Monday, April 25, 2016

Bay Area Tech Wire -- April 25

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- April 25, 2016
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San Francisco-Based Helium Lands $20 Million in Second Round
San Francisco-Based Augmedix Raises $17 Million in New Funding
Current Acquires Los Altos-Based Daintree Networks
o Vox Media Launches New Tech Gadget Blog on Facebook
o Gannett Offers to Buy Tribune Publishing for $815 Million
o Briefly Noted: Silicon Valley Forum - World Cup Tech Challenge,
SalesPredict, Marketo


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o San Francisco-Based Helium Lands $20 Million in Second Round

San Francisco -- Helium, a San Francisco-based Internet-of-Things company providing smart sensing, monitoring and alerts of assets and environment, said on Monday it has raised $20 million in its second round of funding, led by GV (formerly Google Ventures). Khosla Ventures, FirstMark and Munich RE/Hartford Steam Boiler Ventures also took part in the round. Andy Wheeler, a general partner at GVhas joined the company's board of directors. Founded in 2013, Helium's smart sensor applications are currently in trials with various customers in the healthcare, food and beverage, transportation and grocery industries, including restaurant chains and several hospitals. 

o San Francisco-Based Augmedix Raises $17 Million in New Funding

San Francisco -- Augmedix, a San Francisco-based Google Glass startup designed to free doctors from hours of mandated charting and documentation, said on Monday it has raised $17 million in a new round of funding, led by Redmile Group. The round included previous backers Emergence Capital and DCM Ventures, as well as investments from five U.S. healthcare systems -- Sutter Health, Dignity Health, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), TriHealth and one more unnamed system. The company, which now has raised $40 million since its inception, said it will use the funds to expand its service across health systems and private clinics nationwide. Augmedix's service allows doctors to don Google Glass devices, then gather information for electronic health records by speaking to patients. Forms, health history, lab orders, prescriptions and more are completed using a remote scribe, verbal notes and commands. 

o Current Acquires Los Altos-Based Daintree Networks

Los Altos, Calif. -- Current, the Boston-based developer of a digital power service within General Electric (GE), said it has acquired Daintree Networks, a Los-Altos-based developer of networked wireless control and energy management tools for smart buildings. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Current will integrate Daintree's employees in California, Australia and Massachusetts into its structure. The company said the acquisition will allow it to expand its building automation platform and energy-as-a-service offering to small- and medium-size facilities through the deployment of Daintree's wireless control systems. The news comes just six months after the formation of Current, an energy start-up that integrates GE's LED and onsite power businesses with its Predix platform, which connects third party devices and assets to the industrial Internet. 

o Vox Media Launches New Tech Gadget Blog on Facebook

Washington, DC -- Vox Media, the publisher of a blog network that includes sports site SB Nation, tech culture site The Verge and tech business site Re/code, on Monday launched a new tech gadget blog on Facebook, called Circuit Breaker. Edited by Verge co-founder Paul Miller, the blog said it plans to "obsessively cover new gadgets" and "ways to use those gadgets," in the same mold as Gizmodo and Engadget. "The first age of gadget blogging was defined by the mobile revolution, and we think a similar revolution is about to happen in new categories like drones, VR and the Internet of Things," wrote Nilay Patel, editor-in-chief of The Verge. 

o Gannett Offers to Buy Tribune Publishing for $815 Million

McLean, Va. -- Gannett, the media giant behind USA Today, revealed on Monday it has offered to acquire Tribune Publishing, parent of The Chicago Tribune and several other major newspapers, in a deal valued at $815 million, but said Tribune has "refusal to begin constructive discussions." If consummated, the deal would unite two of the nation's three largest newspaper publishers. Gannett, which currently owns 107 daily newspapers in 34 states and Guam, said it would pay $12.25 a share in cash and assume about $390 million of Tribune's outstanding debt. The company initially made its offer on April 12, but said it since has been met with resistance. "As we have indicated previously, we would prefer to negotiate a transaction with Tribune, but we have determined that making your stockholders aware of our all-cash proposal is necessary, given Tribune's attempts to delay constructive engagement," Robert Dickey, Gannett's president and CEO, wrote in an open letter to the company Monday. Tribune, which also owns The Baltimore Sun, Los Angeles Times, Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun-Sentinel, responded on Monday, saying it has retained financial and legal advisors to help it review the proposal. "The board is committed to acting in the best interests of shareholders and will respond to Gannett as quickly as feasible," Tribune wrote. 

Briefly Noted:

(San Jose, Calif.) Silicon Valley Forum said on Monday the deadline to apply for its third annual World Cup Tech Challenge will be April 29. The event, a global pitch competition modeled on the international soccer tournament, will be held June 1 at the Microsoft campus in Mountain View. It will feature 24 qualifying startups competing for prizes such as cash and one-on-one meetings with VCs, angels and corporate executives. Categories include AgTech, FinTech, Internet of Things, AI/Robotics, BioTech and VR/AR. 

(San Francisco) San Francisco-based SalesPredict, a developer of predictive B2B marketing technology, said on Monday it has promoted Sahil Mansuri to vice president of product marketing. Mansuri also will lead the company's newly established product advisory committee, which is comprised of marketing and sales executives from customer companies. 

(San Mateo, Calif.) San Mateo-based Marketo, a developer of engagement marketing software, on Monday named Shankar Venkataraman as its chief scientist. Venkataraman most recently served as chief technology officer (CTO) of the IBM Analytics Platform at IBM. 

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