For once it was not shopping and e-commerce that dominated that European VC funding rounds.
In March, financial services were the flavour of the month, with eToro and The Currency Cloud attracting investment. Both of them seek to disrupt the financial services sector by using either social networking or cloud computing to jazz up a staid industry.
Advertising solutions are also finding willing backers, including personalised online ads from MyThings and advertising to wrap around Android apps from StartApp .
EToro, the Cyprus-based online investment company, has raised $15m from Spark Capital and other investors to fuel international growth. The company, which runs a social network for financial investors where people can see the trades other people are making and copy traders of the best performing traders, has doubled its user base in the last 12 months and now has over 2m registered users in 140 countries. EToro is recruiting aggressively from the financial sector and now has 200 employees in Europe, the US, Australia and Israel.
MyThings, a Paris-based company creating personlised, real-time ads online for retailers, has raised $15m in a funding round led by Iris Capital, the manager of the Orange-Publicis Venture Fund, and Accel Partners, Carmel Ventures and T-Venture.
Songkick, the UK live music start-up, raised $10m in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital, the first UK investment for the Silicon Valley-based venture capital company. Songkick’s existing investors, Index Ventures and Y Combinator also participated.
Songkick which provides listings and alerts about live music gigs, has not been specific about what it will use the new funding for, except to say it is working on additional features that will be released later in the year.
Amplidata, a Belgian company offering large-scale storage for unstructured data, has completed a Series C round of funding totaling $8m from investors Big Bang Ventures, Endeavour Vision, Intel Capital and Swisscom. Amplidata helps media and entertainment companies archive events such as the the Montreux Jazz festival, and provides storage for the ever-increasing amounts of “big data” that companies are trying to keep.
The Currency Cloud, which automates foreign exchange currency payments online, has raised $4m from Atlas Venture and Anthemis in a Series-A funding round. The London-based company, which has more than 100 corporate customers using its platform, had previously raised $2m from Anthemis and others. The new funding will be used to ramp up commercial activity and continue product development.
StartApp, an Israeli-based mobile advertising network for Android app developers, raised $4m in a funding round led by Ascent Venture Partners, and including the Cedar Fund.
Knowledgemill, a cloud-based email management business, headquartered in London, has received $2.38m (£1.5m) in equity investment from two investors YFM Equity Partners and MMCVentures. The company is hoping its system of self-filing emails will help take away some of the headaches of office admin.
Gradwell, a Bath-based business which provides VoIP telephony and internet services for 12,000 small businesses, has raised $1.83m (£1.15m) in investment from Altitude Partners, the regional equity inestment fund. The money will go towards fuelling an ambitious investment plan, aimed at quadrupling the company’s size in four years.
PlayMob, the London-based company that enables charities to fundraise through micro-payments placed within social games, secured $794,000 (£500,000) funding from NESTA and Midven plus a number of angel investors including newly appointed Chairman, Ian Livingstone. The money will be used to increase staff and develop new features for its products.
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