DigitalOcean goes public

Tom Paine

DigitalOcean, the New York-based virtual private server provider that probably is Linode’s closest competitor, completed its IPO on March 24, ending the day with a market cap of $4.5 billion, down almost 10% from its opening.

DigitalOcean had revenue in 2020 of $318 million, up 24% year-over-year. Founded in 2011, DigitalOcean grew with venture capital funding almost from the start.. It raised $455.6 miliion in outside funding before going public.

Chris Akers, Linode’s founder & CEO, has always taken an opposite path, avoiding equity financing. He may have sacrificed some growth. I don’t have a guesstimate for Linode revenue except to say its probably well in excess of $100 million per year now. Using the same revenue multiple as for Digital Ocean, that could easily put Linode’s implied valuation over $1 billion. That might be quite possible under current market conditions.

Also, DigitalOcean has been running a substantial loss each year, while Linode is at least self-funding and likely profitable. And obviously Akers has avoided the dilution and loss of control that comes with outside investors.

Linode did receive a $4 million PPP loan in April 2020 for payroll.

Its inevitable that Linode, Digital Ocean and others in this class will move slightly upmarket to push against the low-end of the hyperscaler market. I also see value in these vendors’ customer bases as a certain percentage of them, being developers, will grow over time. This may make them attractive to companies such as Salesforce, Oracle and the big three of the cloud vendors, who would like them to adopt their architectures. And they would be relatively inexpensive buys.

I noticed that DigitalOcean’s CFO is Bill Sorenson, who was King of Prussia-based Qlik’s CFO when it went public in 2010.

The VPS market is a worldwide market, and must be viewed globally.

Also, keep an eye out for IONOS, acquired by the German vendor 1&1 Ionos in 2018 , which has its US headquarters in Chesterbrook.

Dragon Systems lives on as part of Nuance Communications. But how did Nuance come to own it?

Tom Paine

As Microsoft and Nuance Communications appear close to a deal, its a good time to revisit the tale of Carnegie-Mellon professor James Baker, and his wife Janet, a CMU PhD and researcher, who sold the fruit of their live’s work, Dragon Systems, to  Lernout & Hauspie, in 2000, in an all-stock transaction, only to find that Lernout & Hauspie was a giant fraud and also bankrupt..

Nuance, the eventual owner of Dragon Systems, isn’t the bad guy here; it was Lernout & Hauspie, plus Goldman Sachs, the Bakers’ advisor..

Its an object lesson for any entrepreneur who has an opportunity to sell a business. Be certain of what you’re getting for it, and don’t trust any middleman to do the right thing..

Nuance is reported to be worth about $16 billion to Microsoft, and Dragon seems to be the part of the business thats really growing.

This is an aftermath report by DealBook after a failed suit by the Bakers against Goldman Sachs years later.

Qlik Collaborates with AWS to Accelerate Cloud Analytics with SAP Data

Collaborative Solution Helps Enterprises Increase Value of Analytics-Ready SAP Data on AWS (Press Release)

April 07, 2021 08:30 ET | Source: Qlik Technologies, Inc.

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PHILADELPHIA, April 07, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Qlik® announced today a further expansion of its relationship with Amazon Web Services (AWS) with the launch of a collaborative solution that will help enterprises drive more value from SAP data with cloud analytics. Customers can now seamlessly and easily leverage Qlik Data Integration to deliver real-time, analytics-ready data from their SAP systems into AWS, accelerating and enabling cloud data warehousing, data lakes and machine learning initiatives.

“Customers are eager to bring SAP data into AWS and leverage AWS as a platform of innovation to increase the power of data-driven decision making across their organizations,” said Fernando Castillo, Head of SAP Partner Network and SAP Alliance at AWS. “We are pleased to work with Qlik on the Qlik Data Integration solution, which is designed to help customers accelerate the migration of SAP data at scale on AWS, combine it with non-SAP data, and enhance the impact and value of all their data.”

Qlik has more than a decade of expertise in accessing and transforming SAP data for analysis. Qlik Data Integration unlocks and delivers SAP’s complex data structures into formats optimized for AWS, as well as automates the process of generating analytics-ready data sets for data warehousing or data lakes. The result is accelerated time to value and reduced total cost of ownership for cloud analytic projects, including the benefit of bringing SAP data with non-SAP data together for more valuable real-time and predictive analytics.

“The ability to more easily access and integrate SAP data for analysis to enhance decision-making unlocks a significant source of value from one of our most important data assets,” said Clint Clark, VP Finance Performance Systems and Data, Schneider Electric. “With Qlik Data Integration feeding our AWS environment with SAP, we are better positioned to unlock the value of our SAP data as part of our larger journey to being fully data-driven across the organization.”

The Qlik Data Integration solution on AWS provides customers with:

  • Real-time ingestion (Change Data Capture) of SAP data into many AWS services
  • Decoding of SAP proprietary data structures
  • Automated mapping and data model generation for analytics
  • Support for all core and industry-specific SAP modules
  • Support for SAP running on-premises or in the cloud
  • Expertise in SAP data management, integration and analytics
  • Ability to purchase in AWS Marketplace

“Enterprises are looking for a cost-effective, agile and modern way to bring their SAP data into their cloud analytics strategies. Qlik Data Integration is uniquely positioned to help customers looking to deliver real-time data pipelines and optimized integration with SAP and AWS,” said Itamar Ankorion, SVP of Technology Alliances at Qlik. “We are excited about our continuing relationship with AWS, and delivering customers a proven solution for driving SAP data into the cloud for analysis and action.”

To learn more about Qlik’s data analytics and data integration solutions with AWS, visit To learn more about Qlik’s unique ability to maximize the value of SAP data visit:

About Qlik

Qlik’s vision is a data-literate world, where everyone can use data and analytics to improve decision-making and solve their most challenging problems. A private SaaS company, Qlik provides an end-to-end, real-time data integration and analytics cloud platform to close the gaps between data, insights and action. By transforming data into Active Intelligence, businesses can drive better decisions, improve revenue and profitability, and optimize customer relationships. Qlik does business in more than 100 countries and serves over 50,000 customers around the world.   

© 2021 QlikTech International AB. All rights reserved. All company and/or product names may be trade names, trademarks and/or registered trademarks of the respective owners with which they are associated.

The information provided herein is subject to change without notice. In addition, the development, release and timing of any product or functionality described herein remain at the sole discretion of Qlik and should not be relied upon in making a purchasing decision, nor as a representation, warranty or commitment to deliver specific products or functionality in the future.

Media Contact:
Derek Lyons

Tendo Systems’ vision for transforming healthcare

Tom Paine

Tendo Systems Builds Radical Collaborations to Help Transform Healthcare” is the headline of Tendo Systems’ introductory press release. It certainly sets forth a vision of a different approach to delivering healthcare, aiming to break out of the mold..

Not that others haven’t had similar visions.

One example is Haven, the joint venture between Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan Chase, which decided to dissolve at the beginning of 2021. The partners seemed happier pursuing their own separate initiatives.

While breadth of vision is great, my guess is a startup that concentrates on a few closely related processes at first has the best chance to succeed. Though a degree of integration across functions is important.

Tendo, founded by longtime Chester County residents (and siblings) Dan & Jennifer Goldsmith, is a Philly-based company, though its somewhat virtual right now. A few years back, the Goldsmiths played important roles at Veeva Systems, working on innovative new cloud.products that helped Veeva’a valuation grow to $40 billion today. (Much of Silicon Valley-based Veeva’s product development came out of its Radnor office.)

Then the Goldsmiths went on to run Utah-based learning management system (LMS) platform Instructure, with Dan as CEO and Jennifer as Chief Strategy Officer. But that came to an end in early 2020, as the Instructure board accepted a $2 billion buyout offer from Thoma Bravo which involved a change in direction.Then they spent a year planning for what would become Tendo Systems.

During the same period, west coast VC firm General Catalyst (which has huge stakes in healthcare; Livongo, Oscar, BrightInsight are examples) managing director Hemant Taneja got to know Stephen Klasko, MD, MBA, CEO of Philly-based Jefferson Health. The two co-authored a book, UnHealthcare: A Manifesto for Health Assurance, preaching a collaboration between traditional academic health system and Silicon Valley venture investment. 

Besides co-authoring the book, the two collaborated on forming a SPAC, along with ex-Livongo execs who sold Livongo for $18.5 billion . Health Assurance Acquisition Corp is said to be targeting a San Francisco-based healthcare tech company to merge with. They also got to know the Goldsmiths.

General Catalyst is at this point the sole institutional backer of Tendo. The funding is significant; no one will say how much but it sounds like Tendo won’t have to go back to raising capital anytime soon. Jefferson, through its Jefferson Strategic Ventures, has not invested though it may be constrained by its own financial pressures.

Jefferson has had a revenue share interest in Livongo from a marketing fee.

Tendo is ramping up quickly, with around 35 people already onboard with plans to reach 100 by year end. Tendo is intended to be designed around the healthcare consumer’s vantage point, not that of the organizations he or she is connected to. An app would eventually interface with multiple healthcare organizations, with the possibility of the consumer seeing one view across electronic health records from different institutions. (Google is working on that, but for the clinician rather than the patient.) Jefferson will serve as the first healthcare organization that Tendo is collaborating with.

Jennifer Goldsmith, whom I spoke with, thinks of Tendo as “a digital engagement platform for patients, clinicians, and caregivers.” The venture plans to address “pain points”, or points of friction, in consumer healthcare. Appointment scheduling, followups, and other processes would be streamlined. My guess is Tendo will start with a few functions and add more over time.

“Large-scale transformation requires bold vision, strong execution, and deep collaboration across multiple healthcare constituencies,” said Dan Goldsmith, CEO of Tendo, in a press release. “Tendo is proud to partner with organizations like Jefferson Health and General Catalyst as we work together to make healthcare more connected, accessible, and equitable.”

Jennifer Goldsmith indicated that some product will be out by late 2021.



CommScope Announces Plan to Spin-Off its Home Networks Business into Independent Public Company

Provides CommScope NEXT Update: Implements Cost Reduction Actions to Drive Greater Levels of Efficiency and GrowthApril 08, 2021 07:30 AM Eastern Daylight Time

HICKORY, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CommScope Holding Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: COMM), a global leader in connectivity solutions for communications networks, today announced its plan to spin-off its Home Networks business and other initiatives to reduce operating costs throughout the Company.

“Since I joined CommScope last October, the Board and management team have been undertaking a comprehensive review of our portfolio of assets and how each contributes to our long-term growth strategy”Tweet this

Together, the planned separation of CommScope’s Home Networks business and operating expense reduction represent early steps in the Company’s CommScope NEXT strategy to optimize the business portfolio, drive above-market growth, and control costs. The separation is intended to be executed through a tax-free spin-off to CommScope shareholders to form a new and independent publicly traded company. The separation is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2022.

“Since I joined CommScope last October, the Board and management team have been undertaking a comprehensive review of our portfolio of assets and how each contributes to our long-term growth strategy,” said Chuck Treadway, president and chief executive officer. “As we proceeded with this review, it became clear that the Home Networks business’ distinct strategy, growth characteristics, investment requirements and returns on invested capital are not aligned with the rest of our portfolio. We believe that Home Networks will be better positioned to deliver superior home and consumer-oriented products as an independent company. In addition, we are moving quickly to streamline costs to create greater financial flexibility to invest in our growth. We expect the cost reduction actions we are taking in core CommScope to, at a minimum, offset Home Networks’ adjusted EBITDA and create savings we can reinvest in our business, which should result in post-spin leverage within core CommScope at no more than current levels.”

Mr. Treadway concluded, “With today’s announcements, our CommScope NEXT strategy is well underway, and, as we move forward, growth, cost control and portfolio optimization will continue to be our priorities. We remain excited about CommScope’s potential, and with the core elements of our strategy intact, we are confident in our ability to deliver innovative solutions for network convergence for customers around the world.”

Compelling Benefits of the Separation

The planned spin-off will allow CommScope and Home Networks to focus on innovation and pursue strategic market opportunities, accelerating growth and unlocking greater value for their customers. Key benefits of the separation include:

  • Creating a clearer growth trajectory for CommScope, as well as greater opportunity for margin expansion, while focusing on providing market-leading solutions in wireless communications, broadband delivery and enterprise networking;
  • Reducing complexity within CommScope, allowing it to focus on the core elements of the portfolio that will drive growth in the evolution of the networks it serves;
  • Creating a standalone Home Networks business, a leading connected home solutions provider with an optimized cost structure and focused R&D and Sales teams, enabling an accelerated pace of innovation unlocking strategic value and growth in a “Connected Home” future;
  • Providing Home Networks with greater focus and flexibility to develop its own technologies, go-to-market strategy and a best-in-class manufacturing model to better deliver home and consumer products; and
  • Allowing CommScope and Home Networks to each pursue separate strategies, creating two distinct identities and more targeted investment opportunities, providing Home Networks with greater opportunities to access capital.

CommScope, Driving Global Connectivity

Following the completion of the spin-off transaction, CommScope will be composed of the following three business segments:

  • Broadband Networks: Dedicated to serving the telco and cable provider broadband market as a leading equipment manufacturer. The segment is focused on growing its current portfolio and deployment of DAA and virtualized platforms and driving investments to expand fiber capacity, fiber connectivity and network orchestration.
  • Venue and Campus Networks: Targeting both public and private networks for campuses, venues, data centers, and buildings. Venue and Campus Networks is focused on driving performance in its RUCKUS Wi-Fi 6 and cloud control platforms, ONECELL features to capitalize on 5G growth and virtualization, and driving high-density expansion in data centers.
  • Outdoor Wireless Networks: Focused on the Macro and Metro Cell businesses and building metro cell power solutions and modularity design innovation. The segment is also working on the development of new technologies in cell site connectivity and other technologies to support telco carriers building their 4G and 5G networks.

CommScope will continue to be led by Chuck Treadway, president and CEO, and its current management team.

Home Networks, a Leading Provider of Connected Home, Digital Life, & Entertainment Solutions

With its long heritage of offering market-leading technologies and solutions, Home Networks will be well positioned to deliver superior home and consumer-oriented products and to unlock substantial value across its broad product lines and customer base.

Upon completion of the separation, Joe Chow, Home Networks senior vice president, will become the chief executive officer of the stand-alone Home Networks company. The Board of Directors, management, company name and headquarters will be announced after they are finalized. The new, independent company is expected to be listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange upon completion of the separation.

Transaction Details

CommScope anticipates that the transaction will be in the form of a distribution to CommScope shareholders of 100% of the stock of Home Networks, a new, independent publicly traded company, which is intended to be tax-free to U.S. shareholders for U.S. federal income tax purposes.

CommScope currently expects the transaction will be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2022, subject to market, regulatory and certain other conditions, including final approval of CommScope’s Board of Directors. There can be no assurance regarding the ultimate timing of the proposed transaction or that the transaction will be completed.


J.P. Morgan is serving as financial advisor, and Alston & Bird and Baker McKenzie LLP are acting as legal advisors to CommScope.

Conference Call and Webcast

CommScope will host a conference call today at 8:30 am ET to discuss this announcement. The conference call will also be webcast.

To participate in the conference call, dial +1 844-397-6169 (US and Canada only) or +1 478-219-0508. The conference identification number is 5858113. Please plan to dial in 15 minutes before the start of the call to facilitate a timely connection. The live, listen-only audio of the call and corresponding presentation will be available through a link on CommScope’s Investor Relations page.

A webcast replay will be archived on CommScope’s website for a limited period following the conference call.

About CommScope:

CommScope (NASDAQ: COMM) is pushing the boundaries of technology to create the world’s most advanced wired and wireless networks. Our global team of employees, innovators and technologists empower customers to anticipate what’s next and invent what’s possible. Discover more at

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Walters sells IP from one venture, forms Villanova Technologies

Edmond. Walters/ LinkedIn

Tom Paine

eMoney Advisor founder Edmond Walters exited the three way venture that made up Apprise Labs by selling IP assets (for a dashboard product) to one of his partners and rebranding under the name Villanova Technologies.

Walters sold eMoney to Fidelity Investments for $250 million in 2015.

The publication RIABIZ reported that Walters sold his IP assets in Apprise Labs to his Chicago-based. partner Envestnet, with a promise of offering future help in the development of the IP. Its not clear whether the deal included equity rights.While Walters didn’t give up rights to the Apprise name, he is shelving it for now and will do business under the Villanova Technologies name.

Villanova Tech’s software will be targeted at advisors, who want to help clients who own small companies by providing a dashboard of key operational data. It will not, at this time, be financial planning software (as eMoney Advisor is). .A preview of the product is expected this summer, and a full release by the end of the year.

Selected Podcasts 4/3: Princeton & WHYY on AI; Rick Bulotta on History of Manufacturing Software

These seven podcasts are all good, but I’m going to highlight two of them:

A.I. Nation is a just launched podcast joint venture between WHYY and Princeton on artificial intelligence.

Augmented’s episode is “A Brief History of Manufacturing Software” with Rick Bulotta, who invented much of it.

People news: Comcast , Veeva Systems, Qlik, Hoopla

Tom Paine

No word on any Biden administration role for Comcast exec David L. Cohen. However, the position of Ambassador to the UK, which Cohen was reported to be most interested in, has still not been filled with a permanent appointee.

Still no word on FCC Chair either, while Jessica Rosenworce is still Acting Chairwoman. That position will get very busy soon, with Biden’s far-reaching broadband plans and regulatory issues reemerging. How about this as a wildcard: Cohen as FCC Chair. Never happen. Progressives wouldn’t stand for it.

JD Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy and venture capitalist, appears to be gearing up for a Senate race in Ohio, as a Republican for its open seat, being vacated by Rob Portman. Peter Thiel, a former mentor, reportedly has already donated $10 million to a PAC established for his candidacy.

Long-time Comcast tech exeec Tony Werner is stepping down from his position as President, Technology, Product, Xperience, Comcast Cable, though he will remain as an advisor to the CEO.

Charlie Herrin, most recently EVP and chief product officer at Comcast Cable, is succeeding Werner in the role of president of TPX.

Matt Wallach, co-founder, former President, and current Board Member of Veeva Systems, and a Philly-area native, is now a minority owner of the Philadelphia Union, according to his LinkedIn profile.. He played soccer while an undergrad at Yale.

Rumors that Wallach will strengthen the Union’s back line are false.

I noticed a familiar name while reading up on DigitalOcean’s (a Linode competitor) recent IPO. Bill  Sorensen, who help take Radnor (now King of Prussia)-based Qlik public as CFO in 2010, is now DigitalOcean’s CFO.

Mike Smalls, a Philly entrepreneur (Destiny Websolutions, ClickEquations) who founded sales performance management tool Hoopla Software and moved it to California, has sold Hoopla to San Francisco-based Raydiant. Safeguard Scientifics and Salesforce Ventures were investors.

Google, Microsoft & Salesforce team up on Covid-19 Vaccine Passport

April 1, 2021

A consortium made up of Google, Microsoft, and Salesforce is introducing a comprehensive digital Covid-19 vaccine passport solution. The passport will enable authorities to quickly determine who’s received the full vaccine dosage and who hasn’t.

Each individual will have a crystal implanted in the palm of the hand that changes color and begins blinking as they approach a deadline for receiving the vaccine. Alerted by the blinking , police will be able to detain all violaters and limit their access to public venues.

Individuals who are not in good standing with each of the websites will not be able to receive the vaccine.

The companies anticipate that there will be other future uses for the passport system once the virus has been fully eliminated. Several federal government agencies and the Chinese government are reported to be evaluating various applications. For instance, under one scheme the system will be able to determine who’s paid their taxes and who has not.