Ok story time. We are a small 6 man team startup. We are pre-revenue and pre-funding. Unfortunately for us we recently heard from one of our clients they are working with AWS to solve the exact problem we are solving. The client said they are having problems as the people at AWS don’t have any industry knowledge at all and sometimes it feels like they are building the product for them. They love us as we have a crazy amount of knowledge. Lastly we using AI to solve this problem, we have a fuckton of data and according to the client, our dataset is 1000x bigger than that of AWS especially for this problem.
I love this startup but the prospect of taking AWS on is naive, I know we will get crushed. We have a call with the AWS team next week, should we position ourselves for a sale?
SALIDO, the restaurant management platform, has been acquired by Michigan-based North American Bancard, the electronic payment processor. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Socialbakers CEO Yuval Ben-Itzhak will become president of Socialbakers for the combined company, and he told me via email that the entire Socialbakers team will be joining as well, resulting in a combined organization with more than 600 employees and $ 100 million in annual recurring revenue.
Socialbakers was one of the last independent players from the first wave of social analytics. Founded in 2008 and based in Prague, the company raised a total of $ 34 million in funding, according to Crunchbase, from investors including Earlybird Venture Capital and Index Ventures. And it’s used by more than 2,5000 brands globally.
Astute, meanwhile, has been around for 25 years, and focuses on unifying customer data. Ben-Itzhak said that by acquiring Socialbakers, Astute will be able to add social media-focused features like audience insights, content planning, influencer marketing and ad analytics.
“Socialbakers and Astute are already sharing dozens of mutual brand customers in the enterprise segment,” he said. “This is, in fact, how the acquisition talks came about. The platform integration process has already started and is expected to continue through Q4.”
In a statement, Astute CEO Mark Zablan also emphasized the comprehensiveness of the resulting platform.
“The lines between customer care, customer experience, and marketing have become increasingly blurred, presenting real challenges for companies,” Zablan said. “Combining the market-leading social media marketing capabilities of Socialbakers with Astute’s engagement suite not only helps our customers tackle this challenge more effectively, but also marks a major milestone along Astute’s journey towards becoming the end-to-end customer engagement platform that the Chief Customer Officer needs to succeed.”
How would you guys advise to determine the cost per acquisition of new customers?
Ideally we would want to know how many new customers our marketing initiative (campaign) was able to generate, but what we get is actually cost per transaction and not per new customer.
Would it be alright to just take the overall marketing spend / new customers this month?
How do you guys get your monthly costs per acquisitions?
Thanks in advance!
Optimizely was founded in 2009 by Dan Siroker and Pete Koomen. It became synonymous with A/B testing, subsequently building a broader suite of tools for marketers to experiment with and personalize their websites and apps, with more than 1,000 customers including Gap, StubHub, IBM and The Wall Street Journal.
The company had raised more than $ 200 million in funding from Goldman Sachs, Index Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, GV and others. Earlier this year, it laid off 15% of its staff, citing the impact of COVID-19.
Episerver, meanwhile, was founded in Stockholm back in 1994 and offers tools for marketers to manage their digital content. Accel-KKR sold the company to Insight Partners for $ 1.1 billion in 2018. (Today’s announcement describes Insight as a “strategic advisor and sponsor” in the acquisition.)
In a statement, Episerver CEO Alex Atzberger said this is “the most significant transformation in our company’s history – one that will set a new industry standard for digital experience platforms.” It sounds like the idea is to extend Episerver’s capabilities around content and commerce with Optimizely’s experimentation tools.
“The breakthrough combination of Episerver and Optimizely will transform digital experience creation and optimization, enabling digital teams to replace guesswork with evidence-based outcomes,” Atzberger said. “This, along with our shared mission to empower growing companies to compete digitally, makes me thrilled to welcome the Optimizely team to Episerver, as we prove there are no extraordinary experiences without experimentation.”
A company spokesperson said the deal is for a mix of cash and stock. The acquisition is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year, with the companies remaining fully staffed and independent until then.
“Winning in today’s digital world requires delivering the best and most personalized digital experiences,” said Jay Larson, who replaced Siroker as Optimizely CEO in 2017, in a statement. “Episerver and Optimizely have a shared vision to optimize every customer touchpoint through the use of experimentation. Together, we will enable our customers to do more testing, in more places, with greater ease than ever before.”
The Cupertino tech giant Apple typically buys smaller companies from time to time specifically for talent or technologies quietly. So far, the company has acquired more than 30 startups!
In the latest report, news got leaked that Apple, somewhere between 2018 to 2019, acquired Israeli AR and computer vision company Camerai. The Israeli startup is a cross-platform graphical engine with the first AR Studio for developers willing to deliver revolutionary user experiences. This news was reported by Israeli newspaper Calcalist.
Camerai (previously called Tipit) was sold for tens of millions of dollars, reported the newspaper company. The Tel-Aviv-based company was founded by Aaron Wetzler, Erez Tal, Gil Hadas, Jonathan Rimon, and Moty Kosharovsky in 2014. The company raised around $ 5 million (approx €4.2 million) in total.
Furthermore, Calcalist reported that the startup’s employees joined Apple’s computer vision team in Herzliya and Camerai’s technology has been integrated into Apple products already. “Camerai’s platform allowed app and software developers to create augmented reality and image processing graphics without the need for technical knowledge or writing code.”
Right now, Apple currently operates a major development centre in Israel as a result of numerous acquisitions and intense hiring. It is headed by Rony Friedman, with 1500 employees in offices in Herzliya and Haifa. Apple is currently working on its ambitious AR glasses that have been on speculations for years now. According to the analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the first iteration of Apple’s AR headset could arrive in 2022 at the earliest.
Apple AR headsets are expected to feature a high-res display and likely to be reliant on iPhone for processing power considering it’s sleek built. On the software front, the headsets are expected to be shipped with realityOS (rOS).
Main image credits: Laura Hutton / Shutterstock
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Notably, the acquisition of Blendle is the second by Cafeyn in as many months following the successful acquisition of miLibris, the technology service provider to publishers that operates in France and Canada, in June this year
Ari Assuied, president of the Cafeyn Group comments: “At Cafeyn our ambition is to give everyone unparalleled access to quality content. This acquisition enables us to accelerate our growth. We are very happy to onboard such a talented and passionate team of media experts into our Group”.
iTunes for Dutch newspaper
To reiterate, Blendle is a website that lets readers pay for individual articles for major publishers, instead of having to pay a monthly subscription. Launched in 2014 by Alexander Klöpping and Marten Blankesteijn, Blendle operates in the Netherlands, Germany, and the US with 50,000 paying subscribers and 30,000 trial members.
Continue to accelerate international expansion
In an interview with De Volkskrant, Alexander Klöpping said that he will step down from his role as chief exec. It’s worth mentioning that Cafeyn with Blendle will continue to accelerate its international expansion and product development.
“It has always been our dream to go international with Blendle. After all, making quality journalism accessible to everyone is not only relevant for the Dutch,” says Blendle founder Alexander Klöpping.
Serves over 1.5 million active users
The Dutch news platform has developed notable product expertise around the article experience including clipping, tags, recommendations, and audio, all of which are complementary to the Cafeyn platform.
With the acquisition, the Cafeyn Group of companies now offers more than 2500 newspapers and magazines and serves over 1.5 million active users across Europe. The company aims to bring the best of both companies and apps together into a unified experience.
Ari Assuied “We’re excited for our teams to start exchanging features and experiences and to make our catalogues featuring over 2500 newspapers and magazines available to all. It allows us to become the home of the best pan-European journalism out there”.
To date, Blendle has raised over $ 3.8 million (approx €3.2 million) from various investors including INKEF Capital, Nikkei Inc, and others.
Main image credits: Cafeyn
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Today, Priti Youssef Choksi is a partner with venture firm Norwest Venture Partners . But she previously spent five-and-a-half years at Google, where she worked on strategic partnerships, and nearly nine years at Facebook, where she began in corporate development and later focused on M&A.
Because Choksi knows firsthand how some of the biggest companies on the planet think about potential acquisition targets and how deals ultimately come together, we asked if she would share some of those insights with us during our recent founder-centric Early Stage event. The idea was to help attendees better how understand how — and why — certain acquisitions come together; her advice was so helpful that we wanted to share it more widely here.
So where to start? Choksi suggested people first understand the “build, partner, or buy” mentality of big acquirers. Indeed, while deals can look very much alike to outsiders (a deal is a deal is a deal), they are not. First, big companies will build internally if they are bolstering a strategic asset or what they need involves sensitive information or technology. A good example of something that Google would never buy, for example, is search tech, because search is the company’s crown jewel, she noted. Companies will meanwhile partner in order to fill a product or service gap or when they’re looking to stand up a new platform, she said, pointing to the early days of Google’s Android ecosystem.
As for when they finally go shopping, companies are driven by three things, said Choksi: talent, technology and traction. With talent, as you might imagine, companies may conduct an acqui-hire with the goal of filling a talent or leadership gap internally or to acquire niche skills that their current employees don’t already have, she said.
Companies meanwhile shop for technology when they need outside tech to boost their organic efforts. Choksi pointed to Luma.io by way of example. Back in 2013, the young company, which created a video-capture, stabilization and sharing app, was acquired by Instagram (which was itself already owned by Facebook); a week after it closed the Luma deal, Facebook launched video on Instagram largely based on Luma’s platform.