M&A

iHeartMedia to acquire radio adtech company Jelli

Radio giant iHeartMedia announced today that it’s reached an agreement to acquire Jelli, a company bringing programmatic ad-buying to radio broadcasters. In fact, iHeartMedia was already working with Jelli to allow businesses to use programmatic tools to buy advertising on the company’s 850 broadcast radio stations. iHeartMedia also invested in Jelli’s most recent funding round. As a result of the deal, the Jelli team in Silicon Valley will become iHeartMedia’s main adtech operation, and it will still be led by CEO Michael Dougherty. At the same time, iHeartMedia says Expressway by Katz, the programmatic ad exchange created using Jelli technology, will be run independently by Katz Media Group. In a statement, iHeartMedia CEO Bob Pittman said: At iHeart we believe marketing is both math and...

Microsoft acquires FSLogix to enhance Office 365 virtual desktop experience

Back in September, Microsoft announced a virtual desktop solution that lets customers run Office 365 and Windows 10 in the cloud. They mentioned several partners in the announcement who were working on solutions with them. One of those was FSLogix, a Georgia virtual desktop startup. Today, Microsoft announced it has acquired FSLogix. It did not share the purchase price. “FSLogix is a next-generation app-provisioning platform that reduces the resources, time and labor required to support virtualization,” Brad Anderson, corporate VP for Microsoft Office 365 and Julia White, corporate VP for Microsoft Azure wrote in a joint blog post today. When Microsoft made the virtual desktop announcement in September they named Citrix, CloudJumper, Lakeside Software, Liquidware, People Tech Group, ThinPr...

Travel startups are taking off

The second wave of Internet-era travel companies has captured the attention of venture capitalists. In the last five years, travel companies have raised more than $1 billion in venture capital funding. That includes short-term rental startups, travel and tourism apps, marketplaces for “experiences” and other travel or hospitality tech platforms. Airbnb, a $38 billion company and an anomaly in the category, has raised $3 billion in that same time frame, according to PitchBook. In the last few months alone, aspiring Concur-competitor TripActions and travel activities platform Klook entered the “unicorn” club with large venture rounds that valued both of the businesses at more than $1 billion. Meanwhile, luggage maker Away raised $50 million at a $400 million valuation and smaller startups in...

Microsoft adds RPG makers InXile and Obsidian to Xbox developer stable

Microsoft is continuing to invest in a broad spectrum of developers for its Xbox gaming ecosystem with the acquisition of Obsidian and InXile, makers of complex RPGs primarily aimed at PC users. The two studios will join four others snatched up in June, significantly bolstering Xbox’s first-party development resources. The company announced the acquisitions (rumored for some time) at its XO18 event alongside numerous other interesting developments for the Xbox One and Windows gaming platforms. Xbox Director of Programming Larry Hyrb, better known by his pseudonym Major Nelson, welcomed them to the Microsoft Studios team of owned but independent devs: Of the two studios Obsidian is probably the best known; Fallout: New Vegas is a modern classic of the open world genre, while Pillars of Eter...

The Muse, a popular recruitment site for millennial women, has made its second acquisition

The Muse, a New York-based, content-rich recruitment site that matches job seekers and all kinds of information about different career paths, as well as with companies that are hiring, has made it second acquisition, picking up TalentShare, a year-old, HR software-as-a service company. TalentShare has been focused on enabling companies to share high-quality candidates that they didn’t hire but would recommend to other companies that are in the market for talent. Terms aren’t being disclosed, but four of TalentShare’s five-member team are joining The Muse. In fact, those new employees will help The Muse in establishing a second office in San Francisco. We talked earlier this week with The Muse’s co-founder and CEO Kathryn Minshew about TalentShare, whose tie-up with the company comes roughl...

Ford buys electric scooter startup Spin

Ford is buying electric scooter startup Spin, Axios reports, citing a price of around $40 million. Spin currently operates its scooters in Coral Gables, Fla., Washington, D.C., Charlotte, N.C., Durham, N.C., Lexington, Ky., Denver, Colo., Detroit, Mich. and Long Beach, Calif. In addition to operating throughout specific cities, Spin is live on five college campuses. Spin was one of the three companies that initially deployed its scooters in San Francisco back in March. Along with Bird and Lime, Spin was forced to remove its electric scooters from the city until the city determined a permitting process. Since failing to receive a permit to operate, Spin has been one of the more quiet scooter startups in the industry. Though, next week, Spin is meeting with the city of San Francisco to appea...

The largest software acquisition ever: IBM to buy Red Hat for $34B

At a price typically reserved for semiconductor companies, telecoms, and pharmaceutical giants, IBM announced today it would pay a record $34 billion in cash and debt to acquire enterprise open source provider Red Hat. Eclipsing Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of LinkedIn, this is the biggest software acquisition in history. It’s not the biggest tech acquisition ever, though, as that title belongs to Dell’s $67 billion buyout of data storage business EMC. You can learn about what IBM is buying Red Hat to become a hybrid cloud company in TechCrunch editor Ingrid Lunden’s deep dive here: So how does the IBM-Red Hat deal (if it closes), stack up against the other largest acquisitions of all time? Top Tech Acquisitions $67 billion – Personal computer company Dell buys EMC data storage $3...

Electric scooter startup Grin merges with Brazil-based Ride

Grin, the Mexico City-based electric scooter company backed by Y Combinator, is merging with São Paulo-based Ride to further the company’s expansion across Latin America. This comes shortly after Grin raised a ~$45 million Series A round. Currently, Grin only operates in Mexico City, but it has plans to expand to other cities throughout Latin America. The merger with Ride, which already operates in São Paulo, will enable Grin to do this as early as next week, Grin co-founder Sergio Romo told TechCrunch. As part of the merger, Ride will operate under the Grin brand in Brazil and the Ride team will be in charge of all of Grin’s operations in Brazil. Ride is currently the only shared electric scooter operator in all of Brazil, but that will soon change when Yellow deploys its scooters. Last m...

Should cash-strapped Snapchat sell out? To Netflix?

Snapchat needs a sugar daddy. Its cash reserves dwindling from giant quarterly losses. Poor morale from a battered share price and cost-cutting measures sap momentum. And intense competition from Facebook is preventing rapid growth. With just $1.4 billion in assets remaining at the end of a brutal Q3 2018 and analysts estimating it will lose $1.5 billion in 2019 alone, Snapchat could run out of money well before it’s projected to break even in 2020 or 2021. So what are Snap’s options? A long and lonely road Snap’s big hope is to show a business turnaround story like Twitter, which saw its stock jump 14 percent this week despite losing monthly active users by deepening daily user engagement and producing profits. But without some change that massively increases daily time spent while reduci...

Expedia acquires Pillow and ApartmentJet to conquer the short-term rental market

To keep up with the rising demand for short-term rentals in U.S. cities and compete with the home-sharing giant Airbnb, travel booking site Expedia has picked up a pair of venture-backed hospitality startups, Pillow and ApartmentJet. Employees of both companies will join Expedia . The company declined to disclose the financial terms of the deals. “Acquiring Pillow and ApartmentJet will help unlock urban growth opportunities that, over time, will contribute to HomeAway’s ability to add an even broader selection of accommodations to its marketplace and marketplaces across Expedia Group brands, ensuring travelers always find the perfect place to stay,” the company explained in a statement. Expedia paid $3.9 billion for HomeAway and its portfolio of travel brands in 2015. The deal was its firs...

Walmart continues M&A spree with acquisition of lingerie retailer Bare Necessities

Walmart continues to beef up its portfolio of digital brands, announcing on Friday that it had acquired Bare Necessities, an online retailer of lingerie, swimwear, hosiery and other intimates. Walmart declined to disclose the terms of the deal. The lingerie company, founded in 1998, will operate independently of Walmart. Over time, the e-commerce giant says it will make Bare Necessities’ products available on Walmart.com, as well as on Jet.com, which Walmart acquired for more than $3 billion in 2016 to bolster its e-commerce business. Walmart has long been one of the most active acquirers of startups and hasn’t slowed down in 2018. Just last week, the company announced it would purchase women’s plus-sized clothing brand ELOQUII. Before that, it paid $225 million for a grocery delivery serv...

12 years in, TechStars doubles down on corporate relationships

The goal of any accelerator is to back startups that are reaching exponential growth. Sometimes, though, the accelerator itself hits that inflection point. TechStars, which was founded in 2006, has expanded aggressively over the past twelve years. Once a single accelerator program for a handful of early-stage startups in Boulder, the program now encompasses 44 separate programs covering six continents and a large number of industry verticals. The firm has hundreds of employees across its headquarters and member programs, and more than 1,600 portfolio companies. Along the way, the mission of TechStars has evolved, from purely accelerating a cohort of startups to championing a culture of “entrepreneurship anywhere.” Co-CEO David Cohen, who co-founded TechStars along with Brad Feld, David Bro...

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