Archive | January, 2014

Should we be afraid of Lenovo?

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Should we be afraid of Lenovo?

Amidst the rising tension between China and the US, Lenovo Group, China’s largest PC vendor has acquired IBM’s x86-based server business for $2.3 billion. The acquisition comes almost a decade after Lenovo purchased IBM’s ThinkPad business for $1.75 billion. This latest deal, considered the biggest acquisition by Lenovo, is in line with IBM’s effort to shift its business to software and services. Gerry Smith, Lenovo’s President for North America, sees a “great marriage” that will leverage the strength of both companies. Critics, however, see them more as frenemies as the deal still needs to be cleared by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which protects national security. Sensitive acquisitions involving Chinese companies face the toughest scrutiny by the CFIUS.

So what are the implications of this deal on the American market? If the deal is cleared by the CFIUS, there is a chance that Lenovo may lose a great number of IBM customers in the US due to spying concerns, though that may be offset by growing its business in its home market China. The companies that stand to lose are HP and Dell, IBM’s old rivals in the server business, as they will now face new competition that will surely be more aggressive when it comes to pricing.

Internet DealBook Annual Report 2013

 

A Bright Start for Aussie Startups

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A Bright Start for Aussie Startups

Australia has not always been a hub of tech activity. Not long ago, many of Australia’s tech entrepreneurs lamented that the best way to succeed was to leave Australia and set up business in Silicon Valley, the land of promise for tech businesses. They argued that the market in Australia was too small, that there were no big tech companies making it outside of the country, and that there were few opportunities with local VCs.

Now all that is changing. The long winter is over and Australia’s tech scene is blossoming. Today, the country’s startup scene is heating up as local and global VCs infuse serious cash in Australian startups. Last week alone, seven successful deals were reported. SiteMinder received $30 million from Technology Crossover Ventures, a US venture firm, to fuel its global expansion. Six other companies – Unicorn Media, 1Form, PRM Cloud Solutions, SpeedySparrow, CN GROUP, and ATPNet (customer base and trademark) – were acquired, by international and domestic players.

Australia may not have a robust ecosystem as Silicon Valley, but it’s truly on its way to finding its place in the tech world.

3D Printing the Future

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3D Printing the Future

3D printing has been around since the 80s, but it’s only in the last couple of years that it has really come into its own. In 2011, the Business Insider boldly announced that it’s going to be “the next trillion dollar industry”. According to Wall Street, 3D printing stocks remain “very attractive” long-term investments. VCs are likewise bullish about the industry. Last week, three companies specialising in 3D printing, Mcor technologies, The 3Doodler and FDM Digital Solutions, received funding from investors. This should come as no surprise since 3D printing is fast becoming a hugely important tool in manufacturing and product development. It’s already being used to produce airplane and automobile parts, toys, jewelry, food, and even human tissue. We’re predicting many more 3D printing investments in the first half of 2014.