ZipWhip, a startup that is extending SMS beyond the mobile phone, has raised a $5 million Series B round led by Chicago private equity firm Ronin Capital. ZipWhip has a cloud-based messaging platform that’s able to route text and multimedia messages to and from any landline number, whether it’s linked to a home phone or business. Consumers or businesses can then access those messages from a browser or app.
DogVacay, a service that matches pet-sitters with dog owners, said Monday that it has raised $25 million in a round led by Canadian pension fund OMERS. New investor GSV Capital and existing investors Science, First Round Capital, Benchmark, Foundation Capital and DAG Ventures also participated. The Los Angeles startup has now raised a total of $47 million, and the company said it would use the infusion to expand both in North America and internationally. DogVacay today has 20,000 boarders registered, and it’s booked a total of one million overnight stays for pets.
Carriers are taking a bigger interest Wi-Fi, using the unlicensed technology to offload their data traffic and handle VoIP calls. Consequently, interest in companies like Accuris is increasing.
Competing Chicago VCs are funding different parking reservation startups as they try to lock down the market for online spot bookings in different cities.
Caribbean mobile carrier Digicel’s strategic investment may provide a good indication of where Flint plans to take its mobile payments service next.
With a total of $22 million DogVacay has plenty of funds to continue its expansion into the lucrative pet boarding industry. Lately the company has focusing on mobile, launching an iPhone app.
Straying from its usual small business focus, Belly launched pilot loyalty programs for big retail chains last spring. 7-Eleven was apparently impressed enough to invest in the company.