GE Spurs Smart Grid Investing, Evernote Opens Its Trunk, Zendesk Touts Twitter, & More Bay Area BizTech News
It’s an Xconomy tradition: for the benefit of readers who may be too busy to keep up with us from day to day, we offer regular roundups of our news coverage from the past week. Typically we publish two separate roundups each week: one for life sciences news, and one for financial deals and general technology news. Luke usually writes our local life sciences roundups, and this is my first San Francisco biztech summary. So, without further ado:
—At a fancy press conference in downtown San Francisco, General Electric announced that it has co-invested with Foundation Capital and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (both of Menlo Park, CA) as well as Boston’s RockPort Capital and Zurich’s Emerald Technology Ventures in a $200 million fund intended to cultivate new smart grid technologies.
—Evernote, the Mountain View, CA-based online notekeeping service, unveiled a new collection of third-party services that make Evernote’s own technology more useful. Called the Evernote Trunk, the effort represents Phase 2 of Evernote’s growth, allowing its users to capture, browse, share, and redeploy information in more ways, according to CEO Phil Libin.
—I talked with Microsoft FUSE Labs product manager Pat Kinsel about Docs.com, Microsoft’s experimental platform for collaborative document editing on Facebook. “We want to understand what it is that makes Facebook Photos so popular, and whether we, in the lab, can make documents equally easy to share and collaborate on,” Kinsel told me.
—Zendesk in San Francisco (formerly of Boston, formerly of Denmark) added technology to its online help-desk system that allows users to turn Twitter posts into help tickets—called, of course, “twickets.”
—Palo Alto startup mSpot introduced a free iPad app that lets users rent new-release streaming movies. CEO Daren Tsui told me that while Netflix’s iPad app “may have 10,000 titles to stream…you probably don’t want to watch 9,995 of them. It’s all old stuff. Ours has the latest and greatest.”
—Livefyre, a startup in San Francisco, began beta testing a real-time blog comment system designed to make the comment sections of websites more interesting and dynamic and less spam- and troll-ridden.
—Y Combinator alumnus Crocodoc released a new version of its free online document review tool and closed a round of funding from angel investors including Paul Buchheit, Dave McClure, Steve Chen, and Joshua Schachter.
—I profiled Jelli, the San Mateo, CA-based startup that’s out to revolutionize broadcast radio by letting users create music playlists collaboratively over the Web.
—Luke wrote about plans by Seattle-based venture firm Maveron, which opened a San Francisco office last November, to fund more companies with innovative business models for both human and pet healthcare.
—Mobile Iron in Mountain View, CA, raised $16 million in Series C funding for its software for enterprise smartphone management.
—Khosla Ventures in Menlo Park, CA, contributed to a $23 million fundraising round for Troy, MI-based EcoMotors International, which is working on an unconventional new design for internal combustion engines.
—Webfilings, the Los Altos, CA- and Ames, IA-based maker of software that helps companies manage regulatory filings with the SEC, raised $5.1 million out of a potential $12.5 million in equity-based funding.
—Redwood City, CA-based Trilliant, which makes wireless equipment for managing smart utility grid networks, collected $106 million in financing from a group that included ABB, General Electric, Investor AB, MissionPoint Capital Partners, Zouk Ventures, and VantagePoint Venture Partners.
—Axcient, the Mountain View, CA-based maker of backup and disaster recovery software for managed service providers, raised $9 million in series B funding.
—In a sale of equity, rights, and securities, Sunnyvale, CA-based solar cell manufacturer Calisolar added $15 million to its existing venture funding pot of at least $131 million.
—Google in Mountain View, CA, announced that it had acquired Metaweb, the San Francisco startup that runs the Freebase open database of information on people, places, and things.
—On Saturday, Dow Jones VentureSource released its quarterly summary of venture activity in regions around the country, including Northern California. We summarized the top 10 venture deals in the region as reported by both Dow Jones and competitor MoneyTree. Bruce offered an overview of national venture investing trends for the quarter.