The tech business week: Alibaba makes tech IPO history, Irish software firms and IoT


22 Sep 2014

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Alibaba makes tech IPO history with US$92.70 per share opening

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A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has made tech IPO history with shares opening at US$92.70.

Alibaba makes tech IPO history with US$92.70 per share opening

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba made IPO history on Friday, by debuting on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) with shares opening at US$92.70. It is the largest tech IPO ever.

The company is trading under the ticker BABA.

The stock offering had been expected to raise at least US$21.8bn, Fortune reported, adding that underwriters may make use of an overallotment option called a ‘green shoe.’

Green shoe means more shares of the company could be sold, potentially raising more than US$25bn and making Alibaba’s IPO the biggest in history.

14pc of Irish software companies plan to embrace internet of things

In a bid to grow revenues, 17pc of Irish software firms plan to move to mobile platforms over the next two years and 14pc will pursue the internet of things (IoT), a UCC and Bank of Ireland study suggests.

The phone-based survey of 142 Irish technology companies classified 98pc of the firms as SMEs, with more than half of the companies employing between five and 20 people.

In identifying growth opportunities for the next two years 17pc said moving to a mobile platform would yield opportunities. Fifteen per cent cited data analytics as a growth engine, while 14pc said increased device and sensor connectedness – the internet of things – would present opportunities for growth.

Red Hat acquires Waterford tech company FeedHenry for €63.5m

Open source software giant Red Hat has acquired Irish enterprise mobile application platform provider FeedHenry for €63.5m in cash.

Red Hat, which creates a ‘mobile first’ platform for organisations that include Aer Lingus, Baystate Health and O2 UK, aims to align FeedHenry’s technology with its open hybrid cloud strategy.

The transaction is expected to close by the third quarter of Red Hat’s fiscal year 2015.

Microsoft confirms US$2.5bn Mojang purchase

Microsoft has confirmed it has agreed to a deal to buy Mojang, the maker of sandbox creation game Minecraft, for US$2.5bn.

Mojang will now be integrated into Microsoft Studios, which it promises will bring significant technical improvements to Minecraft. The deal is expected to go through before the end of this year.

Mojang founder Markus Persson will be leaving the company, saying his decision to sell Mojang came as a result of feeling daunted by the scale to which Minecraft developed as a franchise and he wants to step away from a CEO position to focus more on game development.

Microsoft cuts 2,100 staff worldwide, most in US

Microsoft has made the latest in a series of major cuts to staff numbers as it attempts to streamline the business and change its focus to being a cloud and mobile-first company.

Microsoft informed employees in July that 18,000 jobs would need to be cut. The company has already slashed 13,000 positions, most of which lay in its recently acquired Nokia devices and services business.

According to ZDnet, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed this is the latest round of major job cuts, with 747 of those jobs coming from the state of Washington, home of Microsoft’s headquarters.

Larry Ellison to step down as CEO of Oracle

Oracle founder Larry Ellison is stepping down from the role of CEO of the business software giant. Mark Hurd and Safra Catz will share the CEO role while Ellison will become executive chairman and CTO of Oracle.

Both Catz and Hurd are currently co-presidents of Oracle. As co-CEO, Hurd will focus on sales, marketing and strategy at Oracle while Catz will remain CFO and will run legal and manufacturing operations.

The changes in leadership are effective immediately.

Alibaba image via Shutterstock

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