If you thought the investment landscape was drab and dreary, how about a mash-up between Facebook and Farmville? Farmeron, a Croatian company developing software for keeping profiles of farm animals, has just bagged a round of investment from 500 Startups. The company’s web-based farm management application helped them be a finalist at this year’s Seedcamp Week; in fact, after the winners, GrabCAD said they didn’t want the prize money of EUR 25,000, the money went to Farmeron. With a total funding of $1.42 mln, Farmeron will be moving to Mountain View, California to become neighbors with their newest benefactors, 500 Startups. Another beneficiary of 500 Startups’ investment spree is Estonian professional social networking site, Zerply; the application functions much like LinkedIn, but is suitable for contractors and freelancers who move from project to project more frequently than regularly employed people. Zerply has received USD 600,000 from 500 Startups.
Zerply, based out of Estonia, provides a social networking platform for professional freelancers who work on multiple projects online. The application promises an open forum where employers, contractors and other professionals can connect with each other in an environment that is devoid of restrictions. The main features of the application are all free, with no hidden settings. The name Zerply is derived from its meaning – serious play – and the company’s aim is to bring together professionals from all parts of the globe, similar to its own core management team, who are spread out over Estonia, Sweden, U.S.A., The Czech Republic and the UK.
Farmeron is a Croatian company that has developed software for farm management. Similar to how Google Analytics works, the application captures information about a farm’s functioning and helps the farmer manage production and other aspects of farming. The management team consists of Matija Kopić and his colleagues, and their web-based analytics package, specifically designed for farmers, is said to have a fertile market with little competition. The application can also be integrated with farming equipment to bring in a measure of automation to today’s modern farm.
500 Startups (500.co)
500 Startups works with early-stage companies to provide seed funding of between USD 10,000 to USD 250,000. Founded by Dave McClure, the company runs investment programs and micro-investment initiatives, such as the Twilio Fund. The Silicon Valley based funding company boasts of having 160 highly experienced mentors for startups around the globe. Their startups include names like Twilio and Taskrabbit.