Onit acquires legal startup McCarthyFinch to inject AI into legal workflows

Onit, a workflow software company based in Houston with a legal component, announced this week that it has acquired 2018 TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield alum McCarthyFinch.  Onit intends to use the startup’s AI skills to beef up its legal workflow software offerings.
The companies did not share the purchase price.
After evaluating a number of companies in the space, Onit focused on McCarthyFinch, which gives it an artificial intelligence component the company’s legal workflow software had been lacking. “We evaluated about a dozen companies in the AI space and dug in deep on six of them. McCarthyFinch stood out from the pack. They had the strongest technology and the strongest team,” Eric M. Elfman, CEO and co-founder of Onit told TechCrunch.
The company intends to inject that AI into its existing Aptitude workflow platform.”Part of what really got me excited about McCarthyFinch was the very first conversation I had with their CEO, Nick Whitehouse.


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Trump calls TikTok a hot brand, demands a chunk of its sale price

Today the president appeared to bless the budding Microsoft-TikTok deal, continuing his evolution on a possible transaction. After stating last Friday that he’d rather see TikTok banned than sold to a U.S.-based company, Trump changed his tune over the weekend. TikTok is owned by China-based company ByteDance, which owns a portfolio of apps and services.
A weekend phone call between Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, and the American premier appeared to change his mind, leading to the software company sharing publicly on Sunday that it was pursuing a deal.
Then today the president, endorsing a deal between an American company and ByteDance over TikTok, also said that he expects a chunk of the sale price to wind up in the accounts of the American government.
The American president has long struggled with basic economic concepts. For example, who pays tariffs. But to see Trump state that he expects to receive a chunk


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DocuSign acquires Seal Software for $188M to enhance its AI chops

Contract management service DocuSign today announced that it is acquiring Seal Software for $188 million in cash. The acquisition is expected to close later this year. DocuSign, it’s worth noting, previously invested $15 million in Seal Software in 2019.
Seal Software was founded in 2010, and, while it may not be a mainstream brand, its customers include the likes of PayPal, Dell, Nokia and DocuSign itself. These companies use Seal for its contract management tools, but also for its analytics, discovery and data extraction services. And it’s these AI smarts the company developed over time to help businesses analyze their contracts that made DocuSign acquire the company. This can help them significantly reduce their time for legal reviews, for example.
“Seal was built to make finding, analyzing, and extracting data from contracts simpler and faster,” DocuSign CEO John O’Melia said in today’s announcement. “We have a natural synergy with DocuSign, and our


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F5 acquires NGINX for $670M to move into open-source, multi-cloud services

Multi-cloud architecture is a huge trend in enterprise, and today F5 made a big move to bring its own business closer to it. The company, which provides cloud and security application services, announced that it has acquired NGINX, the commercial company behind the popular open-source web server, for $670 million.
We’d actually been hearing murmurs of this acquisition for a while, with a price tag of around $700 million. On top of that, our sources say NGINX was shopping itself around, and other companies that had been looking at it included Citrix. That deal fell apart on price.
NGINX had last raised money nine months ago, a $43 million round led by Goldman Sachs to fuel expansion, and had positioned itself as a strong alternative to F5 in recent years. (It had not disclosed its valuation in that round.) F5 itself, by coincidence, was said to have retained Goldman Sachs in 2016 to


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Atlassian sells Jitsi, an open-source videoconferencing tool it acquired in 2015, to 8×8

After announcing earlier this year that it planned to shut down HipChat and Stride and sell the IP of both to Slack, today enterprise software company Atlassian made another move related to its retreat from enterprise chat. It is selling Jitsi, a popular open-source chat and videoconferencing tool, to 8X8, a provider of cloud-based business phone and internal communications services. 8X8 says it plans to integrate Jitsi with its current conferencing solutions, specifically a product called 8X8 Meetings, and to keep it open source.
Terms of this latest sale to 8×8 have not been disclosed. Both the tech and the engineering team working on Jitsi, led by Emil Ivov, are coming with the acquisition.
Atlassian originally acquired Jitsi and its owner BlueJimp for an undisclosed sum in 2015 with the intention of adding video communications to HipChat, and later Stride (which launched in 2017).
But now those two products are headed for the graveyard


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Square is acquiring website builder Weebly for $365M

Square just announced that it’s reached an agreement to acquire Weebly for $365 million in cash and stock.
While Square is best known for its payment software and hardware, it’s also been expanding into other areas; for example, with the acquisition of food delivery service Caviar and corporate catering startup Zesty.
Weebly, meanwhile, offers easy-to-use website-building tools. While those tools can be used by individuals (my personal website is built on Weebly), the company has increasingly focused on serving small businesses and e-commerce companies.
Meanwhile, competitor Squarespace raised $200 million at a $1.7 billion valuation at the end of last year.
Square says that by acquiring Weebly, it can create “one cohesive solution” for entrepreneurs looking to build an online and offline business. And because 40 percent of Weebly’s 625,000 paid subscribers are outside the U.S., the deal will help Square expand globally.
“Square and Weebly share a passion for empowering and celebrating entrepreneurs,” said


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Voicera scoops up AI note-taking app Wrappup

Voicera wants to be the company that eliminates the need for human note taking once and for all. Their vision is an AI-driven voice recognition system that not only takes notes, but identifies speakers and summarizes key points and action items. Today, the company announced it had acquired a similar startup, Wrappup, an AI-fueled note taking app that fits in nicely with that vision.
The Wrappup team is joining Voicera immediately. Terms were not disclosed.
Voicera CEO Omar Tawakol certainly saw the fit. “Both companies approached the problem with meetings in synergistic ways. Wrappup’s mobile-first, in-person meeting product complements and extends Voicera’s initial focus on conference calls,” he said in a statement.
Wrappup’s special strength it turns out it is identifying the salient points in a meeting in a mobile context. To that end, the company also announced the launch of a new mobile app. Chances are this combining of these two companies


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KKR confirms it will buy WebMD for $2.8B in cash

 Some consolidation is afoot in the world on health-focused online media properties. Today, WebMD, one of the biggest sites in the world for health-related information — announced that it would be acquired by Internet Brands — the company that is controlled by KKR and owns a large portfolio of B2B and B2C websites in verticals like automotive, health, home, travel and legal —… Read More


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