Old City carpooling company behind Ride, vRide raises $5M [Startup Roundup]

Plus: Couponing app SnipSnap is now profitable.

The carpooling company that owns Ride and vRide raised $5 million. (Photo by Flickr user Matthias Ripp, used under a Creative Commons license)


Ride Group Parent, Inc., the Old City-based parent company of commute-focused carpooling companies Ride and vRide, raised $5 million, according to an SEC filing. The company relocated its headquarters from Troy, Mich., to Old City (Artisan Mobile’s old office, in fact) in early 2014 with the help of a $429,100 package of state incentives. The company’s CTO, Oscar Salazar, was part of the founding team of Uber. We reached out to the company for comment but haven’t heard back yet.
Interesting that First Niagara, a Buffalo-based bank with regional headquarters in Plymouth Meeting, announced its plans to invest $1 million in local startups through state-backed venture firm Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners. The bank also recently invested $100,000 in Buffalo business incubator The Foundry and announced a round of layoffs in the Philadelphia area. First Niagara’s branches are mostly in the suburbs.
BFTP is silly with partnerships right now: along with Temple University, the state-backed investment fund also launched Temple Ventures, a $1 million incubator and seed fund for startups commercializing Temple technologies. Temple and BFTP are each contributing $500,000 to the fund. It reminds us of Penn’s UPstart program that aims to help Penn spinout startups (though UPstart doesn’t have a seed fund). In the last five years, Temple has spun out 13 startups. See our story on those startups here. Why do universities care about creating startups? For one, it’s a way to raise funding to further research, Temple’s head of tech transfer Stephen Nappi told us in early 2014. Universities generally have equity in spinouts.
First Round Capital led The Black Tux’s $10 million round, according to TechCrunch. The San Francisco-based company lets users rent suits.
SkillSurvey, the Wayne, Pa.-based company that aims to improve the employee reference process, raised an undisclosed amount of money from Cleveland, Ohio-based Primus Capital, according to a release. It plans to use the money for product development and sales and marketing, a spokesman said. Previously, the company raised nearly $6 million. The company employs about 70.
Robin Hood Ventures, the angel group based at the University City Science Center, has seen an uptick in membership, despite the predictable cycling of some of its investors back into the entrepreneurial side of things. In the pre-recession years of 2007-2008 fiscal year, Robin Hood had 25 members. Today it’s at 35 members, Weber said in an email recently.


Cool news from Coded by Kids, a nonprofit that teaches web development to Philadelphia youth: one of its participants, DaJour Christophe-Nash, landed an internship at VUID, the Center City startup that developed mobile app Spotlight, Coded by Kids founder Sylvester Mobley told us. Here’s what VUID cofounder Kevin Brophy said about how it came to be: “I just reached out to Sylvester as expanding opportunities for underserved kids is one of my main goals in life, and I loved what he was doing.”
SnipSnap is now profitable, CEO Ted Mann announced earlier this month. The couponing app makes most of its money through retail partners, like Lord & Taylor, who pay the company when someone redeems a coupon through the app.

Use this app from Baltimore company Parking Panda, which launched a partnership with Amtrak, to find parking around 30th Street Station.
TriNet director Martin Babinec, cofounder and chairman of Mike Krupit’s Intronet, sold 30,000 shares of TriNet, according to an SEC filing and reported by American Banking and Market News. The shares were sold for a total of $1,002,900.

Companies: Coded by Kids / VUID / IntroNet / Parking Panda / First Round Capital / Robin Hood Ventures / SnipSnap / Temple University

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