Weekly M&A Roundup

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M&A roundup - week ending 8/20/16

Univision bought Gawker; Twitch acquired Curse; Snapchat purchased Vurb

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
August 20, 2016 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/46d8

Univision acquired Gawker in a bankruptcy auction. The company bid $135 million.

The deal includes Gawker.com, as well as the company's other sites Deadspin, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Jalopnik, and Jezebel. Gawker.com will be shutting down early next week.

It is unclear what role Gawker founder Nick Denton will play in the company going forward. 

Univision's purchase of Gawker Media has to be approved by a bankruptcy judge. 

Snapchat acquired mobile search and recommendation app Vurb for $110 million. The deal breaks down as 75 percent stock, and 25 percent cash.

Snapchat seems particularly interested in keeping the team around, and is looking to offer employees retention payouts that total nearly as much as the purchase price, including $75 million to founder and CEO Bobby Lo.

Founded in 2011, Vurb had raised $10 million, from investors that included Tencent, Vivi Nevo, Marc Benioff, Redpoint Ventures, Susa Ventures Max Levchin, Drew Houston, and CrunchFund. 

Uber acquired self-driving truck company Otto. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed, but it reportedly $680 million. 

Together, the two companies will create self-driving trucks, and a platform that matches truck drivers with the right load wherever they are.

Otto came out of stealth mode in May.

Mapbox, a mapping platform for developers, acquired Human, an all-day activity and calorie tracker. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Human will continue to operate as a standalone activity app. The app is now shipping with frequent updates of Mapbox's SDK.

The aquisition will help Mapbox expand its mobile play and turn anonymized aggregated data into a real-time updating map

IT monitoring company ScienceLogic acquired AppFirst, a platform for unified visibility across applications and operations. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

David Roth, AppFirst’s CEO, won’t be joining ScienceLogic, but CTO, Donn Rochette will. AppFirst will remain its office in Minnesota open and ScienceLogic has made offers to all of the company’s employees. ScienceLogic now has just under 400 employees.

Founded in 2009, AppFirst had raised $15.2 million in venture funding from FirstMark Capital, First Round, Javelin Venture Partners and Safeguard Scientifics.

Ford acquired computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS.No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

The acquisition will help Ford have a high-volume, fully autonomous SAE level 4-capable vehicle in commercial operation in 2021 in a ride-hailing or ride-sharing service. Autonomous vehicles in 2021 are part of Ford Smart Mobility.

Ford also expanded its Silicon Valley operations, creating a dedicated campus in Palo Alto. It plans to double the size of the Palo Alto team by the end of 2017.

Live streaming video platform Twitch signed an agreement to acquire Curse, a company focused on creating content and products specifically for gamers. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

More than 30 million people visit Curse’s web properties, video channels, social media channels, and desktop application each month.

Founded in 2006, Curse had raised $58 million in venture funding from GGV Capital, Riot Games and SoftTech VC, among others.

Salesforce acquired automated business analysis provider BeyondCore. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

At Salesforce, BeyondCore will be part of the Analytics Cloud, extending smart data discovery and advanced analytics capabilities across the entire Salesforce Customer Success Platform. The company will continue to deliver its technology to customers as part of Salesforce.

Founded in 2004, BeyondCore had raised $9 million in venture funding from Menlo Ventures.

Antivirus company BullGuard acquired consumer Internet of Things security provider Dojo Labs. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Together, the companies will redefine how security is delivered for consumers and small businesses.

Dojo Labs was named a cool vendor in the connected home by Gartner earlier this year.

Google acquired mobile app development startup Apportable. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

The deal was an acqui-hire, with Google purchasing Apportable's team. Founders Collin Jackson and Ian Fischer joined along  with11 members of Apportable’s engineering team, while 65 employees were let go. Jim Terry has since been made CEO of Apportable.

Founded in 2011, Apportable had raised $7.4 million in venture funding from Alexis Ohanian, AME Cloud Ventures, GV, Salesforce Ventures and Y Combinator, among others. 

This deal happened more than a year ago, but was only revealed now.

FullContact, a provider of a contact management platform for professionals and enterprises, acquired Web analytics company Conspire. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

FullContact will integrate Conspire’s technology to provide their cloud address book users with the ability to find key people outside their own address books in order to focus on expanding their networks and the strength of their professional relationships.

Conspire will continue to run and operate with the integration of FullContact’s features and technology.

Founded in 2012, Conspire had raised $3.54 million in venture funding.

Speridian Technologies, a provider of information technology solutions for global businesses, acquired a majority stake in Sesame Software, a financial technology solutions provider. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

This acquisition will further boost Speridian's growth plans for the coming years, by enabling their foray into additional service verticals.

Founded in 1993, Sesame is an ISO certified company.

iAnalyst, a Web Development & Internet Marketing agency, completed the acquisition of eCommerce internet marketing agency ResponseLogic.net. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Though iAnalyst has not acquired the company as a whole, the full client amd online asset acquisition is key to iAnalyst’s ongoing expansion.

Now that iAnalyst has completed this acquisition they have plans to open up an additional office in the Orlando market, let by their CMO Randy Jarrin.

SnapShot Interactive, a digital agency, acquired video company Pounds Media. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

The companies are coming together to expand SnapShot Interactive’s video production services and presence in the St. Louis area. SnapShot Interactive’s St. Louis team will be moving into the Pounds Media office.

Through this acquisition Jered Schneider, Founder of Pounds Media, will assume the role of Executive Market Director and lead all operations of the St. Louis office.

Pounds Media was founded in 2011 and has worked with clients including Emerson, GE, Caterpillar, Northrop Grumman, Graybar and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Syncromatics, a provider of Intelligent Transportation Systems hardware and software, acquired dispatch and scheduling software provider Mobilitat. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed.

Mobilitat's Easy Rides will join Syncromatics' existing portfolio of fixed route technologies offering comprehensive solutions for public transportation operators.

Cindy Johnson, the founder and CEO of Mobilitat, will become the president of Syncromatics' newly formed Demand Response Division and join the Syncromatics Board of Directors. Syncromatics will retain all Mobilitat employees and the company's Wyoming office to ensure continuity of service to all Easy Rides customers and to accelerate the development of new products.

The first newly integrated product resulting from the partnership is Open MDT, a Mobile Data Terminal.

Xylem, a water technology company dedicated to solving the world’s most challenging water issues, signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sensus, a provider of smart meters, network technologies, and advanced data analytics services for the water, electric and gas industries. The deal is worth approximately $1.7 billion in cash.

Sensus generated $837 million in adjusted revenue in fiscal 2016. The company has approximately 3,300 employees and major locations in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, Slovakia, and China. Nearly 70 percent of 2016 revenues were generated in the U.S.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory review, including approval by the Federal Communications Commission of the transfer of certain spectrum licenses. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2016.

Vista Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on software, data, and technology-enabled businesses, signed a definitive agreement to acquire the majority of Granicus, a provider of software solutions to improve government efficiency and transparency. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Existing owner K1 Investment Management will retain a minority ownership stake in Granicus moving forward.

The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of this year. Financial terms have not been disclosed. Shea & Company served as financial advisor to Granicus, and Atlas Technology Group acted as financial advisor for Vista.

Founded in 1999, Grancius had raised $10.3 million in venture funding. 

Entertainment One, a media distributor, acquired the remainder of  digital studio Secret Location. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Secret Location’s brand will continue to exist as a premium label of eOne to maximally leverage and strategically launch projects, products and properties, utilizing their strong brand equity in the innovation space. 

Entertainment One first acquired an equity stake in Secret Location in May 2014.

Levvel, an IT consulting firm, acquired research and advisory firm PayStream Advisors. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Henry Ijams, Founder and Managing Director of PayStream Advisors, will continue his involvement with the company as a board member.

The firm will continue to offer its independent research and advisory services to organizations looking to make investments in technology and infrastructure.

GlobalWafersa manufacturer and of silicon wafers to the semiconductor industry, acquired competitor SunEdison Semiconductor. It purchased all outstanding ordinary shares of SunEdison Semiconductor in a transaction valued at $683 million, including SunEdison Semiconductor outstanding net indebtedness. 

GlobalWafers will finance the transaction, including payment of the purchase price and payment of SunEdison Semiconductor’s debt facilities at closing, through existing cash on hand and committed acquisition financing from the Bank of Taiwan, Hua Nan Commercial Bank, Mega International Bank, Taipei Fubon Bank, and Taishin International Bank. 

The transaction has been unanimously approved by both GlobalWafers’ and SunEdison Semiconductor’s boards of directors.

Datapipe, a provider of managed cloud services for the enterprise, acquired managed cloud services provider and Advanced AWS Consulting Partner Adapt. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

The acquisition will expand Datapipe’s European presence and enhance capabilities for clients worldwide.

Adapt had raised $46.17 million in venture funding from Lyceum Capital.


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