Slyce Snatches Up Mobile Couponing App SnipSnap For $6.5 Million (TechCrunch)

Pa. Turnpike claims software fraud, wants $45M (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

Who are New Jersey's real business leaders?

Tom Paine

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I was looking over's "The NJBIZ Power 100: The most powerful people in New Jersey business" for 2015. I wonder if this is an actual reflection of the state of business in The Garden State, and if so perhaps its a reason why its not in the greatest shape.

The majority of people named are various public officials, attorneys, and lobbyists. Most of the business executives run regulated utilities or other organizations with state ties. Besides a sprinkling of major Pharma execs and a few Jersey mainstays such as Campbells, I see little evidence of business leadership being represented. I only count perhaps four tech execs and two who I would call successful tech entrepreneurs. Nobody directly from the VC or PE communities I can spot.

There is no Marc Lore (ex-Quidsi, now, Chris Sugden (Edison Partners), Jim Preuninger (Amber Road), Stephen Waldis (Synchronoss), N. Robert Hammer (CommVault) and Thai Lee (SHI), just to name a few. Nor are any of the brilliant researchers at the universities and research labs working on breakthroughs in areas such as photonics and quantum computing represented.

Links 1/28/2015: Spark Therapeutics increases proposed IPO deal size by 48%; LiquidHub Accelerates Growth with Acquisition of Two Salesforce Partners

It's electric: [CHOP spinout] Spark Therapeutics increases proposed IPO deal size by 48% to $130 million (Renaissance Capital)

CommScope to Buy TE Connectivity Unit for $3 Billion (New York Times: DealBook)
Though legally domiciled in Switzerland, TE Connectivity's corporate offices are in Berwyn.

LiquidHub Accelerates Growth with Acquisition of Two Salesforce Partners (Business Wire)

Behind the deal: how ClosedWon went from tech tidbit to takeover target (Albuquerque Business First)

Tons of AT&T and Verizon customers may no longer have “broadband” tomorrow
(Ars Technica)

Activist Elliott Said to Plan Push for Informatica LBO, Sale (Bloomberg)
What Informatica does around Master Data Management (MDM) is important to several other software and SaaS vendors.

Cloud ERP: 9 Emerging Options (Information Week)

IBM may be preparing for a round of job cuts (Computerworld)

Links 1/27/2015: Google Fiber set to announce expansion to four major Southeastern markets; McDermott to Fortune: "We’re going to win this thing"

Google Fiber Nears Expansion Announcements (Multichannel News)
Could mean more competition for Comcast in Nashville and Atlanta, as well as Charlotte and Raleigh-Durham if the TWC merger goes through.

These four lucky cities are now officially getting Google Fiber (Washington Post)
Announcement on Google Fiber's blog.

Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is no longer viewed as inevitable (LA Times)

Wireless biz should look past Freewheel's limitations and into Dolan's beady eyes (FierceCable)

Q&A: Bill McDermott, CEO, SAP (Fortune)

SAP On Cloud HR: Q&A With Mike Ettling (Information Week)

New SAP Hana tool aims to put Big Data insights within closer reach (PC World)

CloudBees Raises $23.5M Funding Round Led By Lightspeed Venture Partners (TechCrunch)
South Jersey entrepreneur and investor Bob Bickel was an early advisor to and investor in CloudBees.

The Real Deal: Bruce Richardson on Why Salesforce Nation is very different (Deal Architect)

A defiant Lyft to launch in Philly Friday (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Apple Pay Is Coming To Nearly 200,000 Vending Machines And Parking Meters [via Malvern's USA Technologies] (Business Insider)

Big News from Brick Startup CardCash: $6m Additional Funding and an Alliance with Walmart

Esther Surden
Publisher & Editor,

CardCash founders Elliot Bohm, CEO, and Marc Ackerman, COO. |
 Courtesy CardCash

CardCash, the Brick Township-based startup that operates as a gift-card exchange, has recently secured an additional $6 million in debt financing from Sterling National Bank (Montebello, N.Y.), and has entered into a partnership with Walmart.

The current round of funding comes on the heels of $6 million in equity financing from Guggenheim Partners, a global financial services firm, and a partnership with InComm, a provider of connectivity and integrated point-of-sale technology solutions to retailers.

Counting the funding from Sterling National Bank, CardCash has secured close to $15 million in financing over the past year.

Since Christmas day, users have been able to visit the Walmart CardCash website to exchange gift cards from more than 200 retailers, airlines, and restaurants for a Walmart card.

Recipients who exchange their unwanted gift cards through the CardCash website can receive a Walmart card worth up to 97% of the value of the original gift card. Walmart cards are one of the most sought-after cards in the CardCash gift-card exchange marketplace, according to a CardCash spokesman. And Walmart cards never expire.

Elliot Bohm, who cofounded CardCash in 2008 with Marc Ackerman, spoke to about both developments.

“The debt financing came in perfect timing for the holiday season. There is an influx of gift cards that are going to be coming through our doors post-holiday. We just needed to finance our inventory of gift cards.” And Sterling National Bank stepped up, he said.

It was no small feat “to get a national bank comfortable to lend against an inventory of gift cards,” he added.

Once they were able to get a national bank onboard, it was a “no-brainer” to take the money as debt financing, Bohm told “We didn’t want to give away any more equity in our company.”

Walmart seemed like a perfect fit for the CardCash model, Bohm said. While it took several months of discussions to develop the alliance, “we saw ourselves as offering a product that they would go for.”

Walmart and CardCash will each derive advantages from the partnership. “In customer’s eyes, Walmart has almost a cash equivalent. You can buy almost anything at Walmart, from basic necessities to luxury items to gifts,”  Bohm said. At the same time, “CardCash has much experience offering cash for gift cards.”

“When we wanted to power the exchange for a brand, Walmart seemed like a perfect fit.” Walmart, he explained, has a very large footprint and allows customers to use the gift cards both online and in stores.

The Walmart payout is higher than the cash payout at CardCash, he noted. For customers who want to receive cash, the company urges them to continue using CardCash’s website. “But customers who shop at Walmart, and that’s most of America, can take advantage of the higher payout.”

“We expected many customers to be very interested in this, and…I can tell you, it was received very, very positively.” The alliance has generated a great deal of traffic to the website, but the website is been able to handle the increased number of hits, Bohm told us.

The Walmart alliance has also created a big marketing wave in the media, he said. “The way the media is talking about it is definitely something very unique for us.”

Bohm talked a bit about the company’s growth in Brick Township, noting that the startup has more than 100 employees there and expects to grow further in 2015. “It’s a great place to work and we are definitely hiring,” he said. He added that the company has opened a small Silicon Valley office for business development.

In July, CardCash completed the acquisition of Plastic Jungle (San Mateo, Calif.), a company backed by more than $25 million in venture capital (investors included First Round Capital). As part of the deal, acquired Plastic Jungle's technology infrastructure, business partnerships and domain name, “”

Esther Surden is Publisher and Editor of NJTechWeekly, and a contributor to Philly Tech News. This article (with one small addition) originally appeared in NJTechWeekly, and is republished here with her permission.

Philly Tech People News 1/25/2015: Oracle names Panetta to board

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Oracle names former CIA director Leon Panetta to its board (Gigaom)

Liberty Global Exec Joins Comcast’s John Schanz at Helm; Brings Global Reach to Program

Dataram Announces Appointment of Dave Moylan as Interim CEO (Business Wire)

Certara Appoints Gavin Nichols as President of Technology and Head of its Software Business Unit (Business Wire)

Craig Warznak Named Director of Corporate Development for Day & Zimmermann (Marketwire)

Mike Rowbotham Appointed Vice President of Strategy & Innovation for AmeriQuest Business Services (PR Web)

Mike LaJoie Appointed Chairman Of Guavus (Multichannel News)

Philly Tech News Quotes & Tweets 1/23/2015

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Ebay CFO Bob Swan during this week's earnings call, following announcement of job cuts and plans to shed Ebay Enterprise: "It will get worse before it gets better."

“In reality, it’s not a billion-dollar company, never was.” -Fab CEO Jason Goldberg to Fortune Magazine this week. It was widely publicized to be valued at $1 billion or more after a financing round.

"We're not ready for a third tower but when we signed the original lease, it was for 75 percent of the building and we have decided to take the remaining 25 percent." - Comcast SVP David Cohen, talking about Comcast's revised plans to take up all office space in new tower.

“Whether we go against Workday in the HCM space, Salesforce in the CRM space… or more traditional competitors that you know well, I don’t think there’s a better positioned company in the business software industry.” - SAP CEO Bill McDermott during this week's earnings call.

Links 1/22/2015: Google entering wireless business through resale; Box prices at $14 per share

Verizon FiOS Drives Sub Growth In Q4 (Multichannel News)

Verizon hints at OTT product; reports Internet of Things revenue (CED Magazine)

Google to enter wireless business (San Jose Mercury News)
By reselling Sprint & T-Mobile service.

Google The Pay-TV Nemesis: Overbuilder, 'OTT' Player? (Investor's Business Daily)

Google Spends $16.83M on Lobbying: Consumer Watchdog (Multichannel News)
Sightly surpasses Comcast, according to organization's figures.

FCC Commissioner argues for delaying February net neutrality ruling (The Register)

Former Ad Tech Exec Raises $55 Million to Invest in Mobile Startups (Ad Age)
Nihal Mehta co-founded New York-based Eniac Ventures in 2009 with three fellow University of Pennsylvania graduates (note the name). My guess is its been fairly successful to date.

As Oracle Goes Aggro On EMC And VMware, VMware Cozies Up To Oracle's Rival SAP (Business Insider)

Box IPO Expected to Price Today (Re/code)

Box prices shares at $14 in final step toward long-awaited IPO (San Jose Mercury News)

Fab was never a billion-dollar company (Fortune)

ComScore to Tally Viewers Across Their Many Devices (New York Times)