BLP on Tech: The Week of July 22nd in Review


Mid-way through 1Q earnings reports AAPL, GOOG, and FB garnered all the attention.  AAPL for the decline in iPhone selling prices:  Seems users don’t want to pay up for the iPhone5 and are sticking with the iPhone4 and 4s.  Sadly for Samsung, HTC and others, it’s not just AAPL that is seeing resistance at the high end.  GOOG:  unexciting.  What more can I say?  FB:  A lot of commotion about their new found success in mobile.  FB is indeed the Company that people love to hate.  The rowdy kid in class, if you may.

Just a note on the new, invasive advertising in the FB stream.  This week the advertising in the stream became totally obnoxious, as opposed to mildly interesting at times.  Every other post in the stream is an ad.  Please!

IPO’s of the week:

IPOs seem to be going the way of Pharma.  However,pricing has been a tad aggressive as five out of five priced below the range on Friday.

M&A of Interest:

Vivendi SA is selling back to Activision 49 percent of its ownership position, for $5.83b.  Vivendi will still own 12 percent of Activision.  Activision is a sentimental favorite of ours, as my colleague, Barbara (Missy) Isgur was on their board til her untimely death.

Apple is buying geo related companies:
Apple purchased Locationary and HopStop.  Locationary is Toronto based, and improves search and navigation, as well as increasing advertising and commerce.  HopStop is your guide to local transit:  most notably the NYC subway system, but also Boston, San Francisco and others.

Marketing tech company [x+1] acquired mobile marketing tech WDA

Cisco acquired Sourcefire (network security) for $2.7b

Cinven, a private equity group, acquired Host Europe Group , a hosting, domain registrar, etc. for $666m.

VerticalResponse, an email marketing company, was acquired by Deluxe Corp., a check printing company, for $27m.

Torbit, a web metrics company was acquired by Wal-Mart.

Private Placements:

The world is international:  Easy Taxi, (call a taxi with a tap of your smartphone) based in Brazil, raised money from African interests to expand into Africa.

NatureBox raised $8.5m.  I was so intrigued that on learning about this healthy snack subscription company that I enrolled.  Will let you know how it goes!

Also of interest:

Baidu is hosting the Baidu Open Cloud Hackathon in Singapore with QuestVC and SegmentFault.  It’s the first time that Baidu has done anything outside of China.

Just read about Great Oak Venture Capital (NYC).  Not to be confused with Oak Venture Partners (CT & SiVal).   Those acorns keep sprouting oaks!

Margaret S.C. Johns

Founder, BlueLake

*The content of the Week in Review is purely discretionary:  it’s what’s interesting to us!