Startup Financial Services Companies Come Of Age

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a TechCrunch article written by Jon Shieber.

With one eye on businesses abandoned in the wake of the financial crisis and the other on a new generation of investors, startup companies are now raising significant sums to challenge the hegemony of big banks and investment firms.

Since the beginning of 2013, venture investors committed over $800 million in new funding to develop businesses providing new investment, lending, mortgage and real estate, and wealth management services in the U.S. These startups have had their best quarter so far in 2014, when 13 companies raised $238.2 million in later stage funding — with at least $162 million committed in March alone.

Meyer “Mickey” Malka, the founder of the venture investment firm Ribbit Capital, raised $100 million at the beginning of 2013 to invest behind this thesis. Continue reading

Bitcoin Gains Ballast As Investors Continue To Pile In

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a story written on TechCrunch by Jon Shieber.

The demise of Mt.Gox has been met with the launch of Bitcoin’s Ft. Knox and the establishment of new proprietary exchanges from institutional investment trading platforms as investors attempt to right the ship of the stateless currency.

Having large institutional investors like Fortress Investments and Benchmark certainly helps the beleaguered currency (or is it a commodity?) platform.

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For Tech Investors, The Midwest Is Flyover Country No More

These days, Midwestern entrepreneurs and investors are seeding more than just fields.

A resurgent U.S. technology industry, propelled by strong initial public offerings and a healthy M&A market, as well as the launch of technology infrastructure services from companies like Amazon and Microsoft, has meant that entrepreneurs across the Rust Belt and Farm Belt are starting new technology companies in addition to more traditional manufacturing.

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VCs Investing To Heal U.S. Healthcare

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a story written on TechCrunch by Jon Shieber.

The U.S. healthcare system is sick, but increasingly early stage investors are spending money on new technology companies they believe can help provide a cure.

Earlier this week, Greylock Partners, one of the investors behind Facebook and LinkedIn, and the Russian billionaire technology investor Yuri Milner put together a $1.2 million round alongside a group of co-investors to back First Opinion – a consumer facing service selling a way to text message doctors anytime of day or night.

Greylock and Milner join a growing roster of technology investors focused on healthcare in recent years. The number of companies raising money from investors for the first or second time has skyrocketed since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, according to data from CrunchBase.  Continue reading

These Fledglings Could Fall Now That Google Has Its Nest

Google’s $3.2 billion acquisition of Nest could herald a new wave of interest in companies sitting at the intersection of data, services, and energy for the home and for businesses – or the beginning of the end for earlier-stage competitors.

One investor with deep exposure to the cleantech industry said the buy was good for the overall market, while a technology-focused venture investor said Google’s acquisition anoints Nest the clear winner – and winner takes all.

So who should be worried (or elated)?

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Turn’s Series E Round Further Boosts Ad-Tech Startups

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a TechCrunch article written by Jon Shieber.

Venture investors may have turned their attention to earlier stage ad-tech companies at the right time now that big investments and strong IPOs could give their valuations a boost.

On Monday morning, Turn announced an $80 million Series E round, which included investments by Fidelity Investments and BlackRock, in the latest sign that investors are returning to embrace the sector.

September and October 2013 saw two big public offerings for RocketFuel and Criteo, which were both embraced by public investors at the time. Thanks to this attention from massive investment managers, early-stage ad-tech companies may have more leverage at the bargaining table.

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Turning A Corner On Ad Investing?

On the heels of the $80 million investment in the advertising technology developer Turn here’s a snapshot of venture investment in the sector since 2009. 

At the height of investors’ interest in advertising-related technology companies, venture capitalists invested $2.17 billion into 377 companies in 2011. In 2012, the amount of capital commitment declined to $1.93 billion into 384 companies, and fell again last year to $1.52 billion in 331 companies, according to CrunchBase data.

So far this year investors have spent $147 million on nine advertising related startups, including the most recent financing for Turn, according to CrunchBase. 

Tech, BioTech Angel Investments Cross the $1Billion Mark in 2013

Editor’s note: This is a repost of a TechCrunch article written by Jon Shieber.

Buoyed by a stronger economy, angel investors companies worldwide poured a record amount of cash into early stage technology and life sciences companies, according to data from CrunchBase.

Angel investments have been climbing steadily since 2008, CrunchBase data shows, but 2013 represents a new high, with investors crossing the billion dollar threshold, committing $1.1 billion to entrepreneurs launching new tech companies, up from $929 million in 2012.

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