BLPA Rearview Mirror: Week Ending August 24th

 BLPA’s Rearview Mirror

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School starts on Tuesday, though I’ve heard from others in California that have already gone back to school.  We’re doing one last hurrah down to Provincetown for a day or two.  P-town always has a lively feel to it.  We’ll take our new and/or refurbished bikes down, troll Route 6 and 6a, walk down Commercial Street, looking at the t-shirts, and dine on cioppino while watching the sun set.

Earnings and the Market[1]

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

The discussion this week was about retail and the Fed.  The Fed held its annual symposium in Jackson Hole, WY [Can I go?].  As opposed to prior years, the market rose leading into Janet Yellen’s 10am Friday speech.  One of those “buy on rumor, sell on news”moves.

Yellen claimed that the job market is still a weak spot, which we have pointed out several times.  We may have added 200,000 jobs in the last six months to our economy, but they aren’t high quality jobs.  We can tell you about that landscape, though everyone has their own personal story. My husband was pared back in a FPL’s Project Momentum, where the company cut 20 percent of their workers in the nuclear division.  Watch out if you’re edging up on retirement age and your job function is disappearing.  It was a game of musical chairs.  The good news is that there are lots of irons in the fire.

Short interest in the SPDR S&P Retail ETF has increased by eight percent this month, and is 5.8 percent  The back-to-school market isn’t looking so robust, and then we move into Christmas.  Sounds dreary.

However, Home Depot and Lowes both had good quarters.  Lowe’s (LOW:  NYSE) had sales of 16.6b and earnings of $1.04b and  $1.04 per share as opposed to YoY sales of $15.7b and earnings of $0.88 per share.   Home Depot (HD:  NYSE) announced sales of $23.8b vs. $22.5b YoY and earnings of $2.0b and $1.52 per share vs. $1.8b and $1.24 per share YoY.

Another bright spot is sales of previously owned homes.  Our micro-data points tell us houses are moving.  This summer, three houses have traded this summer, two within the first few days of listing.  Two were empty nesters, and one was from a divorce.  It’s good to see some liquidity in the market.


(0 IPO’s)

No IPOs this week.

Mergers & Acquisitions

(7 transactions)

Click on the highlighted text for more deal information.


CloudVolumes which simplifies management and increases the efficiency of applications within the datacenter and the cloud, is being acquired by VMware.


Jetpac, a photo imaging app, which also publishes Jetpac City Guides, is being acquired by Google.

Mad Mimi, which focuses on email marketing, is being acquired by GoDaddy.


ClarityRay, which has had a mission of making the advertising eco-system safe, compliant, and sustainable for consumers, publishers and advertisers, is being acquired by Yahoo!


Network1, which acquires and licenses intellectual property, is being acquired by ScanSource for $374m.


adSage, an advertising and online services provider in China, is being acquired by BesTV for $100m.


Avago Technologies, which provides an extensive range of analog, mixed-signal and optoelectronic components and subsystems to more than 40000 end customers, is being acquired by Intel for $650m.


Private Placements

[26 transactions]

Software Tools

Xamarin, a cross-platform app development  raised a $54m Series C round.

Alfresco, an open platform for content management on Microsoft and Unix-like operating systems, raised a $45m Series D round.

Pernix Data, a software platform for scale-out storage acceleration, raised a $35m Series C round.

Jaunt, is a developer creating a toolset for cinematic virtual reality, raised a $28m Series B round.

Continuity Control, which provides compliance management system software for banks, raised $10m.


vArmour, a stealth enterprise data security company, raised a $21m Series C round.

GuardiCore, which provides security in depth for the software defined datacenter, raised an $11m Series A round.

Malware detector, Lastline, raised a $10m Series C round from Dell and Presidio Ventures.


Thumbtack, which helps you find people to accomplish your personal projects, raised a $100m Series D round.

DoubleDutch, a mobile app for events and conferences, raised a $19m Series D round.


Transactis, a leading provider of electronic billing and payment, raised an $11m Series D round.

Green Energy

Enlighted, creator of ambient lighting sensor networks,  raised a $20m Series D round.


Medallia, which captures and interprets customer feedback, raised a $50m Series C round.

Comprehend Systems, which develops a SaaS platform which analyzes and interprets clinical trial results, raised a $21m Series B round.

Big Data

DataRobot, which helps develop predictive models in a timely fashion, raised a $21m Series A round.


Poppin, which sells innovative work supplies, raised a $17m Series C round.


Rethink Autism, which provides educational treatment solutions for children with autism spectrum disorders, aspergers, and pdd-nos learning disabilities, raised a $10m Series C round.


Dermira, which focuses on skin ailments, raised a $51m Series C round.

Healthsense, which makes remote monitoring systems, raised $10m.

Latin America

ClickBus, which allows you to buy your bus ticket online, raised $10m.

India, a taxi app in the major cities in India, raised a $30m Series C round.


Mobile healthcare app, Chunyu Yisheng, which lets consumers remotely consult with physicians, raised a $50m Series C round.

Xingshuai Teach, an online software and foreign language education site, raised a $30m Series B round., a wine import company, raised a $39m Series F round.

Aipai, a gaming company, raised a $38m Series C round.

Tech recruitment site, Lagou, raised a $25 Series B round, including $5m from Bertelsmann.


All the best,

Margaret Johns

Founder & Chairman




SiVal_LogoJan Robertson

SiVal Advisors, LLC





Bic Stevens

Stevens Capital Advisors 


Susan Woods and Vlad Harris


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 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 August 18 – 22, 2014


[2] Source: Renaissance Capital, SEC documents, Yahoo Finance. Nasdaq website