Daily Deal Activity 06/26/12

Acquisitions:

Enterprise software company Schooner Information Technology, was acquired for an undisclosed amount by SanDisk Corp. (NasdaqGS:SNDK), which develops and manufactures flash memory storage solutions used in various consumer electronics products. Schooner develops flash-optimized database and data storage products that complement SanDisk’s enterprise portfolio, which is designed to quicken the performance of data-intensive applications. In May 2011 SanDisk also acquired Pliant Technology for $327 million amid rising demand for the drives as companies generate and save more data. The devices allow businesses to access their information more quickly while consuming less power than hard-disk drives.

Marketing consulting company Circa 65, which provides both strategic and tactical planning and marketing management outsourcing services for technology companies, was acquired for an undisclosed amount by Market Creation Group, a B-to-B technology marketing firm. In 2009 Market Creation Group also acquired Brand M Studio, which engages in the design, development, and promotion of media solutions for B-to-B clients.

Pinpuff, which operates a platform for judging influence and popularity on Pinterest, was acquired by Science, a digital studio focused on developing new business, providing emerging startups with operational strategy and capital, and transforming later-stage Internet ventures by adding new talent and innovation. No financial terms were disclosed. Science backers include Siemer Ventures and TomorrowVentures.

U.K.-based Highline, which provides data and sales support services to the business and commercial aviation markets, was acquired by Penton Media, a B-to-B communications and information services company that connects qualified buyers and sellers. Terms were not disclosed.

Germany-based Frey G2, a shopper marketing agency providing clients with shopper insight, retail insight, brand activation, and point of sale marketing campaigns, sold its remaining 50 percent stake to Germany-based global advertising network Grey Group, a WPP (LSE:WPP) subsidiary that now owns 100 percent of Frey G2. For 2011, Frey G2 reported revenues of $3.9 million. Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

(06/25/12) France-based i&e, a 50-year-old communications consultancy specializing in reputation management, brand marketing, and change management, was acquired by WPP (LSE:WPP) subsidiary Burson-Marsteller, a public relations and public affairs firm. i&e reported 2011 revenues of $17.3 million. Terms were not disclosed.

Nexpense, which provides mobile expense reporting and receipt management solutions, was acquired by TRX (OTCPK:TRXI), a travel technology and data services provider offering SaaS utilities for reservation processing, data intelligence, expense reporting, and process automation. Terms were not disclosed.

 Investments:

 China-based Guangzhou iFlashbuy Software Services, which develops bar code scanner software for mobile devices, raised $157.1 million in funding from Guangdong Cultural Investment Management. This is the company’s first round of funding.

 FastPay, which offers a finance platform for digital media businesses, raised $25 million in equity and debt funding. SF Capital Group provided equity and subordinated debt, while Wells Fargo Capital Finance provided a senior credit facility.

Tower Cloud, a provider of backhaul services for wireless carriers, raised $17 million in Series B funding led by Florida Opportunity Fund, with participation from existing investor Ballast Point. Tower Cloud’s services offload traffic from tower networks and runs it across a mostly fiber, wired network. The company has raised over $100 million in funding to date.

Taboola, which operates an online video discovery and distribution platform, raised $10 million in Series C funding led by Marker, a New York City-based fund founded by Rick Scanlon and Thomas Pompidou. The round also included participation form return backers Evergreen Venture Partners and WGI Group. The company previously raised $15 million.

Cenx, which operates a network of carrier Ethernet exchanges serving telecom/Internet service providers, raised $9.5 million in funding co-led by Verizon Investments and Mesirow Financial Private Equity, with participation from return backers DCM, Highland Capital Partners, and Cross Creek Capital.

Jirafe, a provider of analytics for eCommerce retailers, raised $7 million in Series A funding from Foundry Group and previous investors FirstMark Capital, First Round Capital, and O’Reilly Alpha Tech Ventures. With its new infusion of capital, the startup plans to invest in growing its team in New York as well as in London and Paris.

Pantheon Systems, which offers a service for building and running enterprise grade Websites, raised $5 million in funding from Foundry Group to help move enterprise Website management to the cloud. Prior investors Baseline Ventures, First Round Capital, and Founder Collective also participated in the round. What makes this offering different from other open-source Drupal client is that Pantheon runs as a SaaS instead of running on users’ servers. The company has raised over $11 million to date.

Nara, which currently offers a restaurant recommendation engine, has emerged from stealth mode with $4 million in funding from angel investors. The company ultimately aims to further automate and personalize the Web via a personal Internet platform.

Germany-based Traxpay, a payments startup focused on online payments in the B-to-B segment, raised $4 million in funding led by Earlybird Venture Capital. The company also announced that it has appointed a new CEO, John Bruggeman, who has previously held senior positions at enterprise software companies Cadence, Wind River, and Mercury Interactive, as well as Netscape.

Freshplum, a developer of a revenue analytics solution for eCommerce companies, raised $1.4 million in seed funding from New Enterprise Associates, Greylock Partners, Google Ventures, and Charles River Ventures.

CasaHop, which operates a portal where users can coordinate home exchanges for their vacations, raised $1.2 million in seed funding led by First Round Capital, with participation from Lerer Ventures, Betaworks, and a number of individual investors.

Kapow Events, which offers an online event marketplace, raised $0.7 million in its first round of funding from I2A Fund, FireStarter Fund, and individual investors. Business professionals who are responsible for planning team building, client entertainment, and company events can use the company’s Website to access promotions, venues, ideas, and custom event development.

Nigeria-based Pagetech, a mobile payments platform provider, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Adlevo Capital Managers, Omidyar Network, Acumen Fund, and Capricorn Investment Group. Existing investors Goodwell Investments, JCS Investments, and Alitheia Capital also participated in the round.

Beyond Lucid Technologies, a medical emergency software provider to healthcare companies, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Carnegie Mellon University. The company provides cloud-based software for first responders and emergency medical teams to access situational awareness, logistical support functions, and real-time data for regional resource planning.

 Other:

 McCann Health’s previous announced acquisition of Double Helix is reportedly valued at $54.6 million, plus $23.4 million in earn-out payments. The company last reported revenue in 2010 of $25.6 million, up 34 percent from the prior year.

 News Corp. (NasdaqGS: NWSA) is considering splitting its company into two parts, according to the Wall Street Journal. One piece would hold the company’s publishing assets, while the other would hold its entertainment assets.

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