First Round Capital RoundUp: 1/11/2010

More from First Round's "Startup Trek" of incubators and shared workspaces in NYC last week: NYC-based Entrepreneur in Residence Charlie O'Donnell writes "What I learned on the First Round Startup Trek" (includes video clips). O'Donnell also explains what he sees as his role with First Round in this post for The Business Insider.

First Round was reported this week to be an initial outside investor in Jelli, a crowdsourcing service allowing individuals to indicate their song preferences and influence the playlists of traditional radio stations, such as Live 105 in San Francisco.

First Round portfolio company Aggregate Knowledge of San Mateo CA has raised an additional $9 million, increasing its total funding to date to $34.5 million. (It is not clear whether First Round participated this time.) Aggregate Knowledge has shifted its business model from being an ecommerce recommendation engine to providing display ad analytics to marketers, as Venture Beat explains. Also on the display ad front, Philadelphia-based Invite Media announced it had invaded the UK and Europe with the opening of its London office. Invite Media provides what it calls the first universal buying platform for online display media

Jingle Networks, the free directory assistance company (Free411), raised another $6.75 million to increase its total funding to almost $90 million. CEO Scott Kliger says "all of our current investors participated in this round", TechCrunch reports ; First Round Capital and Comcast Interactive Capital were existing investors. There are questions as to whether Jingle is profitable on a cost per call basis, but Kliger says "the voice service is profitable" and the additional investment will be used to expand its mobile ad network.

The New York Times reported how one investment firm is creating a "fund of funds" including venture capital, which might make it easier for large institutional funds to participate in relatively smaller VC funds such as First Round. Also, Fred Wilson weighs in on the "larger portfolio/smaller portfolio" issue, using First Round as a comparison to Union Square.

The Times also does a writeup on Pittsburgh online apparel retailer ModCloth, which First Round invested in.

First Round portfolio company Pinch Media has merged with Flurry; the two companies will combine their expertise in tracking and measuring the use of mobile applications. The merged company, which will operate as Flurry, may seek additional funding this year.


Daily Links 1/11/10: Casket Maker buys K-Tron for $435 million

Hillenbrand to Acquire K-Tron International (PR Newswire)
Caskets and Material Handling Systems. Imagine the possible synergies.

FusionStorm Acquires CentriServ (Marketwire)
CentriServ was a Devon IT company, according to Devon IT's website.

ImpactRx Closes Series E Round of Financing (PR Newswire)

TCA 2010: Ebersol Hopes USOC, Comcast Continue To Hold Off On Olympic Network
Says NBCU Will Likely Bid For 2014-16 Games Without Comcast
(Multichannel News)

Comcast Blamed for Leno-Conan Switch (The Atlantic Wire)

Comcast, the FCC, and "Open Internet" Rules: Where We Stand (David Cohen/Comcast Voices)

Fitch Revises SunGard Data Systems' Outlook to Stable; Affirms Ratings (Business Wire)

Advanta Corp.’s Board of Directors Authorizes Liquidation of Assets with Goal of Maximizing Recovery to Stakeholders
(Business Wire) cites Vuzit as case for mainstream cloud computing
(Vuzit Blog)

Philadelphia’s First “Gym” for Innovators Opens at the University City Science Center (Business Wire)

Chesco man gets 4-year sentence for deals with Iran
(Philadelphia Inquirer)

ALM Announces Plans to Merge The Legal Intelligencer and Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Business Wire)