BLPA’s Rearview Mirror: Private Placements for the Period Ending May 28th, 2014

BLPA’s Rearview Mirror:

Private Placements for the Period Ending May 28th, 2014

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An Aging Flock of Flamingos
An Aging Flock of Flamingos

Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone and the lawn/garden/gardening season has begun in earnest. Pools are being cleaned, and brought to the proper pH, and the owners are contemplating turning the pool heater on. Comfortable swimming temperatures are dreadfully high: 75 to 78 degrees for a competition pool and 80 to 86 degrees in a recreation pool. That’s one big delta when the night-time temperatures are in the 50’s, occasionally dipping into the 40’s.

I never understood New Hampshire’s obsession with the backyard swimming pool until I moved here. The summer season is so dreadfully short, that one will do anything to squeeze one more bit of enjoyment into the season.

The mowers are out in full scale, the lawn services can be seen careening through town with their massive equipment trailers. We made our first trip to the town dump aka “Recycle Center”with some old Adirondack chairs. It’s time to put a call out to the Mosquito Squad—our preferred method of pest control. We tried the Mosquito Magnet, and it lies dormant in our basement, ready to be listed on Craig’s List.

Finally, this morning, the final lawn ornament was installed. It’s impressive what one can accumulate in nine years. When we moved into our house, we had no patio and no lawn. Now, we have fire flies, cardinals, a flock of flamingos, bees, hummingbirds, wind chimes (wedding present), and twirly flags. Our last project is to repair the flag pole. Whoops, should have done that before Memorial Day. Now to make the July 4th deadline.

Private Placements[1]

[27 deals]

Security (3 deals – $109m)

SimpliSafe Home Security, which has developed a home security system that is “easy to self-install, easy to purchase direct online, and doesn’t require a phone line or long-term contract”[2]raised $57m. I have an inquiry into this company, as the solution appears compelling. All it needs is to let you understand how much alternate pieces of equipment cost, on an add-on basis. Right now, one can only see the costs of bundled hardware solutions.

Centrify, which claims to “solve password sprawl, and secures users’ access to cloud and mobile apps”[3] raised $42m.

Distil Networks, which protects websites against web scraping, competitive data mining, spam and click fraud, raised a $10m Series A round.

Serious Software (3 deals – $112m)

Clarizen, as in “clarity”and “zen”, raised a 35m Series F round. Clarizen “offers an enterprise-class solution for work collaboration and project management that harnesses the power of the cloud and social engagement to get work done on time and on budget.”[4]

Vistaar delivers leading edge price and promotion software to multiple industries including electronics, spirits, and retail pharmacies, raised a $27m Series C round.

Acquia, which is providing a unified development platform for Drupal-based websites, raised $50m.

Service/App (2 deals – $47.3m)

Thumbtack, which helps you “hire experienced professionals at a price that’s right for you”[5] Raised a $30m Series C round. Input the job you want—from house cleaning to swim lessons, and receive a quote.

DoorDash, which delivers food from your favorite restaurants in minutes, raised a $17.3m Series A round from Sequoia.

Marketing/Media/Analytics (6 deals – $111m)

Brandwatch, which helps you gather, cleanse, analyze and present data about your brand, especially on social media, raised a $22m Series B round.

Captora, which helps marketers create content, engage and convert potential customers to add content, raised a $22m Series B.

Context Relevant, a Big Data company, which helps one know and understand one’s customers and predict their future actions, raised a $21m Series B round.

JIBE, which provides real-time recruiting analytics, raised a $20m Series C round.

Tamr raised $16m. Tamr is a “data connection platform that dramatically reduces the time and effort required to connect and enrich data sources allowing data scientists, analysts and managers to focus on data driven innovation.”[6]

Autopilot, formerly Bislr, a marketing platform founded by three Australian brothers, raised a $10m Series B round.

Laser/Manufacturing (2 deals – $39m)

Raydiance, which uses femtosecond (1/1,000,000,000,000,000 of a second) technology to provide manufacturing solutions without heat, raised $29m.

Las Vegas-based Factorli, ”is a startup designing an experimental facility where innovative hardware companies come to design beautiful things”[7] raised a $10m Series A round.

Communications (1 deal – $20m)

Mimosa Networks raised $20m to build a wireless network at fiber speeds.

Financial Services (2 deals – $31m)

FutureAdvisor, a registered investment advisory service which takes academically researched portfolio management principles and applies them to your situation, raised a $16m Series B round. This firm addresses a big problem—the 401-K which most of America is depending upon for retirement income. Most people, including myself, don’t have the expertise or desire to manage their own portfolio. If this works, it will be huge.

Earnest, which offers young professionals and recent college graduates loans from $1,000 to $10,000 at interest rates lower than credit cards, raised $15m.

Retail/Internet (1 deal – $13m)

Tradesy, which helps you monetize your closet when you have one too many Louis Vuitton handbags hanging around gathering dust, raised a $13m Series B round.

Sumo Logic raised $30m [log management and analytics service]

Utility (2 deals – $35m)

Smartling, a fully-integrated translation platform, raised a $25m Series D round.

NoWait, an iPad wait list and seating tool for casual dining restaurants, raised a $10m Series B round.

Hardware: Drones and Music (2 deals – $26m)

Skycatch, which manufactures intelligent and scalable aerial robotics platforms, has raised a $13.2m round.

ROLI, which appears to make electronic pianos and other electronic music instrumentation, raised a $12.8m Series A round.

Healthcare (1 deal – $13.5m)

Apixio, a pioneer in Big Data analytics for healthcare, raised a $13.5m Series C round.

India (2 deals – $225m)

Bangalore-based online megastore, Flipkart, raised $210m.

Mumbai-based, which sells a variety of home goods and furnishings, raised a $15m Series C round.


That’s it for now. Later with the Private Placements.

All the best,


Margaret Johns

Founder, BlueLake Partners, LLC

SiVal_LogoJan Robertson

SiVal Advisors, LLC





Bic Stevens

Stevens Capital Advisors



Susan Woods and Vlad Harris

Chartworth, LLC


[1] TechCrunch, company websites, WSJ.

[2] Company website

[3] Company website

[4] Company website

[5] Company website

[6] Company website

[7] Company Facebook page