The last time we heard about Imbera Electronics was in the distant 2009, when the chip-packaging company announced a massive $15 Million round led by Conor Venture Partners, Northzone Ventures and Index Ventures.
The company specializes in embedded technology, which in its simplest terms means building computer and circuit board systems with dedicated functions. For example the insides of your iPhone is an embedded system of components. What the company does is basically getting more stuff into less space, while remaining efficient and cost-effective.
By now, a lot of people agree that the next big thing in the world of technology will be in the realm of the internet of things. When every single device you own will be able to talk to one another and make smart decisions based on those interactions. That includes lights, TV’s, fridges, cars, doors, microwaves, basically - everything little thing that can, will be connected.
Sensinode was one of the companies that was aiming to make this a reality by developing a standards based technology because otherwise you would end-up with a lot of proprietary protocols which prevents scaling that the internet of things really needs.
We wrote about RapidBlue Solutions last summer, and the future looked bright from where the company was standing a year ago. At the beginning of the week ShopperTrak, the world's leading analyzer of retail foot traffic headquartered in Chicago, announced the acquisition of Helsinki-based in-store analytics provider.
RapidBlue uses radio frequency technology to collect anonymous information about shopper movement inside stores. Receivers installed in stores pick up public Bluetooth signals on shoppers' phones and thus tracks the precise movement of customers. The data provides valuable shopping behavior insights that give retailers a great tool to improve their marketing effectiveness, merchandising and in-store operations.
Editor's Note: This is a sponsored post for the DNA Engine Blog by Mats Wolontis, CEO of Powerkiss.
Suspicion was my first reaction. Who are these guys and can I trust them?
Getting approached by a competitor who wants to buy your company certainly creates emotions. But at the same time, this was exactly what we had planned for! Together with the PowerKiss Board we decided already more than a year ago that a partnership in some form was necessary for our survival. We knew that if, and when, the business of wireless charging grows big enough, we would not survive on our own.
So here I was. Facing the full process of an acquisition and may I say, without any prior experience of such a process. Emotions ran high and the uncertainty of the whole due diligence process, and its outcome, certainly made my fingers tingle.
It's been a busy week, but some news just hitting our radar is Spotify's acquisition of Stockholm-based Tunigo. Covering news late really isn't news, but to comment on the deal I think it's more exciting than the rest of the tech press would have you believe given our interview with Tunigo CEO Nick Holmstén just last March. I'm biased, because I'm interested in the area Tunigo has hinted at, but hear me out.
Jolla has been definitely making headlines around the media for the past year. First, they were very secretive about what Jolla is all about, had no website and basically built up a lot of hype around their company. When we had our first interview with Jussi Hurmola, then the CEO of Jolla, there was not much to talk about except their plans to take on Apple and Samsung with a phone of their own.
Usually you hear about U.S.-based companies buying up European companies, which makes Netcycler's acquisition of Boston-based Swap.com that much more interesting. The actual acquisition was said to take place last April, but the news was broken this week when Netcycler alerted Swap.com users by email that there would exciting improvements in the Swap.com service. The details of the acquisition have not been announced.
Netcycler has not yet launched in the United States, but has managed to gather 130 000 users in Finland, Germany and the UK since launching in 2010. Swap.com launched as SwapTree back in 2004, and is reported to have more than half a million users.
Facebook has an ungodly amount of money burning in their pocket post-IPO, and the rumor mill has started grinding out stories that the social media giant will buy Opera, the Norwegian desktop and mobile browser company. I suppose it would be a logical move for Facebook. Getting into the browser game would give them a dominant position as the home base for the web, and Facebook has been rumored to be working on a mobile operating system, of which a solid mobile browser is a key component.
We haven't covered Opera much, even though they're probably the most well known Norwegian software company. Even though they haven't gained a sizable market share, by now they seem more like an institution as old as the web, rather than a startup. They've been around since 1995, they're listed on the Norwegian stock exchange, and the company boasts 750 employees around the world.
Just-Eat announced they have acquired FillMyBelly, UK's third largest player in the online food delivery market. The Danish company has been growing like crazy in recent months, making this acquisition their ninth since the end of 2011. FillMyBelly has 1,400 restaurant partners across the UK. According to Just-Eat, this makes them the largest player in the online delivery market, likely making them the go-to service for food delivery.
Ditto has just announced that it has been acquired by Groupon. While being registered into the US, Ditto has been founded by Jyri Engeström the co-founder of Jaiku. Jaiku was a Finnish company that was sold to Google in 2007. There is no announcement on the price of the acquisition, but by all factors it looks like an acquihire. In other words, Groupon is acquiring the team behind Ditto. Nevertheless, an exit is always an exit.
According to the blog post, Ditto will be pulling the plug on their applications on April 30th. The Ditto mobile application was available to users on the Nokia and Apple platforms. The service allowed people to tell before hand what they were going to do, as to allow for more spontaneous meet-ups. In addition to this, you were able to leave out the specific place you were going to, which allowed for crowdsourcing of ideas from your friends.
Rovio, the creators of Angry Birds, has announced today the acquisition of the game development arm of Futuremark - Futuremark Game Studios. The news were announced just now in a press release put out by Rovio. Futuremark is the parent company that owns Futuremark Game Studios, but also the one that has developed one of the most popular benchmarking software applications out there.
“They are an incredibly talented and experienced team, and we are thrilled to have them on board,” said Mikael Hed, Rovio Entertainment’s CEO. “Rovio’s success is founded on the excellence of our team, and Futuremark Games Studio is going to be a superb addition.”
In Swedish gaming news, Techcrunch reports King.com has just acquired Swedish mobile gaming developer Fabrication Games. In recent years King.com has risen to become the fourth largest game developer on Facebook after Zynga, Wooga, and EA, but has yet to make a big push to mobile. Fabrication Games has been working in the mobile gaming industry for a long time -- they won their first award in 2002 -- and all signs point to a talent acquisition. The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed.
In a story with clear parallels to Amazon.com's purchase of Zappos, OZON, Russia's largest online retailer has purchased Sapato.ru, an online shoe and accessories retailer. Sapato.ru was the first company funded by Fast Lane Ventures, and has also become the first exit by Russia-focused venture firm. OZON was able to acquire the shoe retailer after it raised $100 million last September. The purchase price of Sapato.ru has been not been disclosed.
The Scandinavian news publisher Schibsted is set to buy a Norwegian company, Aspiro, for 340 million Swedish krona (€38m). Aspiro provides whitelabel TV and music streaming services, and also provides the music streaming service WiMP, which competes with Spotify. Aspiro is traded on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm, and Schibsted Media Group offers to the shareholders in Aspiro AB to acquire all the shares in Aspiro for SEK 1.65 in cash per share.
Eat.fi, the Finnish restaurant search and review site, was acquired by MTV Media on Monday. MTV, one of the largest media corporations in Finland, plans to combine Eat.fi with its own food related site, Makuja, in hopes of building the leading online food and restaurant service in Finland.
Rumor has it that Eat.fi was in acquisition talks with an unnamed Finnish media company already in 2009, but the deal reportedly fell through due to differences in Eat.fi's valuation. No figures were disclosed on yesterday’s deal.
Here's another nice acquisition of a Finnish game company. Yesterday Ubisoft anounced it had acquired RedLynx Games, creator of the the popular "Trials" game that blew up on Xbox Live. The game has now become one of the best-selling games ever on Xbox LIVE Arcade, with over two million paid downloads for the main game and its downloadable content.
As a quick followup, The Switch, a windmill component engineering firm, is no longer being acquired by American Superconductor Corp. When the acquisition was announced last March we called The Switch "the next success story Finland has been waiting for," but yesterday The Switch shareholders and AMSC announced that they have agreed to terminate the acquisition agreement, due to adverse market conditions for the financing required to fund the acquisition. According to Bloomberg, AMSC has dropped 82 percent since April 5, when its largest customer, Chinese wind-turbine maker Sinovel Wind Group Co., refused to accept contracted shipments.
Sony annouonced it is taking over the Sony Ericsson mobile phone joint venture by buying out the remaining shares of the Swedish manufacturer for 1.05 billion euros. The handset maker will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corp. This move is seen as a play by Sony to take further unify its games and hardware with its handsets, which have been kept seperate since Sony's 2001 takeover of Ericsson.
The Finnish/Estonian mobile device management service, Fromdistance, was acquired on Tuesday by Tampa, Florida based Numara Software. Fromdistance was founded in 2004 and is located in Tallinn, Estonia.
Fromdistance's mobile device management software offers the ability for a company's IT to manage a fleet of wireless devices using a standard browser interface. And as the name implies, Fromdistance allows this software management to take place remotely with no physical contact. The service has been gaining popularity among IT professionals, and is even used to manage the Finnish Parliaments' range of Nokia phones for installation and application management purposes.
QuestBack AS, the leading European provider of Enterprise Feedback Management (EFM) services has announced the acquisition and merger of a German originated company Globalpark. Globalpark was founded in 1999 and has grown quite rapidly. At the moment of the acquisition, the company has also high profile clients such as Continental, Daimler, Nintendo, Sony Music and Bosch to name a few. Questback has been acquiring companies in Europe at an increasing pace in the last few years.
Nathan Bowers states quite a controversial statement in his post from last year: "Can you name a web startup that got better after it was acquired?". He says he can't and gives a few examples.
Feedburner: Google folded them into their own login scheme. Google added crummy ad options to feeds. Otherwise the product is stuck. Feels undead.
What they should be working on: improving the display of RSS feeds, making RSS feel more like a human connection between publisher and reader, fixing the fact that when you put an RSS button on your site it’s a dumb, non-stateful button (compare RSS buttons to Tumblr or Twitter follow functionality).
News just out regarding Zokem, the Finnish mobile analytics company, has been acquired by Arbitron a NYSE listed public company for $11.7M in cash. Zokem is a provider of custom and syndicated mobile research panels, plug-and-play mobile media measurement tools and software building blocks for mobile device tracking. Arbitron Inc. is an international media and marketing research firm working in the radio, television, cable and mobile industries together with advertising agencies and advertisers around the world. Arbitron's market cap by today's closing price is a little over $1 billion.
Rovio's Mighty Eagle, Peter Vesterbacka stated this morning in the Summer of Startups press event that "Rovio is very much in acquisition mode at the moment". Last week we wrote about Rovio acquiring a Helsinki based animation studio Kombo for an undisclosed amount. Vesterbacka stated that the acquisition was not a huge one, but they still added 20 people to Rovio's headcount making the company now 120 employees strong.
It couldn’t have come at a better time than this. We had been anticipating the official word on the Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype since early morning and word has been rolled out that the acquisition has been finalized and done with. The rumored buyout price was $7 Billion and the tech community across the globe thought it was far fetched. Here’s a shocker; Microsoft paid a healthy $8.5B for its acquisition of Skype, giving it a total control of the company, even the $686M debt on it.
We reported a few days back regarding the possibility of the VoIP service, Skype being acquired by either Facebook or Google. While that rumor was still blazing across the Web new rumors add up, with the latest hinting at Microsoft being a very strong contender in the race to acquire Skype.
While we've cut down on the cleantech reporting, this one's a winner that deserves to be written about: American Superconductor has acquired The Switch Engineering for 190 million euros. We've previously written about The Switch as being one of the most potential cleantech companies coming out from Finland. They create generator and converter packages for the wind energy industry. Back in April 2010 we wrote that Switch is the next success story Finland has been looking for - it seems we were quite right with that statement.
Disney's Matthew Grossman has confirmed to Finnish daily newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that they have acquired the Finnish gaming company Rocket Pack. There was no confirmation or disclosure of any other details of the deal. First rumours of this began to surface last night on Twitter, but they were hard to confirm. The company was acquired relatively quickly, just a year from its founding.
Last week we broke the news that Sanoma had acquired the Finnish based coupon site Offerium. We promised to dig a little deeper into this and see what the motives and actual tricks of trade behind the deal were. Oskari Lehtonen was one of the co-founders of the company and we turned to him with a few questions about the acquisition itself.
As of this summer, Yandex launched a programme to support Russian start-ups called Yandex Start. The project selects the most promising companies in the region for a one-day seminar to look for possible cooperation and acquisition. Successful applicants receive Yandex's technologies (as APIs), computing facilities and expert advice. Two Yandex.Start sessions were held last year in September and December and as a result Yandex acquired two start-ups WebVisor and Loginza. WebVisor provides visitor behavior analysis (mouse movement, clicks, text copying etc.) that will now be integrated with Yandex's own analytics tool, Yandex.Metrica. The company was founded in 2008 by a small team of entrepreneurs from Moscow.