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Opening up SnapChat

Opening up SnapChat
June 3, 2020

The Information reported yesterday evening that the company is planning to open up its Snapchat platform to third-party developers, taking a page from the WeChat playbook. Snap will offer developers a platform to develop pared-down versions of their app within Snap. The move will also diversify the Snapchat parent's business, which is currently based primarily on advertising revenue. The company has already been making progress with monetization, and opening up the platform to third-party developers could help build on that momentum.

Snap is expected to announce details at its annual Snap Partner Summit, which the company separately confirmed would take place on June 11 as a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tencent's WeChat has enjoyed a meteoric rise to ubiquity in China as the dominant messaging and communication platform. The Chinese tech juggernaut has expanded the service over the years to incorporate a sprawling feature set that includes mobile payments, financial services, and more by creating a platform for third-party apps. Western tech companies have been trying to emulate that strategy with varying levels of success.


 


The US capital markets have bounced back. After a brief coronavirus-induced halt, the markets now have a strong pipeline for IPOs, M&A, and debt issuances.

U.S. public companies sold more than $60B of their own stock last month, the largest monthly total ever. “Issuers that have seen their stock prices recover are now also taking the perspective that they don’t want to miss this window in case this rebound is short-lived,” Santosh Sreenivasan, head of equity-linked capital markets for the Americas at JPMorgan, told Reuters.

The market for initial public offerings looks like it might finally be recovering after the WeWork (WE) debacle and before COVID-19 brought IPOs to a halt over the past two months. Online used car seller Vroom (VRM) is set to price shares between $15 to $17, aiming to raise $318.8M at the top end of the range, with a market cap of $1.92B. Shift4 Payments (FOUR) has also set terms for its initial public offering of common stock, while Warner Music (WMG) will price shares in what could become the largest New York IPO so far in 2020.

As for private companies, there is a strong parallel to the public market. In May alone, there were 461 M&A and 572 fundings in the private market, up from 376 and 466, respectively, in April.

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Platform-as-a-Service Companies:

Platform.sh builds and scales customers' website fleet—with zero infrastructure management investment. It offers hosting, CI/CD, and automated updates for organizations that want to cost-effectively manage multiple websites or applications. Platform.sh is an end-to-end Platform-as-a-Service that offers a complete set of tools that work together to help teams launch faster, scale predictably, and invest in work that delivers business value.

Built.io’s mission is to fast-track innovation for its customers at the intersection of mobile, web, and the Internet of Things (IoT), and to create business value by applying its products. Built.io’s digital solutions and services are trusted by the world’s most innovative startups, leading Fortune 500 companies, and governments around the world to provide a new generation of realtime, engaging experiences.

Avid Technology delivers the industry's most open, innovative, and comprehensive media platform connecting content creation with collaboration, asset protection, distribution, and consumption. Media organizations and creative professionals use Avid solutions to create the most listened to, most watched and most loved media in the world—from prestigious and award-winning feature films to the most popular television shows, news programs and televised sporting events, as well as a majority of today’s most celebrated music recordings and live concerts.

Pivotal, the company at the intersection of big data, PaaS, and agile development, helps companies transform into great software companies. It starts with Pivotal One, a comprehensive solution that includes a set of application and data services that run on top of Pivotal CF, a turnkey platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution for agile development teams to rapidly update and scale applications on a private cloud that can be instantly expanded and upgraded with no downtime, allowing enterprises to innovate with disruptive speed.

Funding & Deal Highlights:

Bonusly, the platform for employee recognition, raises a $9M Series A. Bonusly launched in 2013 when co-founder and CEO Raphael Crawford-Marks saw the opportunity to reinvent the way employers and colleagues recognize and reward their employees/coworkers.

China’s Nice Tuan closes a $81.4M Series C1 round led by GGV Capital, five months after the completion of a $88.3M Series C. Founded in April 2018, Nice Tuan provides fresh produce, beverage, skincare products, leisure food, and daily supplies through a namesake WeChat mini-program to community customers.

Element5, the San Jose startup building home care's first automation hub, announces the closing of $2.5M in a seed round funding. Founded in late 2019, Element5 is rethinking the way work gets done by bringing automation-as-a-service solutions to home care and hospice providers. The technology is built on the foundation of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) and delivers end-to-end automation for key workflows. Accompanying each automated workflow are rich, powerful analytics that helps clients gain valuable insight into their business.

Ezra, a NY-based startup focused on early cancer screening using MRI and artificial intelligence, raises $18M in funding. Ezra launched its MRI-based prostate cancer screening program in January 2019 and rolled out its full-body MRI scan in May 2019. The company partners with existing outpatient imaging facilities and all Ezra scans are analyzed by board-certified radiologists.

Ethyl Ambrosia, a leader in edible alcohol technology, secures a $450,000 funding round. Leading the company's first financing round is Third Craft. The investment will be used to expand the company's sales, marketing, and rebranding efforts. The female-founded company is best known for its vegan gel bites, an elevated and re-imagined twist to the jello shot. Differentiated both by packaging and formulation, the boozy bites are the perfect addition to any celebration.

OraSure Technologies, Inc. a leader in point of care diagnostic tests and specimen collection and stabilization devices, and microbiome laboratory and analytical services, announces that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire privately-owned UrSure, Inc.for cash. Based in Boston, UrSure is developing and commercializing products that measure adherence to HIV medications including pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP, the daily medication to prevent HIV.

FirstLight, a leading provider of fiber-optic data, Internet, data center, cloud computing, and unified communications services to enterprise and carrier customers throughout the Northeast, announces that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire certain fiber assets of DFT Communications.

Sirius Computer Solutions, Inc., a leading national IT solutions integrator, announces it has acquired Denver-based Advanced Systems Group (ASG).

Topspin Consumer Partners announces today that it has led an investment in reCommerce, a rapidly growing, technology-enabled selling partner of brands through Amazon. reCommerce offers leading consumer brands an end-to-end solution on Amazon, allowing them to capitalize on growing demand and navigate the complexities of the world’s largest online marketplace. reCommerce combines its proprietary in-house technology platform with world-class creative, marketing, data analytics, brand protection, and logistics services to drive the growth of leading brands on Amazon. 

Eastern Zinc Corp. announces that it has entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Platina Resources Limited, dated June 1, 2020, for the acquisition of a 100% undivided ownership interest in the Skaergaard precious metals project located on the East Coast of Greenland.

Since last week, PrivCo has added:
1081 Profiles | 96 M&A Deals141 Funding Activities
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