Category Archives: M&A

To automate bigger stores than Amazon, Standard Cognition buys Explorer.ai

Standard Cognition helps retail stores stand up to Jeff Bezos’ juggernaut. The $50 million-funded autonomous checkout startup is racing to equip bigger shops with scanless payment technology that lets customers walk out the door without ever stopping at a cashier. While Amazon Go opens its own 2,000 square foot boutiques, Standard Cognition is working on outfitting 20,000 square foot and larger drug stores and grocers. That led Standard Cognition to make its first acquisition, Explorer.ai. Why would an automated checkout company acquire a self-driving car startup? Because whether […]

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Moonbug nabs $145M to buy up kids’ digital media brands

Moonbug, a kid-focused media business founded by a pair of entertainment executives, has brought in a $145 million Series A investment led by The Raine Group, a merchant bank that supports technology, media and telecom efforts. Venture capital firms Felix Capital and Fertitta Capital also participated in the financing. Moonbug, headquartered in London, acquires and distributes media content made for kids. Recently, the company completed its first IP acquisition of Little Baby Bum, a children’s sing-along show popular on YouTube, Amazon and Netflix. According to a Los Angeles […]

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iHeartMedia to acquire radio adtech company Jelli

Radio giant iHeartMedia announced today that it’s reached an agreement to acquire Jelli, a company bringing programmatic ad-buying to radio broadcasters. In fact, iHeartMedia was already working with Jelli to allow businesses to use programmatic tools to buy advertising on the company’s 850 broadcast radio stations. iHeartMedia also invested in Jelli’s most recent funding round. As a result of the deal, the Jelli team in Silicon Valley will become iHeartMedia’s main adtech operation, and it will still be led by CEO Michael Dougherty. At the same time, […]

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Travel startups are taking off

The second wave of Internet-era travel companies has captured the attention of venture capitalists. In the last five years, travel companies have raised more than $1 billion in venture capital funding. That includes short-term rental startups, travel and tourism apps, marketplaces for “experiences” and other travel or hospitality tech platforms. Airbnb, a $38 billion company and an anomaly in the category, has raised $3 billion in that same time frame, according to PitchBook. In the last few months alone, aspiring Concur-competitor TripActions and travel activities platform Klook […]

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Failed drone startup Airware auctions assets, Delair buys teammates

Airware desperately sought cash for 18 months before running out of money and shutting down last month, leaving about 120 employees without jobs after the startup had burned $118 million in funding. Bandaid strategic investments from construction company Caterpillar and others kept Airware alive as it looked for a $15 million round, according to a former employee. A late pivot from hardware to drone software sales through Caterpillar’s dealers went sour, as Airware lacked the features found in competitors and suffered from slow engineering cycles. “So Caterpillar told […]

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Expedia acquires Pillow and ApartmentJet to conquer the short-term rental market

To keep up with the rising demand for short-term rentals in U.S. cities and compete with the home-sharing giant Airbnb, travel booking site Expedia has picked up a pair of venture-backed hospitality startups, Pillow and ApartmentJet. Employees of both companies will join Expedia . The company declined to disclose the financial terms of the deals. “Acquiring Pillow and ApartmentJet will help unlock urban growth opportunities that, over time, will contribute to HomeAway’s ability to add an even broader selection of accommodations to its marketplace and marketplaces across Expedia […]

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Confirmed: ShopRunner acquires Spring, raises $40M

ShopRunner chief executive Sam Yagan conquered the online dating world. Can he conquer the e-commerce world, too? Hot off the heels of its first profitable year, ShopRunner is announcing its first infusion of venture funding under Yagan, an acquisition of the shopping app Spring and, sources tell TechCrunch, it’s readying a major overhaul to its mobile app, signaling what could be a new era for the company. Yagan, the co-founder of OkCupid, former CEO and vice chairman of The Match Group and managing director of the venture fund […]

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Teamable, the Tinder for hiring, raises $5M and acquires Simppler

Teamable, a provider of hiring software that leverages employees’ social networks, has brought in $5 million from new investor Foundation Capital and existing backers True Ventures and SaaStr Fund. The startup also announced its acquisition of Simppler‘s referral recommendation engine and matchmaking recruiting software. Teamable’s co-founder and chief executive officer Laura Bilazarian declined to disclose the terms of the deal but said none of the $5 million investment was used to finance the transaction. According to Crunchbase, Simppler had raised $3.2 million in equity funding from Foundation Capital, Greylock, Vertex […]

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Palo Alto Networks to acquire RedLock for $173 M to beef up cloud security

Palo Alto Networks launched in 2005 in the age of firewalls. As we all know by now, the enterprise expanded beyond the cozy confines of a firewall long ago and vendors like Palo Alto have moved to securing data in the cloud now too. To that end, the company announced its intent to pay $173 million for RedLock today, an early-stage startup that helps companies make sure their cloud instances are locked down and secure. The cloud vendors take responsibility for securing their own infrastructure, and for […]

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Cluep, a Canadian startup that raised just $500K, acquired for $40M

Everyone loves a tale of a bootstrapped startup founder’s journey to an eight-figure exit. The team at Toronto-based Cluep have a good one. The founders of the adtech startup raised less than $500,000 from angel investors before selling their company to Impact Group for $40 million ($53 million CAD) this week. Founded in 2012, Karan Walia, Sobi Walia and Anton Mamonov were just 21, 17 and 16 years old, respectively, when they started the digital advertising platform, which uses artificial intelligence to help brands connect and engage with people based on what they […]

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