Tech Weekly Newsletter: May 1, 2016

Quick thoughts

The Curious Case of Tyler Technologies: Meet the badass enterprise software company that gets no respect
Tyler Technologies was founded in 1966 as a holding company with operations in industrial, retail and distribution businesses. In 1997, the Company changed focus and began to exclusively serve the needs of local governments nationwide. Today, it focuses on the public sector including software and data for state, county and local governments/schools. More specifically, Tyler makes software that helps municipalities balance their books, creates record-keeping systems for courts, and assists tax appraisers in gauging the value of properties. The Company sells to government entities and charges either upfront license and maintenance or delivers as SaaS. 
So why is that interesting? Well it’s not. Government software is as boring as it gets. What is interesting though is how much this company is worth and the multiple at which it trades. Following a Q1 earnings beat earlier this week, Tyler Technologies is worth $5.4B, trades at 8.5x LTM revenue and 40.3x trailing EBITDA. This is while growing ~20% and having 41% of its revenue come from traditional maintenance and only 18% of revenue from subscription. For comparison:

  • Salesforce is trading at 7.8x LTM revenue (and 111.9x LTM EBITDA) while growing topline 24.1% for a $52.1B valuation
  • Veeva is trading at 8.2x LTM revenue (and 37.8x LTM EBITDA) while growing topline 30.6% for a $3.3B valuation
  • Athenahealth is trading at 5.6x LTM revenue (and 71.9x LTM EBITDA) while growing topline 22.4% for a $5.4B valuation

The Company doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page that I can go look up. Like Shaq Fu has an extensive Wikipedia page and this $5.4B company doesn’t. You really can’t find much about this story.

Its Glassdoor ratings are all just super solid – 4.1 stars, 84% of employees would recommend it to a friend and 91% approve of the CEO. Here you can see its stock price over the last 20+ years and watch it just grow into the juggernaut it is today. Tyler has made selling into local governments super profitable and quietly built a monster of a business. 

Real G’s like Tyler move in silence like lasagna.  

Also if you know more about Tyler, let me know. I’m fascinated. 

Last week, today

  • 4/21 – Some SoftBank investors are calling for an investigation into the performance of Nikesh Arora, the Company’s #2 in command, current heir apparent and former Chief Business Officer at Google (Bloomberg)
  • 4/25 – Facebook is building a stand-alone camera-focused social app that could compete with Snapchat. If you feel like you’ve heard this story before, it’s because you have, it was called Slingshot and it failed (WSJ)
  • 4/25 – Marketo* has hired Shankar Venkataraman, who previously served as CTO of IBM Analytics platform, as Chief Scientist focused on personalized outreach (Fortune)
  • 4/25 – Yik Yak is trying to restart growth by launching with private chat functionality (TechCrunch)
  • 4/25 – Leaked Postmates documents show that as of the fall 2015, the Company was projecting $55M in net revenue (up from $8.6M the year before) and gross profit of $11.3M (while burning $26.2M).  Postmates projected to do $250M in revenue and $60.7M in gross profit in 2016 while burning $4.1M (TechCrunch)
  • 4/25 – Apple has hired Box veteran (and employee #8), Kate Appleton, to focus on an enterprise-focused role. At Box she was SVP for Industries (focused on the vertical strategies) (Re/Code)
  • 4/25 – Goldman has launched their own online bank for the masses – anyone with $1 can launch an account. Goldman, the bank of the people (TechCrunch)
  • 4/25 – Verisk Analytics announced that it will sell its healthcare services business to Veritas Capital for $820M (Reuters)
  • 4/26 – IBM raises its quarterly dividend to $1.40 a share (up from $1.30) because that’s what companies do when they don’t know what to do with their money as they slowly march into irrelevance (WSJ)
  • 4/26 – Nokia has purchased a French company that makes smart scales (the bathroom kind not the Heisenberg kind) called Withings, for $191M (Re/Code)
  • 4/26 – The FCC and the DoJ officially approved Charter Communications ($65.5B) right to purchase Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks (NYT)
  • 4/27 – Yahoo agrees to give four board seats to Starboard Value, which will give Starboard direct control of 4 of 11 seats on the board (NYT)
  • 4/27 – WhatsApp is making plans for businesses to send one way messages to users as it dips its toe into the business water (The Information)
  • 4/27 – This seems a little weird to me, but whatever.  Uber has added Arianna Huffington to its board of directors (HuffPo)
  • 4/27 – Menlo Ventures raises a $250M “opportunity fund” for start-ups looking for Series B and C funding (TechCrunch)
  • 4/27 – In the doesn’t really have an explanation category goes Anaplan, which is now looking for a new CEO following the abrupt resignation of CEO Fred Laluyaux. This comes after the Company raised a $90M Series E led by Premji Invest two months back (Fortune)
  • 4/28 – Oracle acquires Textura, a construction software company, for around $663M. It will combine the business with Primavera, its product portfolio management software unit that also focuses (mostly) on construction (WSJ)
  • 4/28 – Qlik Technologies is said to have received first round bids from Thoma Bravo, Bain and Permira. Vista Equity reportedly is considering a bid as well (duh) (Bloomberg)
  • 4/28 – Google is reportedly building a new hardware division under the former President of Motorola, Rick Osterloh, who joined the Company last month. This group will include products like Nexus, Chromecast, Chromebook laptop, Glass and OnHub (wireless home router) (Re/Code)
  • 4/28 – The latest in a slew of on-demand food-related shutdowns is Kitchit, which had raised $8.1M in funding including a Series A led by Javelin Venture Partners (TechCrunch)
  • 4/28 – SpaceX won an $83M contract with the U.S. Airforce, beating out United Launch Alliance (Lockheed Martin and Boeing), which had been the sole provider for more than a decade (Fortune)
  • 4/28 – The CEO of Priceline, Darren Huston, has resigned after an investigation uncovered that he had a personal relationship with an employee that violated the Company’s code of conduct. Huston also has resigned his position leading Former CEO and Chairman of Priceline Jeffrey Boyd will replace Huston atop Priceline and COO Gillian Tans will take over at Booking (Bloomberg)
  • 4/28 – OpenAI, a $1B artificial intelligence company funded by Elon Musk, has built a “gym” where developers can train their AI systems to get smart. The OpenAI gym is currently in beta (Business Insider)
  • 4/28 – “Comcast is buying Dreamworks (for $3.8B) to challenge Disney head on” (Wired)
  • 4/28 – Facebook told 40 people within its publisher adtech group that they have 45 days to find new jobs within the Company or that they would be let go. These employees were from the LiveRail acquisition, which Facebook acquired in July 2014 for between $400-500M (Business Insider)
  • 4/29 – Rovi acquires TiVo in $1.1B deal. The combined entity will be named TiVo (VentureBeat)
  • 4/29 – Mayfield has raised $525M across two funds, one for early stage funding ($400M) and one for later stage funding of earlier businesses ($125M) (TechCrunch)
  • 4/29 – Rumors swirled that Google tried to acquire Telegram, the encrypted Russian messaging app, last year, something that CEO Pavel Durov described as “bullsh1t” (TechCrunch)
  • 4/29 – Carl Icahn discloses that he has sold 45.8M Apple shares since the start of the year over concerns about the Company’s China’s policies (NYT)


  • 4/26 – Twitter takes a bloodbath post earnings, falling 13.6% in after-hours (NYT). And CFO Anthony Noto’s Twitter fingers want to turn to acquisition trigger fingers (Business Insider)
  • 4/26 – Ebay beats on earnings with shares ticking up 5% on the news (TechCrunch)
  • 4/26 – Apple plunges on earnings, wiping out $46B in market cap and falling 8%. The Company reported its first quarterly revenue decline in 13 years after the iPhone and China leave the Company hanging (The Verge). Here’s a detailed run-down by TechCrunch on what happened
  • 4/27 – Right now it’s Facebook’s world and we’re just living in it. The Company rolled up earnings and smoked them jumping 9% in after-hours. They also are setting up a new stock structure that will allow Zuckerberg to keep control of the Company, but sell some shares (CNBC)
  • 4/27 – PayPal beats earnings as CEO calls it “his best quarter ever” and shares trade up 4% (Forbes)
  • 4/27 – Barracuda Networks beats on earnings and the stock spikes 10% (Bidness)
  • 4/27 – Samsung beats estimates based on early S7 smartphone release, but stock remains mostly flat (Bloomberg)
  • 4/27 – Marketo* posts earnings with revenue increasing 35% year-over-year. The stock remained mostly flat (Sonoran Weekly)
  • 4/28 – Amazon stock soars 11% on Q1 earnings beat (VentureBeat) and AWS continues to dominate with $2.5B in revenue, up 63.8% year over year (VentureBeat). The one dark spot for Amazon is that its AWS margins fell slightly, settling out in the 28% range. This could spell bad news for Microsoft in particular, which has enjoyed margins closer to 45% and is counting on a big lift from Azure (The Information)
  • 4/28 – LogMeIn crushes earnings with everything coming in well above the high end of the guidance that they gave the street. The stock went up 14% (Proactive Investors)
  • 4/28 – LinkedIn stock goes up 5% on earnings beat after the bloodbath it look last quarter when the stock fell 40% following earnings. LinkedIn’s talent solutions/recruiter product in particular did well, growing 41% year-over-year (TechCrunch)
  • 4/28 – Pandora stock goes up 6% on strong earnings. The Company has yet to see the benefits of its recent acquisitions of Ticketfly (bought for $450M) and Rdio (bought for $75M) (TechCrunch)
  • 4/28 – Symantec announced really disappointing earnings with the stock falling 16.4% and that CEO Michael Brown would step down. Someone email Vista (Fortune)
  • 4/28 – Demandware surged over 10% following earnings and upgrades from a few equity analysts (MediaPost)
  • 4/28 – RingCentral slightly beats earnings and stock trades up 2.3% (Web Breaking News)
  • 4/28 – Juniper Networks released slightly disappointing earnings and the stock remained mostly flat (WSJ)
  • 4/29 – NetSuite beats earning’s estimates with the stock moving up 2% (Enterprise Times)
  • 4/29 – Athenahealth posts mediocre earnings and the stock falls 4% (The Street)
  • 4/29 – Bottomline Technologies falls as much as 27.6% in trading after announcing earnings that disappointed investors (Motley Fool)
  • 4/29 – Overshadowed by the sale process that’s said to be underway, Qlik Technologies raised 2016 earnings expectations after beating Q1. The stock rose 4.8% in after hour trading (Motley Fool)
  • 4/29 – Expedia shares jumped up 8% after posting an unexpected profit in the first quarter (CNBC)


  • 4/25 – Augmedix, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based Google Glass startup whose platform enables doctors to collect, enter and recall patient data in real-time, has raised $17 million in funding from five of the biggest healthcare providers in the U.S.: Sutter Health, Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives, TriHealth and a fifth company that’s going unnamed for now
  • 4/25 – Helium, a three-year-old San Francisco-based smart sensor startup, has raised $20 million in Series B funding led by GV
  • 4/25 – Kamcord, a four-year-old, San Francisco-based mobile game live streaming platform, has raised $10 million in Series C funding led by Time Warner
  • 4/25 – Sysdig, a three-year-old, Davis, Ca.-based startup that sells full-suite monitoring, alerting and troubleshooting software designed to support distributed, containerized environments, has raised $15 million in Series B funding from Accel Partners and Bain Capital Ventures
  • 4/25 – Unlockd, a 1.5-year-old, New York-based ad startup that serves ads to a phone customer after he or she has unlocked their phone in exchange for discounts on their phone bill, has raised $12 million in Series A funding, including from earlier investors PLC Ventures and Lachlan Murdoch
  • 4/26 – Auro Robotics, a year-old, San Francisco-based company that’s building driverless shuttles for campuses (which have their own, rather than state or federal, regulations), has raised $2 million in Series A funding led by Motus Ventures
  • 4/26 – Kasisto, a three-year-old, Burlingame, Ca.-based SRI spinoff that provides virtual personal assistants to banks (they use them to communicate with their customers), has raised an undisclosed amount of strategic funding from Singapore’s DBS Bank
  • 4/26 – LaunchPad Recruits, a 4.5-year-old, London-based company that makes data and video software for hiring, has raised $2.3 million in Series A funding from Sussex Place Ventures and Edenred Capital Partners
  • 4/26 – Remitly, a five-year-old, Seattle-based remittance service, has raised $38.5 million in Series C funding led by Stripes Group
  • 4/26 – SparkCognition, a three-year-old, Austin, Tex.-based “cognitive” security analytics company, has raised $6 million in Series B funding from CME Ventures, Verizon Ventures and earlier backers The Entrepreneurs’ Fund and Alameda Ventures
  • 4/26 – StoryStream, a five-year-old, London-based content platform helps marketers combine user generated and brand content, has raised $2.6 million in Series A funding led by MMC Ventures
  • 4/26 – Trov, a four-year-old, Danville, Ca.-based on-demand insurance platform that lets users buy insurance for specific products for a specific amount of time, has raised $25.5 million in Series C funding led by Oak HC/FT
  • 4/26 – UrbanStems, a two-year-old, Washington, D.C.-based on-demand flower delivery service, has raised $6.8 million in Series A funding led by SWaN & Legend Venture Partners
  • 4/27 – Desktop Metal, a year-old, Lexington, Ma.-based commercial metal 3D printing startup led by A123 founder Ric Fulop, has raised $33.8 million in new funding  from earlier backers
  • 4/27 – Immunio, a three-year-old, Montreal-based company that aims to protect its customers’ web applications against attackers, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by White Star Capital
  • 4/27 – Seclore, a five-year-old, Mountain View, Ca.-based company focused on enterprise digital rights management, has raised $12 million in Series B funding from Helion Ventures, VentureEast, Sistema Asia Fund, and India Alternatives.
  • 4/27 – SnappyData, a year-old, Portland, Ore.-based real-time analytics platform, has raised $3.7 million in Series A funding from Pivotal Software, GE Digital and GTD Capital
  • 4/27 – TaskEasy, a 4.5-year-old, Salt Lake City-based online, on-demand services company aiming to make it easy to price, order and manage exterior maintenance anywhere in the U.S., has raised $12 million in Series B funding led by Delta Electronics Capital
  • 4/27 – Vivint, a 19-year-old, Provo, Ut.-based home security, home automation, and energy management services company, has raised $100 million in strategic funding co-led by Peter Thiel and Solamere Capital
  • 4/28 – Ionic, a four-year-old, Madison, Wi.-based cross-platform suite that says it enables developers to write once and deploy native-quality experiences across numerous platforms, has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding led by General Catalyst Partners
  • 4/28 – Levyx, a three-year-old, Irvine, Ca.-based high-speed data processing technology company, has raised $5.4 million in Series A funding led by the Chicago-based venture firm OCA Ventures
  • 4/28 – Poncho, a three-year-old, New York-based personalized weather-forecasting service, has raised $2 million in seed funding led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures
  • 4/28 – SpaceVR, a year-old, San Jose, Ca.-based platform for creating cinematic, live, virtual space tourism, has raised $1.25 million in seed funding led by Shanda Group
  • 4/28 – Xola, a five-year-old, San Francisco-based software platform that manages booking and marketing for tour providers, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by Rakuten Travel
  • 4/29 – Stance, a 6.5-year-old, San Clemente, Ca..-based lifestyle apparel company, has raised $30 million in Series D funding led by Mercato Partners
  • 4/29 – Slantrange, a nearly three-year-old, San Diego, Ca.-based company that develops aerial remote sensing and analytics technology for customers in agriculture, has raised $5 million in Series A funding led by The Investor Group
  • 4/29 – VividCortex, a four-year-old, Charlottesville, Va.-based database performance monitoring company, has raised $4.5 million in Series A funding led by New Enterprise Associates
  • 4/29 – Sqreen, a Paris, France based company that provides a security service that plugs into Ruby on Rails applications to inspect, track and fix security holes has raised $2.3 million in seed funding from Alven Capita
  • 4/29 –, a Dublin, CA based company that provides Continuous Cloud Security for AWS, enabling rapid detection/remediation of risks, vulnerabilities, & compliance issues, has raised $15.7 million in Series B funding from Venrock

If you’ve made it this far, you might be enjoying this. If you’re enjoying this, I ask that you forward to a colleague or friend and get them involved. Also if you have any feedback on this in general – what you like, what sucks, what I can do better, please let me know.

Random, long reads
A Positive Life: How a Son Survived Being Injected with HIV by His Father (GQ) – You’d really be hard pressed to come up with something that is worse than a father injecting a 10 month old son with AIDs. And yet, this is a positive story about what happened after that happened and the life that 10 month old went onto lead as an adult. A great read on both the dark and the light in society. 

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy (The Atlantic) – This is a Q&A between Joe Pinkser (writer at the Atlantic) and Raj Raghunathan (a professor at UT at Austin’s McCombs School of Business), who has written a book entitled, “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy,” that dives into how smarter and more successful people are often more unhappy. Raghunathan talks about the “abundance mindset,” which essentially means that there is an infinite amount of something and that there’s room for everyone to grow and the “scarcity mindset,” that your win can only come at someone’s loss – and how these two relate to people’s views on happiness. I’ve been fascinated by the correlation between success and depression as studies have shown that it is found in a much higher percentage of successful people than average. People like Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Isaac Newton, Sigmund Freud, Beethoven, Charles Dickens, Ernest Hemmingway and Michelanagelo have all been rumored to have some form of depression.  Maybe it’s an unwillingness to settle for things that others would find acceptable?  Regardless, an interesting Q&A and surely an interesting book.
Oral history of the 1971 NFL draft: The original Year of the Quarterback (Sports Illustrated) – With the 2016 Draft wrapping up this weekend, here’s a look back on the 1971 Draft as told by the quarterbacks that went through it. The 1971 Draft featured a cast of quarterbacks (and characters) that are still relevant today including Archie Manning, Jim Plunkett and Joe Theismann. An entertaining read on how far we’ve come in the last 45 years with the coverage of the NFL Draft (and NFL in general).
Madness: In Florida prisons, mentally ill inmates have been tortured, driven to suicide, and killed by guards (The New Yorker) – A deeply troubling piece about the wrongs done in a particular Florida prison for mentally ill inmates. An incredible piece of reporting that goes deep to investigate the cover-up of murders and regular torture that plagued this facility for years. It leaves you questioning just how people could let something like this go on for so long.

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