Week Ending March 2nd, 2014
Snow, snow and more snow. Actually, it’s simply cold. Typically between single digits and under 32 degrees. Meanwhile, my husband and stepdaughter are finishing up their Southern California college tour. Guess what? My stepdaughter has found six “dream colleges.” While all were reputable, my guess is that beach proximity, the weather and outdoor pools have more to do with the positive ratings than academics. Just saying . . .
In the Small World Department, I was browsing through podcasts for San Diego-based Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas, and spotted a recent broadcast named “603 Brewery,” which I discovered is headquartered about a mile from my office. Flavors include “Winni [Lake Winnipesaukee] Ale,” “White Peaks [White Mountains] Ale,’ and “18 Miler [the length of the New Hampshire coastline] Ale.” Very limited hours for tastings and purchase, but well worth it.
Click on the Company Name for the earnings announcement, and the Company Symbol for the stock chart.
Lots about technical analysis, the long run of this bull market, and much ado about the market attempting to break through the S&P 1850 mark and not succeeding. Last year the market was up 30 percent; there’s no way that there will be a repeat of that this year. Sort of like having lightening strike twice in the same place.
Meanwhile. Bitcoin’s Mt. Gox exchange in Japan has declared bankruptcy, claiming that the exchange was hacked and about $500 million worth of Bitcoin has evaporated. They claim that these Bitcoins are marked as stolen goods, and cannot be reused without being discovered. This is the worst case scenario with respect to investment in Bitcoin. All your money is lost and there is no recourse.
Click on the Company Name for the S-1 filing and the Company Symbol for the stock chart.
Oh my goodness. Two IPO’s this week. And one was tech. A rarity, these days, where almost all the IPOs have been biotech-related.
Varonis (VRNS: Nasdaq) sold 4.8m shares at $22.00 per share, raising $105.6m at a valuation of $524m. Varonis deals with unstructured, human-generated data. One application that the WSJ mentioned was searching employees emails to determine trends. Spooky?! The stock doubled to close the week at $44 per share.
Lumenis (LMNS: Nasdaq) sold 6.3m shares at $12 per share, raising $75.6m at a valuation of $309m. Lumenis is based in Israel and is a provider of innovative energy-based [think laser] minimally invasive clinical solutions, focused on the aging population. The stock closed the week at $12.20 per share
Mergers & Acquisitions
(13 transactions noted)
Click on the highlighted phrase for the Company’s M&A announcement.
Large company acquires small company:
Apple, Google, Oracle, Monster and IBM all announced strategic acquisitions, as many are playing catch-up in social/cloud/data management markets.
London-based Spider.io was acquired by Google (GOOG: Nasdaq). Spider.io helps detect and crack on-line advertising fraud.
BlueKai acquired by Oracle Corp. BlueKai is an on-line data management startup. BlueKai has a platform that allows one to personalize marketing programs and the customer experience.
Cloudant, the developer of a distributed database, was acquired by IBM. IBM is attempting to compete with Amazon AWS, and get in the hybrid cloud game. IBM had announced a new platform, BlueMix, which will incorporate Cloudant.
BASH Gaming was acquired by casual game maker, GSN Games, for $160m. GSN is owned by DIRECTV and Sony Pictures Entertainment.
Vancouver-based Coastal.com was acquired by Paris-based Essilor for $430m. Coastal.com sells glasses and contact lenses. Essilor also owns the consumer-oriented FramesDirect and EyeBuyDirect as well as the eye care professional site: MyOnelineOptical.
Scheduling and appointment manager company, BookFresh, is being acquired by Square.
In order to compete against Lego, Mega Brands was acquired by Mattel for $460m. You’ve got to love Forbes cheeky headline: “Jealous Barbie Comes After Lego with Mega Bloks Purchase.”
(15 transactions noted that were also over $10m)
Click on the Company name of the website or deal information.
Tradeshift, which automates financial workflow, e-invoicing, enhanced collaboration, raised a $75m Series C round.
Sales engagement platform, ClearSlide, raised a $60m Series C round.
Software-as-a-Service and Big Data company, eCommerce ,raised a $41m Series C round.
Distributed database company, NuoDB based in Cambridge Massachusetts, raised a $14m Series B round. Dassault Systems was among the investors.
Enterprise video development platform, ZEFR raised a $30m Series D round.
Ventura, California digital ad-firm, The Trade Desk, raised a $20m Series B round.
Founded by an ex-Googler, Shape Security raised a $40m Series C round. “Shape Security fights malware with malware logic.”
Spare Foot, which makes finding storage units easier with online resources, raised a $10m Series C round.
Mobile communications for healthcare professionals startup, Voalte, raised a $36m Series C round.
Quanttus raised a $19m Series A round. Quanttus claimed to be “a venture-backed firm base in Cambridge, Massachusetts creating new products and services that will bridge the gap between consumer health and medical care.” My interpretation: Still in stealth mode.
For-profit social enterprise startup, D.light Design raised an $11m Series C round.
Chinese personal finance app, Wacai raised a $16m Series A round.
Snapdeal, India’s largest on-line marketplace, raised a $134m Series F round.
Have a great week, and pray that Russia doesn’t further invade the Ukraine. We don’t want a repeat of Czecho-Slavakia. Though Putin might think so.
Founder & Managing Director
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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.
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 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.
 WSJ Moneybeat, Feb 24-28, 2014
 TechCrunch, Company websites and other news media.
 TechCrunch, Company websites, other news media.