The Daily Startup: In a Hot Market, Freestyle Capital Raises Larger Fund

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

As the venture market heats up, Freestyle Capital has closed a new fund at $60 million, which is 50% larger than its previous pool, Yuliya Chernova reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The fund is the third for the San Francisco firm, which invests in seed-stage software startups. Firm co-founder Dave Samuel said that over the years the firm has needed to write larger checks to take a similar stake in the startups. Along with having more to invest in Series A rounds, the firm will be able to participate in companies’ Series B rounds, Mr. Samuel said. Freestyle Capital also will begin investing more in enterprise-software companies instead of just consumer-software companies.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

FirstFuel Software, which provides software to help electric utilities manage energy use and businesses reduce energy bills, raised $23 million in a Series C round. Next World led the round, with participation by new investor Electranova Capital, and returning backers Battery Ventures, Rockport Capital, Nth Power and E. ON.

Alzheon has collected $10 million in Series A funding to prepare for Phase III clinical studies of an oral therapy that may improve cognition and function in certain Alzheimer’s disease patients, a goal that has been elusive for drug companies. Ally Bridge Group led the financing.

Yeloha has raised $3.5 million in Series A funding for a system that allows people to purchase a portion of the energy created by a residential solar installation. Yeloha’s Israeli parent company, Generaytor, raised the funding from Carmel Ventures and other previous investors.

Kyriba, a developer of cloud-based financial-management software, has raised $21 million in Series C funding. The funding was provided by new investor Kyriba, joined by existing investors BRED Banque Populaire, Daher Capital, Iris Capital and Upfront Ventures.

ATyr Pharma, which is developing a drug that treats rare inflammatory diseases by rebalancing the immune system, has publicly filed for its initial public offering.

(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving startups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, visit, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)


Android Creator Andy Rubin Launching Playground Global. The man who created the Android operating system is launching an incubator for hardware startups, The Wall Street Journal’s Alistair Barr and Daisuke Wakabayashi report. The company, Playground Global, won’t invest in startups, but it will take an equity stake for its support. The news comes as Andy Rubin joined Redpoint Ventures as an investor.

Early Uber Architect Launches Carpooling App ‘Ride.’ A new app from Ride Group has launched to organize co-workers at a company into carpooling groups, the WSJ’s Douglas MacMillan reports. The company is majority owned by TPG Growth, an investor in Uber Technologies. The app was designed by Oscar Salazar, Uber’s first technology chief.

Google Enters Into the Handyman Marketplace. Startups that include Thumbtack and Handy will have a new competitor when it comes to recommending home-service providers: Google. The search engine will be adding home-service providers–such as plumbers and electricians–for a specialized search offering, the WSJ’s Rolfe Winkler and Deepa Seetharaman report.

Write to Mike Billings at Follow him on Twitter at @mbillings