Rearview Mirror: Week Ending January 12th

Earnings, IPOs, Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Placements

What’s Happenin’?

Week Ending January 12, 2014

Trucks lined up on I-90.  SDOT / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Trucks lined up on I-90. SDOT / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

We’ve gone from two feet of snow to constant near zero degree temperatures, back up to 50°F.   And then Friday was one of those days that went from structured meetings and planned work to total mayhem, including a three hour commute into Boston and two hours with the Comcast technical support desk.  Such is life.  You think you you’ve planned the day ahead, but then the world intervenes.

Earnings

No earning reports this week, but some nice job reports.  But the Earnings Season is about to begin in earnest.

IPOs[2]

No IPOs.  A few are lining up

Mergers & Acquisitions

The high value deals of the weak were in software:  security and customer service.  The most active were in mobile apps, though media and advertising continues apace.  The most notable was in robotics.  Take a look at some of the video behind Schaft’s biped robots.  Totally impressive.

Security

Mandiant, a leader in Security Incident Response Management, was acquired by FireEye, a leader in next generation threat protection, for $1b.

Marta Security, a Silicon Valley cybersecurity company operating in stealth mode, was acquired by Palo Alto Networks

Customer Service/Help Desk

KANA Software, “a leader in customer service solutions delivered both on-premises and in the cloud,” was acquired by Verint Systems, “a global leader in Actionable Intelligence solutions and value added services . . .” for $514m

Parature, which “takes a personalized approach to customer service and help desk software,” [Think Zendesk] was acquired by Microsoft for $100m

Technology

The Japanese biped robotic company, Schaft, was acquired by Google for $20m.

Mobile

Aviate, which provides contextually relevant information for Android home screens, was acquired by Yahoo! for $80m.

Little Eye Labs which  builds performance analysis and monitoring tools for Mobile App developers was acquired by Facebook for $15m.

Switzerland-based Bitspin, developer of a virtual Swiss watch, was acquired by Google.

SnappyLabs, a one-man photo technology startup, was acquired by Apple.  SnappyLabs is the developer behind SnappyCam.

Media

Unicorn Media, a leading provider of cloud video ad insertion technology, was bought by Brightcove for $49m.

Germany-based plista, a digital advertising and marketing company, was acquired by Group M for 30m EUR

Software

VisualGraph, an image recognition and visual search company, was acquired by Pinterest

WAN network virtualization company, Corente, was acquired by Oracle.

Private Placements

Media/Advertising/Marketing

Aereo, the Company that is being taken to the Supreme Court by the major media companies, raised $34m.  We are an Aereo subscriber and swear by the service.  It’s how we get our big sports events.

News provider Mashable raised a $13.3m round to launch new areas of coverage and open new offices.

Yotpo raised an $11m Series A.   Yotpo is a leading platform that helps businesses market online via social reviews and user content.

Services

Algorithmic SMB lender, CAN Capital, raised a $33m round.  CAN Capital’s lending funds are sourced from more traditional sources, such as financial institutions; Can Capital provides the analysis and systems.

Tel Aviv-based startup, OneHour Translation raised, $10m round.

Health-Related

New York City-based Oscar, a new health insurer, raised $30m.  Oscar is:

  • “A new kind of health insurance company that is using technology to make insurance simple, intuitive, and human.  In other words that kind of insurance we want for ourselves.”

Zephyr Health, which brings Big Data analytics to health, raised $15m.

Technology

Amprius, a designer and developer of high energy and high capacity lithium batteries, raised a $30m round.

China

Chinese cloud services provider, QingCloud raised $20m.

Shanghai-based mobile game service provider MorningTec raised a RMB50m ($8.3m) Series A round.

Software

PlanSource Holdings raised $12m Series B.   PlanSource is a cloud-based tool to administer employee benefits, payroll and HRIS solutions.

Have a wonderful week ahead.  The temperatures are increasing, and the weather is becoming more enjoyable.

All the best,

Margaret Johns

Founder & Chairman

We love to hear your opinions and comments at mjohns@bluelakepartners.com.

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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.


[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.