Rearview Mirror: Private Placements Ending April 13th, 2014

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North Bay SunsetToday is a true Spring day, complete with an evening full moon, for which we are most grateful.  It’s been a rough Winter, with all that snow, ice, thaw, ice, snow.

I spent the weekend in Toronto with the Canadian side of my family.  They also are afflicted with Spring fever.  The bicyclists are out, riding in their pelotons, screaming up and down the parkways, and the roads bordering Lake Ontario.

Private Placements[1]


Square, the payment service, raised $100m in debt.

SoFi (Social Finance), a student loan consolidating and refinancing firm, raised an $80m Series C round.  It operates a per-to-peer loan platform that connects students and recent graduates with alumni and institutional investors via school specific student loan funds.

Wealthfront, an online service which manages your investments, raised a $35m Series C round.

SimpleTuition, which compares student loans and finds financial aid, raised a $26m Series E round.  student loan search.

BIMA, a leading provider of mobile-delivered insurance in emerging markets, raised $22m.

Fundbox, a type of advance/receivables collections company, raised an $18m Series A round.


Artsy raised an $18.5m Series B round in a quest to become the Pandora of fine art.

Boundary, a leader in d delivering modern IT infrastructure solutions, raised a $22m Series C round.

The Hunt, a social shopping service where the community does the hunting for you, raised a $10m Series B round.


Transcend Medical, which focuses on the development of medical devices for the treatment of glaucoma, raised a $22m Series C round.

Vapotherm raised a $24m Series B.  Vapotherm delivers High Flow Therapy with medical grade vapor, precise temperature and oxygen control and an easy-to-use integrated system.

Omada Health , which pioneers digital therapeutics which assist patients in changing behavior to better handle chronic health conditions, raised a $23m Series B round.


SCIenergy, the developer of the first”energy infrastructure as a service” integrated platform delivering a blend of cloud-based software and project capital to drive comprehensive energy solutions in large buildings, raised $12m.

Ioxus, which produces a family of ultracapicitors, hybrid-capacitors and modules, raised $21m.


Quora, “your best source of knowledge” with answers to questions you’ve asked from real people, and where you can write blogs, raised $80m Series C.

Bizzby, a London startup, which books on-demand services in three taps, raised $10m.  You’ve got to watch the video demo on their website.  It’s too funny!


Munchery, a healthy dinner option that is delivered to your door, raised a $28m Series B round.

Kitchensurfing, a startup that allows people to hire chefs to cook for them in their own homes, raised a $15m Series B round.  This was built for you, Lisa Wallace Giordano, for when the twins are a bit more self sufficient.

SpoonRocket, an online meal ordering and delivery service, raised a $10m Series A round.


Cloudera, a leading platform for big data and the leading solution for hadoop, raised a $740m Series F round. at $4.1b valuation.

Toronto-based Wattpad, a user based community of writers of short stories,  raised a $46m Series C round.

Scytl, an online voting platform, raised $40m.  Their tagline is “innovating democracy.”  Joe Vithayathil, who recently completed his PhD thesis at UC Irvine on the potential for this type of innovation in our democracy, should take notice.

Imgur, “home to the web’s most popular image content, curated in real time by a dedicated community,” raised a $40m Series A round.

AppDirect, the leading cloud service marketplace and management platform  raised a $35m Series C round.

Decisyon, a collaborative business intelligence and performance management system, raised a $22m Series B round.

ClearStory Data, which brings diverse data together fast with rich visualizations, raised a $21m Series B round.

WalkMe raised an $11m Series C round.  Walkme makes a tool that claims to be a user-friendly step-by-step guidance app for applications and websites.  interactive guidance platform.


Crittercism, which tracks performance of some of the most-used mobile apps, raised a $30m Series C round.

Tel Aviv and San Francisco based Kenshoo, a predictive media optimization technology “engineered for the elite,” raised a $20m round.

NetProspex, which provides data  management for marketers, raised a $13m Series C round.


Washington, D.C. based Quad Learning, which collaborates with leading community colleges to jointly develop and deliver two years honors program designed for high ability students who plan to complete the remainder of their bachelor’s degree program, raised $10m Series B round.

Altia Systems, a conferencing system that allows you to see everything in the room with the devices that you currently own, raised a $10m Series B round.

Germany, a German food delivery service, raised a 73m EUR round.

WestWing, backed by Rocket Internet, [think Sanwer brothers] raised $72m EUR from investors including London hedge fund Odey asset Management.  Westwing is a home furnishings website.


Mercari, the Japanese start-up behind the mobile flea market app of the same name, raised $14m from Global Brain Globis Capital Partners, Itochu Technology Partners, GMO VEnture Partners and others.


PPDai, based in Shenzhen, is a P2P system for small business loans.  The Company raised a $10m Series B round.

Shenzhen-based video service provider Xunlei Networking Technologies, has raised $310m.


GrabTaxi, based in Malaysia, raised a $10m Series A round.

Please send me any comments or feedback.

Margaret Johns

Founder, BlueLake Partners, LLC


Jan Robertson
SiVal Advisors, LLC

Susan Woods and Vlad Harris


Margaret Johns is the Founder and Chairman of BlueLake Partners, a boutique M&A investment bank based in the Greater Boston Area.  Prior to founding BlueLake she was an employee founder and Managing Director at Needham & Company where she worked in Corporate Finance in New York City and headed up its Boston office.  She now lives in Londonderry, New Hampshire with her husband, 17 year old step-daughter and three pugs.  When she’s not working with clients, FINRA or writing blogs she competes on the Granite State Penguins Masters Swim Team, skis, rides her bike or is out walking her pugs.

Content researched, edited and reviewed on a best efforts basis

We make no claim to being comprehensive in our review, as the contents are companies and topics we, ourselves, find of interest.

This newsletter is currently being proofed by Dave Henshaw, which is much appreciated. Dave is my USMS swimming lane mate, and Granite State Penguin team-mate.  He is retired from MIT, where he used to produce and proof their annual financial report.  Exactly what we need.

[1] TechCrunch newsletters, Company websites, and other technology press