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06 Feb

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San Francisco-based Sight Machine raises $5M to ramp up Michigan operations

February 6, 2015 | By |

Sight Machine Inc., a San Francisco-based company that uses cloud-based technology to monitor quality control on the factory floor, has closed on a venture-capital round of $5 million to ramp up its operations in Michigan.

The round was led by the Houston-based Mercury Fund, which opened an Ann Arbor office in October, and joined by Ann Arbor-based Michigan eLab, Ann Arbor-based Huron River Ventures, Bloomfield Hills-based Orfin Ventures, New York-based IA Ventures, San Francisco-based O’Reilly AlphaTech Venturesand FundersClub, a San Francisco-based angel investors network. Orfin, IA Ventures and O’Reilly also invested in the company’s seed-stage round of $6 million in 2013.

Sight Machine was founded in Ann Arbor in 2011 by five Michigan natives. One of them, Jon Sobel, a University of Michigan law school graduate, is the CEO. He and a development staff of 10 are based in San Francisco.

Read more on crainsdetroit.com

06 Feb

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Sight Machine Raises $5 Million to Help Manufacturers with Big Data

February 6, 2015 | By |

Manufacturing generates enormous amounts of data that can show whether a process is being followed correctly, whether the quality of items is being maintained and whether the number of items being produced is on track.

But the data aren’t always analyzed and tracked, and sometimes they are thrown away.

A fast-growing San Francisco startup, Sight Machine Inc., has raised another $5 million to help manufacturers get a handle on their data, taking total funding to $11 million.

Read more on wsj.com

28 Jan

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HRV Announces Team Updates

January 28, 2015 | By |

HRV is pleased to announce some updates to its team. Ryan Waddington, has joined Arsenal Venture Partners as a Partner where he will focus on deal sourcing and working with Arsenal portfolio companies. These responsibilities are closely correlated and well aligned with his current HRV responsibilities, which include two co-investments with Arsenal. While we will miss Ryan’s 100% focus on HRV activities, we are thrilled to work more closely with Arsenal and look forward to continued collaboration with Ryan in his new role.

HRV is also pleased to announce the addition of Sam Hogg as a Venture Partner. Sam is responsible for deal sourcing, portfolio management, and portfolio company support. His expertise spans sectors from the biological sciences to information technology with nearly all activities centered around sustainability and resource economics. Sam is also a venture partner with Open Prairie Ventures, a leading agricultural technology firm.

“We hope to fund another 3-4 deals in the current fund with 1-2 of them in the agriculture technology sector and Sam is the perfect person to spearhead that effort. Sam’s prior entrepreneurial track record also make him a great resource to help add value to our early-stage portfolio companies,” said Tim Streit. “We appreciate all of Ryan’s contributions to date, look forward to working with him for the remainder of this fund, and also welcome Sam as a new Venture Partner”.

19 Jan

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Gigaom Ambiq Micro has made a chip that consumes 10 times less energy

January 19, 2015 | By |

Ambiq Micro, a semiconductor company in Austin, Texas, has been working for the last five years to build a lower-power chip by applying to silicon a technology that has been used in quartz wristwatches. It has finally managed to do so in high-enough densities and manufacturing volume to make it worth the consumer electronic industry’s time.

On Monday, it launched its Apollo microcontroller, which can lower the power consumption of the tiny chips used inside wearable devices by as much as 10 times in wake mode and 38 times in sleep mode depending on the type of ARM core used inside the chip. For the consumer, this means a battery life for a smart watch or activity tracker that could last for weeks or months longer than the current standard. Read more on Gigaom.com

23 Dec

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Sidecar to Let Customers Choose Gender of Their Drivers

December 23, 2014 | By |

A Bay Area ride-share service is planning to step up to help female passengers feel safe.

Sidecar has announced on its blog it is letting customers select the gender of their drivers.

The San Francisco company has been letting users customize rides since February. And gender selection is the latest option.

This comes as Uber faces increasing criticism about its drivers. On Wednesday, an Uber driver near Boston was charged with sexually assaulting a passenger. Read more on nbcbayarea.com

22 Dec

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Agtech Upstart FarmLogs Raises Another $10 Million

December 22, 2014 | By |

Agricultural management software company FarmLogsjust added $10 million in venture backing, bringing its total raised so far to $15 million.

The Series B round—which comes less than one year after its Series A event—includes existing investors Drive Capital, Huron River Ventures, and Hyde Park Ventures, and new backers including the president of Y Combinator, Sam Altman.

Read more on Forbes

19 Dec

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Sidecar takes the lead in the carpool race

December 19, 2014 | By |

It’s been four months since Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar officially launched their carpool features. And although all three rideshare companies have marketed their new carpool feature to the masses, one of them is pulling ahead: Sidecar.

It has expanded its carpool option to the most cities and seen record-breaking use in the process. The company trotted out a host of statistics and facts during a recent interview with me. The overall picture was clear: Sidecar’s carpooling feature is now its main source of growth, and a welcome injection.

Sidecar’s Shared Rides feature is now available in five cities, compared to three for both Lyft and Uber. In the cities where it launched the feature, 40 percent of the rides Sidecar offers are carpool. Uber wouldn’t disclose its percentage of UberPool rides. Lyft told me that as of a few months ago, 30 percent of its rides in San Francisco were Lyft Line, but it declined to share more up-to-date figures or the percentages of other cities. Read more on Gigaom

17 Dec

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FarmLogs Nabs $10m Series B From SV Angel, Sam Altman And Others

December 17, 2014 | By |

Nearly 12 months ago, FarmLogs announced it raised a $4 million Series A. And today the company is back with a $10 million Series B to keep pushing farming into the digital age.

The additional funding came from existing investors Drive Capital, Huron River Ventures, and Hyde Park Venture Partners. SV Angel and Sam Altman, Y Combinator’s president, also participated in the round, which brings FarmLogs’ total funding to $15 million.

Since launching and graduating from YC’s winter 2012 class, the Michigan-based company has seen tremendous growth, tripling its marketshare in the first six months of 2014. Read more on TechCrunch

03 Dec

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Zipments Delivers Free Shipping & Local Retailer Discounts to NYC Holiday Shoppers

December 3, 2014 | By |

NEW YORK, NY–(Marketwired – Dec 3, 2014) – Zipments, the delivery-your-way logistics company, today announced Shopping Pass, a promotion that highlights local brick & mortar retailers and free, customized shipping. As part of the program, over 100 brick & mortar stores in NYC will provide holiday 2014 discounts to shoppers who buy products during the month of December & January. Zipments will provide free, same-day delivery to customers anywhere in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Consumers can purchase the $35 Shopping Pass at zipments.com/shopping-pass and activate it for a seven-day period of shopping & free delivery. The pass can help people get their holiday shopping out of the way quickly while saving money, and also makes a great early gift for friends and family members with shopping of their own to do. Tourists coming to NYC for the holidays can purchase them directly to take advantage of all the great deals and convenience while they’re enjoying their visit to The Big Apple. Read more on MarketWired

10 Nov

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Ambiq Micro Announces $15 Million Funding Round Led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

November 10, 2014 | By |

Ambiq Micro, a leader in ultra-low power integrated circuits for power-sensitive applications, today announced that is has closed a $15 million Series C funding round to accelerate the development and marketing of its SPOT™ (Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology) platform. The funding round was led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) and was supported by existing investors including Austin Ventures, Mercury Fund, and ARM Holdings. KPCB partner Wen Hsieh will be joining Ambiq Micro’s board.

Read more on Yahoo