Silicon Valley Watcher - Former FT journalist Tom Foremski reporting from the intersection of technology and media

FishWrap: iPhone Schmaps; Spot Runner's war chest; Keynote's M&A tips; Bowling for autism; Plus .... Who else is knocking on Larry's door?

Posted by Tom Foremski - May 9, 2008

Preview iPhone Schmap...1. Open the safari browser on your iPhone.
2. Go to 3. Enter the Pre Launch Preview access code: 724627 i) Some functions in this Pre Launch Preview - such as 'Local Search' - have yet to be enabled.ii) Access code will not be required from Monday, May 12 (public beta launch).

Spot Runner rounds up $51m more...Spot Runner enables small businesses to cheaply run TV and radio ads from a customizable library of commercials. This might not seem like a sexy business but this LA-based company has managed to generate a lot of industry buzz, and interest from investors. This week it announced it had raised $51m from a group of mostly European investors which brings a total of $110m in investments since 2004.
Earlier this year it attracted some heavyweight execs: Joanne Bradford, chief media officer at MSN, and Mark Rosenthal, president and COO of MTV Networks. Look for this company to build through acquisitions this year and next.

Keynote's acquisition tips...I recently had dinner with Umang Gupta CEO of Keynote Systems, and some of his top execs. Keynote measures the performance of web sites from around the world. This is essential in this era of cloud computing and widgets because you can be hurt by the slowest performing component in your web page. [I've had to remove some third-party services because they were slowing my pages to a crawl.]

Keynote has done a lot of acquisitions -- 14 since May 2000. That was the job of Vik Chaudhary, vp of product and corporate development at Keynote. He told me that he really enjoyed the whole process. He also gave me some rollup advice that isn't much use to me but might be useful to some of my readers.
Mr Chaudhary said that despite the downturn from the dotcom dotbomb there were a lot of US startups that held out for higher valuations. He said that the trick was to go to Europe where you could find a startup with a similar technology but with a lower valuation. European startups historically haven't valued themselves quite as highly as their US counterparts.
Don't be surprised to see that strategy reversed this year with European companies using Euros rolling up US startups -- I know of at least two such ventures in the works.
Bowling for autism...Cadence Design Systems is hosting its annual Stars and Strikes Bowling Fundraiser on Saturday, May 17 at the 300 San Jose Bowling Center from 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. PDT to raise more than $1 million for the May Institute Pediatric Specialty Center, a planned center that will provide services to children and adults with autism.

Coming up:
Look for some interesting news from Veodia on Monday - enterprise video services is a hot hot sector.
Semantic search powerhouse debuts its first product - will it live up to the power buzz ? Check back Monday you'll find it interesting.
Who else is knocking on Larry's door? They'll have to line up behind CRM. I'll tell you who it is this the weekend...

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