Tag Archives: acquired

Shopify Might GeT Acquired

CNBC announced that few companies in Silicon Valley are looking around and want to acquire Canadian based Shopify.

CNBC mentioned that Shopify will probably not accept any offers as they want to remain independent.

Shopify’s investors are very happy with Shopify performance to date. The stock has skyrocketed from just $120 US dollars a year ago to over $400 just few months ago.

TD Bank buys Toronto AI startup

Layer 6, Toronto AI startup, was acquired by TD. This will help TD bank with their artificial intelligence ambitions as many financial institutions started rushing into AI space.

The acquisition price was not disclosed. The company will remain in their mid town Toronto location, and will do work exclusively for TD from now on.

Activedia / Pixabay

Michael Rhodes, the TD bank’s group head of innovation, technology and shared services, said:

“We’ve made enormous investments in data and data infrastructure over the past several years, ” Mr. Rhodes said. “We didn’t have substantive intellectual capital around AI, so this actually filled in a gap for us.”

This is the first AI deal where AI company gets acquired by a bank. Artificial intelligence could potentially help banks with their cost management and client satisfaction rates.

Layer 6 AI (layer6.ai) enables enterprise clients to deploy the most advanced Deep Learning solutions to accelerate their business through better use of data. Layer 6 AI SaaS clients include large Financial Service and Insurance firms, Media/Cable companies, E-Commerce and Retail brands, and news publications.

Canada has seen an influx of US based Fortune 500 companies like Google, Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Lyft and Amazon over the last few years.

AI and machine learning startups in Canada had received over $400m Canadian dollars in investment funds over the last 3 years.

WerbeFabrik / Pixabay

TD has published the following statement on their media website regarding the acquisition:

There’s no denying that there’s a lot of hype around AI in the marketplace. So what’s the opportunity for banking? And more importantly, how does this tie back to TD’s strategy of solving for business problems, vs. chasing the next trend?

For us, it all comes down to how AI can be used drive value for our customers through predictive and personalized experiences. It does this in the following ways:

  1. AI takes banking back to the 1970’s.  No doubt  AI is the future of banking, but the irony is that it will actually take us back to a time (somewhere around the early 1970’s) when we knew everything about each and every one of our customers, truly understanding  their needs at a personal level, and offered services to support those needs. Today with the amount of available data to power our AI capabilities, we have a tremendous opportunity to know our customer better and deliver experiences they wouldn’t have ever imagined.

  2. AI makes our people better. By creating better insights at the right time in the right channels, the technology can help people do their jobs better, more efficiently, and with a better customer experience.

  3. AI is making banking more human. When we talk about becoming an AI or data driven organization, we mean that we are focused on driving value from the data that we have to deliver better experiences for our customers, making banking better. Think of it this way – a phone channel colleague will be able to have a more meaningful conversation because software is analyzing the customer’s journey and needs in real-time; loans can be approved faster; and digital applications can provide more personalized offers, advice and interactions, and so much more. It’s about knowing our customers better to bring value and simplify the banking experience – and their lives.

Yelp acquires Toronto Turnstyle for $20m

Social media company Yelp has just acquired Toronto based Turnstyle for $20m in cash.

Turnstyle is a company based in Toronto employing over 35 employees. It is a marketing and analytics platform that utilizes public Wi-Fi to attract, retain and reward customers. Turnstyle enables clients to learn actionable insights about on-premise customer behaviour and send real-time messages, coupons and rewards directly to customers’ phones without the use of a mobile application. Turnstyle helps the world’s largest brands monetize their Wi-Fi by enabling location-based marketing and analytics, providing the same tools online retailers have enjoyed for over a decade.

“We’re excited to expand our product offering for local businesses through this acquisition. Turnstyle helps connect businesses to consumers through free public Wi-Fi, and is an effective retention and loyalty program that helps businesses be more successful,”

said Jeremy Stoppelman, Yelp co-founder and chief executive officer.

At Turnstyle, our mission is to help businesses connect with their customers through the power of Wi-Fi, so when we heard the Yelp mission statement, to connect people with great local businesses, we were sold on the opportunity to be a part of that.

Yelp and Turnstyle recognize that there are massive opportunities in helping businesses and their customers connect and we know that there are several synergies to be realized working together. I speak on behalf of the whole Turnstyle team when I say that we can’t wait to start capitalizing on this exciting new relationship.

said CEO – Turnstyle Solutions , Devon Wright

Toronto BlueCat Networks sold for $400-million

BlueCat Networks, a leading provider of Enterprise DNS, announced today it has agreed to be acquired by Madison Dearborn Partners, a leading private equity firm based in Chicago. Upon completion of the transaction, BlueCat’s management team will remain in place and retain a significant equity ownership position in the company.

BlueCat is The Enterprise DNS Company™. Company’s software enables the centralization and automation of DNS services and the ability to leverage valuable DNS data for significantly increased visibility, control and compliance. The largest global enterprises trust BlueCat to provide the foundation for transformational strategies such as cloud, virtualization and security. Company employs about 300 people in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for BlueCat,” said Michael Harris, CEO of BlueCat, “We have prioritized the needs of enterprise customers by taking a uniquely software-centric approach to our delivery model, and that strategy has propelled BlueCat to the forefront of the industry. MDP recognizes BlueCat’s valuable position within our customers’ infrastructure and our tremendous growth prospects. With the added resources and expertise of MDP, BlueCat will be strongly positioned to accelerate our growth.”

“We are thrilled to be partnering with MDP as we embark on our next growth chapter,” said Michael Hyatt, BlueCat’s Co-founder, who is also retaining an equity ownership interest in the company. BlueCat has established itself as an integral partner to many of the world’s leading companies and, alongside MDP, will remain focused on delivering solutions to manage increasingly complex network infrastructure needs. In addition, we would like to thank our investors Trident Capital and Northleaf Capital Partners for believing in our vision and for their unwavering support and assistance in growing the company. They have been excellent partners.”

“BlueCat is a leader in a high-growth, in-demand sector of the global enterprise IT industry, and we look forward to partnering with Michael Harris and his talented management team to build upon the company’s momentum,” said Doug Grissom, a Managing Director at MDP and head of the firm’s Business and Government Services team. “Enterprises around the world are experiencing a growing need to adopt enterprise DNS solutions to manage the rapid increase in scale and complexity of their IT networks. We look forward to utilizing our expertise in high-growth technology companies to help BlueCat realize its growth prospects, while continuing to deliver critical solutions to customers.”

Montreal Luxury Retreats is about to be acquired by behemoth Airbnb?

AirBnB is in talks to acquire Montreal based Luxury Retreats, according to Bloomberg’s interview.

Luxury Retreats’s purchasing cost discussed was around $300m USD in cash and stock options.

“We are always looking to provide our community with access to new and different options, but we have no announcements to make,”

Airbnb spokesman Nick Papas said on Thursday. A spokesman for Luxury Retreats declined to comment.

Luxury Retreats is a full service villa rental company dedicated to creating authentic travel experiences. They provide complimentary guest support including a team of villa specialists dedicated to finding guests the perfect home to stay in, and a 24/7 personal concierge service to assist with details big and small. They provide 90+ DESTINATIONS, 3000+ LUXURY VILLAS, 500k TRAVELERS, 200 TRAVEL EXPERTS.

Airbnb is an online marketplace and homestay network enabling people to list or rent short-term lodging in residential properties, with the cost of such accommodation set by the property owner. The company receives percentage service fees from both guests and hosts in conjunction with every booking.[1] It has over 2,000,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 191 countries.

Vancouver Hootsuite acquires San Francisco AdEspresso / Facebook Ad Optimizer

Hootsuite, a Vancouver based social media management platform, acquired AdEspresso, a San Francisco based provider of Facebook and Instagram advertising management.

The amount of the deal was not disclosed.

Video of Massimo Chieruzzi CEO , AdEspresso:



Hootsuite is a platform for managing social media, created by Ryan Holmes in 2008. The system’s user interface takes the form of a dashboard, and supports social network integrations for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, and many more.

Based in Vancouver, Hootsuite has close to 1,000 staff located in Vancouver, London, Singapore, and other countries. The company has more than 10 million users in over 175 countries.

AdEspresso, San Francisco based company, is the most easy and intuitive Facebook Ads Management and Optimization Tool. Using AdEspresso customers can easily split test every aspect of their Facebook Ads Campaigns, discovering which creatives and demographic targets deliver the best result. AdEspresso Also perform conversion tracking on external websites allowing users to optimize by leads & customer acquisitions, not just CTR.


Massimo Chieruzzi, CEO  of AdEspresso said:

Allright… it’s time to finally let the big news out…

Today AdEspresso is joining forces with Hootsuite The n.1 Facebook Ads Tool is joining the n.1 Social Media Tool!

Let last three years have been just crazy. We grew the team from 4 people out of Italy to an international team of 43. And we became the most widely used Facebook Ads Optimization Tool in such a short time frame … I’m just amazed! I would have never dreamed AdEspresso would be so successful three years ago.

Before we start celebrating, let me send a BIG THANK YOU
– To all my friends
– To our customers. We’d never be here without your constant support and feedback
– To Ryan Holmes and the whole Hootsuite Team… we are all really excited to join your family!

Finally a big thank you to the whole AdEspresso Team. Each one of you has been critical to our success and I’ve never worked with so many talented people!
Bravi: Armando, Carlo, Jesus, Valerio, Riccardo, Davide, Marco, Giorgio, Margherita, Antonio, Gabriele, Massimiliano, Francesco, Simone, Claudio, Giancarlo, Tim, Flavy, Chiara, Daniela, Matteo, Daniele, Emanuele, Camille, Nadia, Cecilia, Cristian, Antonino, Antonino M., Andrea, Mattia, Luca, Pietro, Andrea M., Paul, Paulo, Paolo, Sarah, Tory, Ana, Karola. A special mention also for Paolo from Facebook and all our amazing investors … and all those that I’ve for sure forgot here 🙂

Toronto based Meta, artificial intelligence for science, acquired by Facebook founder foundation

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the organization launched by Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Dr. Priscilla Chan to advance human potential and promote equality, has acquired Meta, a Toronto, Ontario, Canada-based developer of an AI for scientists to read, understand and prioritize scientific papers.

No financial information was released.

Meta’s platform aims to make relevant scientific papers more discoverable; according to founders and siblings Amy and Sam Molyneux, since 1809, 25 million biomedical research papers have been published. Meta’s platform is meant to make sense of all this data and deliver it to industries within science depending on interest.

Mark Zuckerberg,  Co-founder, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative said:

“Most scientific breakthroughs have been preceded by the invention of new tools that help us see and experiment in new ways.”

A note from Cori Bargmann, President of Science, and Brian Pinkerton, Chief Technology Officer of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative posted on Facebook said:

We are excited to share that the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has agreed to acquire Meta, a company that has developed an AI that helps scientists read, understand and prioritize millions of scientific papers.

Believe it or not, that’s not so easy today. In the field of biomedicine alone, researchers publish more than 4,000 scientific papers every day. But many of these papers will not be read by the scientists who could learn the most from them. Scientists know that existing search tools can’t capture all of the relevant knowledge in this immense volume of scientific research. Meta is a tool that helps fill that gap.

Meta uses artificial intelligence to analyze and connect insights across millions of papers. It seeks out the most relevant or impactful studies in a scientific area the moment they are published, and finds patterns in the literature on a scale that no human being could accomplish alone.

We will be working to make Meta even more powerful and useful for the entire scientific community, and are committed to offering these tools and features for free to all researchers.

Meta’s tools can dramatically accelerate scientific progress and move us closer to our goal: to support science and technology that will make it possible to cure, prevent or manage all diseases by the end of the century. Meta will help scientists learn from others’ discoveries in real time, find key papers that may have gone unnoticed, or even predict where their field is headed.

The potential for this kind of platform is virtually limitless: a researcher could use Meta to help identify emerging techniques for understanding coronary artery disease; a graduate student could see that two different diseases activate the same immune defense pathway; and clinicians could find scientists working on the most promising Zika treatments sooner. In the long run, it could be extended to other areas of knowledge: for example, it could help educators stay up to date on developmental science to better understand how children learn.

We are enthusiastic about working with Sam Molyneux, his sister and co-founder, Amy Molyneux and the entire Meta team to support and improve this new tool. If you are intrigued, you can reserve a free account at meta.org and get a feel for what it does, and stay tuned for updates to the platform.

Scientists and engineers working together can achieve amazing things — and can help us succeed in our mission to advance human potential and promote equal opportunity.