Shopkick, Assistly, D-Rev: The 1-Minute Version of Last Week’s Bay Area BizTech News
We ran a full complement of startup profiles last week, but on top of that, Bay Area tech companies announced so many funding deals (including some real whoppers, like Jawbone’s $70 million round and Evernote’s $50 million round) that it makes you wonder whether everyone was scrambling to get term sheets signed before all the venture partners disappear for the traditional August recess. Here’s the rundown:
—I took a close look at Shopkick, the Palo Alto, CA-based startup that’s using novel techniques to meld mobile technology and in-store shopping. CEO Cyriad Roeding told me the 28-employee company sees its service, which lets users of its mobile apps rack up reward points just for visiting participating stores, as the bricks-and-mortar equivalent of the pay-per-click marketing that’s been so successfully monetized by Google.
—My colleague Bruce Bigelow reported on two surveys showing that despite a general surge in venture funding in the second quarter of 2011, the long-predicted consolidation in the venture capital industry is definitely underway: limited partners are putting more money into venture funds, but a small number of name-brands funds are grabbing most of the new capital.
—In another bit of disconcerting economic news, the Kauffman Foundation publicized the results of a study showing that today’s startups are making do with fewer workers, in part thanks to productivity gains from new technology. Freelance contributor Tom Abate reported on that.
—Tom also wrote about a “location aggregation” app for the iPhone from Palo Alto, CA-based Ban.jo. The app lets you see people in your neighborhood who have reported their locations across four different, usually disconnected social networks: Facebook, Foursquare, Gowalla, and Twitter.
—We profiled Assistly, a San Francisco-based startup that’s taking on larger rivals such as Zendesk in the area of social media monitoring and customer support.
—Applying Silicon Valley-style design, business, and marketing thinking to products for the developing world is the mission at Palo Alto-based D-Rev, a non-profit design studio that I profiled at length. D-Rev CEO Krista Donaldson said the organization operates just like a typical startup, but measures its success in impact rather than profits.
—LetterMPress, a fascinating new app for the iPad, was the subject of my Friday column. The app is a virtual re-creation of an old-fashioned letterpress printing machine, complete with a variety of wooden type and paper stock. I argued that the app breaks new ground by favoring literal representations over the abstractions found in most graphics software.
—In acquisitions news, Zynga bought FiveMobile, and EA, the giant Redwood City, CA-based game maker, said it will acquire Seattle-based PopCap Games in a transaction worth up to $1.3 billion, as my colleague Curt Woodward reported.
—In IPO news, Zeltiq Aesthetics, maker of a system called “CoolSculpting” for reducing fat deposits under the skin, said it intends to raise $115 million in a public offering.
—In other deals news, Evernote raised $50 million, Badgeville raised $12 million, Nimble Storage raised $25 million, CloudFlare raised $20 million, Ignite Game Technologies raised $7.5 million, Zettaset (formerly Goto Metrics) raised $3 million, Karma Science raised $2 million, MotherKnows raised $1.7 million, Jawbone raised a jawbreaking $70 million, and Crittercism raised between $1 million and $2 million in seed funding.