Advertising company Sharethrough announced today that it’s moving into Europe with the acquisition of a London-based company called VAN.
The financial terms of the deal are not being disclosed. Sharethrough’s head of communications Thomas Channick told me via email that the VAN team will form “the core” of European operations, although the company plans to double the… Read More
Square is on a mission to diversify, and it’s turning to the red-hot food delivery industry to do so.
The payments company run by CEO Jack Dorsey plans to announce this week that it has acquired San Francisco-based Caviar, according to a person familiar with the deal. Caviar runs a service that lets consumers order meals to be delivered to their homes or offices from restaurants that don’t normally offer delivery.
Caviar will receive only Square stock in the transaction, this person said. The New York Times reported on Friday that the deal, which was first reported by TechCrunch, will be valued at $90 million.
A Square spokesman and Caviar CEO Jason Wang declined to comment.
A move into delivery by most payments processing companies would be a head-scratcher. But it could make sense for a company in Square’s position. It has been furiously expanding the menu of services it offers over the last few months as it attempts to add new revenue streams that would help justify its $5 billion valuation.
Among the new products are a merchant cash advance program called Square Capital, a customer survey product called Square Feedback and a food pickup app called Square Order, which replaced the failed Square Wallet. The question remains whether Square is betting on the right new products and services or grasping at straws. In the world of food delivery, Caviar faces fierce competition from companies such as DoorDash with similar propositions as well as traditional delivery companies such as GrubHub.
With Caviar on board, Square could in theory offer the delivery service to restaurants and cafes that already run on its payments system, in a package deal or a la carte. It’s not clear what percentage of its customer base are restaurants and cafes. The company could also give restaurants and cafes that already work with Caviar a discount to start processing payments through Square.
On the consumer side, Caviar could eventually be integrated into Square Order, so customers could browse pickup and delivery options in their area from the same app. (Caviar hasn’t yet released its own app, which it has been able to get away with since about 50 percent of orders come from businesses for office meals.)
In the interim, Caviar gives Square an immediate delivery presence in around 10 U.S. cities. Its restaurant customers include big-city staples such as Momofuku in Manhattan and Nick’s Crispy Tacos in San Francisco.
The company charges customers $9.99 per delivery, though it recently told Re/code it would soon be dropping the fee to $4.99. Caviar takes anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent of the bill as its cut from the restaurant. It has 70 employees, not including the independent contractors it pays $15 per order to pick up and deliver the food. Wang recently told Re/code that the company turned a profit three months after launch, but has since slipped into the red as it spends cash to accelerate growth.
It has raised $15 million in funding from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Tiger Global. Perhaps its best-known competitor, DoorDash, recently announced a $17 million investment led by Sequoia Capital.
Additional reporting by Liz Gannes.
GOODYEAR, Ariz. — It is not uncommon for a veteran player to ease his way into the Spring Training routine. Nick Swisher took that approach in the early days of camp this year, but the Indians first baseman was back on the field Sunday afternoon.
For his Cactus League debut, Swisher was slotted into the second spot of the lineup for the Indians, providing an early look into how he might be used this season. Swisher said he was thrilled to be back in the order as Cleveland begins its quest to build on last summer’s run to the postseason.
“It was nice to get out there, man,” Swisher said, “just to be out there with the guys and playing. We’re super early in Spring Training now, but just to be able to get out there, get a few hacks, it felt good.”
Swisher went 0-for-3 in his three plate appearances for the Tribe, but he did strike the first blow within a three-run outburst in the fifth inning. With one out and runners on the corners, Swisher chopped into a fielder’s choice, but Yan Gomes scored from third base to put Cleveland on the board.
Cleveland played its first three games of the spring without Swisher, who asked manager Terry Francona to keep him off the field for a handful of contests to start the preseason. Swisher took that approach due to feeling that he pushed things too hard too early in the schedule last year, when he joined the Indians after signing a four-year, $56-million contract.
Swisher felt that too much was made this past week over the fact that he took the first few games off.
“In February? It’s not a big deal,” Swisher said. “I just said, ‘Hey, man, let’s give myself a week to get into Spring Training and then start playing some games.’ I don’t know, man. I think you guys are looking way too into it. Go to some other clubs and see how they do it.”
In 146 games for Cleveland last season, the 33-year-old Swisher hit .246 with 22 home runs, 27 doubles and 63 RBIs. At various points throughout the year, Swisher dealt with a left shoulder issue, which had its roots in Spring Training.
London-based Spider.io has been acquired by Google, the company’s DoubleClick advertising blog announced today (via Re/Code). Spider.io is a startup that specialized in weeding out fraudulent clicks around online ads. The three-year old company has tech that will help Google identify bad behavior around their content in video and display ads on the web, to help them get a more accurate picture of what is and isn’t succeeding.
From Google’s official blogpost on the deal:
Advertising helps fund the digital world we love today — inspiring videos, informative websites, entertaining apps and services that connect us with friends around the world. But this vibrant ecosystem only flourishes if marketers can buy media online with the confidence that their ads are reaching real people, that results they see are based on actual interest. To grow the pie for everyone, we need to take head on the issue of online fraud.
Google isn’t revealing the terms of the deal, but the small London company is only seven strong, and this is a fairly specialized niche product so it’s unlikely to have been a huge exit. Still, the Spider.io team brings some impressive talent to Google’s ranks, including three PhDs and a an ex-Yahoo natural language processing and artificial intelligence expert.
Spider.io’s tech is designed specifically to detect attacks originating from PCs infected by malware. Often these hijacked computers are programmed by their attackers to place a high volume of ad requests, thus skewing the numbers and defrauding online advertisers out of millions of dollars. An FT article from last year revealed that one botnet last year managed to falsify billions of web-based ad clicks, sometimes accounting for as much as two-thirds of the sum total of visits to some websites.
Twitter Inc. has acquired a small password-security startup called Mitro, which said Thursday that its team will join the social media company to help bolster its geolocation capabilities.
The New York startup, founded by former Google Inc. engineers, announced the deal on its website without disclosing financial terms. A Twitter spokeswoman declined to comment beyond Mitro’s blog post.
Mitro’s password manager works in Web…
Modern Times Group MTG AB (publ.) (‘MTG’ or ‘the Group’) (STO:MTGB) (STO:MTGA), the international entertainment group, today announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire 75% of Trace Partners SAS (‘Trace’), the France based youth media brand and global pay-TV channel operator that has distribution agreements with third party network operators in 160 countries worldwide, including all 55 countries in Africa. The stake is being acquired from Citizen Capital, Entrepreneur Venture, NextStage, and company management, for a cash consideration that values 100% of the company at an enterprise value of EUR 40.0 million. Trace management will retain the remaining 25% of the company. Olivier Laouchez, Trace Co-founder, will continue as Chairman and CEO of Trace, and the other members of the senior management team will also continue in their roles.
Trace operates three music TV channels – ‘Trace Urban’, ‘Trace Tropical’ and ‘Trace Africa’ – and the ‘Trace Sports Stars’ sports celebrity lifestyle TV channel.
‘Trace Urban’ is available in 130 countries worldwide, and is the leading music channel in 60 markets. The channel is focused on urban music and culture from a wide range of genres including RB and hip hop, and is particularly popular across Africa, in France and the Caribbean. ‘Trace Africa’ and ‘Trace Tropical’ are focused on African urban and World music, and Latin American and Caribbean music genres, respectively. ‘Trace Sports Stars’ is available in 108 countries worldwide and features programming about the lives of local and international sports stars. The four Trace channels are localised in 16 different feeds and are available in up to 11 languages.
Trace also runs a number of complementary branded entertainment businesses, including the annual ‘Trace Music Awards’; the ‘Trace Stars’ mobile song competition, which is the first of its kind and was recently launched in Africa; and ‘Trace FM’, which is the leading FM radio music station in the French Caribbean. Trace’s recently launched mobile and digital assets are also developing fast with ‘www.trace.tv’ (the online entertainment portal), ‘My Trace’ (the smart personalised video music service) and ‘Trace Mobile’ (the youth oriented mobile offering that has been developed in partnership with a number of leading mobile network operators).
Trace has generated 23% compound annual net sales growth over the five years to the end of 2013 and reported preliminary net sales of EUR 19.3 million for the full year 2013. Trace generates almost half of its revenues in Africa and other Emerging Markets. The company had 37 million paying subscribers as at the end of December 2013, up from 27 million at the end of 2012, and also generates a growing proportion of its sales from advertising, events, content and brand licensing.
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval by the French media authorities and MTG will consolidate Trace’s results in the Group’s accounts with effect from the closing of the transaction.
Joseph Hundah, Executive Vice President of MTG’s African operations, commented: “Trace is a cool and contemporary entertainment brand, and one of the leading youth brands in Africa. Trace has proven success with different formats around the world. It fits perfectly with what we are doing both in Africa and, more broadly, with both our linear and digital operations, as well as our content production houses. This deal is another key milestone in our international expansion and provides us with footholds from which we can expand even more in Europe, South America, Asia and francophone countries around the world.”
“We look forward to welcoming Trace’s skilled and experienced management team to MTG. We will work together to further develop our successful brands and formats, and to continue to expand our businesses.”
Olivier Laouchez, Trace Co-founder, Chairman and CEO, commented: “We are just at the beginning of the mobile and digital revolutions. In the coming 5 years, the media industry will dramatically change. MTG has the right set-up and vision to make Trace a leading and cool entertainment multimedia brand for the youth generation, worldwide. We are extremely confident that the synergies, resources and opportunities provided by MTG and its great team will make us achieve this goal faster and better, while preserving Trace’s unique identity and entrepreneurial dynamics.”
Jørgen Madsen Lindemann, President and CEO of MTG, commented: “Trace’s development has followed a similar path and strategy to our own at MTG – the creation and nurturing of innovative local products that customers love and want more of, investment in the content offerings, the broadening of their availability, and then international expansion with equally strong local versions in high growth new markets. Trace’s channels and platforms share the powerful affinity with audiences that we always look for. This acquisition is yet another example of our objective to shape the future of entertainment by expanding our content offering, our digital availability and our geographical footprint.”
Modern Times Group (MTG) is an international entertainment group with operations that span four continents and include free-TV, pay-TV, radio and content production businesses. MTG’s Viasat Broadcasting operates free-TV and pay-TV channels, which are available on Viasat’s own satellite platforms and third party networks, and also distributes TV content over the internet. MTG is also the largest shareholder in CTC Media, which is Russia’s leading independent television broadcaster.
Modern Times Group is a growth company and generated net sales of SEK 14.1 billion in 2013. MTG’s Class A and B shares are listed on Nasdaq OMX Stockholm’s Large Cap index under the symbols ‘MTGA’ and ‘MTGB’.
The information in this announcement is that which Modern Times Group MTG AB is required to disclose under the Securities Market Act and/or the Financial Instruments Trading Act. It was released for publication at 08:00 CET on 25 February 2014.
This information was brought to you by Cision http://news.cision.com
Another acquisition in the area of image recognition technology, and another exit for a European startup to a U.S. giant. Qualcomm has acquired Euvision Technologies, a specialist in image recognition applications powered by artificial intelligence, originally spun out of the University of Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Its first publicly-released app was Impala — an app for iOS and… Read More
Fresh off its biggest exit yet, venture capital firm Alsop Louie Partners is raising its third fund.
That exit would be Amazon’s $970 million all-cash acquisition of Twitch. Alsop Louie was one of the first investors in Twitch back in 2007 when it was still known as Justin.TV, a small startup that existed primarily (or so it seemed) to support founder Justin Kan’s “lifestreaming” project.
“Seven years ago, we made a bet that this guy running around with a camera on his head was the future of television,” Alsop Louie partner Stewart Alsop told VentureBeat.
Now, he said, that bet doesn’t look so crazy.
Twitch has more than 55 million monthly viewers, which is bigger than some major cable channels, and they watch videos that more than 1 million game-streamers create. In addition, Alsop said, Twitch has remarkably high levels of engagement: Viewers enjoy the interactive experience, which includes live chats, rather than just passively watching videos. Indeed, Twitch now looks like Amazon’s chance at dominating yet another medium.
“This happened exactly the way we said it would — and that feels really good as a venture capitalist,” Alsop said.
The firm has already raised $54 million of a planned $100 million fund, according to an SEC filing this week. Its first fund, started in 2006, was for $75 million, while its second fund in 2010 was $100 million.
“We like $100 million funds,” Alsop said. “It really works with our style and approach.”
That approach, Alsop said, pairs partner Gilman Louie with Alsop as “the geek and the gadfly,” respectively. Louie, with experience running a company (Spectrum HoloByte) and then working within the CIA, has extensive technical and business knowledge. And Alsop, a former technology journalist and editor-in-chief of InfoWorld (where he was my boss for a few years in the 1990s), has extensive connections throughout the industry.
When advising startups in their portfolio, Alsop said, “Gilman tells them what they should be doing, [and] then I go in and tell them how to do it.
“Because we’ve been in the business so long, we’re able to see the future. We have enough confidence in our pattern recognition that we can make long-term bets.”
The Twitch exit had no influence on the fundraising to date, but it will probably make it easier to close the second half of the fund. (And that’s probably why Alsop is so eager to talk about it — in my experience, VCs are generally reluctant to talk about their new funds until they are completely closed. New SEC rules that are less strict on solicitation also make it easier for a VC to talk to the press before closing a fund.)
Other successful Alsop Louie exits include Ribbit, which British Telecom (now BT) bought for $105 million in 2008, giving Alsop Louie a fivefold return two years after it invested. NetWitness, which sold to EMC in 2010 for $250 million, produced an eightfold return after three years, Alsop said.
Alsop Louie’s investment focus will remain roughly the same, with about 70 percent of its investments focused on security and data analytics, and the other 30 percent “just doing something that disrupts the hell out of the world,” as Alsop put it.
He claims that the third fund is already in positive returns territory. Even though it is not closed yet, the firm has already started investing the money, including an early bet on security chat tool Wickr. After Wickr’s big series B round closed earlier this year, Alsop said, Alsop Louie’s return is already at five times what it has invested.
“We’re getting better at this,” Alsop confidently said.
Alsop Louie Partners doesn’t have a company summary yet. Click ‘’ to add one and help improve Spoke… read more »
Twitch is the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers where more than 45 million gather every month to broadcast, watch and talk about video games. Twitch’s video platform is the backbone of both live and on-demand … read more »
Wickr’s mission is to provide secure communications that Leave No Trace. People are being tracked online is ways they do not understand by numerous governments and corporations throughout the world. Your private communications are wo… read more »
Japan’s largest online retailer is gearing up for possible entry into the U.S. market. Rakuten just bought an e-commerce app called Slice, which is U.S. based, in an attempt to broaden its offerings enough to compete with the likes of Amazon and eBay.
Slice compiles information from users’ emails — namely, receipts from e-commerce sites — to create a “big picture” view of their spending and purchase history. It also can send alerts about product price changes and when packages have shipped. Obviously, this is data that would be incredibly useful for Rakuten to have.
And since purchasing Slice for an undisclosed sum, the company might now have a shot at growth in the U.S.. Rakuten bought Buy.com for $250 million in 2010, but it didn’t make a move toward a U.S. launch at that time.
Rakuten’s goals for Slice seem fairly straightforward: It wants to sell info it gathers about consumers to other companies, with a particular focus on financial institutions. Slice was already working on a version of its app for use with Rakuten specifically, and that’s expected to be released sometime this year.
Slice was founded in 2010 and is based in Palo Alto, Calif. It previously received investments from Lightspeed Venture Partners and, appropriately enough, Rakuten. It currently has about 70 employees. The app is free for consumers to download and use but it charges a fee to websites to use and to access the collected customer data.
Just this past June, Rakuten revealed it had put together a $100 million VC fund to invest in startups all over the world. And back in February, it bought the Viber voice messaging app to the tune of $900 million.
Rakuten, Inc. is a Japanese electronic commerce and Internet company based in Tokyo, Japan. Among its numerous online properties, its flagship B2B2C model e-commerce site Rakuten Ichiba is the largest e-commerce site in Japan and among… read more »
Slice provides the simplest way to keep track of everything you buy online. By keeping purchase information organized and accessible, Slice is able to present actionable information to consumers when they need it. After signing up, … read more »
), one of the world’s largest Internet TV network acquired the
rights for 3D printing award-winning documentary feature Print
the Legend. The documentary will exclusively premiere on Netflix
and can be viewed by Netflix subscribers all over the world.
Print the Legend won the Special Jury Recognition award for
Editing Storytelling in the recently held SXSW film
festival. It is a documentary based on the nascent 3-D printing
industry in the U.S. and its challenges.
The film deals with the people behind the machines. The
documentary revolves around the various impediments that startups
like Makerbot and FormLabs had to face in their struggle to
survive amid giants like
3D printing is considered to be a revolutionary technology as it
can change the world in the truest terms by enabling people to
print anything from human organs to guns. It can destroy the
world’s industrial infrastructure by bringing the technique to
Some of the other documentaries that Netflix has acquired include
the likes of The Square, an Oscar-nominated film about political
unrest in Egypt, The Short Game, about kid golfers, and The Lady
in Number 6: Music Saved My Life, which is about Holocaust
survivor pianist Alice Herz-Sommer. The last documentary won the
Oscar in the short documentary category in 2014.
Netflix believes that these additions to its content portfolio
will boost its customer base, which will drive top-line growth
We believe that the expanding content portfolio and launch in new
international markets will help Netflix to counteract stiff
competition from the likes of
), and HBO.
Currently, Netflix has a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).
Lompoc, California, March 25, 2014 – DenMat, a leading manufacturer and distributor of innovative esthetic dentistry and advanced oral health solutions, announced today that it has acquired substantially all assets of G. Hartzell Son Inc. (“Hartzell”). Founded in 1935, and family-run for 79 years, Hartzell manufactures high- quality precision dental and surgical instruments in Concord, California in the East Bay area of San Francisco.
Hartzell’s industry-leading precision instruments are the instruments of choice of discerning clinicians and hygienists for periodontal and dental hygiene, restorative dentistry, surgery, orthodontics, implantology, endodontics, and diagnostics.
“DenMat is honored and excited to acquire Hartzell,” said Steve Semmelmayer, CEO of DenMat. “We are delighted that the Hartzell family has entrusted us with the time-honored legacy of the Hartzell brand. Hartzell instruments are the world’s gold standard for dental and surgical instruments because of their extraordinary quality, consistency and craftsmanship. DenMat now has broadened its range of superior products for hygiene, as well as instrumentation for restorative, periodontal, endodontic and surgical procedures,” added Semmelmayer.
Building on its goal to offer dental professionals a wide range of high-quality choices, DenMat’s addition of Hartzell instruments follows DenMat’s acquisition of a comprehensive line of oral hygiene and soft tissue management solutions from Zila, Inc. Also, in the past two years, DenMat acquired restoratives and impression product lines from Royal Philips Electronics and acquired PeriOptix, Inc., a California-based company known for high-quality magnification and illumination technologies for dental and medical professionals.
Andy Hartzell, President of G. Hartzell Son, stated, “We are excited and flattered about the acquisition of Hartzell by DenMat. We look forward to continuing our 79-year tradition of producing top-quality instruments, and with the addition of DenMat’s sophisticated sales and marketing abilities, we will be able to better serve our customers on a more local, timely, and efficient basis.”
DenMat plans to keep most Hartzell operations in the Concord facility for the foreseeable future, with only select functions transferring to DenMat’s new 100,000 square foot world headquarters on the Central Coast of California in Lompoc.
(RTTNews.com) – Drug discovery and development company Evotec AG (EVTCY.PK, EVOTF.PK) Monday announced the acquisition of Germany-based Bionamics GmbH, an asset management company that focuses on the translation of academic innovations into attractive assets for the biotech and Pharma industry.
The transaction comprises the acquisition of all shares of Bionamics against cash and future milestone payments. Further financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.
Bionamics brings a portfolio of highly attractive and fully funded projects especially in neurodegeneration and CNS to Evotec.
Dr Werner Lanthaler, Chief Executive Officer of Evotec, said: “With the acquisition of Bionamics we accelerate our EVT Innovate strategy and enlarge our reach towards outstanding innovations…We are also very happy to welcome Dr Timm Jessen back at Evotec. In his new management role, Dr Jessen will be responsible for the commercialisation of “EVT Innovate” projects.”
Dr Timm Jessen, Managing Director of Bionamics GmbH, said: “…The combination of our management skills with Evotec’s strong operational capabilities offers a unique constellation for researchers and entrepreneurs around the globe to accelerate their innovation together with us.”
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