KKR acquires Trainline

KKRGlobal investment firm KKR has acquired Trainline. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

trainlineTrainline is the most downloaded travel app in the UK and its website ranks 5th by gross transaction value in the UK e-commerce sector. The company has 4.7m active customers, 20.8m visits per month and operates platforms for both consumers and businesses. Trainline is licensed to sell rail tickets on behalf of all UK Train Operating Companies, Deutsche Bahn and Trenitalia.

Dominic Murphy, Member and Head of KKR operations in the United Kingdom commented: “The investment in Trainline adds to our track record of partnering with entrepreneurs and management teams to build global companies and industry leaders. Similar to our Alliance Boots investment, we will support a strong investment program leading to a further transformation and strong international expansion of the company.”

USA, New York, MY & UK, London

Related articles:

News Corp acquires Indian start-up BigDecisions.Com

newscorpNews Corp has acquired BigDecisions.com in India.

BigDecisions.com aims to help Indian consumers make smarter financial decisions through interactive, decision-making tools powered by sophisticated algorithms and data. Its mission is to provide a platform to deliver unbiased information and analysis to consumers on topics ranging from life and health insurance and retirement planning to providing for a child’s education or buying and renting real estate.

big decisions“Our latest investment builds on our abiding belief that a digital India needs more trusted, reliable and independent data,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “BigDecisions.com will help Indians make the most important decisions by using accurate information tailored to their personal needs. This platform will be high quality, privacy-protected and easy-to-use.”

The acquisition of BigDecisions.com includes the site’s parent company, FinDirect Services Pvt Ltd.

The investment follows News Corp’s acquisition in November of a 25% stake in PropTiger.com, a residential real estate platform that also provides accurate and independent data and information to India’s homebuyers. News Corp’s other operations in India include Dow Jones, The Wall Street Journal, Factiva and HarperCollins Publishers businesses.

Started in early 2013 by Manish Shah and Gaurav Roy, and operating until recently as bigdecisions.in.Following the acquisition, both co-founders will help oversee a significant expansion of the Mumbai-based BigDecisions.com team as well as its consumer offerings. They will report to Raju Narisetti, News Corp Senior Vice President, Strategy.

USA, New York & India, Mumbai

Related articles:

Reliance Capital to sell its 16% stake in Indian travel portal Yatra.com

yatraAccording to the Economic Times, Reliance Capital is to sell its 16 per cent stake in travel portal Yatra.com for an estimated Rs 500 crore (around $80 million) and is in talks with 2-3 international investors.

Other Yatra.com shareholders include Norwest Venture Partners – 30%, TV-18 group – 10%, Intel Cap – 7% and Valliant Capital – 10%. The management team owns 6%.

Founded in 2005, Yatra.com provides reservation facilities for more than 12,000 hotels in India and over 400,000 hotels around the world. It has an operating income of $51 million for the year.

India, Mumbai

Yonder acquires Sovetnik from Runa Capital

YandexYandex, “the Google of Russia”, has bought Sovetnik by Metabar from Runa Capital, a Russian venture capital fund.The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

sovetnikSovetnik, which means “advisor” in Russian, is a browser extension that helps users find the best offer for online shopping. Sovetnik notifications appear when a person chooses an item in an online store. The application analyses the content of the page that the user is viewing, and shows multiple choice of on-line marketplaces where one can buy the same product with the best options – by quality of additional services and price. Sovetnik is used by more than two million people in Russia.

“Sovetnik provides a hint instantly, in the right place, and at the right time. People do not have to figure out where to make a purchase”, says Alexander Feoktistov, Head of Yandex.

Runa Capital fund invested $1 million in Metabar in 2011. Metabar team invented Sovetnik in 2013 and decided to pivot and focus on this project and the business around it. Runa Capital reports that the Yandex acquisition deal provided a multiple return on investment.

Russia, Moscow

Related articles

News Corp to acquire online US real estate business Move

newscorpRupert Murdoch’s media company News Corp is to acquire Move, an online US real estate business. REA Group Limited, which is 61.6% owned by News Corp and is the operator of the Australian residential property website, realestate.com.au, plans to hold a 20% stake in Move with 80% held by News Corp.

moveThrough realtor.com and its mobile applications, Move displays more than 98% of all for-sale properties listed in the US, sourced directly from relationships with more than 800 Multiple Listing Services across the country. The Move Network of websites, which also includes Move.com, reaches approximately 35 million people per month, who spend an average of 22 minutes each on its sites.

realtorNews Corp will acquire all the outstanding shares of Move for $21 per share, or approximately $950 million (net of Move’s existing cash balance), via an all-cash tender offer. This represents a premium of 37% over Move’s closing stock price on September 29, 2014. REA’s share will be acquired for approximately US$200 million. News Corp intends to commence a tender offer for all of the shares of common stock of Move within 10 business days, followed by a merger to acquire any untendered shares.

For the year ended December 31, 2013, Move reported $227 million in revenues, and $29 million in adjusted EBITDA

“This acquisition will accelerate News Corp’s digital and global expansion and contribute to the transformation of our company, making online real estate a powerful pillar of our portfolio,” said Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp. “We intend to use our media platforms and compelling content to turbo-charge traffic growth and create the most successful real estate website in the US. We are building on our existing real estate expertise and expect to leverage the potential of Move and its valuable connections with Realtors® and consumers around the country.”

Move owns ListHub, a digital platform that aggregates and syndicates MLS data to more than 130 online publishers, reaching approximately 900 websites.

Move will become an operating business of News Corp and remain headquartered in San Jose, California. The company, started in 1993, has 913 employees.

USA, New York, NY & San Jose, CA

Related articles:

Amazon.com to acquire Twitch

amazonAmazon.com is to acquire Twitch Interactive, Inc., a live video platform for gamers. Twitch was launched in June 2011 to focus exclusively on live video for gamers. Amazon is paying $970 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of 2014.
“Broadcasting and watching gameplay is a global phenomenon and Twitch has built a platform that brings together tens of millions of people who watch billions of minutes of games each month – from The International, to breaking the world record for Mario, to gaming conferences like E3. And, amazingly, Twitch is only three years old,” said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Like Twitch, we obsess over customers and like to think differently, and we look forward to learning from them and helping them move even faster to build new services for the gaming community.”

USA, Seattle, WA

Related articles:


Property website Zillow to buy smaller rival Trulia for $3.5Bn

zillowU.S. real estate website Zillow is to buy its smaller rival Trulia Inc for $3.5 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction equivalent to or $70.53 per share (a premium of 25 percent based on the stocks’ close on Friday). The Boards of Directors of both companies have approved the transaction, which is expected to close in 2015.

Trulia shares were up 16 percent at $65.37 in premarket trading on Monday. Zillow shares were down 3 percent at $154.

TruliaBy operating independent consumer brands through one corporation, the companies expect to realise synergies to improve overall operational efficiency over the long-term. By 2016, management expects to achieve at least $100 million in cost savings. Their combined loss in 2013 was $30 million.

The combined company will maintain both the Zillow and Trulia consumer brands.  Trulia CEO Pete Flint will remain as CEO of Trulia reporting to Zillow CEO, Spencer Rascoff, and will join the Board of Directors of the combined company. In addition,  a second member of Trulia’s Board of Directors will join the board of the combined company.

USA, Seattle, WA & San Francisco, CA




I-5 Publishing acquires Dogster and Catster from SAY Media

i-5I-5 Publishing, a provider of multi-platform content for special interest communities and brands, has acquired Dogster and Catster from SAY Media.

Say Media acquired Dogster and Catster in April 2011.

Dogster and Catster, which draw a combined 2.5 million visitors a month, serve as a one-stop resource for dog owners and cat owners, respectively, and offer information about grooming, diet, health and well-being.

“As the world’s largest owned and operated online pet network, we want to bring a pet owner’s voice to our line of products, while executing on our commitment to growing our digital footprint, which is dogstercritical as we continue to evolve and expand our business,” said Mark Harris, CEO of I-5 Publishing. “We look forward to integrating and leveraging the Dogster and Catster properties to bolster our company efforts and serve current and future pet owners and pet businesses across the globe.”

The Catster and Dogster teams will report to I-5 General Manager & Vice President, Digital Jennifer Black. Catster and Dogster will remain headquartered in San Francisco, Calif.

USA, Irvine, CA & San Francisco, CA

Related articles:


Care.com acquires social commerce platform Citrus Lane

careCare.com, an online destination for finding and managing family care, has acquired Citrus Lane, a social commerce platform designed for mothers. The acquisition has been completed for consideration of $22.9 million cash and $8.1 million in equity at close. The agreement also provides for up to an additional $17.6 million in earn out payments of cash and equity over the next two years subject to Citrus Lane’s achievement of certain milestones in 2015 and 2016.

Based in Mountain View, CA, Citrus Lane is a subscription-based social commerce service selling curated products to families on a monthly basis. The company sources and reviews every product it recommends, while also encouraging parents to share information on their favourite product discoveries.

citrus laneCitrus Lane currently has more than 400,000 members, of which 45,000 are paying subscribers. The company had revenue of approximately $6 million in 2013, representing more than 300% growth over 2012. Care.com anticipates that revenues for Citrus Lane will double in 2014. On average, members engage with Citrus Lane more than five times a month; more than 2,000,000 member-generated product votes have been posted; and more than half of all orders are placed via mobile devices.

In making the announcement, Care.com Founder and CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo said, “Care.com’s mission is to be there for families, providing the best care solutions, services, advice and support. Citrus Lane is a natural extension of that mission, providing the best products for families with children, and creating a social community in which moms can share. Both companies have an overwhelmingly female membership so by adding this new dimension to our business, we’ll be helping moms in a new way, engaging with them on an even more frequent basis, and building on our robust mom-community.”

Ms. Marcelo continued, “Building community and content are significant areas of focus for us. The addition of social commerce capabilities is a natural extension of our marketplace and a progression towards becoming the one-stop-shop for everything families need. The talented team Mauria has built in Mountain View, California will play a key part in helping us innovate and grow our family-focused platforms.”

Mauria Finley, Founder and CEO of Citrus Lane will become SVP, GM of Citrus Lane and will continue to run Citrus Lane, which is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Care.com.

USA, Waltham, MA & Mountain View, CA

Related article:

ECI invests in ATG Media

atgmediaECI Partners has invested in ATG Media, a pioneer of webcast and timed online auction platforms. ECI will partner with ATG’s management and existing investor Mobeus Equity Partners to help drive the company’s ongoing international expansion.

ATG operates the-saleroom.com, i-bidder.com, BidSpotter.co.uk and BidSpotter.com as well as publishing the antiques industry bible, Antiques Trade Gazette.

ATG’s platforms allow bidders from around the world to browse fully illustrated sale catalogues and place bids over the internet in real time, with live audio and video feeds delivering the auction room atmosphere. Bidders are also able to participate in timed, online only auctions.

ATG’s growth has been driven by the continued shift of bidders online and ATG’s ability to provide auctioneers with a larger bidder base.

Tom Wrenn, Partner and head of TMT at ECI, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with ATG Media as the company transitions into its next growth phase. As a growth focused investor we were attracted to ATG by its market leading technology and strong brand recognition, attributes that have driven its market penetration.
“We look forward to working with Anne’s team and Mobeus to help drive ATG’s continued expansion in the UK and internationally.”

UK, London