Ben Franklin Technology Partners invests $1.9M in 10 companies [Startup Roundup]

Developer Reed Lauber on the lack of consumer-facing companies in Philly, Firefly's young cofounders Dan Shipper and Justin Meltzer on what it's like to be just over 21 and making six figures in revenue and Artisan founder Scott Wasserman on why he's growing his business in Philly.


Clutch, the mobile shopping app based in Ambler, Pa., raised $5.3 million in Series B funding led by Safeguard Scientifics with participation from Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners. It also acquired two companies to help with its B2B strategy.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners also announced $1.9 million worth of investment in ten local companies, including Paoli’s family management platform AboutOne, in which BFTP previously invested, Old City’s event-focused digital software company MVP Interactive and the University City Science Center-based Luxtech, which builds LED modules. Find the full list of companies here.

First Round Capital is one of the venture capital firms most likely to co-invest with Google Ventures, the most active corporate VC since 2012, according to a report by CB Insights, GigaOM reported.

First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund announced another investment, this time in Skillbridge, a freelance marketplace founded by Wharton MBAs.


Check out a sneak peek of Ticketleap‘s new iOS app on its blog.

Here’s a little more information on former Wizehive developer Reed Lauber‘s move to Denver: he plans on revamping his SEPTA app Next SEPTA and also working on a product idea he’s had for a while. As for his departure from Philadelphia, Lauber said he felt like spending more time closer to nature., but he was also driven by the lack of consumer-facing startups in Philly.


” I like working on products, specifically small, consumer-oriented stuff,” he said in an email. “There aren’t many product companies as it is, and the few that there are, are mostly focused on dev-ops solutions or marketing/analytics; neither of which really appeal to me. So, I couldn’t exactly think of another company I was excited about joining.”

In other tech scene movement, Cat Farman, who recently spoke at the Wharton Web Conference about responsive design, left her position as a front end developer at Old City ecommerce software firm WebLinc to be a front end web developer at Center City design agency Happy Cog.

ThingWorx, the Exton, Pa.-based Internet of Things company, announced a partnership with Virginia-based company CSC, according to a release.


One of Artisan Mobiles local customers, sports fan app A View from My Seat, saw a 22 percent increase in its mobile app usage after using Artisan Mobile, according to a release. A View from My Seat participated in the Project Liberty Digital Incubator.

Also check out Artisan founder Scott Wasserman on the Philly Startup Leaders blog in a post about why he started his business in Philly and plans to grow it here.

Read a Q&A with Firefly cofounders Dan Shipper and Justin Meltzer on Business Insider, where he explains what its like to be a college undergrad whose side business is making six figures in revenue (yes, they have a social life and no, they don’t buy rounds of drinks for all their buddies, yet, at least). Firefly recently announced a partnership with Olark, a live chat tool with more than 3,000 customers.

Speaking of Shipper, here he is on PandoDaily trying to explain why young people are in such a rush to get the next big tech business out there and retire by 25.

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