This Week in Tech M&A – October 17th, 2014

By on October 17, 2014

Happy end-of-the-week! Here’s a look back at the week in tech M&A:6483519343_0199a1c7f1_z


Accela, a maker of civic engagement software solutions, has acquired Government Outreach, whose products enable government/citizen communication. Terms were not disclosed.

German online food ordering/delivering giant Deliver Hero has acquired Subdelivery, a Brazilian online food delivery service, for an undisclosed amount. Delivery Hero is now valued at $1 billion, and seems poised to make more M&A noise.

Computing giant EMC Corp has acquired cloud-computing startup Cloudscaling, for “less than $50 million.”

Digital security provider Digital Guardian has acquired cloud-control security startup Armor5. Terms were not disclosed.

Ensighten, a tagging and data management company, has acquired marketing analytics platform Anametrix for an undisclosed amount.

Reddit has acquired Alien Blue, an unofficial Reddit app. Terms were not disclosed.

And in anti-exit news, Silver Lake is “shelving” it’s plans to acquire Shutterfly and Snapfish.


Count ’em…seven IPOs planned this week, including four biotechs.


M&A activity through the first three quarters of 2014 is at its highest since 2007, and there were $20.9 billion in deals in Q3 alone.

Someone finally analyzed venture capital in Europe and Israel.

For the entrepreneurs in the house

Thoughts on why the market is suddenly falling flat.

Demographics trends for every social network.

Tom Tunguz details “The Four Key Trends of the Startup Acquisition Market.”

Must reads

Yes, there really is a reality TV show about VCs. And yes, Forbes really does take the time to compare/contrast with Shark Tank.

Google, Facebook, Apple…Ireland is closing some of those corporate-tax loopholes.

And in mea culpa news, Bono apologizes for preloading U2’s album on new iPhones.

Photo by Doug Wheeler

This Week in Tech M&A – October 10, 2014

By on October 9, 2014

night-357352_1280It’s Friday so that means it’s time for This Week in Tech M&A. And the past few days have been nothing but exciting and interesting…


Facebook closes its acquisition of WhatsApp, with a final price tag of $22 billion.

Container startup Docker acquires testing and development service Koality in a talent deal for its four employees.

Boku acquires its main competitor Mopay in carrier billing consolidation.

Microsoft is reportedly in talks to buy Israeli text-analysis outfit Equivio for about $200 million, according to WSJ.

Gaming development platform Unity is exploring a sale with a reported asking price of as high as $2 billion.

Box acquires MedXT, a cloud-based file storage system for medical imaging, to bolster its healthcare push.

Bluebeam Software, a technology company for the architecture, engineering and construction sectors, has been acquired by Nemetschek Group for $100 million.

Cornerstone OnDemand is buying Evolv, a seven year old big data company for $42.5 million.

New Relic buys dashboard tool Ducksboard to further its expansion into analytics.

Yahoo has acquired mobile messaging company startup MessageMe.

EBay has reportedly acquired Las Vegas-incubated startup Rumgr. 



Square raises $150 million at a $6 billion valuation led by the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, a new investor. Goldman Sachs and Rizvi Traverse Management also participated.

DocuSign gets a $115 million investment from three Japanese firms: NTT Finance, Mitsui & Co., and Recruit Holdings

Bitcoin wallet provider Blockchain announced it raised $30.5 million.

Beepi raises $60 million to sell used cars to the smartphone generation.


IPOs and corporate changes:

Following EBay and PayPal’s split, H-P announces that it too will divorce its personal computer and printing offering from its business technology service.

Hubspot goes public with opening shares priced at $33, higher than its IPO price, raising $125 million.

Cisco announces that it’s going to undergo a 25,000 person reorganization.

Symantec says it’s splitting into two companies: one focused on security and another on data.

Yahoo lays off 400 employees in India.



U.S. venture capital firms raised $6.1 billion in the third quarter of 2014 across 60 funds, up 40% year-over-year. VCs have raised more in the first three quarters of this year ($23.76 billion) than all of 2013 ($17.64), according to the National Venture Capital Association and Thomson Reuters.



After parting ways with Lyft, former COO Travis VanderZanden signs up with Uber to head a new unit focused on international growth.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says women shouldn’t ask for raises and should trust karma. Later, he admits that he answered question “completely wrong”.

Facebook names Joel Kaplan as its Vice President of Global Policy, as Marne Levin becomes Instagram’s Chief Operating Officer.


Interesting reads:

Can CEO Satya Nadella save Microsoft?

New Google+ head David Besbris says that the social network is here for “the long haul”.

CrunchBase data analysis suggests raising a second seed round won’t hurt your odds of raising a Series A.

Despite huge investments by venture capitalists in bitcoin startups, transaction volumes haven’t surged in the last year.

Free spending by startups stir memories of dot-com era excesses.

What’s going on with the tech ecosystem in Los Angeles?


Photo credit: Photolover_paul / Pixabay

This Week in Tech M&A – October 3rd, 2014

By on October 3, 2014

firework-17395_640Good morning, and happy Friday. Here’s a roundup of news from the week in tech M&A:


South Korean wireless giant SK Telecom acquired in-store shopping loyalty app Shopkick, for a reported $200 million.

Capital One has acquired San Francisco-based design firm Adaptive Path.

Perzo, an instant messaging software company, has been acquired for $66 million by 14 financial firms led by Goldman Sachs to help traders communicate.

Amazon completed its close-to-$1 billion-acquisition of video game streaming service Twitch.

In startups-becoming-buyers news, workplace communication app maker Slack just made its first acquisition, picking up document collaboration startup Spaces. Terms were not disclosed.

NRG Energy is buying solar company Pure Energies Group.

UnitedHealth Group, Inc. is acquiring MedSynergies for an undisclosed amount.

Kakao officially closed its acquisition of Daum Communications in a tie-up of major South Korean Internet companies.

Not strictly tech related, but Johnson & Johnson is acquiring Alios BioPharma for close to $2 billion.

Quantcast has acquired retargeting and personalization startup Struq, for an undisclosed amount.


According to a study by the National Venture Capital Association, the US just had its sixth consecutive quarter with 20 or more venture-backed IPOs. The biggest winner is health care.

Rocket Internet priced its IPO at the top of its expected range Thursday, initially valuing the company at $8.5 billion, but shares quickly dropped.

Wayfair, an online furniture retailer, priced its IPO and gained 30% in its first day of trading giving the company a market value of $3.1 billion.

Not tech related, but we all like video games: Dave and Buster’s is filing for IPO.

EBay is spinning out PayPal, and intends to take it public.


How to rate and understand the black swan.


Starboard Value, the big investor in Yahoo’s attempted comeback, is making some suggestions to Marissa Mayer on how to run things.

Must Reads

Selfie drones? Who cares. The real news is that this may be the official start of personal robots.

Jawbone designed an app that negated the need for wearables. Crazy?

Of course, much in the news lately about burn rates. One founder gives a practical guide for assessing your own startup’s burn, while entrepreneur/VC Mark Suster provides another framework for assessing. Meanwhile at TechCrunch, Alex Wilhelm sees all this conversation as a harbinger of good for transparency.

Much has been written about corporate tax havens and tech companies. It appears the gift just keeps on giving for Apple.

Eric Schmidt and former Google SVP of products just released a co-authored book. Among other things, they detail the “brutal” competition between Google & Apple.

This Week in Tech M&A – September 26, 2014

By on September 26, 2014

firework-17395_640It’s Friday … so let’s talk tech, M&A, funding, and more. Here’s this week’s roundup:


Adobe has acquired photo-editing platform Aviary for an undisclosed amount.

YouTube content network Fullscreen has been acquired by AT&T and the Chernin Group for reportedly between $200 million and $300 million.

Hearst Corp. has acquired the assets of BranchOut.

Video monetization platform ZEFR has purchased social advertising startup Engodo in a cash-and-stock deal.

Lyft has picked up Hitch to help boost Lyft Line.

Tech incubator Science Inc. has acquired mobile ad network Playhaven from Upsight.

Slack has acquired bootstrapped collaboration startup Spaces.

Covario, a search marketing startup that raised $21 million, is being acquired by Dentsu-Aegis for an undisclosed price.

Acorda is buying Civitas Therapeutics for $525 million, ending Civitas’ IPO plans.

Millennial Media acquires Boston-based mobile ad startup Nexage for $107.5 million.



Hootsuite has raised $60 million in funding, valuing it at $1 billion. And it also has acquired Zettl.

Duo Security has received a $12 million investment to help businesses implement two-factor authentication.

Kinvey has announced it’s raised $10.8 million in funding to help drive the mobile cloud platform.

Robinhood has raised $13 million to help democratize the stock market.

Business goals platform BetterWorks leaves stealth with $15.5 million in a round led by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Nubank becomes Sequoia Capital’s first Brazillian investment after the firm provided $14.3 million to the finance startup.

SurveyMonkey makes its first investment, leading the $5.3 million funding round in Seattle’s Apptentive.

Airport car rental startup Silvercar picks up $14 million from Eduardo Saverin and Velos Partners.

Robotic toy carmaker Anki raises $55 million for its Series C round led by J.P. Morgan.



Expa has hired AddThis founder Hooman Radfar as its San Francisco Entrepreneur in Residence.

FWD.us’ Joe Green has been ousted from the Mark Zuckerberg-backed group.

Google X founder Sebastian Thurn has left his role as Google VP and Fellow.

Snapchat nabs top Google comms executive Jill Hazelbaker to run its PR and Policy.

Andreessen Horowitz hires its first academic in residence.

Vanity Fair has a profile about Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppleman and how he created a “revolutionary product”.



Rocket Internet looks to raise $8.4 billion in its IPO, which it has moved up to an earlier date.


Interesting reads:

What is Ello: The non-Facebook social network?

Marc Andreessen sounds warning on startups burning cash.

Hotel Tonight pivots beyond same-day booking to offer flexible seven-day advance reservations to stay ahead of the competition.

Orange Fab expands its accelerator program, partnering with Visa, LG, Hilton, and others to offer startups new distribution channels.


Photo credit: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay


This Week in Tech M&A – September 19th, 2014

By on September 19, 2014

Here’s a roundup of news from the week in tech M&A, investing, and more:11721061573_0f0fccde74_z


SAP is buying Concur Technologies, which manages expense tracking, for $8.3 billion. It ranks among the top ten largest ever software deals, according to WSJ.

In the week’s other large deal, Microsoft acquired Mojang and its Minecraft franchise for $2.5 billion.

Visual search leader Slyce acquired Israeli startup Pounce, makers of a mobile shopping app, for a reported $5 million in shares, cash, and incentives.

Oracle picked up Colorado content management platform startup Front Porch Digital, for an undisclosed amount.

Qualcomm acquired Dutch image-recognition app maker Euvision Technologies. Terms were not disclosed.

3D printing company Stratasys agreed to buy GrabCAD, the “Github for mechanical engineers,” for a reported $100 million.

Citrix has acquired virtualization startup Virtual, for an undisclosed amount.

Cisco announced its acquisition of Metacloud, an open stack cloud services company, for an undisclosed amount.

Red Hat is acquiring enterprise app platform maker FeedHenry, for $81.8 million.


Of course the Alibaba IPO is everywhere. As of late Thursday shares were valued at $68 per, likely leading to at least a $21.8 billion fundraise. Here are two other interesting notes: what Alibaba can learn from the Amazon and Google IPO’s; and early investors will have a chance to sell off $8 billion in shares on the day the IPO hits.


Tom Tunguz looks into SaaS balance sheets, and advises on how much debt and cash to raise.


After only two years, Marc Benioff is stepping down from Cisco’s board of directors.

Lyft has hired former democratic house leader Dick Gephardt’s group to lobby and advise on policy, with an eye toward breaking down rideshare barriers.


The University of California’s $250 million venture fund has been approved. UC Ventures will help startups formed around research of faculty and students.

Must Reads

A veritable who’s who of Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs will be teaching a Stanford class called “How to Start a Startup.” Coordinated by Y Combinator’s Sam Altman, all classes will be posted on his website.

Li Jiang of GSV Capital posits his “Technology Theory of Everything,” linking sensors, AI, data and more the same way the physics ToE connects the laws of the universe.

VC Bill Gurley discusses the big risk of big startups raising mega rounds, and the massive burn rates investors are enabling. Other VC’s respond.

Tony Fadell talks the future of the connected home, and lets us all in on his vision.

Photo by articproductions.

Exitround Founders Roundtable Event with Josh Felser and Justin Kan

By on September 19, 2014

Exitround is holding a private roundtable event for founders (and Exitround users) who are thinking about strategic opportunities for their companies. Josh Felser and Justin Kan, two experienced founders who have sold companies, will talk about what it takes to build a successful company as well as what it takes to successfully sell a company.


Josh Felser, cofounder, Freestyle Capital; cofounder, Spinner, Grouper.

Justin Kan, partner, Y Combinator; cofounder, Twitch, Justin.tv.

See full bios below. Lunch is provided.

This event will be limited to founders only in order for them to discuss questions they have and challenges they are facing. Please note: Space is limited – RSVP is required to attend.

Topics covered will include:
– How Justin and Josh built successful startups.

– How to assess and explore strategic options for your company.
– How to manage your team’s expectations and public perceptions during this time.
– How to work with your investors regarding M&A opportunities.
– How to get to know corp dev execs and other acquirers in your sector.
– What to know in negotiations for a deal process.
– How to know if an acquirer is a good fit for your company.
– What to know about deal structures.

We will also have time for founders to ask questions and/or talk about their specific situations, so come with questions!


Josh Felser is cofounder at seed stage firm Freestyle Capital. He cofounded Spinner and Grouper, which were acquired by AOL Time Warner and Sony for $320 million and $65 million respectively (more).

Justin Kan is a partner at Y Combinator. He previously cofounded companies including Twitch, Justin.tv, Exec and SocialCam. Twitch was recently acquired by Amazon.com for $970 million (more).

Exitround Connects Private Equity Firms with Profitable Companies Through Exitround Capital

By on September 10, 2014

excap_blog_logoToday we’re thrilled to announce the launch of Exitround Capital, an extension of the Exitround marketplace that’s designed to connect companies across industry sectors like retail, consumer, health/pharma, manufacturing, professional services and others with strong financial performance directly to private equity buyers around the world. Sell-side companies which will find the best opportunities through Exitround Capital are ones doing between $3M and $100M in annual revenue with positive EBITDA margins.

Exitround Capital grew out of the naturally evolving dynamics of the Exitround marketplace. Initially Exitround was founded to focus on strategic acquisitions within early stage technology, and that is still a large part of the company. But organically Exitround started to see larger successful, profitable companies, both inside and outside of technology, entering the marketplace. Meanwhile these companies were receiving relatively high amounts (6x the normal amount) of engagement from private equity buyers in the Exitround marketplace. As software continues to becomes more pervasive throughout all industries, from manufacturing to finance, it becomes much more natural for people to look to solutions that leverage the scalability and efficiency of software as a way of finding potential buyers and sellers of companies.

Sellers that sign up for Exitround Capital see benefits in three ways:

  • Privacy and anonymity – Sellers can discreetly explore liquidity and exit options without signaling to the overall market.
  • Efficiency – Sellers leverage Exitround’s proprietary M&A data and intelligent matching algorithms to quickly connect with the ideal target acquirer.
  • Higher value, lower cost – Sellers cost effectively explore private equity capital options without the weight of traditional M&A advisory fee structures. The standard fee is 1% of the transaction paid, by the sell-side only, in the event of a successful transaction.

All members of Exitround can leverage the same proprietary data and intelligent machine learning algorithms. This technology enables buyers and sellers to receive highly relevant M&A opportunities among the over 11,000,000 potential M&A connections accessible today in Exitround.

Today, Exitround Capital launches with over 210 private equity firms currently active on the buy-side of the marketplace, representing well over $100B in active investment capital. Special launch partners with Exitround Capital are Symphony Technology Group, a global private equity firm focused based in Palo Alto, CA, with over $2B in assets under management, and Andlinger & Company, a New York and Brussels-based private equity firm focused on the industrials and technology sectors.

As an aside, check out the coverage of Exitround Capital launch today on Fox Business.

Want to learn more?  Click here or reach out via e-mail.

This Week in Tech M&A — September 5, 2014

By on September 5, 2014

6483519343_0199a1c7f1_zHere’s this week’s roundup of M&A news in the world of tech:


Compuware will be acquired by Thoma Bravo for $2.5 billion.

Veritas Capital agrees to acquire BeyondTrust for $310 million.

Gracenote buys rival Baseline for $50 million to enhance its movie & TV data services.

Hootsuite buys Brightkit for gamefied social marketing campaigns, passes 10 million users.

LogMeIn buys Y Combinator-backed Meldium for $15 million to add single-sign on to its service.

AVG is paying up to $220 million to acquire Location Labs in bid to boost mobile efforts.



FanDuel scores $70 million funding round bringing its total fundraising effort to $88 million.

DataStax raises $106 million in Series E funding to help commercialize open source Apache Cassandra databases.

Vice Media closes two massive rounds of $250 million each to help fuel its media empire expansion.

Hootsuite secures $35 million investment from Fidelity-led group.



Online fashion giant Zalando confirms Frankfurt IPO plans for 2014.

Renaissance Capital’s Fall 2014 US IPO preview.



The White House names Google executive Megan Smith as the next Chief Technology Officer for the US. Former Twitter general counsel Alex McGillivary is selected to be deputy CTO.

MakerBot CEO Bre Pettis steps down from his company to take a new role at Stratasys.

Greg Wyler, the man responsible for creating a constellation of Internet-beaming satellites, has abruptly left Google.


Interesting reads:

Brad Feld: TechStars Equity Back Guarantee.

These three startup CEOs gave up fortunes to turn their employees into millionaires.

Could Ouya be for sale?

How should we program computers to deceive?

What the second-time SaaS CEOs are all doing.

Seeds and signaling: Y Combinator’s new policy and email list.

Lessons From Yahoo’s Flickr Acquisition

By on September 3, 2014

11721061573_0f0fccde74_zWhen Yahoo offered to buy Flickr in early 2005, co-founder Stewart Butterfield and his team had a tough decision to make. There were many reasons  to sell. But there were also many reasons to wait for a larger exit.

Today, deals like WhatsApp and Oculus to Facebook, as well as Nest to Google, can make it seem like massive exits are easy or common. But they’re often complicated and provide some lessons, according to Butterfield — now co-founder and CEO of Slack — and Cal Henderson who was head of engineering at Flickr and is now co-founder and VP of engineering at Slack.

Vancouver, Canada-based Flickr launched in February 2004 and started to take off in summer of that year, drawing the attention of Yahoo and other large Internet companies. While it held some meetings with these companies, the startup didn’t receive any offers.

But six months later, with usage doubling every month and showing no signs of slowing, Flickr started to talk to venture capital firms such as Accel Partners about a substantial funding round. Until that point it had received angel funding from Esther Dyson, Reid Hoffman, James Currier and others. It also began receiving real acquisition interest. Yahoo was the most serious, flying to Vancouver to make a full pitch to the Flickr team.

There were good reasons to take venture funding and keep going. The site was exploding in growth and had no real competition. Even the popular blog platform Blogger used Flickr for photo uploads on its site. In social networking, Facebook was still an on-campus phenomenon – so Flickr could have taken some of what Facebook eventually gobbled up with social photos.

But there were also compelling reasons to take the deal, as many of Butterfield’s advisers said. Yahoo was still the top search engine. And there wasn’t much confidence in consumer Internet startups, as many investors and entrepreneurs still had the dot-com crash fresh in their minds. There hadn’t yet been consumer Internet exits since the crash, with the exception of Blogger, which Google acquired in 2003 for a small sum. And the risks of some unknown financial crash seemed significant.

Everyone wants to be Zuck, keep independent and go all the way. But there’s only one Zuck or Bill Gates.
— Stewart Butterfield


In addition, technology storage and bandwidth was expensive, and open source technology was not as mature as it is today. Flickr had to rack its servers and build much of its technology. Joining Yahoo would supposedly solve some of those problems. Flickr decided in January 2005 to take the Yahoo offer — reportedly for $35 million. There were too many compelling reasons to take the offer during what was still an uncertain time. Because it was early in the growth of tech startups after the dot-com crash, Flickr missed some of the up-tick in the market, as others sold for more when the market took off: Myspace sold to News Corp. for $580 million in July 2005 and later YouTube, which Google acquired in October 2006 for $1.65 billion in stock. “We definitely made the wrong decision in retrospect. We would’ve made 10 times [what we did]. But it’s not like I regret it,” Butterfield says.

Read more…

This Week in Tech M&A – August 29th, 2014

By on August 29, 2014

6483519343_0199a1c7f1_zAround the World: this week in tech M&A—


In case you hadn’t heard, Amazon bought Twitch for just shy of $1 billion. More commentary here.

Tastebuds, maker of a social dating app based around shared musical tastes, acquired US-based competitor Moosify for an undisclosed amount.

In a possible acquihire, Google picked up product group Gecko Design to join Google X. Gecko had previously designed wearables for FitBit, among others.

Google also acquired Zync, makers of a cloud-based rendering platform.

Automattic, the company behind WordPress, picked up BruteProtect, makers of a security tool for WordPress sites. Terms were not disclosed.

Hitcents picked up Moonshark, makers of a mobile game publishing platform. Terms were not disclosed. Hitcents is the company behind the Hanx Writer.

Fresh off a $41 million round, daily fantasy sports heavy DraftKings acquired StarStreet. Terms were not disclosed, but StarStreet had raised over $2 million.

VC & Funding News

Alsop Louie, the San Francisco-based venture house for early stage companies, raised $54 million for a third fund. Alsop Louie was the firm behind Twitch.

Marketing suite HubSpot is preparing for a reported $100 million IPO.

For the Entrepreneurs in the House

Startup Remedy is using Google Glass to help doctors compile and share case data on patients.

To mark its 5-year anniversary, the Andreesen-Horowitz co-founders opine on the “tech industry and startup ecosystem” at large.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX may be more powerful than we know. Maybe.


Tomasz Tunguz analyzes the effect of location on M&A selling prices.

EquityZen takes a deep look at startup IPO’s through the first half of 2014.

The WSJ investigates VC backing in Asia, and finds the market is on track for a record year.

Just for fun

Jawbone is analyzing Up data to see how many wearers were woken by the Napa earthquake.

Not necessarily fun, but a good read: Much has been made about the Lyft/Uber wars, but here’s a deep investigation of the tactics.

The most-funded project in KickStarter history, and totally worth it.