Archive for August, 2010

Please reserve the date as registration for Mobile 2 (Silicon Valley) in now is open.

Event : Mobile 2 Event

Style : Business/ strategy day & developer day

Date :  Monday 20th and Tuesday 21st September 2010

Venue :  San   Francisco

Timing :  Full day events

RegistrationClick here.

Discount :  Enter “Friends” code for 20% discount.

In its 5th year, MOBILE 2.0 Silicon Valley brings together experts and thought leaders from all aspects of the mobile ecosystem, including startups, investors, mobile carriers, device manufacturers, and mobile application developers and web technologists. The event is focused on new Mobile Applications and Services, Mobile Ecosystems, and Disruptive Mobile Innovation.

I will in SFO from Wednesday 15th to Wednesday 22nd and would be good to meet up.  I will be hosting again the fireside chat, this year with Russ McGuire, David Katz, James Parton and Fabio Sisini.

As usual Mobile 2.0 Silicon Valley is all about giving our audience the opportunity to learn, network and voice views. The Event does not talk at you — you are the Mobile Community and we strive to create an atmosphere that challenges your business assumptions and provides you with hands on understanding of mobile platforms.

Looking forward to seeing you at the event!

/ Tony Fish

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‘Earn This!’

By Ron Harris -Conway, SC

I had a dream recently that I was in Arlington Cemetery, alone, at night, wandering through the markers of the dead, searching for…I didn’t really know what.

I was confused and sad and troubled.  Then a young man stepped from the shadows cast by the bright moon and hailed me, saying, “Are you lost, sir?  Can I assist you?”`1

“I don’t know,” I replied.  “I don’t know really why I’m here.  I know I’m not worthy to be here.  Who are you?  Do I know you?  Somehow I feel that I know you.”  He smiled, affectionately.

“Oh, I’m unknown to most people,” he said.  “And that’s okay.  Everyone knows of me, but few know about me…..come…walk with me.”

The young man and I walked slowly through the eternally sleeping residents of Arlington, and he paused at some graves, nodding and smiling.  At some he kneeled and caressed the cross or the Star of David.

After some minutes he turned to me and said, “You know me because you were with me at Bunker Hill and Valley Forge, and I with you.  We shared coffee on that fateful morning at Gettysburg.  You know me because we adjusted each other’s gas masks in the trenches of France.  We know each other because you tried to save me as our burning ship went down that Sunday morning in Pearl Harbor, and later I pulled you onto the beach at Normandy on D-Day as our brothers fell around us.  I was in the foxhole next to you on Pork Chop Hill in Korea, and we shared the horror of a bloody battle in a Vietnamese rice paddy.  And today we know each other in Iraq and Afghanistan.

I was still confused.  “What are we doing here, now?” I asked the young man.

“Because, by living, you feel you didn’t serve your country as well as I and thousands of others did by dying.  Many of those thousands sleep here.  They, and I, gave up our tomorrows so you and others could have yours.  We do not resent that or begrudge you.  All we ask is that you earn it.”

I was near tears as I asked, “But I didn’t face combat, I wasn’t in harm’s way or directly threatened.  How do I earn this?  How do I repay you?”

He touched my shoulder and looked me in the eye: “You do not repay me and my sleeping brothers and sisters.  You pay it forward.  You do it by loving and defending your country and cherishing your freedoms and privileges and realizing how quickly they can be taken from you. You pay it forward by loving your family and your friends and your community, and you’re loyal to all.  You stand by your principles and you keep your dignity and you live your life as a good and decent man and citizen.  That’s how you repay me and my brothers and sisters here.  That’s why we died, so many others hopefully won’t have to.”

He slowly walked away from me, then turned and waved his arm, encompassing the graves around him.  “Earn this!” he said, sternly, and drifted into the shadows.

I awoke from my dream determined that this unknown man, this unknown soldier or sailor or Marine, would not sleep fitfully because of me.  I also knew that I had found what I had been searching for in my dream.  It was to earn what so many have died to ensure – my freedom to become a good and decent man and a humble American citizen.

For the privilege of that freedom, I am so very grateful.

And for those who gave their last measure of devotion for me and all our brothers and sisters, I will be eternally thankful.

And I will pay it forward, to the best of my human ability.

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Article from WSJ´s Venture Capital Dispatch.

“A last-minute recapitalization to save a 10-year-old optical networking company demonstrates the extreme risk and possible rewards that come with these types of investments.

Around the turn of the century, telecommunications carriers, hungry for more bandwidth in anticipation of the coming Internet boom, were already looking past the then-evolving 10-gigabit standard to a 40-gigabit standard, leading companies like Mintera Corp. to begin developing products for that market. After the dot-com bust, that market didn’t take off the way Mintera’s investors and other venture capitalists that put money into the sector originally anticipated.

Many companies closed, but a few 40-gigabit companies had decent outcomes, such as CoreOptics Inc., which was sold to Cisco Systems Inc. for $99 million in May, and StrataLight Communications Inc., sold two years ago to Opnext Inc. for $169 million.

Mintera, which burned through about $73 million in venture capital since it was founded in 2000, was able to build a decent business, generating $20 million in revenue over the last year and capturing around one-sixth of its total market. But that wasn’t enough to generate a home run for its investors any time soon.

By this year, it was clear that some of Mintera’s weren’t willing to commit more capital to the company, so it searched for a buyer. Normally, the investors would have stuck by the company, putting in more capital for growth, but the “real reason it had to be sold was that it had been funded by venture capital firms that had mature funds that had come to the end of their lifecycle,” said Jim Murray, a managing general partner of Court Square Ventures, an early investor in Mintera.

The company needed enough capital to keep the lights on while it searched for a buyer. At the end of May, Court Square decided to double down in exchange for a near-majority stake in the business.

As happens in a recap, the equity structure of Mintera was reset. Two shareholders, RRE Ventures and STAR Ventures, held onto stakes, but three others – Polaris Venture Partners, Portview Communications Partners and Glynn Capital Management – were washed out completely.

At the same time, talks were under way with a buyer, Oclaro Inc., but a deal was less than certain. Oclaro looked like it would walk away, Murray said. “We knew it was a good company, if Oclaro didn’t want to buy it someone would,” he said, declining to say how much capital Court Square put into Mintera.

Six weeks after Court Square invested, Oclaro agreed to buy the company in July for $12 million in cash with the potential to earn as much as $20 million if Mintera reaches certain milestones.”

Read the full article here.

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Article from SF Gate.

“Hewlett-Packard, the world’s largest PC-maker, has offered to buy Fremont’s 3Par Inc. for about $1.6 billion, topping Dell‘s bid for the maker of data-center equipment and software.

The bid of $24 a share in cash is 33 percent higher than Dell’s offer, HP said Monday in a statement. Dell offered $18 a share in cash, or about $1.15 billion, for 3Par on Aug. 16.

HP and Dell are using acquisitions to challenge Cisco Systems and IBM in the market for data-center products and services, which generate higher profits than desktop and laptop computers. 3Par sells hardware and software that make it easier and cheaper for companies to store information. Its stock rose past HP’s offer, signaling that some investors expect a bidding contest.

“One of the growth areas in technology is in the enterprise storage space,” said Joel Levington, managing director of corporate credit at Brookfield Investment Management Inc. in New York. “3Par’s products fit well in there. It’s an easy way to gain product breadth.”

HP said on a conference call that it has been working on the proposed acquisition since before the departure of Mark Hurd, who stepped down as HP’s chief executive officer on Aug. 6 after an investigation found he filed inaccurate expense reports to conceal a personal relationship with a marketing contractor.

The offer is HP’s second bid for 3Par, Dave Donatelli, who heads HP’s storage and server division, said Monday. The PC-maker has been in talks with 3Par for “some period of time,” he said, declining to comment further.

David Frink, a Dell spokesman, declined to comment. John D’Avolio, a spokesman for 3Par, didn’t immediately comment.

HP’s offer values the unprofitable 3Par at almost 2 1/2 times its worth before Dell’s bid, and at more than eight times its sales of $194.3 million in the year ended March 31. 3Par’s revenue rose 5.2 percent from 2009, and it has about 670 employees.

“It’s a very exorbitant price,” Levington said. It probably doesn’t make economic sense for Dell to counter, he said.”

Read more here

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Here is an article from WSJ Venture Dispatch.

“3Par’s IPO in November 2007 was held up as yet another strong offering during a year that saw 74 venture-backed companies go public. The IPO, which priced above market estimates at $14 a share and saw a 13% gain on opening day, also was billed as a big exit for venture capitalists.

But the market soon tanked, bringing down 3Par’s stock with it – by spring-time it was fluctuating between $6 and $9, and its venture investors were nowhere near exiting this company. Typically, VCs begin unloading some shares once the 180-day lock-up period ends, but with the stock-market in flux, three of 3Par’s main venture backers mostly stayed put.

Nearly three years later, Mayfield Fund, Menlo Ventures and Worldview Technology Partners still own significant chunks of 3Par stock, and that patience may pay off mightily – thanks to the bidding war between Dell and Hewlett-Packard.

Last week, Dell agreed to acquire 3Par for $1.13 billion, or $18 a share, but Hewlett-Packard has swooped in with a $24-a-share offer that values 3Par at $1.6 billion. The bidding has caused 3Par’s stock to rocket upward to more than $25 today, finally bringing the stock above its IPO price.

This is especially good news for limited partners in Mayfield Fund and Worldview Technology Partners, which first invested in 3Par in 1999. Together, these three firms and a number of others invested a total of $183 million into 3Par over the years.

Prior to these buyout offers, 3Par’s venture investors were left with a difficult choice between selling out for liquidity now or waiting for better returns down the road. Menlo Ventures, which led the company’s 2004 recapitalization, and Worldview Technology Partners, which first invested alongside Mayfield Fund in the 1999 Series A round, have both held onto their entire stakes and today own 13.4% and 12.2%, respectively. These investors declined to comment or did not respond to requests for comment.

Mayfield Fund, which was at the time of the IPO, the company’s largest shareholder, has been slowly selling its stake in the business over the last two years at prices ranging between $9.22 and $12.30, which was near the price prior to the announcement from Dell. That firm currently owns about 9.9% of 3Par.”

Read the full article here.

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