Alibaba closes in on AutoNavi
Alibaba is after the rest of AutoNavi, a Beijing mapping and navigation company. China’s e-commerce emperor already owns 28 percent of AutoNavi, a stake which came from a $294 million investment poured in last May. As for the other 72 percent of the company, Alibaba is reportedly willing to offer between $1.13-$1.17 billion. In total, the deal would value AutoNavi at nearly $1.6 billion.
Rumors suggest AutoNavi’s revenues have been falling, and steeply, meaning Alibaba’s acquisition play could have both defensive and offensive implications. Chinese consumers are heading to mobile in droves, and according to Analysys, AutoNavi has the country’s number one local mobile navigation solution.
Jawbone more than doubles valuation
Jawbone, the company best known for its UP wearable fitness bands and speakers, is in the midst of raising $250 million, according to Re/code. Rizvi Traverse leads the lucrative investment round, which could grow to $300 million and values Jawbone at $3.3 billion. The report put Jawbone’s 2011 valuation at $1.5 billion and prior VC backing at more than $250 million, with upwards of $100 million in equity and debt financing as well.
Jawbone’s mega-round places it among the ranks of rapidly-growing, well-funded companies. These ventures get renamed “unicorns” as they draw valuations at a billion dollars or more and remain (for now) privately-held — meaning the general public usually has little insight into what factors earn them such monster valuations. But speculation continues to build that Jawbone is headed for an IPO.
Lenovo’s revenue increases on global growth
PC vendor Lenovo reported revenues broke $10 billion for the first time in the last quarter. Profits increased 30 percent, reaching $265 million. The company is the world’s top PC producer — a dubious honor considering the present state of the personal computer industry. According to Gartner, PC shipments tumbled by nearly 7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 over Q4 2012 . And yet, global consolidated sales for the company’s laptop PC business got an 11 percent boost this year and at $5.4 billion, drove just about half of Lenovo’s total revenues.
Both tablet and smartphone sales escalated at the company this past quarter, with smartphone numbers increasing by 47 percent to 13.9 million units and tablet figures, 326 percent to nearly 3.4 million units. In comparison, Apple announced in January the company had shifted 26 million iPads during the first quarter 2014.
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Despite denying acquisition rumors, Viber Media sells to Rakuten for $900 million