Tech business week: Vox Media acquires Re/code and Sugru seeks investment

1 Jun 2015

Re/code's Kara Swisher

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, including, Vox Media acquires Re/code and Sugru looks for investment.

Vox Media acquires tech news site Re/code in an all-stock deal

Re/code, the technology news website established by veteran tech journalists Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg only 18 months ago, has been acquired by Vox Media, publisher of The Verge, in an all-stock transaction.

Swisher, who is a guest chair at our Inspirefest event in June, established Re/code with Mossberg after they both left the Wall Street Journal after building up the successful All Things Digital news and events brand.

“This is the next big step in our mission to bring you quality tech journalism, because our work will now be amplified and enhanced by Vox Media’s deep and broad skill set,” Swisher and Mossberg said in a statement to readers of the site last night.

While the details of the transaction involving Vox Media’s acquisition of Re/code’s parent company Revere Media were not disclosed, the move will give Re/code access to a wider audience.

Sugru looking for fresh investment in £1m crowdfunding call

Describing itself as the ‘21st century duct tape’, Sugru, the mouldable glue product developed by Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh, is looking across the Irish Sea for a round of equity crowdfunding worth £1m to support rapid expansion.

To help her and the company expand, Ní Dhulchaointigh has turned to Crowdcube, a crowdfunding campaign that focuses on selling stock in a company rather than just direct funding, allowing people who are behind an idea to be a part of its development.

Sugru has been showered with praise since it first began to be picked up by the world’s major media outlets in 2009, and since then won the rather impressive accolade of being considered one of the best inventions of 2010 by Time.

The UCD economy: university makes a €1.3bn economic impact every year

Total economic output generated by UCD and its students in Ireland amounts to €1.3bn annually and supports 8,914 jobs, according to a new report.

The new report, launched by Ireland’s Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD and entitled Delivering Impact: The Economic, Cultural and Social Impact of University College Dublin, confirms UCD as Ireland’s largest university.

The report was compiled by Viewforth consulting.

Radio and streaming digital ads platform goes live in Ireland

A new digital radio advertising platform for the Irish marketplace, which places audio ads across streaming platforms and local radio brands in one click, has gone live.

Vodafone is the first advertiser within the Irish marketplace to embrace this new technology, with the launch of its new Vodafone super-fast 4G campaign, which includes audio ads (pre-roll and in-stream) with synchronised display across a selection of radio publishers.

The platform will complement the current radio offering in Ireland, said Kevin Foley, sales director at Adforce.

“Unlike traditional radio, what makes this significant is that brands can now target listeners by geographic location, time of day, user demographics, listening device, and context, while providing a much deeper layer of accountability and real-time reporting,” he said.

Chinese company says ‘make it so’ for Star Trek Enterprise office

A Chinese company has gone where no one has gone before and built its offices in the shape of one of science fiction’s most iconic crafts, the USS Enterprise.

The company in question is NetDragon Websoft, which is based in Changle in China’s south-east Fujian province, and the building is peaking interest now despite being completed back in May of last year.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the building measures 260m long and 100m wide and was given the go-ahead by the company’s founder Liu Dejian, who is something of a massive Star Trek fan, with the company pumping 600m yuan (€88m) into the project.

The company was originally not planning to go with the futuristic spaceship design for the building but, after seeing posters for the show’s ship, they decided to ‘make it so’, with the addition of seven pillars at the building’s base to make it look like it had returned to a space port for repairs.

Apple promotes Jony Ive to chief design officer role

Jony Ive, the talented British designer who has influenced the design of Apple’s most iconic devices and lately its operating systems, has been promoted to the role of chief design officer at the California tech giant.

Ive previously held the role of senior vice president of design. In the management shuffle Ive will relinquish management of both the industrial and software design units at Apple to two new leaders from 1 July.

Richard Howarth, who has been on the iPhone team from the very start, is to be made vice president of industrial design, with a focus on hardware.

Alan Dye, a key player in iOS 7’s major redesign, will now be vice president of user interface design for both desktop and mobile devices.

Brigid O Gorman is a former sub-editor of Silicon Republic.