Rising Share Prices Could Ignite A New Tech Acquisition Spree

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 12:03 pm
moneybags In early 2014, a number of high-profile acquisitions were locked in at prices that many found confusing. The good times are probably coming back. Companies that compete across numerous technology strata like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook are trading near record highs — or at least, the highest prices they’ve seen in a decade. Those same companies are all incredibly cash-rich. Read More




UberXL comes to New York

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 11:03 am

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In May, Uber launched its super-sized, value-priced SUV service, Uber XL, in San Francisco; and today, it comes to New York. With the larger vehicles in this fleet, your entourage can travel in one car, not two.

Now, New Yorkers can reserve bigger vehicles like Toyota’s Highlander, Honda’s Pilot, and Nissan’s Pathfinder for a better price than UberSUV. Uber is pitching it both as a family product and as a way to get all of your friends from party to party.

Uber Xl rates

For a six-person car, UberXL service has a base price of $4.50 compared with $14 for UberSUV. It’s also a bit less per mile ($3.25 versus $4.50) and per minute ($0.60 versus $0.80). As an example, Uber says a trip from Manhattan to JFK International airport will cost $125 using UberSUV; the same ride on UberXL is only $75.

Considering that Millenials travel in packs and the app already has a built in fare-splitting feature, UberXL is poised to capture this demographic.

It’s still unclear why Uber is offering a cheap SUV option in addition to UberSUV, which is significantly more expensive than UberXL. As we’ve noted before, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of difference between Uber’s many services other than the exterior of the car.

UberXL has already launched in Sydney, Singapore, Boston, and San Francisco.


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Going The Distance With A Smart Shoe Made In India

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 10:45 am
Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 11.08.20 AM Forget Google Glass or Jawbone Up, the next wave in wearable tech might just be a smart shoe from India. The Lechal, meaning “take me along” in Hindi, has a Bluetooth enabled shoe insert that hooks up with Google Maps and buzzes to let you know which way to turn on your chosen route. Created by Ducere Technologies Pvt, the shoe hooks up with an app that syncs with Google Maps,… Read More




‘Internet-plus-HBO’ may move to more cable networks

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 9:40 am
‘Internet-plus-HBO’ may move to more cable networks

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Comcast and AT&T have each been offering an bundle of Internet plus HBO (and a basic cable channel package) on a trial basis, and it now looks like the offer maybe moving to other Pay TV services as well, Bloomberg reports.

Comcast and AT&T sell the trial service for 40 bucks. Only new customers can access the plans, and the price point is promotional and doesn’t last forever.

The “Internet Plus” trial is targeted at the cord-cutters among us — the 10 million or so (younger) cable customers who buy cable Internet but not TV service. Today, about 100 million U.S. households buy cable packages.

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.41.26 AM

Above: Comcast’s Internet plus HBO offer.

HBO’s parent, Time Warner Cable, believes the HBO has big growth potential, and says that’s one of the big reasons it’s been resistant so far to an acquisition by Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.

HBO believes cable consumers would be willing to pay a healthy price for it’s programming alone, apart from all the other channels in a typical cable package. And analysts say the research bears this out.

“Game of Thrones” and “Boardwalk Empire” are two of the HBO shows that are driving the network’s worth right now. But HBO has been the pioneer in high quality original content starting as far back as The Sopranos.

For Pay TV operators, the problem with the Internet-plus-HBO plans is that existing customers don’t get the same deal, so they’re at risk for dropping out. Most cable customers pay more than a hundred dollars a month for a large package of cable channels (many of which they don’t want), of which HBO is a part.












Venture Scanner tracks 332 marketing automation companies, shows you who’s on top

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 9:02 am
Venture Scanner tracks 332 marketing automation companies, shows you who’s on top
Image Credit: Pixabay

How do you keep track of an explosive emerging sector? With data, of course.

Today Venture Scanner, which tracks vendors in emerging tech sectors, launched a new tracking offering for the marketing automation market, called Marketing Automation Scan. According to CEO Nader Ghaffari, Venture Scanner gives corporations, analysts, consultants, investors, and startups a way to keep tabs on the vast array of solutions in a particular space.

“Venture Scanner is a platform for analyst coverage,” Ghaffari told me in a recent interview. “Venture Scanner’s platform, which sits on top of a wealth of data aggregated on private companies coupled with analyst workflow tools, enables our sector analysts to provide dynamic sector coverage.”

Marketing automation (MA) is the use of software and technologies to aid marketing across multiple channels, such as email, website, and social media. The MA industry is currently standing at the edge of Moore’s Chasm: the hard-to-bridge gap between ‘early adopters’ and ‘early majority.’ In order to leap across the divide, the main protagonists are building a stockpile of explosive solutions. After two consecutive years of 50 percent annual revenue growth, the industry has grown from a handful of systems to over 300 products.

MA vendors are busy building weapons of mass marketing that could change how all businesses, not just those with corporate-size budgets, communicate with their customers. This rapid expansion creates a problem for anyone interested in understanding who is likely to light the blue touchpaper and rocket over the chasm first.Venture Scanner - chasm

Within the Venture Scanner lexicon, a ‘scan’ is an overall view of data and insights on any emerging technology sector. It includes a dynamic map of all the companies in the sector, curated daily news, and original analyst insights. The aim for Venture Scanner is to make it easy to continuously stay on top of sectors of interest, monitor the individual companies within that sector, and find opportunities.

Venture Scanner already has a number of scans in its portfolio, ranging from 3D printing to Digital Health, Bitcoin to Internet of things, and Connected Transportation to Financial Technology. The company’s latest data-store takes on the marketing automation industry, and Venture Scanner analyst Dong Liu is clear on why the sector requires a data-driven resource.

“This is one of the fastest growing sectors in the technology industry,” Liu told me. “The sector encompasses a broad range of marketing functions, including email marketing, social media marketing, website analytics, search engine optimization, and others. We aim to help the players, purchasers, investors, and acquirers continuously keep a pulse on the sector and make informed decisions.”


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Using Venture Scanner couldn’t be simpler.

When you subscribe to the Marketing Automation Scan — currently priced at $199 per month — you gain access to a dashboard that contains links and updates from every vendor in the space. At the time of writing, the scan included 332 companies, 113 of which are funded to the tune of $3.04 billion.

Venture Scanner dashboard

From this dashboard, you can find out more about every single company within the scan. You can watch the Latest Coverage tab to see which products are being added and the content that is being distributed by the MA companies, such as earnings reports and when vendors are mentioned in articles and blog posts. You can easily digest the entire funding landscape and drill down into details on each company in the sector.

I asked Ghaffari how the underlying technology works to keep Venture Scanner subscribers up-to-date on their chosen sectors.

“Our approach is one part technology and one part analyst context. Our system aggregates the available data on companies and organizes companies into clusters. Our analysts then arrange these clusters into dynamic maps that represent a technology sector like Marketing Automation. The system then continuously refreshes the scans while our analysts build ongoing insights on top of that data,” Ghaffari explains.

With so many emerging and established products in the marketing automation marketplace, it can be difficult to answer the important questions. Who are all these companies, and how do they stack up against one another? What are the key drivers for success in this sector and which companies are exhibiting them? Who within the space is most likely to cross the chasm between those that have taken on MA solutions early and those that have the numbers to explode sustained growth in the industry.

That’s the $22 billion question, and Venture Scanner believes it has the data-driven answers.












Tango Teases “Music Pix,” A Social App For Making Instant Photo Slideshows

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 8:29 am
tango-music-pix Tango, the mobile messaging platform that raised a massive $280 million from Alibaba earlier this year, has quietly rolled out a new photo-sharing application called Tango Music Pix. The app lets you share your photos along with a song, in order to create 30-second customized slideshows. [UPDATED, see below]. In the app’s description on iTunes, Tango notes that you won’t need… Read More




Real estate website Zillow to buy rival Trulia for $3.5 billion

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 8:07 am

Real estate website operator Zillow is buying rival Trulia in a $3.5 billion deal that would make the biggest player in the online real estate market.





Cab hailing app Easy Taxi raises $40M so you catch a ride in more places around the world

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 6:58 am
Cab hailing app Easy Taxi raises $40M so you catch a ride in more places around the world
Image Credit: Kevin Poh via Flickr

NOTE: GrowthBeat is less than 2 weeks out! VentureBeat is gathering the best and brightest in modern digital marketing to help declutter the landscape, simplify the functions, clarify the goals, and point the way to success. Get the full scoop here, and buy your tickets while they last.

Insta-cab mobile app Easy Taxi just raised $40 million in its fourth round of funding to make its service more widely available.

The Berlin-based company launched in 2011 out of tech incubator Rocket Internet, known for creating clones of successful tech products. Easy Taxi is one of the main go-to apps for people in search of a quick ride in Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.

The company has roughly 185,000 drivers in its network and operates in more than 160 cities worldwide.

Russian Phenomen Ventures led the round, with participation from Tengelmann Ventures, the investment arm of German retailer Tengelmann Group. The money will be used to help Easy Taxi capture an even larger share of the market in Latin America and Asia.
The company would be wise to stay out of the U.S., though, where the market is brimming with competition from mobile taxi reservation and ride sharing services like Uber, Hailo, Lyft, and SideCar among others.
Focusing on markets outside the U.S. is Rocket Internet’s signature move and one that serves the company very well, allowing it to profit on the markets that most major tech companies ignore.
We last covered Easy Taxi last October, when it raised a $7 million round.

We're studying digital marketing compensation: how much companies pay CMOs, CDOs, VPs of marketing, and more, with ChiefDigitalOfficer. Help us out by filling out the survey, and we'll share the results with you.


Easy Taxi was founded by Tallis Gomes in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2011 and is now one of the world’s leading mobile Taxi apps, present in 11 countries, Easy Taxi connect drivers and passengers in a smooth, easy and safe way. The va... read more »












Tiempo Wants To Simplify Time Tracking So You Can Focus On Work

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 6:34 am
02-TC-Tiempo-Body Y Combinator-backed Tiempo is a free time-tracking app for iOS, Android and the web that can be used by individuals or companies to track employee hours to pay them faster. Read More




Zillow buying Trulia in $3.5 billion stock deal

Monday 28 July 2014 @ 6:02 am

Trulia's stock rose more than 16 percent in Monday premarket trading, while Zillow's stock fell more than 3 percent.





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