Archive for M&A Activities

Postmedia Acquires Ampifii

Ampifii, a Toronto-based company whose software platform enables users to manage their own sponsored social amplification campaigns, has been acquired by Postmedia Network Canada Corporation, the Canadian media company that includes the newspaper properties once owned by the former Canwest Global Communications Corporation and the Sun Media Corporation.

Details of the transaction were not disclosed.  Ampifii was about a year and a half old at the time it was acquired and had not raised any significant growth capital.  It was formed as part of a native ad campaign project for Postmedia, so this transaction seems to make perfect sense and may represent more of an “acqui-hire” in order to formally bring the team and the technology in-house.

To read more about the transaction, click here.

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Everalbum Acquires Kitchener-Based Pout

Pout, a fashion and beauty photo sharing mobile application based in Kitchener, ON has been acquired by Everalbum, an online photo storage solution for mobile devices that is based in San Francisco.

This is Everalbum’s first acquisition since it was founded in 2013.  It just raised $8 million in venture capital in a Series A round led by Khosla Ventures.

Pout was founded in 2014 and was supported by Velocity, the technology incubator run by the University of Waterloo.  The transaction took shape after Everalbum opened a Canadian office in Kitchener’s historic Tannery building, which the team from Pout will now join.

To read more about the deal, click here.

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Udemy Acquires Vancouver-Based Talentbuddy

Talentbuddy, a Vancouver-based platform that assists and trains programmers using problem solving challenges and other techniques, has been acquired by Udemy, a San Francisco-based online learning platform that offers thousands of courses in a wide variety of topics and disciplines to millions of students around the world.

Talentbuddy, through its parent company Sunnytrail Insight Labs, had previously raised a seed round of capital from BDC Venture Capital, HIGHLINEvc, InitioGroup, and VersionOne Ventures after it was founded in 2013.  Udemy, founded in 2010, has raised $113 million from a wide array of investors, including VCs such as Insight Venture Partners and Norwest Venture Partners.  Despite this impressive sum, this is Udemy’s first acquisition to date.  The financial details were not disclosed.

To read more, click here.

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Hamilton’s CareKit Health Acquired by Moseda Technologies

CareKit Health, a Hamilton, ON-based healthcare software and hardware provider, has been acquired by Moseda Technologies, a TSX Venture Exchange-listed mobile health and telemedicine company based in Vancouver, BC.   The price was reportedly $2 million in Moseda shares and performance warrants.

CareKit’s technology platform consists of mobile software, sensors, and wearables and connects patients with their various healthcare providers and family members, enabling people with serious medical conditions or illnesses to receive continuous monitoring while in their homes.  The company was founded in June 2015 and had not raised any capital from institutional investors.

Moseda Technologies has developed a suite of mobile healthcare solutions.  This was the company’s first acquisition.

To read more about the transaction, click here.

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IPO Downturn May Have Benefits for Tech M&A

Last week saw the first IPO of 2016 for a US-based, VC-backed company as Editas Medicine, a Cambridge, MA-based biotech company went public on the NASDAQ, with its share price climbing 13.8% in the first day of trading (click here for more information).

While this was a welcome development, the turmoil in the markets and the underperformance of several recent tech IPOs have made this a less-than-auspicious time for technology companies to go public.  In fact, January 2016 was the first month without an American VC-backed company going public since September 2011.  This is all the more problematic given the number of VC-backed companies that have raised vast sums of money – becoming so-called “unicorns” in the process – and viewed an IPO as the next logical step.

Nizar Tarhuni of PitchBook wrote an article in which he presented a list of concerns for investors given these circumstances.  One thing that we found particularly interesting was his commentary regarding the effect of the market turmoil and the IPO difficulties on the tech M&A market.  In his view, some private, investor-backed tech companies will look to strategic acquirers to achieve liquidity as an alternative to the public markets.  Furthermore, some larger companies that have already gone public will look at making more acquisitions in order to boost their top-line revenue growth amid declining opportunities for organic user growth and slumping share prices.

We at Q1 Capital agree with many of these sentiments as we have noticed an increase in the level of interest in acquisitions among the strategic acquirers with which we are in contact.  It certainly seems possible that the turmoil in the markets may end up being beneficial to the tech M&A sector in 2016.

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Juniper Networks Acquires Ottawa-Based BTI Systems

Ottawa’s BTI Systems, which makes cloud and metro networking systems for service providers, has been acquired by Juniper Networks (NYSE:JNPR), the networking hardware manufacturer based in Sunnyvale, CA.  No financial details of the transaction were disclosed.

BTI’s hardware and software facilitate the moving of digital content between data centers within close proximity to one another.  By acquiring the company, Juniper Networks will be better positioned to compete with Cisco, which already offers similar solutions.  BTI Systems was founded in 2000 and raised nearly $133 million in financing.  Juniper Networks was founded in 1996 and is a well-entrenched player in the networking infrastructure space.  It generated over $4.6 billion in revenue during the past four quarters.

To read more, click here.

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Toronto’s ScribbleLive Acquires San Francisco-Based Visually

In a welcome change from the typical “American tech company buys Canadian tech company” scenario, ScribbleLive, which is based in Toronto and provides a content marketing platform to leading brands and media companies, has acquired the San Francisco-based content creation platform provider Visually.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Visually had previously raised $15.7 million in funding.

This is ScribbleLive’s fifth acquisition.  It has raised almost $59 million in funding since it was founded in 2008 and its marketing platform is used by over 1,000 companies around the world.

To learn more about this acquisition, click here.

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AppDirect Acquires Montreal-Based Radialpoint

AppDirect, the San Francisco-based cloud service marketplace and management company, has acquired Montreal-based Radialpoint, a provider of sales and technical support services and technologies.  The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.  Radialpoint was founded in 1997 and had not raised a round of capital financing since 2008 when it received $98 million from TA Associates, a private equity and buyout firm.

AppDirect had Canadian connections prior to this transaction.  Its founders – Daniel Saks and Nicolas Desmarais (from the family behind Quebec-based Power Corporation) – are both originally from Canada and the company already had an office in Montreal prior to this acquisition.  This is AppDirect’s fifth acquisition but the first one since it raised $140 million in venture capital financing back in October 2015, a Series E round led by JP Morgan Chase.  Just prior to completing that round of funding, AppDirect acquired AppCarousel, a transaction for which Q1 Capital Partners provided a fairness opinion to AppCarousel’s board of directors.

To read more about the transaction, click here.

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Waterloo’s Navtech Acquired By Airbus

Waterloo-based aviation software company Navtech is being acquired by Airbus, the European aircraft manufacturing consortium based in France.

Navtech was founded in 1981 and develops and markets flight operations software for the commercial aviation industry.  Prior to the acquisition, it was generating an estimated $42 million in annual revenues and employed roughly 250 people.  The acquisition allows Airbus to move into the aviation software market, providing an opportunity for the company to sell Navtech software to its global customer base as well as to access its talented pool of engineers.  Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

To read more about the acquisition, click here.

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NanoPay Acquires the Royal Canadian Mint’s Digital Currency Platform

NanoPay, the Toronto-based loyalty and payment solutions provider, has agreed to acquire MintChip, the digital currency platform developed by the Royal Canadian Mint.

MintChip was developed by the RCM as a way to securely send money via text message, email, or other digital communication platforms. It functions like a digital wallet, allowing users to upload money to MintChip the same way they would a pre-paid credit card and then drawing down on the account as they make digital payments, all without the need to have the system access banking and credit card accounts for every transaction, thus making it more secure than some other payment platforms.  It is expected to launch commercially in the next few weeks.

It may seem like it will be tough for a product like this to compete in the open market given the presence of dominant players like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Google Wallet, however a made-in-Canada solution for digital payments may prove to be attractive to the Canadian banks that in the past have helped foster other Canadian payment systems like Interac.

To read more about the transaction, click here.

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