In a rare event, a crowdfunded start-up has gone on to raise mainstream venture capital.
Digital Spin, which raised £60,000 in August from platform Seedrs, has now received several times that amount from Passion Capital and Balderton, two of London’s most active venture funds. Could this be the start of growing links between amateur and professional early-stage investors? Read more
Is Silicon Valley drying up? David O Sacks, founder and CEO of enterprise social network service Yammer, certainly seems to think so. Others, like Marc Andreessen, disagree. That makes for a lively debate, and it is taking place on perhaps the most apt forum of all – Facebook, writes Vinjeru Mkandawire and Robin Kwong.
“I think Silicon Valley as we know it may be coming to an end,” wrote Sacks on his Facebook page over the weekend, just before the social networking site’s shares sank to half its initial offering price. Read more
Funding Circle, a UK-based online marketplace where individuals lend directly to small businesses raised $16m of Series B financing from joint investors Index Ventures and US-based Union Square Ventures. This brings the total amount raised by the company to $21m. Launched in August 2010, the company now facilitates around £1m in loans each week. The company is planning to use the funds to double its staff over the next year.
Dragonplay, a Tel Aviv-based games developer raised $14m in a Series A funding from Accel Partners. Dragonplay specializes in makes card, casino and board games for smartphones and social networks and is best known for Live Holdem Poker Pro, which has more than 2m monthly active players. The company will use the investment to expand its portfolio of games. Read more
The frenzy to invest in mobile payments providers continues with Boku, the San Francisco-based start-up raising $35m, in a funding round led by Telefónica Digital. It will take the total raised by the mobile transactions company to more than $75m since 2008.
Investors in this round also included New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Andreessen Horowitz, Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures. Read more
A little bit of much-needed consolidation is finally taking place in the European Venture Capital industry. On Wednesday DFJ Esprit and Tempo Capital announced plans to merge their secondary investment businesses.
Tempo is a specialist in this market of buying existing venture capital investments, and DFJ has been dipping its toes in since 2007 when it bought out Cazenove’s venture capital fund. Read more
The direction in which venture capital is moving is clear: fewer funds investing ever-larger amounts in companies that are good candidates for an IPO. What this means for the industry’s long-term health is another matter. Read more
Tech news from around the web:
- Bulging corporate balance sheets – and a growing reluctance among traditional venture investors such as state pension funds to dabble in risky investments - means that big companies are getting back into venture financing, SilliconValley reports, with nearly 9 per cent of all capital being committed to start-ups last year coming from the corporate sector.