A VC who worked on Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype says it provided a valuable lesson about why the best startups are ‘bought not sold’

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Paul Murphy is a partner at VC fund Northzone in London. He worked at Microsoft during its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype.
That experience, alongside helping to realize the fund’s exit from Spotify during its IPO last year, helped shape his vision for what makes the best companies.
“The best businesses are bought not sold,” Murphy told Business Insider in an interview.
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Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype was one of its biggest acquisitions of the past decade, and for Paul Murphy, who worked on the deal, it was a sign of the best practices for a business.

The $8.5 billion acquisition came about as part of an irreconcilable moment for Microsoft. Despite being one of the biggest companies on the planet, with billions on its balance sheet and thousands of employees, it could not create a product as good or successful as Skype, forcing the acquisition.

This was a lightbulb moment for Murphy who spent eight years at Microsoft and is now a general partner at Stockholm-headquartered VC fund Northzone.

“It taught me that the best companies are bought, not sold,” he told Business Insider in an interview. “They had a business model that couldn’t be replicated, even by Microsoft, and I take the same approach to investing, I want to invest in companies that are one of a kind.”

Murphy served as chief of staff to Kurt DelBene, president of Microsoft Office, at the time of the Skype deal. He created presentation slides, speeches, and analyses to help get the deal signed off by the board and sat in on high-level meetings as part of the acquisition.

Skype had an established customer base, good user experience, great software and a strong software team which made it an essential purchase for Microsoft — even at something of a premium. The same can be said of Spotify, according to Murphy, which went public last year having fundamentally changed the music industry.

The company was part of Northzone’s portfolio until 2018 and now serves as an example of a business model that refused to copy others to succeed. Everyone from Apple to Jay-Z’s Tidal has now tried to move into the streaming market as consumers move away from owning music.

That disruption and ambitious thinking is key for Murphy, who was formerly CEO and cofounder of games company Dots. “I came to invest in Europe to work with crazy ambitious founders who want to build companies …read more

Source:: Business Insider


Ninjas in Pyjamas are the second team out at The International 2019 | Dot Esports

A day four turn around just wasn’t in the cards for Ninjas in Pyjamas as they are eliminated from The International 2019 in a tie for 17th.

NiP had a poor start to TI9, but heading into the final day of the group stage, there was still a small chance for them to climb out of last place and squeeze into the main event.

Despite some promising games from @NiPGaming, they were unable to proceed to the Main Event at #TI9. They’ll go home with $83,000 in 17th/18th place. Well played by them for getting this far! 👏

In total, Peter “ppd” Dager and his crew were only able to win three games before being officially eliminated from the tournament, and none of those were clean series wins. Because they couldn’t secure any 2-0 wins in the early days, their margin for error got tighter as the event went on.

It was their 0-2 loss to Royal Never Give Up at the start of day three that essentially sealed their fate. Losing to another struggling team took away most of the control over their future and required them to hope for other teams to fall apart.

At the start of day four, NiP was 2-10 and had one goal in mind, beat Infamous to keep their tournament run alive. The would still need RNG to lose most, if not all of their games in order to avoid elimination, but at least that was plausible.

RAMPAGEEE FROM @AceDota – MEEPO 🇺🇸 https://t.co/J8rgquZL6u 🇨🇳 https://t.co/MnaDDgifBW #GONINJAS #DOTA2 #TI9 https://t.co/4zkx6iOGqj

What wasn’t plausible was their chances following a game one loss to the South American team that put them up against the wall. Winning game two for another split kept their hopes alive for another series, but that quickly vanished once RNG absolutely decimated Infamous in a 15-minute dress down.

That put the nail in NiP’s coffin and took away any real meaning for them in their series against Evil Geniuses. Following another 0-2 loss, the European ninjas bid farewell to the tournament bracket as they became the second team eliminated from TI9.

Unfortunately, we go out this early at the biggest esports tournament in the world… GGWP We would like to thank you VALVE and @PWRD_DOTA2 for such a great hospitality. We wish all the best to the rest of the teams! #GONINJA #DOTA2 #TI9

Out in a tie for 17th with Chaos Esports …read more

Source:: Daily Times


Paul Walker’s daughter Meadow shares rare image of late father

Paul Walker’s daughter Meadow has shared a delightful photo of her late father, bringing tears to many a fan’s eye.

Nearly six years after the tragic death of her father, Meadow, 20, took to Instagram to share the memory with her followers.

In the brilliant photo, Paul is seen loving life on holiday as he swam with a rather rotund pig.

Holding a drink, the Fast & Furious star was laughing at his mate as they frolicked in the shallow waters of some tropical-looking island.

Writing alongside the rare snap of her father, Meadow captioned the image: ‘thinking of you xx.’

It marks the first photo she’s posted of her dad since September 2017, and was met with love heart emojis from the Paul Walker Foundation – the group Meadow founded in 2015 with the aim to protect the oceans and wildlife and provide grants to marine science researchers.

Her followers shared their own love for the snap and for Paul, as one wrote: ‘Love this photo. 100% him in a photo.’

Another shared their appreciation for the insight, as they wrote: ‘How sweet thank you for sharing.’

One fan added: ‘Aww beautiful picture. We miss you Paul.’

Paul’s onscreen wife in the Furious franchise Jordana Brewster replied: ‘I love this picture,’ to which Meadow replied: ‘me too! & I love you.’

Actor Tyrese Gibson chimed in: ‘Animal and ocean lover! Never seen this pic! So cool!’

View this post on Instagram

schönen tag

A post shared by Meadow Walker (@meadowwalker) on

Meadow was 15 when her father was killed on 20 November 2013 in a car crash following a charity event.

She had grown up with her mother, Rebecca Soteros, in Hawaii before deciding to move to California to live with her dad.

The actor’s mother Cheryl previously recalled the joy Paul found in being a father and all that came with it.

‘He helped Meadow’s date pin on his boutonnière and drove them to the dance and picked them up. It was so sweet,’ she said.

She later added: ‘I think so many people think, “Oh, he was just a movie star who was killed in a car accident.” But there was so much more to him. That was just a piece of who he was. He was an amazing man.

‘I’ve gotten letters from people all over the world who said he made a difference in their lives. That is such a blessing. He’s never forgotten.’

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MORE: Paul Walker’s brother Cody remains coy over Fast and Furious return for Brian O’Conner

MORE: Paul …read more

Source:: Daily Times