BLP’s Tech Week of September 30th in Review

BLP’s Week of September 30th in Review


The news this week was on Congress and Washington, D.C.  Still, we had a great week with four IPO’s that all finished the week with significant share price increases from the offering price.  Dare I think a sustained bull market??


While several large companies, such as Ford Motor, Global Payments, International Speedway and RiteAid reported earnings, our crowd was somewhat dormant this past week.


Chicago-based Potbelly Sandwich Shop (PBPB:  Nasdaq) sold 7.5m shares one dollar above the range, at $14 per share, and raised $105m .  The stock closed Friday at $30.77, a nearly 120 percent gain from the IPO price.  We have never heard of the chain:  It was founded in 1977 and has six shops in the Boston area, out of 280 shops across the country.  The expansion started in 1996 when Bryant Keil bought the original Chicago store.

Burlington Stores (BURL:  Nasdaq), parent of Burlington Coat Factory and a Bain Capital LBO, also priced one dollar above the range at $17 per share.  The Company raised $227m.  With approximately 74m shares outstanding post-offering, the valuation would be $1.25b.  The stock ended the week at $25.89, an over 50 percent increase over the offering price.  Burlington Stores operates 503 stores and has over $4b in sales.

RE/MAX Holdings (RMAX:  Nasdaq) raised $220m at $22 per share, also one dollar above the offering range.  The valuation at offering was $654m.  The stock closed the week at $31.65, a 44 percent increase over the offering price.  Sales are approximately $143m.  The Company operates a nationwide real estate brokerage franchise.

Orphan disease biotech, Fate Therapeutics (FATE:  Nasdaq) raised $40.2m shares selling 6.7m shares @ $6 per share, the low end of the range.  The stock closed the week at $7.15, a nearly 20 percent increase from the offering price.

Mergers & Acquisitions

In the big deal space, Arbitron was acquired by Nielsen for $1.3b.  More old elephants combining.  Is there a future for the combined entity?

The Climate Corporation, which offeres “full stack risk management” for the farmer was purchased by Monsanto for between $900m and $1.1b, depending on whose numbers you believe.  The Company uses machine learning to predict the weather and other essential elements, and then offers farmers insurance to protect them against the cost of other inputs—fertilizer, seed—during hard times.  It’s believed that  Monsanto is buying the Climate Corporation for its analytics rather than its insurance operation.

Procurian, which offers comprehensive procurement outsourcing solutions, was acquired by Accenture for $375m.

Toronto-based Xtreme Labs, which specializes in mobile application development for retail, banking, media and other industries, was acquired by Pivotal for $65m.  Pivotal provides a next-gen Enterprise PaaS (Platform as a Service) for the purpose of developing software applications for the enterprise, including apps, data and analytics.

Hand gesture interface company, Flutter, was acquired by Google for $40m.  The Company delivers an app that can control iTunes, Spotify, VLC YouTube, and Pandora using gestures through your webcam.

Backup Technology, an online backup and disaster recovery service for global enterprises, was acquired by iomart Group, the UK’s leading cloud computing company, for 23m GBP

Sensory Networks, which does pattern matching solutions for matching large groups of regular expressions against blocks or streams of data, was acquired by Intel for $20m.

Bureau of Trade, an online bazaar for vintage products, was acquired by eBay.

Private Placements

MongoDB raised $150m, valuing the Company at $1.2b.  MongoDB is an open source document database and the leading NoSQL database.  The Company is based in New York City and includes Craigslist, eBay, Fourquare and the New  York Times as customers.

Telogis, which operates a cloud based fleet management platform, raised $93m.  The Company boasts some of the major car manufacturers as its customers.

A10 Networks, a leader in Application Networking, working with an Application Delivery Controller and Server Load Balancer, raised $80m.

Netherlands-based Merus Pharmaceuticals, which develops more potent mixtures of human antibodies that are produced by clonal cell lines, raised 50m EUR.

Quixey, which is a search engine, review/rating source and storefront for apps based on the device you use—iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, raised $50m.  The round was led by Alibaba.

Cigital, a Beltway Bandit consulting firm focused on software security, raised $50m

Twitch, a game streaming website that is partnered with Sony and Microsoft, raised $20m Series C.

Leaf, a mobile payment platform, raised $20m from Heartland Payment Systems.  While Leaf is  based in Cambridge, the payment app I see in most restaurants is LevelUp.

Logentries, which sells a log management and analysis solution that provides “actionable insights,” raised $10m in a Series A round.

Quri, which offers retail analytis for better retail execution and sales, raised $10m.

Shyp, which we had mentioned in last week, raised a $2.1m seed round.

Have a great week

Margaret S.C. Johns

Founder & Chairman

[1] Certain information from Renaissance Capital the SEC, and numerous business publications