Investors Back B2B, Cybersecurity, Edtech, Mental Health Tech
San Francisco-based website testing company Optimizely scored one of the biggest funding rounds in Bay Area tech this week—and the idea of “optimizing” would make a good theme for the other companies that also picked up some cash.
—Optimizely, which figures out which alternate versions of a website will appeal most to a client’s target audience, raised a $58 million Series C funding round led by Index Ventures. Co-founder Dan Siroker said he wanted to build the tool he wished he’d had in 2008, when he worked with the Obama presidential election campaign as its director of analytics.
Optimizely plans to use its new capital to continue growing its optimization service for websites and mobile apps. It will also promote its Optimizely Personalization feature, which allows clients to deliver personalized experiences to their website visitors and app users.
—San Mateo, CA-based SteelBrick, whose software is designed to streamline the process of negotiating and managing sales contracts, announced this week it has raised $48 million in a Series C funding round led by Institutional Venture Partners (IVP). Existing investors Emergence Capital, Salesforce Ventures, and Shasta Ventures also participated.
The company’s software is designed to squeeze the most efficiency and profit from each stage of the sales cycle, from price-setting to receiving payments. Counting the latest round, SteelBrick has raised $78 million over the last 18 months. That fundraising pace is not unusual in SteelBrick’s field. Its San Mateo, CA-based competitor Apttus raised $41 million in February and $108 million in September. Another rival, San Francisco-based FinancialForce.com, raised $110 million in March.
—Burlingame, CA-based Lyra Health was founded early this year by its CEO David Ebersman—a former chief financial officer at both Facebook and Genentech—Dena Bravata, Lyra’s chief medical officer, and two partners from Venrock. This week, Lyra announced it raised $35 million in a Series A funding round led by Greylock Partners and Venrock. The company uses technology to address a problem that costs the health care system a lot of money, and costs families a lot of distress—the failure to provide adequate treatment to people suffering from mental illness or substance abuse.
Lyra taps into patients’ data to match them with optimum treatments, tracks their progress, and also provides them with a care manager. The startup plans to make the service available to selected employers and health plan customers early next year, then offer it widely in 2017.
—Mountain View start-up SentinelOne aims to do a better job of protecting clients against malware than traditional antivirus software makers. The company just raised $25 million in a Series B round, bringing its total fundraising to $40 million.
The Series B was led by Third Point Ventures, which was joined by existing investors Tiger Global, Data Collective, Granite Hill Capital Partners, and Westly Group, along with a new investor, SineWave Ventures.
SentinelOne’s endpoint protection product is designed to work as an anti-virus shield—replacing older products—but it also contains another layer of protection against hackers, the company says.
—Area 1 Security, a Redwood City, CA-based cybersecurity startup, raised a $15 million Series B funding round led by Joe Horowitz at Icon Ventures and Ted Schlein at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Horowitz will join Schlein on the company’s board.
CEO Oren Falkowitz (pictured above) and his co-founders are former NSA employees. They launched Area 1 in 2013 to create a first line of defense against cyber-attacks by preventing their clients’ employees from opening doors to hackers—often unwittingly. The company guards against “social engineering” tactics, such as tricking an employee into opening an email attachment containing malware. The company’s new funding brings its total amount raised from investors to $25.5 million.
—San Francisco-based Front Row Education, which aims to optimize math learning for grade schoolers, announced that it raised $5.3 million in a Series A funding round led by Amasia, with participation by Harrison Metal, Baseline Ventures, and continuing investors from the company’s seed round.
Founders Sidharth Kakkar and Alex Kurilin, who launched Front Row in 2013, created a gamified math education program that students can use at their own pace. The program tracks student progress and sends reports through a dashboard to teachers, who can then customize group lessons for students who are stuck on certain concepts.
Front Row plans to use its capital infusion to develop its product further and accelerate growth.