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4/15/2009
02:41 PM
Michael Singer
Michael Singer
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Additional Funding Vital In VC Deals

Second and third rounds of financing for startups often come at critical times, as three different IT software firms found out this week.

Second and third rounds of financing for startups often come at critical times, as three different IT software firms found out this week.


Ravenflow, FastScale, Solera Networks, and Collective Media all announced fresh infusions of cash from venture capital firms. Each said that they will use the additional financing to expand business or -- as in Collective Media's case -- explore acquisitions.

Collective Media reported the largest purse. The company said Tuesday that it closed $20 million in growth equity financing with Accel Partners, a company known for backing some of online media's major players, such as Facebook, Glam, Trulia, and Admob.

Funding will be used for organic growth and also to help the company accelerate technology development, expand internationally, and explore acquisitions, a company representative said. Collective Media's software helps advertisers, publishers and agencies develop and execute ad network strategies through technology, targeting, distribution, and analytics.

Not to be outdone, Ravenflow, which makes tools for software designers, said it raised $6 million in a new round of funding. The company said it will use part of the monies to open new offices in Virginia and North Carolina, as well as support the launch of its online store. Ravenflow's software helps the business side of companies plainly communicate their specific requirements to IT departments, a common problem for executives.

Previous investors Alloy Ventures, Palomar Ventures and the Roda Group participated in the round. Ravenflow, which was founded in 2000, also raised $5 million in a round that closed in Feb. 2008.

Also announcing funding was FastScale Technology, which makes software used to manage data centers. The second round of funding totaling $5.5 million was led by ATA Ventures. Previous investors Leapfrog Ventures and Hunt Ventures, as well as an undisclosed new investor, also participated. FastScale's Technology is designed to help IT organizations build, manage and deploy server software. The company had closed its previous $6.5 million round in late 2006.

Solera Networks, which makes network forensics software also chimed in that it raised an additional $7 million in Series B venture funding, led by new investor Allegis Capital. Solera Networks' existing investor, Canopy Ventures, is also participating in the round.

Proceeds from the funding will be used to bolster its sales and marketing departments, including opening the company's new office in Washington, DC and expansion of its Japanese operations.

Additional rounds of funding are currently outpacing initial VC capital investments. Just three new funds and 37 follow-on funds were raised in the first quarter of this year, according to a quarterly survey released this week by Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association. The 12-to-1 of follow-on to new funds is a stark contrast to the 6-to-1 ratio that the industry groups reported in the first quarter of 2008. A "new" fund is defined as the first fund at a newly established firm, although the general partner of that firm may have previous experience investing in venture capital.

The report also found a mere 40 venture capital funds raised $4.3 billion in the first quarter of 2009, showing a trend towards bigger funds from fewer players.

Is your company getting venture funding? Is your VC one of the first to grab a rising star? Drop me a line and let me know.

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