Renrendai, the Chinese peer-to-peer lending portal, gained $130 million in a Series A round, with funding split between Trustbridge Partners and an undisclosed investor. According to a report by Celent, a consulting and research company, the P2P lending marketplace in China will reach $7.8 billion by 2015, up nearly 730 percent from 2012.
Tech and pop culture news publisher Mashable has raised a $13.3 million in equity funding. Updata Partners led the Series A round. Social Starts and New Markets Venture Partners contributed capital along with individual investors including Buddy Media founders Kass and Michael Lazerow, Elio Leoni Sceti of Iglo Group and David Jones of Havas. This is the first time the company has ever raised money.
Asset Management Ventures, Andreas Bechtolsheim and Andrew Yang were among those to pump $6 million Series A into Maverix Biomics, whose software helps investigate and decode gene sequencing data. Recently, PwC and the NVCA reported investment in the life sciences segment of biotech dipped as the number of deals for the first three quarters of 2013 dropped to 541, a record low since 2005.
Remitly, which lets American immigrants transfer funds to family back home, finished the first close of its Series A round with $5.5 million. QED took the lead while Trilogy Partnership, Tomorrow Ventures, Bezos Expeditions, Founder Co-Op and myriad angel investors contributed. The company will look to impact the worldwide remittance market, with the global flow of funds gauged at $550 billion by a World Bank study.
Bellicum Pharmaceuticals, provider of cell therapy solutions in the fight against cancer and other diseases, adds $14.7 million to a Series B round now totaling $34.7 million. Among the backers: AVG Ventures and Remeditex Ventures. The company leverages its gene “switch” capabilities to mobilize or knock out certain cells.
QingCloud of China concludes a $20 million Series B injection led by Lightspeed China Partners with participation from BlueRun Ventures and Matrix Partners China. The company deploys cloud services and, despite having launched six months ago in July 2013, has racked up 5,000 customers.
Swedish company FlatFrog Laboratories AB, which develops multi-touch interactivity with technology, has realized a $10 million round from investors Invus, Sunstone Capital and Intel Capital. The same investors raised €20 million ($27.2 million) for the company in June of 2012. The importance of touchscreen technology will amp up considerably as smartphones replace feature phones in global marketplaces. Gartner pinned smartphone shipments at more than 250 million for Q3 2013.
View, which makes windows smart, raises $100 million from Madrone Capital Partners, a firm best known for its links to the Walton family, heirs to the Walmart empire. The round’s size attracts attention as many investors have wiped their hands of clean tech. According to PwC, funding to the sector, at $297 million for Q3 2013, decreased 65 percent from Q3 2012.
Oracle reaches for its second acquisition in as many months as it purchases Corente for its software-defined network capabilities. The company announced it would acquire Responsys in December for $1.5 billion and continues to concentrate on working with and leveraging cloud solutions. Deal terms relating to today’s announcement were undisclosed.