MobilityTech – With its acquisition of Ridescout and getTaxi, Daimler has become the first major automotive player to make a move into ride-sharing (though many are already involved in car-sharing services). Despite Uber X’s visibility, getTaxi has been popular in Germany since its launch in 2009. Ridescout only recently wrapped up a seed round. Combined, the acquisitions were said to total less than $100m, so it’s more noteworthy in terms of evolution of the space when compared to some of the other valuations.
Home Automation – Savant, the leader in high-end home automation, received $90m from KKR. The deal is noteworthy for a few reasons. KKR is venturing into territory typically associated with venture firms. A lot of the interesting activity is in so-called DIY Home Automation, where the phone acts as a remote that controls a number of specialized devices, such as NEST, Dropcam, Kiwi.ki, Rach.io, Radiatorlabs, etc. There is no local server, as in the case for Savant, but control occurs via the cloud, where devices can increasingly be connected via APIs. The fight to be at the center of the home IOT universe will continue to get interesting as high-end controllers like Savant run into Apple Homekit, Samsung Smarthings, GE/Quirky Wink, and some love child of Google’s NEST and Dropcam acquisitions.