Film and entertainment company Lucasfilm, was acquired by Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), in a cash and stock deal worth $4.05 billion. In addition to its film production services, Lucasfilm also makes video and computer games through its LucasArts division, visual effects technology through its Industrial Light and Magic arm, animation through Lucasfilm Animation, and more. This is the third major M&A deal Walt Disney has completed in recent years in this space. In 2006, Disney acquired Pixar for $7.4 billion, and in 2009 it acquired Marvel for $4 billion.
Pluto Technologies, an IT-based software development and marketing company focused on helping IT companies increase their businesses globally, was acquired by Cemtrex (OTCBB:CTEI), which designs, engineers, assembles, and sells emission monitoring equipment and instruments. This purchase for Cemtrex follows a steady stream of events as the company continues to diversify its area of business activities. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Pluto Technologies’ offerings include an app that allows users to find special and exclusive promotions, events, deals, savings, sales, and other offers from businesses and merchants within their immediate vicinity.
Trusteria.com, a third-party testimonial company that uses innovative technology to manage and feed customer comments directly to client Websites, was acquired by content marketing firm Fiore Communications. The company is planning to integrate the feed service into its product offerings, but will maintain the Trusteria brand. Terms were not disclosed.
MyCase, a legal practice management software provider, was acquired by AppFolio, which offers a suite of vertical SaaS solutions including Web-based property management software and virtual data rooms. MyCase will remain intact and in charge of development to what is now AppFolio’s SaaS play into the legal industry. Terms were not disclosed.
Silver Tail Systems, which provides predictive analytics for detection and prevention of fraud and abuse to Websites, was acquired by EMC (NYSE:EMC), a developer of information and virtual infrastructure technologies and solutions. Silver Tail Systems’ software detects Web fraud by watching clicks on Websites and identifying suspicious behavior. Silver Tail had attracted $22 million in funding, including a $20 million round in June 2011, led by Andreessen Horowitz partner Scott Weiss. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Germany-based wahwah.fm, which operatesa location-based music app for the iPhone, was acquired by Senzari, a streaming music startup offering an alternative to Pandora in both stateside and international markets. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Senzari reported this was an all-stock deal for 100 percent of the company.
Singapore-based music promotions company Parallel Smart Media Asia Alpha Entertainment, was acquired by U.K.-based Parallel Media Group (AIM:PAA) , which operates as a sports marketing, media, and event management company. Terms were not disclosed.
The Rainmaker Group, a provider of profit optimization solutions for the gaming, hospitality, and multifamily housing industries, raised $33.8 million in funding from Norwest Venture Partners. Rainmaker has 83 employees. It expects to grow to 100 employees by the end of the year and 115 by this time next year. The company’s future is as a data-as-a-service that would leverage what the company calls “perishable data.”
Pentaho, which provides commercial support for several open-source business intelligence tools, with a particular emphasis on combining data integration with analytics in a single platform, raised $23 million in Series C funding led by existing investor New Enterprise Associates, with participation from all the start-up’s other existing investors – Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, and Index Ventures. The company also sells its software to cloud software vendors that want to embed reporting and analytics capabilities into their own products. This capital brings the company’s total funding to $60 million.
Conductor, a developer of search engine optimization measurement and optimization technology for enterprise marketers, raised $20 million in Series C financing led by Investor Growth Capital, joined by FirstMark Capital and Matrix Partners. With 85 full-time employees, Conductor’s client roster includes FedEx, Best Buy, Siemens, General Electric, 1-800 CONTACTS, and the Home Shopping Network.
Nasuni, a provider of enterprise storage solutions, raised $20 million in Series C funding led by an undisclosed investor, with participation from return backers Flybridge Capital Partners, North Bridge Venture Partners, and Sigma Partners.
Quantia Communications (dba QuantiaMD), which offers a free application that physicians can download to a computer or mobile device enabling them to communicate on clinical or business-of-health-care matters, raised $12 million in Series E financing from Fuse Capital. Quantia, which has about 80 employees, plans to use this financing to increase its sales and marketing and client-support staff so it can sign on more health plans and health systems. The company has now raised a total of $27 million.
General Assembly, an education startup that offers classes and mingling space to tech developers and entrepreneurs, raised $10 million in new funding, via an SEC filing. The company, which did not reveal the investors, previously raised $4.5 million in funding from individual investors. In the future, the startup wants to create a global network of campuses for individuals seeking opportunities in education, technology, business and design, and is also looking to move their educational content online.
Renamed and under new management, iJento (fka Site Intelligence), raised $8 million in funding for technology that helps companies track an individual’s activities both online and offline and combine them with historical data, creating a single record for companies to analyze and store. The investment was led by MMC Ventures and includes current investors Nauta Capital and Oxford Capital Partners. The company has now raised $16 million.
LocBox Labs, which provides online marketing services to customers in hospitality, health and beauty, and raceway center sectors, raised $5.1 million in funding from 500 Startups, Accel Partners Management, Google Ventures, and InterWest Partners. The round also saw participation from several angel investors. Founded in 2010, LocBox Labs offers e-mail marketing and daily deals.
Helpshift, a company that has developed a customer-support service for mobile devices, closed a $3.2 million seed round led by True Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners. Helpshift’s technology includes in-app mobile messaging for users to communicate about problems they are facing.
U.K.-based InSkin Media, an ad-serving company, raised $3.2 million in funding from growth equity firm Beringea. The video advertising technology company enables advertisers to build advertisements in a variety of formats, including pre-roll videos and ads that wrap around an entire page or a video. Other investors include Caravel Capital and Justin Byam Shaw, chairman of Independent Print.
Shiftgig, a local technology company building a LinkedIn-style online community for service workers, raised $3 million in Series A funding from I2A Fund, FireStarter Fund, Red Barn Investments, Ken Pelletier, and other investors.
SMRTV, which offers social networking service and television user interface applications, raised $2.5 million in funding from undisclosed investors.
SmartAsset, a provider of financial planning tools for homebuyers, raised $1.5 million in funding co-led by Javelin Venture Partners and North Bridge Venture Partners, with participation from Y Combinator, Quotidian Ventures, and Peterson Ventures.
Israel-based Yotpo, a social review service, closed a $1.5 million financing round led by Rhodium and Gandyr Group, with participation from Tron Capital, Zohar Gilon, and current investors Plus Ventures and 2bAngels. The new funding will enable Yotpo to expand its footprint within eCommerce Websites and to accelerate its product development.
Level Eleven, an enterprise gamification and customer relationship management company, secured $1 million in funding from Detroit Venture Partners and ePrize. Level Eleven’s sales gamification app is based in Salesforce.com and used to engage and motivate sales teams. The company has clients including Comcast, the Detroit Pistons Basketball Co., Dominion Enterprises, and InsideView Technologies.
Germany-based ConWeaver, a developer of semantic search software solutions, raised $1.3 million in funding from Fraunhofer Venture, Shefter Capital, and existing investor, High-Tech Gründerfonds Management. The company’s solution enables a search in the corporate portal or intranet through the integration of stored data and documents with the help of a knowledge network.
U.K.-based Fanatix, which offers a mobile-first social network for sports fans, raised $1 million in funding from an unnamed group of angel investors, bringing the total raised to approximately $2 million. The new capital is being used to fuel the company’s expansion to the U.S.
Pickie, which operates an iPad shopping application, raised $1 million in its first round of seed financing from DFJ Gotham Ventures, Betaworks, Liberty City Ventures, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, MESA+, and several angels.
Canada-based Pug Pharm Productions, which develops online entertainment platforms with a focus on social networking video games, raised $1 million in funding from Canada-based private equity and venture capital firm Goal Holdings Group. Founded in 2008, the company previously raised $0.4 million from Canada Media Fund.
U.K.-based ticket search engine company Tixdaq, raised $1 million in funding from an unnamed group of angel investors. The company specializes in the provision of tickets for live entertainment, including concerts, festivals, musicals, theatre, comedy, and sporting events, allowing users to find, compare, and buy their tickets online.
Australia-based StageBitz, which operates as a Web-based company that provides project and inventory management services, raised $0.9 million in funding from ANU Connect Ventures, Proto Investment Partners, and private investors.
Syntellia, a developer of keyboard technology solutions for touch-screen devices, raised $0.9 million in its first round of funding from Fortify Ventures and a number of angel investors.
Italy-based MiSiedo, which owns and operates an online portal for reservation in restaurants and bars, raised $0.5 million in funding from individual investors. The company also offers a mobile application for accessing the reservation portal.
Cartavi, a provider of document management solutions for mobile real estate professionals, raised an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from FireStarter Fund, OCA Venture Partners, New World Ventures, and individual investors. The company offers a cloud-based document-sharing solution to various participants involved in the process of buying or selling residential real estate, enabling clients to collaborate in the cloud from a desktop or laptop computer, as well as through native applications available for mobile and tablet devices.
Germany-based fabfab, which owns and operates an online retail portal for fabrics and textile products, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from Pinova Capital.
Canada-based Jolted Media Group (fka Jokeroo Entertainment), which owns and operates a number of Web entertainment portals, has announced that it expects to raise an undisclosed amount of funding from Canada-based venture capital firm Hazestone. The company’s Web properties include social networks and lifestyle portals.
Sweden-based PromoBucket, a professional cloud service that allows businesses and organizations to create and edit marketing material online, raised an undisclosed amount of funding from venture capital firms Almi Invest and 1:a Västmanlandsfonden. The company’s solution allows clients to handle their print output online, and makes digital brand assets accessible to the rest of the organization.
Reynolds and Reynolds, a provider of business management software for auto dealers, has hired Qatalyst Group to find a buyer for approximately $5 billion, according to Reuters. Interested suitors include KKR. Reynolds and Reynolds was acquired for $2.8 billion in 2006 by an investor group that included Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Vista Equity Partners, and CEO Bob Brockman (ex-CEO of Universal Computer Systems, which merged with Reynolds in the deal).
JDA Software (NasdaqGS:JDAS), an enterprise software provider, has hired JPMorgan to find a buyer, according to Reuters. The company’s market cap is approximately $1.5 billion, and the “sale process is at an advanced stage.”