'Tis the season to be jolly--the fourth quarter of the year, if you're a New York startup.
This December, Santa may well deliver more than just candy or coal to the entrepreneurs of Silicon Alley. If 2011 has been any indication, more money than ever before is being dumped into the coffers of New York-based high tech firms. For example, consider the following deals that have just happened:
Fab.com, the design sales and inspiration site, was able to raise $40 million in Series B funding earlier this month. The website has only been dedicated to selling art, jewelry and furniture for the last six months. Before that, the website hosted a social network for the gay community. It appears that their radical shift in business strategy has paid off.
Jun Group, a company that helps brands create engaging online videos for advertising, was able to generate $2.5 million in unattributed funding earlier this month. While most of the people that are actually watching the videos that Jun Group produces may not actually realize who the producers were, it seems not to have mattered. The company's ability to create viral videos has generated enough interest to give them the ability to keep building the brand.
Style for Hire, a personal-stylist startup, was able to close $1.075 million in seed funding. The company was founded by Stacy London, a host on TLC's What Not To Wear. Style for Hire has grown tenfold in more than fifteen states according to a company press release. Though $1.075 million is nothing to scoff it, it's clear that being a television personality can only carry you so far. Companies with innovative platforms appear to be earning the most money.
For example, Zipmark, an online and mobile payments company, announced today that it secured $2 million in seed funding. The company describes itself as a digital checkbook that allows you to send money over the internet. While not entirely original -- Paypal, anyone? -- the company's dedication to building an innovative web-based platform has been rewarded by investors.
Earlier this year
While money continues to trickle into the bank accounts of New York City startups just weeks before the big ball drops, earlier this year proved to be just as valuable. Funding has been flooding the startup scene since the summer.
Foursquare, the geo-locational gaming platform was able to close $50 million in June. The company has ten million users as of June, which is a huge amount for any startup, but not nearly as many as the hundreds of millions that use Facebook. The company is currently deflecting competition from Google and Facebook, which also have geo-locational software in-place.
Refinery29, the site dedicated to independent fashion and design that was bootstrapped for most of the years after it had launched, finally decided to gather its first round of funding earlier this year. In July, it collected $4.5 million in Series A funding.
Tumblr, the popular blogging platform, received $85 million in unattributed funding in September. The funding came just a few months after Tumblr announced it was the most popular blogging platform on the internet, surpassing Wordpress for most individual blogs on their platform.
Turntable.fm, the online music service site that allows friends to DJ for each other and chat, raised $7 million in September. The company gathered a large amount of attention, though companies that have partnered with the Facebook for the social network's redesign, such as Spotify, have been taken some of Turntable.fm's luster.
Boxee, the open-source freeware media player, was able to raise $16.5 million in March. The project was originally developed as a hacker tool, called the Xbox Media Center, a piece of software that was created for modded-first-generation Xbox units. It's now being marketed as the future of TV.
The Shifting Focus
There's no doubt that New York City is quickly growing as a technology hub. According to a BBC video that was posted earlier today, New York City has more than 40 percent investment growth compared to a year earlier. Here's the video: