$120M for TripIt, $16M for Bump, A New CEO at PARC, & More Bay Area Biztech News

1/18/11Follow @wroush

The Bay Area business and technology news last week was dominated by a string of acquisitions and financing deals.

—TripIt, a four-year-old travel planning startup in San Francisco’s Mission District, was snapped up by Redmond, WA-based Concur in a deal that could yield as much as $120 million for TripIt’s shareholders. Azure Capital Partners, which led TripIt’s $7 million Series C round in March 2010, will make out particularly well. In an in-depth Q&A with TripIt co-founder and CEO Gregg Brockway, I learned how the startup built a business around helping business travelers organize and manage information about trips.

—Bump, the Mountain View, CA-based Y Combinator startup known for mobile apps that allow iPhone and Android users to transfer data between phones by physically bumping them together, raised $16 million in fresh financing in a round led by Andreessen Horowitz. Co-founders David Lieb and Jake Mintz talked to me about Bump’s expansion plans.

—A bevy of Silicon Valley investment firms, including Andreessen Horowitz, Greylock Partners, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, contributed to a massive $950 million financing round for Chicago-based Groupon.

—In other deals news, Square raised $27.5 million, Klout raised $8.5 million, Formspring raised $11.5 million, Baynote raised $13 million, Strava raised $3.5 million, and Confidela raised $9.25 million (and changed its name to WatchDox).

—Palo Alto Research Center, the famous Xerox-owned contract R&D laboratory, announced the appointment of a new CEO, Xerox insider Steve Hoover, to take the place of retiring CEO Mark Bernstein. I spoke with Hoover about his background and his plans for PARC.

—My colleague Erin talked to four former Boston startups about the factors that inspired them to relocate to the Bay Area. One telling comment: San Francisco and Silicon Valley are “focused on opportunity over risk.”

—In my weekly column, I pondered the future of long form journalism in an era when few people seem to read long articles on the Web, and found hope in a new “minimal blogging” tool being developed by RSS pioneer Dave Winer.

—The Active Network, a San Diego-based company that provides Web-based registration services for marathons and other sports events, launched a deal-of-the-day program in the Bay Area, with registration discounts for events such as the May 15 Bay to Breakers run, as Bruce reported.

—Seattle-based PayScale released a study of U.S. wages showing, among other things, that average earnings among Bay Area employees have dropped noticeably over the last several quarters, and were 1 percent lower at the end of 2010 than at the end of 2009.

—In a final bit of acquisitions news, Sunnyvale, CA-based NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) bought Akorri Networks of Littleton, MA.

Wade Roush is Chief Correspondent and Editor At Large at Xconomy. You can subscribe to his Google Group or e-mail him at wroush@xconomy.com. Follow @wroush

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