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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Venture finance deals for July 09

After a relatively slow month in June we saw that venture finance activity started picking up again in July. A few of the more interesting deals are listed below.

VentureBeat Reported that Twitter may not have figured out a way to make money from its business yet, but that is not stopping spinoffs of the microblogger. Twitter’s increasing popularity as way for business to communicate with its customers has translated into a $1 million fund-raising round for CoTweet, a start-up that helps companies manage their customer relations on Twitter in real time

Qik, a start-up that enables live video streaming from a cellphone onto the Internet, has landed $5.5 million in fresh funding. Quest Venture Partners and CampVentures led the round, according to VentureBeat

PaidContent reported thatAustin Ventures has provided an additional $20 million for Asset International, the business-to-business financial information provider.

peHUB reported that Quantcast, the Web analytics start-up, is seeking to raise about $50 million at a $300 million pre-money valuation.

VentureBeat reported that Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and a colleague, Justin Rosenstein, left the firm last year to start their own company focusing on collaborative business software and tools. They raised money from some of the same investors who backed the social networking site, .

Paltalk, the video-based social networking start-up, is buying back the 20 percent stake it sold to Softbank for $6 million in its second round of financing five years ago, reported.

VentureBeat reported that Aptana, a maker of open-source software for Web sites, has nabbed $7.8 million in a fresh round of financing. Rembrandt Venture Partners and Accel Partners provided the second-round funding, which the start-up plans to use towards Aptana Cloud, a free service that allows users to deploy and manage their web applications from a central location.

Generate topped up its $6 million first round with an additional $2 million, the online video firm’s chief, Jordan Levin, reported PaidContent. The add-on, completed last month, was led led by existing backers Fuse Capital and MK Capital.

VentureBeat also reported that Outspark, which runs a “virtual playground” for online gamers, said it closed an $8.3 million venture financing round led by Syncom Venture Partners, a new investor.

Bono is one of the co-founders of the investment firm Elevation Partners, which has put $435 million into Palm. But he has been appearing as a pitchman in a commercial for the BlackBerry. The New York Post reported.

San Francisco Chronicle reports that Blog network Sportsblogs has raised $7 million in a Series B round, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The round was led by Comcast Corporation. The network, which is popularly known as SB Nation, was founded in 2003 by Markos Moulitsas, who previously started the political blog DailyKos. SB Nation is a network of 200 sports-related sites that draw 3.5 million unique visitors a month.

Networking site Ning has raised $15 million in a fifth round of venture funding that gives social networking start-up a hefty $750 million valuation. Lightspeed Venture Partners led the round, which brings Ning’s total funds raised to date to $119 million.

And finally

SlideRocket, a startup that helps users build online presentations, said it raised $5million in a second round of venture financing led by Azure Capital Partners. Hummer Winblad Venture Partners, the lead investor in its previous, $2 million round, also participated in the latest financing, the company said in a press release.