EagleTree takes majority stake in FuseFX

EagleTree has acquired a majority stake in FuseFX, an independent visual effects studio that provides services for episodic television, feature films, commercials and VR productions. No financial terms were disclosed. PRESS RELEASE LOS ANGELES AND NEW YORK – October 11, 2018 – FuseFX, Inc., one of the leading independent visual effects studios providing services for episodic television, feature films, commercials, and VR productions, and EagleTree Capital, on behalf of its private equity fund EagleTree Partners IV, announced that EagleTree, in partnership with the Company’s founders, acquired a majority stake in FuseFX. EagleTree’s investment is focused on accelerating the Company’s already impressive growth. Founder and Chief Executive Officer, David Altenau, as well as fellow co-founders, Chief Development Officer, Tim Jacobsen, and Chief Technology Officer, Jason Fotter, will retain a significant minority stake and continue to lead the Company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2006, FuseFX is
Continue reading "EagleTree takes majority stake in FuseFX"

Tofane Global in talks to buy Altice International Wholesale

Tofane Global said March 12 that it is in exclusive negotiations to buy Altice International Wholesale from Altice NV. Financial terms weren’t announced. The deal includes Altice’s inter-operator carrier activities in France, Portugal and in the Dominican Republic. Tofane is backed by Ciclad and Trocadero Capital Partners. PRESS RELEASE Tofane Global in Exclusive Negotiations to Acquire Altice International Wholesale from Altice NV
• Tofane Global enters in exclusive negotiations with Altice N.V. to acquire its activities regrouped under the “Altice International Wholesale”
• With this second operation Tofane Global, which signed last week the acquisition of iBasis (Royal KPN N.V.), becomes the third provider of inter-operator international services in the world (voice and mobile)
March 12, 2018 04:44 PM Eastern Daylight Time
PARIS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Tofane Global has entered exclusive negotiations with Altice NV (Euronext: ATCA, ATCB) to acquire « Altice International Wholesale » (AIW) consisting of the group’s international inter-operator
Continue reading "Tofane Global in talks to buy Altice International Wholesale"

PE-backed TELUS International buys Xavient Digital

TELUS International has acquired California-based Xavient Digital, a provider of digital IT solutions and software services. No financial terms were disclosed. TELUS International is backed by Baring Private Equity Asia. PRESS RELEASE LAS VEGAS and SIMI VALLEY, Calif., Feb. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — TELUS International today confirmed it has closed its previously announced acquisition of Xavient Information Systems, now rebranded as Xavient Digital – powered by TELUS International. With all conditions satisfied, TELUS International now holds a majority interest in Xavient and will purchase the remaining interest on or before December 31, 2020. Approximately 1,800 Xavient employees from sites across the U.S. and India are joining TELUS International, bringing the total employee base to over 30,000 throughout North and Central America, Europe and Asia. The partnership accelerates TELUS International’s ability to expand its global IT services offering with the addition of advanced, next-generation IT consulting and delivery
Continue reading "PE-backed TELUS International buys Xavient Digital"

Abraaj to take minority stake in Tunisie Telecom

The Abraaj Group has agreed to acquire a “significant” minority stake in Société Nationale des Télécommunications, Tunisia’s telecom operator. The seller was Emirates International Telecommunications LLC. No financial terms were disclosed. PRESS RELEASE Tunis, Tunisia, 13 December 2017: The Abraaj Group (“Abraaj” or the “Group”), a leading investor operating in growth markets, announced today it has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase, through its Funds, a significant minority stake in Société Nationale des Télécommunications (“Tunisie Telecom” or “the “Company”), Tunisia’s largest telecom operator. The stake will be acquired from Emirates International Telecommunications LLC. Upon completion, this will represent the largest ever private equity investment in Tunisia demonstrating Abraaj’s faith in the Company and in the Tunisian economy. Tunisie Telecom is the incumbent integrated telecom services operator in Tunisia and serves over five million customers. The Company has state-of-the-art infrastructure, operating a national structure of fixed networks and fiber which
Continue reading "Abraaj to take minority stake in Tunisie Telecom"

Baring-backed Telus International to buy Xavient

Telus International, which is backed by Baring Private Equity Asia, has agreed to acquire Simi Valley, California-based Xavient Information Systems, a global IT consulting and next-generation software services company. No financial terms were disclosed. PRESS RELEASE LAS VEGAS, NEVADA and SIMI VALLEY, CALIFORNIA–(Marketwired – Oct. 30, 2017) – TELUS International (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU), a leading global business process and information technology services provider, is pleased to announce plans to acquire Xavient Information Systems (Xavient), a global IT consulting and next-generation software services company with approximately 1,800 employees. Xavient is headquartered in Simi Valley, California in the United States and has operations throughout the U.S. and in India, serving customers primarily in the telecommunications, media, entertainment, healthcare, and banking and financial services sectors. This acquisition of Xavient will accelerate TELUS International’s objective to expand its global service offerings with the addition of advanced, next-generation IT consulting and delivery capabilities,
Continue reading "Baring-backed Telus International to buy Xavient"

Moore Frères buys majority of Opera Software

Moore Frères & Company has acquired a majority of Opera Software ASA. Financial terms weren’t announced. Opera Software develops cloud and embedded software that allows video streaming directly consumers’ living rooms via the Internet, to devices such as Smart TVs, Blu-ray disc players, set-top boxes and video game consoles. Morgan Stanley Senior Funding and Morgan Stanley Credit Partners is providing financing. Opera was advised by Carnegie Investment Bank. A. Mark Getachew of Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP, as well as financial advisor Quintus Partners and accounting firm BDO represented Moore Frères. PRESS RELEASE New York and Oslo, Norway – December 20, 2016 – Opera Software ASA (OPERA:Oslo), and Moore Frères & Company (“Moore Frères”), an investment holding company focused exclusively on the tech, media, and telecom industries, today announced that Moore Frères has acquired a majority, controlling stake in Opera TV.   Opera TV is the leading independent developer
Continue reading "Moore Frères buys majority of Opera Software"

AT&T closes Quickplay Media buy

AT&T said June 28 it closed its buy of Quickplay Media Inc from Madison Dearborn Partners. Financial terms weren’t announced. Quickplay provides managed services for the distribution of multi-screen video to IP-connected devices. AT&T said it plans to retain Quickplay’s team of more than 350 employees and contractors. The deal was announced in May. PRESS RELEASE DALLAS, June 28, 2016 — AT&T* has completed its acquisition of Quickplay Media, Inc. from Madison Dearborn Partners. The deal complements AT&T’s strategy to deliver video content wherever and whenever viewers want it by adding a leader in powering over-the-top (OTT) video and TV Everywhere services to AT&T’s portfolio. Quickplay is the current platform provider for AT&T’s U-verse TV Everywhere offering. The platform will support the streaming offers — DIRECTV Now, DIRECTV Mobile and DIRECTV Preview — that AT&T plans to introduce later this year. These new plans will let viewers stream DIRECTV content
Continue reading "AT&T closes Quickplay Media buy"

Madison Dearborn Partners to sell Quickplay Media to AT&T

AT&T agreed to acquire Quickplay Media, Inc. from Chicago-based PE firm Madison Dearborn Partners. Quickplay provides managed services for the distribution of multi-screen video to IP-connected devices. The deal is subject to pre-merger review in the U.S. and Canada. Financial terms were not disclosed. Press Release AT&T* plans to acquire Quickplay Media, Inc., a leader in powering over-the-top (OTT) video and TV Everywhere services, from Madison Dearborn Partners. The acquisition builds on the companies’ existing relationship. Quickplay’s platform currently supports AT&T’s U-verse TV Everywhere offering and will support the streaming offersDIRECTV Now, DIRECTV Mobile and DIRECTV Preview — that AT&T plans to introduce later this year. These new plans will let viewers stream DIRECTV content over the Internet to virtually any device. “Our strategy is to deliver video content however, whenever and wherever,” said John Stankey, CEO, AT&T Entertainment Group. “Quickplay’s multitenant IP distribution infrastructure, combined
Continue reading "Madison Dearborn Partners to sell Quickplay Media to AT&T"

Cedexis scores $22 mln Series B

Portland, Oregon-based Cedexis, a provider of internet measurement and optimization, has raised $22 million in Series B funding. Ginko Ventures led the round with participation from Foxconn, Nokia Growth Partners, Citrix Systems Ventures, Advanced Technology Ventures and Madrona Ventures. PRESS RELEASE Portland, Oregon and Paris, France — January 26, 2016 — Cedexis, a leader in Internet measurement and optimization, today announced the closing of a $22 million Series B financing round, bringing total company funding to $33 million. Ginko Ventures led the round, with participation from Foxconn, Nokia Growth Partners (NGP), Citrix Systems Ventures as well as Cedexis’ Series A investors, Advanced Technology Ventures and Madrona Ventures. This latest investment will support immediate opportunities to drive global growth as well as to broaden solutions for accelerating over-the-top (OTT) video, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) services and web application delivery. “The web is now at the core of value delivery in almost every
Continue reading "Cedexis scores $22 mln Series B"

GTCR to buy Onvoy

GTCR has agreed to acquire Minneapolis-based Onvoy LLC, a voice-enabling services provider. The seller was Communications Infrastructure Investments. No financial terms were disclosed for the transaction that is expected to close in the first quarter of this year. Stephens Inc provided financial advice to GTCR on the deal. PRESS RELEASE Chicago, IL – January 6, 2016 GTCR, a leading private equity firm, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Onvoy, LLC (“Onvoy” or the “Company”) from Communications Infrastructure Investments. Onvoy, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a leading provider of wholesale voice-enabling services nationwide. Onvoy provides easy-to-use voice and text functionality to carriers and integrators that choose to focus on customer-facing applications and service rather than infrastructure management. The Company combines an intuitive software interface with its nationwide network of physical switches and dedicated transport to offer leading wholesale telecommunication services. Onvoy’s customers include major wireless
Continue reading "GTCR to buy Onvoy"

Newion Investments backs Dutch TV applications company 24i

Amsterdam-based TV applications company 24i has secured $2 million in funding from Newion Investments with Dutch government guarantees. According to 24i, the capital infusion will be used to scale the company and expand its TV technology. PRESS RELEASE Amsterdam/Heerenveen — April 10, 2015 — Amsterdam-based TV applications company 24i today announced that it has finalized its first round of funding from Newion Investments. The arrangement includes Dutch governmental guarantees on loans for innovation, facilitating an investment exceeding $2 million USD. This capital will be used to help the company continue to scale its organization and expand its TV Everywhere (TVE) and Over-The-Top (OTT) TV technology to new partners in new countries. “This will help us to grow internally and meet the demand of new partners internationally, as well as continue to provide the best service possible to our long list of current partners,” said 24i CEO Martijn Van Horssen. “No matter where viewers are watching, 24i is ready with the best solution for that screen, whether it belongs to a mobile device or a set-top-box monitor.” A 2012 Deloitte Rising Star, 24i is rapidly growing into a global market leader for TV Everywhere application and software development. The company has already built high performance, multiplatform TV apps in Europe for companies such as FOX Sports, Videoland, RTL, Pathé and HBO. Initially gestated as a smart TV software provider, 24i is recognized for its expertise in addressing all complex aspects of the production chain ranging from content monetization strategies to DRM, and now provides a host of advanced multiscreen solutions across a wide variety of Internet-connected devices. “We are proud to support 24i’s innovative work in developing the infrastructure that will propel the next wave of video content delivery,” said Newion partner Frank Claasen. “It is already a great Dutch and European company, and as the need for this kind of technology becomes essential to nearly every video content provider in the world, it will become a great global company.” The surge of new funding will be instrumental especially to helping the company expand in the content provider-rich United States. The company recently opened an American office in Los Angeles and will have a presence at this year’s National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas and the Internet & Television Expo (INTX) in Chicago. “Our technology is built to work out-of-the-box for any potential international partners who are looking to add to their content delivery capabilities,” added Van Horssen.
Among the company’s apps are the Smart App, Smart Builder, and Smart Operator products, which solve the problem of fragmentation by streamlining and simplifying app development and maintenance across all TV platforms. Broadcasters, cable networks and pay-TV operators can also collaborate with 24i using its proprietary production framework, AppCore, to create a fully customizable app that can be distributed across multiple platforms to reach a wider audience and capture more revenue. For more information on 24i, or to schedule a meeting at NAB or INTX, please visit www.
Continue reading "Newion Investments backs Dutch TV applications company 24i"

Quickplay nets C$57 mln

Toronto-based Quickplay, which powers premium video to any device, has raised C$57 million in funding. The investors were Madison Dearborn Partners (which owns Quickplay), Orix Ventures and DIfference Capital Financial. PRESS RELEASE TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Quickplay, the global expert in powering premium video to any device, today announced that it has secured $57 million (Canadian) in growth capital from private equity owner Madison Dearborn Partners, financing partner Orix Ventures and Difference Capital Financial. With more than $150M of total investment since the company’s inception in 2003, Quickplay is now the largest end to end managed service provider, powering premium video over all networks and devices. In its decade of operation, Quickplay has set several industry benchmarks, becoming the world’s largest distributor of linear over-the-top (OTT) TV distributing 700 channels, managing 2 million VOD assets, securing content connections to 250 premium content providers covering Hollywood to Bollywood and; servicing an addressable market of over 700 million subscribers worldwide. Quickplay powers premium video from leading content providers and to the largest service providers including AT&T, Bell and TELUS. The growth of OTT video is accelerating at a record rate. Quickplay is scaling its managed video platform at an unprecedented pace to meet this demand, approaching a differentiating scale that will benefit current and future customers. On March 4, 2015, the company accelerated its strategy to address the promising LTE Broadcast (eMBMS) market with the acquisition of Roundbox Inc. The acquisition will enable the monetization of engaging premium viewing experiences on any device or mobile network by using multicast (one-to-many), and unicast (one-to-one) technologies. “We have enjoyed successive years of high growth with our managed services, building a unique position that continues to disrupt the market. Quickplay is reaching a scale that makes our platform the natural choice for multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and Content Providers to connect,” said Wayne Purboo, CEO and co-founder of Quickplay. “We are thrilled with the confidence shown in the potential of Quickplay with this financing – we will focus heavily on key investments that further accelerate our growth, and contribute to the success our current and future customers.” With its recent investments, Quickplay will focus its long term strategy on reducing inherent industry inefficiencies in content delivery, and the monetization of premium Live and On-demand video to the home and on-the-go, leveraging disruptive cloud economics to enable a new world of Next Generation TV. “The OTT market is poised for explosive growth, with global OTT video revenue predicted to reach $55.4 billion by year-end 2019, driven by rising consumer demand for TV Everywhere,” said David Mercer, VP and Principal Analyst at Strategy Analytics. “As OTT services become an integral part of the consumer’s entertainment space, the disruptive trends we are experiencing have demanded a fresh approach, with the widespread deployment of technologies such as LTE Broadcast holding strategic significance for many media players. Quickplay, together with its new investment and recent acquisition of Roundbox, looks set to potentially take the opportunity to strengthen and accelerate
Continue reading "Quickplay nets C$57 mln"

SoftBank, Akamai lead round for Saguna Networks

SoftBank Ventures Korea Corp. and Akamai Technologies have led a financing round for Saguna Networks. Financial terms weren’t announced. Saguna’s existing investors also participated. Saguna, of Yokneam, Israel, provides technology that aims to make mobile broadband simpler. PRESS RELEASE YOKNEAM, Israel, February 12, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — Saguna Networks, a Mobile Edge Computing pioneer making mobile broadband faster, simpler and more economical, announced today that it closed a financing round led by SoftBank Ventures Korea Corp. (SBVK) and Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ: AKAM) supported by Saguna’s existing investors. Saguna will use the funding expand the company’s presence in North America, Asia andEurope as well as accelerate product development. Saguna helps mobile operators improve user experience, monetization and network economics by bringing internet content and applications into the Radio Access Network (RAN); as close as possible to mobile users. The Saguna CODS Mobile Edge Computing platform creates secure and direct fast-track connections between internet content providers and web applications to mobile users and promotes network-aware content optimization with real-time feedback. “We are delighted that Saguna Networks will be SoftBank Ventures Korea Corp’s (SBVK) first investment in Israel. Driven by users’ needs to feel constantly connected, mobile traffic is set to undergo explosive growth in the next 5 years with operators increasingly turning to technology to address bottlenecks.  Saguna’s -Open-RAN is a compelling solution enabling operators to meet their critical future needs,” said Daniel Kang, COO of SBVK.  As part of the investment, SBVK’s Venture Partner, Ben Weiss, will join Saguna’s board as an Observer.
Continue reading "SoftBank, Akamai lead round for Saguna Networks"

Devonshire Investors leads $12 mln B round for Recurly

Recurly said Monday it has closed a $12 million Series B round led by Devonshire Investors, the private investment arm of Fidelity Investments. Greycroft Partners and existing investors, Polaris Partners and e.ventures, also participated. Recurly, of San Francisco, is a pay-as-you-go subscription billing platform. PRESS RELEASE San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) October 20, 2014 Recurly Inc., the leading pay-as-you-go subscription billing platform, today announced that it has closed a $12 million Series B round of new financing. Devonshire Investors (the private investment firm affiliated with Fidelity Investments) led the round with participation from Greycroft Partners and existing investors, Polaris Partners and e.ventures. The new investment will allow Recurly to further accelerate the considerable momentum it has achieved over the last several years in the areas of product innovation, top-notch talent acquisition and customer and revenue growth. With this investment, Shervin Ghaemmaghami, from Devonshire Investors, will join the Recurly Board of Directors. Recurly launched in 2010 on the premise that businesses require an elegant solution to manage sophisticated subscription billing operations. The company’s service has attracted a rapidly growing list of 1700 customers from 32 countries, processing in 11 local currencies via 22 payment gateways. The company has experienced over 780% growth in revenue and over 34 consecutive months of increasing monthly recurring revenue since its $6 million Series A funding. “Subscription business models quickly became the standard in the Software as a Service (SaaS) category and have now become strategic imperatives to be competitive in areas such as digital publishing, media (OTT), productivity, data services and e-commerce companies around the world,” said Dan Burkhart, Recurly CEO and Co-Founder. “Recurly’s unique approach to solving complex billing challenges has resonated with major corporations and mid-enterprises alike. Expanding our bench of world-class investors will further fuel our success as we innovate and expand across new markets.” Recurly, headquartered in San Francisco, currently employs 60 professionals and plans to more than double its headcount by the end of 2015. As a product and engineering focused company, Recurly will use the new funds to grow the capabilities of its subscription billing platform to easily enable integrations with third party services as well as alternative methods of payment. “Recurly’s innovative technology and API-driven solution offers online and offline businesses a recurring revenue management platform that is truly transformative,” said Dave Barrett, Managing Partner at Polaris Partners; Polaris led the company’s seed round and participated in both the Series A and B rounds. “The management team has a deep understanding of the challenges that come with optimizing revenue streams and has developed an approach that is effective, nimble and unlike any other business model in the space today.” About Recurly
Recurly, Inc. provides enterprise-class recurring billing management for thousands of subscription-based SaaS, Media, Mobile, Productivity, and Publishing businesses worldwide. Businesses like AccuWeather, DishDigital, GigaOm, Groupon, JibJab Media, HubSpot, Asana, Optimizely, Twitch.tv, and Zillow depend on Recurly’s ability to deliver recurring billing automation. Since its launch in January of 2010, Recurly has deployed subscription billing for companies in 32 countries throughout North America and Europe. Recurly, Inc. is PCI-DSS Level 1, SAS 70 / SSAE 16 Compliant, and operates in compliance with the data protection practices outlined in the E.U. Safe Harbor Agreement. For more information, visit https://recurly.com About Devonshire Investors
Devonshire Investors is the private investment firm affiliated with FMR LLC, the parent company of Fidelity Investments. The firm has a long track record in venture capital and private equity with funds based in the US (Boston), Europe (London) and Asia (China, India and Japan). About Greycroft Partners
Greycroft Partners is a leading venture capital firm focused on investments in the Internet and mobile markets. With offices in the two media capitals of the world – New York and Los Angeles – Greycroft is uniquely positioned to serve entrepreneurs who have chosen us as their partners. Greycroft leverages an extensive network of media and technology industry connections to help entrepreneurs gain visibility, build strategic relationships, successfully bring their products to market, and build successful businesses. Greycroft manages $600 million and has made over 100 investments since inception, including leading companies such as AppAnnie, Baublebar, Braintree, Buddy Media, Collective, Extreme Reach, Huffington Post, JW Player, Klout, Maker Studios, Plain Vanilla, Pulse, TheRealReal, Trunk Club and WideOrbit.  

Beringea invests in Simplestream

Simplestream has secured funding from Beringea. Financial terms weren’t announced. Simplestream, of London, provides live streaming and live-to-VOD services. PRESS RELEASE LONDON, 13th October 2014 – Simplestream, a leading provider of ‘Over the Top’ (OTT) live streaming services for broadcast TV channels, is pleased to announce it has secured substantial funding from Beringea, the Manager of the ProVen VCTs. The investment will accelerate the expansion of TVPlayer, Simplestream’s B2C live TV streaming service, and facilitate the addition of more channel packs and multi-channel catch-up functionality. TVPlayer is a live TV aggregator of more than 45 free-to-air channels, enabling consumers to watch their favourite channels in one place. Consumers simply go to tvplayer.com, or download the free TVPlayer app from the Apple, Google or Amazon app store. In addition to streaming channels from the major Public Service Broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and FIVE), TVPlayer has agreements to stream popular content from a growing number of Freeview and Freesat channels, including 4Music, Heart, Food Network, Travel Channel, FashionTV, Colors, Rishtey, Al Jazeera and Euronews. TVPlayer has been downloaded almost one million times in the UK since it launched and is consistently rated 4/5 stars across both mobile and tablet. In September TVPlayer launched on Freeview channel 241, bringing 16 new channels to internet connected Freeview HD TVs. TVPlayer is one of the few online platforms participating in BARB’s Project Dovetail, allowing TVPlayer’s viewing figures to be included within a channel’s official audience ranking. Simplestream is a leading provider of live streaming and live-to-VOD services, whose broadcast clients include Discovery, Scripps, Box Television and SKY Bet amongst others. Simplestream’s B2B product, Media Manager, enables broadcasters to securely live stream broadcast content to any device and deploy complex “catch-up” services with ease. Media Manager is used to power TVPlayer, which is available to multi-channel operators internationally and on a white-label basis. Such is the growth in demand for live streaming services, Simplestream has seen 100% revenue growth year on year since its Media Manager was introduced to the UK market in 2012. The company now delivers services across Europe with further international expansion planned for 2015. Rob Hodgkinson, Investment Manager at Beringea, who will join the Simplestream board, commented: “The success of TVPlayer to date demonstrates there is significant demand for a multi-device aggregator of live TV in the UK market. We have been impressed by the progress made by Adam Smith and his team. We are delighted to support the continued development of Simplestream and TVPlayer.” Adam Smith, founder and CEO of Simplestream, added: “With Beringea’s support, we will be investing further in TVPlayer as we seek to build a full TV replacement app, with live streaming and on-demand capabilities for high quality content. We are particularly excited by our content acquisition pipeline as major broadcasters increasingly recognise the ability to access a younger demographic of audience through TVPlayer and Simplestream’s Media Manager platform.”

Push Technology snags $5 mln Series A

Push Technology said Tuesday that it has secured more than $5 million in Series A funding. The investors included Leopard Rock Capital. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., Push Technology is provider of data distribution solutions. PRESS RELEASE London, UK and San Jose, Calif. – August 12, 2014 – Push Technology, a leading provider of data distribution solutions enabling scalable and efficient Web and mobile applications, today announced that it has expanded its presence in the U.S. with a new West Coast office, backed by more than $5 million in Series A funding from Leopard Rock Capital and other existing and new shareholders. Already, a third of Push Technology’s new business has come from its New York City office this year, so expanding to the West Coast was a natural next step in the company’s progression and continued growth. Its new U.S. headquarters in San Jose, California will be supported by new staff amid a 30 percent global workforce increase. Employees in the San Jose office will aim to grow Push Technology’s customer base in North America, promote product integrations with new, strategic U.S. partners and further existing partnerships, including with IBM. “We are delighted at the opportunity to support Push Technology at this stage in its growth,” said Gavin Spencer of Leopard Rock Capital. “The company is helping businesses around the world ensure the performance of their apps at scale. Demand for solutions like Diffusion will only increase as data becomes more integral to consumers’ daily use of connected devices. We believe Push Technology has great potential to grow its presence, both in its industry and across global markets.” This news comes shortly after Push Technology’s launch of Diffusion 5.0, which helps organizations achieve new levels of performance at scale for efficient application data delivery. With a new unified API, enhanced performance, high availability and easy integration with enterprise assets, the platform helps organizations get to market faster with high-performance, scalable, real-time apps and for these to be deployed across a range of mobile operating systems, networks and clients. This is especially important as consumers demand always-on connectivity for machine-to-machine (M2M) technology, over-the-top (OTT) services, Internet of Things apps and wearable devices. “We’re already seeing growing interest in Diffusion from U.S. companies, so establishing an official presence State-side was key to capitalizing on that interest,” said Sean Bowen, CEO at Push Technology. “The Bay Area, in particular, is a hotbed of next-generation apps and new technologies, and represents a strategic opportunity for us to grow our presence in the U.S., especially as data-heavy trends like the Internet of Things, M2M and Mobility adoption continue to develop.” About Push Technology
Push Technology solves the complexity around data distribution by optimizing application data to offer organizations intelligent delivery of real-time data to any device regardless of connectivity or location. The Company’s robust and innovative flagship communication platform, Diffusion™ helps to reduce infrastructure requirements while delivering high performance and scalable services to any Internet connected device. Push Technology works with organizations in the e-gaming, financial services, telecommunications, healthcare, media and broadcast and transportation sectors to optimize data, mobile application performance, Web scale and data acceleration. Delivering data that’s live to the millisecond, Push Technology ensures that businesses can deliver engaging real time customer experiences to drive revenues, increase competitiveness, develop new business models to reduce network strain and recover costs and also elevate consumer engagement across multiple channels in real time. Customers include Betfair, Betdaq, Cognia, Lloyds Bank, Oddschecker, Racing Post, Sportingbet, Tradition and William Hill. For more information, visit www.pushtechnology.com.  

Epoxy bags $6.5 mln Series A

Epoxy has received $6.5 million in Series A financing. Upfront Ventures and Time Warner Investments led the round. Based in Los Angeles, Epoxy is a provider of tools for video channel management. PRESS RELEASE June 24, 2014 – LOS ANGELES, CA – Epoxy, a vanguard technology company at the intersection of video and social media, announced today that Upfront Ventures and Time Warner Investments led a $6.5 million Series A financing round. Previous investors include: Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Advancit Capital, Greycroft Partners and Robert Downey Jr.’s Downey Ventures. The financing follows the successful launch of Epoxy’s groundbreaking social-first video tools that enable social distribution, audience engagement and growth for the most cutting-edge creators in online video. “YouTube is still the dominant force in online video but the audience is clearly starting to fragment with social media (Twitter, Facebook, Vine, Instagram), other web portals (AOL, Yahoo!) and the huge increase in over-the-top (OTT) solutions such as Roku, Xbox, Apple TV & Amazon Fire. No company has built a smarter solution for distributing video & engaging fans across networks than Epoxy. Their product simply must be seen,” said Mark Suster, partner at Upfront Ventures. Used by content creators ranging from YouTubers and Multi Channel Networks to studios and brands, Epoxy integrates YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram into a powerful 360-degree platform of video distribution, audience engagement and insights tools. Epoxy’s apps provide best-in-class viewing experiences for audiences across social, tablet and mobile while engagement tools allow creators to quickly interact with their most important fans to grow their audience. “Online video is growing extremely quickly, and social and mobile are key drivers. We were drawn to Epoxy because they are unique in focusing on the role of social and the importance of fan engagement to long-term success. Their product, team and vision are the best we have seen in the space. Epoxy is prime to meet both the current needs of online video creators and the increasing social and video needs in traditional media,” said Scott Levine, managing director at Time Warner Investments. Epoxy integrates with the social destinations that creators and audiences use most. Designed to take advantage of the unique social mechanisms of each platform, the underlying technology allows complex operations to execute quickly and easily. Video creators, brands, and agencies of all sizes can more effectively share videos with their audiences, control how that content is presented, engage with their most influential fans, and use insights to take real-time actions. “Epoxy enhances the video experience for both our publishers and their fans by embracing the social nature of the medium,” said Juan Bruce, co-founder and CEO of Epoxy.” We understand that creators are incredibly busy and that brands and studios may not have the flexibility to engage with their entire fan base. Our product is unique in that it goes beyond merely providing distribution tools and insights. It highlights and enables the most influential real-time actions that online video publishers can take to intelligently grow their video businesses. We’re thrilled that industry leaders in the space such as Upfront Ventures and Time Warner Investments recognize the market need and share our vision.” About Epoxy
Epoxy is the only social-focused video tool, helping online video creators control their content and connect with fans where they already engage the most – on social media. Its unique underlying technology combines the best distribution, engagement and viewing experiences into one central location. Epoxy was funded by Upfront Ventures, Time Warner Investments, Greycroft Partners, Bertelsmann Digital Media Investments, Downey Ventures, Advancit Capital and strategic angels. Our team backgrounds include Stanford, Brown, MIT, CalTech, Adobe, Apple, GroupMe, Mixpanel, MSG, NASA and Pixar. For more information, visit epoxy.tv. About Upfront Ventures
Upfront Ventures is the largest and longest established venture capital firm based in Los Angeles. It manages more than $1 billion across four funds and has backed many successful startups including Maker Studios, TrueCar, Envestnet, Overture and CitySearch. About Time Warner Investments
The Time Warner Investments group was founded in 2003 and focuses on investment opportunities that directly enhance Time Warner’s ability to meet specific strategic goals. These strategic goals include the delivery of new services, enhancement of an existing product, entry or expansion into a key strategic market, completion of a strategic partnership, and critical research and development.  

U of Michigan’s student-run investment fund invests $90k in two startups

The University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute at the Ross School of Business’s Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund, which is managed by students, has made two investments. The fund provided pre-seed investments to healthcare startup AlertWatch and ad tech startup AdAdapted. The investments totaled $90,000 and closed in November, 2013 and January 2014, respectively.

Press Release

The University of Michigan’s Zell Lurie Institute at the Ross School of Business today announced that its student managed Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund has made two investments. The fund provided pre-seed investments to healthcare startup AlertWatch and ad tech start up AdAdapted. The collective investments total $90,000 and closed in November 2013 and January 2014, respectively. The deals mark the latest in a series of successful investments by the fund (formerly the Frankel Fund), which includes Accio Energy, Ambiq Micro and Are You A Human in its portfolio.

The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund is a student-led, pre-seed investment fund established to identify and accelerate the commercialization of ideas generated within the University community and the surrounding area. A team of 25 graduate students manage the fund and are organized into four investment teams – health care, technology, consumer and cleantech investments. Each team may invest up to $100,000 per investment (in multiple installments) in entrepreneurial ideas with great potential and a vision for the future. The process provides action-based educational experience for MBA and other graduate students in early stage company formation and evaluation. The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund is part of a trifecta of student-led venture funds offered at Ross, including the pioneering Wolverine Venture Fund and Social Venture Fund.

“The Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund is as close to a real-world investing experience as any MBA student could possibly receive,” said Stewart Thornhill, director of the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund and executive director of the Zell Lurie Institute. “Both of these investments demonstrate the strength of the local startup scene and represent the power of the greater U-M community to foster growth within the region. AlertWatch and AdAdapted both have tremendous promise to transform their respective industries and deliver a return on our investments.”

U-M Spinout AlertWatch Aims to Increase Patient Safety
AlertWatch, Inc. is an Ann Arbor-based spinoff from the University of Michigan Health System that produces clinical decision support systems for hospitals. Founded in 2011, AlertWatch simplifies patient monitoring with intuitive products for operating rooms and intensive care units by displaying vital data to doctors in an easy-to-understand format that could help increase patient safety. AlertWatch was founded by Dr. Kevin Tremper and is led by CEO Justin Adams, a University of Michigan BSEE ’01 and MBA ’09.

“The Fund’s investment in AlertWatch is a great example of the immense talent available here in the Ann Arbor area. Not only do we have top notch technologies being developed here at The University of Michigan, but we also have management teams capable of growing and developing very impressive companies,” said Chris Doughty, MBA ’14 and the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund student lead on the deal. “The opportunities for venture capital investments in Ann Arbor are immense and will continue to attract attention from venture capital firms around the country.”

AlertWatch’s close ties to the Ann Arbor area, their strong management team and the potential return on the Fund’s investment make it an ideal investment. The Fund became aware of AlertWatch through its close relationship with U-M’s Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), which also proved to be a valuable source of information during the due diligence process. Since the investment was made in late 2013, AlertWatch has made significant progress on pilot testing, co-marketing partnerships and data showing improved health outcomes, and the company learned this month that it has achieved FDA 510k approval status, one of the key milestones outlined in the Fund’s deal with AlertWatch.

Doughty also noted the benefits of the valuable educational experience from working on the Fund’s investment. “As a student, I found the opportunity to work closely on a deal to be an extremely valuable experience. While conducting due diligence is critical when evaluating a deal, the investment team’s relationship with the company is even more important. My biggest takeaways from this experience are to make sure you work well with the management team of the company you’re investing in and to remember why you’re investing. If you believe in the company and its management team, your investment will be successful.”
AdAdapted to Transform In-App Mobile Advertising
Ann Arbor-based AdAdapted offers a platform that automates the native advertising model for advertisers that want to reach mobile app users via dynamic, customizable, non-disruptive, product placement opportunities within mobile games and apps. With AdAdapted, advertisers can launch scalable, trackable, custom branded campaigns across a wide variety of apps without duplicating efforts with each publisher.
The investment in AdAdapted marks the Zell Commercialization Fund’s first investment in the rapidly-growing ad tech sector and was led by Ray Gallagher, MBA ’14. Prior to this round, the year-old start-up received financing from the Michigan Micro Loan Fund in October 2012 and won the first place award of $2,000 in the New Business Ideas category of the Great Lakes Entrepreneur’s Quest business plan competition at ACE ’13.
Companies and individuals interested in obtaining funding from the Zell Lurie Commercialization Fund may find additional details about the application process on the Institute’s website at www.zli.bus.umich.edu.
About the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies
The Institute and its Center for Venture Capital and Private Equity Finance bring together a potent mix of knowledge, experience and opportunities from the front lines of entrepreneurship and alternative investments. The student learning experience is further enhanced through internships, entrepreneurial clubs and events that serve to provide viable networks and engage the business community. The School’s three student-led investment funds, with over $6.5M under management, immerse students in the business assessment and investment process. Founding Board Members include Samuel Zell, Chairman of Equity Group Investments and Eugene Applebaum, Founder of Arbor Drugs, Inc. For more information, visit the Institute at www.zli.bus.umich.edu.
About the Stephen M. Ross School of Business
The Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan is a vibrant and distinctive learning community grounded in the principle that business can be an extraordinary vehicle for positive change in today’s dynamic global economy. The Ross School of Business mission is to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Through thought and action, members of the Ross community drive change and innovation that improves business and society.
Ross is consistently ranked among the world’s leading business schools. Academic degree programs include an MBA, Part-time MBA (Evening and Weekend formats), Executive MBA, Global MBA, Master of Accounting, Master of Supply Chain Management, Master of Entrepreneurship, Master of Management, BBA, and PhD. In addition, the school delivers open-enrollment and custom executive education programs targeting general management, leadership development, and strategic human resource management.
SOURCE Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

Voxox buys PokeTALK from E Mobile

Voxox, a cloud-based rich communication service for consumers and businesses, has acquired international calling service PokeTALK from E Mobile. PokeTALK was advised by Source Capital Group.

Press Release

Voxox®, the most comprehensive cloud-based rich communication service for consumers and businesses, today announced that it has acquired international calling service PokeTALK from E Mobile, Inc. PokeTALK was advised by Source Capital Group, Inc., a boutique investment bank headquartered in Westport, Conn. with expertise in micro-cap growth companies in the energy, utility, and communications markets.

Over the next three months, PokeTALK’s more than 600,000 registered users will be invited to transfer their existing service to the more comprehensive Voxox service, and receive up to 100 minutes of free talk time. Additionally, PokeTALK will transfer its technology, intellectual property, and partnership agreements with Datawind, Digital Delivery Networks, Inc. (DDNI), Expansys, Hewlett Packard (HP), Lenovo, Medion, and Samsung Electronics to Voxox.

Since 2007, PokeTALK has been enabling consumers to make international calls through Web-based and mobile applications (iOS, Android). The PokeTALK service is also accessible on various tablets and laptops through a link preloaded by the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs). PokeTALK will continue to be supported until the credit of active and paying users is depleted. Meanwhile, PokeTALK users will be invited to download the Voxox app onto their Android, iOS, and desktop computer.

“At Voxox, we are continually pursuing our endeavor to make Voxox a seamless part of people’s lives all over the world,” said Bryan Hertz, CEO and co-founder of Voxox. “Our acquisition of PokeTALK, and the ensuing relationships with OEMs such as Lenovo, enables Voxox to become a de facto communication service for new and existing users from the moment they turn on their new device. This is an exciting new foray for us as it helps to continue the global penetration that Voxox is experiencing in over 200 countries worldwide.”

The PokeTALK service enables consumers to make low-cost international calls leveraging features such as VoIP, callback, desktop contact synch and others. PokeTALK’s features cater well to consumers who have international calling needs as well as global travelers in that they alleviate inconveniences and reduce costs associated with roaming, a vision that Voxox shares.

“We are thrilled to join Voxox in its mission to provide the most complete communication service to consumers and businesses across the globe,” said Sruli Weinreb, president and CEO of E Mobile, PokeTALK’s parent company. “We’re confident this will be a smooth transition for our customers, and are excited to provide users with access to Voxox’s extensive portfolio of services.”

A powerful Over-The-Top (OTT) service, Voxox is revolutionizing the way users communicate. Voxox goes beyond rich communications with an unmatched combination of calling and messaging features that enable users to connect with anyone, anywhere – regardless of network or calling device. All Voxox-to-Voxox communication is free, as is all inbound communication to Voxox accounts from non-Voxox contacts. Other free and low-cost features include international calling, texting and faxing; real-time language translation; voicemail transcription; free phone number; video and media sharing; map and location sharing; and much more. Voxox also offers business phone systems and wholesale services to SMBs and enterprises. For more information about Voxox, please visit: www.voxox.com.

Supporting Resources:
Download Voxox: http://www.voxox.com/downloads
Read the Voxox Blog: http://blog.voxox.com/blog
Follow Voxox on Twitter: @Voxox
Like Voxox on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/voxox

About Voxox
Voxox is an innovator in unified cloud communication solutions for consumers and businesses. For consumers and its operator partners, Voxox delivers cutting-edge mobile and desktop applications that integrate voice, video, messaging, fax, media sharing and more. For businesses, Voxox provides an extensive suite of carrier-grade business phone solutions, including hosted IP-PBX, SIP Trunking, high volume SMS service, as well as a wide array of wholesale services. The foundation of the company’s offerings is its award-winning unified communications platform in the cloud, which enables the company and its customers to build powerful, scalable applications and services. Founded in 2006, Voxox is headquartered in San Diego. For more information, please visit www.voxox.com.