Daily Links 2/28/2011: Bel Fuse makes $246 million bid for Philly's Pulse Electronics

Comcast, NBC deal opens door for online video (AP via USA Today)

Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Calls Netflix Streaming Service a Positive (Hollywood Reporter)
Roberts: "What Used To Be Called 'Reruns' On Television Is Now Called Netflix".

Hogging Bandwidth Could Crack Netflix’s Piggy Bank (paidContent)

Boehner Says Vote To Invalidate Net Rules Could Come In March
House Speaker Says Chamber Will Act Because FCC Has Yet To 'Explain The Need For This Intrusion'
(Multichannel News)

Comcast: The Next Big Capital Allocation Story, Says Goldman (Barron's: Tech Trader Daily)

Liberty Media Reports Fourth Quarter and Year End 2010 Financial Results (Business Wire)
QVC Q4 revenue up 4%.

QVC, Starz Drive Liberty Q4 (Multichannel News)

Deborah M. Gage Named President and CEO of MEDecision
Experienced Senior Executive Brings Wide-Ranging Health IT Background to Leadership Role
(Business Wire)

Bel Fuse makes $246M offer for (Philly-based) Pulse Electronics
(AP via Forbes)
A few years ago it was the other way around, but Pulse (then named Technitrol) was the larger player at that time in terms of market value.

Motorola’s Xoom Tablet Sales Have Started ‘Relatively Well’ (Bloomberg)

Larry's Long Reach (Forbes)
On Larry Ellison-backed NetSuite.

Salesforce.com Falls; WSJ Reveals “The Truth Behind…The Hype”
(Forbes: The Tech Trade)

PPUG Spring 2011 reviews wrap-up (ZDNet Blogs)


Who's on deck for Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic Demo Night

Seven companies are scheduled to present at Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic Demo Night tomorrow night (Monday, February 28, 5:30-8:30pm at The Hub Cira Centre). Three of them are fairly well known to the Philly area tech community; NearVerse (LoKast proximity social network), which started in Philly though I believe it may actually be based in New York now, Philly-based online ticketing service TicketLeap, and Blue Bell-based Fiberlink Communications (MaaS360 software for enterprise network "endpoint" security).

The other four are relative newcomers:

Emergensee of Wayne, has a personal security app which enables you to to instantly start streaming video from your cell phone to up to three different recipients if you feel you may be in a threatening or unsafe situation.

EverComm Technologies, which offers a service for remotely monitoring your toddlers called Keep In Touch.

MobileReactor, which has an application that allows television viewers to interact with their favorite shows, though I can't find much more information on it right now (nothing beyond a homepage is live on their website when I looked at it). Founders have backgrounds with Nokia (Traffic.com), TruePosition and Comcast; given that experience I wonder whether their app may be location-based in some way.

MyChinoki of Philadelphia allows consumers to select which local businesses they would be willing to recieve occasional SMS text messages from concerning promotions and special deals.

TicketLeap will demo its new Android ticket scanning application.

There are also followup interviews with some of last year's participating companies on Mobile Monday Mid-Atlantic's website.

Some seats are still available for the event at the time of this posting.


Carrots, Sticks and Digital Health Records (New York Times)

Motorola Sues TiVo (On Behalf Of Verizon) (Zatz Not Funny!)

Daily Links 2/25/2011: Drexel to get five times the bandwith

Comcast Preps a Docsis 3.0 Boost (Light Reading Cable)
For upload speeds.

Peers or not? Comcast and Level 3 slug it out at FCC's doorstep (Ars Technica)

NBCU Local Strategy: Balancing Individualism And Uniform Qualities (paidContent)

Is Verizon's FiOS Deployment Freeze Thawing?
Verizon Tells Wilmington, Delaware New Deployments Loom
(Broadband Reports)
Update: One more reason why blogs are no substitute for newspapers (Delaware Online: Delaware Inc.)
While the Broadband Reports article above is wrong (sometimes old articles pop up in search engines or RSS Feeds), there is still a certain irony in going back and reading what the Verizon
exec said two years ago and what hasn't happened since then.

Salesforce wins bet on the cloud, doubles down on social (Fortune)

SAP Announces Blockbuster BusinessObjects Upgrade (Information Week)

Alcatel Lucent to help bring metering technology to Pennsylvania (PennEnergy)

Philadelphia Business Journal’s Social Media Stars announced (Philadelphia Business Journal)

ICG Announces 2010 Fourth Quarter and Year-End Financial Results
Core Consolidated Revenue Increases 27% in 2010
Metastorm Sale Completed
(Globe Newswire)

Demand for Accelerated Cost Savings Fuels Continued Growth for ICG Commerce
Comprehensive Procurement Solution Provider Sees 20 Percent-Plus Revenue Growth for Sixth Consecutive Year
(Globe Newswire)

Network to be upgraded
Five times more bandwidth for campus
(The Triangle)


Philly Tech Tidbits 2/24/2011

Malvern social CRM startup Visibiz has raised $1 million from West Conshohocken-based SeventySix Capital, according to Dow Jones VentureWire. Visibiz was founded by Ami Assayag, who briefly had served as SeventySix Capital's entrepreneur in residence. Its software helps companies manage information across multiple CRM platforms and social media sites. Visibiz now has eight employees and will shortly launch into private beta, and Assayag says he hopes to close on another $1 million round by summer.

A new Delaware-based startup, cWyze, has raised $200,000 , according to a recent SEC filing. cWyze appears to be developing an interactive video ad interface for targeted marketing. Don't know too much about the founders, but the advisors listed on its website are impressive, including Philadelphia businessman and politician Sam Katz and Morgan Lewis Bockius partner Stephen Goodman.

The Business Insider reports that Google may have some interest in acquiring First Round Capital portfolio company SinglePlatform. The New York startup provides one location on the web where small businesses can enter and maintain information about themselves which SinglePlatform then automatically distributes to various local shopping and social media sites. However, Business Insider's source tells them that nothing is likely to happen until the user base gets considerably larger. First Round led a $1.2 million seed round in December.

In several reports last month about major VC firm Accel Partners opening a New York office, Philly-based mobile payments startup Venmo was named as being one of their portfolio companies. Which is surprising since there has never been a formal announcement of such an investment, nor does it appear in Accel's portfolio listed on its website. Venmo has previously raised $1.2 million in a round led by RRE Ventures in May of last year.

Quu, Inc., a startup which provides an interactive platform for radio stations, has named veteran Philadelphia radio exec Lynn Bruder CEO, to be based in Philadelphia, though the company will continue to be headquartered in the Seattle area.

Temple University's Fox School of Business has received a $500,000 donation from Goldman Sachs Gives, a donor-advised fund, which will enable it to expand its business plan competition program. The gift was made at the recommendation of two Temple alumni, Alan and Deborah Cohen. Alan is an exec at Goldman Sachs.

Comcast Interactive Capital participated in a $17 million Series C financing round in Atlanta-based Vitrue, which provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform which enables brands and marketing agencies to communicate with customers and fans. Comcast had been a previous investor.

Safeguard Scientifics' recently announced $5 million backing of Downingtown startup ThingWorx may reflect a change in its investment philosophy, or perhaps more accurately a return to its roots. “On the heels of two well-timed exits last year, Safeguard is now in a position of financial strength and flexibility to deploy capital into new, high-growth, high-value companies,” said Peter J. Boni, President and CEO, in the press release. Which sounds like an indication that Safeguard will be looking at more early stage (and higher risk) ventures such as ThingWorx in the future.


Daily Links 2/24/2011: Osage University Partners Closes $100 Million Debut Venture Capital Fund

InterDigital Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2010 Financial Results
Full Year Revenue of $394.5 million Increased 33 Percent Over 2009
(Business Wire)
InterDigital Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know (Motley Fool)

SAP Asks Court to Reduce Oracle Award or Set New Trial (Bloomberg)

Oracle to SAP: How’s This for Grossly Excessive–We Want Another Half-Billion in Damages (All Things Digital: Digital Daily)
Ellison's typical return shot.

SAP wants racketeering claims thrown out (Computerworld)
In Marin County case.

Salesforce.com: Strong fourth quarter, light earnings outlook, $2 billion revenue mark in sight
(ZDNet Blogs)

Osage University Partners Closes $100 Million Debut Venture Capital Fund, Affiliates With Leading Universities (Marketwire)

Comcast Unit Shares Cisco's Video Spotlight (Light Reading Cable)

Sprint, Falcone’s LightSquared Said to Discuss Network Deal (Bloomberg)

Sage Payment Solutions Acquires Small Merchant Portfolio From Heartland Payment Systems (Marketwire)

New Console Digital Developer Play Eternal Founded In Philly (Gamasutra)


Daily Links 2/23/2011: SAP introduces updated Business Intelligence product line

DreamIT Ventures Taps Startup Founders as It Expands Into New York (Gigaom)

No secret that QVC might buy Home Shopping (Denver Post)

SAP Enters Complex-event Processing Market (PC World)

SAP BusinessObjects 4.0 hits the streets (SearchBusinessAnalytics.com)

Unisys builds cash as it trims debt (Philly.com: Philly Inc)

DirecTV Profit Beats Analysts' Estimates on Video, High-Definition Demand (Bloomberg)

Golf Channel, NBC Tee Off As Playing Partners At WGC Tourney
Promotion, Production, Programming, Graphics Reflect 'Golf Channel On NBC' Branding
(Multichannel News)

Obama names Facebook, Intel and Comcast execs to new jobs council (Washington Post: Post Tech)

Comcast Shaking Up Speed Tiers (Again)
Seven Delicious Flavors In DOCSIS 3 Upgraded Markets
(Broadband Reports)

Bluewolf Opens New Office Headquarters in New York (PR Newswire)
Also opens new Philadelphia office.

Google’s Decision to Get Into “Real Time” Ads Was Really Smart, Says Google (All Things Digital: MediaMemo)

Checkpoint Systems Shares Plunged: What You Need to Know (Motley Fool)

Kairos Society Helps Student Entrepreneurs Test Best Ideas for Startups (Bloomberg)


Daily Links 2/22/2011: Checkpoint, CDI down after financial results

WGAW Reps: Comcast Wants to Destroy Unions (Hollywood Reporter)

CBS Picks Netflix Over Hulu to Stream Classic Shows (Gigaom: NewTeeVee)

Amazon Prime Instant Streaming Launches, But Not (Yet) A Netflix-Killer (Silicon Alley Insider)

Xoom Android tablet set for sale Thursday at Verizon (Computerworld)

Checkpoint Systems, Inc. Announces Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2010 Results (Business Wire)
Checkpoint Systems Q4 misses Street (Reuters)

CDI Corp. Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2010 Results (PR Newswire)
CDI shares are really getting hammered today, off almost 15%, after missing forecast.

Veeva Systems Announces Increased Investment in China
Life sciences business solutions leader expands operations in industry’s largest emerging market to support customer growth
(Business Wire)
Veeva Systems has a significant presence in the Philadelphia area.

SAP Eyes Wider Market With Real-Time Business Analytics Software (Bloomberg)

Recyclebank Raises Additional $14 Million in Series C Financing (PR Web)
Recyclebank started out in Philly and still has some of its operations based here.

SAS acquires Assetlink to help marketers deliver smarter, more efficient campaigns (SAS Press Release)


TruePosition subsidiary Zoombak acquired by Securus

Zoombak, a provider of personal GPS devices and a subsidiary of TruePosition Inc., has been acquired by Securus, Inc, according to a press release. Zoombak has had its operational headqaurters in Berwyn. Securus, which has been a competitor to Zoombak, is based in Cary, NC.
TruePosition, also based in Berwyn, is a subsidiary of Liberty Media.

Twitter Reinstates API Access For Twidroyd and UberSocial for Blackberry (Read Write Web)

It’s Not a Bubble, People; It’s a Pyramid Scheme (PE Hub)
Mark Cuban's comments.

Netflix: Comcast Hates Us, Sort Of, Maybe (Gigaom: NewTeeVee)

Changing Skyline: What does GlaxoSmithKline's move to Navy Yard mean for downtown? (Philadelphia Inquirer)

HIMSS11 opens in Orlando

HIMSS11 (the annual conference of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society) opens today in Orlando. This is probably the most important annual event in the Healthcare IT industry, and many Philly area companies will have a presence there and news to share. I'll try to keep track of key developments, although I'm not actually there (wish I was).

Comcast SportsNet Talent Supplements 'Hockey Day In America' Coverage
NBC, Versus To Present Nine Hours Of Puck Sport Action On Feb. 20
(Multichannel News)

The Aftermath of Hulu CEO's Bad Boy Memo (Hollywood Reporter)

Comcast launching 24-hour 3D channel Sunday (CNET News)

Will FCC Act On Level3 Comcast Dispute?
Level3 Tells Us They Still Hope So, But Signs Point To No
(Broadband Reports)

Here's The $7 Million Home For HP's New CEO Leo Apotheker (Silicon Alley Insider)
Life after SAP isn't so bad.

UberMedia CEO Bill Gross: Twitter Turn-Off “Took Us By Surprise,” But “We Will Change” (TechCrunch)
UberMedia has been backed by First Round Capital among others.

Safeguard leads $5 million investment in Downingtown-based ThingWorx

I tried to find out a little more about ThingWorx, the Downingtown "Internet of Things" platform startup that yesterday announced it had received a $5 million investment led by Safeguard Scientifics.

My first thought was to see if there was a SAP connection here, since SAP has been a leader in developing the Internet of Things concept, and there is indeed. CEO Russell Fadel was co-founder and CEO of Lighthammer Software Development, which was later acquired by SAP (after which he apparently stayed on with SAP for a couple of years). CTO Rick Bullotta also came to SAP from Lighthammer; at SAP he served as VP at SAP Labs, which was followed by a tour at WonderWare as CTO. There is no indication that SAP has been involved in financing ThingWorx, however.

ThingWorx had one previous round of financing from Angels and founders.

The Internet of Things (explored somewhat skeptically in this recent Economist article) describes the concept of interconnecting the virtual world, people and the physical world through the Internet. Though most likely to be seen today in manufacturing and military applications, other areas such as energy and healthcare are considered to have great potential. ThingWorx describes itself as "the first platform designed specifically for applications connecting people, systems and devices", although I haven't seen much detail yet on how it goes about accomplishing that. The company blog has this post about the founders and their vision.

ThingWorx held an official company launch on February 8 in Downingtown.


Daily Links 2/16/2011: Comcast beats estimates and raises dividend

Comcast Tops Estimates, Boosts Dividend, Stock Buyback Plan (Bloomberg)
Comcast Press Release

New NBCUniversal CEO Steve Burke: NBC Network Turnaround Will Take Years (Hollywood Reporter)

Comcast Sub Losses Slow; Is TV Everywhere Working? (Gigaom)

McDowell: Deal Desperation Fueled Comcast Acquiescence to Net Rules (Multichannel News)

Cablevision Eyes $50 Set-Top (Light Reading Cable)

Safeguard Scientifics Deploys $5 Million in Series B Financing for ThingWorx (Business Wire)
Downingtown-based startup provides platform for "Internet of Things" applications.

Webstock: An interview with the Daring Fireball (New Zealand Herald)
Interview with Philly blogger John Gruber from a faraway place.

Air Products Abandons Airgas Takeover Bid After Judge Upholds Poison Pill (Bloomberg)

Advanced Advertising 3.0: Addressability's The Goal
Panelists Weigh Short-Term Interactive Add-ons Vs. Targeting Technologies
(Multichannel News)

If Sprint Bails on WiMAX, What Happens to Clearwire? (Gigaom)

Are Technology M&A Prices Getting Out Of Hand? (Wall Street Journal: Venture Capital Dispatch)

SAP's McDermott Interview on Business Environment (Bloomberg)
Interesting-longer than the usual TV interview.

HP's Half Step Back Into Data Warehousing
Vertica acquisition fills a big gap, but it also raises questions about Hewlett Packard's alliances and broader ambitions.
(Information Week)

Heartland Payment's Q4 profit misses Street, ups div (Reuters)


LoKast and Qualcomm put more muscle into wireless file-sharing (VentureBeat)

Ben Franklin group announces $2M in early-stage grants (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Can Cable Block the Google TV Revolution? (Wired: Epicenter)

Drumming Up More Internet Addresses (New York Times)

Can Videoscape Save Cisco's Set-Top Business? (Light Reading Cable)

Samsung, SAP to Roll out Analytics for Android Devices (PC World)

HP To Acquire Analytics Specialist Vertica (Information Week)

First Round Capital Roundup: 2/12/2011

One Kings Lane, an online social shopping site focused on household furnishings in which First Round Capital was an early investor, has raised an additional $23 million led by Greylock Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. First Round also re-upped. The company, cofounded by Zynga CEO Mark Pincus’ wife Alison Pincus, reported that 2010 sales were up 500% over 2009. (See also Fortune article).

Another First Round portfolio company, Path, turned down a $100 million + incentives offer from Google, according to TechCrunch, instead taking a $8.5 million round led by Kleiner Perkins and Index Ventures. Path, cofounded by Facebook veteran Dave Morin, is a mobile social network, and although it is still rather small Google is said to have wanted the talent base.

New York-based Tremor Media has acquired First Round portfolio company Transpera, expanding its online advertising platform into the mobile space. In November of last year, Tremor had acquired another First Round-backed company, SanScout, for a price reported to be at least $65 million. comScore has ranked Tremor a close second to Hulu in terms of the number of video ads served. Also, mobile data solutions platform Motricity agreed to acquire mobile marketing and advertising provider Adenyo for $100 million and incentives that could add up to $50 million more; Adenyo had acquired First Round-backed MoVoxx in 2010, although it is not known what, if any, First Round's resulting equity position in Adenyo might have been.

Digiday: Daily has a brief interview with Ari Jacoby, CEO of First Round-backed "CAPTCHA" advertsing service Solve Media, which has offices in New York and Philly. Gigaom has an article on BankSimple, a New York startup close to launching, which will not actually be a bank itself but rather provide a user-friendly, mobile-oriented platform for consumers to interface with smaller banks. BankSimple's CTO is Alex Payne, an early Twitter employee. The startup has raised $3.1 million to date from First Round Capital, Ron Conway and others. Truveris, a New York startup focused on providing automated pharmacy benefits review services (an area that King of Prussia's Health Market Science is also trying to get into) raised $3.8 million, led by GSA Venture Partners with First Round Capital also participating.

Josh Kopelman has joined GSI Commerce's Board of Directors, a move that appears to make sense in a number of ways, given his background in ecommerce and ad tech and the strength of many of First Round's portfolio companies in these areas. Kopelman also spoke at the Dow Jones Private Equity Analyst Outlook conference in New York late last month, emphasizing the need for general partners to align their fund size to “exit-market realities". “When I hop on a train in Philadelphia I can either take the local or the express,” the Wall Street Journal's Venture Capital Dispatch quoted him as saying. “I think most traditional VCs when they fund a company kind of buy an express ticket to an IPO. And I think what you’re seeing with some of these smaller funds, they’re buying a ticket on a local train".


Daily Links 2/11/2011: Lockheed Advanced Technology Laboratories' software helps predict unrest

Are Nokia And Microsoft Hoping Two Wrongs Make A Right? (Gigaom)

Pentagon’s Prediction Software Didn’t Spot Egypt Unrest (Wired: Danger Room)
Article says most promising work is being done at Lockheed's Advanced Technology Laboratories in Cherry Hill.

Snag great angel investors at OAF Philly - deadline next Friday (Gabriel Weinberg's Bog)
Great list of Angels attending.

New 24-hour traffic channel on TV here finding viewers (Philadelphia Inquirer)


New look, new faces emerge at NECN
After ownership change, news network retools to appeal to younger viewers
(Boston Globe)

FCC Chiefs to Testify at GOP Net Neutrality Hearing (Wireless Week)

Cisco: 'We Are Not Exclusively in the Set-Top Box Business' (Multichannel News: BIT RATE)

SAP’s business intelligence roadmap still a mystery to most (SAP Watch)

SNBL USA Purchases Provantis Preclinical Solution Suite; 500 Users to be Deployed (Business Wire)


GSI Commerce to Acquire Fanatics, Inc.
Company announces new $400 million credit agreement and $50 million share repurchase authorization
(Business Wire)
Acquisition valued at about $277 million.

GSI Commerce Reports Fiscal 2010 Year and Fourth Quarter Operating Results
(Business Wire)

Clearwire Said to Stop Retail Expansion, Keep Existing Stores in Save Cash (Bloomberg)

Defense contractor Kratos buying Herley Industries (Bloomberg)
Herley Industries is based in Lancaster.

Data Centers Offer Hope for St. Louis Office Market
(New York Times)
Highlighted by Unisys's new software development center.

DDMAC's Abrams gives update on policy making (Medical Marketing & Media)

Time Warner Cable slapped for "fiber optic" claims (Reuters)
The ads by Time Warner Cable and some other cable companies misusing the term "fiber optic" to compare themselves to FiOS are absolutely deceptive.

Comcast's Next Big Battle May Be in Its Backyard (Daily Finance)
I'm not sure Comcast agrees with one of the premises of this article: that the agreement with the FCC necessarily changed the terms under which it must offer Comcast SportsNet programming
to others.

TicketLeap snags Comic-Con assignment but runs into some issues

Philadelphia-based online ticketing startup TicketLeap got a bit more publicity than it bargained for yesterday morning when ticketing for the popular Comic-Con 2011 event (to be held in San Diego) went live, as its system quickly went to overcapacity after the 9 am (Pacific) start time, and the problems apparently lasted up to four hours. This was particularly troublesome since the Geek-oriented convention had turned to TicketLeap after two previous failed attempts with another vendor, and TicketLeap had tried to carefully test out its system for the event with a trial run in December. Reaction was so widespread that TicketLeap was briefly trending globally on Twitter.

TicketLeap CEO Chris Stanchak, who responded yesterday on Twitter, posted on the TicketLeap Blog today about the situation. To summarize, he said that although they tried to prepare for heavy demand it still was more than they expected, and as they tried to adjust the scale of their infrastructure with Amazon Web Services during the day, a yet to be specified "bottleneck" prevented the necessary adjustments from taking effect quickly. Not clear whether that bottleneck was more TicketLeap's
or Amazon's problem; a basic benefit of Amazon Web Services is that it is supposed to be fairly elastic in expanding to meet customer capacity requirements. Chris says TicketLeap will follow up with a more technical explanation in the next few days.

Update: TicketLeap's post on the technical issues.


PhillyDeals: Pa. pension plan's woes are costing taxpayers (Philly.com)

What it's like to cut the cord and stop paying for TV (Washington Post)

Philly Tech People News 2/6/2011

Ulticom Names Bruce Swail CEO (Marketwire)

LLR Partners Expands Investment Team with Four Hires (Business Wire)

Grant Thornton announces next Phila. leader (Philadelphia Business Journal)

Apollo Health Street Adds New Vice President of Sales in the Northeast (Business Wire)

Unisys Federal Systems Appoints New Leaders for Civilian Agencies, Homeland Security and Sales (PR Newswire)


Daily Links 2/2/2011: Marin County files RICO suit against SAP, Deloitte

Marin County alleges SAP, Deloitte engaged in racketeering (Computerworld)
RICO suite. Somewhat surprising to see SAP included, since most reports I had read had laid the blame more on Deloitte rather than SAP.

Two Hints at Stepped-Up Media Rivalry in Online Streaming (New York Times)

Comcast App Now Playing Video On iPads
Streaming Content Includes Shows and Movies from HBO, Turner, Showtime, Starz
(Multichannel News)

Comcast Versus President Davis to Exit Sports Channel After NBC Merger (Bloomberg)

Mark Lazarus Named President of NBC Sports Cable Group (Press Release via Hollywood Reporter)
Ebersol names management team for newly formed NBC Sports Group.

NBC Sports Group restructures in wake of Comcast deal (LA Times: Company Town)

Time Warner Cable Buys Enterprise Hosting And Cloud Services Company NaviSite For $230M (TechCrunch)

U.S. court rejects Verizon request for same judges (Reuters)

Unisys' 4th-quarter profit falls 13 percent (Bloomberg)

SunGard Availability Services Announces General Availability of Enterprise Cloud Services (PR Newswire)

Gartner Quadrant Reports BI Split (Information
QlikTech in Gartner's Leaders Quadrant for first time.

Epocrates shares rise on higher IPO pricing (AP via Forbes)

U.S. Tries Open-Source Model for Health Data Systems (New York Times: Bits)

SAP Extends Ecosystem via Google Docs Alliance (IT Business Edge)

iPads become reality in Wharton classrooms (Daily Pennsylvanian)


Aria Systems rounds up $20 million

Aria Systems, the Cloud and online subscription billing service which was founded in the Philly area and still has a significant presence in Media (Delaware County) , today announced a Series C funding round of $20 million, bringing its total funding to date to $34 million (Press Release) . InterWest Partners led the round with additional investment coming from existing investors Hummer-Winblad and Venrock. An unnamed "Fortune 500 technology firm" also participated as a strategic investor (later identified as EMC Corp., majority owner of VMWare, an important Aria partner). Bruce Cleveland, general partner at InterWest Partners, who has been an exec at Siebel Systems, Oracle and Apple, will join Aria's board.

Aria's biggest competitor in the online billing space is Zuora Inc., which itself raised $20 million in November. Aria recently reported that its fourth quarter bookings had tripled, though that does not necessarily mean its revenue tripled also. According to Dow Jones VentureWire, Aria CEO Mike Morini said the round was "flat to up", with a valuation between $50 million and $100 million.

Aria moved its headquarters from Media to San Mateo, CA, last year, and now is planning to move it to San Francisco. Morini came aboard last spring from SAP BusinessObjects (where he served as Head of Global Sales), taking over as CEO for founder Ed Sullivan, who remains as Chairman. Sullivan grew up in Delaware County and is a Drexel graduate (see "CoE Inducts Six Members Into the Circle of Distinction"), and previously founded and sold white label ISP LaserLink to Covad before starting Aria in 2003.

Media continues to be the base of Aria's product development & customer operations, in addition to having some sales and marketing personnel located there. Aria plans to use the funding to double its workforce from about 50 to 100; no word from the company on how many are currently based in Media or how much of the growth in headcount might occur in the Philly area.

Although Aria provides billing services for all kinds of online applications, its growth prospects appear pegged to the emergence of SaaS applications and Cloud Services for larger customers.


Detailed MoneyTree Q4 VC report is out

The detailed PricewaterhouseCoopers MoneyTree Venture Capital report (free registration) has been released for Q4 2010. A total of $85 million was invested in Philadelphia Metro, down from $152 million for the same period in 2009, of which $55 million was for Biotechnology and $9 million for Industrial/Energy, with the remaining $21 million going mostly to Information Technology investements, spread among 19 companies.

The largest individual IT-related investment was $5.1 million in Conshohocken's Monetate, by First Round Capital, the Floodgate Fund, and a third undisclosed firm. Another interesting venture funded is stealth startup Relay Network of Radnor ($2.1 million), which appears to be targeted to the FinTech market. Investors include NewSpring Capital. Other sizable investments included networking technology company OnPATH Technologies of Marlton ($3.1 million), health information technology company Halfpenny Technologies of Blue Bell ($2.6 million), TimeSight Systems of Mount Laurel ($2.1 million), which provides IP-based video surveillance systems, and crowdsourced advertising website Poptent of Wynnewood ($3 million).