BLP’s Rearview Mirror: Week Ending January 19th

Earnings, IPOs, M&A and Private Placements

What’s Happenin’?

Week Ending January 19, 2014

John DeereSurprise!  It’s nine inches of snow.  No snow in the forecast for the weekend, and what-do-you-know?  Tommy, our neighbor is the “New [self-proclaimed] Sheriff in Town” with his mega-John Deere tractor/snow blower.   For those who are wondering, the John Deere has an enclosed cab with both heating and air conditioning.  Tommy did our driveway in 10 minutes.  If only it could do Pug Paths and patios.


No earning reports this week.


No IPOs, though is on the launch pad.  In a recent review of the website we see that it has expanded into new markets and geography. has launched way beyond childcare, into eldercare and pet care as well as into Canada and the United Kingdom.

Mergers & Acquisitions[2]

While there were a few M&A deals, the deal of the quarter was Google’s purchase of Nest at $3.2 billion.  Which means an Arms Race in home automation is about to begin.

ideeli, a flash fashion websire, acquired by Groupon for $43m.  This is reported to be underwater for ideeli’s shareholders.

NewYork City-based Branch Media was acquired by Facebook for $15m.  Branch is a platform for hosting invite-only conversations.  You may have used Branch if you tweeted a customer complaint, and as a result engaged in a direct conversation with the vendor in question.  Branch was funded by Evan Williams and Biz Stone, among others.


1Form Online was acquired by the REA Group (ASX:  REA) for $15m.  1Form was started by two Australian entrepreneurs and allows prospective tenants to apply for multiple properties using a single online form.  1Form accounts for about 75 percent of rental property listings in Australia and New Zealand.

Marcon Group was acquired by Core Services Group for $11m.  The Marcon Group is based in Australia and provides civil and multi-discipline engineering, procurement and construction services to the resources and infrastructure sector.


Provus was acquired by Mastercard.  Provus is a leading Turkish payment solutions provider.

Private Placements[3]


Nutonix, a datacenter infrastructure company, raised $101m Series D.  Riverwood Capital and SAP Ventures led the round, with a valuation at about $1 billion.

Low-power semiconductor company SuVolta raised an $11m Series F. SuVolta is based in Los Gatos.


Ad-tech shop, Turn. raised an $80m Series E.  Based in Silicon Valley, Turn has 20 locations and 350 employees.

Austin-based Main Street Hub, a marketing platform for local businesses, raised a $14m Series B.

Santa Barbara-based Invoca, an inbound cloud marketing platform, raised a $20m Series C.


App tracker and tester, uTest, which is changing its name to Applause, raised $43m Series E.  The round was led by Goldman Sachs.

San Francisco-based Nextbit Systems, a stealth mobile company, raised $18m.  As part of this round, Boston-based Rich Miner, a founder of Wildfire the voice-based personal assistant and Android, is joining the board of directors.


Scottsdale-based Parchment, a leading education transcript credentials network, raised $35m.

San Francisco-based Twice, an on-line secondhand clothing store with the url, raised $18.5m.

Certain, which develops and markets a software product for conference management, raised an $18m round.  Certain is based in San Francisco.

New York City-based  Oyster, which is bringing the Netflix model to e-books via the iOS platform, raised a $14m Series A.

SiteMinder, an online hotel distribution and connectivity platform, raised $12m.


Los Angeles-based Chrome River Technologies, an online expense reporting and invoice management service, raised a $17m Series C.

Boston-formed, Palo Alto-based and YC’09 WePay raised $15m.  The company is focusing its API away from consumer payments to marketplaces, crowdfunding sites and small business software companies.


Micro-social network app, Path raised a $25m Series C.

Trustpilot, an online review service that hopes to bring transparency to e-commerce, raised a $25m Series C



Berlin-based Delivery Hero raised an $88m Series E.  The Company has operations in 12 countries, including Russia, Mexico, Germany, Australia and China.


Centralized loan site, Bank Bazaar raised a $13m Series B.  Bank Bazaar is located in Channai India.


Chinese app store Wandoujia raised an $120m Series B.


Dublin-headquartered mobile marketing player, Brandtone raised a 14m EUR Series C.

It’s time to turn our attention to football, and our financial, AML and FINRA audits.

Go Pats!!!

All the best,

Margaret Johns

Founder & Chairman

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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] Certain information provided by Renaissance Capital, in addition to the SEC and numerous business publications

[2] Certain information from TechCrunch, SEC documents, company websites and other news sources.

[3] Certain information from TechCrunch, SEC documents, company websites and other news sources.