Seed and Angel Funding in the First Half of 2012

With the 2012 fiscal year nearly over, we bring you once again our summary of the seed and angel investments made in the past 6 months.

If you have read what we brought to you last time, you will notice that this first half of 2012 is no different. Investors continue to focus exclusively on mobile consumer apps, and rightly so, since it’s a rapidly growing market that, according to Forrester Research, made $6 billion in revenue last year. Social media startups remain a popular investment category too, not that it’s a big surprise following Facebook’s $1B acquisition of Instagram early this year.

Take note, we’ve only included businesses who received seed and angel funding and where the funding amount was disclosed.

January

  • This month saw 19 startups that closed $1M or more in seed funding.
  • Highlight of this month’s seed round is 955 Dreams, a new age publishing company that releases titles for mobile devices, receiving $3.25M in seed funding.
  • In continuation of last year’s trend, mobile applications remain a popular investment choice. Mobile games developer Grand Cru received $2M seed fund to develop its free-to-play Supernauts MMO, while Trigger, developer of a toolkit used to create mobile apps, received $1M in seed funding.
  • Social media companies remained a major choice for investments. TwitSpark, a customer service and engagement tool designed to work with Twitter, received $1.13M in seed funding. AppAddictive, a customer-relationship-management (CRM) platform designed to work with social media sites like Facebook, closed down a $1.2M seed round in funding.
  • A few niche market startups attracted major investments. Ridejoy, a community-driven marketplace where users share rides, received $1.3M seed financing. GymPact, a mobile app which uses cash incentives to get members to the gym, and Evermind, an ambient-assisted-livings-system (AALS) for the elderly, received seed funding.
  • Other startups that made significant seed funding are tourism-related, like Blink, a last-minute hotel booking service that snagged a $2.5M seed round in funding, and Gidsy, a community marketplace for tours and other related activities that received $1.2M in seed funding.
  • Nimble, a CRM startup, raised $1M in angel funding from prominent investors that included Mark Cuban. Colorado-based start-up St. Renatus that aims to commercialize a new needle-free dental anesthetic received $3.5M in angel funding. Zeel, an online service for booking appointments with physicians, received $1.5M in angel funding.

February

  • This month saw 20 startups that closed $1M or more in seed funding.
  • Qyuki, a new media startup, raised $5.4M seed financing.
  • Social network and media startups continue to be investment favorites. Gumroad, an ecommerce site where people can buy and sell stuff online, received $1.1M in seed funding. schoolFeed, an online yearbook and class directory platform, received 1.75M in seed funding. sneakpeeq, an ecommerce company that takes advantage of social networks to benefit shoppers, received $2.67M in seed funding.
  • A few medical and healthcare startups attracted major investments. Leading the round, DocBookMD, a company that develops health and wellness applications, and Mango Health, provider of a smartphone messaging service for physicians, each received seed funding of $2.2M and $1.45M, respectively.
  • Software companies were investment favorites this month. Who@, developer of a relationship-as-a-service software, received $2.2M in seed funding. Scan, software developer of disruptive apps for mobile devices, earned $1.7M in seed funding. Quartzy, developer of lab management tools for academic and scientific communities, received $1.2M in seed funding. InVision, a company that develops prototyping software for designers, got $1.5M in seed funding. Stitch Labs, developer of online inventory management systems, received $1M in seed funding.
  • Other notables this month: OverNear, a developer of web-based messaging software for mobile phones, received $1.22M in seed funding. Memonic, a personal online notebook, received $1.5M. DoubleRecall, a recall-based monetizing platform, received $1.6M in seed funding.

March

  • This month saw 27 startups that closed $1M or more in seed funding.
  • Mobile apps remain a strong investment category, with 47 startups focused on smartphones and tablets received seed funding. Leading the category are Adelphic Mobile, a mobile advertising platform, Branch, a web conversation platform, and Fight My Monster, a budding UK-based mmo targeted for young boys, each received $2M in a seed round of funding.
  • Other notables in the mobile apps scene are vline, AppStack, Appboy, Stormpath, and Kihon—raised $1.5M in seed funding. Kuapay, Amen, UR Mobile, YogiPlay, Famigo, Mob Science, Dog Vacay, WeHostels, NextPrinciples, Tracky, and Wallit—raised $1M in seed funding.
  • Startups geared towards niche market also attracted investors. YouGift, a website service where people can send illustrated greetings and gifts, raised 1.2M in seed funding.
  • Dollar Shave Club, a CA-based membership club (with awesome advertising video you should check out!) and where members get quality shave razors for just $1/mo , raised $1M in seed funds.

April

  • This month saw 27 startups that closed $1M or more in seed funding.
  • Highlights of this month’s seed round: Ark, a San Francisco-based search engine for people project that closed a $4.2M seed round of funding. The money will be used to further develop their search engine designed to search for people, which already has indexed more than a billion people from their social network data. gopogo, a geo-location discovery platform, launched with $3M in seed funding.
  • Proving that ecommerce is still a strong investment category, Wittlebee, a children’s clothing monthly membership service, closed a $2.5M seed round of funding. The CA-based startup that does business by shipping boxes of children’s clothing to club members’ homes every month intends to use the fund to expand their business.
  • Social media companies remained a prime choice for investments. Wander, a mobile location-based check-in app, received $1.2M seed funding. Threadflip, social marketplace where women can buy and sell articles of clothing, raised $1.6M in seed funding. theComplete.me, a social dating network app designed to integrate with Facebook, raised $1.22M seed funding. MindMixer, a community engagement platform where people can submit and vote on ideas, launched with $1.9M in seed funding.

May

  • This month saw 29 startups that closed $1M or more in seed funding.
  • Highlight of this month’s seed round is Pair, a social app designed for exclusive use of couples, raised $4.2M in seed funding. The YCombinator startup’s mobile app, which is currently getting 220K downloads every month, allows only couples, or two people, to share photos, videos, sketches, messages as well as a Thumbkiss.
  • Exec, an unusual startup that provides part-time assistant service through its mobile and web app, launched with $3.3M in seed financing. Founded by Justin Kan of the Justin.tv fame, the service offers to do practically any kind of job, whether it be personal shopping or house cleaning or light research, for a flat fee of $25/hr.
  • Evoqu, an online ecommerce company that created the community marketplace ShopAdvisor, closed a $1.95M seed round of funding.
  • A number startups aimed at particular consumer niches were successful in attracting investors. Like Farmeron, a cloud-based software-as-a-service that brings analytics to one of the more unusual cloud users—farmers—received $1.4M in seed funding. TidePool, developer of a proprietary technology that uses photos to determine a consumer’s personality, received $1.5M in seed funding.
  • Enterprise startups continue to be a popular investment category this month. BetterCloud, a New York-based startup, raised $2.2M in seed funding to develop their suite of class management and security tools specifically built to integrate with Google Apps domains. Apcera, a new tech startup developing a next-gen cloud platform, received $2.2M in seed funding. CommunityLend, a point-of-sale consumer financing, raised $3M in angel funding.

June

  • This month saw 28 startups that closed $1M or more in seed funding.
  • Highlight of this month is Kiosked, an enterprise startup that received $5.75M seed fund from Rovio Chairman Kaj Hed. The startup is in development of an advertisement platform that will allow links to be placed over images.
  • Gradient X received $3.75M in seed funding to develop their demand-side platform for mobile advertising.
  • MemSQL, a Y Combinator graduate that makes scalable, memory-optimized database designed for high-throughput workloads, raised $3M in seed funding to develop a new type of database. Co-founder and CEO Eric Frenkiel said the database will address some of the computing issues he encountered while still employed by Facebook.
  • This year has been very successful for the mobile payments service Kuapay. The U.S. and Chile-based startup closed another round of funding, worth $4M this time, from a single undisclosed investor. Kuapay received financing worth $2.5M from various investor groups, family and friends the previous months, including a $1M seed funding last March.
  • Mobile-focused startups continue to attract investors. ThisLife, a cloud-based photo and video organizer, raised $2.75M. Eventup, an online marketplace where people can book events, raised $1.8M. PetHub, a Seattle-based startup that sells scannable ID tags for pets, received closed $1.3 in seed funding.
  • Other mobile apps startups that received considerable seed funds: Budge, a pro-social mobile gaming company, raised $1.02M in seed funding. Directr, a simple video creator for smartphones, raised $1.1M in seed funding. CellScope, a mobile app that enables physicians to perform diagnosis remotely by using smartphones, raised $1M in seed funding. Roqbot, a virtual jukebox for smartphones, raised $1M in seed funding.
  • A number of enterprise startups were successful  in attracting investors this month. Australian startup ScriptRock closed a $1.2M funding round from angel investors that include one of Facebook’s founders, Peter Thiel. Allmoxy, provider of cloud-based enterprise solutions, received $1M in angel funding. LumeJet, a UK-based technology startup that develops digital imaging heads, received $2.91M in angel funding. Kompany, a Vienna-based startup that does business by making international business background information accessible to broader audience, received $1M in angel funding. Yodo1, a company that provides game developers access to the Chinese market, received $2M.

July

  • This month saw 30 startups that closed $1M or more in seed funding.
  • Highlight of this month is 9GAG, an internet meme website that generates millions of Facebook shares daily and has over 850,000 Twitter followers. The San Francisco and Hong Kong-based community website nabbed $2.8M from various investors, including Kevin Rose, Tim Ferriss, and David Tisch, which it intends to use to expand in the mobile domain.
  • A number of enterprise startups were successful in attracting investors. Chute, a Y Combinator graduate that provides cloud-based images-as-a-service to help publishers capture, manage, and display media files, received $2.7M in seed funding. Space Monkey, developer of a peer-to-peer, alternative-to-cloud storage service, received $2.25M seed financing from top investors that included Google Ventures and Venture51. Datacratic, a software company that applies real-time machine learning and predictive modeling to big data generated from consumer behavior, received $2M in seed funding.
  • Mobile apps remain a strong investment category. Stremor, an Arizona-based startup focused on bringing new methodologies for content on mobile devices, received $2M in seed funding. Videolicious, a video creator app, secured $1.4M in seed funding. Y Combinator graduate PayDragon, a mobile shopping business model where consumers purchase food online and picked up the item when ready, received $1.35M seed financing. Apptopia, a marketplace for brokering mobile app acquisitions, received $1M in seed funding.
  • A few niche market startups attracted major investments. Bomoda, an online shopping site that focus on curating luxury items for Chinese shoppers, raised $1.4M in seed funding. PokitDok, a community-based marketplace for health and wellness, received $1.3M seed financing. Commerce Sciences, a startup that provides a holistic e-commerce solution, raised $1.8M in seed funding.
  • In the communications category, Mobile Pulse, a provider of mobile broadband measurement and analysis software solutions, received $2.5M in angel funding.

August

  • As of August 15, 2012, 23 startups closed $1M or more in seed funding.
  • Highlight of this month is Influitive, a customer advocate platform that aims to help businesses generate qualified leads and shorten buying processes, received $3.75M in seed funding. Founder and CEO Mark Organ was noted to say that the success of the round reflected on how the venture capitalists are getting more and more engaged in smaller deals.
  • Mobile software companies continue to attract investors. Lua Technologies, Funium, MediaCore, and SeeMore Interactive each received $2.5M, $1.8M, $1M and $750k, respectively.
  • Enterprise startups continue to be a popular investment category. Garantia Data, a cloud service for hosting Memcached and Redis, received $3M in seed funding. DEY Storage Systems, provider of innovative software-delivered storage solutions, closed a $3M seed round of funding.
  • A few niche market startups attracted major investments, like
    QuickPay, a parking payment startup which that helps drivers find and pay for parking, attracted enough investors to raise $3.5M in seed funding.
  • The entertainment category continues to be an attractive investment category. Thefuture.fm, a cloud-based internet radio that focuses on monetizing content curated by the world’s top DJs, received $1.1M in angel funding.

So that’s our summary of the seed and angel investments made in the past 6 months. The data in this list was from Crunchbase and from various press releases. Of course, there are startups that got funding yet didn’t make it here. There is only so much space, and too many companies deserving a mention. If you feel certain companies should be here, please leave us a comment below.

Rob Rawson

Rob Rawson

Rob Rawson is a co-founder of Time Doctor which is software to improve productivity and help keep track and know what your team is working on, even when working from home.

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