Top 5: February Funding

in Digital Marketing Strategy & Trends | by David Capece

Creativity on a Budget

By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer

In a world where the Dow has fallen into a pit of quicksand, what business could be getting funding? A dog-lovers virtual village and a photo shopping application aren’t the first picks that come to mind. We’ve selected some of the most interesting out-of-the-box startups receiving VC funding in the month of February.

Here is list of companies getting the greenlight for take-off:

1. PixazzaShopping through photos–that’s what Pixazza is all about. Fashion mavens find the clothing worn in your site’s photos and link it to online shopping websites like Amazon, Bluefly and Zappos, where consumers can then buy the item. Providers and Pixazza then gleam a commission if the customer chooses to buy the item. Pixazza received $3.1 million in first venture capital funding from undisclosed investors

2. FetchDog–There are social networks for nearly everything–speakers, virtual eco-worlds, golfers, Twittering moms and nearly everything else under the sun. FetchDog begs the obvious: think dog-lovers social networking. This is a thoughtful, user-friendly community and marketplace where dog aficionados can meet, shop and pour over everything canine. FetchDog received a whopping $4 million in venture capital funding from Borealis Venture and others.

3. Cake Financial–Wrapping all of your investments into a neat software package is nothing new. Cake Financial is doing just that but adding impact and value through a highly visual analysis and comprehensive projections. Consider it the Apple of portfolio management software. Users can also chat with others in a community of experts. Cake Financial received $1.26 million in its first round of venture capital funding from Alsop Louie Partners and KPG Ventures.

4. Mochila–This is an online marketplace for content providers, creators, editors and advertisers to find one another and build relationships. Mochila has an extensive library of syndicated web content that partners with advertisers to reach a targeted demographic. Mochila received an undisclosed amount of venture capital funding from Charles River Ventures, Mission Ventures and others for their first round of investing.

5. Outright–For startups and small businesses, bootstrapping is the current credo. That’s why Outright is offering their bookkeeping software for free. Formerly GoBootStrap, Outright is still in beta, but will soon charge users for an advanced version that will include features like additional tax forms, multi-user access as well as add-on services for filing, payroll, and the likes. Outright received $2 million in venture capital funding from First Round Capital and Shasta Ventures, with additional investments from Jeff Clavier’s SoftTech VC and a number of undisclosed angel investors.

What are the common threads of these startups that successfully garnered VC confidence?  A focus on money and passion points.  Mochila and Pixazza help you make money.  Outright and Cake Financial help you manage your money.  And Fetchdog plays on our love for pets.  The current financial free-fall has changed the market and made it more difficult for businesses to raide money.  We are challenged to be both more creative and more practical in developing businesses that will be profitable today and tomorrow.