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Weekly M&A Roundup

110799

M&A roundup - week ending 12/19/15

Vivendi bought Radionomy; Salesforce acquired MinHash; Tencent purchased the rest of Riot Games

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
December 19, 2015
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/4223

Integrated industrial media and content group Vivendi acquired 64.4% of the share capital of Radionomy Group, an Internet platform that allows digital radios to broadcast and monetize their programs. The Vivendi Group has become Radionomy’s majority shareholder alongside its founder Alexandre Saboundjian, its employees and Union Square Ventures. No terms of the deal were disclosed. 

With this investment in digital radio, Vivendi expands its presence in the value chain that flows from talent discovery to content production and distribution. Collaboration between the digital audio platform and the Vivendi businesses will be established and a number of innovative offers will be developed. Radionomy also complements the talent support program which contributes to the Vivendi Group’s sustainable development.

 Founded in 2007, Radionomy has raised $7 million in funding from Christophe Salanon, e-Value, Musicmatch and Peak Capital.

Vroom, an online pre-owned car retailer, acquired Texas Direct Auto, one of its competitiors in the online car retailer space, and also the number one retailer on eBay Motors. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but it was a mix of cash and stock, and represented a large portion of a $95 million funding round the company just raised. 

 Founded in 2002, the Houston-based Texas Direct Auto leverages proprietary RFID tracking and prioritization software that provides the framework for selling cars to consumers, dealers and dealer networks online. The company sells thousands of vehicles per month.

Going forward the two brands will co-exist and continue to operate online separately. Together, they will have 500 employees, with facilities in Dallas, Houston and Indianapolis.

Experian, a provider of analytical tools and marketing service to help clients manage their commercial and financial decisions sold traffic measurement company Hitwise to integrated digital advertising company Connexity. It also sold consumer research company Simmons to private equity firm Symphony Technology Group, which happens to be Connexity's private equity parent. 

The two transactions combined were worth $47, million plus a further potential amount of up to $5 million based on an earnout, though the price breakdown of each specific deal was not specified.

Right now, Simmons and Hitwise operate today under the combined entity called Experian Consumer Insights. Going forward, the two business lines will continue to operate as a combined entity, though Connexity and Symphony will seek to separate the two properties over the course of 2016.

Simmons will transition over the course of 2016 to operate as a standalone business, under the brand Simmons Research, within the Symphony Technology Group portfolio, while Hitwise, meanwhile, will operate as a division within Connexity.

Experian had purchased Hitwise in 2007 for $240 million, and Simmons in 2004 for an unspecified price. 

Social-sharing and scheduling tool Buffer acquired social media customer service and brand monitoring tool Respondly. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Respondly will be rebranded as Respond, and it will remain a standalone tool, specifically suited for social media customer support, engagement, community, and monitoring.

The company had raised $1.78 million in funding from Galvanize Ventures, Marc Bell Ventures and Webb Investment Network.

Love Home Swap, a home-swapping website, acquired HomeForExchange, a marketplace for home exchange. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

The acquisition will help Love Home Swap build up its stock in markets where it is less strong, like continental Europe. The combined company now handles a total inventory of 100,000 properties. 

Love Home Swap has over 54,000 homes in city and holiday destinations in over 160 countries worldwide.

Salesforce acquired MinHash, a provider of assistive intelligence and data science for enterprises. No fiancial terms of the deal were disclosed.

MinHash created AILA, which brings the power of artificial intelligence to uncover emerging trends that are relevant and actionable. AILA detects fast growing topics across 1000s of media sources and helps marketers respond quickly, pulling together data in all forms - text, images, hashtags and urls, automatically crafting them into a campaign with a relevant theme, unique messaging and the right audience.

The company’s tech and team of four engineer employees, including co-founders Jayesh Govindarajan and Naren Chittar, as well as Anuprit Kale and Edgar Velasco, are all coming over to Salesforce.

Founded in 2014, MinHas had raised an undisclosed amount of seed funding.

Chinese Internet firm Tencent acquired the remaining stake in Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

Tencent has bought a majority stake in Riot Games back in February 2011.

Becoming part of Tencent allows the company to move away from a Riot equity program towards a cash based incentive program that allows its employees to share in its success. This program comes in addition to Riot's competitive salaries, open PTO, learning and development programs, 401K match and subsidized medical plans.

Digital content and services company Purch acquired mobile shopping app ShopSavvy. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

ShopSavvy will remain a standalone app, adding to Purch's growing mobile app ecosystem, meant to enable buying decisions for the "small screen" and bridge the online and offline retail. ShopSavvy's back-end mobile product search and machine-learning technology will be integrated across Purch's sites to surface and categorize deals and power price comparisons for its growing audience of more than 100M users.

Fouded in 2008. ShopSavvy had raised $9.5 million, and is backed by Facebook co-founder, Eduardo Saverin, and former CEO of Saks, Brad Martin, among others. The app has more than one million active monthly users and 30 million downloads to-date.

Insite Software, a provider of business-to-business commerce and data-driven solutions for manufacturers and distributors, acquired mobile sales enablement and digital content delivery platform provider Storyworks1. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

The Storyworks1 acquisition bolsters Insite Software’s connected commerce platform strategy, helping customers increase revenues by supporting digitally enabled B2B sales engagements.

Founded in 2012, Storyworks1 had raised $170,000 in venture funding.

Kantar Health, a global healthcare consulting and market research firm, acquired CEEOR, a research and consulting firm specialising in analytical services. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

The acquisition will strengthe Kantar Health's commercial effectiveness business. It also expands Kantar Health's real-world research and value practice into Central Europe. 

Through this acquisition, clients will gain further access to industry-leading data and real-world insights essential to evaluating their commercial effectiveness.

Canadian Web Hosting, a web hosting and infrastructure company, acquired datacenter and dedicated server provider eSecureData. No financial terms of the deal wer disclosed. 

The datacenters operated by eSecureData will integrate with Canadian Web Hosting's cloud hosting services and dedicated CloudStream Network Backbone running across Canada and expand their presence to five datacenters in Canada.

With this acquisition, Canadian Web Hosting will be upgrading its portfolio of hosting services and increasing its offerings catered towards businesses and corporations who require features like enterprise-grade infrastructure, SSAE 16 compliance and managed support expertise to help meet their requirements.   

An affiliate of Leeds Equity Partners acquired the Campus Labs data analytics business from Higher One Holdings. The purchase price was $91 million cash, but working capital adjustments determined at the time of closing may reduce the purchase price by $5 million to $7 million.

Campus Labs provides a software platform for colleges and universities to make data-driven, strategic decisions ranging from accreditation to student retention to effective operations. It was acquired by Higher One in 2012. Since then it has grown its revenue at approximately a 21 percent compounded annual growth rate. From the expected close through the end of the year, Higher One projected a contribution of $1.5 million of revenue and $0.01 of adjusted EPS from the data analytics line of business.

Raymond James served as the financial advisor and Wiggin and Dana LLP served as legal counsel to Higher One on the sale. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP advised the Board of Directors of Higher One on the transaction.

The transaction is subject to necessary government, regulatory and creditor approvals and is expected to close by the end of November 2015.

Sophos, an in network and endpoint security provider, acquired SurfRight, a provider of signature-less next-generation endpoint threat detection and response and advanced threat prevention. The purchase price was $31.8 million 

Sophos will immediately work to integrate the SurfRight technology into its line of endpoint security solutions. Once the integration work has been completed, Sophos will make the technology acquired from SurfRight available via its global network of more than 15,000 channel partners.

Sophos will continue development and support for SurfRight’s existing product line including its popular HitmanPro malware scanning and removal tools, used by more than 20 million users worldwide. Sophos will retain all SurfRight employees and the company’s office in Hengelo and SurfRight CEO Mark Loman will join the Sophos Enduser Security Group, reporting to Dan Schiappa, senior vice president of Enduser Security at Sophos.

Stingray Digital Group, a a business-to-business multiplatform music provider, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Digital Music Distribution, an Australian digital music services provider. It was all-cash deal worth AUD $12 million ($8.5 million ), which includes an amount equivalent to 66% payable to DMD upon the closing of the purchase and a 34% holdback to be released upon the completion of various post-sale requirements by Stingray.

This acquisition is expected to provide Stingray with a strategic foothold in the Asia-Pacific region.

The transaction was facilitated by Singapore-based Multi Channels Asia (MCA) with which Stingray recently entered into a strategic partnership. 

Perk.com, a cloud-based mobile rewards platform provider entered into an agreement to acquire a number of assets, including the Viggle applications and rewards program, from rewards app Viggle. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but it was an all-stock transaction.

Viggle intends to rebrand itself as DraftDay to focus greater attention on its recently acquired DraftDay Gaming Group subsidiary which it will retain as its entertainment publishing site, upon completion of the transaction.

At the present time, Wetpaint.com, its play-along app MyGuy, and its B2B provider of digital rewards in loyalty programs Choose Digital, will be retained and managed by Viggle as it explores strategic alternatives for these non-DraftDay assets.

Viggle will change its trading symbol to DDAY, which it has reserved with the NASDAQ.

Microsoft acquired Metanautix, a data management company for business analytics. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Metanautix’ technology helps companies bring all of their data together to gain powerful insights, discover new opportunities and drive growth through intelligent automation.

Metanautix technology will be integrated into the Microsoft data platform, including SQL Server and the Cortana Analytics Suite. Following other recent commercial acquisitions, this deal is the latest example of Microsoft’s ambition to build the intelligent cloud.  

Founded in 2012, Metanautix has raised $7 million from Sequoia Capital, Shiva Shivakumar, and Workday Ventures.

WPP's GroupM, a global media investment group, acquired programmatic marketing solutions company The Exchange Lab and its proprietary programmatic marketing technology, Proteus. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

The Exchange Lab will become a core component of Connect, part of GroupM, to expand its multi-platform approach.

Co-founder James Aitken will be stepping down from his role as CEO to pursue outside investment interests. Moving forward, Executive Chairman, Chris Dobson, will take the role of CEO, working closely with Tim Webster who continues as Chief Strategy Officer. Dobson will report directly to Rudiger Wanck, Global CEO of Connect, GroupM Global.

Founded in 2007, The Exchange Lab has raised $14 million in funding from Business Growth Fund, Madoff Brokerage & Trading Technologies, Millennium Information Technologies and Salomon Smith Barney.

FullContact, provider of a contact management platform for professionals and enterprises, acquired nGame, a learning engine that delivers social data insights and analytics. No fnancial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

FullContact data is used by millions of people through its more than 1,000 enterprise customers and API partners. It's cloud-based contact management solution will be integrated with nGame's customer data management expertise.

Founded in 2011, nGame had raised $10.68 million in venture funding.

(Image source: zoe1297.wordpress.com)


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