Branch, Virtualitics and Freestyle Capital raise the stakes

11 Apr 2017

Image: noppawan09/Shutterstock

Branch and Virtualitics have raised almost $65m between them this week, with Freestyle Capital confirming a new $90m fund, ready to invest.

Branch, an interesting software start-up, has reportedly secured $60m in a series C round of funding, with Andy Rubin’s Playground Ventures believed to be involved.

Branch’s tools allow developers to build links between websites and complementary apps, generating significant mounds of data related to both sides of that coin.

The company was founded three years ago, originally aiming to provide better analytics and understanding of how websites are referred to by apps. Branch claims that its expertise lies in ‘deep linking’, the process of linking an app with a specific product or service page on a website, rather than just a homepage.

TechCrunch claims that Rubin, the founder of Android, is involved in this latest funding, presumably part of the $300m he has allocated to fund interesting start-ups.

The $60m more than doubles Branch’s total funding to date.

Elsewhere, tech VC firm Freestyle Capital has just raised a $90m fund to invest in start-ups – its fourth such capital project.

“Like most funds, we have continued to raise more as we become better at what we do, but this was the first time where we were oversubscribed,” said Josh Felser, co-founder of the VC firm.

“We want to take bigger risks and invest more capital, but adding Jenny [Lefcourt, general partner] was a huge impetus for raising more capital.”

Meanwhile, VentureBeat reports news of VR company Virtualitics securing $4.4m in funding to provide analytics for VR and augmented reality applications. The Venture Reality Fund led the round.

The company, which sees VR and AR datavis combined with AI, language and machine learning to better understand new forms of datasets, is expanding its team as part of the round.

“The VR Fund is among the most active and experienced investors in this sector, and its team understands the intrinsic value in evolving the way we explore, interact with and understand complex datasets,” said Michael Amori, co-founder and CEO at Virtualitics.

“Our technology enables organisations of all sizes, across any sector, to more effectively identify meaningful patterns in data that can lead to better business outcomes, cost savings and significant competitive advantage.”

Yesterday (10 April), Johnson & Johnson’s Codman Neuro wing purchased Neuravi, a Galway-based medtech start-up that became famous in 2015 when it raised €19m for its stroke therapy device.

Founded in 2009 by CTO David Vale and CEO Eamon Brady, Neuravi has invested extensively in scientific research on the varieties of clots that cause acute ischemic stroke, creating its popular EmboTrap revascularisation device.

Neuravi’s EmboTrap targets blood clots, capturing them within the device and allowing for immediate restoration of blood flow while also cleaning up any particles disturbed during the clot removal.

“Rapid restoration of flow is of utmost importance when treating stroke patients,” said Shlomi Nachman, company group chairman at Johnson & Johnson.

“The EmboTrap platform was designed to address this critical need and we are excited to combine Neuravi’s expertise in clot research with Codman Neuro’s global resources to accelerate innovation in acute ischemic stroke treatment.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic