Exclusive: Supply chain software firm E2open nears deal to go public – sources

(Reuters) – U.S. supply chain management software firm E2open LLC is nearing a deal to go public through a merger with blank-check acquisition company CC Neuberger Principal Holdings I at a valuation of more than $2.5 billion, including debt, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

An agreement could be announced as soon as Wednesday, the sources said, cautioning that talks could still falter. E2open is owned by private equity firm Insight Partners.

The sources requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. CC Neuberger declined to comment. E2open and Insight Partners did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

CC Neuberger I shares rose as much as 10.7% on the news but pared gains to close 3.2% higher at $10.53.

CC Neuberger I is a special purpose acquisition (SPAC), or shell, company that uses proceeds from an initial public offering to acquire a private company, which then becomes public as a result.

Merging with a SPAC has become a popular alternative to going public in a traditional initial public offering, as it involves less regulatory scrutiny and more certainty over the market valuation and funds raised.

So far this year, sports betting platform DraftKings Inc and electric commercial truck maker Nikola Corp have gone public by merging with a SPAC.

Insight Partners took E2open private in 2015 in a roughly $273 million deal. The Austin, Texas-based company sells software that allows companies to manage their supply chain.

E2open’s revenue is around five times what it was in 2015, one of the sources said. It stands to benefit as companies automate their supply chains further in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Led by veteran Wall Street dealmaker Chinh Chu’s investment firm, CC Neuberger I raised $414 million in an IPO in April with the aim of buying a company in the financial,

Serena Williams’ VC firm quietly removed Coinbase from its website

  • Serena Williams invested in Coinbase in 2018 through her venture capital firm, Serena Ventures. But the cryptocurrency startup is no longer included on the investments page of the firm’s website.
  • Coinbase is entangled in controversy after CEO Brian Armstrong wrote a memo telling employees to leave their politics and social causes at the door. At least 60 employees have quit in the aftermath.
  • It’s possible that Serena Ventures has divested her stake in Coinbase, and that’s why it pulled the startup from its website. The VC firm did not respond to a request for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Serena Williams is keen on investing in startups changing the world for the better.

That strategy explains her earlier investment in Coinbase, a company on a mission to “bring economic freedom to people all over” through an app that allows casual consumers to buy and sell Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

But a battle at Coinbase on the role of employee activism at work may have her tiptoeing away from the startup.

Serena Ventures, the investment firm started by Williams, has quietly removed Coinbase from the investments page on its website, even though it backed the cryptocurrency startup that’s now entangled in political controversy.

In September, Coinbase’s CEO Brian Armstrong publicly posted a memo describing how the company should take a hands-off approach to politics and social causes, and instead stay focused on the company mission. The directive was viewed by some as a “cultural reset” after employees pressured the startup to issue a statement on the Black Lives Matter movement in June, and the company’s stonewalling led some to quit and others to do a virtual walkout.

serena ventures old investments page

The Serena Ventures website included Coinbase on its investments page as recently as July 2020.

The Wayback Machine/Serena Ventures


serena ventures investments

A screenshot

Wireless network software firm Mavenir is ready to go public after hauling in $427 million last year

Wireless industry veteran Pardeep Kohli has been there before.

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In 2013, he took Mavenir Systems, a Richardson-based mobile network software company, to the public trading markets in an IPO after several successful venture capital fundraising rounds. Two years later, the company was bought up by a Canadian firm for $560 million and Kohli went on to his next venture.

in 2016, when Ottawa-based Mitel Networks Corp. unloaded the company to a New York private equity investor for $200 million less than the original purchase price, it was merged with Kohli’s startup and another firm and he came back to lead the combined operation.

Now called Mavenir, the rebranded tech firm is once again ready for the public markets after a year that saw it bring in $427 million in revenue. Mavenir filed documents this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a Nasdaq-listed IPO.

The company provides “carrier-grade” software and tech for wireless service providers, including those building out 5G networks. Its tech suite specifically allows wireless providers to leverage existing 3G and 4G networks to make cost-effective transitions to 5G.

Mavenir’s fiscal 2019 revenue grew nearly 9% from the previous year and is up 17% through the first half of this year, according to its regulatory filing. Despite its revenue growth, it recorded an $81 million loss last year.

Company executives declined to be interviewed about the proposed IPO. According to Mavenir’s filing, the number of shares to be offered and pricing has not yet been determined. It plans to trade under the ticker symbol MVNR.

Mavenir’s client base is made up of over 250 wireless service providers, including wireless carrier T-Mobile USA and e-commerce company Rakuten.

Increased use of wireless services during the COVID-19 pandemic and the advent of 5G network development has been

Security firm: WarezTheRemote flaw could turn a Comcast remote into a listening device

Could your cable TV device spy on you? Vulnerability found and patched in Comcast TV remote.

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Security researchers at Guardicore reverse-engineered the firmware update process for a popular Comcast remote to turn the device into a spying tool.

Image: Guardicore

Security firm Guardicore reverse-engineered the firmware update process for Comcast’s XR11 remote to take control of the device. Researchers interrupted the process to turn the voice-control element of the remote into a listening device.

Once the malicious firmware update was in place, researchers used a 16dBi antenna and were able to listen to conversations inside a house from about 65 feet away.

The WarezTheRemote attack could have affected the 18 million remotes in use around the US. After Guardicore disclosed the vulnerability to Comcast, the company developed a fix that was deployed to all units by the end of September. 

SEE: Social engineering: A cheat sheet for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

The XR11 has a microphone button to allow users to operate the set-top box with voice commands. The remote communicates with the set-top box over a radio frequency (RF) as opposed to an infra-red connection. As the researchers wrote in the research paper on the vulnerability, “RF enables contact with the remote from afar, which makes for a larger attack surface than a remote control would otherwise have, and the recording capability makes it a high-value target.”

Guardicore described the vulnerability in a new paper published Wednesday, “WarezTheRemote: Turning remotes into listening devices.” Guardicore used a man-in-the-middle attack to exploit remote’s RF communication with the set-top box and over-the-air firmware upgrades. By pushing a malicious firmware image back through the remote, attackers could have used the remote to continuously record audio without requiring any user interaction.

Guardicore researchers put the security threat in context:

“… with so many

Remote-access software firm LogMeIn cuts jobs

LAYOFFS



a blurry image of a person: LogMeIn


© Essdras M Suarez
LogMeIn

Remote-access software firm LogMeIn cuts jobs

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One of the industry leaders in software for remote work is going through another round of layoffs. Boston-based LogMeIn said it’s trimming “less than 100” of its global workforce of 4,000, with Boston workers accounting for “less than 20” of the job cuts. The company provided no details about which of its product lines are affected, but a spokeswoman said that the laid-off workers have been encouraged to apply for new jobs at LogMeIn, suggesting that the move is more of a reorganization than a downsizing. In February, the firm laid off about 300 employees, or 8 percent of its workforce. Chief executive Bill Wagner told the Globe in July that many of the company’s employees will keep working from home even after the pandemic lifts. A spokeswoman said that as a result, LogMeIn needs fewer workers to operate its offices, such as the technical staff who maintain the office computer networks. — HIAWATHA BRAY

DIVERSITY

Microsoft plan to add Black executives draws US Labor inquiry

Microsoft Corp. said the US Labor Department is questioning whether its commitment to promote more Black managers and executives violates civil rights laws. The software maker said it’s confident the diversity pledges are legal. The company, whose contracts with the US government mean it must comply with certain federal requirements on employment practices, said it was contacted last week by the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs. Microsoft said in June that it would double the number of Black managers, senior contributors, and senior leaders in the United States by 2025. The federal outreach to Microsoft is an example of the Trump administration’s opposition to many programs meant to fight discrimination against the Black community and improve the