New York Business, Life Sciences, and Technology News Briefs

08/05/11

On Deck Capital Gets $4M in Follow to Series C Round

New York’s On Deck Capital said in a press release Thursday that it raised $4 million in follow-on funding. Five-year-old On Deck, a technology platform for connecting so-called Main Street businesses to capital, received $15 million in a series C round in January. On Deck evaluates the financial health of small businesses through data aggregation to help them assess their options for obtaining loans. The company’s new funding comes from private investment firm SF Capital Group and will go towards sales and marketing purposes. Neil Wolfson, president of SF Capital, will join On Deck’s board of directors in conjunction with the funding. Other investors in On Deck include SAP Ventures, Contour Venture Partners, First Round Capital, Khosla Ventures, RRE Ventures, and Village Ventures.

08/04/11

Company Art Market Raises $1.6 Million

New York’s Company, an online art market, said in a press release Wednesday it raised $1.6 million in seed funding. The website lets art collectors sell and exchange pieces from their own collections. Investors in five-month-old Company include Ten Paces Capital Partners and the Reen Family Office. Company also runs networking events and has a reality television show, “The Collector NYC,” slated to air in the fall.

LocalResponse Buys Philo Media

New York-based LocalResponse announced that it has purchased Philo Media. LocalResponse sells a technology platform that allows companies to translate “check-ins” on sites such as Twitter into marketing opportunities. Philo offers a way for entertainment companies to advertise to consumers via social media. The financial terms of the merger were not disclosed.

08/03/11

Union Square Leads Lending Club Round

San Francisco-based Lending Club, which operates an online platform where users can invest in or obtain personal loans, said today that it has itself obtained $25 million in new financing. Union Square Ventures of New York led the round, which was joined by existing investors Morgenthaler Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, and Canaan Partners. Union Square has taken an observer seat on the board of the four-year-old startup, which has now raised some $77 million all told. “We believe Lending Club will surpass the largest US banks in the next decade both in size and performance because it leverages the power of the network to grow faster, get smarter and become increasingly more efficient over time,” Union Square Ventures managing partner Fred Wilson said in a statement.

Spanfeller Media Group Lands $6M Series B

New York’s Spanfeller Media Group, a producer of online content, said Tuesday in a press release that it closed on $6 million in Series B financing led by VantagePoint Capital Partners. A prior funding round, to the tune of some $2 million, was led by SoftBank Capital NY and included investments from GSA Venture Partners, RRE Ventures, and Lerer Media Ventures. One-year-old Spanfeller Media Group is led by Jim Spanfeller, former CEO of Forbes.com. Spanfeller Media Group’s first website is The Daily Meal, a food and beverage site that launched in January. The company says it will use the new funding to expand the current site, hire more editorial and business staff, and roll out two new websites, one later this year and the other by the second half of 2012.

Acceleron Gets $25 Million in Partnership Deal With Celgene

Cambridge, MA-based Acceleron Pharma is broadening its anemia research partnership with Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG), the Summit, NJ-based biotech giant, according to a press release. The companies, which have been collaborating since 2008, have formed a new joint development and commercialization deal for ACE-536, a compound that treats anemia. Celgene will make an upfront payment of $25 million to to Acceleron, which will also be eligible to receive up to $217 million in milestone payments and double-digit royalties should the product make it to market.

08/02/11

ZocDoc Raises $50 Million

New York-based ZocDoc, which makes technology that allows patients to find doctors and book appointments with them online, raised $50 million in a Series C, according to a press release. The lead investor was DST Global. ZocDoc was founded in 2007 and has raised $70 million total. It has recently expanded its mobile offerings, introducing ZocDoc apps for iPhone and Android.

08/01/11

Bedrocket Media, backed by ex-HuffPo chairman, raises $9M

Five-month-old New York startup Bedrocket Media Ventures, a video studio for Web and TV content, raised $9 million and wants to raise another $2.5 million in this round according to a regulatory filing. Bedrocket CEO and co-founder Brian Bedol previously founded television channels Class Sports Network and College Sports Television. Bedrocket co-founder Kenneth Lerer was chairman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, which was sold in March for $315 million to AOL. Lerer is also a manager of Lerer Ventures. Bedrocket has revealed little of its plans beyond a prior interview with AllthingsD.com.

Foresight Biotherapeutics Pulls in $2 Million

Foresight Biotherapeutics, a New York company developing new therapies to treat eye and ear disorders, has raised $2 million, according to an SEC filing. Foresight’s technology platform, called Povidone-Iodine (PVP-I), allows a well-known antiseptic to be formulated in different ways. The company’s lead experimental compound is being tested in a form of conjunctivitis. The company was co-founded by Jason Stein and Michael Weiser, who are also the founders of Actin Biomed, a healthcare investment firm.

Merck Submits Ariad Drug to EU

Cambridge, MA-based Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: ARIA) said today that its partner, Merck (NYSE: MRK) has submitted an application to the European Union for clearance to start selling ridaforolimus as a new treatment for sarcomas. Merck plans to submit its application for FDA approval soon, Ariad said. Data on a pivotal clinical trial for the new drug was presented in June at the American Society of Clinical Oncology. If approved by regulators, the sarcoma treatment will be Ariad’s first to reach the market.

07/29/11

Lucid Commerce Gets $8M More

Seattle-based Lucid Commerce, an advertising tech company focused on TV marketers, said today it has raised $8 million in Series C financing led by Rho Ventures. StarVest Partners, Positec USA, and previous investors OVP Venture Partners and Greycroft Partners also participated in the round. Lucid Commerce was founded in 2005 and is led by CEO Tyson Roberts. Lucid’s TV analytics agency, Proceed Media Group, is based in Seattle and New York.

Yext Gets $10 Million, Plans to Grow Its Business Listing Platform

New York’s Yext, a business listings company, said Thursday in a press release it raised $10 million in a funding round led by WGI Group. Other investors participating in the round include Sutter Hill Ventures and Institutional Venture Partners. Five-year-old Yext plans to use the funds to grow its PowerListings platform, which lets businesses edit and add photos and video to their own listings that appear on websites such as Yelp, Yahoo, Superpages, Citysearch, and Yellowbook. Listings edited through Yext cannot be altered by other visitors to those sites. According to Yext, more than 4,000 businesses use PowerListings to control their listing information.

AccuVein Draws $22.5 Million

Huntingon, NY-based AccuVein raised $22.5 million in a Series B, according to a press release. AccuVein makes a handheld tool that projects light on a patient’s skin to illuminate the veins. That allows physicians, nurses, and other caregivers to draw blood or insert IVs without having to prick the patient multiple times. The funding round was led by MVM Life Science Partners and Bessemer Venture Partners.

Roka Bioscience Pulls in $20 Million

Roka Bioscience, a Warren, NJ-based of diagnostic tools for industrial markets, raised $20 million in a Series C, according to a press release. Roka’s lead product—an assay for food-safety testing—is expected to hit the market later this year. Roka was formed in 2009 as a spinoff from Gen-Probe (NASDAQ: GPRO), a San Diego-based maker of diagnostic tools. All of Roka’s previous investors participated in this round, including Gen-Probe, OrbiMed Advisors, New Enterprise Associates, and TPG Biotech.

07/28/11

AHAlife Nabs $6 Million, Adds New Board Members

AHAlife.com in New York says it raised $6 million in a financing round led by venture firm DCM, according to a press release. AHAlife.com is an e-commerce site for purchasing hard-to-find lifestyle products curated by so-called tastemakers that include fashion designer Donna Karan, filmmaker (and famously protective wife) Wendi Murdoch, and chef Daniel Boulud. FirstMark Capital participated in the latest funding round, following its investment in a March 2010 round of $3 million for AHAlife.com. DCM co-founder David Chao, Gen Isayama, general partner with DCM, and Taek Kwon, managing member of Toro Investment Partners, joined AHAlife.com’s board of directors following the latest round.

Crowdtap Raises $7M in Series A Round, Plans New Hires

New York’s Crowdtap said in a press release today that it has raised $7 million in a Series A funding round led by Foundry Group. Crowdtap is an online network that lets marketers of brands—including Old Navy, Adidas, Pepperidge Farm, Pinkberry, and Bing—reach out to targeted groups of consumers for word-of-mouth marketing. The consumers who participate receive incentives like gift cards or donations to their charity of choice. Other investors participating in the funding round include GSA Venture Partners and Mr Youth, a marketing agency which previously provided Crowdtap with $3 million in seed funding. Crowdtap says the new funding will go towards hiring in sales, engineering, and other jobs.

07/27/11

Fab.com Raises $8M, Investors Include Ashton Kutcher

New York’s Fab.com raised $8 million in a series A funding round led by Menlo Ventures, according to a press release. Participating investors include Baroda Ventures, First Round Capital, The Washington Post Company, SoftTech VC, SV Angel, Zelkova Ventures, Fab.com CEO Jason Goldberg, and A Grade Investments, which was co-founded by actor Ashton Kutcher and Guy Oseary, manager of celebs such as Madonna. Fab.com, which went live in June, is a flash sales site that lets designers of furniture, jewelry, bags, and other products offer discounts to consumers. The company says the new funding will go towards growing the pool of designers it works with, adding more sales categories, and developing more features to the website.

07/25/11

BrightLine Scores $30 Million

New York-based interactive advertising firm BrightLine received $30 million from private equity firm JMI Equity, according to a press release. The seven-year-old company creates and implements ad campaigns that invite viewer involvement across cable, satellite and other TV platforms. Its clients include Unilever, Kellogg’s, and GlaxoSmithKline.

Biogen Wins European Approval for MS Drug

Weston, MA-based Biogen Idec (NASDAQ: BIIBannounced today that it has received conditional approval from the European Commission to market the long-acting version of fampridine (Fampyra) to adult patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) who have walking disability. The drug was developed and commercialized in the United States by Hawthorne, NY-based Acorda Therapeutics (NASDAQ: ACOR). As part of the approval, the agency has asked Biogen to perform a study to assess the drug’s benefits beyond improving walking speed—a request that’s consistent with post-marketing research plans already in place, the company says.

07/20/11

JOOR Raises $2.25M in First Round

New York’s JOOR, an online fashion wholesale marketplace, raised $2.25 million in a funding round led by Battery Ventures, according to a press release. Other investors in the round include Lerer Ventures, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Landis Capital, and Forerunner Ventures, as well as individual investors William M. Smith and Richard Mishaan. One-year-old JOOR says it will use the funds for international expansion and to grow its online network of brands, buyers, and more than 7,500 independent boutiques. JOOR lets boutiques that join its network search for and order women’s fashion from more than 250 brands.