IBM sells Watson Health unit to private equity firm Francisco Partners – Techdoxx

Deepak Gupta
Deepak Gupta January 21, 2022
Updated 2022/01/21 at 11:41 PM

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Hello and welcome to the Daily Crunch for January 21, 2022! I usually try to bring some cheer to my little introductions in this missive. But today I’m going to avoid astroturfing my own mood to simply say, hey, what’s up with the stock market? After a period of time when things only increased, did we flip the coin? I won’t say I love it, but hey, at least it’s the weekend. – Alex

Ploonge top 3

  • Is Microsoft buying a syndicate? Raven Software’s Quality Assurance department is forming a union at Activision Blizzard. Ploonge called the move “the first union to form at a major US gaming company.” Given that Microsoft is set to buy Raven Software’s parent company, the union situation has an even more interesting flavor than most of the tech union news we’ve seen lately.
  • VCs wanted to create Facebook’s Slack competitor: Facebook’s internal work tool-turned-product will not go beyond the confines of the Meta corporation. Ploonge found that VCs wanted the social giant to take it to a valuation north of $1 billion, but Team Zuck didn’t bite.
  • Netflix’s bad results prove that the pandemic trade is over: After reporting numbers that left Wall Street less than enthusiastic, Netflix’s stock price plummeted today. The result and the resulting reaction from investors underscore our general belief that pandemic trading is behind us. Recall that in late December, Ploonge asked if the era of super-rich technology reviews was behind us. The answer? Yes it seems.


  • If you’re working on corporate spending, cash your check: As Ramp, Brex and Airbase struggle in the United States, Moss’ work to build a corporate spending giant in Europe is drawing allies. The rich, it seems, as the company has just landed $86 million. The company is now worth nearly $600 million thanks to its latest stock sale.
  • Please print me one (1) mocktail: One of the funniest parts of a series of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy novels is the silly spaceship that can’t make tea. Can, to paraphrase, do something that is akin for tea, but not quite. This is a long-winded way of saying that beverage printing is not a new concept. But it’s a new reality, at least for my brain. Cana Technology has just launched what it calls “the world’s first molecular beverage printer”. To which we asked: Can you make tea? Anyway, this looks like dope.
  • Europe -> Africa: The African tech startup market is accelerating. It is known. But what if you are building a company, say in Europe, and you want to enter the African market? Venture firm Partech’s new Chapter54 accelerator is working on exactly this problem, reports Ploonge.
  • Another Israeli VC sets up a new fund: 2022 is shaping up to be a hot year for the Israeli tech scene, with Entrée Capital announcing a $300 million fund. This is the second new Israel fund so far this year that we can name. So much for a slowdown, yes?

Inside Seffi’s 2021 stock option stock report

Image of abstract multi colored pie chart made of different pie breasts on purple background.

Image credits: Andriy Onufriyenko (opens in a new window) / Getty Images

It’s great to have a stake in the company you’re helping to build, but when employees don’t know the optimal way to exercise their stock options, they often end up with a rough deal.

Last year, startup employees paid about $11 billion in avoidable taxes by exercising their options after exit rather than before exit, according to Secfi data.

In a post for Ploonge+, CEO Frederik Mijnhardt shared his analysis of the biggest trends surrounding stock options in 2021, including why, despite stellar IPOs, most employees were not able to exercise their options until after leaving, increasing drastically its fiscal responsibility.

“Looking ahead to 2022, it seems that the current industry trend of large funding rounds and longer exit terms means that for the average startup employee, their total cost of exercising stock options will continue to increase,” says Mijnhardt.

(Ploonge+ is our membership program, which helps startup founders and teams get ahead. You can sign up here.)

Big Tech Inc.

  • Peloton (sort of) answers production stories: Yes, the company is “resetting our production levels for sustainable growth,” its CEO admitted in a note that sort of dealt with a wave of stories about Peloton’s consumer demand. More when the company reports earnings, as this story is far from over.
  • Intel could build a huge factory in Ohio: Building chips is expensive and difficult to create. So it’s good news that Intel intends to “build two chip factories outside of Columbus, Ohio.” The total work could cost $20 billion. Score a point for home production, I suppose.
  • IBM manages to divest its Watson Health unit: Francisco Partners is buying the asset, but we don’t know for how much. Watson’s momentum appears to be stumbling to a conclusion, being sold for a price that is expected to be a fraction of what IBM paid to compile the corporate assets behind its healthcare-focused AI push.

Ploonge specialists

Image credits: Pete Saloutos / Getty Images

Ploonge wants to know which software consultants you’ve worked with for anything from UI/UX to cloud architecture. Let us know here.

If you’re curious about how these polls are shaping our coverage, check out this interview Miranda Halpern did with Wolfpack Digital CEO Georgina Lupu-Florian, “How should non-technical founders collaborate with software developers?”

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