Digi International Acquires IoT Cold Chain Provider FreshTemp

Original post can be found here.
Acquisition Broadens Temperature Monitoring and Adds Digital Task Management Solutions for the Cold Chain and Food Industry

MINNETONKA, Minn., Nov. 2,  2016  –  Digi International®, (NASDAQ: DGII, www.digi.com), a leading global provider of machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services, today announced the purchase of FreshTemp, a provider of  temperature monitoring and task management solutions for the food industry. The acquired technology will continue to be supported, as well as leveraged within the Digi HoneycombTM solution, to create an advanced portfolio of products for the cold chain market. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2011 by CEO Jeff Rieger, FreshTemp has been a pioneering company in creating technology, services and domain expertise in complete food safety and operations management for commercial kitchens. With this acquisition, Digi Cold Chain Solutions will expand its temperature monitoring solutions to incorporate digital task management capabilities to replace traditional manual logbooks and simplify daily restaurant tasks. Organizations will be able to streamline manual operational checklists and provide insight to managers on how well their teams are adhering to restaurant guidelines. As part of the acquisition, Mr. Rieger and FreshTemp employees will become part of the Digi Cold Chain Solutions team.

“Our solution sets are extremely compatible and I’m excited to be able to leverage the market presence and scale that Digi offers our customers,” said Jeff Rieger, founder and chief executive officer of FreshTemp. “Together, we’ll be able to accelerate the adoption of our solutions and support the growing demand for technology that ensures businesses are serving safe and quality food.”

“We believe the cold chain market represents a large underserved market that can take greater advantage of wireless sensor networking and IoT capabilities,” said Ron Konezny, president and chief executive officer, Digi International. “We’re going to leverage all avenues – organic growth, partnerships, and acquisitions – to further establish Digi as the expert in providing easy to use and ROI generating cold chain solutions.

Since its introduction, Digi Honeycomb has been deployed in a number of leading quick service restaurants, and has established itself as a leading solution through partnerships such as those with TELUS, Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company.

Digi Honeycomb is an automated food temperature monitoring service that encompasses front-of-house and back-of-house environments to alert users if the proper temperature is not maintained. FreshTemp’s core product line as well as task management capabilities will be made available through Digi Cold Chain Solutions.  As a result, organizations in the food industry will be able to address major operational challenges. For more information visit: http://www.digi.com/cold-chain-solutions.

About Digi International 
Digi International (NASDAQ: DGII) is a leading global provider of business and mission-critical machine-to-machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity products and services. We help our customers create next-generation connected products and deploy and manage critical communications infrastructures in demanding environments with high levels of security, relentless reliability and bulletproof performance. Founded in 1985, we’ve helped our customers connect over 100 million things, and growing.

Digi International Acquires IoT Cold Chain Provider FreshTemp

Beyonce Invests in Sidestep

This post originally appeared on TechCrunch and can be found here

Joining celebrity investors like Snoop Dogg, Ashton Kutcher, and Justin Bieber, Queen Bey is bringing her supreme business skills to the tech world. Beyoncé and the management company she started called Parkwood Entertainment have invested $150,000 into Sidestep, an app for buying concert merchandise and skipping the line to pick it up at the show.

Sidestep originally started selling t-shirts and posters for Beyoncé on her Formation World Tour. But after two weeks of seeing its success, Beyoncé and Parkwood invested in Sidestep’s seed round of funding.

Sidestep CEO Eric Jones tells me they “wanted Beyoncé’s tour to be very focused on tech”, and liked the idea of “a tiny scrappy startup doing the biggest tour in the world.”

beyonce_store

Beyoncé previously invested in WTRMLN WTR, a watermelon beverage company. She’s believed to have ties to juicing machine maker Juicero, though that company refuses to talk about their relationship. [Update: Beyonce helped start vegan food company 22 Day Nutritionas well.] She’s also a stakeholder in streaming service Tidal thanks to her agreement to give it early access to her music. With her investment in Sidestep, though, she could directly help artists earn more money.

Musicians hoping to get rich off skimpy streaming royalties are kidding themselves. The real money is in using streaming to get famous and then selling concert tickets and merchandise.

But due to long lines and, you know, wanting to actually see the show, many people avoid buying t-shirts and other merch at concerts. That’s where Sidestep steps in.

The startup lets you order tour merchandise before, during, or even after the show from its smartphone app. You can then Sidestep the merch booth line, flash a QR code at the dedicated pickup spot, and grab your items in seconds. Or you can have them delivered to your home. This way you can be sure to get whatever stuff you want in the right size with no fear of wasting time or it selling out.

Along with Beyoncé gear, you can buy merch from artists like Guns N’ Roses, Fall Out Boy, Selena Gomez, and Weezer via Sidestep. The startup gives artists a ton of data about who’s buying, and keeps a 10% service fee charged to the customer.

logo

Sidestep has raised a total of $1.7 million from Beyoncé and other investors including actor Jared Leto, former Lady Gaga manager Troy Carter and Cross Culture Ventures, and the previous CEO of the LA Dodgers. The app has done over $2 million in sales, up 10X from last year. The company competed in TechCrunch’s 1st And Future sports startup hackathonearlier this year. 

Sidestep will have to compete with other merchandise startups like Merchbar, an Amazon-like webstore, and Yoshirt, which lets fans design custom items with a band’s logos and photos. and some people might rather stand in line than pay 10% extra. But with streaming royalties still unable to make up for the drop in album sales, artists will do whatever they can to sell more shirts, and these startups could flourish.

Meanwhile, top performers like Beyoncé who invest will start stackin’ money in Silicon Valley, not just Hollywood.

Beyonce Invests in Sidestep

Welcoming Nisa Amoils

"The Mayor"

I am very pleased to formally announce that we’ve added Nisa Amoils to the Scout family as our newest Venture Partner. Nisa is an experienced attorney, media executive, and noted tech investor in the New York community. She has spent many years at companies pursuing entrepreneurial projects, including Time Warner and NBC Universal. She is also a regular judge/panelist on CNBC, MSNBC and Fox and a mentor at XRC Labs, Grand Central Tech and The Vinetta Project. Nisa’s background demonstrates the entrepreneurial and investing ethos that we admire and strive for at Scout.

Over the past six months, we’ve been working very closely with Nisa around expanding our efforts in frontier tech. She has proven to be incredibly insightful and her deep domain expertise in digital media, marketplaces and frontier tech make her the perfect addition to the team. Nisa will be leading our efforts investing in drones, AI, and…

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Welcoming Nisa Amoils

Olapic Acquired

"The Mayor"

Today, a company where I was the first investor was acquired.

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20160721005362/en/Monotype-Announces-Intent-Acquire-Olapic

What makes this so special is that these are just some of the most amazing guys I’ve had the opportunity to work with – ever.

And Olapic, like many start-ups, had several pivots before they found their product – market fit.   And it was the personalities and determination of these intelligent and happy founders that attracted an amazing group of advisors, mentors and investors.

I couldn’t  be more proud.  This is why I do what I do.

Congrats to Pau, Jose and Luis – you deserve everything!

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Olapic Acquired

How to actually make America great again

"The Mayor"

I original drafted this post prior to the incidents in St. Louis, Louisiana and Dallas that rocked our nation last week…

As I reflect on this 4th of July celebration, I am overwhelmed with the realization that as a “people,” we have lost touch with the ingredients that actually made this an amazing country.  The country I have loved from my earliest days.  The country I swore an oath to defend against all enemies foreign and domestic.  The country that is supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, America, where anything is possible.

Well, I think its fair to say that we’ve totally screwed that up and if we don’t fix it now, we are likely to experience continued civil unrest, increased violence and turmoil until we implode.

At the root of our current troubles is the fact that most of Americans forget that we were all once immigrants (except Native American…

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How to actually make America great again

Good day

"The Mayor"

The other day was a rough day.

One of our companies failed to find a buyer and let all their employees go.

Over dinner my dear friend Joey Hundert provided support and counsel while reminding me that as entrepreneurs our lives are full of peaks and dips.

He assured me it’s okay to be genuine in the emotions we feel when companies fail. And I was sad and disappointed.

Then yesterday I was reminded of the emotions when companies succeed.

And that is being proud of our entrepreneurs

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Good day