Monday, June 29, 2015

Bay Area Tech Wire -- June 29

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- June 29, 2015
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San Francisco-Based RidePal Runs Out of Funding, Ceases Operations
San Francisco-Based AirTable Raises $7.6 Million in New Funding
Redwood City-Based Drippler Raises $4.5 Million in First Round
Discovery Communications Pays $1.45B for Olympic Rights in Europe
o Briefly Noted: LiveRamp, Ellie Mae

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

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o San Francisco-Based RidePal Runs Out of Funding, Ceases Operations

San Francisco -- RidePal, the San Francisco-based operator of a commuter bus service in the Bay Area and Los Angeles that relies heavily on mobile and web technology, said it has ceased operations after failing to raise necessary funding. "It is with deep regret and heavy hearts that we announce the termination of RidePal operations, effective Monday June 29th," the company wrote in an email to customers. "We realize that this is an unexpected development, but please know that our team has been working tirelessly to avoid it." The four-year-old company said it had "edged toward profitability," but "unfortunately, our funding has prevented us from continuing." RidePal based its business model on shared corporate commuter shuttles paid for, in part, by local companies, but also available to individuals. Prices ranged from $12 for a single ride to $200 for an unlimited monthly pass. The company previously had raised $3.7 million from investors including Volvo Group Venture Capital, Claremont Creek Ventures, Ecomobilite Ventures, Huron River Ventures and Prelude Ventures. (Facebook page)

o San Francisco-Based AirTable Raises $7.6 Million in New Funding

San Francisco -- AirTable, the San Francisco-based developer of a relational database designed to help users collaborate and sync data across all of their devices, said on Monday it has raised $7.6 million in a new round of funding, led by Charles River Ventures. Other investors included Brennan O'Donnell, the vice president of sales and customer success at SurveyMonkey; Ilya Sukhar, the founder of Parse and director of product management at Facebook; Joshua Reeves, the co-founder and CEO of ZenPayroll; Kevin Mahaffey, the co-founder and CTO of Lookout; and Othman Laraki, the co-founder of Color Genomics. The news comes just three months after AirTable publicly released its core technology. "We've come to believe that we're on to something extremely useful, so we're inspired to go further, faster," the company said in a blog post. AirTable also on Monday named Francis Larkin as its vice president of growth. Larkin previously served as the director of product marketing at Facebook. 

o Redwood City-Based Drippler Raises $4.5 Million in First Round

Redwood City, Calif. -- Drippler, the Redwood City-based developer of a mobile app providing users with personalized tips about their smartphones and recommendations about new apps, has raised $4.5 million in its first round of funding, TechCrunch reported on Monday. Titanium Investments led the round, which also included participation from TMT Investments, iAngels and several individuals. Launched in 2011, Drippler specializes in providing iPhone and Android users with recommendations about hot new apps and games, as well as tips about getting the most out of their smartphones. The company plans to use the proceeds to hire, both in the Bay Area and Israel, as well as bolster product development activities. 

o Discovery Communications Pays $1.45B for Olympic Rights in Europe

Silver Spring, Md. -- In a landmark deal for the company, Discovery Communications said on Monday it has paid $1.45 billion to secure the exclusive rights to broadcast four Olympic Games in Europe from 2018-2024. Discovery, which a year ago acquired a controlling stake in European sports entertainment group Eurosport International. will broadcast the events across all platforms -- including free-to-air television, subscription and pay-TV, the Internet and mobile phone -- in all languages across 50 countries and territories on the European continent. The company owns an average of 10 channels in every market. "Today is a historic day as we proudly add the Olympic rings to Discovery Communications' portfolio of offerings," said David Zaslav, the company's president and CEO. "Adding the Olympic Games, the greatest live event in the world, is a perfect editorial and strategic fit." The agreement covers the XXIII Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang in 2018, and the Games of the XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo in 2020, as well as the Olympic Games in 2022 and 2024, the host cities of which have yet to be announced. 

o Briefly Noted:

(San Francisco) San Francisco-based LiveRamp, a unit of Acxiom that connects more than 130 digital marketing and media platforms, on Monday named Luke McGuinness as its head of data partnerships. McGuinness most recently served as the senior vice president of data and product strategy at Collective.

(Pleasanton, Calif.) Pleasanton-based Ellie Mae, a developer of software and services for the residential mortgage industry, on Monday named Peter Hirsch as its executive vice president of technology and operations, a newly created role. Hirsch most recently served as a senior vice president at Ariba, and previously was chief architect and business unit leader at IBM. 

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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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