Today, I came across a number of funding announcements and it has been some time since I have seen four in the same day. The first big news is from Transera where they raised $17 million to grow their hosted contact center business. As I have mentioned before, the on-demand/hosted/cloud/SaaS market is gaining momentum because of reduced CAPEX budgets and the preference for pay-as-you-go solutions. This is a logical move for the investors, Accel Partners, Apax Partners, Lighthouse Capital Partners, and Storm Ventures.
Then there is the $19.5 million funding news for optical semiconductor company OneChip Photonics, a Canadian company getting an infusion from BDC Venture Capital, DCM, GrowthWorks Canadian Fund, Morgenthaler Ventures and others. The company makes cost-effective, fully integrated Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) transceiver technology based on monolithic Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) in Indium Phosphide (InP). These components find their way into access networks and other mass-market broadband applications. There is no question the need for more broadband is there and customers are paying for it. OneChip should be among a number of companies benefitting from this trend.
The online advertising market too is seeing growth and while the slow economy has slowed the rate of online ad growth, advertisers are still looking at the web as a means to generate tangible ROI. To that end, Apture, has received $4.1 million in first-round funding to show in-line contextual ads. According to the Washington Post, the company is trialing its service on big name sites such as BBC, Washington Post and SFGate. Apture unlike other competing services requires you to click before an ad pops which is more user-friendly but will likely result in lower page view and click numbers. Here is a demo.
Finally there is funding new from VoIP provider JahJah who has received $2.75 million of the $5 million fourth round. Past investors in the company have included Globespan Capital Partners, Intel Capital, Deutsche Telekom and Sequoia Capital.
As you might imagine the valuation associated with this funding is probably much lower than it was in the past. But that is why the expression "timing is everything" was invented... because it is so darn accurate. Still, though, even with lower values, funding is getting done and this week shows me that the capital markets have thawed a great deal. Is this a trend? I would have so say it is with greater than 70% probability as I haven't seen this much funding in one week in recent memory.