Saturday Highlights 8/17/2013: Fox Sports 1 launches: NY Times on Penn astrobiology grad's wireless electricity startup

An Inventor Wants One Less Wire to Worry About
(New York Times)

Fox Sports 1's Launch Week: Lebron James, Mike Tyson and Plenty of Regis Philbin (Hollywood Reporter)

SAP creates LAVA 'design language' to heat up analytics (PC World)

Fosscon 2013 – all done til 2014 (Ubuntu Pennsylvania Local Community Team)

with title

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Reports: Alibaba making large investment in Kynetic LLC's ShopRunner

Tom Paine

 Subscribe in a reader
Subscribe to Philadelphia Tech News by Email

Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba is reportedly set to make a major investment in ShopRunner, said to be in the $70 to $75 million range, for a minority stake in the two-day shipping service, according to both the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal. There has been no confirmation from either company.

ShopRunner is a part of Michael Rubin's Conshohocken-based Kynetic LLC, and was spun off along with Fanatics Inc. and Rue La La from GSI Commerce when eBay acquired that company in 2011, although eBay maintained a stake in ShopRunner and Rue La La. ShopRunner is an alternative to Amazon Prime for other retailers. Although some of its client roster is shown here, little information has been released on its financial performance or number of subscribers.

Alibaba also recently invested in another Kynetic company, Fanatics Inc., in a round which valued the sports apparel retailer at $3.1 billion.

Ironically, the deal would reconnect ShopRunner CEO Scott Thompson indirectly to Yahoo, since that company owns about 25% of Alibaba. Thompson was forced out as Yahoo CEO due to a resume discrepancy in 2012. Alibaba is in the process of preparing for an IPO.

ShopRunner in the past called Conshohocken its headquarters, but its website now says it has a "seasoned team based in San Francisco, Philadelphia and New York," and the Wall Street Journal says it is based in San Mateo. A look at ShopRunner's LinkedIn page suggests that a majority of its employees are based in the Philadelphia area, although most of the senior management team is in the Bay area.

A little more background on the deal from All Things D.