Daily Deal Activity 09/26/12

Acquisitions:

American Greetings (NYSE:AM) has reported that a group led by its CEO and chief operating officer have made an offer to buy the company and take it private in a deal that values it at approximately $581 million. The group, which also includes other investors and members of the executives’ families, wants to acquire all of the company’s common stock that it doesn’t currently own for $17.18 per share. That is a 20 percent premium over American Greetings’ Tuesday closing stock price.

Maternal and infant goods eCommerce Website Redbaby.com.cn, was acquired for $66 million by one of China’s leading appliance retailers, Suning Appliance. The company’s online platform Suning.com, a Chinese answer to Best Buy, will acquire Redbaby.com.cn to widen its product lines in maternal and infant goods and cosmetics. Terms were not disclosed.

My HSA Rewards, a company offering a program that allows employees to use cash back from shopping to reduce healthcare costs, was acquired by Retail Benefits, a company that uses proprietary technology to merge the affiliate online marketing space with the employee benefit world, creating a platform that can be used to offer employee and customer incentives.

Ireland-based ThinkSmart Technologies, a software company that delivers location data analysis using Wi-Fi technology, was acquired by Cisco Systems (NasdaqGS:CSCO). ThinkSmart Technologies’ offerings enable enterprises and service providers to better understand what is going on inside their retail stores and to more easily meet their end users’ needs. The company will become a part of Cisco’s Wireless Networking Group, and will be integrated into the company’s Mobility Services Engine. Terms were not disclosed.

SenaReider, a full-service advertising agency, was acquired by Interlex Communications, a general market advertising, marketing, and public relations firm. SenaReider was founded more than 30 years ago and specializes in the branding and marketing of food and beverage products and companies. The acquisition could boost Interlex’ efforts on the health and fitness front. Terms were not disclosed.

South Africa-based Motribe Mobile Networks, which develops and operates an online platform that enables users, brands, agencies, and publishers to build and manage their own mobile social communities, was acquired by South Africa-based mobile social network Mixit, from 4Di Capital. Terms were not disclosed.

ESN, a developer of a Web-based games framework, was acquired by Electronic Arts. The acquisition will help EA bolster its cloud-based gaming offerings. Buying studios like ESN are a large part of how EA hopes to continue beefing up its digital, online gaming business. In the last quarter, Q1 FY2013, EA noted that GAAP net revenues for its digital business were $342 million, compared to $592 million for net publishing packaged goods revenues.

 

Thomson Reuters has sold its Property Tax Services Business division to Ryan LLC.  The Thomson Reuters Property Tax Services business provides consulting and outsourcing services to clients looking to manage and reduce their property tax and unclaimed property liabilities. Terms were not disclosed.

Chamath Palihapitiya, of the Social+Capital Partnership, has purchased a majority stake in Xtreme Labs, a Canada-based mobile development shop that has built apps for Microsoft, Groupon, IAC/Interactive, GroupMe, and more. Mr. Palihapitiya invested $6 million into the company upfront, and has committed $20 million over the next three years. With the funding, the company will continue to build apps for the enterprise, cars, healthcare, and education.

Investments:

Criteo, performance display advertising company, has raised $38.6 million in funding at an $800 million valuation. The Series D round was led by SoftBank Capital, with participation from Yahoo JAPAN, SAP Ventures, Adams Street Partners, and Bessemer Venture Partners. Previously, Criteo had raised just over $23 million from investors that include Bessemer and Index Ventures.

Medallia, which provides software-as-a-service customer experience and enterprise feedback management solutions to financial services, retail, high-tech, business-to-business, and hotel companies, raised $35 million in funding from Sequoia Capital. The company’s technology captures and analyzes data out of disparate corporate IT systems and social media, presenting it visually in portals on both computers and mobile devices where employees can see customer feedback and see immediately whether they’re meeting their customer service goals.

WeddingWire, which provides an online directory for couples seeking information about local vendors, including photographers, venues, caterers and florists, has secured $25 million in capital from Spectrum Equity. In 2007, the five-year-old company raised $5.5 million from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. Four years later, Martha Stewart sold its stake to Catalyst Investors for $11 million. Sources would not disclose the company’s valuation. WeddingWire is profitable.

Wi-Fi equipment company Xirrus, raised $23.5 million in Series E funding from existing investors  August Capital, Canaan Partners, InterWest Partners, QuestMark Partners, and U.S. Venture Partners. The company’s main competitors are Aruba Networks and Cisco Systems, along with other venture-based high-performance Wi-Fi companies that include Aerohive Networks, which raised a $22.5 million Series E earlier this month, and Ruckus Wireless, which raised $22 million in Series G funding earlier this year.

SwiftTest, a provider of testing and analytics products for data centers, raised $7.25 million to develop its technology and go-to-market strategy. Azure Capital Partners and Kinetic Venture Partners led the Series B round, with existing investor Benhamou Global Ventures, Columbus Nova, Core Capital Partners, and Miramar Venture Partners participating as well. This brings the company’s total funding to $12 million.

A maker of learning apps for kids, Duck Duck Moose raised $7 million in Series A funding from Lightspeed Venture Partners and Sequoia Capital. The company, which has 14 apps, reported that 30 percent of its sales come from international customers, most of which are in English-speaking countries.

Thuuz, a provider of a real-time sports discovery service for mobile devices and interactive television, confirmed that it secured $4.2 million in its first institutional round of financing, led by cable, broadband, and telephony company Liberty Global, with participation from Itochu Technology Ventures and other investors.

TreeRing, which offers a free online social yearbook service, raised $3.6 million in funding led by Second Avenue Partners, Cedar Grove Investments, and a private investor. TreeRing’s social service enables yearbooks to be built online and printed on demand. The company offers its tool free to schools, and families purchase books directly online.

Cloud Technology Partners, a provider of cloud-computing services, said it closed a $2 million Series A-2 round from its employees and undisclosed previous strategic and angel investors, which it plans to use to hire for intellectual property development, sales, marketing, and client services. The company’s offerings include rapid opportunity identification and enterprise cloud opportunities, in addition to an IaaS for compute, storage, database, and content distribution networks.

Canada-based digital marketing services company FlipGive, which enables businesses and organizations to set up fundraising and social-responsibility programs, raised $2 million in funding in Series A funding led by Gan Partners, with participation from MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and undisclosed private investors. The company plans to use the funding to develop and market its service, which is set to launch in beta in October, 2012.

Bureau of Trade, which provides an online marketplace for men’s shopping, has launched its public beta and announced a $1.2 million round of seed funding led by Foundation Capital. Also contributing in the round was Founder Collective, Founders Fund, and a number of angel investors.

Desmos, which offers a Web-based calculator that offers real-time updating and allows users to share their graphs with their friends, fellow students, and teachers, raised funding from Google Ventures. While the companies did not disclose the terms, the investment did bring Desmos’ total funding to over $1 million.

Online dating site operator Coffee Meets Bagel, has raised $0.6 million in funding led by Lightbank, with participation from Match.com co-founder Peng T. Ong. The new funding will be used to help Coffee Meets Bagel expand beyond its current markets of New York and Boston, to San Francisco

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