SAP Ventures participates in $53.4 million round in social media vendor Lithium Technologies

Tom Paine

SAP Ventures has joined in a $53.4 million round led by New Enterprise Associates in Lithium Technologies, Inc., a vendor of enterprise-oriented social media software.

Lithium is a close competitor to Jive Software, which last month raised $161 million in an IPO. SAP has worked closely with Jive, and late last year before Jive filed for its IPO it was rumored that SAP might soon acquire it . SAP Ventures was not, however, an investor in Jive, according to available information. There was some discussion that Jive-related issues (instability due to a version change) might have contributed to the delay announced last month in rolling out the new SAP Community Network.

Last month SAP announced a relationship with NetBase to resell its social media analytics tool to its customers. SAP Ventures had also been an investor in LinkedIn prior to its IPO and SAP had integrated LinkedIn capabilities into the SAP Community Network.

Its seems clear that SAP is spreading its bets in terms of its social networking strategy. Whether and when it will make a major acquisition in this space, or if it will just continue to rely on partnerships, remains to be seen.

The Series D round also included all previous participating investors, including Benchmark Capital, DAG Ventures, Emergence Capital, Greenspring Associates, Shasta Ventures and Tenaya Capital. Lithium is based in Emeryville, CA.


Philly-based corporate meeting management site StarCite, an ICG portfolio company, is acquired

Tom Paine

San Diego-based Active Network announced today it had acquired StarCite, the Philadelphia-based web-based business for managing arrangements for corporate meetings and events.

ICG, which most recently reported a 36% stake in StarCite, said its share of the proceeds would be $24.9 million, of which $15.8 million would be in cash. That would imply a value for the entire company of just under $70 million. ICG also said it will report an initial gain of $14 million on the sale, though the final proceeds could be higher.

StarCite had very strong growth in the early 2000's and was considered one of Philly's most successful internet-based businesses, but in recent years had seen slumping revenues and losses. It indicated earlier last year that it was looking for other investors or a possible acquirer. Other past investors had included TPG Growth, Norwest Venture Partners and TL Ventures.

Active Network describes itself as "the leading provider of organization-based cloud computing applications--serving the business events, community activities, outdoors and sports markets". It trades on the NYSE under the symbol ACTV and has a market value of over $700 million.


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