Last Week in NJ Tech: Company News Roundup


  • “Big data” analytics company Connotate (New Brunswick) has raised $7 million in Series B funding, led by Castile Ventures. Participants include new investor Prism VentureWorks and an existing investor, .406 Ventures. The company plans to use the money to accelerate its growth, establish a partner program and expand internationally.
  • Dataram (Princeton), a computer memory, storage and software product manufacturer, has announced a plan to repurchase a million shares of its stock on the open market. Marc Palker, CFO, said, “The Board of Directors recognizes the stock is undervalued and this buyback is one of several alternatives that executive management is continuing to pursue to increase shareholder value.”

The company has also sold 13 patents and two patent applications to Phan Tia Group Pte., for $5 million. Under the terms of the sale, Dataram retains a license to continue using the patents in current and future Dataram products, including XcelaSAN, with limited rights to transfer its license. The company said it would use the money to fund new growth initiatives.

  • Warren-based AdvantEdge Healthcare Solutions (AHS), a technology-enabled provider of revenue-cycle management services, informatics and expertise in healthcare, has acquired Ohio-based medical billing company Compudata. This represents AHS’s fifth acquisition since mid-2009, the company said. 
  • As discussed in Seeking Alpha, the Chicago Board Options Exchange is moving its primary option-trading platform from Chicago to N.J. in Q4 2012. Its new location: the Equinix NY4 IBX data center in Secaucus, seen as a major win for Equinix. The exchange said it needed to reduce latency for its members, and the move will allow for enhanced technology offerings.
  • Fujikura (Tokyo) has agreed to acquire Nistica, a privately held, Bridgewater-based company supplying wavelength selective switches to network equipment manufacturers. Fujikura has chosen not to release the terms of the deal, a spokesman said. The Japanese company had been a strategic investor in Nistica and plans to acquire the shares in Nistica it does not currently own. Nistica founders and key employees have signed agreements with Fujikura to ensure the continued development of their products.

Going forward, Nistica will operate as a subsidiary of Fujikura and stay in Bridgewater. Founded in 2005 by Jefferson Wagener and Thomas Strasser, Nistica has raised $31 million in equity investment from Battelle Ventures, Novitas Capital, Technology Venture Partners, MMV Financial, Mizuho Capital, Fujikura, NTT Electronics and Bill Cadogan and Kal Shastri.

  • CommVault (Oceanport) has opened a product-development center in Bangalore to accelerate its ongoing product-development efforts worldwide. The new facility “will complement CommVault’s primary development center at its corporate headquarters in New Jersey to best meet customers’ ever-evolving business demands and technology requirements,” according to a spokesman.
  • The startup ApplyRapid, part of the Rutgers-Camden Technology Campus (RCTC), has introduced a mobile platform to facilitate information exchange among businesses and with customers, funders, employees and vendors. Profiles are stored in a password-protected online vault, but businesses can also create their own Quick Response (QR) link to request information from consumers and other businesses holding password-protected files. RCTC, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) mixed-use business incubator, is piloting the program.Craig_Sher_of_StearClear
  • Another startup, Paramus-based StearClear, said it had closed a $500,000 round of funding. A small portion of that funding—20 percent—came from Accelerant Capital Partners (New York). The rest came from founders Craig Sher, Ken Schwartz and Harjinder Sidhu, formerly of ALaS Consulting (New York), which was sold in June 2011 to Mass.-based Virtusa. spoke with Sher, who said the company’s mobile app summons professional drivers to drive drunk drivers home when called.

Sher said similar services exist and do well throughout South Africa, where public transportation isn’t very good and there are strict drunk-driving rules, and he thinks the service will succeed in the U.S. The company is using an unusual way of raising funds: selling franchises. It has three franchisees so far and is beta-testing its app, franchises and services in Bergen County. The firm has developed software to handle all business processes for the franchisees on the back end, so they need only to concentrate on hiring the right driver teams.

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