Dell Boomi acquires Unifi

Tom Paine

Boomi had only 30 employees when Dell bought it in 2010, writes @PhillyJoeD in the Inquirer. It was just a tiny outfit. I used to read about it in some blog which seemed like the only source to cover it at the time.

Dell Boomi now has over 1000 employees, almost half at its Chesterbrook HQ and its small Philly satellite office. That likely translates into revenue of more than $200 million.

Michael Dell demonstrated great insight and persistence from the start in grasping the potential of Rick Nucci’s creation and giving it plenty of runway to grow within Dell. Most huge companies crush small acquisitions, quite frankly. But Boomi has continued to prosper under Chris McNabb’s leadership. The Cloud has been key to its growth, be it linking one cloud app to another or (importantly for Boomi) cloud to legacy app.

Boomi made its second and largest acquisition, Unifi Software, last week. The Bay Area company has 78 employees. Terms weren’t disclosed. Or as Peter Key, formerly of the Business Journal, once noted, “they never are.”

Unifi specializes in discovering, cataloging and prepping a company’s data, typically the kind that is unstructured and previously not interpreted by its systems. Unify says this is often two thirds of a company’s data resources. The transformation of this data usually depends on AI.

The IPaaS (Platform as a Service) market, which is led by Dell Boomi and MuleSoft (acquired in 2018 by Salesforce for $6.5 billion) is still in a hypergrowth stage. The market is incorporating a broader range of related skills and tools into its space. At least 10 other companies are coming at Boomi and Mulesoft from different angles. Boomi is trying to lead the industry in defining the future shape of the market.

The next question may be is there a larger acquisition that Boomi should consider to further strengthen its market position?


DuPont merges its nutrition business with IFF

IFF Hazlet NJ

DuPont announced this morning it would merge its nutrition & biosciences . unit with International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), creating a $45 billion (market value) giant.

IFF has many roots in South & Central New Jersey. Its based in New York.

IFF Chief Executive Officer Andreas Fibig will run the combined company and will also continue as chairman of the board. DuPont Executive Chairman, Ed Breen, will join the board of the combined company as a DuPont appointee and will serve as Lead Independent Director starting June 1, 2021.

DuPont shareholders will own 55% of the merged company, IFF holders the remaining 45%.

In September, IFF opened its new design headquarters at BellWorks in Holmdel. But its existing building in Hazlet, which looks like its out of the Woody Allen flick Sleeper, will continue to serve as a production facility.

Recyclebank, started in Philly, sells out

Tom Paine

Recyclebank, which started life in Philly before moving its headquarters to New York, was sold to New York-based Recycle Track Systems (RTS) in late October. Terms were not disclosed.

Founded in 2006 by Philadelphians Patrick FitzGerald and Ron Gonen, Recyclebank rewarded loyal recyclers with points that could be redeemed for things of value. Through RFID or GPS  installed on recycling bins and in the recycling truck,  Recyclebank was able to track which households were recycling. It raised $85.2 million in venture funding, mostly early on. However, the price recyclable materials could fetch dropped sharply over the course of the company’s existence, cutting out most of the financial value of redeeming recyclable waste..

Recyclebank’s municipal contracts have dropped from 400 to 67. Most customers I’ve tracked were using some type of grant to pay initial expenses, but once that source ran out many didn’t want to fund it out of the general budget and did not renew.

The city of Philadelphia, a key customer since the beginning, dropped Recyclebank this past June.

FitzGerald, after leaving Recyclebank and following a stint with DreamiT Ventures, now heads up TCF Ventures and lectures at the Wharton School.

A small group of employees (around 13) remains in Philly..

The CEO of RTS believes his company can make use of Recyclebank’s technology.


Yesterday’s Tweet Wrap: Sports Business Theme

Veeva Systems 3rd quarter 2020 results impress

Tom Paine

Veeva Systems, California-based with a strong Philly presence, racked up another strong quarter in its FY 20200 3rd quarter. Veeva provides integrated cloud computing services to the Life Sciences industry.

Third-quarter adjusted earnings of 60 cents a share topped analysts’ forecasts by 6 cents, while revenue of nearly $281 million also came in higher than expectations.

The company said it expects fiscal-year adjusted earnings of $2.16 to $2.17 a share, up from its previous outlook of $2.11 to $2.13. 

Veeva expects revenue for the fiscal year of about $1.09 billion vs. previous guidance of $1.06 billion to $1.07 billion.

The stock has gained more than 78% so far in 2019.

Veeva’s market capitalization is now $22.3 billion. It has about 3000 employees.

Veeva cited “outperformance in both Veeva Commercial Cloud and Veeva Vault” product lines”. Veeva Vault CDMS is now rolling out in a large-scale Phase 3 trial for more than 12,000 patients across 700 sites and 32 countries, the company says.

Veeva also added two acquisitions in the quarter: Crossix and Physicians World. The financial impact of these two deals to Veeva’s 4th quarter is expected to be total revenues between $13 and $15 million and a non-GAAP operating loss of $6 million.

Physicians World is a platform for Pharma events. Outsourcing_Pharma says Veeva paid about $40 million for it. Crossix is a leader in privacy-safe patient data and analytics. 


Propelify founder Aaron Price and Boxed CEO CHIEH HUANG at Propelify 2019 | Malka Media for Propelify

Rob Rinderman

Rather surprisingly, not many hands went up at the fireside chat with the CEO of Boxed (New York) when the audience was asked how many of them had heard of the company. Perhaps it was the cold, breezy and wet weather at Propelify, on the Hoboken waterfront, that had many attendees struggling for ways to keep their hands warm, including keeping them in their pockets.

To Chieh Huang, the upbeat CEO who cofounded the online and mobile, membership-free retailer of bulk-sized packages in an Edison garage in 2013, the lack of recognition was no cause for concern. Rather, it was an indication that there’s plenty of scope for further success at this largely under-the-radar “unicorn.” In addition to its burgeoning B2B and B2C shipping operations, currently serving the lower 48 states, Boxed also manufactures and licenses its own line of warehouse robotics equipment, which is sold or leased to noncompeting international customers. When asked about overseas expansion opportunities by Aaron Price, Propelify founder and recently appointed president/CEO of the New Jersey Tech Council, Huang indicated that there is still ample potential for expansion within the U.S.

The company had humble beginnings, generating about $40,000 in revenue during its first year, but it has certainly come a long way since then. “It is not that sexy to be selling toilet paper out of your garage, and having your own kids and friends rip you for it,” Huang recalled. Even today, his parents ask him when he’ll find a real job. While some family members and friends surreptitiously check out what’s in your medicine cabinet, Huang is more likely to be found inspecting what brand of toilet paper you have on hand. Hopefully, it’s the Boxed house brand, Prince & Spring, creatively named after two streets near the company’s offices.

Boxed also maintains a large warehouse and fulfillment center on our side of the Hudson — in Union, alongside Route 78. Still privately held, the company generated hundreds of millions of dollars in sales during its most recent trailing 12-month period. Moreover, Huang said that Boxed is hiring, with an ongoing need for engineers, tech professionals, marketers, product designers and UX experts. During the fireside chat, he noted that approximately one-third of the employees at the New York offices are relatively recent hires. This means that Boxed faces the same challenge as most businesses: managing growth while striving to keep the corporate culture intact. Huang said that one of his keys to success has been the hiring of some very experienced executives for critical roles in the company. He also candidly confessed that he has a “no A-hole policy.”

Keeping good employees is a priority. Boxed has achieved this by offering such benefits as free healthcare and retirement fund planning. There is also a $500 emergency fund for each employee; approximately 13 percent of Boxed workers have taken advantage of this unique perk. In terms of potentially competing with Amazon as an “everything store” in the e-commerce space, that is not a realistic goal for Boxed, or for any other company, Huang admitted. “That race has already been won,” he said. “It’s like trying to beat Usain Bolt in a 100-meter race. … You’re not going to be able to do it.” Huang expects Amazon to remain a formidable competitor for years to come, or at least until Jeff Bezos decides to step down. Instead, you need to go after specific verticals. For instance, the Prince & Spring house brand has been helping to drive loyalty. A focus on the end customers, and what pain point you’re helping them solve, should be your main goal.

Boxed first acquired outside investment in late 2013, so the company knows that professional investors are unlikely to want to stick around forever without some type of monetizing event or exit. Huang hopes that Boxed can remain an independent company; and, as of now, he believes that he is the right choice to remain at the helm and lead it forward. What advice does he have for fellow founders and entrepreneurs? Try to stay level-headed and avoid emotional roller coasters. “I used to get very high or very low,” he recalled. Also, work to streamline the linear processes within your organization, he suggested

Rob Rinderman is a contributor to NJTechWeekly

Looking at Salesforce vs SAP present & future


Tom Paine

I’ve been wondering for some time whether Salesforce’s (NYSE: CRM) growth would falter, but it really hasn’t yet in a big way. Though a string of acquisitions have had a dilutive effect, investors have rewarded it with a growth premium in terms of a higher Price to Earnings (PE) ratio. Its somewhat akin to what happened last year when Netflix briefly surpassed Comcast in market value. Such a PE advantage, though tenuous, gives Salesforce a strong currency for acquiring others.

Salesforce may be on the verge of becoming a more powerful enterprise player than the possibly capital-constrained SAP, under pressure from an activist investor, in spite of its considerably smaller revenue & profit base.

Comparative share prices: Salesforce (light blue) vs SAP (dark blue) Past 5 years

CRM Mkt cap$146.8B
SAP SE Mkt cap$162.4B

In 2018, SAP redesigned & retargeted its CRM, but its way too early to measure how effective that relaunch has been.

SAP CRX ( Qualtrics): The acquisition of Qualtrics opens up an adjacent market to CRM that Salesforce isn’t much of a player in today.

Salesforce could move more into SAP’s space:

Salesforce Options

  • Buying WorkDay would appear financially feasible, though WDAY founders control voting stock (they won’t allow another Peoplesoft). WDAY brings Financial ERP as well as HCM.
  • Continue partnerships or consolidate RootStock & Financial Force (manufacturing & financial ERP)
  • Buy Zoho if available. Threat to cannibalize Salesforce’s own core business, but could be like Microsoft’s Great Plains acquisition

Salesforce acquisition target list leaked in 2016 – What’s happened since

Adobe Mkt cap 134.91B, essentially the same as CRM

LinkedIn . Acquired by MSFT for $26.2 billion

Workday . Mkt Cap $39.9 billion

ServiceNow . Mkt Cap $50.8 billion

Netsuite . Acquired by Oracle for ~$9.3 billion

Tableau Acquired by Salesforce for $15.7 billion

Pegasystems . Mkt Cap $5.7 billion

Qlik Acquired by Thoma Bravo for $3 billion

Veeva . Mkt Cap $21.7 billion

Box . Mkt Cap $2.6 billion; Recent activist stake

Demandware . Acquired by Salesforce for $2.8 billion

Zendesk Mkt Cap $8.6 billion

Marketo Acquired by Adobe for $4.8 billion

Hubspot . Mkt Cap $6.8 billion

Salesforce’s Mulesoft acquisition last year was totally off the chart. SAP owns no equivalent.

Salesforce needs to decide whether to build a strategy around smaller customers, or double down on larger customers.

Salesforce is also likely looking at ways to accelerate its CRX ambitions.

Another possibility is a dead stop to Salesforce’s organic growth, but that seems unlikely given the size and projected growth of the market

Not discounting Oracle at all, but see it more as a hard engineering company, inconsistent in end user applications.

Philly Enterprise Highlights 10/1: CaBaletta Bio, Dell Boomi, PetPlan

Philly EnterpriseTech

Colorcon Launches $50 Million Venture Capital Fund

Colorcon Launches $50 Million Venture Capital Fund  

Pharmaceutical leader partners with Touchdown Ventures to fund promising startups

Colorcon Ventures Inc (PRNewsfoto/Colorcon Ventures Inc)

NEWS PROVIDED BYColorcon Ventures Inc 

Sep 18, 2019, 03:25 ET


HARLEYSVILLE, Pennsylvania, Sept. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Colorcon, a world leader in the development, supply and technical support of specialty products for the pharmaceutical industry, today announced the establishment of Colorcon Ventures to invest in promising companies in the pharmaceutical industry. Colorcon’s business focus is on advanced coating systems, modified release technologies and functional excipients for use in pharmaceutical immediate and modified release dosage forms.

Colorcon Ventures is a $50 million venture fund focused on startups that are strategically relevant to the core Colorcon business. The fund will target investments in transformational solutions across manufacturing, supply chain, and delivery of pharmaceutical products and services. The fund is not investing in companies developing active ingredients or molecules. 

The fund will be stage-agnostic, with an emphasis on early and mid-stage companies that demonstrate product market fit and revenue growth. Colorcon Ventures will invest in startups where Colorcon can add value in the form of subject matter expertise or commercial relationships, and leverage Colorcon’s global reach, relationships within the pharmaceutical industry, and agile R&D approach.

“We are excited to launch this venture fund to support the growth of startup companies in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries,” said Martti Hedman, CEO of Colorcon.  “Colorcon has a rich history of innovation and we believe this fund will allow us to continue to serve our customers by partnering with startups.”

Touchdown Ventures, a firm specializing in corporate venture capital, will help manage the Colorcon Ventures fund. Touchdown will work closely with senior executives of Colorcon in all aspects of operating the fund.

“The promise of corporate venture capital is to bring more than just money to the table. A successful corporate investor can generate meaningful value by facilitating commercial relationships with its portfolio companies. We believe that Colorcon Ventures, through close association to the senior executive and business units of Colorcon, is well poised to accomplish this goal,” said David Horowitz, CEO of Touchdown.  

For more information about Colorcon Ventures, please visit

About Colorcon

Colorcon is a world leader in the development, supply and technical support of specialty ingredients; formulated film coating systems, modified release technologies, and functional excipients for the pharmaceutical industry. Our best-in-class products and technologies are complemented by our extensive application data and value-added services to support all phases of solid oral dose design, development and manufacture.

With focus on market issues and technology development has earned Colorcon an international reputation as a pharmaceutical supplier of choice. That reputation is based on superior product quality, unparalleled technical support, extensive regulatory assistance and reliable supply from multiple locations.

Colorcon has 11 manufacturing facilities, 21 technical service laboratories globally and more than 1200 employees exclusively dedicated to its customer base. For more information, visit

About Touchdown Ventures

Touchdown Ventures partners with corporations to manage their venture capital programs. Touchdown works closely with each corporation to achieve the financial and strategic benefits from venture capital investments. The firm maintains offices in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. More information on Touchdown can be found at

Corporate Communications Contact:

Deborah J. Taylor
Senior Associate
Phone: +44-1322-627234

Media Contact:

Richard Hayhurst
Richard Hayhurst Associates, Ltd.
Phone: +44-7711-821527

SOURCE Colorcon Ventures Inc

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