Tech-Internet M&A and Investment Database

Internet DealBook is a global database that tracks angel, VC, and private-equity investment and M&A activity across Internet- and technology-related private companies.

It’s all good for Good Technology

Commentary

The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) movement has not only changed the dynamics of how employees work, it’s also created a huge security challenge for businesses as sensitive data is accessed on personal devices. Now more than ever, mobile device security has become an IT imperative.

One of the companies at the forefront of innovation in enterprise mobility and security space, is Good Technology. Based in Sunnvale, California, Good Technology provides end-to-end enterprise mobile security solutions including, mobile device management, mobile service management, mobile security platform, and a wide range of applications that provide security enhancements for big businesses, while maintaining an exceptional user experience for employees. In May, the company filed to go public with a proposed maximum offering price of $100 million. Today it raised $80 million from undisclosed investors.

Read more about Good Technology and its latest funding here. 

A special time for education

Commentary

Have you ever imagined what education will be like in the future? Ten years ago, the iPhone, Android phones and tablets did not even exist; but today these devices have moved into classrooms worldwide and have triggered the start of a tech revolution in learning. Content based online education has been around for a while, but the recent innovations in mobile content-delivery, functionality and interactivity, are now allowing students and teachers to share ideas and conversations anywhere/anytime, taking learning well-beyond the confines of a classroom. Investors are clambering to try to get a piece of the fast-evolving ed-tech market. This week, Udacity, MasteryConnect and Jike Xueyuan, a Chinese IT education startup, all received funding. In addition, Blackboard, the Washington DC-based ed-tech behemoth acquired UK-based Requestec, a provider of custom-made SMS and MMS applications. With more and more investment pouring in into the multi billion-dollar ed-tech industry, analysts expect to see continued innovation and some sizeable exits. In the words of Bill Gates, who’s a firm believer in the future of ed-tech, this is indeed “a special time in education.”

Yahoo’s true value?

Commentary

Last Friday, Alibaba, the Chinese ecommerce giant, closed on the New York Stock Exchange at $93.89 or 38% percent higher from its IPO price. Alibaba raised a record-breaking $21.8 billion and the company’s valuation closed at $237.7 billion. Yahoo, which sold more than 120 million of its 524 million shares, made $8.27 billion and still has remaining stake in the company valued at around $38 billion. So how did Yahoo’s shares dip 2.7% during Alibaba’s first trading day? Analysts are suggesting that investors previously bought Yahoo shares as a way to own a piece of Alibaba. Yahoo was always seen as a temporary stock for many of these investors as they waited for the sought-after Alibaba IPO. Now that Alibaba is available to investors, the market in particular those Alibaba investors, have begun reviewing Yahoo’s core business. Yahoo has been struggling for years, and if its revenue growth is not rectified soon, the value of its core business may sink even further.

Rakuten’s bold ambition

Commentary

Rakuten is a household name in Japan. They’re into ecommerce, online travel, auctions, ebooks, banking and securities, as well as baseball as owners of the Rakuten Eagles. Using their scale, they’ve created an ecosystem that rewards members each time they patronise a Rakuten service. It is said that 60% of Japan’s population are members of Rakuten. At present, the internet juggernaut operates in more than eighteen countries, including the US.

Recently, Rakuten has continued to ramp their M&A efforts, acquiring Viber and investing in Pinterest. With a particular love of ecommerce, they’ve also snapped up businesses like France’s Priceminister, Brazil’s Ikeda, Germany’s Tradoria, UK’s Play.com, Canada’s e-book reader Kobo, Singapore’s Carousell, Thailand’s Tarad.com, the US-based product launch platform the Daily Grommet, the online shopping app Slice, Buy.com, Webgistix, and recently Ebates for a whopping $1 billion. The company also holds significant investments in Russia’s Ozon.ru and US-based AHAlife.com. Analysts feel that Rakuten’s acquisition spree underlines the company’s ambition to be the biggest ecommerce player in the world and topple Amazon. If Rakuten is to be a competitive threat to Amazon, it needs to keep acquiring share in the US. Clearly, with eighteen acquisitions to date and huge investments in other ecommerce companies, Rakuten is fast becoming the Japanese force to be reckoned with globally.

Are you ready for the connected home?

Commentary

We may not be living like the Jetsons just yet, but there’s no denying that the connected home is fast becoming a reality. The battle for share in the connected home is in full swing and tech companies everywhere are scrambling to produce connected gizmos and gadgets like never before. Google’s Nest Labs has a “learning” thermostat that can program itself to adjust the temperature of the house according to the weather, time of day and your daily habits. Philips has its Hue Connected Bulb that allows you to change the colors of your light bulbs and control them from your phone. The Kwikset Kevo home lock will lock and unlock doors with the mere touch of a finger. There’s also the Sleep Number x12 Bed that can monitor your breathing, movement and heart rate and can assess the quality of your sleep. With so many companies vying for the keys to your house, the big question is, how many independent brains can one house support? Last week, a company called Savant Systems, put others on notice by taking $90 million from private equity firm KKR & Co LLP. Savant offers top-of-the-line home automation systems in some of the wealthiest homes in America. Google has shown intent in this space, and we know that they like owning the initial touch point and central control in most technology solutions (advertising, search, email and mobile). Is it a matter of time until they expand beyond the thermostat to own the centralised controls of the connect home?