I love the smell of acquisitions in the morning! We’ve just heard that Groupon has acquired Adku, a stealth startup that uses big data in order to personalize the online shopping experience for people visiting eCommerce sites like eBay, Amazon and Zappos.
The company built their personalized targeting technology in three months, and have basically been in stealth since they launched at the Angelpad Demo day a year and a half ago. Adku is backed by Greylock Partners, Battery Ventures and True Ventures in addition to being an Angelpad startup.
Although CEO Ajit Varma and several members of the six person team are former Googlers, from what I’m hearing this wasn’t a talent acquisition or acqhire but a team + technology play – with a price beyond $10 million. Varma would not disclose what the team will be working on when they get to Groupon.
While it’s not clear what the technology will be applied to, the acquisition makes sense on a lot of levels, especially because a personalized experience is where most of eCommerce is headed. Greylock VC David Thacker now runs product for Groupon, so that couldn’t have hurt either.
Wrote Varma in a blog post, “We started talking to Groupon to bring our technology to more customers and quickly realized that we wanted to be a deeper part of a company that people love and is empowering merchants and customers in a way that’s never been done before.”
I don’t live in a high risk area for deadly tremors, but after watching this earthquake-proof table easily survive having a 2,200 pound block dropped on it, I think I still want one for my office—just in case.
The table was designed by Ido Bruno and Arthur Brutter primarily for use in schools. Students are typically taught to hide under their desks in the event of an earthquake, but most desks aren’t designed to support the weight of all the debris were the building to collapse. Which is clearly demonstrated in this video when they drop just a 1,000 pound weight on a traditional desk and it’s immediately pancaked.
In addition to providing a safe haven for students, the desk’s supporting structure is designed in such a way that it also provides several escape routes depending on how debris has fallen. It’s also light enough to be lifted by just two students, and is built with durable but inexpensive materials so it’s actually affordable for a school to purchase en masse. Now it’s not available just yet, but based on these tests being conducted at the Structural Engineering department at Padua University in Italy, it shouldn’t have much trouble getting approved for sale. [designboom]
Intel’s about to get its peanut butter all over Motorola’s chocolate. And, in addition to the Reese’s Pieces, we’ll see the first Intel-powered, Android smartphone in the second half of this year.
The two companies announced today that they’ve signed on for a multi-year strategic relationship which will span multiple platforms—including tablets and phones. Specifically, Motorola hopes to employ Intel’s low power system-on-chip architecture. “With Android as the leading smartphone OS globally and advancements in computing technology we see tremendous opportunity.” Sanjay Jha, Chairman and CEO of Motorola Mobility told Business wire. Intel’s new Medfield chip could to be on-board.
And, while the phones may not end up as sleek as the Intel design reference above, with the Medfield’s ability to support up to a 24MP camera and 1080p playback, Apple may have some real competition on its hands. What’s more, given that Google owns Motorola, these phones could very well have an inside track to the latest and greatest Android OS builds. [Marketwatch]
What looks like the card slot from a Chase Bank ATM is actually a sophisticated card skimmer removed from a branch in West Hills, California. And police believe a 3D printer may have been used to create it.
Those green bulbous card slots that were supposed to make it very difficult for a card skimmer to be attached to an ATM have turned out to be just a minor inconvenience for sophisticated thieves. Investigators believe this skimmer—which perfectly fits over the ATM’s regular slot— was created from a mould that came from a 3D printer. Which means those behind this particular ATM scheme had some very expensive tools at their disposal.
In addition to being a perfect replica of the ATM’s standard card slot, this skimmer incorporates a small pinhole camera that starts recording the PIN pad whenever a card is inserted. On the underside is a series of holes that investigators believe allowed the thieves to download data and footage, but the complex electronics on the inside may have been salvaged from a cellphone, giving this skimmer wireless connectivity. So in the future, like in many situations, make sure you take a good look at the hardware before you stick your thing in the slot. [KrebsonSecurity via BoingBoing]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
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