Monday, July 11, 2016

Biz Break: Is Lyft looking to get picked up?

Picking Up A Lyft, Maybe: There’s no point in denying that when it comes to the mobile-app-based ride-hailing industry, Uber gets the majority of attention from consumers, and investors. It’s hard to argue with that: Uber is doing things like renovating a huge, former Sears store in downtown Oakland for 3,000 employees when it is scheduled to open in 2017, and taking billion-dollar bags of cash from the Saudis.

But Lyft…Well, it’s reportedly raised $2 billion, and General Motors has put $500 million into the company. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but is it enough to keep going at Uber alone?

The Wall Street Journal reported that Lyft has hired Qatalyst Partners as an advisor to reach out to other companies about possibly investing in Lyft, or maybe even buying the company outright. It’s no secret Lyft has taken in outside investment dollars (See: Motors, General above) because these ride-hailing companies need the dough to pay drivers and invest in improving their technologies and services such as developing self-driving cars.

But, it Qatalyst is involved, it could be a harbinger of Lyft looking to get acquired. Qatalyst is known for specializing in advising companies that are on the getting-sold end of acquisition deals, and the Journal noted that LinkedIn used the investment bank as a consultant prior to it agreed to be bought by Microsoft for $26.2 billion on June 13.

No one from Lyft is talking, on the record, anyway. But all that money that’s been invested in Lyft certainly will have something to say about whether the company continues to go it alone, or if a possible buyer hails it for a permanent ride.

Middle Innings:

That’s A Lotta Chowdah: Cisco Systems is reaching into the clouds, so to speak, as part of an effort to add to its portfolio of security products and services.

On Tuesday, Cisco said it would buy CloudLock, a Waltham, Mass.-based cloud-security company that specializes in…well…Let’s let Cisco sum it up:

“CloudLock specializes in cloud access security broker (CASB) technology that provides enterprises with visibility and analytics around user behavior and sensitive data in cloud services, including SaaS, IaaS and PaaS.”

It sounds important right? Well, it’s important enough that Cisco is paying $293 million for CloudLock. The company will join Cisco’s networking and security business group.

All Hep C, All The Time: Foster City-based Gilead Sciences got some good news from the Food and Drug Administration Tuesday. And it was good to the tune of $890 a pill.

That’s how much one pill of Epclusa will cost. What makes Epclusa so unique is that it is the first pill to treat all major forms of hepatitis C, a virus best known for destroying the liver of those afflicted with it. The FDA gave its approval to Gilead’s Epclusa, meaning that the drug could become a replacement for five other hep C drugs that the FDA has given the OK to.

The drug could be a blessing for the 2.7 million Americans that are estimated to have hepatitis C. Now, if they can just make sure their insurance will cover the almost-$75,000 price tag for a 12-week course of treatment…

Bottom Of The Lineup:

Here’s a look at how some leading Silicon Valley stocks did Tuesday…

Movin’ On Up: Rocket Fuel shares soared by almost 21 percent, to close at $2.55 after a CNBC report found that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is using the Redwood City-based company’s ad-targeting software.

Gains also came from SunPower, Advanced Micro Devices, Lending Club and Inphi.

In The Red: Glu Mobile shares gave up 3.2 percnet, and small declines came from Rovi, Trimble Navigation, Jive Software and Shutterfly.

The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index rose 2.1 percent to close at 4,691.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day with a gain of 1.6 percent at 17,409.

And the broad-based Standard & Poor’s 500 Index added 1.8 percent to finish at 2,036.

Quote Of The Day: “Sometimes you have to accept you can’t win all the time.” — Argentinian soccer star Lionel Messi, who on Sunday missed his penalty kick that could have helped Argentina beat Chile in the Copa America championship game. Chile won.

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