M&A roundup - week ending 8/15/15

Steven Loeb · August 15, 2015 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3f7c

Zirtual was bought by Startups.co; Branch Metrics purchased ClassOwl; Liquid acquired CommandIQ

In a strange turn of events, virtual assistance company Zirtual was bought, and subsequently saved, by Startups.co., a dafter announcing that it had paused all operations, and it had laid off its 400 employees without notice. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

What happened was that Zirtual was supposed to be raising new funding, but it fell through, and in the words of Maren Kate Donovan, CEO of Zirtual, "the law required us to terminate everyone when it became clear to us that we wouldn’t be able to make the next payroll."

When he heard about what happened, Wil Schroter, the Founder and CEO of Startups.co, who happens to be a customer of Zirtual, immediately began working with the CEO and Board of Directors to put a continuity plan in place, and to then buy the company.

Now that Zirtual is a part of Startups.co all operations will transfer to Startups.co, and the company said that it is going to try to hire back as many of the virtual assistants that it can, as well as Zirtual's other employees, who handle technology, operations, marketing and administrative duties.

Zirtual customers are able to call and reactivate their accounts, and will be provided an account credit for unused service based their plan level. 

The company had raised $5 million in venture funding. 

Branch Metrics, a deep linking tool for app growth and attribution, acquired education startup ClassOwl. No terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Branch's acquisition of ClassOwl reflects a continued investment in the company's mission to educate mobile app developers around the world about organic app growth.

Three employees from ClassOwl are joining Branch's 35-person team. ClassOwl assets will remain operational throughout the acquisition.

Three employees from ClassOwl, which was founded in 2011 by Sam Purtill and Julienne Lam, are heading over to Branch. The company didn’t disclose the acquisition price. ClassOwl had raised about $900,000 from investors, including First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund and Stanford’s StartX.

ClassOwl has raised $900,000 in venture funding. 

Norton antivirus software maker Symantec sold its information management business, known as Veritas, to The Carlyle Group for $8 billion in cash.

Upon closing of the transaction, Symantec expects to receive approximately $6.3 billion in net cash proceeds, subject to certain customary post-closing adjustments.

Symantec had purchased Veritas, a provider of storage and infrastructure software products and services, in 2004 for $13.5 billion. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other closing conditions and is expected to close by January 1, 2016.

Boku, a carrier billing and cross-platform mobile payments company, acquired Mobileview Italia, a provider of mobile payment solutions in Italy. No financial terms of the deal were disclosed. 

Mobileview Italia was sold by its German parent company dtms converting communication GmbH.

Through this agreement, Boku will provide carrier billing services in Italy for more than 87 million mobile subscriptions across Telecom Italia Mobile, Vodafone, Wind, and 3 (Hutchinson).

Founded in 2008, Mobileview Italia had $6.7 million in revenue in 2014. 

Liquid, an ad tech platform owned by Sweepstakes company Publishers Clearing House, acquired CommandIQ, a predictive CRM. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The acquisition is part of a larger strategic vision for Liquid, allowing the company's clients to match, manage, and push available advertising touch points to the correct behavioral channel displayed by a prospect or consumer via the LiquidIQ platform.  Clients will also have the opportunity to leverage their own CRM data independently or in conjunction with PCH first-party profiles to precisely measure and optimize the customer journey and marketing media reception.

Noah Jessop, CommandIQ's former CEO,  will join Liquid's data and analytics team as the company's new Head of Data and evangelist for the newly branded LiquidIQ platform.

Mobile advertising platform Opera Mediawork acquired player engagement plaform Yolver. No terms of the deal were disclosed. 

The purchase will be result in a new platform that leverages the assets of AdColony, Opera Mediaworks and the team from Yvolver/

This new offering will be integrated into the Opera Mediaworks and AdColony SDKs, delivering the highest quality in-app mobile advertising, featuring Instant-Play HD mobile video technology, this Fall and will be live with the product in Q4 2015 with select partners.

The combined offering for game developers will now include fully-integrated analytics, A/B Testing, Advanced Player Segmentation, IAP Validation, digital and physical rewards with a proprietary real-time overlay system providing dynamic UIs and messaging that look and feel completely native to the end user.

(Image source: maltzauctions.com)

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Zirtual provides dedicated, U.S. based, virtual assistants for busy professionals. From managing a hectic calendar to creating travel itineraries and supporting business needs, Zirtual's relationship-based model allows each client to build lasting connections with their dedicated assistant, or ZA. -