The Daily Startup: HouseCall Dials In $6 Million for Contractor Services

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

HouseCall, which has an app to help people connect with service providers, has raised $6 million, Lora Kolodny reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The company’s apps also allow service providers to find customers, manage jobs and receive payments via their smartphones. The company is competing in a crowded marketplace that includes Amazon Inc., with its Home Services; Google Inc., which has launched its own home services via search; Yelp Inc.; Angie’s List Inc.; and TaskRabbit. August Capital led the investment in HouseCall.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Body Labs Inc. has secured $4.1 million for its 3-D body visualization technology. The New York-based startup, which disclosed the equity funding in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, makes software that builds digital representations of human bodies for goods and services to be designed, manufactured, bought and sold.

.com, a Chinese peer-to-peer lending company, has raised $207 million in new funding from several financial institutions as it continues to expand its service. Hong Kong-based Dianrong, which was launched by Lending Club Corp. co-founder Soul Htite, last year raised a $12 million first institutional round from Northern Light Venture Capital and other investors. The new funding, which Dianrong is referring to as a Series C round, was provided by Standard Chartered Bank , China Fintech Fund, Bohai Leasing and other financial institutions.

CureVac GmbH, a German company that has raised $225 million in equity to develop new, messenger-RNA therapies, has established U.S headquarters near its better-funded rival Moderna Therapeutics Inc. Opening offices in Cambridge, Mass., gives CureVac a base for engaging U.S. investors and corporate partners.

WebAction Inc. said Intel Capital led a $20 million Series B financing to expand the technical depth and market reach of its Striim platform, accelerate sales and build channels to help meet demand.

(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 http://on.wsj.com/DJPEVCNews, scroll to the bottom and click “try for free.”)

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WEB:

Uber CEO Hears It From a Protester at ‘Late Show’ Taping. Ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc. Chief Executive Travis Kalanick appeared on “The Late Show,” where Stephen Colbert pressed him about self-driving cars and an audience member heckled him, The Wall Street Journal’s Brian R. Fitzgerald reports. The protester in the audience didn’t make it into the clip from the show, but several people in the audience tweeted about the incident. 

Willie Brown: Help With CEO’s Domestic-Violence Case Was Ethical. Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown said in a radio interview Friday that his assistance with a high-profile domestic violence case involving RadiumOne Chief Executive Gurbaksh Chahal was both ethical and effective, the WSJ’s Jeff Elder reports. A Wall Street Journal article reported that  cited emails between different people involved in the domestic-violence case of Mr. Chaha as the company prepared for an initial public offering. In an email, Mr. Chahal told  former California state controller Steve Westly, a venture capitalist who sat on the company’s board, that he met with Mr. Brown, and that Mr. Brown, who is a lawyer, “wants $1 million if he can make this go away.” Mr. Brown, also a former speaker of the California Assembly, said on KCBS news radio in San Francisco: “We did put together a fabulous defense team under, you know, the canons of ethics….We followed all of the rules and regulations and saved him.” Mr. Chahal has maintained his innocence of the domestic-violence allegations. He pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges related to the case.

Write to Mike Billings at mike.billings@wsj.com. Follow him on Twitter at @mbillings