VC Deals: Fusion-io, DoubleTwist, Socialcast - InformationWeek

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4/7/2009
08:30 PM
Michael Singer
Michael Singer
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VC Deals: Fusion-io, DoubleTwist, Socialcast

Several Silicon Valley startups are celebrating fresh infusions of cash this week as the venture capital economy may be showing signs of a comeback.

Several Silicon Valley startups are celebrating fresh infusions of cash this week as the venture capital economy may be showing signs of a comeback.


The larger investments revealed Tuesday include Fusion-io, which got $47.5 million in seed funding; DoubleTwist, which got $5 million to help it make software for media-sharing between PCs and handheld devices; Socialcast, an Enterprise 2.0 firm that makes business social networking tools with $1.4 million more in the bank; and Aerovance, which has now raised $38 million to continue work on biopharmaceutical therapies for the treatment of respiratory and inflammatory diseases. Fusion-io, which recently hired Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as its chief scientist, has caught the eye of Lightspeed Venture Partners.

DoubleTwist investors included former Disney president Michael Ovitz; Alex Zubillaga, the former head of digital strategy at Warner Music; Horizons Ventures; the investment arm of Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-Shing; Index Ventures; and Northzone Ventures. The company, which was co-founded by noted hacker Jon "DVD Jon" Lech Johansen, also released a Windows version of its product on Tuesday after debuting with a Mac client.

Socialcast said it will use its funds to relocate its headquarters from Irvine to San Francisco this summer. True Ventures led the round with a $1 million investment, and several angel investors also participated. Om Malik, a venture partner at True Ventures and the founder of GigaOm, will join Socialcast's board.

Aerovance said its newest financing will support a clinical trial of inhaled medicine for patients with uncontrolled asthma. ProQuest Investments led the current round of funding.

With financial lending in a shambles, VCs have been cautious in funding startups. Some experts believe a year-over-year drop in venture investment is due this year. However, the VC well hasn't dried up completely. Google has set up its own venture capital fund that aims to promote the growth of new businesses in various sectors, including consumer Internet, software, hardware, clean tech, bio-tech, and health care. And where Google goes, other investors are sure to take note.

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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