Technology Roundup- Mobile World Congress called off, WhatsApp hits two billion users

Published on: February 12, 2020
Author: Amy Liu

Mobile World Congress called off amid virus worries

  • Mobile World Congress 2020 has officially been canceled, after swaths of companies individually pulled out due to concerns about the global spread of the coronavirus.
  • GSMA canceled the Barcelona event (the year’s biggest event for the telecom industry) because the virus concerns made it “impossible.”
  • Several companies pulled out of the event over the past week, with the exits of Ericsson (NASDAQ:ERIC) and Nokia (NYSE:NOK) carrying heavy weight (followed yesterday by the withdrawals of Facebook, Sprint, and Cisco).
  • “The Host City Parties respect and understand this decision. The GSMA and the Host City Parties will continue to be working in unison and supporting each other for MWC Barcelona 2021 and future editions,” says GSMA CEO John Hoffman.

 WhatsApp hits two billion users

  • WhatsApp (FB +0.6%) has amassed 2B users, up from the 1.5B it revealed two years ago, according to a blog post that reiterated how committed the company is to providing end-to-end encryption.
  • While the platform remains smaller than Facebook’s 2.5B monthly users, it is more popular outside the U.S.
  • WhatsApp was sold to Facebook for $19B in 2014.

 FIS adds loyalty points to PayPal partnership

  • FIS (FIS -1.1%) becomes the first non-bank payments processor to integrate with PayPal’s (PYPL -0.3%) Pay with Rewards.
  • Beginning in Q3 2020, cardholders of U.S. financial institutions that participate in FIS Premium Payback network will be able to use their reward points to pay for purchases at PayPal merchants globally.
  • The agreement builds on the existing relationship between FIS and Worldpay for processing card payments for PayPal customers in more than 50 markets around the world.

 Digital Realty buying 49% of key Northwest interconnect

  • Digital Realty (DLR +1.5%) has a deal to take a 49% interest in Seattle’s Westin Building Exchange.
  • That’s the six most densely interconnected facility in North America, and serves as the primary interconnection hub (to Canada, Alaska and Asia) in the U.S. Pacific Northwest.
  • The 34-story tower houses more than 150 carriers and more than 10,000 cross-connects.
  • The deal, with Clise Properties, is set to close in the first half, and will result in Digital Realty taking over management and operational oversight.

 Brooks acquires laboratory software firm RURO Inc.

  • Brooks Automation (BRKS +0.7%) acquires informatics software company RURO for total cash purchase price of $15M, subject to customary working capital and other adjustments.
  • RURO provides cloud-based software solutions to manage laboratory workflow and bio-sample data for a broad range of customers in the biotech, healthcare, and pharmaceutical sectors.
  • In the twelve months ended Dec. 31, 2019, RURO generated ~$5M in revenue.
  • BRKS expects the acquisition will be accretive to non-GAAP earnings within the first year.

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