Amprius, which aims to develop longer-lasting batteries for devices such as smartphones, has raised $30 million in a Series C investment round led by SAIF Partners. Previous investors, including Kleiner Perkins, Google’s Eric Schmidt, Stanford University, Trident Capital, VantagePoint Capital Partners, and Chinergy Capital, also pumped in capital. The Sunnyvale-based company makes lithium-ion, rechargeable batteries and was founded by a Stanford Professor in 2008. Today’s funding is $5 million more than Amprius’ 2011, $25 million Series B.
Meanwhile, Durham’s Metabolon, Inc., which gives consumers a read on their health via metabolomics, received $15 million in Series E funding. Investors include Camden Partners, which led the round, as well as Sumitomo Corporation and previous backers Aurora Funds, Syngenta Ventures, Fulcrum Financial Partners, Fletcher Spaght, and Harris & Harris Group. Diagnostics seems an increasingly exciting area in healthcare for VC investment, as the rise of consumer-facing products like 23andMe (though currently shut down) attract media attention.
Whyd, the French music aggregator, received $700,000 in funding from private investors in France, and announced its music platform and community were officially open to the world. The website allows users to pull together playlists from the likes of YouTube and Soundcloud, and then share them with the community. The streaming space where music and technology converge has recently seen increased activity as competitors like Spotify raised a massive, $250 million round in November and Rdio expanded its platforms to 51 countries in December.
Finally, OnTheGo Platforms, which seeks to integrate gesture-recognition into technology for smart glasses, has also raised $700,000 from Rogue Venture Partners, Social Leverage, SK Ventures, GMO Cloud and Portland Seed Fund, with a little less than half ($330,000) stemming from Foundry Group’s AngelList Syndicate. Some say wearables offers the tech industry’s best bet for continued growth and disruption as innovation in the smartphone space slows. However, analysts have found it difficult to estimate interest in smart glasses and watches, though companies like Jawbone, which produces fitness trackers, have seen heavy demand and upwards of $100 million by way of VC investment.
YP, America’s second-biggest mobile advertising company as reported by IDC, has picked up Sense Networks, Inc. for its mobile targeting solutions. Sense allows YP to deliver advertising based on a better sense of where customers are and of their actions. Owned by AT&T and Cerberus Capital Management, YP links customers with backyard markets through search, media and advertising. The company drives upwards of $1 billion digital ad revenue yearly, CEO David Krantz stated in a press release. Deal terms were not disclosed.