BLPA’s Rearview Mirror M&A and Private Placements: India Rules

BLPA’s Rearview Mirror

M&A and Private Placements: India Rules

November 4, 2014

  • We love to hear your opinions and comments at
  • If you like what you read, please click SHARE at the bottom of this post.


Source:  creative commons
Source: creative commons

The most interesting acquisition this week was California-based SiTime’s acquisition by Japan-based Mega Chips. One almost never sees a Japanese company acquire U.S. companies, particularly in the semiconductor sector.

On the M&A front, two ultra high end fashion websites, Moda Operandi and ModeWalk merged. Personally, I view many of my prior designer purchases with some degree of regret. In New York City, professionals must dress the part with Zegna suits, Ferragamo ties, Akris dresses and Burberry coats. Dressing in these labels in my current life would be silly and time consuming. Time and energy better spent in the pool and writing. But I am considering a Lexus hybrid.

In acquisitions, Amazon is signaling their interest in the huge and highly lucrative entertainment business with their acquisition of Rooftop Media, an event streaming company.

My favorite private placement is LiquidTime, where companies can make use of their empty office space and meeting rooms by consigning it to LiquidTime who rents out the reconfigured space by the hour, day or month. The Uber of commercial real estate. They have nice looking and well located facilities in Cambridge, Boston and Waltham. But forget New Hampshire and the I-495 loop and most of the 128 loop.

That loud sucking sound you hear is India shepherding all the private placement funds into the country. This week four deals consumed just over one billion dollars.

Mergers & Acquisitions[1]

Click on the highlighted text for more deal information.


MobFox, an open mobile advertising platform, is being acquired by Matomy Media Group for $17.5m.

NYC-based Torando Labs, founded by’s founder Todd Levy, is being acquired by BuzzFeed. Not much is known about Tornado Labs. Levy will become BuzzFeed’s VP of Data Engineering.

Rooftop Media, which has developed a platform that distributes live and on-demand recordings is being acquired by Amazon.

Systems & Services

TASC is being acquired by Engility for $1.1b. Both are government technology services providers, Engility is at the price competitive end, and TASC at the specialty high end of the market.

Kansas-based Overland Solutions, an underwriting support services company for the insurance industry, is being acquired by ExlService Holdings ,a BPO company, for $53m.

Salina, New York-based Systems Made Simple, a provider of health information solutions (“HIS”) to the government, is being acquired by Lockheed Martin. Lockheed must be looking at migrating from defense towards medical after reviewing Express Script’s and McKesson’s financial results and wants to join the party.

PRO Unlimited, a global contingent workforce solution provider, is being acquired by Investacorp in a buyout.


ModeWalk is being acquired by Moda Operandi. This is a case, pun intended, of Stanford GSB entrepreneurs’ company being acquired by HBS entrepreneurs’ company. New York City/Boston prevails over Palo Alto.

Cityvox, a French online review site, is being acquired by Yelp.


F-star Alpha Ltd, a developer of FS102 is a novel Phase 1 ready Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2)-targeted therapy in development for the treatment of breast and gastric cancer, is being acquired by Bristol-Myers Squibb for $475m.


Topera, Inc., a medical device company focused on developing innovative electrophysiology technologies to improve the diagnosis and treatment of atrial fibrillation, is being acquired by Abbot Labs for $250m.

Cleveland-based Chantest, which provides ion channel testing services, is being acquired by Charles River Laboratories International, another medical testing company, for $54m.

UK-based Brabant pharma is being acquired by Zogenix, based in San Diego, for $35m. The acquisition includes worldwide development and commercialization rights to BrabafenTM, low-dose fenfluramine, for the treatment of Dravet syndrome, a rare and catastrophic form of intractable epilepsy that begins in infancy


SiTime, A MEMS and analog semiconductor company, is being acquired by MegaChips Corporation, a fabless semiconductor company based in Japan, for $200m.


Netherlands-based Nimbuzz, a free messaging and calling app, is being acquired by New Call Telecom, a UK-based ISP, for $175m.


Chicago-based Non Woven Solutions is being acquired by Danish-Based Fibertex Nonwovens for $25m.

Private Placements[2]

Click on the highlighted text for company and deal descriptions. Descriptions are from companies’ websites, unless otherwise noted.


Wealthfront, which helps you mange your money with a simplified, programmable investment platform, raised a $64m Series D round.

Personal Capital, the personal financial planning website that advertises on Leo Laporte’s “This Week in” channel, raised a $50m Series D round. The Company is based in Denver and San Francisco.

iMatchative, which uses their platform, ALTX, to connect the right investor to the right fund, raised a $20m Series B round.

Keyssam [no website], a five-year-old stealth startup that holds a patent for “contactless secure communication”[3], raised a $10.87m Series C round.


Minted, which brings you the best in indie design from a global community of independent designers, raised a $38m Series D round.

Enjoy[4][no website], which aids online shoppers making purchase decisions, raised $30m. What makes Enjoy notable is that the founder is Ron Johnson, Apple’s former head of retail, and JC Penney’s former CEO.

ScoreBIG, which is a ticket auction site for a broad array of sports, theater and other event venues, raised an $18m in a Series D round.


Slack, a platform for team communication that is very popular among developers, raised a $120m Series D round.

Cardlytics, which has consumer purchase data provided by bank credit cards, raised $70m. The data is sold to advertisers, retailers and other companies.

Waltham-based Capriza, a cloud-based app development platform, raised a $27m Series C round.

Austin-based Transverse LLC, which developed the billing software called Tract, raised $25m. Tract provides automated billing for companies with subscription and activity-based business models

Joyent, the high-performance cloud computing infrastructure and big data analytics company, raised a $15m Series E round.

Austin-based Krimmeni Technologies, which provides security for a “hyperconnected” world, raised an $11.7m Series A round.


Harvest Power raised a $20m Series D round.

  • We divert discarded organic materials – primarily yard trimmings and food scraps – from landfills and produce renewable energy and soil, mulch and natural fertilizer products through anaerobic digestion and composting.
  • Harvest currently manages more than 2 million tons of organic material through 30 operating sites in North America. The company has nearly 65,000 megawatt-hours per year of heat and power generating capacity and sells nearly 33 million bags of soil, mulch and fertilizer products to agricultural producers and landscapers annually.

Office Space

LiquidSpace, which rents work/meeting space by the hour,day,month, raised a $14m Series C round. The model makes it look like the Uber of office space.


Boston-based Digital Lumens, which makes intelligent LED High Bay LIghting Systems for commercial and industrial lighting, raised a $23m Series C round. Nokia Growth Partners was the lead investor.

Peraso Technologies, a semiconductor company specializing in the development of 60 GHz wireless chipsets, raised $20m.

uBeam, which does wireless charging, raised a $10m Series A round.


Limeade, an enterprise-focused wellness company, raised a $25m Series C round.


Vanda Pharmaceuticals (VNDA: Nasdaq), a biopharmaceutical company focused on central nervous system disorders, raised $54m in a private placement.

Syros Pharmaceuticals, which has a platform which maps gene control circuits in human disease tissue and identifies optimal points of intervention for therapeutics, raised a $53m Series B round.

Cambridge-based Aileron Therapeutics, with a proprietary class of drugs called Stapled Peptides, raised $33m.

Imago BioSciences, developing “novel medicines” raised a $26.5m Series A round.

Paragon Bioservices, is a CRO-CMO whose focuses the manufacturing of biopharmaceuticals, raised a $13m Series A round.

Tel Aviv-based CNoga Medical, which is developing a non-invasive diagnosis method for diabetes, raised $12.5m.

Cortendo, which is focused on Type 2 diabetes, raised $11m. The Company has offices in Gothenburg, Sweden and Radnor, Pennsylvania.


Blink,a photo messaging app, raised a $20m Series A round from Tencent. The website is


Snapdeal, India’s largest online shopping site, raised $627m.

Olacabs, the Uber of India, serving Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai, raised a $210m Series D round.

Laurus Labs, which makes nutraceuticals, specialty chemicals, and pharmaceuticals on a contract and direct basis, raised $90m.

CESC,a power utility company, raised $80m.


VivaReal, a real estate site, raised a $42m Series E round. The Company also serves other South American countries and Central America.


NH Flag
Source:, creative commons

This week is midterm elections, and in New Hampshire the Senate race between Jean Shaheen (D) and Scott Brown (R) is hotly contested.  Our phone is literally ringing every 15 minutes with pollsters.  The Governor’s race, a biannual event, is less contested between the incumbent Maggie Hassan (D) and Walt Havenstein (R).

All the best,

Margaret Johns

Founder, BlueLake Partners, LLC







Jan Robertson

SiVal Advisors, LLC


Bic Stevens

Stevens Capital Advisors



Susan Woods and Vlad Harris

Margaret Johns is the Founder and Chairman of BlueLake Partners, a boutique M&A investment bank based in the Greater Boston Area.  Prior to founding BlueLake she was an employee founder and Managing Director at Needham & Company where she worked in Corporate Finance in New York City and headed up its Boston office.  She now lives in Londonderry, New Hampshire with her husband, 16 year old step-daughter and three pugs.  When she’s not working with clients, FINRA or writing blogs she competes on the Granite State Penguins Masters Swim Team, skis, rides her bike or is out walking her pugs.

Content researched, edited and reviewed on a best efforts basis.


We make no claim to being comprehensive in our review, as the contents are companies and topics we, ourselves, find of interest.


This newsletter is currently being proofed by Dave Henshaw, which is much appreciated. Dave is my USMS swimming lane mate, and Granite State Penguin team-mate. He is retired from MIT, where he used to produce and proof their annual financial report. Exactly what we need.




[1] TechCrunch and company websites

[2] TechCrunch and company websites