It’s been a big news week for tech as Twitch and Snapchat have stirred up enough interest to distract us even from Burning Man. Twitch, the video platform for gamers, along with the social messaging Snapchat app are just two pieces of a notable trend in the gaming and social markets that venture investors poured their cash into this week.

Social media made the strongest comeback this week, with nine companies totalling $44.7M in funding. Rumors that social media management startup HootSuite may be closing a pre-IPO round from Fidelity could significantly increase that figure, which is already up over 15x from last week. The trend in social media this week has had a clear theme, favoring very specific vertical social platforms. Wikia, a user-generated pop culture publishing site, raised $15M to try to expand the business into Asia. The Series D was led by Tokyo-based Digital Garage and included seven other investors including BessemerAmazon and IVP. Similarly, Chinese company took in a $6.5M Series A from Shenzen Capital Group for their social media platform geared towards the cultural entertainment vertical.

Social finance service Ayondo of Frankfurt also took $4M in funding from Luminor Capital for their social trading platform enabling members to follow and monitor top stock traders. In the U.S., Boston startup Fancred took in a $3M seed round for their social app targeting sports fans and Vegas company EastMeetEast raised $480k to launch a dating platform for Asians in English-speaking countries. Finally, AdmitSee secured a $250k convertible note as part of the program for their crowd-sourced platform to bring transparency to college admissions.

Games made the second largest jump of the week, with six funding rounds compared to just three during the prior week. DraftKings of Boston raised a $41M Series C led by The Raine Group and supported by Redpoint Ventures, GGV Capital, and Atlas Venture. Interestingly, Atlas was also a part of the FanCred round which brought their Boston-area sports and gaming investment portfolio to five, joining OYO Sporstoys, The Tap Lab and Skillz. Austin-based Victiv rode the fantasy sports wave this week as well, taking $2M in seed funding to compete directly with DraftKings, FanCred and FanDuel in the growing fantasy sports market. Disruptor Beam, also of Boston, raised $1.6M of the $152M total in Games startups this week.

Investments in Ecommerce startups matched the total from last week and was the most active market overall with 17 rounds. The Honest Company’s $70M Series C was the largest chunk of the $150M raised during the week.

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  • Originally published August 28, 2014, updated April 26, 2023