The first rule of being cool is not telling people you want to be cool. Yahoo is not following this rule, with its M&A team in full pray-and-spray acquisition mode post-Marissa Mayer hire, hitting on everything that walks, or at least has traction.
I’ve heard rumors that Yahoo was trying to get into the following deals over the past couple of months: Foursquare (at an $800 million asking price). Path (at a $2 billion asking price). Pinterest. Hulu. Zynga. Daily Motion. And at a smaller scale: Gdgt. Wavii. Media Ocean (?). A spate of others. And now Tumblr. “Literally they talk to everyone,” said one person familiar with the matter on the matter.
There was a kid in my high school who used to buy the popular kids lunch so he could sit with them. Yahoo has become that kid. At a reported $1b Tumblr would be a pricey picnic, about 1/4 of the cash Yahoo has on hand.
But it could work if it goes through, which I don’t think it will. A Tumblr buy fixes the issue of declining Yahoo traction, particularly amongst us wild, mobile-addicted youth. Yahoo, which wants to be a “key part of everyday life,” is limited by the fact that young people don’t want to use it at all, let alone every day. Tumblr is the exact opposite, hitting the sweet spot of mobile, social communications, messaging and viral distribution — Even bringing in some coin in the process.
Just to heap another dollop of speculation on top of this already absurdly speculative post: It wouldn’t be surprising if Google was also courting David Karp, as Mayer, a former Googler, still thinks like she’s in Google M&A, “Hey, a critical mass of people are using it … Let’s buy it and stick ads on it!.” Imagine what the social blogging platform could do to revive Google+ engagement and content creation … And how much more it would be worth to Google?
And it certainly makes sense for Yahoo to explore this strategy as well, in its larger, non-acquihire deals. But perhaps it should try being less promiscuous about it.
Read the original: Yahoo Wants To Buy Everyone, Tumblr Edition
BonitaSoft, a provider of an open source business process management (BPM) solution, has raised a $13 million Series C round led by the FSN PME Fund, a French government initiative to invest in technology companies to help them scale globally. Also joining the round are previous investors Ventech, Auriga Partners, and Serena Capital. The new funding round brings the total raised by the company to just over $28 million since being founded in 2009, and follows an $11m Series B in late 2011.
BonitaSoft is headquartered in Grenoble, France — hence the French government’s backing — although it also has a U.S. office in San Francisco where I’m told CEO Miguel Valdes Faura spends half his time, as well an another office in Paris. It operates in the BPM space, competing with the likes of Pegasystems, Appian, LongJump, and a number of other open source players.
Companies use BPM software to automate their processes, particularly where these operate at the intersection of machines and people. For example, insurance companies might employ a BPM suite to design software to automate the claims process when a customer is involved in a car accident. Or to streamline and make accountable any business process where without systems in place things would otherwise fall through the cracks, especially at scale.
To that end, BonitaSoft’s solution includes a design studio to model business processes, a BPM engine that adapts to various information systems architectures, and an end-user interface for managing and interacting with processes. It also has support for a range of internal and external systems via a library of hundreds of ‘Connectors’ and a strong developer community (due to its open source nature) who contribute connectors, business processes and other extensions.
BonitaSoft says that it serves more than 600 companies and governments worldwide, claiming customers such as Accenture, DirectTV, Old Dominion University, Trane, Teach For America and Michelin. Its software has seen more than 2 million downloads, while the open source community is said to be 60,000 member-strong.
Like other open source business models, BonitaSoft makes money by charging for additional add-ons and support. It plans to use the new capital to “fuel its global expansion plans in the USA, Europe, and Latin America”, specifically increasing its marketshare of mid and large-sized businesses who currently rely on proprietary and aging BPM solutions. It also plans to plough some of that cash into developing next-generation BPM technologies.
Silverpop, the marketing tech company that announced $25 million in new funding last month, is announcing a new feature to help customers adapt to all the different ways that people are opening their emails.
The feature, called Email Insights, accomplishes three main tasks, the company says. First, it allows them to preview how an email will look in up to 30 different apps across multiple devices. (It’s working with a company called Litmus to create those previews.) Adam Steinberg, Silverpop’s director of emerging apps, said that there was previously a lot of uncertainty and guesswork in the process — for many marketers, the testing process previously consisted of emailing people they knew with different devices then asking, “How does it look?”
Next, Silverop provides analytics about which devices and applications are being used to open those emails. Customers can then use that data to create emails that are customized based on a user’s “preferred device.”
“The marketer wants to know which type of device their customers are using so it can give them a device-centric marketing message,” Steinberg said.
For example, he told me that if an online retailer is launching a new iPhone app, instead of sending the same promotional message to everyone on their mailing list, they could create a special message for people who usually read those emails on an iPhone, with a direct link to download the app.
Email Insights is now available to all Silverpop customers with pricing that starts at $40 per month.
Apple’s iOS 7 will arrive “on time,” according to a couple of well-placed sources following a report from Bloomberg this morning that suggests it was risking delays in the face of major software changes. Apple blogger and noted beard-wearer Jim Dalrymple gave one of his famous one-word confirms today on his blog, agreeing with a source which told AllThingsD that while Apple has had to shift engineering resources away from OS X to iOS to make sure things proceed on schedule, the update will arrive on time.
Apple says on its WWDC landing page that we’ll see “what’s next in iOS and OS X,” but it hasn’t spelled out that we’ll see new versions of either its Mac desktop OS, or the mobile platform that powers iPhones and iPads. Still, the focus at WWDC is on software, and it’s more than reasonable to expect given the teaser on the information page as well as references to the future of iOS and OS X made in the official press release noting when tickets for WWDC would go on sale this year.
iOS 7 delay rumors have been making the rounds since John Gruber noted that Apple was “running behind” on the next version of its OS, and they cropped up again today thanks to Bloomberg’s report. But while Apple is apparently having to devote more engineering resources than normal to helping with the redesign process, which is rumored to be headed up by Jony Ive and involves a big visual refresh, which will embrace “flat” design (favoring solid colors and doing away with optical effect that mimic the textures and reflections of physical materials) and bring big changes to the calendar and email tools built-in to iOS.
The changes coming in iOS 7 are about modernizing the UI, likely to inject some fresh energy into a mobile operating system that has retained a fairly stable aesthetic style throughout the course of its six year existence. A significant change to the basic functionality of some apps and the look and feel of the entire OS would be quite difficult on its own, but Bloomberg says that the management shift that took place at the end of last year with Scott Forstall’s departure ended up causing a pause and refocus in the direction of overall development.
WWDC is just over a month away, so we’ll see exactly how extensive the modification really is with a likely introduction of a public developer preview version at that time, if Apple continues doing the same thing it has in the past around the iOS development process.
Google’s massive collection of free and open-source fonts, Google Fonts, has grown in popularity since launching over two years ago. The quality of the typefaces available may vary greatly, but if you’re in search of new fonts, Google Fonts is still an excellent place to look.
Google has made the process of using its catalog of typefaces on the Web quite easy, but browsing and downloading the font files manually can be a cumbersome process — unless you’re willing to get your hands dirty. For the rest of us, Google has teamed up with the Monotype type foundry, so we can easily download the entire catalog for offline use.
After downloading Monotype’s SkyFonts app, head here and click the “Browse Google Fonts” button. From there you’ll be able to select the fonts you want (as shown below) and use them almost immediately.
While not everyone will love using a third-party app to sync typefaces, SkyFonts is relatively easy to use and can update your fonts when they’re altered on Google’s servers (e.g.: when new characters are added). Best of all, after you’ve installed your fonts, you don’t have to keep SkyFonts running.
For more on how beautiful Google Fonts can be, head here.
Image credit: Thinkstock