August 10, 2015
Monday is off to a bang with some astoundingly large amounts of money, I’m talking billions, invested into a Chinese offline retailer by online retail giant Alibaba. Not only that, the world of tech today celebrates the twentieth anniversary of Netscape’s IPO: if that sounds underwhelming to you then you might not be aware of just what kind of impact it had on the entire world of tech and internet.
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Alibaba Invests in Suning
The Alibaba Group has officially agreed to invest about $4.64 billion, for a 19.9 percent equity stake, in the Chinese brick and mortar electronics retailer Suning. It’s interesting because Suning is considered by many to be the offline rival to Alibaba, which the group has a history of hunting down and boxing out of the market. Perhaps it’s indicative of an altered mindset on Alibaba’s part where they’re now starting to see that offline retailers have a lot to offer.
As the deal stipulates, Alibaba now has a 19.9 percent stake in Suning, but Suning also put about $2.28 billion into Alibaba for a 1.1 percent stake in the online retail giant. Suning will also be pairing their logistics, which cover 90 percent of China, to help Alibaba customers receive orders much more quickly. In my opinion, it’s a brilliant show of collaboration between companies and proves that if you can set aside your differences there’s plenty of “win” to go around.
Toast Raises $3 Million
The Boston based Toast made their recent bout of funding, in the form of a $3 million debt financing option, via a SEC Form D filing. Per the paperwork, the funding has come from a group of investors who have yet to be named. However, that hasn’t stopped some from speculating that Steve Papa, who formerly invested the majority of a $7 million round into Toast, is involved. The SEC filing states that Papa is in fact a related party for this funding, so there’s a solid chance he double downed on his investment – we’ll keep you updated.
Today is the 20th anniversary of Netscape’s IPO
There’s no denying that while Netscape might currently be somewhat irrelevant to our daily lives, but it was a major catalyst that launched us all into a new age of the internet. Fortune Magazine wrote an amazing article that highlights the importance of Netscape’s IPO, but it’s summed up near perfectly in this quote:
“Picture a world without Google, without eBay or Amazon or broadband, where few people have even heard of IPOs. The company that changed it–bringing us into the Internet age–was a brilliant flash in the pan called Netscape.”
Make sure to check out the entire article here, and let’s all take a minute to thank Netscape for being an industry catalyst that opened doors we never knew existed.
Zirtual Shuts Down
It’s always sad to see a startup close their door, and today Zirtual announced that they’ll be suspending their operations due to a “combination of market circumstances and financial constraints”. The online service that matches professionals with virtual executive assistants raised more than $5 million in VC funding from backers like VegasTechFund, Mayfield Fund, TenOneTen Ventures, Jason Calacanis and Carmelo Anthony. We wish the team the best of luck in whatever ventures they decide to tackle next.
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