Friday, April 7, 2017

Bay Area Tech Wire - April 7

BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- April 7, 2017
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San Francisco-Based Okta Prices $187 Million IPO, Shares Spike 30%
o Twitter Sues Federal Gov't Over Demand to Unmask Anti-Trump Account
Santa Clara-Based Analogix Acquired by Shanhai Capital in $500M Deal
Ray Wallin to Resign as CFO of San Jose-Based NeoPhotonics
o Benchmark's Bill Gurley Tops List of Top 100 Venture Capitalists
o Briefly Noted:
Accel-KKR - Abila, Western Digital, SEGA - WWE,
RedOwl, HealthTell


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

--Baird Global Technology Investment Banking
--Mid-Atlantic Marketing Summit - April 21 - DC

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o San Francisco-Based Okta Prices $187 Million IPO, Shares Spike 30%

San Francisco -- Shares of San Francisco-based Okta spiked more than 30% by midday Friday, hours after the developer of a cloud-based identity service priced its $187 million initial public offering (IPO), which valued the company at $1.5 billion. The company is selling 11 million shares for $17 each, the top end of its expected range. Shares began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "OKTA." Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Allen and Co. are acting as lead underwriters. Okta, which is backed primarily by Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Khosla Ventures and Sequoia, operates a service that lets users securely access 5,000 apps from any device. The company last month announced its acquisition of San Mateo-based Stormpath, a provider of identity management for apps and APIs. 

Twitter Sues Federal Gov't Over Demand to Unmask Anti-Trump Account

San Francisco -- Twitter has filed suit against the federal government after the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) tried to force the San Francisco-based social media giant to reveal the identity of a user critical of President Trump, BuzzFeed reported. According to published documents, an agent with CBP faxed a summons to Twitter last month seeking information such as user name, account login, phone numbers and mailing addresses for an account under the handle ALT Immigration (@ALT_USCIS). Twitter on Thursday then filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, claiming the move violated the user's rights under the First Amendment, including "a right to disseminate such anonymous or pseudonymous political speech." Twitter, which is being represented by law firm Wilmer Hale, argues that unmasking a user requires proof the person committed a crime, and that "the demand for this information is not motivated by a desire to suppress free speech." The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it is representing the individual Twitter user. "To unmask an anonymous speaker online, the government must have a strong justification," Nathan Freed Wessler, an attorney for the ACLU, told BuzzFeed News in a statement. "But in this case the government has given no reason at all, leading to concerns that it is simply trying to stifle dissent."


o Santa Clara-Based Analogix Acquired by Shanhai Capital in $500M Deal

Santa Clara, Calif. -- Analogix Semiconductor, a Santa Clara-based developer of semiconductors for the digital multimedia market, said it has been acquired for approximately $500 million by a consortium led by China's Shanhai Capital. The deal, which also included China Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, was first announced in September. "Enhanced by the strong financial support of our new investors, Analogix's future is brighter than ever," said Kewei Yang, the company's chairman and CEO. "We are excited to continue building and growing Analogix into a global leader in high-performance semiconductors." Analogix's high-speed, mixed-signal semiconductor chips are used in mobile device displays by customers such as Apple, Samsung, LG, Microsoft, Google, Lenovo, Dell, HP, Asus and HTC. Backers include DCM Ventures, Globespan Capital Partners, Keytone Ventures and the Woodside Fund. 

o Ray Wallin to Resign as CFO of San Jose-Based NeoPhotonics

San Jose, Calif. -- NeoPhotonics, a San Jose-based developer of modules and subsystems for high-speed communications networks, said that Ray Wallin will step down as its chief financial officer (CFO) on May 15. Wallin, who has served as CFO since late 2013, will remain as a consultant to the company during a three-month transition period. NeoPhotonics has retained an executive search firm to identify a successor. "Ray played an important role in building a strong finance organization and has added to the strength of the company's financial position," said CEO Tim Jenks. "We wish him all the best in his future endeavors." The company did not offer a specific reason for his departure.  

o Benchmark's Bill Gurley Tops List of Top 100 Venture Capitalists

New York -- Bill Gurley of Benchmark tops a newly released ranking of The Top 100 Venture Capitalists by CB Insights and The New York Times. To arrive at the second-annual rankings, which are purely data-driven, the organizations considered factors such as an investor's exits, connectivity to other investors and illiquid portfolio company value since 2008. Chris Sacca of Lowercase Capital, Jeffrey Jordan of Andreessen Horowitz, Alfred Lin of Sequoia Capital and Brian Singerman of Founders Fund round out the top five. The complete list is available at the link below. 

o Briefly Noted:

(Menlo Park, Calif.) Menlo Park-based technology private equity firm Accel-KKR said it has sold portfolio company Abila, which provides software and services to associations, nonprofits and governmental entities, to Community Brands. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Accel-KKR, which acquired Abila in 2013 when the business was spun-off from U.K.-based Sage Group, will retain a small equity stake in Community Brands. 

(San Jose, Calif.) San Jose-based Western Digital, a developer of storage technologies, has named Phil Bullinger as senior vice president and general manager of its Data Center Systems (DCS) unit. Bullinger, most recently a senior vice president and general manager at Dell EMC, succeeds Dave Tang, who has been named senior vice president of corporate marketing. 

(San Francisco) Video game giant SEGA, which headquarters its West mobile division in San Francisco, said it has partnered with sports entertainment company WWE to publish a new free-to-play idle mobile game called WWE Tap Mania. The game, scheduled to launch later this year for Apple and Android devices, will feature a broad roster of past and present WWE performers. 

(San Francisco) RedOwl, the developer of a behavioral analytics platform designed to help thwart insider threats, has named San Francisco's John Jack to its board of directors. Jack previously served as the CEO of Fortify Software, which was acquired by HP in 2010. Currently, he served as an advisor and board member to several cybersecurity companies.

(San Ramon, Calif.) San Ramon-based biotechnology firm HealthTell, developer of a platform designed to characterize antibody response at scale, on Friday named Isaac Bright as its chief business officer. Bright most recently served as the vice president of corporate development at Synthetic Biologics, and previously was a partner at Merieux Developpement. 

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> Baird Commentary: How the IoT Revolution Is Driving Consolidation

In a recent commentary on the ever-evolving Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, Baird's senior technology bankers discuss how the proliferation of IoT-enabled software and services and ongoing industry consolidation. Today's sophisticated IoT software and systems not only connect disparate devices, they collect, verify and cleanse data -- diminishing the long-time challenge of cutting through "noise" inherent to data aggregation and facilitating in-depth analysis and application of the collected information into actionable intelligence. This IoT revolution is quickly catching up to its hype by transforming businesses across many sectors. The value of IoT technology has become imperative, and growing demand is fueling tremendous acquisition interest from a diverse range of buyers, pushing competition higher and accelerating consolidation in the space. Read Baird's insights into this rapidly evolving space and the related M&A activity: 


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