Financial

TomTom Business Solutions becomes TomTom Telematics

Navigation technology player TomTom has changed the name of its Business Solutions unit to TomTom Telematics.

The name change has been made to reflect the strong position the company enjoys in the telematics market thanks to its WEBFLEET product, a software-as-a-service platform designed to help fleet businesses improve vehicle performance, save fuel, support drivers and increase efficiency.

In a statement, TomTom (Amsterdam, Netherlands) said WEBFLEET would henceforth be positioned as its leading product brand for the fleet-management market.

Denmark's Kamstrup flags growth in sales, market share

Danish smart-metering specialist Kamstrup claims to have grown its share of the global market in 2013 while reporting an increase in sales.

The company did not reveal details of its market share but said its revenues grew by 3% last year, to €173 million ($238 million), with earnings after tax coming in at €20 million.

Kamstrup (Skanderborg, Denmark) described market conditions as “competitive and stagnant” but said its financial position remained “advantageous”.

That was despite an increase in R&D investments between 2012 and 2013.

Facebook to buy virtual reality goggles maker for $2 billion

Reuters

Facebook Inc will acquire two-year-old Oculus VR Inc, a maker of virtual-reality glasses for gaming, for $2 billion, buying its way into the fast-growing wearable devices arena with its first-ever hardware deal.

The acquisition, which comes hot on the heels of its $19 billion deal for messaging service WhatsApp, marks a big bet by Facebook (Menlo Park, CA, USA) to anticipate the next shift in an evolving technology industry, at a time when consumers are increasingly abandoning their PCs for smartphones.

Welltok acquires mobile health player Mindbloom

Welltok has acquired mobile health app developer Mindbloom in a move aimed at expanding its capabilities in the fast-developing telehealth sector.

The terms of the transaction were not disclosed by Welltok (Denver, CO, USA), which describes itself as a “pioneer in health optimization”.

The company did, however, indicate that it plans bolster its own CafeWell Health Optimization Platform through the Mindbloom (Seattle, WA, USA) takeover, providing customers with access to a range of health programs, content and applications.

IMS Health could raise $1.36 billion in IPO: Reuters

Healthcare IT player IMS Health is expecting to price its initial public offering at between $18 and $21 a share, which would value the company at $6.97 billion, according to a report from Reuters.

The company, backed by TPG Capital Management (Fort Worth, TX, USA), is hoping to raise as much as $1.36 billion from the sale of 65 million shares.

According to Reuters, IMS (Parsippany-Troy Hills, NJ, USA), will sell some 52 million shares during the offering, with the remainder being put up for sale by shareholders.

Switzerland's u-blox flags earnings growth on IoT demand

M2M hardware player u-blox has reported strong growth in revenue and profits last year on the back of rising demand for Internet of Things technologies.

The Swiss company said that net profit rose by 44.3%, to CHF24.6 million ($27.94 million), between 2012 and 2013, while revenues grew by 27%, to CHF219.8 million, over the same period.

u-blox (Thalwil, Switzerland) flagged major improvements in the Asia-Pacific and EMEA regions, but noted a loss of business in the Americas, where “several large US customers chose to outsource manufacturing to Asia”.

Altice has no plans to raise SFR bid: Bloomberg

Altice has reportedly said it has no plans to increase its offer for Vivendi’s SFR after bidding rival Bouygues raised its own offer last week, according to Bloomberg.

Altice (Paris, France) has the flexibility to revise its bid between now and April 4 – when exclusive talks with Vivendi (Paris, France) are set to end – but believes it has the support of Vivendi, which is likely to face fewer antitrust and other regulatory hurdles in a sale to Altice than one involving Bouygues (Paris, France).

Sprint cuts jobs, closes stores as part of broader plan

Reuters

Sprint Corp cut 330 jobs and closed 55 stores around the country this week, as part of an ongoing plan to shrink its workforce in 2014, Cnet.com reported.

The third largest U.S. mobile operator would not specify the number of jobs lost, but said it will retain 85 percent of employees affected by the closings.

The operator also closed call centers in New York, Kansas, California and is shrinking centers in Florida and Texas.

Sprint, Techstars back mobile health startups

US operator Sprint has teamed up with Techstars to provide support to ten mobile-health-related startups from Australia and the US.

The companies will operate from Kansas City over a three-month period as part of an intensive mentor-drive program backed by Techstars (Boulder, CO, USA), which provides seed funding to startups.

They will have access to technology experts from Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA), as well as regional healthcare leaders and entrepreneurs from around the country.

Each one will also receive up to $120,000 in funding.

Validic secures investment funding of $1.25 million

Mobile health platform provider Validic has secured additional investment funding totaling $1.25 million and announced several new management appointments.

The funding comes in the form of a convertible note from SJF Ventures (Durham, NC, USA) and individual angels and takes the total funding Validic (Durham, NC, USA) has received to $2.1 million.

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