The Daily Start-Up: Cortera’s Thinking About Tomorrow

Top stories in today’s VentureWire:

dailystartup_D_20090806101628.jpgArt by Mike Lucas

Cortera Inc. has been through a lot in its 24-year history – including multiple recaps, name changes and business models. Now the business intelligence software company has gained undisclosed backing from TomorrowVentures, VentureWire has learned, as it hones its plan to help businesses maximize their payment collections.

KPCB China and Sequoia Capital China are among the investment firms that have spent millions of dollars on wastewater treatment companies and new technologies in China in the past few months. The deals come amid a major push by the Chinese government to clean up pollution caused by decades of breakneck industrialization.

Also, Sapphire Energy Inc., which is using algae to help create biofuels, has added Monsanto Corp. to a list of investors that have already provided more than $100 million in financing to the company…HarbourVest Partners has rounded up more than $4 billion for two funds of funds and is gearing up for two additional investment vehicles…and flash-sales company Privalia Venta Directa has fitted itself with one of the largest European rounds in recent years, raising 88 million Euros from existing investors.

(VentureWire is a daily newsletter with comprehensive analysis of all the investments, deals and personnel moves involving start-ups and their venture backers. For a two-week trial, click here.)

Elsewhere around the Web:

Venture-backed music-streaming service MOG says it has signed a string of deals with electronics manufacturers to install its service on Internet-ready TVs and other devices. It will also partner with BMW’s Mini line of cars to provide on-demand music. MOG’s backers include Balderton Capital and Menlo Ventures.

Twitter’s Charlie Sheen moment has brought new attention to how celebrities can use social media to promote products. One beneficiary is venture-backed, which acts as a broker between brands and famous people on Twitter. The  start-up raised $5 million last May.

The hot market for exchanging private stock in Internet companies is prompting some, including Twitter, to clamp down on the practice, Reuters reports. “It’s becoming   a free-for-all,” one entrepreneur told the news service.

Chinese real estate marketplace Anjuke has raised a $50 million financing round led by  Internet search company Baidu. Matrix Partners China was an early backer of Anjuke.

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