BLPA’s Rearview Mirror: No More Business Cards–Text It!

BLPA’s Rearview Mirror:

The Week Ending July 20, 2014

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BLPA’s Bic Stevens was responsible for the $1.5m investment in eCurv by Constellation Technology Ventures, the venture capital arm of Illinois-based energy company Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC).

J. Cooper Cordin, based in Chicago, joins BLP Advisors, LLC.  Mr. Cordin has over fifteen years of financial services experience, including capital raising, business development, traditional investment banking, lending, traditional equity, debt and cash management and a particular penchant for alternative investments.  He has worked with and/or invested in such companies as Propel Fuels, Suniva, BrightSource Energy, Bloom Energy, Tabula, Metric Stream, Fisker, Twitter, Tethys Bioscience, Jamernot,, and Wax Tips, Symple Surgical.


It’s been quite the week, but we are finally catching up.  We now have internet, security, television and bicycles, though are still missing the Trek Madone, which is literally on its way to the bike hospital in Santa Barbara.

Finally, Max & Pierre are about to enter Good Canine Companion classes, given by Dee Ganley who was the Behaviorist who threw up her hands and sent the pugz on to Dr. Dodman at Tufts—and Prozac.  As they say, better living through chemistry.

It’s been a goal to turn the pugs into Therapy Dogs, and put the puppies into service.  It’s a requirement that everyone here, has to work, including the pugz.  They squeaked by Good Canine Citizenship, we’re hoping to be as fortunate on our next title.

On a positive note, our yard is full of blooming lilies—tiger lilies an day lilies, which makes for a beautiful site.  The hostas are beginning to bloom as well, and the roses are showing signs of blooming for a third round of flowers.  This is what New Englanders live for.  After the bitterly cold days of winter comes spring daffodils, tulips, summer flowers and fresh produce and fruit.  Farm-to-table is how we live.

Earnings and the Market[1]

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

All eyes are on the Fed, with Janet Yellen in her semi-annual meeting with Congress, said that small cap, social media and biotech stocks were getting ahead of themselves.  That and the end of the bond purchases slated for this September.  Hand wringing about the Fed having stayed it’s course too long, and it “ending badly,”whatever that means.

The market had been impervious to international events, that is until Thursday with the downing of the Malaysian Airliners plane over the Ukraine, and Israel’s current aggressive stance, with the one percent pullback.

Google’s (GOOG:  Nasdaq) rose to $3.42b or $4.99 per share; excluding certain expenses, they would have earned $6.08 per share.  Revenues were $15.96b, rising an eye popping 22 percent.  Analysts had expected earnings of $6.24 per share on revenue of $15.61b.

Stryker (SYK:  NYSE), best known for its artificial hip joints, had earnings rise 1.0 percent  to $1.08 per share from $1.07 YoY.  Adjusted net earnings rose 2.2 percent to $415m from $406m.  Revenues rose 6.8 percent YoY to $2.36b.

Finally, Tesla announced it’s third model, to debut in 2016/7, which is positioned to compete with the BMW 3 Series, and be priced at $35,000.

China’s GDP grew at 7.5 percent, which is on target.


(8 IPO’s)

There were eight IPO’s, half of them in the medical/pharma arena.  In spite of Janet Yellen’s best efforts to quench the flow.  I, for one, continue to be amazed that the deals keep getting done.  These are all public companies in name only.  The hope is that the companies will grow into the space.

Globant (GLOB:  Nasdaq) sold 5.9m shares at $10 per share, raising $59m at a valuation of $324m.  The stock closed the week at $11.31 per share.

We are a new-breed of technology services provider focused on delivering innovative software solutions that leverage emerging technologies and related market trends. We combine the engineering and technical rigor of IT services providers with the creative approach and culture of digital agencies. Globant is the place where engineering, design and innovation meet scale. Our principal operating subsidiary is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Our clients are principally located in North America and Europe and for the six months ended June 30, 2013, 82.1% of our revenues were generated by clients in North America and 6.9% of our revenues were generated by clients in Europe, including many leading global companies.

Trupanion (TRUP:  Nasdaq) sold 7.1m shares at $10 per share, raising $71m at a valuation of $266m.  The stock closed the week at $11.34 per share.

We are a direct-to-consumer monthly subscription service providing a medical insurance plan for cats and dogs throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Our data-driven, vertically-integrated approach enables us to provide pet owners with what we believe is the highest value medical plan for their pets, priced specifically for each pet’s unique characteristics. Our growing and loyal member base provides us with highly predictable and recurring revenue. We operate our business with a focus on maximizing the lifetime value of each pet while sustaining a favorable ratio of lifetime value relative to acquisition cost.

TubeMogul (TUBE:  Nasdaq) sold 6.3m shares at $7 per share, raising $44.1m at a valuation of $717m.  The stock closed the week at $11.4 per share.

TubeMogul is an enterprise software company for digital branding. By reducing complexity, improving transparency and leveraging real-time data, our platform enables brands to gain greater control of their digital video advertising spend and achieve their brand advertising objectives.

TerraForm Power (TERP:  Nasdaq) sold 20.1m at $25 per share, raising $500m at a valuation of $18.27m[3].  The stock closed the week at $33 per share.

We are a dividend growth-oriented company formed to own and operate contracted clean power generation assets acquired from SunEdison and unaffiliated third parties. Our business objective is to acquire high-quality contracted cash flows, primarily from owning solar generation assets serving utility, commercial and residential customers. Over time, we intend to acquire other clean power generation assets, including wind, natural gas, geothermal and hydro-electricity, as well as hybrid energy solutions that enable us to provide contracted power on a 24/7 basis.


CareDx (CDNA:  Nasdaq) sold 4.0m shares at $10 per share, raising $40m at a valuation of $105m.  The stock closed the week at $10.03 per share.

We are a commercial stage company that develops, markets and delivers a diagnostic surveillance solution for heart transplant recipients to help clinicians make personalized treatment decisions throughout a patient’s lifetime. Our commercialized testing solution, the AlloMap heart transplant molecular test, or AlloMap, is a blood-based test used to monitor heart transplant recipients for acute cellular rejection.

Roka Bioscience (ROKA:  Nasdaq) sold 5.0m shares at $12 per share, raising $60m at a valuation of $211m.  The stock closed the week at $12.05 per share.

We are a molecular diagnostics company initially focused on providing advanced testing solutions for the detection of food-borne pathogens, which is projected to be the fastest growing segment of the $2 billion food safety testing market. The proprietary molecular technology used in our assays enables us to offer accurate and rapid testing solutions while our fully automated instrument helps our customers reduce labor costs and minimize operator error.

iRadimed (IRMD:  Nasdaq) sold 2.0m shares at $6.25 per share, raising $12.5m at a valuation of $63.4m.  The stock closed the week at $9.10 per share.

We are the leading provider of non-magnetic intravenous (“IV”) infusion pump systems that are safe for use during magnetic resonance imaging (“MRI”) procedures. Electromechanical medical devices and pumps contain magnetic and electronic parts which generate radio frequency (“RF”) noise, create interference and are dangerous to operate in the presence of the powerful magnet which drives an MRI. Our mRidium (3850/3860+) IV pump systems have been designed with non-ferrous parts, ceramic ultrasonic motors, non-magnetic mobile stand and other special features in order to safely and predictably deliver anesthesia and other IV fluids during various MRI procedures.

Sage Therapeutics (SAGE:  Nasdaq) sold 5.0m shares at $18 per share, raising $90m at a valuation of $431m.  The stock closed the week at $30 per share.

We are a biopharmaceutical company committed to developing and commercializing novel medicines to treat life-threatening, rare central nervous system, or CNS, disorders, where there are inadequate or no approved existing therapies. We are targeting CNS indications where patient populations are easily identified, acute treatment is typically initiated in the hospital setting, clinical endpoints are well-defined, and development pathways are feasible. This focus allows us to make highly informed decisions when advancing our product candidates through the development process. Our initial product candidates are aimed at treating different stages of status epilepticus, or SE, a life-threatening condition in which the brain is in a state of persistent seizure.


Alibaba is now slated to pursue it’s IPO after Labor Day, with Yahoo selling fewer shares than originally anticipated.

Mergers & Acquisitions

(15 transactions)

Click on the highlighted text for more deal information.

House Favorites

SmartThings, a home automation control/system/app is being acquired by Samsung Electronics for $200m.  We are huge believers in home automation, and have been doing a “roll your own”system with a combination of HomeSeer, Z-Wave devices.  I may purchase this system just for the smart sensor on the mailbox.  Kit prices are $199 to $599 with individual pieces from $31 to $99.

Newsle, one of my favorite services, is being acquired by LinkedIn.  And guess what:  They just asked to connect to my LinkedIn contacts, and then to my Gmail contacts.  How else would I have discovered that my classmate, Mark Rubin, had just added a building in Waltham to commercial real estate holdings.  Impressive tenants, too.  Or that Jodi Hilton, our New York Times wedding photographer had written a story about women veterinarians at Tufts [Max & Pierre’s are Tufts alums behavior program] and J.D. Salinger.

Zoove, the provider of StarStar, StarStar Me, and StarStar myInfo is being acquired by mBlox.  This seems like a really neat app, which I have just added to my iPhone.  However, it seems to have a few bugs, as at first it didn’t work.  But it is impressive.  Especially if you are like me, and constantly forget your business cards, or leave them in the wrong jacket, wrong purse, wrong back pack . . ..


Lindt (Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Spruengli AG) (LISP.EB) is buying Russell Stover Candies, which should bring overall revenues to $1.5b.


CardSpring, which connects apps and payment cards, is being acquired by Twitter.


Citrus Lane, which delivers a monthly  “box of best products for your little one,”[4] is being acquired by , which finds “care” for your children or aging parents, for $49m.


Retsly, a platform for creating real estate software, is being acquired by Zillow.

Fantasy sports site, Draftstreet, is being acquired by DraftKings for $35m.

RelateIQ, a new CRM system, is being acquired by Salesforce for $390m.

PowerCloud Systems, which enables service provider partners to deliver wi-fi to employees and visiting mobile users, responsive support form any internet connected device, and WiFi-as-a-Service at a low cost, is being acquired by Comcast.

RayV, a video distribution platform, is being acquired by Yahoo!

InMage Systems, which provides on-premises and cloud-based business continuity solutions, is being acquired by Microsoft.


Slovakia-based InnoPharma, Europe’s leading producer of vitamins, minerals and supplements, is being acquired by Pfizer for $225m.

United Kingdom

London-based Venda, a leading provider of cloud-based digital commerce solutions, is being acquired by NetSuite.

Private Placements[5]

[23 transactions]


Funding Circle, a small business lending platform, raised a $65m Series D round.

dough, an investing platform for  “do-it-yourselfers”raised $25m.

Boston-based PLASTIQ, which enables you to make payments with your credit card of choice, regardless of what the merchant accepts, raised a $10m Series B round.  The service replaces wire transfers, money orders or ACH with credit cards for fees between 1.89 and 2.89 percent.  The founders met at Harvard’s Innovation Lab.  Total funding to date is $18.35m.  Plastiq is currently only available in Canada.[6]


Secret, a hub for the Genius communities—Rap Genius, Rock Genius, Lit Genius, etc.) raised a $40m Series B round.

Secret, an app for anonymously sharing secrets, raised a $25m Series B round.  I am not in favor of these type of apps, given the damage they can do in the wrong hands.  Think teenagers, and young school children.  They can be incredibly mean, not knowing the implications of what they are doing.  And anyone can be ruthless, not just young people.


Pond5, an online marketplace for royalty-free [which does not mean free] stock and original photos, videos and audio clips raised a $61m Series A round.

Enterprise Software

NetDocuments, which enables businesses of all sizes to create, secure, manage, access and collaborate on documents and email anywhere, any time on any device, raised $25m.

Vision Critical, a cloud based customer intelligence platform, raised $16m.

NetBase Solutions, which provides a social media analytics solution with the tag-line “Social intelligence you can trust.”raised a $15m Series D round.

Capillary Technologies, a leading SaaS provider of end-to-end Multi-Channel Customer Engagement, Big Data, Customer Intelligence [and-on-and-on-and-on] raised a $14m Series B round.

Captricity, which combines human intelligence with OCR/ICR  to transcribe handwriting and text on forms into a spreadsheet or database, raised a $10m Series B round.  This would be a great application for BLPA’s newsletter—migrate all the test in the various issues into a database.


Prodigo Solutions, which has a suite of managed services and solutions targeted at the healthcare supply chain, raised $12m.


Shyp, an app based service that enables you to ship anything, raised a $10m Series A round.

Green Energy

MTPV, with a product that converts heat to electricity using semiconductor chips, raised an $11m Series B round.


BarkBox, which provides a monthly box of puppy goodies, raised a $15m Series B round.


Xagenic, which has developed a revolutionary new platform for molecular analysis, enabling rapid, on-demand diagnostic testing, raised a $26m Series B round.


Bangalore-based Urban Ladder raised a $21m Series B round.

Mumbai-based Room n House raised 10m INR.


RedMart raised a $23m Series B round.


Chinese real estate platform, Fangdd, raised an $80m Series B round.

Hupu, a Chinese sports platform, raised a $16m Series C round.

Poland, a European travel site based in Poland, raised 12m EUR.


Zooz Mobile Ltd, a smart payment engine, raised a $12m Series B round.


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 July 14 – 18, 2014

[2]Renaissance Capital

[3] The capitalization table is complex, hence we’re relying on Yahoo! Finance which values the company at $18.27m.  The relatively low valuation means that the Company has a mountain of debt.

[4] Card Spring website.

[5] TechCrunch, WSJ, Company websites

[6] Venture Beat