A wide-reported Black Friday/Cyber Monday alleged scam has seen 20+ low-end VPS providers announce they were pulling the plug on servers, giving customers less than two days to save their data before being permanently wiped out. Many believe this to have been a multi-brand business exit-scam or affiliate scheme, wherein providers suddenly retracted service after collecting profits made from cheap user fees offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Victims of the mass deadpooling scam who inquired about refunds have been left unanswered. To avoid such situations, users are advised to run background checks on service providers before purchasing a subscription.
Google Cloud launched a new system for enterprise customers to easily transfer their data to the cloud this past week. Called Transfer Service, the new feature allows companies move up to a petabyte of data stored in on-premise systems to Google Cloud by installing a server agent and managing transfers through Google Console. According to TechCrunch, Transfer Service compliments similar resources provided by Google such as automated data transfers from SaaS apps to Google BigQuery services.
Centana Growth Partners announced its latest fund raise of $375 million, a number 50% larger than its inaugural fund in 2015. The New York and Palo Alto-based private equity firm is known for investing in fast-growing banking, insurance and payments tech startups, typically granting $5-30MM each. According to CNBC, in the wake of market disruptions caused by WeWork’s failed IPO, Centana Co-founder Ben Cukier states the firm is “very focused on making sure that the economics of the underlying business works” when investing in rapidly growing private startups.
AutoML company DataRobot, is set to acquire data-prep platform startup Paxata for an undisclosed purchase price. Previously, DataRobot outsourced its data prep to vendors like Paxata but decided to acquire the company in order to fill the gap in its machine learning platform after raising $206 million in September. When the deal closes, Paxata’s 100 employees will be taken on by DataRobot but the startup will continue to exit as a standalone product.
Microsoft has finally announced a shutdown date for to-do list app Wunderlsit, for May 6, 2020. Microsoft acquired the tool in 2015 and will replace the platform with Microsoft’s own app called To Do, as the company feels it finally offers a competitive experience and provides Wunderlist’s most sought after features. According to TechCrunch, Wunderlist’s to-dos will no longer sync, but user content can be imported to the Microsoft To Do app. The new feature integrates with tools like Outlook, Cortana and Planner, and offers a personalized daily planner with smart lists to help users manage daily tasks. In preparation for the app’s closure, Microsoft is not accepting new sign-ups for Wunderlist.
New in FE exclusive listings, this week we have an Affiliate and Advertising business in the Vlogging and Video Creation Resource niche listed at $122,500 dollars. Launched in 2016, this established business ranks for c.65,500 keywords and offers a full content library of c.175 published articles providing detailed reviews and commentary on vlogging tools, videography equipment, and content creation for YouTube. Steady organic search traffic has attracted more c.980,000 visitors in the LTM, making this listing a lucrative opportunity for a new owner looking to acquire a strong business in a growing niche. If you are interested in this business please follow the link above to request a prospectus.
In events news, on December 19th, we are proud to be sponsoring the IndieBeers Holiday Party in London. The first 40 attendees to arrive will enjoy a free drink complements of FE International. Visit the IndieBeers Meetup page to RSVP, we hope to see you there! Coming up on January 15th, FE International will be hosting a panel event in London titled, “How To: Raise Capital for your Technology business”. Visit our SaaS, E-Commerce & Content Online Business Meetup page to save your seat before space runs out.
Continue reading below for more on Centana, Google, Microsoft and more!
- Three years of operational history leading to a firm positioning in the Vlog and Video Creators niche
- Vast content library, with c.175 informative articles
- Strong organic search presence with keyword rankings for c.65,500 keywords and a robust backlink profile
- Impressive volume of traffic with more than 980,000 visitors over the LTM
- Lean and scalable cost structure driving high net margins
Yearly net profit: $40,000
Asking price: $122,500
- Growing presence in the lucrative beauty and skincare niche
- Steady traffic with over c.226,000 visitors over the LTM
- Detailed content helping secure keyword rankings for c.12,700 keywords
- Lean operating model with high net margins and low owner involvement
Yearly net profit: $12,600
Asking price: $34,000
In the News…
20+ VPS Providers Scam Users
Customers of more than 20 virtual private server providers received emails on Saturday stating they had two days to save their data as service would be shut down on Monday. All websites for the 20+ providers display similar page lay-out and have nearly identical blocks of text indicating this was an affiliate scheme possibly deployed by a multi-brand business controlled by the same entity. Providers responsible for the exit scam did not have proper documentation of business registration information or physical addresses and reside on the low-end of the VPS market, which are typical indicators of a fraudulent system.
Google Launches Transfer Service
Google Cloud officially rolled out Transfer Service, a tool allowing enterprise-level businesses to move incredibly large amounts of data from their own servers to the cloud. The service validates the integrity of data as it moves to the cloud, eliminating most of the hard work. According to TechCrunch, Transfer Service also addresses failures and uses maximum available bandwidth to increase transfer speeds. Users can access the feature by installing an agent on their on-premise servers, selecting the desired directories to copy, transfers can then be managed through the Google Cloud console.
Centana Raises $375M Fund for Fintech Startups
Centana Growth Partners announced commitments for a $375 million fund to be funneled in to fast-growing fintech startups. The private equity firm was founded four years ago by PE veterans Ben Cukier and Eric Byunn. Up until September, fintech startups earned an impressive $24.6 billion in funding with several rounds exceeding $100 million contributing greatly to the total. In an interview with CNBC, Cukier explained how the firm takes a discipline approach when investing in exciting markets as they target startups that “aren’t dependent on irrational exuberance and that have real value propositions to customers out there.”
DataRobot Acquires Paxata
DataRobot has announced their intent to acquire data preparation platform startup, Paxata. DataRobot creates automated machine learning models and has historically focused on developing the data science and ML aspects of the business. After raising $206 million in funding in September, the company decided to acquire Paxata to bring key data-prep capabilities in-house to fill the gap in its platform. According to PitchBook data, DataRobot has raised over $431 million in funding since its launch.
Microsoft Sets Wunderlist Shutdown Date
Microsoft is finally shutting down Wunderlist after it acquired the to-do list app back in 2015. The app is no longer accepting new sign ups and will not be updated after the shutdown date of May 6, 2020. It was hinted that the app would close when Microsoft made a major update to its own task tracking app, To Do, in September. Wunderlist founder Christian Reber took to Twitter to express remorse over the closure and stated he would buy back the platform to preserve the app if possible, as companies still “love and use it.”