BLPA’s Rearview Mirror: Mommy Apps in China

BLPA’s Rearview Mirror:

Lagging a Week

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Honda BikeWe’re skipping ahead a week, due to Google Drive’s poor syncing ability.  A goodly portion of this week’s BLPA’s Rearview Mirror is on Google Drive on my office computer.  As I understand, Google Drive syncs when you shut down or exit the application.  My experience with Google Apps is that they are somewhat testy.  When they don’t work as expected, there is no customer assistance from the GooglePlex, no person behind that Google Voice.

Back to Dropbox.  While it may not be perfect, it has improved over time, and is much more consistent than Google Drive.  The Freemium model is how I decide to purchase my services.  I was considering Box, but after some conversations with other service providers, it seems that DropBox has better support with third parties than Box.  Where one probably has to create one’s own interfaces, which is probably what that target market prefers.

Adding to the mayhem, our network was fried courtesy of Comcast’s cable, which is routed underground from the street to our basement.  The cable managed to fry the multiplexer, the broadband modem, the router, a VOIP box, our home automation lighting system and ADT’s security system.  Once the network went down, out went our SONOS music, and we were back on a 2005 iPod with a JBL iPod speaker.  I think that’s called a single point of daisy chain of failure.  Our Comcast internet technician advised us to double check with the next Comcast technician to make sure they grounded whatever system they were installing.

Last time lightening struck, it also came in via the Comcast cable, and almost fried the television sets.  Subsequently, we cut the cable to the TV, so the televisions were not connected, and hence not fried.

Dons_new_bikeAnd then on our way back from P-town on Tuesday, my Trek Madone Project One bike, with the custom paint job, was rear-ended, and the chain rod was severed.  Ouch!  The frame is being sent to Calfee Designs near Santa Barbara.  Don finally has a reason to buy a new bike–and he did (image to your left).  As a result, I’ve accumulated huge new stores of knowledge on networks and bikes.

On a much happier subject, we are in Rockaway, New Jersey, attending the wedding of my husband’s niece.  Ava is my heroine, as she placed first in Division 3 Nationals in the 200 butterfly.   That is a race of endurance, strength and skill.  Ava has hung up her goggles and is marrying Liam, a fellow swimmer, who has moved on to Masters swimming.

Finally, the app, Glympse, continues to delight all recipients.  Our hosts were thrilled to be able to view our exact position as we were rounding the elbow of the Cape at the National Seashore on our way to Provincetown.

Earnings and the Market[1] – One week ago

[Click on the company name of the story and on the stock symbol for the stock chart]

The handwringing continues, principally around geopolitical turmoil across the Ukraine, Iraq and the Middle East.  And then there were the issues around the major Portuguese lender, Espirito Santo International SA, on Thursday which, led to a quick 180 point drop.  Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices says “The underlying fundamentals are good:  earnings, cash-flow, debt levels, cash, dividends.  But the perception is not.”

This week, while there were earnings announcements, there were none of note.  And then there are the rumors of Lululemon’s (LULU:  Nasdaq) found, “Chip”Wilson wanting to take the firm private, Walmart (WMT:  NYSE) looking at smaller stores, and Microsoft (MSFT:  Nasdaq) cutting back “people, but not functionality.”

IPOs

(0 IPO’s)

There were no IPO’s this week.  We will talk about last week’s IPO’s when we are able to retrieve that issue from Google Drive on our office computer.  So much for the Google Drive sync function.

Alibaba is set to start down the IPO path, inspire all the potential conflicts-of-interest by Jack Ma and his directors with interlocking companies.

Mergers & Acquisitions

(8 transactions)

Click on the highlighted text for more deal information.

Software/Apps

Canary Calendar, an iPhone app that helps Google Calendar users schedule meetings, is being acquired by GoDaddy.  Canary is joining the “team at Go Daddy.  Google Calendar compatibility is a real problem for iCal users, though I have never tried Canary Calendar.  I can’t tell you how many times I have missed appointments—though rare—because they disappeared off my iCal calendar.

Neebula, which provides automated business service management (BSM) is being acquired by ServiceNow.

Greenville, SC-based PerceptIS, a helpdesk, call center and customer support services provider to private K-12 educational institutions, is being acquired by Blackboard, which provides software and services to education and nonprofit organizations.

Florida-based Soletron, a premier content platform for the youth community, is being acquired by Karmaloop, a Boston based eCommerce retailer of streetwear.

TwinStrata, the developer of CloudArray, is being acquired by EMC.

RakNet, one of the leading networking middleware systems in the games industry, is being acquired by Oculus VR.

United Kingdom

Base79, an international network for video creators, content owners and brands, is being acquired in a roll-up by Rightster for 50m GBP.

Private Placements[2]

[21 transactions]

Of the 21 private placements, eight companies were outside the United States, four of which are in China and one in India.  Most were software-related, many of which related to retail or e-commerce.

Software/Enterprise/Storage/Tools

Matterport, which provides rapid 3D visualization of physical spaces, is raising a $16m Series B round.

Altierre, a provider of wireless dynamic pricing solutions for large retail chains, raised $21m.

Duetto, which transforms the way hotels price and sell rooms by providing new and better information, raised a $21m Series B round.

erecruit, which provides enterprise software to staffing firms, raised $25m from North Bridge Growth Equity [which is headed by Doug Kingsley, a friend of the firm].

Malwarebytes, which protects you from new online threats that antivirus can’t detect, raised a $30m Series A round.  That’s a lot of money for a Series A.

RetailNext, which provides in-store analytics and provides actionable insights into shopper behavior, is raising a $30m Series D round.

PowerReviews, which has a consumer engagement engine used by more than 1,000 brands to collect customer reviews and answer customer questions, raised a $35m Series B round.

Storage

Avere Systems, which takes NAS (network attached storage) to the clouds, raised a $20m Series D round.

Cloudian, a developer of object storage software, raised a $29m Series C round.

Communications

Vidyo, a multi-platform video conferencing service, raised a $20m Series E round.

Medical

Syapse, a precision medicine data platform that enables laboratories, registries and providers to use molecular profiling to diagnose and treat patients, raised a $10m Series B round.

App-Related

Xapo, which combines the convenience of everyday Wallet with the security of a cold-storage Vault, raised a $20m Series B round.

mBlox, which provides SMS , push messaging APIs, and mobile marketing solutions, raised $44m.

China

HiWiFi, a wireless network manager that provides automatic connection to WLAN and  raised and open hotspots, raised $10m Series B round.

Facishare, an enterprise software provider which shares information between PCs and smartphones,. raised a $10m Series B round.

Lmbang, a Chinese mommy communications platform, raised a $20m Series B round.

Chinese photo sharing app NICE raised a $20m Series B round.

Spain

Scytl, an e-election platform, raised $15m EUR from SAP Ventures.

Mexico

Rocket Internet’s Linio, which hopes to be the Internet of Latin America, raised $79m.

United Kingdom

UK-based NewVoiceMedia, which provides contact center technology as a true cloud service over the internet,raised a $50m Series E round.

India

Bangalore-based, app-based Olacabs, raised a $41.5m Series C round.

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All the best,

 Margaret Johns

Founder & Chairman 

Affiliates:

SiVal_LogoJan Robertson

SiVal Advisors, LLC

 

 

 

 

Bic Stevens

Stevens Capital Advisors

Chartworth

Susan Woods and Vlad Harris

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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.

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

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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] WSJ Morning Moneybeat July 7 – 11, 2014

[2] TechCrunch, WSJ, Company websites