2015 M&As: A Look at What's Coming

>> Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Mergers and acquisitions were among the stars of the global financial stage in 2014. By the end of September, there had been more closed M&A deals during the year than there had been over the last five years. Financial players handled billions of dollars in mergers and acquisitions transactions by the year's end.

The reason behind the boom is simple: natural outcome of business strategies. With the need to consolidate and cut costs to stay alive, many businesses turned to mergers and acquisitions in the wake of the recession. But even with the recovering economy, it looks as if the uptick in M&A deals may be here to stay for the upcoming financial year.

Media Trends

According to a CNBC report, the shift to digital advertising may spark record M&A activity in the media sector. With more people watching television and movies on the Internet, digital advertising is becoming more important. As a result, several media providers, such as movie and original programming network Starz, have reportedly been in talks with other businesses as the advertising model continues to evolve.

Telecom Sector

Telecom is another hot area for potential mergers and acquisitions. With competition becoming fierce in the telecom market, many companies are looking for surefire ways to retain and expand their customer bases. By being able to offer multiple services, such as Internet and television, telecom providers stand a better chance at keeping their markets. Since M&A deals are a common way for telecom companies to expand service offerings quickly and efficiently, expect a lot of consolidation activity in the telecom sector this coming year.

Oil and Commodities Watch

The price of crude oil has recently dropped even lower than the bottom point over the last five years. If the price of this commodity remains stagnant, the M&A deals may just start flying. Lack of growth is often a trigger for mergers and acquisition activity, and despite the long-standing value of crude oil, this sector is not immune to the effects of stagnation in the market. Smaller companies with less-than-stellar balance sheets are at risk of a takeover in this sort of climate, and even big players in the industry are not safe. London-based BP, for example, has already had to cut jobs because of the market price slump.

Mining companies have already seen some early M&A activity. Glencore, a Switzerland-based mining conglomerate, approached London-based Rio Tinto Group toward the end of 2014 about a merger, surprising the commodity sector watchers. Rio rejected the proposal, which would have created an industry giant worth around $150 billion dollars. Analysts believe, however, that the deal may happen in 2015 because Rio has been hobbled by a slump in iron ore prices and Glencore needs an acquisition to supplement its declining base of assets.


Ukrainian Startup Company Viewdle Will Define Facial Recognition Software

>> Monday, January 26, 2015

Facial recognition software is becoming a big deal in social networking and mobile apps. It helps sites like Facebook tag the right people in posts, it’s making virtual reality a plausible thing and is pushing the limits of what video games can do.

Cutting Edge Facial Recognition Software

One of the biggest upcoming names in facial recognition software, Viewdle has been making waves over the past few years. The Ukrainian startup company that specializes in facial recognition and augmented reality was purchased by Google in 2012 for around $30 to $45 million USD. Initially, Motorola made a bid to purchase Viewdle, but once Google bought Motorola out, it decided to make the bid instead.

Viewdle began in 2006 in the Ukraine. The company is now based out of Silicon Valley, with operations in Europe, South America and the Ukraine. In 2008, it won the LeWeb startup competition, and in the past, it received funding from other big names, such as Best Buy Capital, Blackberry and more technology-based firms. An anonymous donor also gave Viewdle between $250k and $500k to get it going.

SocialCamera, ThirdEye and More

The company has multiple apps out already for Android and iOS, like SocialCamera, ThirdEye and others. Viewdle has acquired multiple patents relating to facial recognition not only to play it safe but also to make its mark on the industry. In addition to its focus on facial recognition, Google and Motorola have interest in the company and its “pattern recognition” software, as well. This technology can identify details such as gestures, age, smiles and other human characteristics. For example, it could easily distinguish between an adult and a child.

After Google purchased Viewdle in 2012, the CEO of Viewdle, Laurent Gil, left the company with rumors pointing to him taking on an executive role at an unknown company. After Gil left, another long-time senior member of Viewdle took over, Jason Mitura.

Will Viewdle Succeed?

Some people are calling facial recognition software a potential breach of privacy, but Mitura explained that Viewdle’s algorithms are only carried out within the device, thus never being transported to a server for processing. He pointed out that computer-based processing such as Apple’s iCloud, or cloud-based ones like Facebook are the ones that people should have concerns over.

One can assume that Google is looking to utilize Viewdle’s facial and pattern recognition software for its Android lines, or even Google+. Viewdle put in roughly 15 years of research and three years of production to make this technology come to life, which is capable of near-instant visual analysis. At face value, Google could use Viewdle to do what Facebook has done—photo tagging—but it’s always possible that the tech giant has more planned for this innovative technology.

Since 2012, the volume of venture capital put into Ukrainian tech startups has decreased dramatically. Time will tell if luck gave Viewdle a chance or if its amazing technology is what made it shine and catch the eye of major companies. Not much has been mentioned of Viewdle in the past few years, but with a company as secretive as Google, it usually means that something big is in the works.


Prioritizing Plans for our Church Place

>> Thursday, January 22, 2015

As one of our plans this year is to maximize our finances for all our expenses we also applies it to our church when the idea of replacing the old drum set was discussed. The new set is so expensive so we suggested that we look for replacement drum parts instead of buying the whole set. There are things to prioritize and we plan to list our most needed projects and needs. 

We also have to save finances to look for a lot for lease for our church because we’re moving out in few months. We’re considering new ideas on buying a lot or having a lease instead of renting a space on expensive buildings. Hope we’ll be able to settle for something stable as it’s tasking to move places and location.


Ideas on Starting Up a Coffee Plantation Business

>> Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Start of the year and since online job is not at its peak these days I’m thinking of starting a small business to earn extra income. I have a full-time corporate job but I still have to earn more for few months before my husband graduates and gets a slot in the teaching profession, well at least for a quarter of a year or so.

I’m thinking of venturing into a food delivery or accessory business like I saw in joyjewelers.com but the prospect of starting a coffee plantation is beginning to excite me. As we already have a vast land to plant trees maybe we could use up some great ideas on reviving the old plantation but instead of coconut I’m more apt to coffee and cocoa planting. Well everything is good for now but I still have to study the business before I invest.


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This blog talks about everything about career, job and human resource. It also shares about hobbies, sports and travel. Several years in corporate world taught me a lot of things about life and work and I'm sharing all of these here.

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