Archive | March, 2014

Internet Dealbook Q1 Report 2014

 

A sci-fi future

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A sci-fi future

Last week, Facebook made a leap from software to hardware. For $2 billion, Facebook is now the proud owner of Oculus, the creator of Oculus Rift, the virtual reality headset that allows players to step inside their favourite games. Oculus Rift creates a 3D view with infinite fields of depth, giving the user a truly immersive experience. Analysts predict that this acquisition could be Facebook’s most ground-breaking deal, with the potential to affect the way we work, play and communicate. Mark Zuckerberg imagines a future where people can sit courtside to watch a game, study in a classroom with other students or even consult with a doctor just by simply putting on a pair of Oculus goggles. He also imagined a world where Facebook users will no longer just share photos but entire experiences. This deal is sure to change the game for existing VR players Sony and Google that have Morpheus, the PlayStation virtual headset; and Google Glass, which most feel pales in comparison to Oculus Rift.

The mobile messaging war is on

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The mobile messaging war is on

The competition in the mobile messaging space is really heating up. In February, Japanese ecommerce giant Rakuten bought Viber for $900 million, and Facebook paid $19 billion in cash and stock to acquire messaging company WhatsApp.

Last week, Alibaba, China’s dominant ecommerce firm, spent $215 million for a minority stake in Tango, a US-based messaging and free-calling app. Tango currently has 200 million registered users and 70 million active users. The round values Tango at $1 billion to $2 billion. In an interview by Reuters, Tango co-founder Eric Setton said that he believes that his company, which also offers games, multimedia sharing and other content, would eventually outperform Whatsapp, which offers only text and voice communications.

In addition to fuelling competition, the new funding underscores the increased investor interest in mobile communications and gives Alibaba a foothold in the messaging market as the company files for an initial public offering in New York in April.

Sky Software acquisition highlights Australia’s booming tech sector

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Sky Software acquisition highlights Australia’s booming tech sector

Once again, Australia has proven itself to be a fertile landscape for tech investments. In 2013, Australia closed 117 successful internet-tech deals, the third largest number of deals globally.

Since the start of this year, more than twenty Australian tech companies have been bought by local and international firms. Last week, Sky Software, a Geelong-based provider of cloud-based student management systems to education markets, was acquired for AUD$21 million by London-based Tribal Group PLC. Tribal is a leading provider of technology solutions to international education, training and learning markets. Leveraging on Sky Software’s presence and experience in the Asia Pacific, Tribal plans to expand its services in the region. As a combined entity, Sky Software and Tribal will have more than 500 customers in 60 countries and 17 offices across five continents. Sky Software’s deal is another point of proof that cross-border acquisitions are an increasing reality in Australia. Sky Software was advised by Right Click Capital, the publisher of Internet Dealbook.