BOOTH’S bulletpoint bulletin

ICT industry consultant Paul Booth keeps you abreast of the notable deals and developments in the local and international tech space. 

Paul Booth Paul Booth
International deals

• Accenture
acquired Adaptly, an ad-tech company that helps marketers buy targeted ads across online platforms, including Amazon, Google and Facebook; Enaxis Consulting, a firm with deep experience in digital capabilities, data science and agile project delivery; Knowledgent, a data intelligence company; and Orbium, a management consultancy and technology services provider to the financial services industry.

• Adobe
acquired Allegorithmic, maker of Substance, the industry standard for 3D textures and material creation in game and video post-production.


 •  Alibaba  Group purchased Berlin-based Data Artisans, which provides services that deploy large-scale data processing solutions for enterprises, in a deal worth $103.3 million. Alibaba also made an 8% investment in Bilibili, a Chinese video platform.

•    Amazon bought Eero, a startup that makes home routers to help customers better connect smart home devices; and CloudEndure, an Israeli cloud computing firm.

•    Amazon Web Services invested in Wiliot, a semiconductor company that focuses on wireless technology that tracks the location of goods during manufacturing.

•   Apple purchased Pullstring, a voice application company; and music A&R and creative services company Platoon.

•   Barracuda Networks has acquired Avast Software's Managed Workplace, giving the former its first remote monitoring and management platform.

•   Carbonite will pay about $618.5 million in cash to buy Webroot, a cyber security company.

•   Check Point Software purchased ForceNock, a cyber security startup.

•   Cisco acquired Luxera, an optical chip technology company, for $660 million; and Singularity Networks to deepen its network insight for service provider customers.

•    Dropbox purchased HelloSign, an electronic signature company, for $230 million.

•   DXC Technology acquired Luxoft, a software development company, for $2 billion; and EG A/S, an integrator of Microsoft Dynamics 365 in northern Europe.

•    Eaton purchased Turkey-based Ulusoy Elektrik, which provides power equipment for distribution networks and industrial plants.

•    Facebook purchased GrokStyle, a visual shopping and AI startup, whose technology lets users conduct visual searches by taking a picture of products.

•    General Electric has sold most of its stake in Pivotal Software and now holds only 7%.

•    Google bought Fossil's smartwatch technology for $40 million; DORA, a digital transformation and DevOps research firm; and
Superpod a startup app that allows users to post questions and receive answers from experts quickly.

•   HCL Technologies purchased certain software products from IBM, including Appscan for secure application development, BigFix for secure device management, Unica for marketing automation, Commerce for omni-channel e-commerce, Portal for digital experience, Notes & Domino for email and low-code rapid application development, and Connections for work-stream collaboration. The deal was worth $1.8 billion.

•   Hellman & Friedman, a private equity firm, has paid $11 billion to acquire Ultimate Software Group, a cloud-based human resources applications developer.

•    Hewlett Packard Enterprise acquired BlueData, a provider of software that transforms how enterprises deploy artificial intelligence and big data analytics.

 IBM purchased T-Systems' mainframe services business for €860 million.

 •  Insight Venture Partners, a US-based venture capital and private equity firm, has made a $500 million investment in Veeam Software.

•    Intel acquired Israel's Mellanox Technologies, a maker of chips and other hardware for datacentre servers that power cloud computing, for $6 billion.

•    Juniper Networks bought HTBASE, which has developed a unique and disruptive platform for software-defined enterprise multi-cloud.

•    Kaseya acquired IT Glue, a company that works in IT documentation.

•    Microsoft bought Citus Data, a startup that has commercialised open source database software; and DataSense, a platform for collecting and managing data within schools.

•    Mimecast bought Simply Migrate, a data migration startup.

•    Motorola Solutions purchased VaaS International Holdings, a data and image analytics company, for $445 million.

•    NEC bought KMD, Denmark's largest IT company, for $1.23 billion.

•    Orange acquired SecureData Group, the UK's largest independent cyber security provider.

•    Red Hat acquired NooBaa, an early stage company developing software for managing data storage services across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.

•    Silver Lake purchased a majority stake in General Electric digital unit's ServiceMax, a cloud-based provider of software used in inventory and workforce management.

 •    Symantec bought Luminate Security, a privately held company with pioneering software-defined perimeter technology.

•    VMware bought AetherPal, a technology partner that enables IT administrators to remotely monitor and update devices in the field.

•    Xerox purchased Vader Systems, a provider of 3D printing technology.

•    Xiaomi invested in Chinese home-appliance maker TCL, as the two companies agreed to cooperate on the development of smart products and electronic devices.

  International developments

•   Apple has reached a deal with France to pay an undeclared amount of back-dated tax, with French media putting the sum at around €500 million.

•    BMW, Microsoft and others made a $200 million investment in startup Graphcore, a UK-based firm that designs semiconductors for AI applications.

•   China    has    approved    a    plan    to    set    up    a    Nasdaq-style    board    for    tech    companies in Shanghai aimed at improving their ability to raise funds.

•    Dell has returned to public markets, thus becoming a publicly listed company on the NYSE, without undergoing an IPO.

•    Google has been fined $57 million by a French regulator, the biggest penalty levied under the new GDPR laws. The regulator alleges the search engine giant didn’t go far enough to get valid user consent to gather data for targeted advertising.

 Huawei has been charged in the US for a raft of offences, including conspiracy to defraud the US, bank fraud and theft of trade secrets from T-Mobile.

 •  Logitech has dropped its acquisition talks with Plantronics.

•    The  Qualcomm and Apple legal squabbles continue. A patent lawsuit filed by Qualcomm against Apple was thrown out by a German court, in a reversal for the US chipmaker after it won a recent court ban on the sale of some iPhones in that country. However, Qualcomm won a preliminary order from a Chinese court banning the importation and sale of several Apple iPhone models in China, as the court found the models violated two of Qualcomm's patents.

•    Russia's communication watchdog is opening administrative proceedings against Twitter and Facebook for failing to explain how they plan to comply with local data laws. Google is also the subject of a civil case in Russia, as it’s accused of failing to comply with a legal requirement to remove certain entries from its search results. Local deals

•    Adapt IT Holdings acquired the Wisenet Group, which operates in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore, for R53.6 million. The Wisenet Group provides a SaaS-based student lifecycle management and compliance system to vocational training institutions.

 •   Berkshire Partners, a US-based investment firm, acquired a majority stake in Teraco Data Environments. Existing shareholder, Permira, will also remain a significant investor.

 UK-based BlueFinity International has signed a distribution agreement with local ICT distributor Axiz to bring BlueFinity's Evoke app development platform to the African market.

 •  DCC has been appointed an official distributor for SonicWall, a security solution provider that protects more than one million networks across the globe.

•    Software    engineering    and    solutions    company    Entelect bought a majority stake in Fixx iT, a Netherlands-based software engineering and professional services company

•    Experian    bought    Compuscan and ScoreSharp. Compuscan is a South African-based credit bureau, while ScoreSharp is a specialist credit risk management consultancy that forms part of the Compuscan Group.

•   Hero Telecoms purchased BreedeNet, a Worcester-based wireless internet service provider operating across the Western Cape, Northern Cape, Eastern Cape and Free State. It also purchased Bloemfontein-based Ntelecom, which offers high-speed internet connections via both wireless and fibre.

•    Skyblu Technologies acquired Altech UEC, Altron's set-top box manufacturing business.

 Local developments

•   Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams withdrew the Electronic Communications Amendment Bill. •    Uniconta, an ERP system for small and medium-sized businesses, has opened its first African office in Cape Town. It plans to establish itself in Southern Africa and then move on to other African countries such as Kenya and Uganda. •    Rubben Mohlaloga, chairperson of communications regulator ICASA, has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for moneylaundering and fraud. •    WorldRemit, a UK company that specialises in money transfers into Africa, has entered the South African market. African developments •    Bharti Airtel has agreed to hand over part of its stake in wireless operator Airtel Tanzania to the local government in order to settle a dispute in ownership. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel's Kenyan unit has agreed to combine operations with Telkom Kenya, creating the second-largest telecommunications operator in the East African nation after Safaricom. •    CDC Group, the UK's development finance institution, made a $180 million investment in Pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom. •    MTN Nigeria Communications and the Central Bank of Nigeria have reached an out-of-court settlement ($53 million) regarding the dispute on the alleged improper repatriation of over $8.1 billion profit from Nigeria.

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