SAAS OPTIMIZATION PLATFORM ZYLO SECURES $3.3M IN SEED FUNDING

 Zylo, a SaaS optimization platform, today announced $3.3 million in seed funding. The round included a variety of institutional and individual investors, including: High Alpha Capital, GGV Capital, SV Angel and SaaS industry leaders Interactive Intelligence founder and CEO Don Brown, ExactTarget co-founder Peter McCormick and former Baker Hill co-founder and President Mark Hill.

“With SaaS spending surpassing $200B per year, we see an enormous opportunity for Zylo to become the definitive software platform that organizations rely on to better manage and optimize their mission critical SaaS investments,” said Eric Christopher, Zylo’s CEO. “We’re thrilled to be working with such an impressive group of Silicon Valley investors, SaaS experts and software luminaries who are committed to help us achieve our big vision for the future of SaaS.”

Read more on the Zylo Blog.

Astronomer's Unique Path to Raising $2M Seed in the Midwest

Driving on “E”

Throughout the course of Astronomer, we’ve been driving on empty. In other words, we’ve only had enough money in the bank to survive, at most, a few months—often less—at a time. We lost count of the number of times we’ve had to warn staff about possibilities of trouble with upcoming paychecks. It was rough.

This forced us to focus on a constant cycle of short-term progress and has been quite stressful for everyone. On the positive side, the pressure to perform has led to higher performance, and caused us to be focused on producing revenue traction, which is a big advantage to us as we approach Series A.

We wouldn’t do it again this way if we had the choice, but if you’re running a startup in the same situation, you probably have some comfort in knowing that better startups are usually created during downturns, and we’re certainly in a bit of one.

Read more at the Astronomer Blog.

Ilos Videos raises $1.5 million in first round of financing

Ilos Videos, launched three years ago by two University of St. Thomas accounting graduates, has raised $1.5 million in its first formal round of capital raising beyond family, friends and insiders.

The St. Paul-based company, with 10 full-time employees, allows organizations to communicate with customers and employees through software and support that enables customized training and other videos.

Ilos Videos has served 100-plus customers and will break $1 million in revenue this year, said Sean Higgins, a founder and head of business development.

Investors in the firm include Come Up Capital, Matchstick Ventures and Router Ventures. The funding arrived after Ilos was selected from among many applicants by the Techstars business accelerator program in Austin, Texas, earlier this year.

Read more via The Star Tribune

Rex Animal Health wants to be the primary platform for animal health data

Amado Guloy, CEO of Rex Animal Health, is on a mission to bring the power of analytics to animal welfare.

“We’re really making animal health and agriculture more data-driven,” said Guloy.

The company is building an industry platform that can be used for a variety of purposes. Academic researchers, pharmaceutical companies, commodity traders, as well as farmers can use their data and analytics tools to discover new insights into animal health as well as predict potential future threats.

“We really want to be the central repository [for data] surrounding livestock and animals of high commercial value,” said Guloy.

Watch the video interview and read the rest of the story here via Silicon Prairie News.

Portfolio company BetterView raises $1.55m in funding

Router Ventures is excited to be a part of the great team behind BetterView who recently announced their $1.55m funding round. We're honored to join the round which was led by Arena Ventures, Metamorphic Ventures and joined by other investors including 500 Startups, Haystack, and MetaProp NYC.

Founded in late 2014 by technology and insurance industry veterans David Lyman and David Tobias, BetterView has been lauded for its unique and innovative aerial imagery and drone-based solution. BetterView has built a network of building and construction experts to bring actionable insights to imagery and data captured by aerial drones.

You can read more from the release via PE Hub here.  

WE'RE EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE OUR FIRST INVESTMENT

It's with great excitement that we're thrilled to announce our first investment into a company called BetterView.

Thanks to Paige Craig of Arena Ventures and Semil Shah from Haystack for bringing this one to our attention and we're excited for the future potential of what their team is building.