Sweden’s Anoto Buys Digital Pen Maker Livescribe For $15M

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The writing is on the wall for extra consolidation on the planet of startups… each actually and figuratively. Right now Anoto, a digital writing firm based mostly out of Sweden, introduced that it might purchase longtime companion Livescribe, one other a smart pen maker, for $ 15 million in a deal that’s anticipated to shut this month.

Particularly, Anoto says that is an all-money deal and is predicated upon an enterprise worth of $ 15 million “equal to estimated annual gross sales for 2015.”

This can be a discount of types, however a poor return for buyers: Oakland-based mostly Livescribe, based in 2007, had raised a minimum of $ 68 million from backers like Qualcomm, Crosslink Capital and Scale Enterprise Companions.

To finance the acquisition, Anoto says that it has signed a placement settlement with Sweden’s Carnegie Funding Financial institution AB to concern 158 million shares in Anoto, for a dilution of a most of 15%. Anoto has additionally taken a brief-time period mortgage of $ 2.9 million (25 million Swedish crowns).

Livescribe was one of many early leaders in smart pen know-how — and by default one of many early movers in the entire space of Web of Issues and turning “dumb” objects into related items of hardware.

However it additionally confronted some vital hindrances. Amongst them, it misplaced a trademark case in 2013 towards UK pay-TV firm BSkyB over using “Sky” for certainly one of its WiFi-related pen fashions. In flip, the Sky wifi smartpen was renamed the extra pedestrian “wifi smartpen.”

Livescribe is promoting its enterprise operations, know-how, and mental property. “The Livescribe model and present infrastructure might be retained, with a objective of strengthening the place of each corporations by means of the event and sale of new merchandise,” the businesses say in a separate joint assertion.

By buying Livescribe, Anoto is widening the sorts of merchandise it’s creating and promoting.

“Buying Livescribe is one other necessary step in consolidating the Anoto ecosystem and realizing synergies in hardware and software improvement, provide chain and operations, and gross sales distribution,” stated Stein Revelsby, CEO of Anoto, stated in a press release. “We’re already working on a new vary of merchandise to be launched in Livescribe’s gross sales channels in 2016.”

The Swedish firm has up to now labored to offer digital options for any type of writing, from notes by means of to interactive shows and enormous partitions. Livescribe is extra about creating handheld styluses for smaller surfaces. That narrowed focus might have been a lift for creating high quality, however it maybe was additionally considered one of its issues as an organization, contemplating the massive quantity competitors on this area, from different startups like Paper to giant tech corporations like Apple designing its personal “native” digital ‘pencil’.

“By becoming a member of forces with Anoto, we see big potential for smartpen know-how to broaden past the buyer market and past writing and drawing on paper,” stated Gilles Bouchard, CEO of Livescribe in the identical assertion. “We’ve had a profitable licensing partnership with Anoto since Livescribe was based and I’m assured that turning into a part of Anoto Group will strengthen Livescribe’s place within the shopper market and permit us to pursue many thrilling new alternatives within the years to return.”

It seems like that is Anoto’s first acquisition.

Source : TechCrunch