News & Analysis

The mergers and acquisitions round up

- April 10, 2015 3 MIN READ

Another Friday means another mergers and acquisitions round up. Take a look at the deals that happened this week:

AfterCollege acquires CollegeFeed

US startup AfterCollege, which helps university graduates find internships and entry-level jobs, has acquired CollegeFeed, a social network for students looking for jobs to become the country’s largest hub for students and graduates. The acquisition will see CollegeFeed’s student profiles folded into the AfterCollege talent network, while Sanjeev Agrawal, CEO and co-founder of CollegeFeed, will join AfterCollege’s advisory board. Senior product team members will also join AfterCollege in order to help with the integration process and work on future product development.

Agrawal said of the acquisition, “Contrary to all the stigma, we believe that millennials might actually be the best generation of workers we’ve ever seen. This acquisition provides our hardworking, resourceful and inspirational community of new graduates an even greater opportunity to be discovered by the companies recruiting quality candidates, just like them.”

Snapdeal acquires FreeCharge

Indian online marketplace Snapdeal has acquired FreeCharge, an Indian platform making it easier for consumers to pay their phone and utility bills. The acquisition will see Snapdeal’s user base grow to over 40 million. FreeCharge will continue to function as an independent platform, with the companies set to collaborate to offer a ‘seamless shopping experience’ to customers across both platforms.

Kunal Shah, CEO and co-founder of FreeCharge, said of the acquisition, “The partnership with Snapdeal comes at the right time, I foresee this as an opportunity to accelerate our road map in India and reach out to millions of users across the country. As a brand, Snapdeal has a massive recall and we are very excited to be a part of the team that is creating the biggest digital ecosystem of the country. FreeCharge’s success was enabled by a team of 200 extremely talented professionals and I would like to extend a special thanks to Alok Goel, Sandeep Tandon and a wonderfully supportive investor base.”

Reserve acquires Zurvu and HAIL

Digital concierge service Reserve has acquired two startups in the dining space, Zurvu and HAIL. Zurvu is an online restaurant reservation platform, while mobile payment platform HAIL allows users to hail waiters, split bills, and calculate tips. The acquisition of Zurvu will see Reserve add a further 80 restaurants around New York and Philadelphia to its platform. Zurvu’s service will soon be incorporated into Reserve’s platform. HAIL’s acquisition will see the ability to split bills be added to Reserve’s offerings.

Greg Hong, co-founder and CEO of Reserve, wrote about the acquisitions in a blog post, “Both zurvu and HAIL share Reserve’s hospitality-focused approach and care deeply about making the dining experience better for both diners and restaurants. Together, we all look forward to bringing the Reserve experience to more restaurants and guests, and making every part of the dining experience even better, from making a reservation all the way through to paying the check.”

Apple acquires Ottocat

TechCrunch reports that Apple recently bought a startup called Ottocat, which had developed a system which organises apps on the App Store. A version of that system is now running on the App Store. TechCrunch estimates that Apple bought the company in 2013 – after developing a prototype in January 2013, Ottocat had opened its beta to the public in May that year. In October, the site went down with a message saying that the service was no longer available.

Weight Watchers acquires Weilos

According to TechCrunch, Weight Watchers has acquired Weilos, a YC-backed startup that helps people trying to lose weight connect and share tips and advice, for a figure in the single digit millions. Weight Watchers’ CTO Dan Crowe told TechCrunch about the acquisition, “Weilos is one of the highest rated apps in the Apple app store with an average rating of five stars and users praising the motivation, encouragement and support they find in the Weilos community. This strategically important acquisition will accelerate the product and technology development of the social networking and community capabilities that Weight Watchers members are looking for.”

Singtel acquires Trustwave for $810 million

Singapore telecommunications firm Singtel has acquired Chicago cybersecurity company Trustwave for $810 million. Singtel will take a 98 percent stake in the company, with Trustwave CEO Robert J. McMullen holding the other 2 percent. Trustwave will operate as a standalone business unit of Singtel, working with Singtel to broaden its overall security portfolio and to address the growing market in the Asia Pacific region. It will remain headquartered in Chicago.

McMullen said in a statement, “This strategic partnership creates an unparalleled opportunity to combine Singtel’s robust information and communications solutions with Trustwave’s industry-leading security technologies and managed services platform to deliver cutting-edge solutions that will enhance our customer experience. Singtel is the perfect partner for us as we continue to help businesses fight cybercrime, protect data and reduce security risk, and the Trustwave team is thrilled to become a part of such a prestigious and innovative organization.”

Image: Sanjeev Agrawal of CollegeFeed. Credit: USA Today.