Crunchbase News typically covers larger funding rounds, however we think these startups are worth highlighting for their interesting approaches despite their smaller raises.
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We’ve been writing a lot about gaming companies lately, raising funding and battling with app stores. Here we have a startup helping players spend money in free-to-play games. New York-based Lootcakes, aside from having a super-cute name, raised a $2 million seed round led by Konvoy Ventures, with participation from SOSV and GAN Ventures.
Members of Lootcakes’ network opt-in to share their in-app purchase receipts, self-identifying their unique gaming preferences and buying behavior. In return, for every dollar they spend on any free-to-play game distributed via the Apple App Store, Google Play or Steam, members receive “lootcakes,” the company’s virtual currency, that they can redeem for gift cards to major gaming platforms.
“This funding helps accelerate our vision for rewarded data-sharing, empowering gamers to harness their purchase data to get more of what they love,” Matt Littin, co-founder and CEO of Lootcakes, said via email. “Our next steps include launching a Lootcakes mobile app to complement our web service, expanding beyond the US, and forging partnerships with more content creators and gaming communities.”
Repeat, a SaaS platform that enables consumer packaged goods brands to turn one-time buyers into repeat customers, landed a $1.5 million seed round. Harlem Capital Partners led the round along with existing investors Techstars, Act One Ventures and Mucker Capital.
“The idea is we want to enable brands with direct-to-consumer or point-of-sales customers to come back and purchase from their stores,” Stiefel said in an interview. “If you purchase from a brand and love it, you might forget to get it. You might likely go to Amazon instead of the brand.”
Repeat, which has 30 customers, analyzes order data on a per-SKU basis and uses logic to predict when the brand should send a notification to the customer. The customer can then confirm a purchase or snooze for later, she said. Repeat’s platform uses machine learning to get smarter over time; even learning how products are being consumed in general, on a household or individual level based on timing.
Stiefel said the funding will be used to hire more engineers to join its four-person team and for sales and marketing.
Another CPG-based company, this time on the market research side, called Birdie has raised $1.6 million in seed funding, led by Astella. Its AI-based Insights-as-a-Service platform helps CPG brands understand millions of consumers’ opinions by analyzing data and providing actionable insights.
The Palo Alto, California-based technology company plans to use the new funding to support its expansion in the U.S., grow its sales and marketing teams, and accelerate the development of new features related to integration with other data sources.
“Our vision is to become a central system of intelligence for consumer insights executives and their teams,” said Alexandre Hadade, co-founder and CEO, in a written statement.
“By consolidating data from enterprise marketing, data solutions and external sources into a central dashboard with actionable insights, we are helping consumer brands tackle the problem of ‘infobesity,’ or information overload, to optimize marketing and sales efforts,” he said.
Going from retail shopping to shopping for homes, proptech platform Offr raised $3.5 million in seed funding led by Barclays, with participation from existing investors Frontline Ventures, Delta Partners, AIB, Bank of Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and The European Investment Fund.
London-based Offr launched its platform 10 months ago to help people buy, sell, lease or rent a property with one click. The new funds will be used to accelerate international expansion and product development to manage the transactions of all types of properties, both traditional and auction, including the sale of homes, residential lettings, commercial sales and leases, Niall Dawson, founder and CTO, said via email.
“We built Offr with a clear and simple goal: to change the way property is bought and sold and to make it faster, more transparent and more enjoyable for real estate agents, buyers and everyone else involved in the process,” he said. “We are delighted with the support from Barclays, as we look to accelerate our growth globally, bringing trust, transparency and speed to buyers and property agents in the UK, Australia and the US.”
Workplace productivity is still a thing as employers figure out how to keep remote employees connected. Meet HelloTeam, a performance management and employee engagement platform that received a $3.5 million seed round led by Underscore VC and joined by investors including Osage Venture Partners and VentureForGood.
The Boston-based company, founded by CEO Tanya Bakalov, will use the new round of funding for product development and hiring.
“We will grow our own team with hires in sales and customer experience to ensure that we reach and support more companies who need us right now,” Bakalov said via email. “We will increase product/marketing resources in order to expand our communications and refine our product modules and platform with focus on performance management, surveys and overall engagement. We will also continue with strategic partnerships and integrations across the broader HR and HCM ecosystem to enable ease of use, speed and efficiencies to enable a scalable culture and employee experience.”
Speaking of connecting teams, Ananda Networks said it came out of stealth mode this week with $6 million in seed funding and its Ananda Secure Global LAN to connect a customer’s distributed workforce and networking abilities.
Dubbed SG-LAN, the first cloud-managed service enables organizations to create their own private networks, connecting any users, devices and cloud services anywhere. MizMaa Ventures, Citrix Systems, Gefen Capital, Cyber Mentor Fund, GreatPoint Ventures, Jiran, J-Ventures and other individual investors participated in the seed round.
“We plan on using the funding to scale our sales and marketing to increase customer acquisition and to keep enhancing our technology to make it even faster, more secure and easier to use for our worldwide customers,” said Adi Ruppin, co-founder and CEO of Ananda Networks, via email.
If you have ever watched the game show “The Price is Right,” you know that it is basically guessing how much something costs. If we all had Israel-based Fetcherr’s capabilities, we would be winners all the time.
The company is developing an AI-powered price intelligence engine that uses proprietary algorithms to gather and analyze data points to predict a price on anything from toasters to trousers.
It recently completed a $1.2 million seed round from unnamed investors and is focusing on the aviation and tourism industry. The company says it is currently conducting a pilot with a major Asian airline.
“After a successful validation for the aviation industry, the money raised is for further development of our AI system,” Fetcherr co-founder and CEO Roy Cohen said via email. “Next year, we intend to expand into the financial industry as well.”
Illustration: Dom Guzman
Company photos courtesy of Lootcakes, Repeat, Birdie, Offr, HelloTeam, Ananda Networks and Fetcherr.