Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Bay Area Tech Wire -- May 13

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- May 13, 2015
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San Francisco-Based DocuSign Raises $233 Million in New Funding
Palo Alto-Based Instart Logic Raises $43 Million in New Funding
Rocket Fuel Rejects $350 Million Takeover Bid from Gravity4
Facebook to Begin Directly Posting Publishers' Articles in News Feeds
San Francisco-Based Ekho Raises $1.2 Million in new Funding Round
Briefly Noted: iRhythm Technologies, YapStone, International CES


> Job/Event/Marketplace Classified Listings (Full Listings Below Stories)

--Senior Director, Business Development - Optoro - DC
--The Delicate Art of Persuading Your Boss
--The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium - May 20 - Cambridge, Mass.

Ad Descriptions Below Briefly Noted Section
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o San Francisco-Based DocuSign Raises $233 Million in New Funding

San Francisco -- DocuSign, the San Francisco-based developer of a platform that lets users make secure transactions through their smart phones, said it has raised $233 million in a new round of funding, co-led by Brookside Capital and Bain Capital Ventures. The company, which now has raised more than $440 million since its inception, said it will use the latest proceeds to fuel continued growth and worldwide expansion. Founded in 2003, DocuSign is the developer of a platform that supports legally compliant electronic and digital signatures. The company has more than 100,000 corporate clients, as well as more than 50 million users in 188 countries. 

o Palo Alto-Based Instart Logic Raises $43 Million in New Funding

Palo Alto, Calif. -- Instart Logic, a Palo Alto-based developer of technology that accelerates the delivery of cloud applications, said on Wednesday it has raised $43 million in a new round of funding, co-led by new investors Four Rivers Group and Hermes Growth Partners. Previous backers Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers and Tenaya Capital also participated. The company also has named Rafael Torres as CFO, Shailesh Shukla as vice president of products and strategy and Justin Fitzhugh as vice president of technical operations. Instart Logic said it will use the funds to fuel accelerated hiring, bolster research and development activities and expand its global footprint. 

o Rocket Fuel Rejects $350 Million Takeover Bid from Gravity4

Redwood City, Calif. -- Rocket Fuel, the Redwood City-based developer of a programmatic marketing platform that uses artificial intelligence, said on Wednesday its board has rejected an unsolicited $350 million takeover bid from San Francisco-based Gravity4, developer of a high-frequency marketing platform. The company revealed the offer on Friday. "Our board of directors has evaluated your proposal in consultation with its independent advisors and concluded that the highly conditional and non-customary nature of your proposal does not constitute a credible offer," wrote interim CEO Monte Zweben in a letter to Gravity4 Chairman and CEO Gurbaksh Chahal. Gravity4 has been on a buying binge of late, since January acquiring Zurmo, Triggit, Ezlike and adX Search. 

o Facebook to Begin Directly Posting Publishers' Articles in News Feeds

Menlo Park, Calif. -- In a move that ultimately could alter the way Americans consume news, Menlo Park-based Facebook on Wednesday launched Instant Articles, a new feature that will let the company directly post articles from participating publishers to users' news feeds. At launch, nine publishers -- including The New York Times and NBC News -- will take part in the service, which Facebook says will load articles up to 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles. The New York Times reported that news publishers can either choose to sell and embed ads in the articles, or allow Facebook to sell ads, with the social network keeping 30% of the revenue. Publishers, in exchange, gain better access to Facebook's 1.4 billion worldwide users, though some fear the feature eventually could draw visitors away from their own sites. "Web articles in the Facebook app take an average of eight seconds to load, by far the slowest single content type on Facebook," wrote Facebook product manager Michael Reckhow, adding that Instant Articles will use "the same technology that loads photos and videos quickly in our mobile app." Articles can include tilt-to-pan photos, auto-play video, embedded audio captions and interactive maps. 

o San Francisco-Based Ekho Raises $1.2 Million in new Funding Round

San Francisco -- Ekho, the San Francisco-based developer of a real-time marketing, data activation and product development platform, said on Wednesday it has raised $1.2 million in a new round of funding to further build out its core platform and product offerings. The round was led by Owen Van Natta, the former COO of Facebook and executive vice president of business development at Zynga, and Jeff Haggin, the president of Say No to Big Money and former CEO of SolutionSet. The company's platform, Ekho Focus, is a web-based visualization and analysis tool provides clients with instant insight and management of their data and custom audiences. Customers include Autodesk, Avis, Budget, Coverdell Insurance, Kimpton and Marriott. 

o Briefly Noted:

(San Francisco) San Francisco-based iRhythm Technologies, a developer of digital healthcare tools focused on cardiac care, on Wednesday named Derrick Sung as its executive vice president of global strategy and corporate development. Sung most recently was a senior equity research analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Company, covering medical devices. 

(Walnut Creek, Calif.) Walnut Creek-based YapStone, a developer of web and mobile payment technology, on Wednesday named David Durant as its general counsel. Durant, who will lead the company's legal, compliance and government affairs initiatives, most recently served as the group vice president and general counsel of Blackhawk Network. 

(Las Vegas) The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) on Wednesday announced that attendance for its 2015 International CES in Las Vegas reached a record 176,676, with 48,833 coming from outside of the U.S. The event also set a number of other records, including more than 3,600 exhibitors, 2.23 million net square feet of exhibit space and 6,952 media and analyst attendees.

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> Senior Director, Business Development - Optoro - DC

We are looking to add a Senior Director of Business Development to our growing team to help capitalize on the rapidly rising demand of our enterprise software solution. The Senior Director will be responsible for prospect evaluation, coverage and development across a portfolio of enterprise accounts. We are looking for someone with a forward-thinking and strategic approach to solving business issues and a strong background in selling solution based software in retail, ecommerce or supply chain industries. For more information or to apply, go to:

> The Delicate Art of Persuading Your Boss

You’ve got a brilliant idea to transform the business. Or maybe you're just trying to stop the stupid train from rolling over the great work your team has done. You make your case to your boss, but she's not convinced. What next? Real leaders take a step back and get serious about the persuading.

> The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium - May 20 - Cambridge, Mass.

The MIT Sloan CIO Symposium will help CIOs to invent their future and accelerate success through technology. CIOs will engage with business leaders, technology trendsetters, and academic thought leaders in panel discussions and explore new thinking and practices. Panel discussions include: Academic Keynote Panel -- The Impact of Automation; Platform Shift -- How New Business Models are Changing the Shape of Industry, and the Role of CIOs; Leading Digital: A Manifesto for IT and Business Executives; The Board, CEO and CIO Roles in Dealing with Digital Disruption; Cybersecurity - New Approaches to Assessing and Maximizing Your Protection; Demand Shaping: How IT Becomes a Distinctive Advantage; and Cashing in on Your Data. Use code 15NETECHWIRE when registering for a $200 discount. Register at


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