People News: R “Ray” Wang; Chris Coons; Fabiola Cineas

Tom Paine

R “Ray” Wang, Founder, Chairman, & Principal Analyst of Constellation Research and generally considered the leading Silicon Valley-based enterprise software analyst, the son of Tawainese immigrants from Allentown, has a new book coming out in July: Everybody Wants to Rule the World: Surviving and Thriving in a World of Digital Giants. It aims to help readers “understand the power of Data-Driven Digital Networks and how they have driven the most successful companies of our time”.

Wang sees each industry sector becoming “a winner-takes-all bloodbath with a widening and accelerating gap between winners and losers”. The business world is evolving towards what Wang calls “Digital Duopolies”, in which each. major sector is ultimately dominated by two digital giants. Wang suggests how you can prepare to survive in this new world.




Delaware Senator Chris Coons, a Biden protege (Politico called him the “Biden Whisperer”), has more of a business background than one might realize. His divorced mother married Robert W. Gore, the late President of W. L. Gore and Associates (Gore-Tex & other products), who died this past September. One publication ranked Gore along with a sister as the wealthiest person in Delaware, with a net worth near $1 billion..

Coons, who received both divinity and law degrees from Yale, spent eight years as in-house counsel for W. L. Gore. 

Coons became US Senator in 2010, succeeding Ted Kaufman, a temporary replacement after Biden assumed the Vice Presidency in 2009..

A 2011 article in the Inquirer states that Coons had never been formally adopted by Gore and wasn’t expected to inherit from the estate, though he had accumulated $2 million in Gore stock possibly from his time working at Gore.



Former @PhillyMag writer Fabiola Cineas earned some positive feedback from LeBron James, for her portrayal of the shooting of Columbus teen Ma’Khia Bryant in Vox, her current journalistic home.

Gopuff buys Fancy, enters UK market

Tom Paine

As was first disclosed as a possibility by TechCrunch back in February, Gopuff announced today that it has completed the acquisition of UK-based Gopuff look-alike Fancy.

Launched late last year, Fancy is a graduate of Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator. Operating in six cities, Fancy has a business model similar to Gopuff’s in that it operates its own microfulfillment centers with company-owned inventory. .

“Acquiring Fancy is an important first step as we accelerate expansion in the UK and Europe and quickly accelerate our investment in the international market,” aid Daniel Folkman, Gopuff SVP of Business in a statement.

Francisco Partners and TPG to Acquire Boomi from Dell Technologies (Press Release)

Transaction will support Boomi’s next phase of growth as iPaaS pioneer


NEWS PROVIDED BYDell Technologies 

May 02, 2021, 20:00 ET

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CHESTERBROOK, Pa., ROUND ROCK, Texas, and SAN FRANCISCO, May 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Francisco Partners, a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology businesses, and TPG Capital, the private equity platform of global alternative asset firm TPG, have entered into a definitive agreement with Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) to acquire Boomi, a leading provider of cloud-based integration platform as a service (iPaaS). The cash transaction is valued at $4 billion and is expected to close by the end of 2021, subject to customary closing conditions. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“Boomi has flourished as part of Dell Technologies, growing exponentially since we acquired them in 2010. This proposed transaction positions Boomi for its next phase of growth and is the right move for both companies, our shared customers and partners,” said Jeff Clarke, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Dell Technologies. “For us, we’re focused on fueling growth by continuing to modernize our core infrastructure and PC businesses and expanding in high-priority areas including hybrid and private cloud, edge, telecom and APEX. All designed to help organizations thrive in the do-from-anywhere economy.”

“Boomi pioneered the iPaaS category and we have tracked their growth for a number of years,” said Dipanjan Deb, co-founder and chief executive officer, and Brian Decker, partner, at Francisco Partners. “The ability to integrate and connect data and workflows across any combination of applications or domains is a critical business capability, and we strongly believe that Boomi is well positioned to help companies of all sizes turn data into their most valuable asset.”

“The need for automation and data integration across applications has never been greater,” said Nehal Raj, partner, and Art Heidrich, principal, at TPG Capital. “Boomi’s cloud-native platform enables enterprises to streamline business processes and is essential for driving digital transformation. TPG has a long history of partnering with corporate leaders like Dell Technologies to carve out and grow dynamic technology businesses. We look forward to working with the teams at Boomi and Francisco Partners to accelerate the company’s growth as an independent entity.”

Boomi is trusted by more than 15,000 customers globally to discover, manage and orchestrate data. As the pioneer of fueling intelligent use of data, Boomi makes it quick and easy for organizations to connect applications, processes and people across a range of locations and devices – completing projects in weeks, not months. With the company’s low-code application and data integration platform, and data quality, discovery and readiness capabilities, customers can create integrated experiences and instantly connect people to what they want – making it faster and easier to unify data, systems, applications, processes, people, enterprises and organizations globally.

“I am incredibly proud that through innovation, passion and relentless execution, the Boomi team has created a unified platform for the modern-day hybrid IT landscape that thousands of customers worldwide depend on to digitally transform their business,” said Chris McNabb, chief executive officer of Boomi. “By partnering with two tier-one investment firms like Francisco Partners and TPG, we can accelerate our ability for our customers to use data to drive competitive advantage. In this next phase of growth, Boomi will be in a position of strength to further advance our innovation and market trajectory while delivering even more value to our customers.”

Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and DBO Partners LLC acted as financial advisors to Dell Technologies. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisor to Dell Technologies. Barclays, Citi and J.P. Morgan Securities LLC acted as financial advisors to Francisco Partners and TPG Capital. Ropes & Gray LLP, Paul Hastings LLP and Kirkland & Ellis acted as legal advisors to Francisco Partners and TPG Capital.

About Francisco Partners
Francisco Partners is a leading global investment firm that specializes in partnering with technology and technology-enabled businesses. Since its launch over 20 years ago, Francisco Partners has invested in more than 300 technology companies, making it one of the most active and longstanding investors in the technology industry. With more than $25 billion in assets under management, the firm invests in opportunities where its deep sectoral knowledge and operational expertise can help companies realize their full potential. For more information on Francisco Partners, please visit www.franciscopartners.com.

About TPG
TPG is a leading global alternative asset firm founded in 1992 with more than $91 billion of assets under management and offices in Beijing, Fort Worth, Hong Kong, London, Luxembourg, Melbourne, Mumbai, New York, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore, and Washington, DC. TPG’s investment platforms are across a wide range of asset classes, including private equity, growth equity, impact investing, real estate, secondaries, and public equity. TPG aims to build dynamic products and options for its investors while also instituting discipline and operational excellence across the investment strategy and performance of its portfolio. For more information on TPG, please visit http://www.tpg.com.

About Boomi
Boomi instantly connects everyone to everything with its cloud-native, unified, open and intelligent platform. Boomi’s integration platform as a service (iPaaS) is trusted by more than 15,000 customers globally for its speed, ease-of-use and lower total cost of ownership. As the pioneer at fueling intelligent use of data, Boomi’s vision is to make it quick and easy for customers and partners to discover, manage and orchestrate data, while you connect applications, processes, and people for better, faster outcomes. For more information about Boomi, visit www.boomi.com.

About Dell Technologies
Dell Technologies (NYSE:DELL) helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work, live and play. The company provides customers with the industry’s broadest and most innovative technology and services portfolio for the data era.

Dell Boomi sold to PE firms for $4 billion (Update)

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Dell Boomi sold to PE firms for $4 billion (Update)

Tom Paine

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Dell is close to announcing the sale of its Chesterbrook-based Boomi unit to private equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG. (Now Bloomberg reports its a done deal).

It says the transaction, which might be announced later tonight, could be valued at $4 billion including debt.

Francisco Partners and Elliot Management Group reportedly offered to buy Boomi as part of the Dell Software Group in 2016, but Dell wasn’t ready to sell.

Michael Dell was personally involved in Dell’s acquisition of Boomi in 2010, when revenue was still relatively small, and championed the company as it grew. But Dell is still chopping away at debt, and Boomi is probably not strategic to what Dell is today.

Rick Nucci was the founder, and Bob Moul later joined as GM. They departed some time after Dell’s acquisition, and Chris McNabb became CEO.

To be determined eventually is wheher Boomi will remain committed to the Philly area. As of now, Chesterbrook is its official headquarters, but headcount is split between there and San Francisco.

Salesforce bought iPaaS competitor MuleSoft for $6.5 billion in 2018.

Contacted by email for comment, R “Ray” Wang, Founder, Chairman, & Principal Analyst of Constellation Research, responded referring to both the Boomi sale and the proposed spinoff of Dell’s 81% stake in VMware:

  • “yep. expected. Dell makes out. he engineered the most interesting bail out in history.
  • He took his company back from Silverlake, doubled down in software and found his financial freedom.”

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Dell Boomi sold to PE firms for $4 billion (Update)

Tom Paine

The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that Dell is close to announcing the sale of its Chesterbrook-based Boomi unit to private equity firms Francisco Partners and TPG. (Now Bloomberg reports its a done deal).

It says the transaction, which might be announced later tonight, could be valued at $4 billion including debt.

Francisco Partners and Elliot Management Group reportedly offered to buy Boomi as part of the Dell Software Group in 2016, but Dell wasn’t ready to sell.

Michael Dell was personally involved in Dell’s acquisition of Boomi in 2010, when revenue was still relatively small, and championed the company as it grew. But Dell is still chopping away at debt, and Boomi is probably not strategic to what Dell is today.

Rick Nucci was the founder, and Bob Moul later joined as GM. They departed some time after Dell’s acquisition, and Chris McNabb became CEO.

To be determined eventually is wheher Boomi will remain committed to the Philly area. As of now, Chesterbrook is its official headquarters, but headcount is split between there and San Francisco.

Salesforce bought iPaaS competitor MuleSoft for $6.5 billion in 2018.

Contacted by email for comment, R “Ray” Wang, Founder, Chairman, & Principal Analyst of Constellation Research, responded referring to both the Boomi sale and the proposed spinoff of Dell’s 81% stake in VMware:

  • “yep. expected. Dell makes out. he engineered the most interesting bail out in history.
  • He took his company back from Silverlake, doubled down in software and found his financial freedom.”

Endeavor IPO; LLR & NewSpring get big exit; ShopRunner returns & more

Endeavor Group Holdings started trading on Thursday following its IPO (NYSE: $EDR), closing just above its IPO price of $24 per share. It now has a $10.6 billion marketcap. Among other businesses (such as IMG and UFC) , Endeavor owns marketing agency 160over90, which originated in Philly, but has since become the brand name through which Endeavor rolled up its other marketing and branding agencies.

Endeavor acquired the Philly agency for a reported $200 million in 2018.

Endeavor President Mark. Shapiro indicated today that marketing and advertising will continue as important growth & acquisition targets for the company. Endeavor’s IPO valuation was questioned by some observers.

160over90 has some 100 people in Philadelphia. It was founded by Darryl Cilli and Shannon Price Slusher in 2001.





Amsterdam-based MessageBird BV has agreed to buy Columbia, Md-based Message Systems at a valuation of $600 million, the Wall Street Journal reported. MessageBird BV already provides text, voice and video services, and is acquiring Message Systems, which does business as SparkPost, to add email to its capabilities and to strengthen its position in the US market, which figures heavily in its growth plans..

Philly firms LLR Partners and NewSpring Capital, having first invested in Message Systems in 2015, will exit with the acquisition. They also participated with PNC in a $180 million debt & equity funding of Message Systems early this year.

I’m often surprised by how much business is generated by messaging systems. SparkPost is mostly geared toward enterprises.

LLR and NewSpring had dealt with a Dutch firm before, buying supply chain software firm Quintiq, which was later sold to Dassault. Such experiences are often important for foreign firms in deciding who to do business with.




Michael Rubin saw ShopRunner, which formerly was a part of his Conshohocken-based Kynetic LLC holding company, as a two-day delivery alternative for the entire non-Amazon world. But Kynetic sold ShopRunner to FedEx late last year.

Now FedEx is teaming up with Adobe Commerce, the recently renamed Magneto (acquired in 2018 for $1.7 billion), on a new two-day delivery service.

ShopRunner had 10 million members in 2019, many of whom get the service for free through other account relationships; Amazon Prime now has over 200 million according to Jeff Bezos.. Many of the in-store retailers who. were listed as major ShopRunner participants a few years back have now vanished; presumably they’ve been replaced by online retailers.

ShopRunner would also give Adobe Commerce a shipping solution that Shopify does not have at present.

Amazon said yesterday that its doubling down on its logistics business, on top of a momentous Covid year of 2020.


The market for enterprise tax software was once a sleepy corner of the enterprise software business, but it has definitely heated up. Seattle-based Avalara, founded in 2004, went public in an IPO (NYSE: AVLR) in 2018. Around the same time, the Supreme Court in its South Dakota v. Wayfair decision allowed states to collect taxes from online sales, vastly increasing demand for online tax solutions.

King of Prussia-based Vertex (Nasdaq: VERX), founded in 1978, joined the party last July with its own IPO. Avalara, which has made 11 acquisitions, has a market value of over $12 billion. Vertex has a marketcap of $3 billion, the same as it was valued on the day of its IPO.

Fintech giant Stripe just announced it was acquiring another competitor, Boston-based TaxJar. Terms on that deal weren’t disclosed, though TaxJar’s last private valuation was $179 milion.

Vertex seems to work closely with SAP, though I don’t think there’s anyhing unique about that relationship.




Accolade, which has Philly-area offices in Plymouth Meeting, is nominated for an award this year in it second HQ city, Seattle. Its up for Seattle tech site GeekWire’s “Deal of the Year” (IPO & Acquisition) recognition.

Accolade has already won an award in Philly. Back in 2016, it won a PACT Enterprise Award for Healthcare innovator.