Weekly M&A Round Up and Software Sector Insights

13 July 2018

L3 Strengthens Intelligence Collection and Surveillance Capabilities with Cyber Acquisitions 

New York – 11th July 2018 - L3 Technologies has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Azimuth Security and Linchpin Labs, two information security businesses that significantly strengthen L3’s existing C6ISR (Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Cyber-Defense and Combat Systems, and Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) capabilities and create synergies to drive future growth in cyber and international markets. “These acquisitions sharpen our capabilities, heighten our responsiveness and advance L3’s prime position as a C6ISR solutions provider,” said Christopher E. Kubasik, L3’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “We are making targeted investments in cutting-edge technologies and integrating them with existing capabilities to support our domestic and international customers in strategically important business areas.”

Walmart Plans to Acquire Indian Tech Startups
11th July 2018 - After its successful merger with Flipkart, Walmart is now looking for tech acquisitions in India. According to reports, its tech acquisitions will be of a much smaller size. The company is mostly looking for acqui-hires and niche tech-product start-ups. Acqui-hiring refers to the practice of buying a company in a cut-price deal primarily for the purpose of “hiring” the company’s founders and key employees. Walmart CTO Jeremy King said in an interview “We got close to doing a couple of acquisitions, nothing was a perfect fit. There were a couple that would have been interesting additions to our competitive intelligence platform. I am looking at candidates in merchandising machine learning right now. Walmart Labs will hire 2,000 engineers across the world, including India. Last year, Walmart Labs hired Hari Vasudev from Flipkart to head its Bengaluru office. Vasudev is also now acting head of data science for Walmart globally. Walmart Labs will hire more senior tech talent in Bengaluru” added King. https://corporate.walmart.com/

MediaMath Raises $225 Million - $180 Million Earmarked for Tech Acquisitions
10th July 2018 - Ad-tech company MediaMath has raised $225 million from investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners, an unusually large funding round in a sector rife with turbulence and consolidation. New York-based MediaMath has raised more than $500 million to date. The latest round values the company at north of $1 billion, according to a person familiar with the matter. MediaMath operates a demand-side platform, or DSP — technology that lets advertisers and their agencies buy online ads using automated systems — and a data-management platform, or DMP, which lets advertisers store and analyze their data. Some of the new funds will be directed toward buying out one of MediaMath’s investors, Safeguard Scientifics, the publicly-traded technology investment company that said in January it would stop investing in new companies amid a cost-cutting drive. MediaMath Chief Executive Joe Zawadzki said the company would also use the funding on acquisitions and to accelerate its development of technology in areas including identity, artificial intelligence, connected-television and digital out-of-home advertising. http://www.mediamath.com/news/ad-tech-company-mediamath-raises-225-million/

Forrester Makes Two Tech Acquisitions
10th July 2018 - Forrester has announced that it has acquired FeedbackNow, a maker of physical buttons and monitoring software that companies deploy to measure, analyze and improve customer experience. Forrester also acquired GlimpzIt, an artificial intelligence and machine-learning provider based in San Francisco. The two acquisitions are an integral part of Forrester's strategy to build a real-time CX Cloud, integrating a range of inputs to help companies monitor and improve experience. The CX Cloud will incorporate instant customer feedback from physical devices, social sites, specialized apps, and embedded digital versions in websites and on mobile devices; the ability to analyze and prioritize that feedback; a distribution network for moving critical feedback out to operational sites in real time. https://www.forrester.com/Forrester+Acquires+FeedbackNow+and+GlimpzIt/-/E-PRE10486?utm_source=forrester_proshome&utm_medium=web&utm_content=button#

Pony ai Secures the World’s First Autonomous Driving Licence
6th July 2018 – Beijing - Pony.ai recently won the Beijing Municipal Government's road test license for self-driving vehicles (known in the industry as "road test license"), becoming the first start-up company in the world to obtain Beijing autopilot drive test license. The T3 license obtained this time is also the highest level of self-driving road test license issued in China so far - representing autonomous vehicles with a variety of comprehensive capabilities such as road condition awareness, traffic law compliance, route execution, and emergency response. Only two companies in China have obtained this level of license. Beijing is currently the city with the longest open test roads in China – the first batch of open roads are located in the Beijing Economic Development Zone (Yizhuang), Shunyi District and Haidian District, with a total of 33, a total of 105 kilometers.

Digital Realty Is in Talks to Buy Data Center Provider Ascenty
According to Bloomberg, Digital Realty Trust is allegedly discussing a potential acquisition with Brazilian data center provider, Ascenty.           Digital may invest in Ascenty along with a joint venture partner. Ascenty, which is backed by Great Hill Partners, counts Oracle, Amazon and Facebook among its clients. Digital Realty, a San Francisco-based real estate investment trust has a market value of $24 billion and may be investing in Ascenty with a joint venture partner, said Bloomberg’s source, who asked not to be identified because the talks aren’t yet public. Last October, the company announced a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp. focused on data centers in Japan. No deal has yet been reached for Ascenty and it’s possible that it may not go ahead. Digital Realty has already made a number of acquisitions. Last September, it completed the purchase of DuPont Fabros Technology Inc. for $7.8 billion. And, in 2016, it bought eight European data centers from Equinix Inc. for  approximately $874 million. Digital Realty declined to comment on the rumours of the latest acquisition talks.

Facebook Acquires AI Start-Up, Boomsbury
India - 05 July 2018 - Facebook has announced it will acquire London-based start-up, Boomsbury AI in order to prevent the rise of fake news on its social platform. Boomsbury is co-founded by Sebastian Riedel who also co-founded Factmata. This AI works on the concept of an NLP engine that facilitates the answering and research based on the information which is a derivative of the stored documents. Due to the surfacing of fake news since 2016, Facebook is planning to use the new team and their technology platform to combat fake news. The transaction between the company and Facebook is believed to be agreed, with the market value stated as ranging between $23 and $30 million. https://newsroom.fb.com/news/category/company-news/

Asure Software Acquires USA Payroll and Updates 2018 Guidance
Austin, Texas - 3rd July 2018 - Asure Software (ASUR), a provider of Human Capital Management (HCM) and workplace management software, has announced it has acquired USA Payroll, Inc, headquartered in Rochester, NY. USA Payroll resells Asure Software’s HRIS platform, Evolution, working with companies to reduce payroll compliance risk and manage time through comprehensive workforce management solutions. It has experienced continued growth by addressing client pain points that larger payroll companies often overlook. Pat Goepel, CEO of Asure Software, said, “We continue to capitalize on the multimillion-dollar reseller consolidation opportunity. The addition of USA Payroll not only expands our national reach but also enables us to provide clients with access to greater breadth and depth of solutions. Asure has a significant opportunity to help educate our clients in modern workforce technology, adding value to many areas of their business.” https://www.asuresoftware.com/news-item/asure-software-acquires-usa-payroll-updates-2018-guidance/

BlueModus Acquires Sitefinity Practice
2nd July 2018 - Denver and Sarasota, Florida - Denver-based, BlueModus, Inc., a marketing technology agency and Florida-based, CyberLancers, a custom .NET development firm, have announced that BlueModus has acquired CyberLancers' long-established Sitefinity practice, including Sitefinity clients, certain technical resources and associated assets. BlueModus, a global integrator of digital experience platforms and CyberLancers, one of the most experienced and long-standing Sitefinity Partners worldwide, have between them decades of .NET and Sitefinity development experience, including the successful launch and ongoing support of hundreds of websites. "The BlueModus team brings impressive technological experience, knowledge, and resources to the table," says Jeff Love, Founder & CEO of CyberLancers, "So I know our clients will reap the benefits from having such a deep bench of world-class development support ready to assist them." https://www.bluemodus.com/

Fortive to Acquire Gordian for Approximately $775 Million in Cash
Everett, Washington - 2nd July 2018 - Fortive Corporation has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with Warburg Pincus to acquire Gordian, a privately-held, provider of construction cost data, software and service. The acquisition provides entry into the attractive, high-single digit growth facilities maintenance and management segment within the $20 Billion construction software market. The acquisition will be subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and will be financed with available cash. Gordian’s comprehensive offerings serve the entire building lifecycle and provide workflow solutions to optimize every stage of an asset owner’s construction and maintenance needs.. James A. Lico, President and Chief Executive Officer of Fortive, stated: “We are excited to acquire an industry leader in the attractive, high-growth facilities maintenance and management segment. The pending acquisition of Gordian advances our portfolio enhancement strategy to invest in software enabled workflows to increase our growth profile while reducing cyclicality.”



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