Financial

VC funding in healthcare IT doubles to $2.2 billion in 2013: Mercom

Venture capital (VC) funding in the healthcare IT sector almost doubled in 2013, growing to $2.2 billion across 571 deals, from $1.2 billion across 163 deals in 2012, according to the latest research from Mercom Capital Group.

The sector also managed to raise $648 million in debt and public market financing, notes Mercom, bringing the total corporate funding raised by the sector to nearly $3 billion.

Welldoc raises $20 million in funding for BlueStar rollout

Mobile prescription therapy specialist Welldoc says it has raised $20 million in strategic financing that will help support the rollout of BlueStar, a product that allows diabetes patients to self-manage their treatment.

The funding comes from institutional investors Merck Global Health Innovation Fund and Windham Venture Partners and broadens the company’s capitalization beyond its initial group of angel investors.

Welldoc (Baltimore, MD) says that for a limited time it will also explore the possibility of adding co-investors that would contribute “strategic value”.

Price war in US mobile market raises fear of profit hemorrhage

Reuters

New Year's rivalry among U.S. mobile operators has Wall Street worried that the industry's profits could seriously decline.

After months of aggressive moves by T-Mobile US (Bellevue, WA, USA) to lure customers from other carriers, No. 2 operator AT&T Inc (Dallas, TX, USA) counter-attacked on January 3 by offering to pay consumers to switch from T-Mobile.

Days later, No. 3 ranked Sprint Corp (Overland Park, KS, USA) promised big discounts for family and friend groups. On Wednesday, T-Mobile upped the ante, saying it would pay hefty exit costs for converts.

Australia's Telstra to offload majority stake in struggling Sensis

Reuters

Australia's biggest phone company Telstra Corporation Ltd has agreed to sell 70 percent of its directories unit Sensis, offloading a struggling business challenged by digital transition for less than the market had anticipated.

The sale of Sensis, following Telstra's (Melbourne, Australia) sale of Hong Kong mobile phone business last month, would further boost the telco giant's cash war chest to invest in new growth businesses and expand its mobile network.

France's Montebourg presses Alcatel-Lucent to reduce job cuts

Reuters

France's industry minister pressed struggling telecoms company Alcatel-Lucent on Friday to cut fewer jobs as part of a restructuring aimed at stemming years of losses.

The Franco-American group ran into opposition from President Francois Hollande's Socialist government when it said in October it would lay off 10,000 workers worldwide, including 900 in France.

Operator M2M revenues to hit $44.8 billion in five years: Ovum

Operator revenues from M2M services are forecast to more than treble over the next five years, reaching $44.8 billion by the end of the period, according to a new study from Ovum.

Although M2M is seen as a bright spot in the rapidly maturing mobile industry, Ovum says operators will not be able to realize its full potential unless they form strategic partnerships.

It believes that revenues will increase at a marginally slower pace than connections, reflecting the growing competitiveness of the market and the extension of M2M into lower-value applications.

Toshiba completes $200 million Vijai Electricals acquisition

Japan’s Toshiba says it has completed its acquisition of power transmission and distribution assets previously owned by Indian manufacturer Vijai Electricals.

Toshiba (Tokyo, Japan) had first announced takeover plans regarding Vijai (Hyderabad, India) in September 2013, revealing that it would pay about $200 million for the Indian company’s energy businesses, which include power transformer, distribution transformers and switchgear assets.

PTC announces $112 million takeover of ThingWorx in M2M push

Technology player PTC has announced a $112 million takeover of M2M specialist ThingWorx as it looks to capitalize on growing demand for M2M services.

PTC (Needham, MA, USA) serves manufacturers across a variety of vertical markets and says the takeover of ThingWorx (Exton, PA, USA) – which has developed a platform for the creation and management of M2M applications – will allow it to support customer needs for “smart, connected products”.

Regulatory moves to boost India telecoms sector in 2014: report

Indian telecoms authorities are planning to introduce new rules on mergers and acquisitions in January, aimed at providing a further boost to the country’s telecoms industry.

According to a report from the country’s Business Standard newspaper, the legislation on mergers and acquisitions is to be followed by the publication of a new policy on machine-to-machine communications in the first quarter of the year.

Moves already made by Indian regulatory authorities have led to a considerable improvement in the operating environment in 2013 compared with 2012.

Fortress backs new LightSquared bankruptcy exit plan

Reuters

LightSquared is proposing a new bankruptcy exit plan with financing from Fortress Investment Group and other backers, as the U.S. wireless communications company seeks to avoid a sale to highest bidder Dish Network Corp.

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