This Week in Tech M&A – March 20, 2015

By on March 20, 2015

tumblr_nizck0mDi41slhhf0o1_1280It’s Friday, March 20. Hope you survived this year’s South by Southwest Interactive conference (if you went). Time for all the tech M&A news you may have missed this week.

Acquisitions:

Giphy makes its first acquisition, picks up GIF messaging app Nutmeg for undisclosed amount — is mobile on its way?

Rakuten buys ebook and audiobook platform OverDrive for $410 million.

Opera buys SurfEasy to add secure VPN to its browser software.

Reportedly, Apple’s shareholders really want the company to buy Tesla.

AppNexus buys Yieldex for $100 million.

Jay Z acquires music streaming company “Aspiro.”

Orange seeking foreign partner for Dailymotion, its web-based video site.

 

Funding:

Clearpath Robotics raises $11.1 million to build ethical industrial robots.

Accel betting big on startup-to-startup APIs and has created a new investment focus called APX.

Shuddle raises $9.6 million for its Uber-style service for kids and seniors.

FiftyThree raises $30 million to push its Paper and Pencil creativity tools in enterprise and education.

Quid raises $39 million more to visualize complex ideas.

Fundbox raises $40 million to pay invoices on demand.

 

People:

David Recordon, Facebook’s engineering director, is heading to the White House to serve as director of information technology, joining a growing cadre of Silicon Valley technologists.

At SXSW, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt received criticism over his behavior during a panel with US CTO Megan Smith. The Daily Dot says it wasn’t an isolated incident.

FedEx CEO Fred Smith says that he’s not afraid of Uber and that it’s “unlikely to ever become a major competitor in package delivery.”

Astro Teller, the head of Google[x], says that you should hire people who don’t look like you.

SoftTech VC hires Huddle co-founder Andy McLoughlin as its newest venture partner.

Former interim CEO of Mozilla Jay Sullivan has joined Groupon as its SVP of consumer product.

Tinder hires former eBay executive Chris Payne as its new CEO.

 

Company news:

Amazon is shutting down its Amazon Webstore, the competitor to Shopify and Bigcommerce.

Yahoo lays off up to 300 employees after it pulls the plug on its China operations.

Facebook is sued by former staffer alleging discrimination, harassment, and other charges.

Google I/O 2015 registration opened this week.

Upworthy cofounder Peter Koechley apologized for the clickbait “monster” his site unleashed on the Internet.

Instacart facing lawsuit claiming that “personal shoppers” should be classified as employees.

 

Accelerator news:

What I learned at TechStars in 10 questions.

Y Combinator released statistics about itself: 842 companies funded to date, 22% with women founders in current batch.

Meet the startups accepted into Microsoft Ventures’ Seattle Accelerator.

Here are the top 20 US accelerators according to a study done by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project.

 

Interesting reads:

Steven Sinofsky writes about frictionless product design.

Bloomberg looks at the “fuzzy, insane math” that’s creating so many billion-dollar tech companies.

TechCrunch has a slideshow gallery that looks at 11 public tech companies worth less than Uber.

Google[x] head Astro Teller says moonshots are all about embracing failure.

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