. According to a recent study, the market for devices that help diagnose and treat the 40 million Americans suffering from sleep disorders is estimated to reach $125.8 million in 2017. Given this boom, it's not surprising that investors are taking this industry more seriously.  And enterprising consumers are too: A quick search on Kickstarter reveals dozens of inventive, forward-thinking (and downright kooky) sleep products, like complicated-looking travel pillows. [ Fast Company ]

Jonathan Lehr of Work-Bench joins angel investor Dave Lerner to discuss the trends powering enterprise technology in New York and why corporations are more involved with startups

This week’s guest is Jonathan Lehr (@fendien), Co-Founder and General Partner at Work-Bench (@Work_Bench). Work-Bench helps scale enterprise technology startups by providing community and workspace, connecting exceptional builders to Fortune 500 buyers, and co-investing in extraordinary founders tackling enormous markets. [ Sound Cloud ]

Marc Andreessen, father of the tweetstorm, is taking a ‘break’ from Twitter

Andreessen has been on Twitter since the first day of 2014, and only really took a break when he got into trouble over some ill-considered tweets about India and colonialism earlier this year. But late last night, he seems to have deleted all his tweets (or maybe archived them, as his firm Andreessen Horowitz sometimes does), and said he was taking a vacay from pontificating in 140-character bites. [ Recode ]


Mexican E-Commerce Company Linio Raises $55 Million

Mexico City-based online retailer Linio raised $55 million from private-equity investors as its seeks to bolster its financial position and step up growth in the Latin American e-commerce market. Mexican private-equity firm LIV Capital, Northgate Capital and Swedish e-commerce investor Kinnevik invested the money Linio will employ in technology, logistics and marketing, the company said Thursday. “An important part of this round, is that the e-commerce story in Mexico and of Linio is now primarily something that is driven locally,” said Andreas Mjelde, Linio’s chief executive. “More of the focus in terms of capital and decision-making will now be driven locally.” [ WSJ ]

Gfycat raises $10 million to help creatives fire up the memes​

A startup called Gfycat (which is pronounced “Jiffy Cat”) has raised a mammoth $10 million seed round to turn its already popular user-generated content platform into a revenue generating concern. On the content creation side of its business, the startup reports that 2.5 million unique users have already created 25 million “Gfycats,” or short, silent, looping animations and video clips.Gfycat also boasts 75 million monthly active users on the viewer side of its platform, who watch 1.5 billion user-generated GIFs and clips there per month. CEO and founder Richard Rabbat said the clips are not technically the same as GIFS. Technically, the company’s site is a Webm host that lets people convert videos into short-form, shareable, looping and fast-loading clips. [ Tech Crunch ]


Kahoot Lands $10 Million in Funding

Kahoot, a Norwegian-based educational startup with its U.S. headquarters based at Capital Factory in Austin, has closed on $10 million in funding.The company’s founder, Johan Brand, made the announcement in a post on Medium. Fredrik Cassel at Creandum led the funding round with participation from current investor Tellef Thorleifsson at Northzone and Nagraj Kashyap at Microsoft Ventures. To date, the company has raised $17 million, Brand said in a brief interview from New York.
[ Silicon Hills News ]


Melbourne startup Whispir closes $11.75 million Series A round to accelerate its global growth

Melbourne-based communications startup Whispir has closed a $11.75 million Series A round from a range of global investors as it looks to accelerate its international expansion plans.Whispir dubs itself as a “communication-apps-as-a-service” startup and offers a platform for businesses to customise the communications infrastructure it used both internally and for interacting with customers.The large funding round was led by Telstra Ventures, Singapore funds NSI Ventures and Rippledot Capital, along with a range of private investors and Whispir co-founder and CEO Jeromy Wells. [ Startup Smart ]


Tealium corrals $35 million in venture capital

San Diego’s Tealium, which makes website data management software, said Wednesday that it has raised another $35 million in venture capital to help it expand globally and beef up its digital marketing services. The latest funding round was led by Georgian Partners, an existing investor.  All other Tealium investors also participated, including Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, Silver Lake Partners and Tenaya Capital.  Founded in 2008, Tealium has raised $77 million in debt and equity financing before this latest round of capital. Tealium’s main product centers on tag management for websites. Tags are pieces of software code that email marketers, ad networks, web analytics firms, app developers and others run behind the scenes to gather data about users. [ San Diego Union Tribune ] 


BrightLine Completes $20 Million Series A Funding Round to Expand Market Leadership in Advanced TV

BrightLine, the market leader for Advanced TV, today announced that the company has completed a $20 million Series A round of financing. The lead investor behind this round is Fundamental Global Investors chairman Joe Moglia, also the chairman and former CEO of TD Ameritrade. BrightLine is powering Fortune 100 companies with the industry’s most engaging and scalable advanced TV solutions in the age of streaming. The world’s leading brands, including AMEX, Home Depot, Estee Lauder, GM, Unilever, and Nat Geo, rely on BrightLine technology to reach millions of U.S. households with interactive TV ad campaigns that are distributed across Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms.
[ Business Wire ]


Bain Capital, Consolidated Container Company Acquire Leading Plastic Recyclers

 Bain Capital, through its affiliated investment in the plastic packaging sector, Consolidated Container Company (“CCC”), purchased Envision Plastics and Ecoplast Corporation, leading plastic recyclers, from their founders Massoud Rad and Parham Yedidsion. Terms of the transaction were not immediately disclosed. Seth Meisel, a managing director of Bain Capital, said, “We believe that recycling and sustainability are megatrends in the economy. We are excited to support the continued growth of Envision and Ecoplast, in building on Massoud and Parham’s legacy. We believe that recycling is both a good financial investment and an important industry for our society.” [ Business Wire ]



SignalFire, with Talent-Focused Data Mining, Targets $300M Fund

SignalFire, a venture firm that mines data on moves by top startup employees for investing signals, is seeking to raise $300 million to $350 million for its second fund, according to people familiar with the matter. The firm is nearing a first close on the new fund, one of these people said. The size of the new fund would represent a major step up from the firm’s previous, first fund of $53 million, just announced in October 2015.Chris Farmer, formerly of General Catalyst Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners, founded SignalFire in 2013. The team includes Yujin Chung, formerly of Andreessen Horowitz. Also involved is Walter Kortschak, formerly of late-stage firm Summit Partners. Mr. Kortschak is listed on LinkedIn as SignalFire’s executive chairman and had been at Summit for 27 years. [ WSJ ]

Venture Pulse

Curated by Venture Pulse Team. Find us on : [, CrunchBase, AngelList ]