Eden acquires OrgOrg, a social network for office managers


Eden, the office management and tech support platform, has today announced the acquisition of OrgOrg, a social network for office managers to recommend, discuss, and review vendors and products.

The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Eden founder and CEO Joe DuBey explained to TechCrunch that a growing number of on-boarding clients said that they had originally heard about Eden from other office managers on the OrgOrg platform. In fact, DuBey recalled that Eden’s first enterprise client mentioned OrgOrg.

“Back when we were still a consumer tech support platform, we signed on Tilt as our first enterprise client,” said DuBey. “And I asked the office manager where he hangs out and where to find other people like him and OrgOrg came up again.”

Since, Eden has seen its own growth index against the growth of OrgOrg and the company felt that the acquisition made sense for growing its clientele.

Right now, OrgOrg has around 2,600 members and is run on a Google Group, self-supported by an ad product.

DuBey says that OrgOrg CEO Kim Rohrer will continue on as CEO, with OrgOrg operating independently as its own brand. DuBey still hasn’t decided whether or not OrgOrg’s ad product will continue to operate, but he is certain that Eden isn’t looking to generate revenue from OrgOrg, but rather grow clientele.

From the release:

OrgOrg’s strength is in its grassroots community, and it will continue to run as a private, sacred space for its members under Kim’s leadership. Nothing will change about the day to day community — the things we hope to incorporate over time are technology resources to help OrgOrg grow members, create a robust library and curate deep relationships within one’s city.

In fact, DuBey said that even posts that shed a bad light on Eden will remain up.

Eden is operating in 7 markets, and has raised a total of $15 million according to Crunchbase.

Momo buys Tantan, China’s Tinder, for $600M as Chinese social networks consolidate


WeChat is far and away the biggest messaging platform in China at the moment, and that is helping to drive a push among the smaller players to get together for better scale. Today, Momo, the Chinese location-based social networking app that has more recently made a big push into dating services and is traded on Nasdaq with a market cap of around $6 billion, announced that it has acquired Tantan, China’s top dating app, for $600.9 million in an all-cash deal.

It’s not clear how that price compares to Tantan’s pre-exit valuation: it had never disclosed the number. Overall, Tantan had raised $120 million, including a $70 million round last year from a mix of strategic and financial investors. Its backers included DST Global, Kleiner Perkins, video social network YY, Genesis Capital, SAIF China, Zhongwei, DCM and Bertelsmann.

We’d actually heard rumors of this acquisition recently, so it’s not coming as a complete surprise.

WeChat has in a way written the playbook in China for how to leverage a popular social platform to move into other services and it seems that would-be competitors are following suit. Other notable moves and exits in recent years have included Alibaba buying Youku Tudou and also investing heavily in WeChat competitor Weibo; selfie-making app Meitu going public and Meituan Dianping making a move into transportation. For its part, Momo had been moving into streaming services but with government pressure over the content of these services, going to its dating roots may have felt like a safer bet for now.

And the deal will indeed give Momo a big boost in its own dating business. Tantan said that it has enabled 5 billion matches since launching in 2015. (As a point of comparison, Tinder — one of the leading dating apps in the West — says that its enabled at least 8 billion matches since its launch in 2012.)

This does not signal a shift for Momo into dating exclusively (sorry for the pun), but to double down on one of the more successful ways that it’s diversified its business.

“Our core position will continue to center on social networking and this acquisition enriches our product line in the social space,” said Yan Tang, chairman and CEO of Momo, in a statement. “We will continue to invest and incubate more sub-brands to serve the social and entertainment needs of different demographics. Tantan has become widely recognized within a short period of three years since its inception, which is largely attributable to the outstanding performance of its talented team. We also respect Tantan’s product strategy that focuses on the customer experience of female users. After the acquisition, the Tantan team will continue to operate the mobile apps under the Tantan brand with our full support.”

Indeed, you can see this as similar to the strategy taken by IAC, which operates a number of dating apps alongside Tinder, such as Match.com and OKCupid.

For Tantan, the deal will give the company not just a funding boost but potentially some economies of scale in its developer backend and other areas of its business. “Momo and Tantan have their own strengths in their respective markets and among targeted customers,” said Yu Wang, chairman and CEO of Tantan, in his own statement. “The acquisition is a critical strategic upgrade to cover a greater range of user demographics and needs, and build up a larger social networking market through complementary businesses and strategic synergy. We are very confident in our future development.”

Additional reporting by Jon Russell (not this Jon Russell).

Startup that sells your salary data to VCs gets bought by Solium


Investors don’t want their portfolio companies to pay you too much, or too little. So they pay Advanced-HR for its compensation data pulled from 2,500 startups. With a generic name, the service has flown somewhat under the radar since launching 20 years ago.

As startups grow more professional while staying private longer, they’re getting serious about how they structure equity compensation plans to retain talent. Solium sells them stock option planning software.

But together, they hope to offer the most accurate view of how much salary and stock other companies offer to help startups figure out exactly how to pay their employees. Today Solium announced that it’s acquiring the tech and whole team of Advanced-HR, which will continue to sell its Option Driver software-as-a-service.

It’s part of an acquisition spree that comes from a war chest of $50 million that Solium has told the public markets is going to buying companies and developing new products. In October Solium bought Capshare, which helps 10,000 smaller startups manage their equity compensation plans. In March, it bought NASDAQ’s ExactEquity planning business. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but you could expect it’s a modest chunk of the $50 million that’s being spread across multiple deals.

The plan seems to be working, as Solium’s share price is up 35 percent this year. Though Solium went public in 2001 and became profitable in 2004, it raised a $48 million financing last year to capitalize on the shift toward startups staying private longer and equity becoming an increasingly important way to keep talent from skipping off to somewhere with a higher salary.

“The other over-arching trend is that startups are taking over control of managing their equity,” says Lopez. “Equity has been historically managed with spreadsheets in a startup while the official ledger/cap table sat with a law firm. With equity management platforms like Shareworks there is now a system of record that the company controls and can give access to legal counsel, investors and other stakeholders as desired.”

Dee DiPietro started AHR as a consultant practice back in 1997 as a solo female founder. Eventually she took over running the popular Venture Capital Executive Compensation Survey from Benchmark. Its sponsors, including heavy hitters like Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia and Y Combinator, pay $4,000 a year to submit their data and get everyone else’s. The service has evolved from models in Excel to automated compensation planning software used by 120 top VC firms.

“We launched the first private company compensation survey, the first internet-based salary survey, the first real-time compensation data delivery system,” says DiPietro. “And more recently, the first compensation planning platform for scaling private companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.”

Still, what the industry really needs is a better tool for employees to vet their own job offers. It can be quite tough to predict what your stock options will be worth depending on vesting schedules, multiple rounds of funding and dilution. And then there’s the heavy upfront costs and risks of actually exercising your stock options.

The sad truth of the matter is that unless a company is an extraordinary 1-in-10,000 success, few teammates beyond the founders or very first employees stand to gain a life-changing windfall. Yet employees number 10 to 50 are often tasked with unrelenting deadlines and long hours that might only really benefit the C-level executives. Software like Advanced-HR and Solium make sure startups don’t pay too much, but it’s the rank-and-file workers that need to know if they’re earning enough.

Featured Image: studiostoks/Shutterstock

Startup that sells your salary data to VCs gets bought by Solium


Investors don’t want their portfolio companies to pay you too much, or too little. So they pay Advanced-HR for its compensation data pulled from 2,500 startups. With a generic name, the service has flown somewhat under the radar since launching 20 years ago.

As startups grow more professional while staying private longer, they’re getting serious about how they structure equity compensation plans to retain talent. Solium sells them stock option planning software.

But together, they hope to offer the most accurate view of how much salary and stock other companies offer to help startups figure out exactly how to pay their employees. Today Solium announced that it’s acquiring the tech and whole team of Advanced-HR, which will continue to sell its Option Driver software-as-a-service.

It’s part of an acquisition spree that comes from a war chest of $50 million that Solium has told the public markets is going to buying companies and developing new products. In October Solium bought Capshare, which helps 10,000 smaller startups manage their equity compensation plans. In March, it bought NASDAQ’s ExactEquity planning business. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but you could expect it’s a modest chunk of the $50 million that’s being spread across multiple deals.

The plan seems to be working, as Solium’s share price is up 35 percent this year. Though Solium went public in 2001 and became profitable in 2004, it raised a $48 million financing last year to capitalize on the shift toward startups staying private longer and equity becoming an increasingly important way to keep talent from skipping off to somewhere with a higher salary.

“The other over-arching trend is that startups are taking over control of managing their equity,” says Lopez. “Equity has been historically managed with spreadsheets in a startup while the official ledger/cap table sat with a law firm. With equity management platforms like Shareworks there is now a system of record that the company controls and can give access to legal counsel, investors and other stakeholders as desired.”

Dee DiPietro started AHR as a consultant practice back in 1997 as a solo female founder. Eventually she took over running the popular Venture Capital Executive Compensation Survey from Benchmark. Its sponsors, including heavy hitters like Accel, Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia and Y Combinator, pay $4,000 a year to submit their data and get everyone else’s. The service has evolved from models in Excel to automated compensation planning software used by 120 top VC firms.

“We launched the first private company compensation survey, the first internet-based salary survey, the first real-time compensation data delivery system,” says DiPietro. “And more recently, the first compensation planning platform for scaling private companies in Silicon Valley and beyond.”

Still, what the industry really needs is a better tool for employees to vet their own job offers. It can be quite tough to predict what your stock options will be worth depending on vesting schedules, multiple rounds of funding and dilution. And then there’s the heavy upfront costs and risks of actually exercising your stock options.

The sad truth of the matter is that unless a company is an extraordinary 1-in-10,000 success, few teammates beyond the founders or very first employees stand to gain a life-changing windfall. Yet employees number 10 to 50 are often tasked with unrelenting deadlines and long hours that might only really benefit the C-level executives. Software like Advanced-HR and Solium make sure startups don’t pay too much, but it’s the rank-and-file workers that need to know if they’re earning enough.

Featured Image: studiostoks/Shutterstock

Bosch acquires B2B rideshare startup SPLT and establishes mobility service arm


Bosch has acquired a ridesharing startup called SPLT that offered employers, universities and municipal authorities workforce-focused ridesharing services to help them offer shared commute as a means of increasing convenience and alleviating route congestion. Bosch, a leading global automotive industry supplier, is also establishing a new dedicated mobility services division, a sign of the changing times and nature of the automotive space.

The SPLT acquisition is a cornerstone piece of its new focus on mobility services, with the aim of offering everything from shared rides in cars to company buses on the same, easy to use platform with end user smartphone apps and easy ride booking. SPLT will continue to operate independently as a wholly owned subsidiary of Bosch post acquisition close.

Other mobility services offerings that Bosch has in market include e-scooter rental, via its subsidiary COUP, which began in Berlin in 2016, expanded to Paris last year and is expanding to Madrid later in 2018, bringing the total fleet size to 3,500 electric scooters. It also has system!e services it’s introducing today, which can offer up a true “extended range forecast” to help conquer range anxiety in potential EV buyers by offering a precise range based on the location and accessibility of charging spots along a route.

Basically, everyone wants a piece of the connectivity puzzle when it comes to the future of automotive and transportation, and mobility services is a good way to get there. Smart move by Bosch, but the transition is going to be interesting as more legacy players figure out where they sit in the coming post-ownership automotive world.

Oracle grabs Zenedge as it continues to beef up its cloud security play


Oracle announced yesterday that it intends to acquire Zenedge, a 4-year old hybrid security startup. They didn’t reveal a purchase price.

With Zenedge, Oracle gets a security service to add it to its growing cloud play. In this case, the company has products to protect customers whether in the cloud, on-prem or across hybrid environments.

The company offers a range of services from web application firewalls to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack mitigation, bot management, API management and malware prevention. In addition, they operate a Security Operations Center (SOC) to help customers monitor their infrastructure against attack. Their software and the SOC help keep watch on over 800,000 websites and networks across the world, according to information supplied by Oracle.

Oracle says it will continue to build out Zenedge’s product offerings. “Oracle plans to continue investing in Zenedge and Oracle’s cloud infrastructure services. We expect this will include more functionality and capabilities at a quicker pace,” Oracle wrote in an FAQ on the deal (.pdf) published on their website.

Oracle’s recent acquisition history. Source: Crunchbase

Just this week Oracle announced that it was expanding its automation capabilities on its Platform as a Service offerings from databases to a range of areas including security. Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research says the company is a good match as it also uses automation and artificial intelligence in its solution.

“Oracle is beefing up its security offerings in the cloud. They have one of the strongest cyber security platforms,” Wang told TechCrunch. “They also have a ton of automation that fits Oracle’s theme of autonomous,” he added.

Oracle is far behind cloud rivals as it came late to the game. Just this week, the company announced plans to build a dozen data centers around the world over the next two years. They are combining an aggressive acquisition strategy and rapid data center expansion in an effort to catch up with competitors like AWS, Microsoft and Google.

Zenedge launched in 2014 and has raised $13.7 million, a modest amount for a cloud-based security service. Oracle says customers and partners can continue to deal with Zenedge using their existing contacts.

Featured Image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

H-E-B acquires Texas-based on-demand company Favor


H-E-B has acquired Favor, the on-demand delivery service out of Texas.

Favor will continue to operate as an independent wholly-owned subsidiary of the grocery chain.

The company first launched in 2014 at SXSW, bringing a Texas-tailored approach to on-demand delivery. While many on-demand services, such as Postmates, focus on high-density areas like NYC and San Francisco, Favor built a product that serves the sprawling cities of Texas.

Users could order food from a restaurant, or any item from a local store, to be purchased and delivered to wherever they were, all through an app. The idea itself isn’t revolutionary, but Favor claims to be the first on-demand service to become profitable.

Meanwhile, H-E-B is the largest grocery retail chain headquartered in Texas, and one of the top grocery retailers in the country. The acquisition comes at a time when the industry is in flux, preparing for a boom of online grocery shopping on the consumer side.

Amazon bought Whole Foods for a whopping $13.7 billion. Target acquired Alabama-based Shipt for a cool $550 million. Sam’s Club just recently started offering an online membership club with free shipping. And Walmart is working with August smart lock company to test in-home delivery of grocery items and other packages. And is on the hunt for more startups to buy.

H-E-B has already started working on curbside service, which is available at 100 of its stores, and is fulfilling online orders from 73 of its 339 Texas stores. The acquisition of Favor will help accelerate that transition into digital.

Favor will continue operating as an independent brand, so delivery junkies in Texas can rest easy. The company currently serves 50 cities in Texas with more than 50,000 runners and 8 million deliveries fulfilled to date.

Favor has raised a total of $37.9 million, according to Crunchbase. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.