Tech-Internet M&A and Investment Database

Be kept informed of the latest tech deals. Get up-to-the-minute analysis about the day’s most interesting fundings and exits. Internet DealBook is a database that tracks the latest angel, VC, private-equity investment and M&A activities across Internet- and technology-related private companies all around the world.

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LinkedIn acquires Lynda.com

Commentary
Last week, LinkedIn spent $1.5 billion in a combined cash (52%) and stock (48%) deal to acquire popular online learning company Lynda.com. According to industry observers, the purchase represents an important strategic move for LinkedIn’s business – from being a professional social network and recruitment service, the company can now include instructional content and e-learning among its offerings. In short, it’s quite possible that jobseekers on LinkedIn will soon be offered relevant courses to help them acquire certain skills required for a job. Could this be the first of LinkedIn’s moves into the corporate training industry which is valued at over $130 billion worldwide?

The fight is on

Commentary
There’s no stopping CodeFights. The startup is only less than a year old but it already raised $2.4 million in seed funding from a consortium of investors. What’s interesting about CodeFights is it turns programming skills into a game. Much like joining a tournament, developers can sign up and compete against each other or a timed clock using different programming languages (such as Java versus C++, etc). The idea is to challenge a developer’s programming and math skills and teach him/her something new through the games. The site is also great for coders looking to improve their debugging skills as well their knowledge of algorithms. According to its founder Tigran Sloyan, more than 70,000 users have already shown up and solved 1.5 million challenges. With the coding industry booming, we predict that CodeFights will have a very bright future ahead of them.

Microsoft acquires LiveLoop

Commentary
Collaborating with co-workers on an important PowerPoint presentation can be quite tedious. It usually requires numerous email exchanges with attached PowerPoint files and clunky revisions. Microsoft’s recent acquisition of LiveLoop is about to make the process a whole lot easier. LiveLoop has technology that can convert PowerPoint files into URLs that anyone can view from a computer or smartphone without the need to install software. So instead of having to send emails with a PowerPoint file attached, users can simply share the URL and start collaborating. Everyone’s view will be in sync with the presenter’s file and any member of the team can revise the presentation at any time. Microsoft did not reveal the financial details of the deal but confirmed that LiveLoop’s technology will improve on their existing Office applications in an effort to help build the company’s strategy and vision to reinvent productivity. Even before LiveLoop, Microsoft had already been on an acquisition spree, snapping mobile email app developer Acompli and mobile calendar app developer Sunrise.

On the road to monetisation

Commentary
Just like Facebook and Twitter that both started out as commercial-free social venues for self-expression, Pinterest is now on the road to monetisation. The popular social-sharing website recently raised $367 million in venture funding from 15 investors, according to a document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The new round of funding has set the company’s valuation to $11 billion, making it one of the most valuable startups in the world and also a potential candidate for an IPO this year. According to sources, the bookmarking site will use the money to fuel international growth and bankroll its ecommerce initiatives including its ad platform, the Promoted Pins. Wedbush Securities estimates that the ads could generate $500 million in revenue in 2016. The biggest challenge now for Pinterest is to ensure that Promoted Pins remain fresh and interesting and don’t turn off users. After all, commercialisation is a double edged sword. If done right, it can do wonders for the company’s revenue, but if it’s overdone, it can kill the basic concept of the company and repel loyal users.