Following the VC Money: WhoGotFunded.com
In the first quarter of 2012, U.S. venture capital firms pumped nearly $5.8 billion into businesses. Now, a new site makes it easier to see who got what. WhoGotFunded.com publishes a database of funding deals, culling investment information from more than two million online sources, including media sites, blogs, Twitter, and the Securities and Exchange Commission's website.
WhoGotFunded.com was created by Digimind, a French company that provides competitive intelligence by monitoring and analyzing online information for clients. Paul Vivant, Digimind's co-founder and CEO, got the idea for WhoGotFunded.com after one of his customers expressed interest in marketing services to newly funded companies. "We saw that as an opportunity to use our software and technology to create something that could be useful to lots of companies," Vivant says.
WhoGotFunded.com, which launches this summer after several months of beta testing, is extremely easy to use. Its slick interface lets users sort deals by date, country, deal size, and investment firm. Users can also sign up to receive custom e-mail alerts when deals meeting certain criteria show up on WhoGotFunded.com.
Plus, the site offers a handy overview of the investment landscape. A visit to the site while it was still in beta testing revealed that software, consumer products, energy, and biotech were the four industries attracting the most funding. It was also easy to see that although Silicon Valley remains the epicenter of funding activity, there are plenty of investments being made in other parts of the world, particularly in China and Singapore.
But WhoGotFunded.com's system isn't perfect. For instance, Fotolia, a New York City-based stock photography site, raised $150 million in May. WhoGotFunded.com incorrectly listed the amount as $15 billion. The company plans to add tools that will let users report those sorts of errors. For now, Vivant has no plans to monetize the site by, say, charging users for the information. "We see the site more as an opportunity to showcase what we do every day for our customers," he says.
Darren Dahl is a contributing editor at Inc. magazine, which he has written for since 2004. He also works as a collaborative writer and editor and has partnered with several high-profile authors. Dahl lives in Asheville, North Carolina.