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Capital Gains: Raises a Billion, Gawker Media Adds Outside Cash

A lot of lending startups raised cash as well.

Todd Bernard

Alibaba rival raised $1 billion for its financial technology arm, Gawker Media added defensive money ahead of its trial with Hulk Hogan and a bunch of other companies landed cash this week. Here are the details:

  •, the $37 billion Chinese digital commerce giant, raised $1 billion for its finance unit, which investors value at about $7 billion. Sequoia Capital China and China Taiping Insurance lead the round (Wall Street Journal).
  • LendUp, an online direct lender that targets subprime borrowers, raised a $150 million mix of debt and equity in a Series B round led by Google Ventures, Yuri Milner and SV Angel (San Francisco Business Times).
  • Ex-J.P. Morgan exec Blythe Masters’s bitcoin startup, Digital Asset Holdings, raised $52 million and inked a deal to help manage transactions in the Australian stock market. Investors include the Australian Securities Exchange, J.P. Morgan and CME Group (Bloomberg Business).
  • Low-cost cell service FreedomPop raised $50 million and announced plans to sell a global Internet hotspot device.
  • Network software startup Big Switch Networks raised $48.5 million from a group of investors that includes Redpoint Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Index Ventures and others (Silicon Valley Business Journal).
  • Instart Logic, a cloud tech services company that helps make apps run more smoothly, raised a $45 million Series D funding round led by Geodesic Capital, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Four Rivers Group, Kleiner Perkins and others (Silicon Valley Business Journal).
  • Online lending startup BlueVine, which loans money to small businesses, raised $40 million in a new funding round led by Menlo Ventures. Japanese commerce giant Rakuten also contributed some cash (Reuters).
  • Another lending startup, mortgage-focused Blend, raised $40 million from Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, Lightspeed Ventures and Formation 8 (Fortune).
  • Big data startup Qubole raised $30 million in a Series C funding round led by IVP, with participation from Charles River Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and others (Silicon Valley Business Journal).
  • Gawker Media sold a stake to an outside investor for the first time this past week. Columbus Nova, the U.S. investment arm of Russian billionaire Viktor Veselberg, was the buyer. The firm’s managing director, Jason Epstein, is joining the Gawker board.

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