Silicon Valley Investors Put, Like, A Billion Dollars Into Groupon, & More Bay Area Deals News

The funding announcements are flying so fast and furiously this week that I’ve decided to round them up into a single article.

—In a press released headlined “Groupon Raises, Like, A Billion Dollars,” the Chicago-based daily deals site announced yesterday that it has collected $950 million in new equity-based financing from a syndicate including prominent new Silicon Valley investors Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Silver Lake Partners, and Technology Crossover Ventures. Hedge fund Maverick Capital also participated, as did returning investors Battery Ventures and Digital Sky Technologies. Groupon said it would use the growth round “to fuel global expansion, invest in technology, and provide liquidity for employees and early investors.” Founder and CEO Andrew Mason said in the release, “We’re thrilled that Groupon has earned the confidence of some of the world’s most respected investment firms. With their support, we will continue on our mission to change the way people shop locally and serve the world’s local businesses.”

—This isn’t a funding announcement, but it’s related to Groupon, so I’ll throw it in: a Redwood City startup called GroupPrice debuted today, offering Groupon-like weekly group discounts to small businesses. The company says it will offer discounts of up to 60 percent on products and services targeted at small businesses, such as accounting, website design, web hosting services, e-mail marketing, search engine optimization. The more GroupPrice participants who commit to each offer, the lower the price goes, according to the startup.

—San Francisco-based Square, maker of a smartphone attachment that allows merchants to process credit card payments more easily, has raised $27.5 million on a valuation of $240 million, according to media reports. New investor Sequoia Capital and existing investor Khosla Ventures provided the bulk of the funding. Square raised $10 million shortly after being founded in 2009 by Jim McKelvey and Jack Dorsey, who was also co-founder of Twitter. The company says it’s adding 30,000 to 50,000 new customers per month and will likely process $40 million in payments in the first quarter of 2011.

—Confidela, a Mountain View, CA, startup that makes an enterprise document tracking and security system called WatchDox, announced today that it has raised $9.25 million in Series B funding. New investor Shasta Ventures joined existing investors Gemini Israel Fund and Shlomo Kramer in the round. The company, which is rebranding itself under the WatchDox name, said it will use the funding to expand its sales team and secure new customers in the financial services, pharmaceutical, biotech, legal, energy, manufacturing, insurance, and government sectors.

—San Francisco-based Klout, which uses social networking analysis tools to help consumer brands identify influential customers, said in a blog post that it has completed an $8.5 million Series B round. The funding came mainly from the sFund social networking investment fund at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Greycroft Partners, with invidual investors Paige Craig, Howard Lindzon, Thomas McInerney, and Bobby Yazdani also on board, among others.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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