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Redfin To Buy Online Rentals Company RentPath For $608M

Redfin, the publicly-traded online real estate brokerage, has sealed a deal to buy RentPath, a company that owns a handful of popular online rentals properties including Rent.com , Rentals.com , and  ApartmentGuide.com . Redfin will pay $608 million in cash for RentPath, buying it from its current owners which are the private equity firms TPG Capital and Providence Equity Partners. The recent years have been turbulent for RentPath, which filed for bankruptcy protection last year in February and then agreed to a $588 million takeover from the real estate software and analytics giant CoStar Group. However, CoStar backed out from the takeover deal in December 2020 after the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sued to block the sale, with both companies now haggling over a breakup fee  that RentPath says it's entitled to. After its failed proposed sale to CoStar, RentPath has now gotten a slightly bigger $608 million takeover offer from Redfin and accepted it.  Redfin pitches its purcha

CrowdStrike Buys London Startup Humio For $400M

CrowdStrike, the publicly-traded cybersecurity company, has made a new big acquisition, this time one from the UK startup sector with a deal to buy Humio , a startup that makes software used for log management and monitoring for security purposes. CrowdStrike will pay $400 million for Humio in a deal that's expected to close at the end of Q1 2021. The $400 million price tag for Humio will mostly be paid with cash while equity awards with CrowdStrike stock account for the rest. The exact split between cash and stock for the deal isn't disclosed. A $400 million exit for Humio marks a big and notable one for the UK startup scene, where exits of this size aren't often seen as in the US. More so, Humio is a barely five-year-old startup founded in 2016, making a $400 million sale to CrowdStrike very lucrative given its short period of existence. Humio is a venture-backed startup that's raised some $32 million in outside funding. Its investors include the likes of Accel and De

US DOJ Seeks More Info On Salesforce's Slack Purchase

In December 2020, Salesforce reached a landmark deal to buy the workplace collaboration software company Slack for a whopping $27.7 billion, marking the company's biggest-ever acquisition since its inception. Although agreed to, the Slack purchase hasn't been completed, still subject to customary due diligence and regulatory approval. Now, it appears that US regulators are gazing into Salesforce's mega-deal to buy Slack with deeper eyes, with the United States Justice Department now demanding that both Salesforce and Slack provide "additional information and documentary material" related to their merger. The demand came from the Justice Department's Antitrust division. Demanding for additional information related to a business deal in what's usually referred to as a “Second Request” isn't out of the norm, but usually signals higher-than-normal scrutiny of a deal. Even, with a $27.7 billion acquisition on the table, it's likely to be expected. Sale

Warner Music Buys Stake In Saudi Record Label Rotana Music

The record label giant Warner Music Group (WMG) has purchased a stake in Saudi Arabian music label Rotana Music, which is owned by the billionaire businessman Alwaleed Bin Talal Al Saud as part of his entertainment company Rotana Media Group. Rotana is known to be the largest entertainment company in the Arab World and was acquired by its Saudi business tycoon owner back in 2003. The exact stake that Warner Music has purchased in Rotana isn't disclosed along with the financial details of the deal. The deal is targeted at expanding Warner Music's presence in the Middle East and North African region, where Rotana has a handful of famous artists signed. Rotana Music has stars under its roster such as Mohamad Abdo of Saudi Arabia and Amr Diab of Egypt. The music label is headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and has other branches in Jeddah, Dubai, Kuwait City, Beirut, and Cairo. Warner Music Group officially launched a Middle East division in 2018, covering 17 markets across the

CoStar Pumps CoreLogic Bid To $6.9B

The real estate software and analytics giant CoStar has pumped up its bid for data provider CoreLogic to $95.76 and 0.1019 shares of CoStar per CoreLogic share, summing up to a total price of $6.9 billion. The pumped-up bid comes after CoStar earlier made a bid to buy CoreLogic for $6.7 billion  but got rebuffed for a lower-priced offer ($6 billion) from the private equity firms Stone Point Capital and Insight Partners. Now, CoStar is apparently hoping that adding $200 million to its earlier $6.7 billion bid will entice CoreLogic and its shareholders to sell to it and not the private equity firms that the company has already reached an agreement to sell to. Obviously, CoStar is not happy that CoreLogic is rebuffing it for a lower-priced deal and has penned a letter  to CoreLogic's shareholders asserting that the company's agreement to sell to private equity groups "indicates a failure to appropriately value the synergies of our [CoStar's] proposal as a strategic bidder

Zillow Buys Home Tours Site ShowingTime For $500M

The publicly-traded real estate marketplace Zillow has made a big new purchase - the home tours booking site ShowingTime . Zillow will pay $500 million to buy ShowingTime, marking a big exit for the company which was founded over two decades ago. ShowingTime provides an easy way for real estate agents to schedule home tours with customers at their properties. The company says over 50 million home tours were booked on its platform in 2020 alone. With ShowingTime, Zillow is getting a service that's very crucial to its real estate business. Already, many of the agents that list properties on Zillow use ShowingTime to schedule home tours so there's already a close association between both companies. After the acquisition is completed, Zillow says that it'll continue to maintain ShowingTime as a separate platform. ShowingTime is Zillow's second-biggest acquisition to date, after its splashy purchase of the competing real estate platform Trulia in 2015. By count, it's Zil

EA Buys Games Maker Glu Mobile For $2.1B

After sealing a deal to buy the UK-based game developer Codemasters in December, the American gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) is back with another big acquisition, this time Glu Mobile , a publicly-traded mobile games developer that's behind popular titles like Covet Fashion and Design Home .  EA will pay $12.50 per share for Glu Mobile, summing up to $2.1 billion in total. Combined with Glu's current cash balance of $364 million, the deal sums up to $2.4 billion. EA's acquisition price represents a 36% premium to Glu's closing share price on Friday, the 5th of February 2020. With Glu, EA will be getting a mobile gaming powerhouse with more than 100 million monthly active players across its games. Combined, EA's and Glu's mobile games will have produced $1.3 billion in bookings over the last 12 months. Glu has a team of 800 employees that'll join EA following the completion of its acquisition. 500 of its employees are developers, a significant talent bas

Box Buys E-Signature Startup SignRequest For $55M

Box, the publicly-traded cloud storage company, has announced its intent to buy SignRequest, a startup whose core product is a cloud-based electronic signature service. Box will pay $55 million to buy the startup, after which its e-signature services will be integrated into Box's software stack. After the acquisition, SignRequest's team is expected to take on new roles at Box. That Box is buying SignRequest doesn't come as a surprise given that e-signature software is one of the major tools offered by companies like Box that provides software for online file storage and collaboration. Box has been lacking an e-signature feature before now but will now be getting one thanks to SignRequest. Coughing up $55 million to get an e-signature feature doesn't seem cheap but has apparently been decided to be worth it by Box's management led by CEO Aaron Levie. SignRequest is a Netherlands-based startup so the $55 million price marks a good one by the country's startup exi

Uber Buys Alcohol Delivery App Drizly For $1.1B

The ride-hailing giant Uber has reached an agreement to buy Drizly, a popular on-demand alcohol delivery app, for $1.1 billion in cash and stock, according to a press statement . With Drizly, Uber is getting a leading on-demand alcohol marketplace in the US that'll be integrated into the Uber Eats app. A $1.1 billion exit represents a very lucrative one for Drizly, a startup that's backed by roughly $120 million in venture funding. The company's last funding round was a $50 million Series C raised in August 2020. As it looks, Uber has its eyes set on expansion and has taken acquisitions as a way to do that. Under the leadership of its CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, the company made splashy acquisitions including a $2.65 billion deal for the food delivery app Postmates and a  $3.1 billion deal  for the Middle East ride-hailing app Careem. Uber's acquisitions have focused on its core businesses of ride-hailing and food delivery as it's worked to shed other non-core business

UK Probes Uber's Autocab Acquisition

The UK's antitrust agency is back again with another probe into an American tech company looking to tie up with one of its own, this time Uber's acquisition of Autocab, a startup that develops booking and dispatch software for taxi operators. Uber reached a deal to buy Autocab in August 2020 for an undisclosed sum. Now, the UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that it's investigating Uber's proposed acquisition of Autocab to see if it'll result in "substantial lessening of competition" in the UK transport market. Given that Autocab is based in the UK, opposition from the country's antitrust agency could sour Uber's proposed acquisition. As it works, the UK's antitrust agency has begun the first phase of its investigation into Uber's Autocab deal. It'll then conduct its probes and decide if it'll proceed into a second and final phase of its investigation. Under stipulated laws, a company facing the first phase o

Workday Buys Danish Startup Peakon For $700M

Workday, the publicly-traded HR software company, has reached a deal to buy Peakon, an employee feedback platform. The company will pay $700 million in cash for Peakon, a press statement notes. A $700 million exit marks a big one for Peakon, a startup that's backed by $68 million in venture funding. It represents the second-biggest acquisition that Workday has ever made in its history. Obviously, a software platform for employee feedback fits very well into Workday's market of HR software. Since its inception, Workday has expanded significantly with acquisitions, more than a dozen of them. The company's biggest purchase was when it paid $1.55 billion for Adaptive Insights in 2018. Peakon is notably a European company based in Denmark. As such, a $700 million exit is one of the biggest startup exits to emerge from Denmark. Peakon is mainly backed by European investors such as Atomico, EQT Ventures, and Balderton Capital. Workday's purchase of Peakon is expected to be c

SAP Buys Signavio, Reportedly For $1.2B

The German software giant SAP has made its first acquisition of 2021, Signavio, a German enterprise software company. The price of the acquisition wasn't formally disclosed, but a Bloomberg report  pegged it at up to 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion). Signavio makes process management software for companies to keep track of their daily workflows. It's a decade-old company, backed by $230 million in venture funding. Its backers include DTCP, Apax Digital, and Summit Partners. Signavio is the first acquisition by SAP this year and a big one given its reported price of $1.2 billion. It's acquisition comes just as SAP is spinning off one of its biggest acquisitions, Qualtrics, into a separate publicly-traded company. SAP paid $8 billion for Qualtrics in 2019 and has seen fit to take it public two years later. Notably, Qualtrics was already on its way to a public offering before SAP acquired it. SAP's Signavio purchase is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

Shell Buys UK EV Charging Network Ubitricity

The British-Dutch oil giant Shell has announced that it's reached a definitive agreement to buy Ubitricity, the largest public electric vehicle charging network in the UK with over 2,700 charge points. The company is paying an undisclosed price to buy Ubitricity in its entirety. As it seems, even oil giants like Shell have seen the writing on the wall that renewable energy leads the future. The company, famous for pumping nearly 4 million barrels of oil each day, has moved to buy a major  electric vehicle charging network to strengthen its position in the renewables market. Shell already operates a large network of petrol filling stations for automobiles in the UK and abroad. With the rise of electric vehicles, it's apparent that the need for public charging stations will continue to rise to fill in the gap for petrol filling stations. Shell has apparently adjusted its strategy towards that and now moved to acquie a major  electric vehicle charging network in Europe. Ubitricit

RuneScape Maker Jagex Sells To US Private Equity Firm

Jagex, a British gaming studio and publisher that's best known for its  RuneScape  MMORPG game, has been sold to the American private equity firm The Carlyle Group, a press statement from the firm indicates. While the price of the sale wasn't officially disclosed, a report from The Daily Telegraph pegs the deal at $530 million+. A Jagex acquisition is a landmark one for The Carlyle Group, a well-known and major private equity firm but one that isn't known for dabbling in the gaming sector. It's in fact the first gaming studio that  The Carlyle Group has ever acquired. The Carlyle Group is a major investor in technology companies globally and has thus continued its streak with the acquisition of a major British gaming studio. Jagex in this case  is a studio with a very popular game, RuneScape, which it claims has almost 300 million player accounts and has achieved over $1 billion in lifetime revenue. Jagex employs more than 450 people in the UK. Its reported acquisitio

Uber Trims Postmates Workforce; CEO To Depart

After acquiring its rival food delivery app Postmates in December, Uber appears to have moved to trim the company's workforce as it consolidates its operations. The company laid off 185 Postmates staff on Thursday,  The New York Times reports , with the layoffs being part of a broader shift that'll also see most of Postmates' executive team depart, including its CEO Bastian Lehmann. According to the Times, some Postmates vice presidents and other executives will leave with multi-million-dollar exit compensation packages whereas some rank and file employees may see reduced compensation packages. The 185 laid-off employees sum up to 15% of Postmates' total headcount. As it looks, while Uber has said that Postmates will remain a separate brand, much of the infrastructure behind the food delivery service and Uber's own Uber Eats service will be run by Uber's long-time Vice President of Delivery,  Pierre Dimitri Gore-Coty .  The most noteworthy news from the Times&

GlobalWafers Boosts Siltronic Takeover Bid To $5.3B

In November, the Taiwanese semiconductor wafer company GlobalWafers made an offer to acquire its German rival Siltronic for 125 Euros ($149.70) per share, a price that amounted to about  3.75 billion Euros ($4.5 billion) when the deal was announced. After GlobalWafers proposed its offer, Siltronic shortly after accepted , clinching one of the biggest deals in the semiconductor industry as of late.  Now, GlobalWafers has apparently seen fit to sweeten its takeover bid for Siltronic and boosted the proposed price from 125 euros per share to 145 euros ($176.53) per share, adding up to a price of $5.3 billion. It's a 16% increase from the previous price and a 28% premium to Siltronic's closing price on November 27, the day GlobalWafers formally announced its takeover offer for the company. As it looks, Siltronic's management team and board are cheering up to GlobalWafers' sweetened offer, stating that the company "considers the tender offer attractive". A $5.3 bil

Tastytrade Sells For $1B; 2nd Big Exit For Founder

Tastytrade is a popular platform that provides financial media and content for investors and traders as well as provides a platform for its users to trade options and derivatives. Now, it's the latest fintech startup to head for a big exit with a $1 billion sale to the British electronic trading company IGN Group. Tastytrade will be joining IGN in a deal valued at $1 billion net of cash held by Tastytrade. The price is split into $300 million in cash and the remainder with IGN stock. It represents a lucrative exit for Tastytrade which is backed by some $47 million in venture funding. Apparently, IGN, a British company that provides options and derivatives trading and brokerage services for professional investors, is betting that the appeal of retail investors that Tastytrade targets will boost its business. It's agreed to pay a big $1 billion for a company with more than 105,000 active trading accounts that'll then fall under its control. Tastytrade's $1 billion sale r

Coinbase Buys Crypto Startup Bison Trails

Coinbase, the popular cryptocurrency exchange, has confirmed that it's reached a deal to acquire Bison Trails, a startup that provides software infrastructure for blockchain and crypto companies. Bison Trails' platform helps power critical infrastructure for crypto exchanges, custodians, and funds. The financial terms of Coinbase's latest acquisition weren't disclosed. But for a hint, rumors have it that it's Coinbase's biggest-ever acquisition and before now, Coinbase's biggest acquisition was known to be the crypto trading company Tagomi, for a reported $75 million+. Bison Trails is backed by some $31 million in venture funding, with one of its investors being Coinbase. Other notable investors in the company include Initialized Capital, Blockchain Capital, Galaxy Digital, and Kleiner Perkins. Bison Trails was founded in 2018 as a platform to make it easier for crypto companies to power their crypto services and applications. With its infrastructure, cry

Wattpad Sells For $600M+ To South Korea's Naver

Wattpad, the popular social storytelling platform, is the latest Canadian startup to get a big exit, having just been sold to the South Korean search engine and internet services giant Naver. Naver has agreed to pay over $600 million in cash and stock to buy Wattpad, a press statement from the company notes. The acquisition of Wattpad is strategic to Naver and will see the popular story publishing site aligned with Naver's own Korean-focused publishing portal Webtoon. Together, Wattpad and Webtoon will have a global monthly audience of 160 million people, Naver says. A $600 million+ exit represents a good price-wise exit for Wattpad, a company that's backed by a total of $118 million  in venture funding. Investors in the company that'll see significant returns from Wattpad's sale include Khosla Ventures, AME Cloud Ventures, Kickstart Ventures, and the Chinese tech giant Tencent. Upon the completion of its sale, Wattpad will continue to be headquartered in Canada where

Vista Buys Wrike For $800M, Flips For $2.25B To Citrix

In 2018, the tech-focused private equity firm Vista Equity Partners bought a majority stake in the project management software company Wrike for a reported $800 million. Now, just under three years later, it's flipped the company for a price of $2.25 billion, nearly triple what it paid for it. The software giant Citrix was the acquirer. Citrix has entered into a definitive agreement to buy Wrike for $2.25 billion in cash, clinching a sweet profit for Vista. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021. Wrike as a company was founded in 2006 and bootstrapped for a few years before taking venture funding later on. Prior to being acquired by Vista in an $800 million deal, the company had raised a relatively paltry  $26 million in venture funding. With a big exit to Vista, it continued to grow and ended 2020 with a $140 million annual run rate and says it expects a 30% jump to between $180 million and $190 million this year. To help fund Wrike's acquisiti

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Alert: Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Indicted On Fraud Charges

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Earnings: AMD Doubles Revenue, Triples Profit

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Antitrust: Amazon Fined $900M By EU For Privacy Violations

Tech behemoth Amazon is for the nth time in the crosshairs of the European Union (EU). The latest saga in that arena is that Amazon has been fined a record-breaking amount for alleged privacy violations, according to an SEC filing from the company. Amazon has been fined the sum of €746 million ($888mn) by the Luxembourg National Commission for Data Protection (CNPD) for not complying with data privacy laws. It's the largest fine imposed under Europe's data protection law.  The fine originates from the CNPD accusing Amazon of processing customers' personal data in violation of the EU's famous-cum-infamous General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) laws.  In June, it was reported ( WSJ )  that the Luxembourg data protection agency had sanctioned Amazon's privacy practices and proposed a fine topping $425mn to the EU's other two-dozen or so national data protection authorities. Now, it appears that the final fine is much larger than that.  Before now, the bigges

Deal: Qualtrics Buys CX Startup Clarabridge For $1.1B

Months after getting spun out of SAP into a separate public company, Qualtrics , a major provider of online survey software, has made a major acquisition. It's agreed to buy Clarabridge , a startup that does similar work to Qualtrics in the field fondly referred to as "customer experience (CX)". Qualtrics will pay $1.1bn all with shares to buy Clarabridge. The acquisition is a major strategic play for the company, pairing Qualtrics' customer survey business with Clarabridge's similar business of measuring customer sentiment from various sources like social media posts and customer support calls. Basically, Qualtrics is in the business of weighing customer surveys directly and Clarabridge in the business of doing so indirectly . Pairing both businesses represents a major strategic play for Qualtrics. In an investor presentation, Qualtrics said that Clarabridge has $100mn in annual revenue, implying an 11x multiple that it's paying to buy the company. That&#

Deal: Amgen Buys Biotech Startup Teneobio In $2.5B Deal

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Antitrust: UK Probes Facebook's $1B Kustomer Acquisition

The UK's antitrust agency has launched a probe into Facebook's latest acquisition, that of chatbot platform Kustomer Inc , which Facebook agreed to buy last November for a reported $1bn. The UK's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Friday, the 30th of July, released a statement  indicating it had opened an inquiry into Facebook's purchase of Kustomer, regarding if it'll result in "a substantial lessening of competition" within the market Kustomer operates in. Such probes aren't out of the norm and are routine for big acquisitions. For Facebook, it speaks to the fact that antitrust agencies are watching the company's moves, especially regarding acquisitions. To note, two of Facebook Inc's biggest products outside the main Facebook platform, Instagram and WhatsApp , were acquisitions. In fact, it's primarily acquisitions that have propelled the company's growth. As with such probes, the UK will first seek comments from the public

Hollywood: Reese Witherspoon's Media Co. Sold In $900M Deal

A media company founded by superstar actress Reese Witherspoon has sold for a large amount to a company still in its infancy that hasn't even been named yet. That company is Hello Sunshine , a media company that produces content distributed across various platforms; movies, TV shows, podcasts, et al. Hello Sunshine has been sold to a newly-formed media venture t hat's backed by investment capital from Blackstone , the private equity giant.  The venture is led by ex Disney honchos Kevin Mayer and Tom Staggs .  As it is, the Blackstone-funded venture is acquiring a majority stake in Hello Sunshine from a group of external investors while anchor shareholders like Witherspoon and her founding partners will roll over and retain their equity stakes in the newly-formed venture. Officially, the deal's financial terms weren't disclosed, but a report from The Wall Street Journal says it's a $900mn deal. According to the report, the Blackstone-funded venture will pay $500mn

Earnings: Shopify Beats Estimates, Reaches Major Milestone

In this season of earnings results and we at The Techee  reporting on them, we're here with a beat on Shopify , which has released its earnings statement for the second quarter (April-June) of this year. In Q2, Shopify beat revenue expectations from analysts and as well achieved a major financial milestone by crossing $1bn in quarterly revenue for the first time. Shopify had $1.1bn in revenue in the quarter, up 57% year-over-year. Net income for the same period was $897mn , most of which was due to a $778mn gain in equity investments, likely from Shopify's stake in Affirm , a major 'buy now, pay later' lender. As usual, most of Shopify's sales ( $785mn ) came from "Merchant Solutions", which groups additional services the company offers atop recurring subscriptions charged to online retailers. Sales from subscriptions came at $334mn in the quarter. Gross Merchandise Volume (GMV), representing the total worth of transactions made on the Shopify platform,

Markets: US SEC Takes Aim At Chinese IPOs

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has taken a swipe at Chinese initial public offerings (IPOs) after regulatory hiccups in China have affected many Chinese stocks listed on US markets and American stockholders holding them. The SEC has issued new guidance on Chinese companies seeking to list shares in the US, requiring them to make certain disclosures to investors or otherwise refrain from listing in the US markets. First of all, usually, Chinese companies listing in the US don't actually sell shares of the operating companies but that of shell companies with contractual relationships with the operating companies. These shell shares, known as American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) , are used to circumvent restrictions on foreign ownership of Chinese shares imposed by the country's government. Now, the SEC in a statement has made it clear that Chinese companies seeking to list in the US must provide clear descriptions of the shell operations involved in such listing

Alert: Square Buys Australia's Afterpay For $29B

It's a big day in the fintech world. There's been a major acquisition with a major American fintech company, Square , buying Australia's foremost fintech startup, Afterpay , a 'buy now, pay later' lender. Square has reached an agreement to buy Afterpay for a whopping $29bn , marking one of Australia's biggest buyouts. It's a big deal that a startup founded barely seven years ago is selling for $29bn.  Square will pay the $29bn all with shares. It means that shares of Afterpay, which are traded on the Australian Securities Exchange, will be exchanged for Square stock traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Afterpay is Australia's foremost 'buy now, pay later (BNPL)' lender in online retail. For the uninitiated, the 'buy now, pay later' business is a relatively young one providing alternatives to credit cards for consumers to shop online. It provides loans for consumers to shop online and then pay back in installments. Usually, credi