The tech business week: Twitter’s spending spree, tax breaks and Profitero raises US$8m

9 Jun 2014

Image via Gil C/Shutterstock

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news that Profitero has raised US$8m in financing and plans to double it workforce.

Profitero raises US$8m in financing from Polaris Ventures

Dublin-based e-commerce intelligence player Profitero has raised US$8m in financing from top US venture capital firm Polaris Ventures, enabling it to double its workforce to 80 people and expand in North America.

The company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform provides brands and retailers with e-commerce intelligence and valuable online insights. It counts Staples, Sam’s Club, Waitrose and Acodo among its 50-plus global customer base from which it monitors over 220m prices in real-time.

“The Profitero vision is to become the Nielsen of the online world for global retailers and brands,” said Irfan Salim, who has been appointed to the board of Profitero. Salim’s was formerly CEO of MarkMonitor (also Polaris-backed), which was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2012.

Twitter makes further mobile ad purchase with Namo Media

Advertising hosting company Namo Media announced via its blog that it has been purchased by Twitter and will now begin integrating its software with Twitter’s advertising platform, known as MoPub.

Namo Media has successfully integrated advertising ‘natively’ to webpages such as SportsFeed and provides templates for other businesses to implement custom ad formats.

“Combining our technology with MoPub will offer our current and future customers a more powerful platform to generate revenue, all while preserving an amazing user experience,” the blog post states.

Meanwhile, in another blog post, Kevin Weil, Twitter’s VP of product, said: “In our conversations with the Namo Media team, it became clear we share a vision for how native advertising can improve the state of mobile app monetisation for marketers, app publishers, and users.”

Twitter considering buying either Spotify or Pandora

Just weeks after it emerged that Twitter’s plans to acquire SoundCloud fell through, it is believed the social media player is also interested in acquiring music-streaming platforms Spotify and Pandora.

Twitter is believed to have backed out of talks to buy SoundCloud with speculation pointing at SoundCloud’s lack of licensing agreements to stream music as the main reason. Both Spotify and Pandora –worth US$4bn and US$5b, respectively – have those licensing agreements in place.

According to the Financial Times Twitter has yet to hold talks with either Spotify or Pandora but speculates that a prospective deal would be largely based on Twitter’s highly prized equity and similar in structure to Facebook’s acquisitions of WhatsApp and Oculus.

Gaming industry tax breaks due soon, says Sweeney of Games Ireland

At the Games Ireland Gathering 2014 (GIG) on 29 May, gaming industry representatives from Ireland and abroad gathered to discuss the ins and outs of the business. Hosted by Games Ireland, one of the largest bodies representing the Irish gaming industry, one of the major talking points of the event looked at Ireland’s potential to follow other European countries and introduce a tax break for indigenous gaming companies.

Games Ireland CEO David Sweeney confirmed that discussions with the Government have reached an advanced stage, which could lead to a tax break introduced quite soon – a move that could revolutionise how a rather self-reliant industry can match our larger European neighbours.

He went on to say that, since the UK’s introduction of a tax break, the Irish Government is once again looking to follow suit and had called Games Ireland and other representatives within the industry together to hash out the details of a proposal.

Twitter homepage image by Gil C via Shutterstock

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.