New York Business, Life Sciences, and Technology News Briefs


Redstone-Founded Advancit Gets $3.2M

Norwood, MA-based Advancit Capital, an early stage investment firm founded by Shari Redstone (daughter of CBS and Viacom director and National Amusements president Sumner Redstone), has inked a $3.2 million investment, an SEC filing shows. The firm, co-founded by Jason Ostheimer, will invest in media, entertainment, and tech startups, according to an e-mail sent to the Wall Street Journal‘s All Things Digital blog.


CityPockets Acquires DealBurner

Consolidation comes to the daily deals arena. New York startup CityPockets said in a blog post Wednesday it acquired instant deals service DealBurner. No financial terms were disclosed. One-year-old CityPockets is a secondary marketplace for reselling daily deals. DealBurner, founded in July, is a text message–based service that aggregates instant deals from such sources as Groupon Now and LivingSocial Instant. Jason Fertel, DealBurner’s founder, joins CityPockets as its chief product officer. CityPockets’s investors include Great Oaks Venture Capital, MI Ventures, and LaunchBox Digital.

GlobalOne Lands $25M, Gets New CEO

Software-as-a-service provider GlobalOne in New York said in a press release Wednesday it secured an initial funding commitment of more than $25 million from Columbia Capital. Four-year-old GlobalOne plans to use the funds to expand its services and market coverage. GlobalOne also appointed David Northington as its CEO. He previously served as chief operating officer of IT consulting services company Capgemini in North America.

MakerBot Pulls in $10M

MakerBot Industries, a New York-based 3D printing company, raised $10 million, according to the company’s blog. The funding round was led by Foundry Group, with participation from Bezos Expeditions, True Ventures, RRE and a group of angel investors. MakerBot sells a 3D printer called the Thing-O-Matic, along with kits and other accessories designed to make 3D printing accessible to the masses.


Skype Snaps Up GroupMe

Communications service Skype in Luxembourg said in press release Sunday it entered into an agreement to acquire New York’s GroupMe. Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the companies but a post at AllThingsD pegs the price at about $85 million. One-year-old GroupMe‘s app lets users send messages and start conference calls with groups formed from their smartphone contacts. GroupMe’s investors include Betaworks, First Round Capital, Founder Collective, General Catalyst Partners, Khosla Ventures, Lerer Ventures, and SV Angel. According to Venture Deal, GroupMe raised $10.6 million in January and $850,000 last August. Skype is in the midst of being acquired for $8.5 billion by Microsoft according to a press statement issued in May.


Birchbox Nabs $10M

New York-based Birchbox, a membership site that sends samples of beauty products by mail, has raised $10.5 million in a Series A financing, according to VentureWire. The round was led by Accel Partners, and included contributions from Consigliere, First Round Capital, Forerunner Ventures, Harrison Metal, Lerer Ventures, Stanford University Endowment, and others. Birchbox was founded in 2010 by Harvard Business School grads Katia Beauchamp and Haley Barna, who raised $1.4 million in seed funding.


TouchTunes Rakes in $45M, Plans Expansion

New York’s TouchTunes Interactive Networks raised $45 million according to a press release issued Wednesday. Thirteen-year-old TouchTunes provides digital jukeboxes to restaurants and bars across North America. The new funding comprises a $40 million investment from 3i, for a minority stake in TouchTunes, and a $5 million investment from majority shareholder VantagePoint Capital Partners. TouchTunes said in the press release the new funding will help it expand into Asia and Europe.


Umami Gets $1.65M in Seed Funds

New York startup Umami said in a press release Tuesday it raised $1.65 million in seed funding from Battery Ventures, NEA, and angel investors. Umami is a platform that broadcasters can use to publish additional content for television shows that viewers are watching. Umami said it has a free iPad app currently in a closed beta test with undisclosed television networks and others. Umami was founded by Scott Rosenberg, most recently vice president of advanced advertising at Rovi, and Bryan Slavin, former vice president of product development at Lightningcast. Umami plans to launch its services with this year’s fall television season.

Cinchcast Lands $6M in Series B Round

New York’s Cinchcast, formerly known as BlogTalkRadio, said in a press release Wednesday it raised $6 million in a series B funding round led by Guggenheim Partners. Cinchcast provides services to record, publish, and share audio content over the Internet using telephones and web browsers. The company said the new funding will go toward expansion of its audio publishing services, sales and marketing, and to continue the growth of its media property BlogTalkRadio, an online platform for hosting live talk shows.

Regeneron Shares Fall on FDA Delay

Shares of Tarrytown, NY-based Regeneron (NASDAQ: REGN) were down 4 percent in morning trading to $54.95 on news that the FDA has delayed its decision on the company’s macular degeneration drug by three months. The company had initially expected to hear by August 20 if the drug, called aflibercept (Eyelea), would be approved. But the FDA classified Regeneron’s recent responses to questions regarding the chemistry, manufacturing, and controls as a “major amendment” to the original approval application, according to a press release, and extended the date for a decision to November 18. The drug addresses a multibillion-dollar market and thus is expected to be Regeneron’s first major foray into the commercial pharmaceutical market.


BuyWithMe Picks Up Scoop St.

BuyWithMe, the group buying site with headquarters in Boston and New York, said today that is has acquired Scoop St., a group buying site focused closely on New York local deals. No financial terms were disclosed. BuyWithMe offers will be available to Scoop St. immediately, and come September 12, Scoop St. will no longer be a separate entity and will be entirely rolled into BuyWithMe. This deal continues BuyWithMe’s 2011 spree of acquisitions, including LocalTwist (active in Seattle and San Diego), San Francisco-based Group Swoop, Chicago-based DealADayOnline, and Cambridge, MA-based Edhance.

Fynanz Raises $2M

New York-based Fynanz has raised $2 million in debt and securities, according to an SEC filing. Fynanz provides Web-based student lending networks and tools. The company previous raised $6.5 million in a Series A, from Brazos Group, DFJ Gotham, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, and Zelkova Ventures.

Major League Gaming Raises $3M in Debt

New York-based Major League Gaming has raised $3.1 million in debt and rights, as part of a funding round that could reach $4.9 million, according to an SEC filing. Major League Gaming is the largest league of professional video game players in the world. The company’s previous investors include Legion Enterprises, Oak Investment Partners, and Ritchie Capital Ventures.


Go Try It On Raises $3M in Series A Round, Adds Board Members

New York’s Go Try It On, the developer of a mobile app that lets users ask for opinions on their fashion choices, says in a press release it raised $3 million in a series A round. Investors include Len Blavatnik, Alex Zubillaga, and Index Ventures. Zubillaga and Index Ventures’s Danny Rimmer will join Go Try It On’s board in conjunction with the new funding. Users of the app upload photos of themselves for comments from others on their appearance. In addition to feedback from other users, the app includes advice on Fridays and Saturdays provided by stylists from cosmetics seller Sephora and apparel retailer The Gap. Go Try It On says its new funding will go toward developing its platform and leveraging data to offer users recommendations on their wardrobe choices.

Pfizer Wins Viagra Patent Case

A U.S. District Court judge ruled in favor of New York-based Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) in a patent-infringement case brought by Israel’s generic drug giant Teva (NASDAQ: TEVA) over impotence blockbuster sildenafil (Viagra), according to a press release. Teva had been trying to invalidate Pfizer’s patent so it could market a generic version of the drug, but the ruling upholds Pfizer’s patent protection until 2019. Sildenafil is one of Pfizer’s biggest hits, bringing in $1.9 billion in sales in 2010.


Opinionaided Raises $4.3M, Forms Board

New York’s Opinionaided, a mobile question-and-answer startup, said in a blog post Friday it raised $4.3 million in a Series A round led by SoftBank Capital and BlueRun Ventures. Other investors in the round include General Catalyst, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, ENIAC Ventures, as well as Mark Wachen, managing partner with DreamIt Ventures; Jonah Goodhart, co-founder of Point Ventures Group; Karl Jacob, CEO of Coveroo; and Vince Monical, founder of GroupPulse. Opinionaided, whose app lets consumers get opinions on topics they pose to other users of the app, said it will use the funding to expand its service. In conjunction with the funding, Opinionaided formed a board of directors which comprises Jacob; Jay Jamison, venture partner with BlueRun; and Joe Medved, partner with SoftBank.


BankSimple Raises $10M, Adds Partnerships

Brooklyn’s Simple Finance Technology Corp., which does business as BankSimple, said in a blog post Wednesday that it raised $10 million in a round led by IA Ventures. Shasta Ventures and other investors also participated in the round. BankSimple is a startup working with charter banks to offer personal banking services. It plans to use the new funds to help launch its services later this year. BankSimple also entered into new partnerships with payments technology company Visa, online commercial bank The Bancorp Bank, CBW Bank, ATM network Allpoint, and Andera, a provider of online account services to financial institutions.


Ironwood, Forest Seek FDA Approval

Cambridge, MA-based Ironwood Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: IRWD) and New York-based Forest Laboratories (NYSE: FRX) announced today that they have submitted an application to the FDA for approval of their drug linaclotide, a treatment for irritable bowel syndrome with constipation and chronic constipation.The application includes safety and efficacy data from two long-term safety studies and four placebo-controlled clinical trials. Those four trials involved more than 2,800 patients and showed that linaclotide, Ironwood’s lead drug candidate, provided a statistically significant improvement in abdominal and bowel symptoms when compared against a placebo.

Ignition Leads $10M in Apprenda

Bellevue, WA’s Ignition Partners continues its string of cloud computing investments since bringing on longtime software entrepreneur and executive Frank Artale. Today, the venture firm is leading a $10 million Series B round in Apprenda, a Clifton Park, NY-based company that sells cloud infrastructure software services. Artale, who has been an adviser to the company since its beginning, will join the board. Apprenda said previous investors New Enterprise Associates and High Peaks Venture Partners also participated. On his Twitter account, Artale also seemed to indicate that Apprenda would be opening a Redmond, WA office.


Quirky Adds $16M

Quirky, a website that encourages anyone to be an inventor, has raised $16 million in a Series B. The funding was led by Norwest Venture Partners, with participation from existing investor RRE Ventures. Founder Ben Kaufman told VentureWire the cash would last until 2013, at which point he expects the company will be profitable. Several of Quirky’s products have won shelf space at places like Bed Bath & Beyond, including Pivot Power, a flexible power strip invented by a college student.

Page 1 of 9 next page »