Marketing software giant Marketo is being taken private by PE firm Vista Equity Partners in an all-cash deal worth $1.79 billion. “The news ends weeks of speculation in which people guessed that Marketo would be snapped up potentially by strategics like Microsoft (who is a big partner of Marketo) or SAP,” TechCrunch reports. Marketo went public in 2013.
Microsoft is funding an early-stage investment group with a focus on cloud, security and machine-learning technology startups. “The new group is taking over the old ‘Microsoft Ventures’ name,” ZDNet reports. “The entity formerly known as Microsoft Ventures, which was owned by the Developer Evangelism team, has been rebranded to ‘Microsoft Accelerator.’”
Cloud computing platform Twilio has filed for a public offering. “The telecommunications platform seeks to raise as much as $100 million,” Venture Beat reports. “The company’s move toward the public market makes its one of the first few tech IPOs of 2016, following Dell’s spin-off SecureWorks in April.”
Getting serious about original content, Apple reportedly considered buying Time Warner, late last year. “Eddy Cue, who oversees critical Apple businesses such as the iTunes store, Apple Music and iCloud, broached the idea of a bid at a meeting at the end of last year with Olaf Olafsson, Time Warner’s head of corporate strategy,” The Financial Times reports, citing sources.
In the Bay Area, tech layoffs more than doubled in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year, The Mercury News reports. “The jump comes amid a litany of other signs that the tech economy may be taking a breather [including] disappointing earning reports from stalwarts like Apple, an IPO market that has come to a near standstill, a volatile stock exchange and uncertainty in China,” it writes.
As Yahoo continues to meet with potential acquirers, CEO Marissa Mayer isn’t standing in the way of any potential deal. Rather, “Her initial recalcitrance regarding the sale seems to have disappeared and that she is participating actively,” Recode reports, citing sources. “She is the one in clear charge of the sale now, if you judge by the new presentations," a source said of Mayer.
For the first time in six quarters, Time Inc reported an increase in quarterly revenue, on Thursday. “Digital advertising revenue rose 23.2 percent in the first quarter, helped by acquisitions, including advertising company Viant in February,” Reuters reports. Meanwhile, “The company said … it plans to launch an online channel for People and Entertainment Weekly, extending its 'LIFE' brand to virtual reality platform.”
Marissa Mayer said she needed three years to turn Yahoo around. It didn’t happen. What did happen? “The most commonly discussed charge against Mayer … is that she’s guilty of micromanagement,” Bloomberg Businessweek writes. The, there are those that say, “Any turnaround at Yahoo was probably doomed from the start.”