Thursday, June 25, 2015

Bay Area Tech Wire -- June 25

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- June 25, 2015
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Palo Alto-Based Curbside Lands $25 Million in Second Round
Redwood City-Based Qwilt Raises $25 Million in Fourth Round
S.F.-Based Automatic Labs Secures $24 Million in Second Round
San Jose-Based Cypress Makes "Best and Final" Offer for ISSI
Sebastopol-Based Safari Acquires Popforms
Briefly Noted:
LDK Solar, Neustar, Sysomos

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--Director of Information Technology - City of Berkeley, CA

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o Palo Alto-Based Curbside Lands $25 Million in Second Round

Palo Alto, Calif. -- Curbside, the Palo Alto-based developer of a mobile app that allows users to shop from their phones and pick up items in front of the store the same day, said on Thursday it has landed $25 million in its second round of funding. Sutter Hill Ventures led the round, which also included participation from several previous backers, including Index Ventures, Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang's AME Cloud Venture and Qualcomm Ventures. The company will use the funds to expand its service to new markets and retailers. The service is currently available at Target and Best Buy stores in the Bay Area, as well as the Westfield Mall Oakridge location. The company also recently launched its first Target locations in New York/New Jersey, which will expand in coming months along with new locations in Southern California. The service is free, the app is free and the company said it does not mark up store prices. Curbside was co­founded by Jaron Waldman, who founded Placebase, later sold to Apple, and Denis Laprise, who founded Poly9 , also acquired by Apple. 

o Redwood City-Based Qwilt Raises $25 Million in Fourth Round

Redwood City, Calif. -- Qwilt, a Redwood City-based developer of open caching and online video delivery tools, said on Thursday it has raised $25 million in its fourth round of funding, led by a $16 million investment from Disrupt-ive. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt's Innovation Endeavors and previous backers Cisco Investments, Accel Partners, Bessemer Venture Partners, Marker and Redpoint Ventures also contributed to the round, which increase the company’s total funding to $65 million. Qwilt plans to use the proceeds to scale the company, accelerate its go-to-market strategy and bolster its flagship product, Qwilt Video Fabric. The software is designed to optimize the delivery of streaming video content to relieve network traffic congestion and deliver a higher quality viewing experience. "This new funding speeds our ability to scale the company and get our technology deployed faster," said co-founder and CEO Alon Maor. 

o S.F.-Based Automatic Labs Secures $24 Million in Second Round

San Francisco -- Automatic Labs, the San Francisco-based developer of an app and in-car device that bring connected services to vehicles, said on Thursday it has raised $24 million in its second round of funding. USAA, CDK Global and Comcast Ventures joined previous investors Y Combinator, RPM Ventures, Anthemis Group, Amicus Capital and angel investors in the round, which follows the company's launch of an app store for cars called the Automatic App Gallery. Apps built on the company's platform do everything from expense business mileage and manage small fleets to coach teenagers and track racing. The company's in-car device is sold at, Best Buy, Target, Amazon and its own website for $99.95. Automatic now has raised $32 million since its inception in 2011.

o San Jose-Based Cypress Makes "Best and Final" Offer for ISSI

San Jose, Calif. -- Making what it is calling its "best and final offer" in a protracted bidding war, San Jose-based Cypress Semiconductor has again raised its bid for Milpitas-based Integrated Silicon Solution Inc. (ISSI). The company has agreed to pay $22.60 a share, plus a $0.10-a-share ticking fee for each additional quarter required to obtain regulatory approval. On Tuesday, competing bidder Uphill Investment offered $23 a share -- a figure Cypress said it will not match. "Our strategic and financial analysis indicates this is the maximum price justified for ISSI in order for the deal to create long-term value for our shareholders," wrote T.J. Rodgers, the president and CEO of Cypress, in a letter to ISSI's top management. Uphill initially proposed acquiring ISSI in March for $19.25 a share. 

o Sebastopol-Based Safari Acquires Popforms

Sebastopol, Calif. -- Safari, the Sebastopol-based operator of a subscription online learning library for technology and business professionals, said it has acquired the assets of Seattle-based Popforms, a creator of courses and tools supporting technical managers. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition includes all of Popforms' original content, including its website, courses, videos, newsletters and interactive exercises. Popforms' "Leadership Sparks" deliver bite-sized courses on the skills young managers need to master, including productivity, public speaking, stress management, communication and negotiation. The company had been a content partner of Safari's for the past year. 

o Briefly Noted:

(Sunnyvale, Calif.) LDK Solar, a Chinese manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) products with U.S. headquarters in Sunnyvale, on Thursday named Zhibin Liu as its new chairman. Xingxue Tong, the company's president and CEO, who also had served as interim chairman, has stepped down from the board. 

(San Francisco) Neustar, a Virginia-based provider of cloud-based information services to marketing and security professionals, has named Brian Foster as its senior vice president of information services. Foster, who will be based in the company's San Francisco office, most recently served as the CTO of Damballa, and previously was the senior vice president of product management at McAfee. 

(Toronto, Canada) Sysomos, a Canadian developer of social media and analytics tools with offices in San Francisco and Sunnyvale, has announced five new executive hires. The company has named Edward Byon as its CFO, Mark Young as its CMO, Omer Aziz as its senior vice president of human resources, Eric Kafka as its vice president of corporate development and Timothy Torres as its senior vice president of infrastructure. Complete bios on each are available at the link below. 

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> Director of Information Technology - City of Berkeley, CA

The Director of Information Technology leads a large municipal department in providing a diverse array of digital services to its employees, citizens, and beyond. Reporting to the City Manager, the Director of IT will be seen as the technology leader working across the organization to ensure a forward-thinking and strategic approach to technology in support of all municipal business units. Bachelor’s degree is required. This position requires six years responsible experience in information technology, four years of which must have been at a supervisory or management level. Salary range $137,772 to $189,396 DOQ, plus benefit package including CalPERS. Detailed brochure by clicking here. Confidential inquiries to Greg Nelson at (916) 630-4900. Submit cover letter and resume to prior to Friday, July 3, 2015.

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