Showing posts with label acquisition. Show all posts
Showing posts with label acquisition. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Ctrip.com Bought Israeli UK Based Travelfusion.com

The widely-tipped Chinese OTA global land-grab of 2015 has begun, with news that Ctrip has bought a majority stake in the Israeli UK-based content aggregator Travelfusion.

Themarker reported that Ctrip paid $160 million in cash.

Ctrip.com International, Ltd. is a leading travel service provider of accommodation reservation, transportation ticketing, packaged tours, and corporate travel management in China. It is the largest online consolidator of accommodations and transportation tickets in China in terms of transaction volume. Ctrip aggregates comprehensive travel related information and offers its services through an advanced transaction and service platform consisting of its mobile apps, Internet websites and centralized, toll-free, 24-hour customer service center.

Since its inception in 1999, Ctrip has experienced substantial growth and become one of the best-known travel brands in China.

Travelfusion CEO Moshi Rafiah told Tnooz that the deal was “technology driven.”

The pair have had a commercial relationship since 2013 which will be strengthened by the deal. But Travelfusion will also continue to grow as a standalone business. “Ctrip are the biggest user of our technology and we power the low cost carrier content on the site. Over time we will see more of our products and inventory distributed on Ctrip. “But there will be some reciprocity – and we will be making some of Ctrip’s inventory available to our customers.”

Travelfusion describes itself as a global distribution system for low cost carriers, and has direct connect relationships with more than 250 airlines worldwide (and some with whom it works on a screenscraping basis).

It claims to have access to more LCC content than the established GDSs. It also works with some airline consolidators and is looking to add more scheduled airline content “using NDC as it becomes available,” Rafiah said. The air content is then made available to made online and offline agents in the business and leisure sectors through an API.

Travelfusion also distributes some 700,000 hotel properties in the same way, sourcing the content through a direct connect with wholesalers and some major chains. It also connects to the booking engines of most of the major rail companies in Europe and North America.

Rafiah added that Travelfusion was working to secure rail content from India, China and Japan. “This is proving difficult to secure. Regulatory issues are the problem because we have the technology in place. But we have the same approach to rail as we do to LCCs and that it is to make sure we deal directly with the supplier to get the content.”

From Ctrip’s perspective, the deal is very much focused on making international inventory available to Ctrip’s Chinese customer base.

2014 is widely tipped as the year in which China becomes the world’s biggest outbound market (and the world’s biggest domestic market in 2017) Travelfusion also brings an innovative international payments product to the Ctrip party, combining a payments engine directly into its distribution product.

“Settlement is as much a part of what we do as distribution. We think we have a unique offer in that we settle directly with the airlines who operate outside BSP in their local currency, while allowing the payment to be made in RMBs.”

As a standalone business Rafiah is confident that its existing arrangements with Ctrip’s competitors – including Qunar – will remain in place. “We work with most online travel agents in some capacity. Ctrip will look to leverage our technology but it also wants us to continue to grow as a standalone independent technology business with a truly global footprint.”

Rafiah couldn’t comment on Ctrip’s strategy for international markets, although it will be interesting to see whether having a stake in Travelfusion will ease Ctrip into becoming a global OTA. Qunar, for example, has quietly launched qua.com to test the waters for the international markets, and it is possible that Alibaba’s global aspirations will see its alitrip.com brand operate in a number of territories.

A Ctrip.com global OTA, powered by Travelfusion, with a bit of help from minority stakeholder Priceline Group, could be an interesting start-up in the mature markets of North America and Europe.



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Teddy Sagi buys Israeli startup Adience

Adience, founded 18 months ago, today announced that it had been acquired by the Teddy Sagi group. Sources inform "Globes" that the price was $20 million. Adience operates in the mobile applications market, in which Sagi is trying to get as big a foothold as possible. The company has developed a system for managing mobile user applications, based on deep learning technology. The purpose of this technology is to understand the user's needs, which are becoming more complex with time and the increase in the mass of information on the Internet. Adience's solution generates a user profile, which helps mobile advertising agencies and their customers improve their offerings to users of their applications, thereby upgrading the user experience and maintaining their loyalty to the application as much as possible.

Adience, a very young company, has only 10 employees in its Tel Aviv offices, so the $20 million value generated by its founders is quite considerable. The company was founded by three veterans of the IDF 8200 Intelligence Corps unit: CPO Sasha Medvedovsky, CTO Eran Eidinger, and CEO Roee Nahir. According to the Registrar of Companies, each of the three owns 19.6% of Adience, while the largest financial shareholder in the company is Magma Venture Partners (7.7%). It is believed that Adience has raised $1.6 million since it was founded, which means that its shareholders have made a return of 13 times on their money.

Nahir said, "We are excited and glad to join Teddy Sagi's group of companies. We have developed an amazing technology, and we, together with and through the group, can bring it to the biggest market - the e-commerce market - in a shorter time."

Sagi's still-private e-commerce activity is growing, and Adience is expected to constitute the technological base for it. In this framework, the company will take part in developing the e-commerce of Camden Market, the popular UK shopping forum owned by Sagi, which held its IPO on the AIM UK stock exchange only last week at a valuation of $1.2 billion. In order to perform this task, Adience will open offices in the UK, Germany, and other European countries. The company's R&D unit will continue operating from Israel, and is expected to triple its staff in the first stage, according to Adience's announcement.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

China’s Shenyang Yuanda To Acquire Israeli Company AutoAgronom For $20M

Israeli smart irrigation tech company AutoAgronom is set to be acquired by Chinese company Shenyang Yuanda for $20 million. The news comes after AutoAgronom, a young company with offices in Israel and the US, saw impressive results using the company’s patented technology, Root Sense, and three months after the two companies signed a joint venture agreement.

Using AutoAgronoms systems, farmers were able to increase yields and resource efficiency dramatically. The acquisition is important for the Chinese market that struggles with issues of food security. To date, the company’s technology has been successful with over 70 different types of crops in 13 different countries. AutoAgronom is a MassChallenge 2014 finalist and a Clean Tech Open winner in Israel.


Source: NoCamels


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Slyce To Buy Tel Aviv Based Startup Pounce for $5 million

Tel Aviv-based Pounce, a mobile shopping app that surfaces deals from retailers, as well as a way to shop print ads and catalogs from your smartphone, has been acquired by visual search company Slyce for $5 million in shares, cash and earn-out incentives. The deal wasn’t entirely a talent grab either, says Slyce, as the company was already on track to roll out a consumer-facing app of its own. The technology from Pounce is helping it to speed things up.

Additionally, the technology from Pounce will be offered to Slyce’s retailer customers.

Pounce, for a bit of background, is the main product from BuyCode, founded in 2012. The app was tackling one of the harder aspects to mobile shopping: the checkout process. But instead of strictly going after e-commerce website integrations, for example, the app worked with retail partners and other third parties to link item photos to inventory and pricing information. The end result was an app that allowed consumers to scan items – like retailer circulars or magazine ads – or browse through a series of deals, then checkout in just a couple of clicks.

It was an e-commerce experience, essentially, since the retailers’ commerce platforms were involved in making the sales happen, but it was one that began through a different sort of user activity – scanning and snapping, not surfing the web.

As of last year, the app supported retailers like Macy’s, Ace Hardware, Target, Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, Staples, Best Buy, and more. More recent integrations included other large brands like Lord & Taylor and Hudson’s Bay.

According to Slyce, one of the things that made Pounce’s technology desirable was that it allowed customers to continue to checkout items from multiple retailers’ commerce platforms after entering in their payment information just one time. That’s still a difficult aspect to mobile shopping today, which a number of companies are tackling, including PayPal with its new SDKs and One Touch product, as well as Google with Google Wallet, and Apple more recently with its Apple Pay for mobile apps. 

Now image recognition startup Slyce has something similar, thanks to this acquisition.

For those unfamiliar with Slyce, the Toronto-based image recognition startup itself offers similar technology to “Amazon Flow” or Amazon’s Firefly feature in its new Amazon Fire smartphones. Firefly lets you point your Amazon phone at objects in the real world, and then buy them (from Amazon, naturally!).

Slyce, meanwhile, has been partnering with major retailers so they can offer the same to their own customers, as well as video and audio recognition, QR and barcode scanning, and NFC. Once items are scanned with Slyce, they can be purchased immediately. However, Slyce had been focusing on retail customers until now, not the consumer. That will change in Q4 2014 when the company rolls out its own consumer app that will be capable of recognizing objects in the real world and enabling one-click purchases. Call it “Amazon Firefly” for the rest of retail, perhaps. Pounce fits in nicely by helping Slyce save on development time and investment with its B2C strategy.

Following the acquisition, Pounce’s team will join Slyce and CEO Avital Yachin will join the company’s executive team.

“We’re incredibly excited to be acquiring both the technology and the immense talent that Pounce comes with,” said Slyce CEO Mark Elfenbein in a prepared statement. “We are consistently looking to add and perfect the functionality we can offer major retailers with the Slyce visual search platform.”



Source: Techcrunch

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Israel's Insightec to receive $12.5 Million investment from Chinese Investors

Elbit Imaging Ltd. (TASE, NASDAQ: EMITF) announced today that it was informed by InSightec Ltd. of the closing of investment of US$ 12.5 million by Shanghai GEOC Hengtong Investment Limited Partnership and Fortune China Limited.In the framework of the present investment round in InSightec, the Chinese Group has acquired 5% of the share capital of InSightec on a fully diluted basis, in consideration for a total payment of $12.5 million.

InSightec is the pioneer and global leader in MR guided focused ultrasound technology. Founded in 1999 by GE Healthcare (then GE Medical Systems) and Elbit Medical Imaging its mission is to transform its MR guided Focused Ultrasound (MRgFUS) into a clinically viable technology.

Since then, InSightec has invested close to $200 million in research and development. The company holds over 90 patents with additional intellectual property pending.

The company is headquartered in Tirat Carmel, Israel, near the port city of Haifa. It has US offices in Milwaukee, WI and Dallas, TX as well as offices in Europe and Asia.



Kenshoo to buy Israeli ads company Adquant.

Kenshoo, a global software company that engineers cloud-based digital marketing solutions and predictive media optimization technology will pay $12 million for Adquant. 

Adquant, launched in 2012, is a SaaS company focused on delivering the best-of-breed social advertising platform. Developed as the internal Facebook platform for the Adotomi agency in 2009, one of the first Facebook PMDs, the Adquant technology has been market proven by the most demanding Facebook advertisers.

Kenshoo empowers the world’s most sophisticated advertisers with the tools needed to succeed in a quickly changing digital landscape.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Ericsson buys Israeli startup Fabrix Systems for $95 million

Ericsson today announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Israeli startup Fabrix Systems, a leading provider of cloud storage, computing and network delivery for video applications that today power some of the most advanced cable and telecom cloud DVR deployments. Fabrix Systems further extends Ericsson's leading TV and media portfolio with a cloud based scale out storage and computing platform focused on providing a simple, tightly integrated solution optimized for media storage, processing and delivery applications such as cloud DVR and video-on-demand (VOD) expansion.

The approach takes advantage of the latest advances in clustered storage; grid computing; virtualization and video processing technologies enabling a wide range of applications. The acquisition enables new services and migration to cloud DVR deployments in all TV platforms including Ericsson MediaFirst and Ericsson Mediaroom. It also adds to Ericsson's video-centric network and services capabilities to ensure that video can be managed, stored and delivered from the cloud to all TV Anywhere devices efficiently and with assured quality of experience. As TV evolves ever more rapidly in the Networked Society, the rise of broadband connectivity, cloud services, and mobility will lead to a highly disruptive period in the entire media value chain. Ericsson's annual ConsumerLab TV & Media Report shows consumers are rapidly embracing TV services that provide immediacy, ease of access, and personalized relevance.

This acquisition accelerates Ericsson's capability to meet consumers' expectations in the way they want to enjoy TV today and into the future. It will enable TV service providers to migrate key consumer services and applications into the video cloud while at the same time ensuring the delivery of video efficiently and with assured quality of experience to TV Anywhere devices.

Per Borgklint, Senior Vice President and Head of Business Unit Support Solutions at Ericsson says, "We are investing significantly across our TV platform and video-network areas to extend our market leadership position. Our Media Vision 2020 shows that traditional TV is shifting rapidly towards TV Anywhere and Ericsson's leadership in broadcast, video and networks places us in a unique position to enable the most demanding customers to define and deliver the future of TV. Fabrix Systems further positions Ericsson to help customers deliver on the Networked Society's global demand for personalized video content on any screen, at any time."

Ram Ben-Yakir, CEO and co-founder of Fabrix Systems, says: "TV service providers, particularly those with IP delivery networks, are accelerating their network architecture investments in video optimization to deliver on the promise of TV Anywhere. Through worldwide deployments of our cloud storage and computing capabilities, we have enabled leading TV service providers to provide consumer services such as DVR through cloud-based deployments, lowering costs and enabling a more unified consumer experience in content on-demand." Fabrix Systems was founded in 2006 with offices in the US and Israel and brings a team of highly skilled cloud computing software engineers. The company has 103 employees.

The purchase price for 100% of the shares in Fabrix Systems is USD 95 million. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter, 2014, subject to customary closing conditions. Fabrix Systems will be incorporated into Business Unit Support Solutions.



Source: NASDAQ

Friday, September 5, 2014

ICE Buys SuperDerivatives for $350 million

Financial Times reporting this morning that transatlantic exchange and clearing house operator ICE (Intercontinental Exchange, NYSE:ICE) has agreed in principle to acquire SuperDerivatives, an Israeli-based financial data and analytics provider.

SuperDerivatives provides data and analytics on OTC derivatives, but also has a chat platform similar to the one used on Bloomberg terminals. The company employs about 250 people, and is still managed by founder Dudi Gershon.

The company’s investors include Israeli VCs Pitango and Accel. According to IVC, SuperDerivatives revenues are about $150 million annually. The move would be seen as part of ICE’s strategy to penetrate the lucrative financial information market. ICE will pay 350 million, with the deal announcement coming as early as later today.

Said Jeffrey C. Sprecher, ICE Chairman and CEO: “SuperDerivatives is an innovative developer of valuable derivatives data and technology, and will play a key role in extending our financial market clearing and data capabilities. We already work with SuperDerivatives in our existing businesses and we look forward to extending that work with the global SuperDerivatives team as we grow our risk management services across our global exchanges and clearing houses.”

David Gershon, SuperDerivatives Chairman and CEO added: “Over the past few years ICE has taken the lead in shaping the evolution of the financial markets. We strongly believe that with the data, technology and the broad suite of products SuperDerivatives offers there are great benefits we can deliver to the market including efficiency, transparency and innovation. We believe that joining with ICE opens a tremendous opportunity for us to deliver our innovative products and services across the globe.”

Said Scott A. Hill, ICE Chief Financial Officer: “We are pleased to continue our strategic growth plans with the acquisition of SuperDerivatives. Our ability to make growth-oriented investments while continuing our share repurchases is a testament to the strength of the cash generation of our diverse, global business model.”