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How Wayfair Sells Nearly $1 Billlion Worth of Sofas, Patio Chairs and Cat Playgrounds

Forbes--Wayfair is an e-commerce site selling home furnishings. But with 1,600 employees, its physical presence is rapidly outgrowing its space in an obelisklike skyscraper in Boston’s Back Bay–which happens to be a former hub of the Christian Science church. Long gone are the white shag carpets, wood paneling and executive-floor elevators that once allowed church higher-ups to avoid hoi polloi. Flat-panel TVs on each of 12 floors beam not messages of faith healing but maps of the U.S. and Europe that light up whenever there’s a sale.

Ziv Kedem: The Hummus–Baked Bean Connection

Wall Street Journal--What is it about the Israel-Boston connection that works so well in the world of tech startups?

The Art of “Something for Nothing”

New York Times--Entrepreneurs are lucky to have one big score. Richard Barton has had a string of them, by repeatedly asking the same simple question: What piece of marketplace information do people crave and don’t have?

How do free messaging companies make money?

Fox Business--Continuuity CEO Jonathan Gray chats with Fox's Stuart Varney about how free mobile messaging apps make money, and the future of his own company, which helps developers build big-data applications.

All your MySQL databases can belong to this startup

VentureBeat--Life revolves around software, and software revolves around databases. So you’ve got to keep an eye on those databases. VividCortex is totally on it. Today, during an appearance at the DEMO Enterprise conference, it launched with a nifty management tool for implementations of the popular open-source MySQL database.

The Daily Startup: Venture Firms Getting Their Message Out

Wall Street Journal--Battery Ventures has launched a new content site called Powered by Battery that will serve as “a new source of ideas, insights and introductions for entrepreneurs seeking to smartly grow their businesses.” Battery is the latest venture firm to start producing content in an effort to expand beyond mere investing.

FirstFuel: Is this startup the next Nest?

Fortune--Move over social media. The next hot tech sector might just be the very unsexy-sounding energy efficiency business. Companies in this industry use sophisticated algorithms to analyze how much energy a home or building uses and then suggest energy-saving solutions.

Palo Alto Networks Buys Cyber Security Company Cyvera for $200M

TechCrunch--Security company Palo Alto Networks has bought Cyvera, a cyber security company out of Israel. The deal is worth $200 million. The acquisition is expected to close during the second half of 2014. Cyvera had raised $13 million from Battery Ventures, Blumberg Capital, Prof. Ehud Weinstein and Dr. Ofir Shalvi.

Q2 Holdings IPO Jumps 28% in Debut

USA Today--Shares of Q2 Holdings jumped 28% Thursday to $16.68 in early trading, kicking off what's expected to be a strong slate of technology IPOs in coming weeks.

Battery Ventures Extends Software Streak with FreeWheel, BlueKai

Bloomberg News--Battery Ventures has been on a winning streak with investments in digital-marketing startups, with two of the venture capital firm’s companies — FreeWheel Media and BlueKai — being bought out in two weeks.

Wayfair, Speeding Towards IPO, Lands $2 Billion Valuation

Wall Street Journal--Wayfair, an online purveyor of home goods, says it raised $157 million from a group that includes T. Rowe Price and other mutual funds, en route to a planned initial public offering in the coming months.

Comcast Finishes FreeWheel Acquisition

Re/code--Comcast has wrapped up its deal to buy FreeWheel, the Web video ad-serving company.

Oracle Says it Will Acquire BlueKai

Re/code--Business software giant Oracle announced its second acquisition of the year, saying it will acquire BlueKai, which specializes in managing marketing data. Oracle didn’t disclose the price, but Business Insider pegged it at around $400 million.

Battery Ventures Pours $7 Million into Retail Intelligence Outfit Smarter Remarketer

VentureBeat--Battery Ventures is betting big time on the retail intelligence space. The Valley venture heavyweights poured $7 million into Smarter Remarketer, an Indianapolis-based startup whose flagship SR2 Big Data platform provides e-commerce sites with actionable intelligence on customer trends and buying habits. Battery was the only investor.

Jeff Dachis Sells His Social Analytics Firm to Sprinklr

Advertising Age--The consolidation of social marketing companies continues. A couple months after Apple bought social data provider Topsy, social marketing software company Sprinklr has acquired social analytics firm Dachis Group to help marketers wrap their heads around the meaning of social media mentions. Sprinklr founder and CEO Ragy Thomas declined to disclose the terms.

Intacct Raises $45 Million to Bring Bean Counters to the Cloud

TechCrunch--Fifteen years and one popped Internet bubble after it was first launched, the accounting software company Intacct is still alive-and-kicking… and raising new venture dollars.

Battery Ventures Names First Female General Partner

Wall Street Journal--Chelsea Stoner has continued her march up the ranks at Battery Ventures, becoming the first female general partner in the history of the 30-year-old venture firm.

Battery Buys Controlling Stake, Names New CEO of Data Physics

Silicon Valley Business Journal--Battery Ventures has bought a controlling stake in San Jose-based Data Physics Corp and named a new CEO.

Dell Moves Toward Cheap Networking

New York Times--Almost three months after the collapse of the personal computer industry forced it to become a private company, Dell is moving on its new strategy. It involves destroying the computer-networking business.

Mendix, an App-Builder Platform for the Enterprise, Closes $25M Series B Led by Battery Ventures

TechCrunch--Mendix, an app builder platform for the enterprise, has closed a $25 million Series B, led by Battery Ventures. Existing investor Prime Ventures also participated. Mendix raised a $13 million Series A back in 2011, according to CrunchBase. It was founded back in 2005.

Nutanix is Tech’s Newest ‘Unicorn’, Raising Massive $101M Round at $1B Valuation

Forbes--Nutanix has reached "unicorn" status in Silicon Valley in just four years, raising a $101M Series D funding round Tuesday led by Riverwood Capital and SAP Ventures that values the datacenter-infrastructure company at about $1 billion.

XtremIO co-founder jumps back in flash storage pool with Elastifile

GigaOm--There’s been a ton of action around flash storage, but Israeli startup Elastifile is betting that there’s still a huge untapped market for solid-state storage, and it has $8 million in Series A funding to attack it.

Netflix Loses its Cloud Guru to a VC Firm

Bloomberg BusinessWeek--It used to be good enough for venture capitalists just to hand out money. Well, not anymore. The latest example of this arrives on Tuesday, with Battery Ventures announcing the hiring of Adrian Cockcroft as the company’s first “technology fellow.”

Avalara bets on its sales-tax software–and orange

Seattle Times--Scott McFarlane has always found the idea of accounting and sales tax boring, but that didn’t stop him from starting a business to “make sales tax less taxing” for other businesses. That business is Bainbridge Island-based Avalara.

Startups Ratchet Up the Risk With Share Promises

Wall Street Journal--As the battle for financing heats up, some startups are making big promises to their early investors: a guaranteed return on their money when the company goes public.

In a Post-Amazon World, E-Commerce Site Wayfair Wants to Win at Selling Home Goods and Furnishings

TechCrunch--Taking on Amazon when it comes to e-commerce can be a futile effort. There are only a handful of e-commerce companies that have successfully been able to build a billion-dollar-plus business in e-commerce (without having physical stores) in a post-Amazon world. Zulily is one of those companies. Another one, which has stayed relatively under the radar, is Boston-based Wayfair.

Happy Holidays from the Battery Team!

Have a little fun and test your VC jargon knowledge with our game of Holiday Snowman!

Executive Profile: Michael Brown of Battery Ventures

Boston Business Journal--Michael Brown doesn’t claim to excel at early-stage startup investing. But give Brown a tech company with a promising product and some revenue, and he says he will figure out how to make the company dominant in its category.

How Greg Lambrecht is Changing the Wine World

Wall Street Journal--By the time Greg Lambrecht told me that unpaid customer evangelists are fundamental to the success of his wine-technology company,Coravin, I’d already become one.

Koru raises $4.35 million to educate college kids on how to find a job

GigaOm--Educational startup Koru, armed with $4.35 million in Series A funding, wants to help millennials get their first jobs.