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.
Yahoo on Thursday announced a new partnership with Twitter that will see tweets brought directly into the company’s homepage newsfeed. The new integration will be rolling out “over the next few days” on Yahoo’s US site, available to both desktop and mobile Web users.
Yahoo says it plans to include “relevant and personalized tweets” alongside its stories. If the partnership bears fruit, however, it’s fair to say Yahoo will look to expand it to its mobile apps as well as overseas.
If you’re in the US, here’s what to look for on the Yahoo homepage (notice the third item in the middle column):
Yahoo’s justification for the inclusion of tweets is fairly straightforward. The company sees the social network as a source for news, and since its homepage is still largely centered around delivering just that to its users, adding Twitter support is just one of many steps in its attempt to become relevant again.
“Updates direct from politicians, celebrities, media outlets, and other publishers have become an important source of real-time news and information,” Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said in a statement. “140 characters can connect athletes with their fans, capture live chatter from the red carpet, and inspire global debate.”
Details of the deal were not disclosed, though if money was exchanged it’s very likely Twitter was on the receiving end as Yahoo has more to gain in this case. If its editors can keep up with the constant stream of content on the social network, and choose pertinent ones in a timely manner, Twitter might be able to give Yahoo’s homepage new life.
That being said, Twitter also gets quite a bit from the deal: Yahoo users will not only be exposed to more tweets, but they can also discover interesting people and publishers to follow on Twitter. Details on how the integration will work on Yahoo’s homepage were not revealed, though it’s likely Twitter users will be offered more personalized content if they’re signed in.
Top Image Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Congress is on track to passing a nationwide Internet retail sales tax, but it has serious flaws that could majorly muck up the e-commerce industry. We think citizens are often smarter than the government, and we want to give you a chance to make the bill better before it becomes law. So, we’ve teamed up with Congressman Darrell Issa’s Open Government Foundation, which designed a platform for making line-by-line suggestions to proposed laws. In TechCrunch’s version of the “Project Madison” crowdsourcing legislative platform, our readers can add, delete, and amend specific passages in the upcoming tax law.
Suggestions that are voted up by our community will get the most attention of Congressional staffers (which we know are watching our platform). It’s been claimed that the Internet is “democratizing” the world; well, here’s our chance to prove it.
Senate Bill S.743, the “Marketplace Fairness Act of 2013,” passed the Senate with overwhelming support and is on to the House of Representatives. But, it won’t be passed for at least a month, so we have some time to bubble up the best ideas from our community of readers.
As we promised when we first launched our new civics channel, Crunchgov, TechCrunch would source and promote the most insightful ideas from the technology community. A proactive approach to improving law is just the next logical step for how we can support the amazing work you all do.
Go to http://madison.techcrunch.com/ and get your citizen on. Encourage your friends, ping your local expert, and share this opportunity loudly. If we make an impact on the bill, it’ll a watershed moment in American democracy. Go forth!
OpenKit, an open-source social platform for mobile games, is now open to all developers, according to co-founder Peter Relan. The service, first announced in December, has been in private beta since earlier this year. There are apparently 1,500 developers already testing the service.
Relan previously told me that he started OpenKit in response to the shutdown of OpenFeint, the GREE-acquired social platform for mobile games that he co-founded. Developers still need something like this, Relan said, and he wants to build it in a way that’s both “good business and developer friendly.”
OpenKit’s current features include cloud storage (allowing a player to save their game on one device and load it on another), leaderboards and achievements, user authentication (for Facebook, Google+ and Twitter), and plug-ins that connect games with the Unity engine. Plus, it works on both iOS and Android, and it’s being developed as an open-source project, so developers can always take their data elsewhere or use the code to build their own backend service.
OpenKit isn’t live for players yet. Relan told me today that that’s coming in a couple of months. There are more social features planned, but he said he’s specifically waiting to integrate with the Google Games service that’s rumored for the Google I/O conference next week.
Here is the original post: Mobile Gaming Backend OpenKit Now Available To All Developers
Chinese Internet companies Baidu, Tencent and Qihoo 360 are reportedly competing to purchase Sogou, Sohu‘s search business. Sina Tech’s report cites unnamed sources in the investment industry (link via Google Translate) and Sogou CEO Wang Xiaoquan has already taken to his Sina Weibo account to brush off the report as “unreliable,” but it’s worth noting that rumors of two recent acquisitions–PPS by Baidu and Alibaba’s purchase of a stake in Sina Weibo–both turned out to be true.
According to Sina Tech’s sources, Sogou, the third largest search engine in China, is currently stymied by a development bottleneck and can’t grab any more market share away from Baidu and Qihoo 360. Baidu has 67.21 percent market share and Qihoo 360 holds 14.94 percent, compared to Sogou’s 9.15 percent slice, according to data from CNZZ. The company has been considering a sale for the past six months, with Qihoo offering $140 million including stock and cash options, while Baidu is offering an undisclosed but higher amount of cash. Meanwhile, Tencent has entered the fray mainly because it doesn’t want Qihoo 360 to get its hands on Sogou.
The sale has been held up in part because of dissension within Sogou’s top ranks. CEO Wang Xiaochuan is reportedly at the head of the faction that wants to sell to Qihoo 360, but Sohu chairman Charles Zhang prefers Baidu’s offer. Sina Tech sources say, however, that Qihoo 360′s offer looks poised to triumph. If Qihoo 360 does indeed buy Sogou, the deal will boost the combined company’s market share to about 25 percent. Qihoo 360 will also reap the benefits of Sogou’s unique “smart input” method, which currently has 195 million active users.
“If the two merge it will really subvert the current structure of the search market. It’ll become a power struggle between two competitors,” said Sina Tech’s source.
A Baidu spokesman declined comment. Qihoo 360 and Tencent have also been emailed for comment.