Cape Productions Inc. has launched out of stealth with more than $10 million for its plan to spread drone-based photography services to ski resorts and other vacation spots, Timothy Hay reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The company calls itself a drone services company, as it works with ski resorts to offer skiers a drone programmed to follow and film them for a portion of their day. Cape has raised more than $10 million in funding, including a recent $7.7 million Series A round led by New Enterprise Associates. Other investors in the company include Madrona Venture Group , XSeed Capital, S: Cubed Capital and the Commercial Drone Fund.
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The number of exits for U.S.-based venture-backed companies remained slow through the third quarter of this year, according to data from industry tracker Dow Jones VentureSource. Through the third there were 51 IPOs that raised $5.04 billion. The number of IPOs is poised to be down from the 107 in 2014 and the 73 in 2013, though higher than many previous years. The exit market through mergers and acquisitions hasn’t fared much better this year so far, either. Through the third quarter there were 344 mergers and acquisitions. The year’s total to date, $40.97 billion, is below last year’s total at this time and puts this year on track to fall short of the $80.98 billion in M&A transactions last year.
Optimizely Inc., a company launched by two former Google Inc. product managers that seeks to bring Web personalization to smaller businesses as they go mobile, has raised a $58 million Series C round. The round was led by Index Ventures and was joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Bain Capital Ventures, Battery Ventures, Benchmark, Citi Ventures , Correlation Ventures, Danhua Capital, Pharus Capital Management, Salesforce Ventures and Tenaya Capital.
EverString has secured a $65 million Series B round, becoming the latest startup to attract investor funding for its predictive marketing and sales analytics technology. Existing investor Lightspeed Ventures led the Series B round and had participation from existing investors Sequoia Capital and IDG Ventures. New investor Lakestar Capital also participated.
Gamida Cell Ltd., an Israeli biotechnology company developing cellular and immune therapies to treat cancer and orphan genetic diseases, has raised $5 million in equity with the promise of $10 million more in 2017 from strategic investor Novartis AG.
SentinelOne has picked up a $25 million Series B round of funding for its enterprise security technology the company touts as an advanced method of protection from that of traditional antivirus firms. Third Point Ventures led the round and had participation from existing investors Data Collective, Granite Hill Capital, Tiger Global, Westly Group and new investor SineWave Ventures.
(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:
Investors Joining Messaging Startup Symphony, to Tune of $100 Million. Wall Street-backed messaging startup Symphony Communication Services LLC has raised more than $100 million in new funding, The Wall Street Journal’s Justin Baer reports. Investors include Alphabet Inc.‘s Google unit, UBS Group AG, Lakestar, Merus Capital, Natixis and Société Générale . The startup raised $66 million in funding last year from 15 financial firms.
SoftBank Invests $50 Million in Israeli Cybersecurity Startup Cybereason. Cybersecurity startup Cybereason Inc. has raised $50 million from SoftBank Corp., a subsidiary of Japanese telecommunications giant SoftBank Group Corp., the WSJ’s Orr Hitschauge reports. The company’s software aims to detect intrusions into a company’s network.
New-Media Companies Shift Attention to TV. New media companies–including BuzzFeed, Vice Media and Huffington Post–are venturing into the older medium of television, the WSJ’s Lukas I. Alpert. BuzzFeed and Vice Media are aiming for the model of a tie-ip with traditional media companies. BuzzFeed may create shows with Comcast Corp.’s Universal Studios. Vice Media is in talks to work with A+E Networks.