The Daily Startup: Rachio Collects $7.1 Million for Smart Sprinkler Controller

A smart sprinkler-controller made in Colorado by Rachio Inc.
Rachio Inc.

As the Western U.S. continues to face a drought, the startuup Racio Inc. has raised $7.1 million in Series A funding that aims to help people save water, Lora Kolodny reports for Dow Jones VentureWire. The company’s sprinkler controllers are Wi-Fi connected and can be controlled through iOS and Android smartphones or a Web app. Among other things, the Rachio app delivers weather and precipitation data to people so that they can modify their watering schedules. Customers of Rachio can automatically turn off sprinklers when rain is on the way or they can set the app to make seasonal adjustments so that less water is used during cooler months. The funding round was led by Arborview Capital and included Michigan eLab and the company’s earlier backers Hallett Capital and Miramar Digital Ventures.

ALSO IN TODAY’S VENTUREWIRE (subscription required):

Bristol-Myers Co. will invest in a new venture fund from Life Sciences Partners and will collaborate with the firm to identify European products and technologies in immuno-oncology and other fields. Bristol-Myers has committed an undisclosed amount to Life Sciences Partners’ latest fund, LSP 5. This is the first investment Bristol-Myers has made in a European health-care fund.

Zazzle Inc. is acquiring Coveroo Inc., Dow Jones VentureWire has learned, in a union of two Silicon Valley companies that have made businesses out of custom-made objects. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Coveroo shareholders were able to choose whether to take Zazzle shares or cash out, according to Coveroo Chief Executive Christopher Boone.

Deliveroo has raised a $100 million Series D investment to further support its international expansion. The round for the London-based company was led by DST Global and Greenoaks Capital and had participation from existing investors Accel Partners, Hummingbird Ventures and Index Ventures.

Tango, a messaging app that has been valued by private investors at $1 billion, has shut down its Tango Shop commerce feature and laid off about 30 people who worked on it, or about 9% of Tango’s employees.

Blink, a wireless home-monitoring system that garnered more than $1 million in pledges on Kickstarter last year, has raised $5.8 million from private investors, including Baker Capital and Dot Capital. Blink is a product of Andover, Mass.-based Immedia Semiconductor Inc., whose backers include Akamai Technologies Inc., Comcast Ventures and Flybridge Capital Partners.

The Trust Group of Companies is being acquired from Battery Ventures by publicly traded Sabre Corp. The acquisition will include Trust International, InnLink and Nexus.

(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.”)

ELSEWHERE AROUND THE WEB: Raises $350 Million at $1.35 Billion Valuation. E-commerce startup Inc. has raised $350 million in new equity that values the company at $1.35 billion, The Wall Street Journal’s Rolfe Winkler reports. The company also expects to raise another $150 “shortly,” which would bring the round to $500 million. Fidelity Investments led the round, which included other previous investors.

Startups Vie to Deliver Turkeys, Wine in One Hour. This Thanksgiving, startups will be vying to compete with larger companies to deliver items within an hour, the WSJ’s Greg Bensinger and Lauren Weber report. The startups will be working to deliver such items as booze, wine, food and medical marijuana.

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