Radial had a very good, though challenging, year. As of September 2020, Radial North America had more than $1 billion in new business year-to-date measured by total contract value, compared with $385 million in 2019, the Journal reports. Covid-19 likely caused much of the volume growth, but Simpson also credits Radial’s customer responsiveness (meaning its customers, the vendors).
“Covid moved e-commerce forward, you know, five, eight years, from where people expected it to be”, Simpson told the Journal.
Also, Simpon said Radial used its technology to greatly expand the number of pop-up locations for its clients. “We went from past years when we would do two, three pop-ups a year, to this year, we had over 12 pop-ups planned for our customers”.
I’ve seen evidence of what I refer to as “hypergrowth” in a few tech-related industries in the Philly area. These are sectors that are in transformational states, in which high demand is constant, and new approaches are developing. However, hypergrowth can fade as quickly as it began.
Pharma DTC (Direct to Consumer) advertising is booming. In November, the top 10 brands spent $204 million, well above typical November spending. Last year, the top 10 spent $157 million, versus $158 million in 2018.
Clinical Trials are a quintessentially Philly industry, and the companies or institutions that manage and conduct them, as well as their technology providers, have been fully occupied by demand in 2020.
This has been true not only for Covid-19 related vaccines and therapies, but for a range of other products coming out of the labs. The recent merger of BioClinica and ERT was another step in a gradual trend towards industry consolidation.
Big players are Berks County-based Penn National ( and its Penn Interactive unit based in Conshy as well as its Barstool Sports Book) , FOXBet in Cherry Hill, BetMGM in Trenton, FanDuel and DraftKings.
The business of preparing large volumes of data for ingestion into Business Intelligence, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence models is growing rapidly. Fishtown Analytics is the best Philly-based example of this: Talend subsidiary Stitch is another example.
Companies like Qlik and SAP are major users, as well as the medical and financial research sectors.
Under Frontenac, Prime has become very acquisitive. In August of this year, Prime acquired Lighthouse Software Solutions, based in ST Paul, Minn.
Prime has 273 employees, 209 in India, according to LinkedIn. Synerzip has 621 employees, 594 of which are in India.
Prime works with Salesforce, IBM and Microsoft technologies in Insurance, Financial Services and Healthcare.
Synerzip emphasizes its agile product development expertise. It is also an advanced AWS consulting partner.
Terms of the merger were not disclosed.
Prime appears to be roughly following the model that LiquidHub built upon before it was acquired by Capgemini in early 2018.
Sudhakar Goverdhanam, founder & CEO, is on the advisory board of Villanova’s Engineering School, where he received a Masters in Engineering.. He has also been an advisor at the Laurence A. Baiada Center for Entrepreneurship in Technology at Drexel University. He started Prime in 1999.
Sometimes, the little software company that you follow turns out to be worth over a billion dollars.
Actually, that’s been happening more and more often as the gold rush in enterprise software continiues.
The latest example is Hamilton, NJ-based Sparta Systems, whose strength is in a growing corner of the software/SaaS business, Enterprise Quality Management, using the Salesforce platform with an emphasis on Life Sciences. Sparta just agreed to be acquired by Honeywell for $1.3 billion.
Honeywell is reasserting itself as a enterprise software company, building around its Forge Platform, introduced last year. Hopefully, Forge is a more functional platform than GE’s Predix, which was overhyped.
Sparta Systems’ two primary platforms are TrackWise Digital, built on the Salesforce platform, and QualityWise.ai., which brings natural language processing, signal detection and confidence levels for recommendations to TrackWise Digital.
Both platforms will be integrated with Honeywell Forge for life sciences and adjacent industries. Honeywell will also use its scale to expand Sparta Systems’ reach.
Sparta once partnered with Veeva Systems in the life sciences industry, but Veeva eventually became a competitor. Sparta became entangled in a long-running legal battle, along with others, with Veeva over enforcement of non-competes.
As Exton-based AGI (Analytical Graphics) prepares for the completion of its $700 million acquisition by Ansys Corp (might have already happened), its leaving behind a small flock of interesting spinoffs.
Cesium, the first spinout company from AGI, kicked off last year with a $5 million Series A investment from Falcon Global Capital, to fuel the growth of its platform enabling software developers and data providers to build dynamic, interactive 3D geospatial applications.
.OneSky, a developer of Unmanned Traffic Management (UTM) and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) platforms, was the second.. It announced in April a Series A funding round led by Sumitomo Corporation. (The amount was not disclosed.)
The third was only announced last week in the wake of the Ansys deal..As part of that transaction, AGI spun off the Commercial Space Operations Center subsidiary it established in 2014, creating COMSPOC Corp.
COMSPOC retains the intellectual property, contracts, products and services developed since 2014 as well as its research arm, the Center for Space Standards and Innovation, and the free space data service CelesTrak.
In addition, COMSPOC will continue to operate its space situational awareness command center, a cloud-based platform that curates, fuses and processes space data from a global network of commercial sensors and delivers the information to government and commercial customers.
Up to now, AGI has provided investment and office space in Exton for its staff of 21. But there were no financing details available for COMSPOC’s future.
“COMSPOC and its team of subject matter experts continue to serve as sought-after thought leaders on SSA and STCM, particularly over the last several months as policymakers continue to discuss transitioning commercial SSA/STCM services to the Department of Commerce.”, the company said in its release.
“COMSPOC and AGI, an Ansys company, will operate as strategic partners, and Paul Graziani will serve as CEO of COMSPOC”, according to the release. Will he continue to run AGI?
Malvern-based BioTelemetry announced on Friday it was being acquired by Phillips for an enterprise value of $2.8 billion , one of the largest tech transactions of the year for Philly. Born as CardioNet, it gained an advantage for having pioneered use of a new technology, wireless connectivity for remote cardiac monitoring.
But it wasn’t easy. There were several existential threats along the way before its business model proved out to be successful.
CardioNet was founded a quarter century ago in San Diego, by Jim Sweeny, a serial entrepreneur in health technology. (BioTelemetry still has a San Diego office.) Sweeny raised over $250 million in capital before leaving CardioNet in late 2007, when the company moved to Philadelphia, and about five months before the company’s IPO, to focus on another company. CardioNet went public in March 2008.
The biggest crisis for CardioNet came in 2009 when Highmark CMS (the regional Medicare administrator) cut its reimbursement rate for remote cardiac monitoring from $1,123.07 to $754, more than management anticipated. The rate cut plus the financial crisis at the time left CardioNet wondering publicly if it could survive by itself. Highmark CMS adjusted the rate to be slightly higher in 2010, and CardioNet learned how to survive on it. But that’s when rumors first surfaced that Phillips might be interested in acquiring CardioNet.
In 2010, Joseph Capper became CEO of CardioNet, ended a period of management instability. He remains in that position (for BioTelemetry) today.
In April 20113, CardioNet became BioTelemetry, keeping the “BEAT” symbol for its stock. The name change reflected a broader focus beyond only cardiology.
The company’s second major product line was wireless blood glucose monitoring for diabetes management.
In 2017, BioTelemetry announced a partnership with Apple to provide cardiac monitoring services in conjunction with the Apple Heart Study. The study was expected to discover undiagnosed irregular heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation, using the Apple Watch and the dedicated “Apple Heart Study” App. The study was technically successful, although usage patterns among trial participants were less than might have been expected.
Nonetheless, the test increased awareness of BioTelemetry.
Revenue for 2019 grew to just under $44o million, a 10% increase over 2018.Revenue through nine months of 2020 was flat with last year, probably slowed by the pandemic. The company has remained profitable.
Acquisitions have played important roles in BioTelemetry’s growth.
This timeline comes from BioTelemetry’s website:
Founded a quarter century ago, BioTelemetry remains committed to leading the mobile and wireless medical technology industry. We focus on the delivery of health information to save and improve lives, while reducing the cost of care. Our ability to invent and share ideas and technologies with others ensures that our customers and patients receive the very best in care. Today, the Company provides cardiac and mobile blood-glucose monitoring, centralized medical imaging and original equipment manufacturing serving the healthcare and clinical research sectors.
CardioNet, Inc. founded in San Diego
CardioNet, Inc. announces FDA approval of MCOT™ and opens the first CardioNet monitoring center
CardioNet, Inc. announces acquisition of PDSHeart
Rothman Study published – MCOT™ provided a significantly higher diagnostic yield compared to traditional loop event monitoring Learn more
CardioNet, Inc. releases third generation of MCOT™ monitoring devices
CardioNet, Inc. completes Initial Public Offering
CardioNet, Inc.’s MCOT™ System Receives Category I CPT Codes and Reimbursement Rates
CardioNet, Inc. announces definitive merger agreement with Biotel, Inc.
CardioNet, Inc. announces the launch of its Next Generation MCOT™ Device
CardioNet, Inc. acquires ECG Scanning & Medical Services, Inc.
CardioNet, Inc. acquires CardioCore Lab, Inc.
CardioNet, Inc. announces Clinical Study Supporting the Efficacy of CardioNet MCOT™ in Detecting Atrial Fibrillation in Cryptogenic Stroke Patients
“As soon as we learned of the SolarWinds incident on Sunday, we quickly activated a series of internal security protocols to mitigate any potential impact,” Comcast told CNN in a statement. “We are conducting a thorough internal review, but at this time, we have no reason to believe that any Comcast data or customer data was compromised in connection with the use of SolarWinds products.”
Investment management firm Roundhill Investments wrote a colorful post back in September on how Penn National Gaming’s investment in Barstool Sports has worked out (great for both parties to date). Its entitled “PENN’S ACQUISITION OF BARSTOOL SPORTS – ONE OF THE ALL-TIME GREATS?”
On January 29th 2020, Berks County-based Penn National Gaming (Nasdaq: Penn) announced that it was investing $163 million in Barstool Sports for a 36% equity stake, valuing Barstool at $450 million. The $163 million consisted of $135 million in cash and $28 million in stock, and included warrants that would entitle Penn to majority control if exercised (after year 3)
The US online betting market is less developed than other comparable world markets, so the assumption is that there is plenty of room for growth. Penn’s investment in Barstool is an investment in the future; 65% of Barstool’s audience, which as of January included 66 million unique visitors a month, is aged 21 to 44, people who would grow into becoming larger wagerers. Penn National’s customer base has a strong affinity towards the Barstool brand, more than for other sports media bands, Roundhill asserts.
The branding angle is key. Penn National is certainly well known in the gaming industry, but not to the pubilc. So the Barstool name gives Penn National a stronger image in the minds of consumers.
But Barstool f0under Dave Portnoy may have reason to complain. When the. investment was announced on January 29 of this year, Penn National stock was at $29.02. As the impact of Covid-19 became clearer, Penn National had liquidity concerns and its shares cratered at $4.52 on March 18 (post- St. Pats hangover?). But for the remainder of the year they caught fire before closing Friday (Dec. 18) at $91.94. More than triple the price when the deal took place, and 20x the price from when it hit is nadir.
So Portnoy would have done much better by taking all Barstool’s stake in Penn stock, if that was an option. Barstool would have been worth almost $300 million more today, although it would have been a wild ride in between.