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March 15, 2014

Wheelings & Dealings: M&A Week in Review

By Joe Rizzo, TMCnet Contributing Writer

Renaissance Learning Inc. is an educational assessment and learning analytics company. It makes cloud-based educational software for use in Kindergarten through 12th grade. Recently, Google (News - Alert) took an interest in this company. In fact, the interest was high enough to invest $40 million.

That fact that one in three U.S. schools use Renaissance’s services, as well as about 57 other countries. This not only caught the eye of Google, but also a private equity firm call Hellman & Friedman.

This firm feeling that Renaissance, a company that has been helping educators accelerate student learning for quite some time, had potential, took it to the next level. Hellman & Friedman purchased the company for $1.1 billion.

Software Advice is a company that assists consumers in determining the right software for their needs. The company has a team of software experts who conduct free telephone consultations with each buyer to shortlist systems best suited to their company’s specific requirements.

Gartner (News - Alert) Inc. has now acquired Software Advice. The Texas-based company currently employs about 100 people. At this time, there were no details released concerning the acquisition.

By purchasing what is being called a contact center company in the Midwest, Epazz, Inc. is expecting to add at least 50 percent to its revenue stream. Epazz is a leading provider of cloud-based business software solutions.

Epazz appears to have a very long term strategy. It looks as if this is just one of what may be many acquisitions. The company is looking to increase its global distribution channels and is looking for other suitable acquistions.

Tomorrow Networks has billed itself as a mobile advertising network that serves ads specifically targeting healthcare providers and patients based on their specialties, conditions and locations. Until recently, it was a joint venture between Physicians Interactive and New York City-based Remedy Systems.

With comments from Donato Tramuto, who is CEO and chairman of Physicians Interactive, such as “With 219 million smartphone subscriptions in the U.S. and more than 80 percent of physicians using mobile devices in the workplace, the need to reach people in highly targeted and engaging ways via their mobile devices is becoming increasingly critical as a distribution platform,” it is no wonder that it has acquired full ownership of Tomorrow Networks.

When you find a winning situation, or solution, you tend to stick with it. I suppose that it falls under the category of good business. Keeping with this mindset, mobile payment and marketing company, Mozido has acquired StickyStreet.

In the past, these two companies worked together. StickyStreet’s focus is on creating and managing customer loyalty, which Mozido put to good use. It should now be in a better position to reach out to millions of people around the world through the customer loyalty program.

Every day a lot of comes make deals. We try to keep an eye on these Wheelings & Dealings. Whether an acquisition or a joint partnership that benefits several companies, we will keep you apprised of all of the important details.



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