Tech Weekly Newsletter: June 5, 2016

Last week, today

  • 5/27 – Jawbone has put its wireless speaker business up for sale so that it can exclusively focus on health and wearables (Fortune)
  • 5/30 – Verizon strike ends with both sides claiming victory (NYT)
  • 5/31 – MobileIron shares spike 12.5% on the news that it is partnering with Deutsche Telekom for a cloud-based enterprise mobility management solution (Seeking Alpha)
  • 5/31 – Japanese messaging app, Line, is set to launch its road show for a $2-3B IPO on June 10 (Reuters)
  • 5/31 – There has been a gigantic Myspace hack, which sounds like the start of a joke, but actually may be the biggest hack to date with 427M total passwords currently for sale (TechCrunch)
  • 5/31 – Simply Hired, which had raised $34.3M from a number of investors including Foundation Capital and Ron Conway among others, is reportedly shutting down as part of an acquisition (TechCrunch)
  • 5/31 – Marketo* has agreed to be acquired by Vista Equity Partners for $1.8B, or a 64% premium over its unaffected share price (TechCrunch)
  • 5/31 – Microsoft confirms Microsoft Ventures VC arm (TechCrunch)
  • 5/31 – SciQuest is taken private by Accel-KKR for $509M (WSJ)
  • 5/31 – Uber has set up an auto-leasing business that allows drivers to get short-term leases through a wholly owned Delaware-based subsidiary called Xchange Leasing, LLC. Xchange received a $1B credit facility to fund new car leases and caters to people that were rejected by other lenders. It’s not intended to be a money maker according to Uber and for many it appears to be the only way that these drivers can get a car (Bloomberg)
  • 6/1 – Salesforce to buy Demandware in $2.8B deal in move deeper into retail (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – It’s Vista Equity’s world and we’re just living in it. After announcing intention to acquire Marketo on 5/31, Vista announced acquisition of Ping Identity for an undisclosed amount (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – Clear Ventures, led by former Sequoia partner Chris Rust and serial entrepreneur Rajeev Madhavan, launches $120M fund (VentureBeat)
  • 6/1 – This week in Theranos, Forbes has revised CEO Elizabeth Holmes’ net worth down from $4.5B to $0.0B (Forbes)
  • 6/1 – Infoblox is said to have hired Morgan Stanley to defend itself against activist investor, Starboard Value, and a takeover offer from Thoma Bravo. The Company currently has a $1.1B market cap (Bloomberg)
  • 6/1 – The biggest investor that voted against the Dell-Silver Lake deal was actually planning to lose the vote so that it could sue for the price being too low. They did just that and won a ruling of an additional $25M (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – Ifty Ahmed, the former General Partner at Oak Investment Partners, has been accused of embezzling more than $54M from Oak from 2004 to 2015 by submitting false invoices, overstating prices of business deals he orchestrated and setting up fraudulent back accounts. This follows charges of insider trading that led him to flee the US (Reuters)
  • 6/1 – Sheryl Sandberg removes her name from speculation of becoming Disney CEO (Bloomberg)
  • 6/1 – ServiceNow makes a move into security for automated detection and response with the acquisition of BrightPoint (formerly known as Vorstack). NOW did not disclose the price paid (although implied they would at a later date). BrightPoint had raised $8.4M in venture capital (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – IBM is acquiring EZSource, “an application discovery company, to help developers modernize mainframe applications for digital business” (Reuters)
  • 6/1 – Intel CEO Brian Krzanich says that the Company is ready for big acquisition, but doesn’t have a shopping list (Fortune). Krzanich also had a notable week after news leaked that he was set to hold a fundraiser at his home for Donald Trump. He quickly cancelled the event and said he was not endorsing any candidate (Fortune)
  • 6/1 – A Vanity Fair article states that Twitter co-founder Evan Williams wanted Twitter to acquire his more long-form blogging platform Medium for $500M (Business Insider). Here is the full article, which is worth the read
  • 6/1 – Cisco has finally re-organized their legendary MPLS team that was famous for the “spin-in” strategy where they would incubate companies and then later acquire them (Re/Code)
  • 6/1 – Microsoft agrees to sell 1,500 phone patents to Xiaomi, who has had difficulty playing outside of Asia due to weak patent protection (Reuters)
  • 6/1 – Uber turned to Saudi Arabia for its latest $3.5B capital raise (NYT) and people (ie. Dan Primack) are not that pleased about it (Dan Primack)
  • 6/1 – SpaceX shares were recently sold at a price 24% higher than the last fundraising round (The Information)
  • 6/1 – Fiksu, a Boston-based mobile attribution company that had raised $17M and at one point had $100M+ in revenue, has been acquired by ClickDealer, a marketing agency (Boston Globe)
  • 6/2 – Twitter reportedly held a meeting with Yahoo about a potential acquisition, but it sounds like it was likely just an information gathering session as CEO Jack Dorsey did not show (NY Post)
  • 6/2 – Thoma Bravo is taking Qlik Technologies for $3B private after activist hedge fund Elliott Management came in as an investor (Fortune)
  • 6/2 – Oracle is suing a former employee that accused the Company of fudging the way it accounts for cloud computing sales (Fortune)
  • 6/2 – Impinj, an RFID company based in Seattle, has filed for $60M IPO, after a long road to get here. The Company was founded in 2000 and has raised $130M (Seattle Times)
  • 6/2 – Blue Coat, which was acquired by Bain Capital from Thoma Bravo just over a year ago, has filed for an IPO. The Company has GAAP revenue that is actually declining ($598M for the year ended April 30.. down from $631 the year before), but has adjusted revenue (ex-deferred revenue write down), which rose 17% for the same period (to $755M up from $643M) (Fortune)
  • 6/2 – Google has apparently joined the likes of Carmelo Anthony and countless rappers + gang members in an effort to stop snitching (The Information)
  • 6/2 – Snapchat is said to have passed Twitter in terms of daily usage with 150M people using it daily (Bloomberg)
  • 6/2 – Microsoft’s board is debating the speed of its ramp to the cloud with Chairman John Thompson pushing the Company to do it faster (Bloomberg)
  • 6/2 – WalMart will test last mile delivery with Uber, Lyft and Deliv (TechCrunch)
  • 6/3 – This is kind of amazing – Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez who will likely join the Baseball Hall of Fame next year, is joining a VC fund in South Florida (TechCrunch)
  • 6/4 – Tony Fadell, CEO of Nest, has stepped down from leading it within Google amid a number of complaints about his leadership style (NYT). The new leader of Nest is Marwan Fawaz, who is a veteran of the traditional cable television industry and stylistically the exact opposite of Fadell (The Information)
  • 6/4 – WeWork is cutting 7% of staff (currently employing over 1,000 people) and putting a temporary pause on hiring (Bloomberg)

Earnings

  • 5/31 – Workday stock traded down 3% in after-hours despite Q1 earnings beat (The Street)
  • 6/1 – SecureWorks traded up 3% after reporting its first earnings as a public company (Bidness Asset)
  • 6/2 – Guidewire releases earnings and traded up 3.7% on comfortable beats on both revenue and profits (Seeking Alpha)
  • 6/2 – Box posted its Q1 earnings and the stock dropped 12.9%, before bouncing back to only an 8% drop (TechCrunch)

Financings

  • 5/31 – AutoFi, a year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes point-of-sale software for the auto industry, has raised $17 million in new funding led by Crosslink Capital
  • 5/31 – Mosaicoon, a six-year-old, Palermo, Italy-based company whose software tackles end-to-end management of video campaigns, has raised €8 million ($8.9 million) in Series B funding from undisclosed investors
  • 5/31 – Robin, a two-year-old, Boston-based company whose software helps offices organize, track, and monitor their spaces, has raised $7 million in Series A funding led by FirstMark Capital
  • 5/31 – Twiggle, a two-year-old, Tel Aviv, Israel-based search technology company centered around e-commerce, is reportedly raising between $5 million and $10 million from Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba
  • 5/31 – Tynker, a four-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based computing platform that creates apps and curricula that teach kids the basics of coding,  has raised $7.1 million in Series A funding led by Krishna Bharat
  • 5/31 – WalkMe, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based startup that sells a cloud-based service to help marketing professionals engage prospects and complete online tasks, quietly raised $50 million in Series E funding in March from Insight Venture Partners
  • 5/31 – WinView, an eight-year-old, Redwood City, Ca.-based company that lets users compete in games that run at the same time as sports games, has raised $3.4 million in new funding led by two individual investors: Tom Rogers, chairman of TiVo and the former head of NBC’s cable division, and Hank Ratner, the vice chairman of Cablevision and the former chief of the Madison Square Garden Company.
  • 5/31 – Zoox, a two-year-old, Menlo Park, Ca.-based autonomous-driving startup in Silicon Valley that’s been intentionally flying under the radar, is seeking to raise as much as $252 million in funding, according to an SEC filing flagged by Bloomberg. If the fundraising is successful, the investment could give Zoox a valuation of more than $1 billion
  • 6/1 – Cognical, a four-year-old, New York-based company that uses its own algorithms to produce a lease-to-own payment option for in-store and online shopping, has raised $12.5 million in Series B funding led by Victory Park Capital
  • 6/1 – Mediachain, a months-old, New York-based digital media startup that’s using blockchain to create a global rights database, has raised $1.5 million in seed funding co-led by Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures
  • 6/1 – SevenFifty, a four-year-old, New York-based online platform working to make it easier for retailers to see what distributors have to offer, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding led by Formation 8
  • 6/1 – Signals, a seven-year-old, Netanya, Israel-based big data and business intelligence platform, has raised $10 million in Series B funding led by Israel-based Qumra Capital
  • 6/1 – Vendini, a 15-year-old, San Francisco-based ticketing business, has raised its first outside capital via a $20 million investment from the New York-based private equity firm Level Equity
  • 6/2 – Digit, a year-old, San Francisco-based company whose software monitors cash flow into a user’s checking account and diverts small amounts into savings (users can save more or less via text message prompts), has raised $22.5 million in Series B funding led by Ribbit Capital
  • 6/2 – EarlySense, a 12-year-old, Ramat Gan, Israel-based company that makes continuous monitoring tech that supports remote patient monitoring, has raised $25 million in Series G funding led by Israel’s largest bank, Bank Hapoalim
  • 6/2 – LinkBee, a year-old, New York-based stealthy IoT hardware startup, has raised $6 million in seed funding co-led by Pegasus Capital Advisors and Loeb Enterprises
  • 6/2 – Notion, a three-year-old, Denver-based connected home startup, has raised $3.2 million in seed funding led by XL Innovation, with participation from Liberty Mutual Strategic Ventures
  • 6/2 – RubiconMD, a three-year-old, New York-based online medical consulting platform for primary care providers, has raised $4 million in Series A funding led by Waterline Ventures
  • 6/2 – Tile, a 3.5-year-old, San Mateo, Ca.-based company that makes a bluetooth tracking device and app to enable users to find valuable items, like their keys or phone, has raised $18 million in new funding led by Bessemer Venture Partners
  • 6/2 – Tenjin, a two-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile marketing infrastructure company, has raised a fresh $2.5 million in funding led by NetEase Capital
  • 6/2 – Uber, the seven-year-old, San Francisco-based ride-sharing giant, has raised a fresh $3.5 billion from Public Investment Fund, Saudi Arabia’s main investment fund
  • 6/2 – uSens, a three-year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based company that’s developing hand-and-head tracking technologies for augmented and virtual reality, has raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Fosun Kinzon Capital
  • 6/2 – Verto Analytics, a three-year-old, New York and Helsinki-based audience measurement company, has raised $16.1 million in Series B funding led by EQT Ventures
  • 6/3 – DemandJump, a year-old, Indianapolis, In.-based startup that makes predictive intelligence marketing software, has raised $1.8 million in seed funding from 4G Ventures, Hyde Park Venture Partners, along with numerous individual investors.
  • 6/3 – Glassdoor*, a nine-year-old, Mill Valley, Ca.-based site that helps people look for jobs and research companies that interest them, has raised $40 million in Series H funding. The financing values the company at around $1 billion, according to CEO Robert Hohman, and it was led by T. Rowe Price, with participation from previous investors Battery Ventures, Google Capital, Sutter Hill Ventures and Tiger Global Management.
  • 6/3 – Qumulo, a four-year-old, Seattle, Wa.-based company that’s developing enterprise data storage systems, has raised $32.5 million in Series C funding  from new investors Allen & Company, Top Tier Capital Partners, and Tyche Partners
  • 6/3 – Udemy, a six-year-old, San Francisco, Ca.-based marketplace for learning and teaching online, has raised $60 million in fresh funding from Naspers Ventures.
  • 6/3 – Vyze, an eight-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based company whose software enables retailers and manufacturers to offer their customers real-time financing options at the point of sale, has raised $13 million in Series B funding led by Austin Ventures and StarVest Partners
  • 6/3 – LootCrate, a Los Angeles, Ca.-based monthly subscription that delivers crates of awesome to those that live and embrace the geek and gaming lifestyle, has raised $18.5 million in Series A funding led by Upfront Ventures
  • 6/3 – Oribi, a Israel-based startup founded in 2015 by serial entrepreneur Iris Shoor developing analytics tools for business intelligence, has raised $5.4 million in Series A funding led by Sequoia Capital

Random, long reads
My Dinner With Ali
(Louisville Courier-Journal Magazine) – There have been some really moving tributes and stories posted all over the internet in the last 48 hours since Muhammad Ali’s death. I read a lot of them and this one from 1989 stood out as the best. It’s the story of a writer/fan of Ali’s dropping into his house and an unexpectedly having the opportunity to spend the day with him. I don’t want to spoil it since it’s so awesome but here are two good bits from it:

  • Ali was the worst driver I’d ever ridden with—other than my alcoholic grandfather near the end of his life. Ali careened from lane to lane, sometimes riding down the middle of the highway, and he regularly switched lanes without looking or giving turn signals. I balled my fists in my lap and pretended to be relaxed. A group of teenage boys became infuriated when he pulled in front of their old, beat-up Firebird and cut them off. Three of them leaned out the windows, shooting him the finger. Ali shot it back.
  • I was about to ask if he’d mind autographing the photo I especially wanted, but he turned to Page 2, signed that picture, then the next page and the next. He continued to sign for probably 45 minutes, writing comments about opponents (“Get up Chump,” he wrote beside a classic photo of the fallen Sonny Liston), parents, Elijah Muhammad (“The man who named me”), Howard Cosell, spouses (“She gave me Hell,” he scrawled across his first wife’s picture), then passed the book to his mother and brother to autograph a family portrait. He even signed “Cassius Clay” on several photos from the early ‘60s. He flipped twice through the book, autographing nearly every photo, pointing out annotations as he wrote. “Never done this before,” he said. “Usually sign one or two pictures.”

Do yourself a favor and just read it.

Here Is The Powerful Letter The Stanford Victim Read Aloud To Her Attacker (Buzzfeed) – This cannot be shared enough. A powerful and difficult to read first person account that the victim of a rape at Stanford read to her attacker in court.

  • “Lighthouses don’t go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining.”

May she serve as an example for all that have gone through something as unspeakable as this.

Barack Obama’s Last Stand (The Ringer) – Bill Simmons’ new website launched this week with a bunch of articles, but my favorite one was this one by Jon Favreau (Obama’s old speechwriter) on the President’s last election — making sure Hillary Clinton is elected over Donald Trump. Really insightful and powerful from one of the men that knows the President (and politics) best.

*Battery portfolio company. For a list of all Battery portfolio companies, please click here.