The Daily Startup: Second Genome Raises $42.6 Million to Pursue Microbiome-Based Therapies

[wsj-responsive-image P="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" J="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" M="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" caption="" credit="" placement="Wrap" suppressEnlarge="false" ignorerespwidth="359" ignorerespheight="239" ] Second Genome Inc. has attracted the venture arms of two drug companies to a $42.6 million financing that will enable it to develop disease treatments based on research into the population of microbes that live in and on the body. The more than 100 trillion microorganisms living in and on the body, the microbiome, influence disease and health, research indicates. For Second Genome, the interest that the venture arms of Pfizer and Roche showed in its financing validates two premises on which the company is based. One is that the microbiome is involved in multiple diseases. The other is that Second Genome’s particular approach to microbiome-based therapy is one that should appeal to drug manufacturers, according to Chief Executive Peter DiLaura. Instead of using microbes as drugs, Second Genome Continue reading "The Daily Startup: Second Genome Raises $42.6 Million to Pursue Microbiome-Based Therapies"

The Daily Startup: Rinse Puts New Spin on Dry Cleaning

[wsj-responsive-image P="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" J="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" M="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" caption="" credit="" placement="Wrap" suppressEnlarge="false" ignorerespwidth="359" ignorerespheight="239" ] As venture capital investment slowed in the first quarter, investors slammed the brakes on funding for consumer services. But some investors still bet consumers will pay to have drivers pick up their laundry so they don’t have to haul it to dry cleaners themselves: San Francisco-based Rinse Inc. grabbed $6 million in Series A funding, Cat Zakrzewski reports for VentureWire. In the on-demand economy, few services besides food delivery have become as crowded as laundry. Washio Inc., Laundry Locker Inc., Cleanly Inc., FlyCleaners Inc. and other competitors all focus on dry cleaning and laundry delivery. Rinse co-founder and Chief Executive Ajay Prakash pushes back against the comparison of his company to others in the on-demand laundry space. He said though the company can offer laundry service in 24 Continue reading "The Daily Startup: Rinse Puts New Spin on Dry Cleaning"

TapInfluence Taps $14 Million for Influencer Marketing

[wsj-responsive-image P="http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NP701_TapInf_G_20160418215329.jpg" J="http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NP701_TapInf_G_20160418215329.jpg" M="http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NP701_TapInf_G_20160418215329.jpg" caption="VP of Engineering Joe Scharf, VP of Sales Francesca Cruz, Co-founder and Strategic Advisor Holly Hamann, CEO Promise Phelon, Co-founder and CPO Rustin Banks, CRO Frank Sette." credit="TapInfluence" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ignorerespwidth="553" ignorerespheight="369" ] TapInfluence, a platform that connects brands with influencer marketers to promote their content online, has raised $14 million in Series B1 funding. The company, incorporated as TapInfluence Inc., has a network of about 45,000 vetted influencers. TapInfluence uses Watson, IBM’s natural-language-processing computer, to create demographic profiles of each influencer’s audience, to help marketers target their campaigns. TapInfluence also works with the Nielsen Catalina Solutions to provide its clients with attribution data on the conversions driven by each campaign and influencer. This includes return-on-investment data for both online and in-store transactions. Last year it transitioned from a fee-for-service model to a software-as-a-service Continue reading "TapInfluence Taps $14 Million for Influencer Marketing"

The Daily Startup: Illumina to Invest $100 Million Through Venture Fund

[wsj-responsive-image P="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" J="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" M="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" caption="" credit="" placement="Wrap" suppressEnlarge="false" ignorerespwidth="359" ignorerespheight="239" ] Genomics company Illumina, which has used venture investments and acquisitions to help fuel its growth, is ramping up its venture activity by committing to invest $100 million over 10 years through a new venture fund. Illumina has grown rapidly as demand for its DNA-sequencing systems and other life sciences-research tools has soared. The company posted $2.2 billion in 2015 revenue, a 19% jump from 2014, and over the last five years its share price has climbed to $173 from the high $60s. For several years Illumina has made venture investments through an internal fund, backing startups such as consumer-genetics company 23andMe Inc., software provider Desktop Genetics Ltd., and biotech concern Kallyope Inc. With the genomics market growing, Illumina concluded that it could extend its reach through Continue reading "The Daily Startup: Illumina to Invest $100 Million Through Venture Fund"

The Daily Startup: RefleXion Medical Spots $46 Million to Make Radiation Therapy Safer

[wsj-responsive-image P="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" J="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" M="http://si.wsj.net/media/dailystartup_E_20090806101628.jpg" caption="" credit="" placement="Wrap" suppressEnlarge="false" ignorerespwidth="359" ignorerespheight="239" ] RefleXion Medical Inc. has collected $46 million in Series B financing to bring to market a technology that could make radiation therapy for cancer safer and extend its benefits to more patients, Brian Gormley reports for VentureWire. New investor KCK Group, a family investment fund, led the round, which also included return backers Pfizer Venture Investments, Sofinnova Partners and Venrock. RefleXion formed in 2009 and raised seed financing from individuals before closing an $11 million Series A round in 2014. Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment used to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It can be used with chemotherapy and surgery in an attempt to treat or cure cancer. Today, physicians use X-rays, computed tomography scanning and magnetic resonance imaging to guide treatment. These types of imaging Continue reading "The Daily Startup: RefleXion Medical Spots $46 Million to Make Radiation Therapy Safer"

RigUp’s Oil-Well Service Gets $15 Million Despite Oil Price Dip

[wsj-responsive-image P="http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NO460_RigUp_P_20160414220948.jpg" J="http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NO460_RigUp_J_20160414220948.jpg" M="http://si.wsj.net/public/resources/images/BN-NO460_RigUp_M_20160414220948.jpg" caption="RigUp co-founder and CEO Xuan Yong" credit="RigUp" placement="Inline" suppressEnlarge="false" ] During the short existence of startup RigUp Inc., the oil and gas industry it serves turned on its head. When the startup started testing its online marketplace for oil-rig projects in 2014 the price for a barrel of crude hovered around $100, oil rigs were multiplying around the country and exploration companies were making profits. Since then, the price per barrel sank to around $40 and the number of oil rigs dropped some 75%, to the lowest level since at least 1949, according to data from WTRG Economics. And yet Austin, Texas-based RigUp managed to raise a $15 million Series A round, building on top of the $3 million seed round it closed in the summer of 2014. The new round came mostly from existing investors, Continue reading "RigUp’s Oil-Well Service Gets $15 Million Despite Oil Price Dip"