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Mattermark Weekly Issue #1 – Sunday June 9, 2013

Welcome Mattermark readers,

I’m thrilled to be writing to you today for the first time. This newsletter aims to give you a weekly rundown of interesting events, data, and insights from the startup world organized around a specific theme. It is a work in progress, and you are welcome to reply directly to me (I don’t believe in noreply@ emails) with your feedback, ideas, and critique.

If you like this issue and want to help Mattermark grow, please FOWARD THIS EMAIL to other people who you think would enjoy reading it. They can also subscribe here.

In This Issue
You’ll quickly notice that this email is long. Each week I’ll do my best to give you a TLDR or “too long didn’t read” version first so you can get an overview of what we’re covering.
* Top 20 Companies With the MOST OVERALL Momentum Last Week
* Top 20 Companies Who GAINED THE MOST Momentum Last Week
* 6 Developer Tools Companies to Watch
* VCs & Angels
* People on the Move

Top 20 Companies with the MOST OVERALL Momentum Last Week

1. Sulia – subject based social network for following topics you care about (Series A)
2. Upworthy – Social media site on a mission to make meaningful content go viral (Series A)
3. Viki – streaming local TV from around the world translated into 150 languages by fans (Series B)
4. Sold – Dead simple tool for selling things – they handle pricing, listing and shipping (Seed June 2012)
5. Prizeo – platform to create raffles and raise money for charity with celebrities and brands (Seed)
6. Versus IO – dead simple product comparison tool (Series A)
7. Humble Bundle – bundling together digital products to raise money for charity (Series A 2011)
8. Rap Genius – annotating, sharing and discussing the meaning of rap lyrics (Series A)
9. Plated – chef designed dinners for busy people who want to eat well during the week (Seed)
10. Personal Democracy – media company covering technology, politics, government & civic life (Bootstrapped)
11. Greatist – social health and fitness community (Seed)
12. Nestopia – home renovation and decor (Bootstrapped)
13. Favebucket – social bookmarking for your favorite links (Bootstrapped)
14. Coinbase – platform for exchanging Bitcoins (Series A)
15. HowAboutWe – activity based dating company to help couples fall in love and stay that way (Series B in 2011)
16. Bookish – connecting readers with books and authors
17. Qello – streaming HD concert video footage delivery platform
18. Rumble Games – game developer and publisher (Series A 2011)
19. 3D Robotics – fully-autonomous aircraft and open-source drone technology company (Seed)
20. OPPRTUNITY – matching professionals based on business opportunity for sales leads and job opportunities (Bootstrapped)

Top 20 Companies Who Gained the MOST Momentum Last Week

These are companies who have seen big jumps in attention online in the past week, but might still be small and relatively unknown to many. Late stage companies in this list are unusual, and indicate either a press event or extreme growth.
1. Personal Democracy – media company covering technology, politics, government & civic life (Bootstrapped)
2. 3D Robotics – fully-autonomous aircraft and open-source drone technology company (Seed)
3. Versus IO – dead simple product comparison tool (Series A)
4. Notism – visual prototyping, feedback and workflow tool for design teams (Bootstrapped)
5. HowAboutWe – activity based dating company to help couples fall in love and stay that way (Series B in 2011)
6. DuckDuckGo – search engine (Series A in 2011)
7. OPPRTUNITY – matching professionals based on business opportunity for sales leads and job opportunities (Bootstrapped)
8. Box – cloud file storage, management, and collaboration (Late Stage)
9. Segment.io – Analytics management API to integrate with Google Analytics, Mixpanel, Marketo, Hubspot and many more in a single API call (Seed)
10. docTrackr – remote tracking and management of sensitive business documents (Seed)
11. Sold – Dead simple tool for selling things – they handle pricing, listing and shipping (Seed June 2012)
12. Funny or Die – Humor site (Late Stage)
13. Viki – streaming local TV from around the world translated into 150 languages by fans (Series B)
14. BetterFit Technologies – using natural language processing and predictive tech to engage with people for healthy behavior change (Seed)
15. Kikin – Touch to search technology for Android devices (Bootstrapped)
16. Birchbox – subscription product discovery (Series A 2011)
17. Unroll.me – email subscription management tool (Bootstrapped)
18. Waygo – mobile app to instantly translate Chinese and navigating in China (Seed)
19. BaubleBar – Fashion jewelry sourced directly from the community (Series A)
20. Cozy – simple rental management tools for tenants and landlords (Seed)

Focus On: Developer Tools Companies

This week Twilio, the company offering developer APIs for telecommunications, raised a $70M Series D from co-led by Redpoint and Bessemer Venture Partners. GigaOm reports the company “is now valued at close to $500 million” and CEO Jeff Lawson told the Wall Street Journal “revenue will grow about 150% this year to $50 million and that it is on the path to go public within a year or 18 months”.

For every developer-focused company like Heroku, GIthub or Stripe who are well known and widely understood there are hundreds more who are bootstrapped and beginning to take off.

Firebase – James Tamplin originally founded the company as Envolve in 2009 to offer Facebook-like chat rooms for websites, but pivoted to Firebase at the end of YC Summer 2011. In a natural progression from plugin-provider to backend platform, Firebase increases developer productivity by with tools for building apps without having to deal with server-side code. Firebase is especially awesome for front-end developers who are loving Javascript but aren’t comfortable with server-side code to store their data.

Postmaster.io – Shipping, transportation and logistics are hot (a topic worth an entire email of its own) and this Austin, Texas based TechStars company has raised just $700k in seed funding so far this year to make an API for developers to integrate shipping into their apps by sending packages via Fedex, UPS and US Postal Service.

This is definitely a space to watch. There was also the launch of EasyPost this week, a company in the current Y Combinator batch with $850K in new funding. On the enterprise side their is also Shipwire who raised a $6M Series A from eBay and Rubbermaid in 2011.

Keen.io – Keen IO provides APIs for collecting, analyzing and visualizing data from anything connected to the internet, referring to themselves as “backend analytics as a service”. Developers often have to build internal monitoring dashboards (what folks in big companies might call “business intelligence”), or account specific dashboards to display user stats in an app (like your checkin history graph in Github) and Keen IO is making it easier to pull together large volumes of disparate, granular and otherwise complex data together in a useful way. The company raised $750K in June of last year, so it seems likely they’ll be fundraising again soon.

PythonAnywhere – As far as we know this London-based company is bootstrapped by Giles Thomas and seeing significant growth recently. They launched in March 2012. PythonAnywhere is a web-based IDE for Python development offering a full suite of tools for developers to code, test, run and share their programs on the web and mobile. By our estimates their website has 100K+ unique visitors per month, a healthy number for any developer tools company and particularly impressive for a bootstrapped company that doesn’t appear to be spending any money on marketing.

POP App – POP stands for “prototype on paper” and this mobile app let’s you take a picture of your hand draw wireframe with the phone’s camera and turn it into an interactive mock. I started using it last fall when we were building the Referly iPhone app, and they are now in the current 500 Startups batch (demo day is June 27th).

Embedly – This Boston-based Y Combinator Winter 2010 has been quietly chugging along as a popular tools for embedding media on websites, extracting content and making the images you use look great on the fly. The company boasts a long list of notable customers including Yammer, Bitly, Reddit, and 37 Signals. One simple way to think about it is Twitter cards as a service – anyone can build similar functionality into their own apps with Embedly fetching the linked social content (a snippet of a news story, a picture, a summary of a blog post, etc). The company has raised $1M so far from angels including Betaworks, SV Angel and Chris Sacca; most recently taking $320K in March 2012.

See 200+ Developer Tools Companies with Mattermark Professional
Those of you with Mattermark PRO accounts will now find that you can filter companies by tag. To see the full list of companies filter on “developer-tools”. Need access? Request a Professional Account here.

VC & Angel Funds
Morado Venture Partners is raising a $30M fund. Partners are Ash Patel (ex-Yahoo!) and Michael Marquez (ex-CBS Interactive, founding partner at CODE Advisors). Notable investments from their previous fund include Science Exchange, GetAround, and Impermium.

Ray Tonsing closed $7.8M of his $15M fund Caffeinated Capital according to a regulatory filing. Notable investments to date include Hipmunk, MemSQL and Parse (which was recently acquired by Facebook).

Nashville Capital Network Angel Fund II closed $9.8M of a new $10M fund. View the full list of their portfolio companies here.

Los Angeles startup incubator Science Inc. is raising a new $30M fund according to TechCrunch. Recent investments include Wealthfront, Ouya and Instacanvas.

Notable People on the Move

Omar Hamoui, founder of Admob, joins Sequoia as an investment partner. He created startup incubator Churn Labs in 2011 with funding from Sequoia, which generated a handful of companies and a few acqui-hires, and the incubator was shut down last week. TechCrunch reported that Hamoui would be launching a new startup this summer, but it looks like just a week later those plans may have changed.

Adam Wiggins, cofounder and CTO of Heroku, has stepped down. Heroku was acquired by Salesforce in December 2010 for ~$250M, and they only raised $13M so it is safe to assume the founders did quite well. No word on what’s next for Wiggins, but this does make me wonder how things are going. Heroku was a darling amount developers but website traffic has been in steady decline since mid 2011.

Request A Topic
Is there a trend you’d like to see us research or a burning question you wish you could answer with data? A company you’d like to share with other Mattermark readers? A great resource the community should know about? Feel free to write back with your own “Letter to the Editor” and you can help shape our editorial direction. We will publish selected items in the next issue.


© Mattermark 2024. Sources: Mattermark Research, Crunchbase, AngelList.