Mark Cuban Shows Variety In Portfolio With Latest Startup Investments

Mark Cuban, Fiscal Note, Ranku, Funding, startup

Some may think that Mark Cuban’s investment strategy is all over the place, but teh truth of the matter is it goes hand in hand with his varied background. Cuban’s career crosses a variety of industries, all of which were self taught.

Cuban began his career as a self taught computer salesman who didn’t  even own a computer. From here his next big accolade is selling broadcast.com to Yahoo, starting HDTv (now axs). Now he’s also a NBA franchise owner, shark on ABC’s Shark Tank, dancer on Dancing With The Stars, startup investor, philanthropist, and more. With all of that in mind Cuban is still just one of the guys, just ask anyone that knows him or frequents places he likes to hang out.

Cuban’s investment portfolio encompasses lots of industries. He’s invested in things that touch his TV business like Tivli and One Condition. He’s also invested in app selling company Apptopia, multilingual analytics firm Linquasys. and local rewards startup Badgy. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of Cuban’s portfolio; you can find more of his investments here.

Cuban’s two most recent statup investments are equally diverse.

After meeting Kim Taylor at the Kaplan accelerator program for edtech startups, Cuban led a $500,000 round for Ranku. Taylor also happened to be one of the featured entrepreneurs on Bravo’s reality show about startups called Startups: Silicon Valley.

Ranku ranks colleges by the success its graduates have with finding jobs rather than how they rank on the US News & World Report list. Obviously this is a much more relevant way to rank schools for students headed into college.

On Wednesday evening TechCrunch’s Anthony Ha reported that Cuban has also backed legislation tracking and prediction startup FiscalNote.  The $1.2 million dollar round will help the startup continue working on new technologies to support their original model.

FiscalNote provides a service to businesses that keeps them up to date with legislation across all 50 states that may affect their business. Co-Founder and CEO Tim Hwang told Ha that many businesses are affected by these changes in legislation and for a business to keep up with them they would need a large staff hitting refresh on all 50 states websites continuously. Beyond that they would need to decode that legislation and see how it really affected their business. FiscalNote’s algorithm does all of that for them.

For more on Mark Cuban and his  startup investments check this out.

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St. Louis Startup Aisle411 Raises $6.3M Series A

Aisle411, startup news, funding, St. Louis startupThe St. Louis startup that’s changing the in-store experience for everyone has just closed a massive series A round. Aisle411 is an interactive indoor mapping startup for grocery stores and other places where you need to locate things on an indoor map.

The St. Louis based startup has raised $10M since its launch in 2008.

This latest round of funding came from Google’s Don Doge, Plug & Play Ventures of Silicon Valley, Cultivation Capital and St. Louis ArchAngels. In addition to the funding the company already has some big partnerships in place including one with Walgreens, Home Depot, Schnucks, and Stop and Save.

While people immediately recognize the need for Aisle411, the company is still working on aggressively building scale and going global.

“We’ve seen a significant increase in demand from the retail market for our services,” Nathan Pettyjohn, founder and CEO of aisle411, said in a statement. “The investment round allows us to aggressively scale to a growing list of global retail partners.”

You can check out Aisle411 here.;

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Chicago Startup DoggyLoot Gets Just That

DoggyLoot, Chicago Startup, startup news, funding

Doggyloot, an internal project at Chicago’s Sandbox, a startup incubator of sorts, has just closed a $2.5 million dollar round. The company was founded in 2011 and already has 700,000 subscribers according to Crain’s Chicago Business.

Doggyloot subscribers get access to flash sales on products they need for their animals. It’s a modern day pets.com complete with all of the things that are making e-commerce startups successful in 2013. To add to that success the company is led by former Orbitz guy Jeff Eckerling.

Eckerling said they will use the money to “crank up the company’s technology, especially mobile apps and more personalized targeting of its offers, and to step up advertising to attract more subscribers. ”

Although pets.com was one of the biggest victims of the dot com bubble, the pet industry is stronger than it’s ever been. It’s a $50 billion dollar a year industry with that doubling over the last decade. Pets.com closed in November of 2000.  “There are over 50 million households in the U.S. with dogs. That’s more than have kids under 18,” Eckerling said.

He’s no stranger to the flash sales market either. He developed the flash travel site BonVoyou which was acquired by HauteLook.

Peter Krasilovski, an analyst with BIA/Kelsey told Crain’s “Newspaper sites get thousands of visitors from pets. We have a luxury culture for pet owners. There are dog biscuit stores popping up all over. But we all saw the big flameout of Pets.com. Is it time to revisit, maybe? It might be a good niche opportunity.”

Check out DoggyLoot here.

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2 Gener8tor Startups Raise Over $600,000 In Seed Funding

WeMontage, Quietyme, Gener8tor, Wisconsin, Startup Accelerator, Accelerator, FundingWisconsin’s duel city accelerator, Gener8tor, is producing startups in both Madison and Milwaukee Wisconsin. Two of their Winter 2013 graduates (Madison program), WeMontage has just closed out a $310,000 seed round. Quietyme has raised a $300,000 seed round.

The Greater Milwaukee Business Journal reports that the startup that allows users to turn their mobile pics into actual wallpaper, received their funding from Angels On The Water LLC, Gener8tor and an “undisclosed”  Wisconsin based angel investment fund as well as several private investors.

While turning your mobile pics into decals, stickers, wallpaper and other forms of art is nothing new, WeMontage has found a way to does it in a way that’s better for the wall and looks better overall. Unlike their competition, WeMontage uses  “premium high-tac adhesive, fabric-based wall covering, which adheres to textured walls, while not damaging the wall or paint,” the company told the Business Journal.

We are excited to have closed our seed capital round and are working hard to build a premium brand for WeMontage and acquire new customers,” said James Oliver, Jr., founder and CEO. “Since closing the seed round, we’ve been able to hire an outstanding software developer, Chris Schmitz, from Green Bay, as technical co-founder.”

Quietyme has developed a technology that allows hospitals, hotels, nursing homes and property owners to monitor the quality of indoor environments like noise, temperature, humidity and water leaks, the Business Journal reported on Wednesday.

In addition to Gener*tor and Angels On The Water LLC, American Family Insurance, KSFI Partners LLC and a private investor participated in this round. The startup previously received $20,000 in seed capital from Gener8tor at the on-set of the program.

“Hospitals and hotels now have an unprecedented tool that can put a spotlight on when and where customer sleep experiences are in jeopardy,” said CEO John Bialk in a press release. “Just imagine how special you feel when a front desk manager or nurse recognizes that your sleep may have been disrupted. By being proactive about disruptions, businesses can demonstrate their sincere commitment to a high-quality customer experience.”

Find out more about Gener8tor here.

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ShareThis, The Social Sharing Startup With Cincy Ties, Closes $30 Million Dollar Round

ShareThis, Silcon Valley, Cincinnati Startup, Cintrifuse, FundingShareThis, one of the most successful startups to come out of Cincinnati, has just announced the closing of a $30 million dollar round of venture funding.

The company, now based in Paolo Alto, has created a platform that makes it incredibly easy to share any kind of content across over 120 different social channels. ShareThis claims that they touch the lives of 95 percent of U.S. internet users across 2 million publisher sites. Whenever you’re cruising a website like AllthingsD, Cosmopolitan or any of the Food Network sites and you see the little green sharing icon that’s ShareThis.

The company was founded by native Cincinnatian Tim Schigel who before he founded ShareThis was the director of Blue Chip Venture Company, a Cincinnati based firm which participated in the startups latest round. Schigel is also the founder of the public/private partnership Cintrifuse that’s supporting downtown Cincinnati’s startup movement.

Back in April when ShareThis acquired Socialize they opened up a funding round and raised $23 million dollars. They left the round open and took another $7 million dollars before closing the round.

In addition to Blue Chip Venture Company, Blair Garrou of the Mercury Fund , Heidi Rozen of Draper Fisher Juverston and T-Venture also participated in this round. All of the investors had previously invested in the company.

Come see Cincinnati’s amazing startup community for yourself during this national startup conference!

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CincyTech Closes Biggest Fund To Date

CincyTech, Funding, Cincinnati startups, Everywhere Else

CincyTech, the public/private partnership, seed stage investor, and pillar of the Cincinnati startup community, has reportedly raised it’s largest fund to date. Earlier this month The Cincinnati Business Courier reported that CincyTech has closed on a $10.8 million dollar fund.

CincyTech Fund III, LLC combines a $5 million Ohio Third Frontier investment with $5.9 million raised by CincyTech from Southwest Ohio partners.

Like CincyTech Funds I and II LLC, Fund III will invest in companies focused on information technology and bioscience that are based in or willing to move to Southwest Ohio. The fund has the capacity to invest in at least 15 companies.

“Over the last five years there has been a significant increase in seed stage investment activity in the Cincinnati region. CincyTech Fund III will enable us to continue to invest in entrepreneurs in Southwest Ohio to create jobs and wealth to propel our region forward,” said Bob Coy, president of CincyTech.

CincyTech has a variety of investors that have participated in Fund III, including eight local institutions and 51 individual investors.

“The number of individual investors in Fund III represents a dramatic increase from the nine individual investors in Fund II. These individuals are the foundation of the larger seed stage investment syndicates that we organize for our portfolio companies. Based upon our past investment experience, for every dollar invested in a startup from Fund III, an additional $3 will be invested by other investors in the seed round prior to an investment by an institutional venture capital fund,” said Coy.

Local institutions that have committed to invest in Fund III include Castellini Foundation, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, The Christ Hospital, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, and the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati.

CincyTech has invested in $15.3 million dollars in 43 portfolio companies, including ChoreMonster, Impulcity, Lisnr, VenturePax, Ahalogy and many more.

Speaking of Cincinnati, this huge national conference for startups everywhere else is in Cincinnati Sep 29- October 1.

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$600,000 Investment In GigTank Startup WeCounsel Proves Accelerators Still Work

WeCounsel, Chattanooga startup, GigTank, UltraGroup, Funding

WeCounsel CEO Harrison Tyner pitches at GigTank demo day (photo: NMI 2013)

Just last week we were in Chattanooga for the GigTank accelerator’s second demo day. GigTank debuted last year, right on the heels of Chattanooga becoming the first (sorry KC) city with 1gb ethernet to all residential and business addresses.  This year’s cohort came literally from across the globe with startups from Bulgaria, India and the Cayman Islands choosing to spend the summer in Tennessee.

During the two day celebration of startups in Chattanooga, there was a lot of hush hush talk about accelerators in general. It’s actually a common discussion, whether or not accelerators are worth the time and money. Many think the 3-4 month model isn’t enough time to build real companies, and with accelerators all over the country, there may be an accelerator bubble.

Another struggle is attracting investors. Outreach is tremendously important for an accelerator. Sure you can invite the same 50-100 investors on the VC academy list of VC Pro database, and they may come. But often the startups presenting aren’t in their investment wheelhouse. For accelerators not in their first season, the investors have seen the same PowerPoint template presented over and over again .

Accelerators and their demo days get interesting when you include anyone who’s interested into the startup community. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and so do startup supporters. CoLab and GigTank director Sheldon Grizzle is very good at bringing the whole community together around entrepreneurial events. On the eve of the GigTank demo day, there was an event called Fireside Talks which included entrepreneurs 20 and under working on a variety of projects.

UltraGroup is not one of your typical startup investors.  UltraGroup is a healthcare company that specializes in behavioral health programs.  They provide outpatient care at 40 rural hospitals across eight states, according to the TimesFreePress. They are based in Chattanooga.

WeCounsel is a GigTank startup that went through the most recent cohort, graduating  last week. They offer an online platform  that allows therapists to take notes, coordinate scheduling, share documents, store client records and interact with colleagues. They are also based in Chattanooga, and one of three local startups in this year’s GigTank Cohort.

WeCounsel co-founder and CEO Harrison Tyner told Nibletz by phone that UltraGroup was on their radar to talk with earlier this summer.

“Relationships we built at the GigTank made our talks with UltraGroup progress even further,” he said. He went on to say that without the GigTank helping them iterate their idea to perfection and mentorship from others in the GigTank’s network, they would not have been ready for UltraGroup’s $600,000 investment reported Wednesday.

“None of this would have been possible for us without the GigTank. It’s been the best thing to happen to our startup,” Tyner said.

Tyner  and his co-founders Riley Draper and Joshua Goldberg are all originally from Chattanooga and will stay there to grow WeCounsel. Currently they are still operating out of CoLab but plan on moving to their own office in about a month.

“Chattanooga continues to prove that it’s a great city for entrepreneurship,” Tyner said. By staying in Chattanooga, they will be able to work closely with UltraGroup and continue to work with the mentors and leaders they formed relationship with at GigTank.

When the GigTank presentations kicked off, Toni Gamayel co-founder and CEO of Banyan took the stage. His company, which has designed a collaboration platform for researchers, won $100,000 from Alcatel Lucent at last year’s demo day. Shortly after demo day the company went home to Tampa, Florida, where Gamayel has been a fixture in the startup community.  He told a story about coming up to visit during the winter last year and realizing that Chattanooga was on its way up. With that realization entire team loaded up a Uhaul and moved back to town.

For more info on WeCounsel visit them online here.

Check out more GigTank coverage here.

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GlaxoSmithKline Betting $50 Million On Bioeletronic Medicine & Technology Startups

GlaxoSmithKline, Medical Startups Venture Capital fund

If you’re pursuing a startup in bioelectronic medicines or technologies, then pay attention to this news from one of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies.

GlaxoSmithKline announced on Thursday that they are launching Action Potential Venture Capital (APVC) Limited, a new $50 million strategic venture capital fund that will invest in companies that pioneer bioelectronic medicines and technologies. The fund’s first investment will be in SetPoint Medical, a California company considered a trailblazer in creating implantable devices to treat inflammatory diseases.

The fund complements the work of GSK’s Bioelectronics R&D unit, which was established in 2012 after a two-year effort to seek out and engage the most promising researchers in this emerging area of science. The name of the fund comes from electrical signals called action potentials that pass along the nerves in the body. Irregular or altered patterns of these impulses may occur in association with a broad range of diseases.

GSK believes that miniaturized devices, or bioelectronic medicines, can be designed to read these patterns. The devices could be designed to interface between the peripheral nervous system and specific organs. They can help treat disorders as diverse as inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis, respiratory diseases such as asthma and COPD, and metabolic diseases including Type 2 diabetes.

The field of bioelectronic medicines is in its very early stages. GSK’s ambition, through collaboration with scientists globally, is to have the first medicine that speaks the electrical language of our body ready for approval by the end of this decade.

“We want to help create the medicines of the future and be the catalyst for this work,” Moncef Slaoui, chairman of R&D said in a statement. “GSK can play the integrating role that is needed to drive this new type of medical treatment all the way from the bench to the patient and this fund is a key part of our efforts.”

Action Potential Venture Capital intends to build a portfolio of five to seven companies over the next five years. The fund will focus investments in three areas:

  • New start-up companies that aim to pursue the vision of bioelectronic medicines
  • Existing companies with technologies that are interacting with the peripheral nervous system  through first-generation devices that can stimulate or block electrical impulses
  • Companies advancing technology platforms that will underpin these treatment modalities

Action Potential Venture Capital will be based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and managed by a small, dedicated team. The fund has named Imran Eba as its first partner. Imran will move from GSK’s Worldwide Business Development organization and work closely with the Bioelectronics R&D unit.

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Image Credit: GSK HQ

Portland’s Money Ball Customer Intelligence Startup Lytics, Raises $2.2M Seed Round

Lytics, Portland startup, funding, startup news

By now we all know about the movie MoneyBall that chronicled the way an economist set forth a new analytical approach to scouting vs the gut instinct of decades past. Being Memphis-based we’re seeing that all with our own Grizzlies, who’ve gone the analytical route. Although the naysayers in Memphis doubted this method last February when our star was traded to the Raptors, the team finished with the best record in franchise history. Does that method work, absolutely.

Now what if you could take that analytical approach and use it with almost any data point in customer analytics?

“We built the first cloud-based platform that collects and integrates digital and offline data to create the most comprehensive view of your customer,” James McDermott, CEO of Lytics said in a statement. “Effective marketing is built on organizations’ truly understanding their consumers – from their engagement across digital channels to previous purchases, and we deliver the most definitive and actionable customer record marketers have ever had access to.”

Using the Lytics tools, users can dive deeper into the view of their own customers, rather than taking a tiny sample of data and moving forward with a marketing campaign, direct mail, or engagement on a hunch.

Lytics collects, analyzes, and consolidates data from web, mobile, email, social, or any integrated system such as ExactTarget, SalesForce, Eloqua, SendGrid, Urban Airship, Push.io. The result is a powerful solution that enables marketers to segment data from any source, create targeted audiences and trigger highly relevant interactions with consumers in real time.

“Connecting our key platforms to derive customer insights from SalesForce, Eloqua and Netsuite is an inefficient and cumbersome process,” Jascha Kaykas Wolff, CMO of Mindjet said in a release. “With Lytics, we can finally create a customer gold record that you don’t need a PHD to understand. Lytics gives our global marketing organization meaningful intelligence about our customers and makes it even easier to orchestrate a great experience, with our current marketing tools.”

This powerful and intelligent data form was enough to garner a $2.2 million dollar seed round lead by Rembrandt Venture Partners. Voyager Capital also participated in the round.

“The shift in technology purchasing from CIOs to CMOs has created an immediate need for a new kind of digital CRM to transform customer data into a meaningful timeline that marketers can use to manage a lifecycle,” said Scott Irwin, Rembrandt Venture Partners in a statement.  “Lytics has a stellar team and their new data platform is solving a big problem.  We’re excited to invest and accelerate their innovation to build a solution that is helping brands strengthen customer relationships.”

One of the top cable providers and two major retailers are currently in a private beta with Lytics. The company plans to use the funding  to hire staff, accelerate development, support, and grow customers.

You can find out more about Lytics here at lytics.io

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Drive Capital Announces First Investments In OH Startups, RoadTrippers (Cincinnati) And CrossChx (Gallipolis)

Drive Capital, Mark Kvamme, Chris Olsen, Road Trippers, CrossChx, Cincinnati Startup, Columbus startup

When Mark Kvamme left Silicon Valley for the Midwest he went all in. Kvamme took a position as the lead for JobsOhio, where he helped create jobs across the state. He used his vast experience as a VC with Sequoia, where he was one of the first investors in LinkedIn, to help spur innovation across the state. He and cofounder Chris Olsen continue to do that with their VC firm Drive Capital, which just announced the closing of their first fund yesterday.

The firm reported to the SEC that they have raised $181 million dollars with a goal of raising $300 million.

“Since moving here, I have had the opportunity to meet several companies and entrepreneurs that would rival those in any other place in the world, and these two companies and these entrepreneurs are among the very best,” Kvamme said in a statement. “We can’t wait to see what they become.”

With that announcement they also revealed the first two startups the firm has invested in. Kvamme gave the audience at the Southland Conference in Nashville, TN in June a hint about one of their first investments saying that they had invested in a Brandery startup. That startup, revealed yesterday, was RoadTrippers.

RoadTrippers graduated from The Brandery two summers ago. They built a platform that offers more intricate road trips than just hopping on hotels.com or kayak. The company, America’s fastest growing startup travel site,  just announced a partnership with Travel Oregon. The terms of Drive Capital’s investment weren’t reported.

“In very practical terms, Drive Capital’s investment has given us the financial resources to allow me to spend less time fundraising and more time on growth. When I’m not fundraising, our company grows faster,” said James Fisher, founder and CEO of Roadtrippers. “But more than that, the experience they bring has helped us scale up and execute our vision at an accelerated pace. They understand not just the opportunity we have, but the challenges we will face. There was great alignment between all parties, and they have backed my vision as founder of this company 100 percent.”

Fisher said that since he began working with Drive Capital about three months ago, Roadtrippers has grown from 200,000 unique visitors per month to 750,000.

The second investment for Drive Capital was with CrossChx, a biometric startup based in Gallipolis, Ohio. The company, led by founder Sean Lane, uses biometric security at doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and hospital systems to prevent medical fraud. Lane told The Wall Street Journal last summer that he became interested in biometric security when he was deployed in Afghanistan.

“When CrossChx was exploring growth options, we made a conscious decision to partner with accomplished investors that could provide more than just capital, and we found that strategic partner in Drive Capital,” Lane said in a statement “Drive Capital grasped our long-term vision and has been instrumental to the rapid growth of CrossChx.”

Both Olsen and Kvamme have long track records with Sequoia and plan on investing aggressively across the Midwest. “The region is set up for more success,” Olsen said. “(The incubators) have really been the seedlings of a tremendous growth economy.”

Now check this out: National startup conference heads to Cincinnati

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Google Backs Minnesota Game Startup That Diagnosis ADHD

CogCubed, Minnesota Startup, startup news, Google

CogCubed is a Minnesota based startup that is using an interactive video game platform to help diagnose Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a disorder which has affected 5.4 million children since 2007, according to the CDC.

CogCubed uses gaming platform Sifteo, which debuted two years ago. Sifteo is a set of interactive blocks with small screens on them. Developers have programmed them to do a variety of things.

In the case of CogCubed, Minneapolis child psychiatrist Monika Heller and her game developer husband Kurt Roots invented a game where children use one cube as a mallet to hit a gopher that appears on the other three cubes, according to a report in the Star Trubune.

As the game continues, obstacles such as birds and other animals start appearing on the other screens. The player must continue to focus on the gopher.

Roots and Heller have incorporated 70 different data points in the game to discern things like when the player’s attention drifts and if the player is fidgeting. The couple told the Star Tribune that the game can even help improve a child’s attention span.

While a clinical diagnosis would still require a psychiatrist, Heller is hopeful that they can get CogCubed into homes to help parents with an early diagnosis.

“Six to 12 months is the average waiting period to see a child/adolescent psychiatrist [for a comprehensive evaluation],” she said.. “How phenomenal would it be if Mom could have an assessment tool at home?”

CogCubed is awaiting FDA approval for a version of the game that can be used as a diagnostic tool.

They also have data from a study that validates Roots’ and Hellers’ claims. The study at the University of Minnesota matched a psychiatrist’s diagnosis 75% of the time. The current standard, a computer test called “The Continuous Performance Test,” is accurate about 62% of the time according to Heller.

CogCubed has raised $20,000 from Google. They’re also a finalist in the Minnesota Cup.

You can find out more about CogCubed here at CogCubed.com

Photo: StarTribune

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Detroit Startup UpTo Closes $2 Million Series A, It’s Like FourSquare For The Future

UpTo, Detroit startup, Detroit Venture Partners, startup fundingCheck in apps have come and gone. Of course the biggest player in the space is still probably FourSquare. After that is Facebook checkins or even Google Plus. I personally find the only time I actually use FourSquare is when I’m at a big tech event. Judging by my FourSquare feed, I’m not the only one who has resorted to part time checking in.

But what if there was an app that could tell you where I’m checking in later. I don’t necessarily want to open up my schedule to everyone in the world,but between events, being a parent, and the sneaker strapped startup road trip, I typically catch up with someone a few weeks later and they were like, “hey I can’t believe I missed you at xx event.” I’d imagine most of my colleagues and most of our readers are pretty busy people. Typically if I check in on FourSquare or Facebook or even on Twitter, at an event, it’s too late to get on my schedule.

Well Detroit startup UpTo is taking that pain away.  By opening up the parts of your calendar you want to share socially, your friends, colleagues, and family members can see where you will be later in hopes that maybe you can schedule something social or for work.

I like this idea a lot, and so do investors.

UpTo raised a pretty hefty seed round of $875,000 back in 2011. Now they’ve just closed on a $2 million dollars Series A round.

The downtown Detroit-based startup currently has 9 employees and plans to add even more.  They also plan on evolving the platform to include interest-based entries like concerts and sporting events. They’ve incorporated more calendar features and even a business-to-business component as well.

“UpTo is now a full calendar with social networking instead of the other way around,” Founder and CEO Greg Schwartz told Xconomy. “A lot of users wanted to use UpTo as an every day calendar. We realized we could be highly differentiated from every other calendar.”

Detroit Venture Partners, Venture Investors, and Ludlow Ventures all participated in the round.

“[The $2 million round] allows us to really focus on building our sales team and the growth of B2B,” Schwartz says, adding that the company plans to hire four or five people within the next few months. “Right now, we’re focused less on selling and more on building our network,” he says. “We want to grow our customer base to the point that we look back and say, ‘I can’t believe we had calendars that were so static.’ ”

You can check out UpTo here.

 

 

How Startup Valuation Works In An Infographic

money2

If you were to ask 10 different startup founders how valuation works or how they got their valuation, you would probably end up with 10 extremely different answers. And all 10 of them probably backed by some bit of logic. As confusing at it is, valuation is probably the most important data for any startup.

Valuation is important because it determines the share of the company they have to give away to an investor in exchange for money.

“Say you are looking for a seed investment of around $100, 000 in exchange for about 10% of your company. Typical deal. Your pre-money valuation will be $1 million. This however, does not mean that your company is worth $1 million now. You probably could not sell it for that amount. Valuation at the early stages is a lot about the growth potential, as opposed to the present value.” Funders and Founders wrote on their blog.

In talking with startups everyday we hear so many different valuations. We talked  with a founder with an iPhone app that hadn’t even hit the market. They had no users, no customers, and no early funding, yet they told us they were looking at a post money valuation of $10,000,000. We’ve also seen startups that had thousands of users, legitimate press traction, and small seed rounds raised value themselves at $1 million dollars.

The infographic below from fundersandfounders.com sheds some light on valuation and how to measure a company’s potential.

The infographic details the valuation process from early stage, through scaling stage, and then through exit.

valuation, funding, startups, startup tips, infographic

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Fargo Fund Raised $45 Million Dollars To Support Even More In The Silicon Prairie

Arthur Ventures, Fargo startups, Omaha startup, Silicon Prairie

Last week, Fargo North Dakota firm Arthur Ventures announced the closing of their second fund.  Silicon Prairie news reports that the firm founded in 2008 began with a $20 million dollar fund which went “primarily to North Dakota and Minnesota”.

“With the second fund, we are making a concerted effort to add Omaha, KC, Des Moines and their surrounding regions as focus areas for investments,” said Patrick Meenan, a director with Arthur Ventures. In addition to supporting Omaha, KC and Des Moines, the company launched a satellite office in Minneapolis where about 40% of their deal flow is sourced.

The firm is looking to invest in fund startup with between $1m and $3m per round.“Our goal is to discover the best enterprise software applications and software in healthcare, agriculture, and the energy space,” Arthur Ventuers Managing Partner James Burgum told tech.mn

“We believe in the power of entrepreneurship and innovation to transform existing markets and to create new markets,” the firm’s co-founder and chairman Doug Burgum  said in a release. “Software is the greatest invention yet that extends human capabilities, and we are grateful to help build enduring companies whose solutions can have such a positive impact on the human condition.”

Some of the companies already in the Arthur Ventures portfolio include: Altravax, Intelligent InSites, LiquidCool Solutions, Loyalty Builders, Preventice and Workface, according to SPN.

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