Finance News from the Tech Industry
January 2016 saw the continued challenges in the Canadian economy stemming from low oil prices, a weak dollar and relatively high unemployment, particularly in the oil patch. Canada did add 23,000 jobs in December but the unemployment rate remained at 7.1%. The US continues to add jobs, a record 257,000 private sector jobs in December, although there are also some signs that the growth is slowing down.
On the M&A front there were no huge deals, but there was plenty of activity with some of the household names out shopping. IBM bought video service provider Ustream; Microsoft bought game-based learning tool MinecraftEdu; Apple bought "emotion recognition" company Emotient; and Oracle bought media web tracking firm AddThis. Toshiba bought an ERP solutions company Ignify, and a number of smaller deals included Juniper Networks buying BTISystems Inc.; Fireeye bought iSight partners; Acceo Solutions bought Groupe Techna and Smartprint bought LaserCorp's Toronto-based managed print services business.
There were a number of interesting funding announcements with IoT company Foresight Technologies raising $76 million; Cybersecurity firm Malwarebytes raised $50 million; SaaS security company EiQ Networks raised $30 million and several other up and comers raised between $7 million and $25 million.
In other news Xerox announced it would be following a trend, and splitting into two separate public companies; Microsoft announced a one billion dollar philanthropic endeavor donating cloud services to non-profits, and worldwide IT spending took a bit of a dive in 2015 and it is expected that it will be 2019 before we see 2014 levels of spending again.