Archive | July, 2014

Marissa’s mobile revolution

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Marissa’s mobile revolution

Last week, Yahoo announced its acquisition of Flurry for an estimated price tag of $300 million. So what is Flurry and why is Yahoo interested in it? Flurry is one of the world’s leading app analytics and ad platform companies. Their platform analyses app usage giving customers insight into users behaviour, and tracking the performance of their apps. In addition, Flurry also uses analytics to serve specialised, targeted mobile ads. According to news sources, Flurry’s Software Development Kit or SDK is in over half a million apps and in 1.3 billion devices. Simply put, Flurry is everywhere. In fact, according to the company, they are monitoring seven to 10 apps in a typical smartphone.

Despite taking over $60 million in initial funding from VCs, Flurry recently closed a $10 million debt financing round, which many believe was used to cover cash-flow issues. So why would Yahoo pay a premium for a leaking boat? Yahoo wants and needs to strengthen its mobile advertising business. On last count Flurry has over 300 million users in mainland China. Solidifying its presence in the US market and acquiring a position in China where US competitors like Facebook have battled the great firewall gives them an edge in one of the fastest growing platforms, in one of the fastest growing markets for consumer traffic globally. Marissa’s mobile revolution is only beginning, and we predict that mobile video will play a big part of an evolving Yahoo.

A win-win deal for Wotif and Expedia

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A win-win deal for Wotif and Expedia

Last week, US-based Expedia, the largest online travel company in the world, announced its takeover of Wotif, an Australian-based online travel-booking pioneer for a total cash consideration of A$703 million (US$658 million). The takeover, which is yet to be approved by shareholders and cleared by regulators, will cover all Wotif brands including, Wotif.com, lastminute.com.au, Asia Web Direct, LateStays.com, and Arnold Travel Technology. The offer comes as Wotif struggles with declining profitability with the company expecting a net profit of A$43 million for 2013/14, a forecast that is way behind their A$51 million net profit in 2012/13 and $58 million the year before. For Wotif, joining Expedia will allow the company to fortify its offshore travel inventory as well as solve its technology issues. The deal will also be a win for Wotif shareholders as Expedia proposes to pay A$3.30 per share, representing a 30% premium to Wotif’s closing price on the Australian stock market in early July. For Expedia, the acquisition will allow the travel juggernaut to expand its market share of the Australian online travel market as well as increase its foothold in Southeast Asia, a highly coveted market.

Curation is king

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Curation is king

Last week, Google announced that it has acquired Songza, a small music streaming company based in Long Island, New York that provides users with expert-curated playlists. The terms of the deal were not disclosed but reports suggest that the purchase price was $39 million. The deal comes on the heels of Apple’s jaw-dropping $3 billion acquisition of Beats.

So why did Google buy Songza, which only has 5.5 million active users compared to Spotify’s 24 million and Pandora’s 77 million? The answer is curation. Unlike Spotify, Pandora and even Google itself that use algorithms to construct customized playlists, Songza’s playlists are curated by people, from professional musicians and DJs to regular music fans. Songza’s handpicked playlists are designed to match the user’s mood, interests, personality, time of day, and even the weather.

What’s most interesting about the acquisition is that Google acknowledges that its powerful machine learning algorithms still need to rely on humans after all, especially in the field as complicated and as emotional as music. The deal is a win for human curation.

Top 20 Deals for June 2014

Deal No. Amount Paid (USD) Company Investor/Buyer Sector Deal Type
1 $19,000,000,000 WhatsApp Facebook Mobile & Apps Acquisition
2 $5,700,000,000 TW Telecom Level 3 Software & Services Acquisition
3 $5,300,000,000 MICROS Systems Oracle Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
4 $3,200,000,000 Nest Labs Google Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
5 $3,000,000,000 Beats Electronics Apple Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
6 $2,300,000,000 IBM (x86-based server business) Lenovo Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
7 $2,000,000,000 Oculus VR Facebook Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
8 $1,650,000,000 Mercury Payment Vantiv Transactions Acquisition
9 $1,500,000,000 AirWatch VMWare Mobile & Apps Acquisition
10 $1,200,000,000 Uber Consortium Transactions Investment
11 $1,100,000,000 Fusion-io SanDisk Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
12 $930,000,000 All3Media Discovery, Liberty Global Marketing Acquisition
13 $930,000,000 TravelClick Thoma Bravo Software & Services Acquisition
14 $900,000,000 Viber Media Rakuten Mobile & Apps Acquisition
15 $804,000,000 ChinaVision Media Group Alibaba Media Acquisition
16 $752,000,000 iParadigms Insight Venture Partners Software & Services Acquisition
17 $555,000,000 Dropcam Google/Nest Hardware & Infrastructure Acquisition
18 $523,500,000 Jobstreet Seek Transactions Acquisition
19 $500,000,000 DeepMind Google Software & Services Acquisition
20 $500,000,000 Maker Studios The Walt Disney Company Media Acquisition

More information

  1. Facebook Buying WhatsApp For $19B, Will Keep The Messaging Service Independent (TechCrunch)
  2. Level 3 Agrees to Buy TW Telecom in $5.7 Billion Deal (Bloomberg)
  3. Oracle buys MICROS Systems for $5.3 billion (ZDNet)
  4. Google buys Nest Labs for $3.2 billion (CNN)
  5. Apple finally confirms its $3B acquisition of Beats Electronics (VentureBeat)
  6. Lenovo agrees to buy IBM’s server business for $US2.3 billion (ARN)
  7. Facebook is buying Oculus for $2B to ‘get ready for the platform of tomorrow’ (VentureBeat)
  8. Vantiv Buys Mercury Payment From Silver Lake for $1.65 Billion (Bloomberg)
  9. VMWare’s $1.5B AirWatch Buy All About Mobile Workplace (TechCrunch)
  10. Uber Closes $1.2BN Financing Round (FinSMEs)
  11. SanDisk to acquire Fusion-io for $1.1BN (FinSMEs)
  12. Discovery, Liberty Global Acquire All3Media in $930 Million Deal (Variety)
  13. Thoma Bravo Completes $930 Million Acquisition of TravelClick (Hotel News Resource)
  14. Rakuten Acquires Viber for $900M (FinSMEs)
  15. Alibaba Pays $804M To Take Majority Stake In TV And Movie Producer ChinaVision (TechCrunch)
  16. Acquisition of iParadigms for $752 Million Led by Insight Venture Partners (Turnitin)
  17. Google and Nest Acquire Dropcam For $555 Million (TechCrunch)
  18. Australia’s Seek to Buy Jobstreet in $524 Million Deal (Wall Street Journal)
  19. Google Acquires Artificial Intelligence Startup DeepMind For More Than $500M (TechCrunch)
  20. It’s Official: Disney Acquires Maker Studios For At Least $500M (TechCrunch)