Dibzees and BettrLife bring in state funds for staff expansion
Dibzees, a penny auction site based in Iowa City, received $500,000 from the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund through a royalty agreement. The funding supports the addition of five full-time employees and three contract employees, co-founder and CEO Casey Everts (right) said in a phone interview Monday. The new team members will join four full-time employees and a half-dozen contractors to help Dibzees complete features of its latest version, which it rolled out in February.
Everts and his two co-founders met at the University of Iowa and launched Dibzees in 2009 with winnings from business plan competitions and personal investment. In 2011, the company raised a seed round of an undisclosed amount from a private group of Iowa City and East Coast investors. With new features and expected growth on the way – the site has "roughly 50,000" sign-ups – Everts said the company is in the process of raising a Series A round.
BettrLife, a health and wellness tech startup based in Des Moines, received a $250,000 loan from the Iowa Innovation Acceleration Fund. The funding will help the startup, which currently has 12 full-time employees, hire 3-5 more, co-founder and CEO Don Schoen (right) said in a phone interview Monday. After a "soft launch" of a mobile app in March, BettrLife gathered feedback and examined the usability of its product. Now, Schoen said, the company is preparing for a "significant release" in December.
Schoen co-founded BettrLife as Buyer Compass in 2010, and he made an initial capital investment in the company that year. The company closed a $1.25 million Series A round in October of this year from a group of undisclosed investors.