BLPA’s Rearview Mirror: Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Placemenets

BLPA’s Rearview Mirror


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Fall 3 10-10-13Each time I tally up the week’s M&A and private placement transactions, I mentally calculate the ratio of exits to investments. It’s a SWAG, but it gives one a sense of how many will probably succeed or fail. I’ve heard that 70 percent of all early stage investment fail, so this is actually not a bad number, however unscientific as the survey is. This week it’s 22:37.


Big Data, mobile and payments are still the themes. This week a few “beauty” oriented companies surfaced, along with companies headquartered in Spain, Brazil, Nigeria and Singapore.   The majority of foreign investment are in China, India, Germany, the UK and Canada.

Mergers & Acquisitions[1]

Click on the highlighted text for more deal information.


NYC-based DramaFever, the web video site that specializes in Korean movies and TV shows is being acquired by SoftBank. DramaFever has international aspirations for their content and distribution. IAC was said to be bidding on the company. DramaFever’s investors were   AMC Networks and Bertelsmann, and MK Capital. Their partners are numerous content providers around the world.


Salonmeister an OpenTable for beauty salons, based in Germany, is being acquired by Wahanda, another salon reservation system. I tested for my area in New Hampshire, as well as Boston and came up with a goose egg. New York had one salon. To be expected, as Wahanda is headquartered the London.

UK-based Txtlocal, a texting app, is being acquired by IMImobile for 11m GBP.

MessageMe, a messaging app, is being acquired by Yahoo! for $12m.

Brazil-based Subdelivery is being acquired by Delivery Hero. Delivery Hero is being valued above $1b.


Exact Holding NV, a Dutch business enterprise software company making the painful transition to a subscription-based model, is being acquired by Apax Partners for $930m. The price is over 4x revenue.

Israel-based Equivio, a text analysis startup, is being acquired by Microsoft for $200m. MSFT has real depth in this area, so it will be interesting to see if they are able to productize the technology for mass markets. Equivio has targeted the legal market with Zoom, a court-approved machine learning platform. Zoom is an e-discovery tool, and organizes documents in meaningful ways, while quantifying and visualizing the decision space.

San Francisco-based Koality, a software testing company, is being acquired by Docker, which is the developer of an open platform for distributed applications.

BYOD company MobileSpaces, an enterprise mobility and security company, is being acquired by San Jose, CA-based Pulse Secure for $100m. Pulse focuses on the same space. MobileSpaces is headquartered in Silver Spring, MD, with offices in Tel Aviv.


Located in Berlin and San Francisco, Fyber, which is building a platform for app monetization via ads, is being acquired by RNTS Media, a digital contents publisher, for $190m. RNTS Media is headquartered in Amsterdam with offices in Seoul, South Korea and Berlin.

San Francisco-based mobile marketing company, Taptica, is being acquired by Israeli-based Marimedia, a leader in digital advertising monetization, for $14m.

Big Data

San Francisco-based Evolv, which does big data analytics, is being acquired for $44m by Cornerstone OnDemand, which provides talent, learning and performance management software delivered via SaaS.

Barcelona-based Ducksboard, a real-time dashboard analytics company, is being acquired by New Relic, a software analytics company.


Cloudscaling, which helps companies manage large numbers of computers that are linked together by OpenStack,[2] is being acquired by EMC Corporation, said to be for “for less than $50m.”


UK-based CSR (CSRE: Nasdaq), a bluetooth and GPS chip maker, is being acquired by Qualcomm (QCOM: Nasdaq) for $2.5b. Qualcomm is paying a 56 percent premium, after Microcip’s bid was rejected at a 36 percent premium.

Cortina Systems, a leading provider of high-performance communications semiconductor solutions, is being acquired by Santa Clara-based INPHI, a developer of high speed, mixed-signal semiconductor solutions for the communications, data center and computing markets, for $131m.


Germany-based mopay AG, a mobile payments company, is being acquired by BOKU, a carrier-based mobile payments company. mopay has offices in Germany, Palo Alto, the U.K., China and Brazil.   BOOKU has offices in San Francisco, London, Berlin, Mumbai, Paris, Singapore, Sydney Australia, Tokyo and Vitoria Brazil.


Dialogic is being acquired by Novacap, an investment fund, for $35m.


Chicago-based Durata Therapeutics, which focuses on infectious diseases and acute illnesses, is being acquired by Dublin-based Actavis for $675m.

TouchMD, which has created an imaging system for plastic surgeons, where the patient can visually preview the result of the potential surgery, is being acquired by ALPHAEON, which focuses on the self-pay healthcare market, for $22m.

MedXT, which lets one safely and securely upload and view medical images, is being acquired by Box. MedXT is a class 2, FDA cleared, medical device.


Spain-based Trovit, a search engine for classified ads of real-estate, jobs, cars and vacation rentals in Latin America and Europe, is being acquired by NEXT Co, the leading real estate portal in Japan, for 80m EUR.

Private Placements[3]

Truthfully, the descriptions of Big Data companies mean nothing to me. It seems like only so much gobbledy-gook, as they don’t give one an idea of what they do with all this data.’ Alternatively, the Minerva Project sounds like a “travel around the world and study four year curriculum.” Wish it had been there for me.


The Minerva Project, which is marketed as an alternative to college, raised a $70m Series B round, principally from Chinese investors..

Big Data

Irvine-based Alteryx, Inc., which is another big data analysis company, raised a $60m Series B round.

Digital Reasoning Systems, Inc., which has developed “trusted cognitive computing for a better world,” [what does that mean?] raised a $24m Series C round. Investors included Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse.

Zoomdata, with the “next generation of big data,” offers a suite of pre-built connectors that connect the Zoomdata server directly, raised a $17m Series B round.

Segment, a customer data hub, raised a $15m Series A round. The round was led by Accel Partners.

Seattle-based VoloMetrix, an enterprise and analytics company, raised a $12m Series B round.


Horsham, Pennsylvania-based Financial Software Systems, which creates financial risk-management software, as well as consults, raised $57m.

Blockchain, a web-based Bitcoin wallet, raised a $30m Series A round.

Bitfury Holding, based in the Netherlands and San Francisco, and a processor of Bitcoin transactions, raised a $20m Series A round.


Truecaller, the largest verified mobile phone community raised a $60m Series C round. Truecaller identifies the origin of callers and blocks spammers. I just added it to my iPhone. Will let you know how it works out! It took five hours to add pictures and data to my address book, but I still haven’t figured out what it does or how it does it.

Peel, which has an app for a smart remote controls, raised a $50m Series D round from Alibaba. Peel does it all: games, TVs, DVD’s Audiovisual equipment.   Their pitch is that they enable content discovery.

Frankly, a Snapchat-like messaging service, raised $13m.


Gainsight, a CSR type of company, raised a $25m Series C round. They call it CSM or Customer Success Management.

Jobvite, an applicant tracking system, raised a $25m Series D round.

Loggly, a cloud-based log management system, raised a $15m Series C round.

Wisconsin-based Comply365, which integrates data and workflow to increase productivity, raised a $12m Series A round.

2nd Watch, which assists in the migration to the cloud, raised a $10m Series C round.


OYO Sportstoys raised an $11m Series A round. The Company sells game sets around baseball, football or hockey teams, complete with Lego-types of players.


DocuSign, the signature company, raised a $30m Series E round.


Boulder-based SolidFire, which builds all-SSD storage systems, raised an $82m Series D round.

Reduxio Systems, the next generation hyper-efficient hybrid storage innovator, raised a $15m Series B round led by Seagate Technology.


Albuquerque-based, Samba Holdings, Inc, known as SambaSafety, which provides Driver Risk Management (DRM) services and Motor Vehicle Records (MVR’s), raised $16m.


Phoenix-based Infusionsoft, the small business sales and marketing software, raised a $55m Series D round. My colleagues who use Infusionsoft claim it’s a beast, but it’s so powerful that it’s worth the headaches.

Thismoment, a new type of content creation tool for companies, raised an $18m Series D round.

Berlin’s orderbird AG, a tablet-based sales platform, raised a $10m Series B round.

Personal Care

Wahanda, an online beauty salon reservation system, raised a $26m Series C round. Let’s hope that Wahanda can remove the friction around booking an appointment, and estimating the cost of the services.

Boston-based MiniLuxe, which offers nail, brow and waxing services, raised a $12m Series C round.


Thync, which creates wearable consumer products, raised a $13m Series A round.


InVitae, a genetics information company, raised a $120m Series F round.

Denver-based Welltok, “health optimization pioneer,” raised a $25m Series D round.

DNAtriX, which provides targeted oncolytic virus therapy for cancer, raised a $20m Series B round.


Beepi, sells pre-owned certified used cars, raised a $60m Series B round.


Konga Online Shopping Limited, an online shopping app, raised a $40m Series C round.


Mercari, a resale shopping app that provides a way to buy and sell merchandise from your smartphone, raised a $21m Series C round. They have expanded to the United States.


AdNear, “the leading local intelligence platform that leverages location and context” raised a $19m Series B round. Investors were Sydney based Telstraand and Tokyo-based Global Brain.


Guahao, a healthcare site, raised $100m. The round was led by Tencent.


CarTrade, a used car sales website, raised $30m.



Hardy, BarbaraThis week I received the sobering news, that one of my swim team mates was sick and near death. The next day she died. This woman was 70 years old, and in late August had just completed a century bike ride in Utah. When she turned 65 she had been the high point winner at the New England SCM Championships, one of the largest swim meets in the country. Along with a woman who had just turned 65, we had been plotting a killer relay team, where the competitive class goes by the sum-of-the-ages. Life can be so ephemeral. Enjoy every moment.

All the best,

Margaret Johns

Founder, BlueLake Partners, LLC






Jan 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] TechCrunch and company websites

[2] Bloomberg, October 14, 2014

[3] TechCrunch and company websites