Archive for the Press & Events Category
Market Watch WSJ, 4/30/12 –
Catalina Marketing Corporation, the leader in precision consumer marketing, today announced that is has completed its acquisition of Modiv Media, the industry-proven provider of mobile commerce solutions. The integration of Modiv into Catalina provides brands and retailers the ability to engage shoppers, influence their behavior, and boost loyalty with a unique mobile experience that saves shoppers time and money.
Catalina helps manufacturer and retail brands deliver unprecedented performance and healthier outcomes with integrated in-store and online marketing platforms. The acquisition extends Catalina’s targeted consumer engagement to include shoppers’ smartphones.
“We’ve been watching Modiv for quite some time now. Their success in driving in-store innovation is unmatched and their ability to deliver a scalable mobile commerce solution is exactly what retailers are looking for,” said Jamie Egasti, CEO, Catalina Marketing. “The acquisition will allow Catalina to drive greater consumer engagement before and during the buying experience for brands, and deliver increased revenue and shopper loyalty for large-scale retailers.”
“Modiv’s retailer-proven mobile commerce solution, coupled with Catalina’s scale, analytics and content, provides an unmatched mobile shopper marketing solution for large retailers,” said Mike Grimes, SVP of mobile commerce for Catalina and former CEO of Modiv Media. “Helping shoppers save time and money through an intuitive and relevant mobile experience is paramount to the future of retail. When combined with Catalina’s deep targeting and large CPG-funded offer pool, this becomes a must-have for retailers.”
“Modiv has spent the last several years building in-store mobile solutions from the ground up, engineering for a very complex environment,” adds Egasti. “Today, they have the only mobile commerce solution designed to meet the demands of high-frequency retail. From comprehensive integration with POS systems to leveraging loyalty and CRM to influence behavior, this solution integrates perfectly with Catalina and will change how retailers and brands engage and empower consumers.”
Since its founding in 2001, the Modiv solution was built on the premise of connecting the physical store with the shopper via a mobile device. Already in over 350 locations, their retailer-branded solution influences over 1 million shopping trips per month that drive over $1 billion in retailer sales annually.
This February, Modiv introduced Modiv Social which enables retailers and brands to offer shoppers an integrated mobile coupon wallet experience that aggregates coupons from any couponing source (web, retailer, mobile, digital, etc.) and gives shoppers the unique ability to share select mobile coupons via Facebook. Going far beyond simple sharing, Modiv Social enables retailers and brands alike the ability to track, monitor, manage and analyze the lifecycle of a socially shared coupon, as well as identify ‘shopping influencers’ and rewarding those who share these coupons.
The entire Modiv team will remain in the Boston area and will be the foundation of Catalina’s mobile efforts. The company is currently evaluating a new office location in Boston’s Innovation District to support expansion plans for the mobile team.
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Wednesday, May 9 at 4:30pm
From Silicon Valley to cloud-covered continents: what this means for startups and corporate venturing
Matt Marshall (Venturebeat) will moderate the panel with Paul Weinstein (Azure Capital), Jonathan Siegel (RightVentures), Frank Artale (Ignition Partners), and Carl Showalter (Opus Ventures) discussing the fact and implications that it takes less time and less capital to build meaningful web technologies today. As networked computing capabilities scale and open, code becomes more intuitive and agile, and big data becomes more readily available (basically as the Internet becomes more accessible and intelligent from the standpoint of creation as well as consumption), what does it mean for startups, for more-mature enterprises, and for the world we live in?
The Startup.Synergy track has been designed to provide insight into this incredibly fluid landscape that is becoming more meaningful in how established corporations achieve growth. It will provide an inside look at tomorrow’s multibillion tech companies, and a framework to appreciate how quickly these companies are being born. The track also showcases Citrix global leadership in building new bridges to this ecosystem through the Startup Accelerator.
For full conference information, click here
Each day the industry matures it is harder to tell where we are in the maturity curve. It took the personal computer 20 years to dominate the business world and yet in 5 years or so of cloud computing we seem to have changed everything that we know. New ideas, new technologies and new thought leaders continue to emerge. In our annual VC panel we talk to and investigate the trends in investment and how those making the biggest bets on the future see the future unfolding. A great panel for entreprenuers, investors and buyers alike on the future cloud computing landscape.
The annual Structure conference brings together the leaders innovating, shaping and defining the ongoing evolution in the technology industry – cloud computing. The shift to the cloud isn’t just a change in the way IT is organized and delivered, but is also the impetus for a new way of building chips, servers, networking and the other building blocks of the computing industry.
Find more about Structure 2012 Conference here
GigaOm, 4/25/12 –
IBM has tapped Cloudera as the primary commercial Hadoop distribution of choice for its big data platform.
This represents something of an about-face by both companies. IBM executives used to complain (privately) that Cloudera was not ready for enterprise use. And their counterparts at Cloudera used to beef that IBM did not contribute to the Apache Hadoop project that underlies all the Hadoop distributions.
To date, IBM had blessed the open-source Apache Hadoop for its evolving big data effort. On Wednesday it said it was expanding that platform to encompass other Hadoop distributions “starting with Cloudera.” The news comes as IBM announced its acquisition of Vivisimo, a big data analytics toolset that expands search and analysis beyond Hadoop to traditional legacy applications and their data repositories.
IBM database rival Oracle already tapped Cloudera as the basis of its Big Data Appliance, a move that led many to speculate that acquisition-hungry Oracle would buy privately held Cloudera. That speculation, by the way, is ongoing.
According to IBM’s statement:
Cloudera is a top contributor to the Hadoop development community, and an early provider of Hadoop-based systems to clients across a broad range of industries including financial services, government, telecommunications, media, retail, energy and healthcare. As a result, Cloudera Hadoop clients can now take advantage of IBM’s big data platform to perform complex analytics and build a new generation of software applications.
Cloudera is one of the primary and first commercial distributions of Hadoop but there are others available from Hortonworks, MapR, and EMC Greenplum. The fact that Cloudera got the nod from two industry giants is noteworthy given the number of choices out there and may in fact make Cloudera first among equals in the commercial Hadoop field.
Read full article here
New York Times, 4/24/12 — One intriguing outcome of the iPad is how it has encouraged developers to create hybrid apps that don’t fit neatly into one genre. There are a lot of iPad books, especially for kids, that experiment with sounds, video and gamelike elements to enhance their storytelling.
Jean-Marie Hullot, a computer scientist and a longtime associate of Steve Jobs at Apple and NeXT, is one of the iPad’s genre-benders. A start-up he founded called Fotopedia has started to attract a following with its own growing catalog of apps that seek to combine the elegance of photo-rich coffee table books with some of the utility of travel guides. Mr. Hullot has a passion for travel and photography that is reflected in Fotopedia’s apps, which typically focus on a single place or theme.
There are nine Fotopedia apps in all, focusing on things as diverse as North Korea and Paris. The company says more than 10 million copies of its apps, which work only on the iPad and iPhone, have been downloaded. The apps are free. Fotopedia has plans to develop an advertising business.
What sets the apps apart from traditional picture books is that they’re intended to inspire travelers to plot their next adventure. Someone browsing a collection of pictures from Olympic National Park in Washington state, for instance, can shift to a view that locates the attraction on a map, which can also show where the iPad user is located. The app lets users compose a travel itinerary using the images.
“It’s somewhere between Lonely Planet, Nat Geo and Discovery Channel,” Mr. Hullot said over breakfast recently in San Francisco, though he is based in Paris.
Fotopedia isn’t really a substitute for a traditional travel guide like Lonely Planet, though. “Beauty — that’s what is missing for me in Lonely Planet,” Mr. Hullot said. “It’s very useful for what do you want to eat, where do you want to sleep?”
Mr. Hullot said his years working for Mr. Jobs taught him how important it is to avoid compromising on the quality of products. He joined Mr. Jobs at NeXT in the mid-1980s, but he did not remain with the company after Apple acquired it in 1996, choosing instead to work on start-ups. Mr. Jobs lured Mr. Hullot to Apple in 2001, where he became chief technology officer of Apple’s applications division. He left in 2005.
When Mr. Jobs introduced the iPad in 2010, Mr. Hullot decided to quickly shift from his original plan of building an online photo encyclopedia to creating iPad apps. “I said, O.K., we have our consumer story,” Mr. Hullot recalls. “When it comes to doing photobooks for a new generation, I said we have to own this space.”
Go to full article here
New York Times, 4/20/12 -
While the impending giant public offering of Facebook gets most of the attention, enterprise technology companies keep attracting the money. On Friday, Proofpoint, a maker of corporate security software, began trading at $16.85 a share, 30 percent above its initial public offering price of $13. The stock was expected to price in the $10 to $12 a share range. Another company, the network software maker Infoblox, opened at $22.57, about 40 percent above its $16 IPO price. Infoblox had an expected initial public stock offering price of $12 to $14.
On Thursday, Splunk, a data analysis company, had its debut. It closed at $35.48 a share, up 109 percent from an IPO price of $17. Splunk initially expected to price at $8 to $10, before that range was increased to $11 to $13.
You may not have heard of Proofpoint, Infoblox or Splunk, and that may be the point: as we have written before, the low-profile companies that sell to businesses generally perform better than the companies that count on the loyalty of a fickle public for revenues. The game maker Zynga is flat from its December opening, while the corporate collaboration software maker Jive Software is up 70 percent over about the same period. A security company named Impervia is up 67 percent since its initial offering in November; Groupon, which came out a few weeks later, is off 56 percent.
Many of the consumer companies have much larger market capitalizations than the enterprise companies, so one-to-one comparisons can deceive. Even after their initial pops, all three of this week’s enterprise initial offerings will together have a market capitalization less than 10 percent of the $100 billion that Facebook is expected to garner next month.
A somewhat larger enterprise company, Palo Alto Networks, is expected to go out next week. The biggest enterprise I.P.O. of the year, among start-ups, will probably be Workday, some time in the summer. Even these will be dwarfed by Facebook. That doesn’t matter to an investor who got in early on an enterprise stock, however. Upside is upside.
There are probably 10 more big tech initial public offerigns coming this year, said John Connors, a partner at Ignition Partners in Seattle, and an investor and board member in Splunk. He cited ServiceNow, which automates corporate information technology processes; Inrix, a provider of Web traffic information; and Tableau, an analytics and business intelligence providerbased in Seattle.
“The last 10 years have been consumer tech successes, companies like Google, and Yahoo compared with its opening price, or Amazon and Apple,” Mr. Connors said. “Now a lot of the approach to computing from open source is finding its way to reforming business, and that market is enormous.”
Enterprise companies tend to be attacking big, established markets where revenues are dependable. Online consumer companies are big and flashy, but they generally stake out new territory that is harder to value. The hype can easily outrun the real revenues.
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BusinessWeek, 4/19/12 – Splunk Inc. (SPLK), a maker of software that helps companies analyze Web data, more than doubled on its first day of trading after pricing its shares 70 percent above the originally proposed range in an initial public offering.
The stock, listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market under the symbol SPLK, climbed to $35.48 at the close in New York. The San Francisco-based company raised $229.5 million in its IPO, selling 13.5 million shares at $17 apiece, it said in a statement yesterday. Splunk’s market value of $1.57 billion at the time of the sale jumped to $3.28 billion.
Splunk is the first of the so-called big data companies to go public, providing software that helps businesses monitor and analyze data to improve service, cut operations costs and reduce security risks. Revenue in the fiscal year that ended Jan. 31 rose 83 percent to $121 million. Splunk’s net loss widened to $11 million from $3.8 million a year earlier as the company stepped up spending on sales and marketing.
“Splunk is really taking advantage of this big data trend and monetizing on that opportunity,” said Dafina Toncheva, a partner at Tugboat Ventures in Palo Alto, California, which invests in Web and software startups. “They’re collecting massive amounts of data every second in the enterprise and making sense of it.”
Splunk shares were paused for five minutes today after the first second of trading triggered a volatility circuit breaker. NYSE Arca later canceled transactions that occurred on its platform during the mandatory halt, according to Richard Adamonis, a spokesman for NYSE Euronext.
The orders were voided because of a “manual error” related to the suspension, he said, without elaborating. Trades amounting to about 26,000 shares were canceled, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Most technology companies that have gone public this year have gained since their offerings. Among the best performers are Guidewire Software Inc. (GWRE) (GWRE), which has more than doubled, and Millennial Media Inc., which has climbed 45 percent. Infoblox Inc., a network and data-services provider, and Proofpoint Inc., a maker of security software, are also scheduled to start trading this week.
Splunk said in its filing that it has a variety of competitors, including some of the world’s biggest software and Web companies. The company cited Google Inc. (GOOG) (GOOG) and Adobe Systems Inc. in the Web analytics market, and business intelligence vendors EMC Corp. (EMC) (EMC) and International Business Machines Corp.
At Splunk’s valuation, the stock is trading at approximately 27 times reported revenue for its most recent fiscal year. That compares with a price-to-sales ratio of about 5 for Google, 3.9 for Adobe (ADBE) (ADBE), 2.9 for EMC, and 2.2 for IBM.
“It’s indicative of very strong demand across the board from almost every size institution that the team met with,” said John Connors, a Splunk board member and partner at Ignition Partners in Bellevue, Washington. “Investors think the story is potentially a big one and the management team was quite good and seasoned.”
Splunk is backed by venture firms August Capital, JK&B Capital, Ignition and Sevin Rosen Funds. The company raised $25 million in 2007 to expand sales and marketing, build its international operations and develop partnerships.
Founded in 2004 by Erik Swan, Rob Das and Michael Baum, Splunk’s software was used by more than 3,700 customers, including Bank of America Corp., Zynga Inc. and Harvard University, as of Jan. 31.
The company is led by Godfrey Sullivan, who joined as chief executive officer in 2008. He was previously CEO of Hyperion Solutions Corp. and helped sell the company for $3.3 billion to Oracle Corp. (ORCL) (ORCL) in 2007. Sullivan replaced co-founder Baum, who left Splunk and is now a venture partner at investment firm Rembrandt Venture Partners.
On April 16, Splunk increased the proposed price range for its IPO to $11 to $13 apiece, from a prior target of $8 to $10.
Morgan Stanley, Credit Suisse Group AG, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. led the offering.
Read full article here.
Forbes.com, 4/18/12 - Guest post by John Connors and Brad Silverberg
John Connors and Brad Silverberg are partners with the venture capital firm Ignition Partners. Connors is a former CFO at Microsoft. Silverberg spent 9 years at Microsoft; from 1990-1995 he ran the company’s Windows business.
It’s no secret that recent consumer-technology innovations, from social networking to online chat to iPhones, are fundamentally transforming corporate IT. At the office, people are now demanding the same types of easy-to-use devices and social features they use at home. Witness new corporate-software products like Salesforce.com’s Chatter product, a sort of Facebook for business, or the decline of BlackBerry maker Research In Motion. That device is losing dramatic market share in corporate environments to the application-rich, consumer-focused Apple iPhone.
But there’s another, much bigger story to this “consumer-ization” of IT. We call it the “re-platforming” of enterprise computing. By that, we mean a move by enterprises to build the next generation of new applications and core services on top of the emerging “cloud-computing” and mobile-device platforms. This re-platforming will fundamentally re-shape the enterprise and usher in a massive new wave of tech innovation, just as similar platform waves such as the personal computer, client-server and the Internet did in the past.
What’s fascinating to us – veterans of tech giant Microsoft, a company that has transitioned through many waves of corporate computing – is that this enterprise-focused re-platforming grew out of the better-known consumer-Web world. Many of the household names that have pioneered this new cloud-based way of computing, including Google, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon.com, have been able to change consumers’ lives so profoundly only because they’ve built such sophisticated, back-end computing and data-analytic environments that can quickly process and analyze stunning volumes of data: searches, tweets and other content running through their sites each day.
Many of these systems are based in the cloud and were built using massively distributed computing, virtualization and “big data”, among other technologies. This enables them to take maximum advantage of computing resources at unimaginably low per-unit costs. As these consumer companies have grown, they’ve evolved into hothouses of innovative best practices that other big enterprises, from banks to retailers to insurance companies, are now scrambling to understand and replicate.
Cloud computing and virtualization, which allow Internet companies to quickly add or subtract computing power on demand, have proved more flexible and cost-effective at handling events like a surge in online shopping around Christmas season, or a spike in Facebook postings around the Super Bowl. Traditional data centers, by contrast, were built to handle peak loads of Web traffic. That forced companies to spend more money on more servers – most of which sit idle most of the time. Now enterprises are moving more of their operations into cloud-based, virtualized environments. Several large financial-services companies we know well are building “private cloud” environments and are requiring internal business units to bid between these newer systems and legacy, non-cloud infrastructure. This type of change will be replicated throughout businesses worldwide. The net result will be lower costs for basic computing and more IT resources devoted to innovation, especially advanced data analytics. The dramatic innovation in data analytics will impact every business over the next ten years.
As that happens, many corporate-IT departments will follow the lead of consumer giants like Facebook. That company has been a pioneer in using a new database technology called NoSQL that can sort through and store massive amounts of unstructured data – things like the messages, music and photos Facebook’s users are uploading every day in such copious quantities. (Facebook has grown into the largest photo-sharing site on the Internet.) NoSQL gets its name because the technology doesn’t use SQL, the standard computer language used to run queries on relational databases. And Facebook isn’t the only one harnessing the power of NoSQL: Recently, a major U.S. retail bank used a NoSQL database to analyze 150 million customer voicemails that it converted to text files. Previously, the bank just deleted the messages, unable to find a way to process them. The next Oracle will likely be a company based on NoSQL technology.
Similarly, a pioneering, data-focused computing platform gaining traction at many corporations today called Hadoop had its origins inside Yahoo. Hadoop is a new model for computer programming that is relatively easy to use and takes advantage of massive “parallelism”, or concurrent programming for tens of thousands of computers. Hadoop is now helping crunch and analyze data at massive Web sites like those of Facebook, Twitter, eBay and others. But it’s also behind big-ticket, corporate tech offerings being sold by enterprise giants like IBM, EMC, Oracle and Microsoft. Hadoop can help companies analyze “unstructured” data like text, tweets and videos, in addition to traditional, structured data such as sales figures.
Perhaps the most salient example of a consumer company influencing enterprise computing today is Amazon.com. The company’s Amazon Web Services offering – which, as anyone in Silicon Valley knows, allows companies to outsource their core computing power to Amazon-owned servers in the cloud, and pay for it like a metered utility – has transformed the Web bookseller into one of the most forward-thinking, enterprise IT companies on the planet. (Wall Street analysts still don’t pay enough attention to this side of Amazon’s business.) Now, tens of thousands of businesses, including many of the startups in our own investment portfolio, are running their businesses in this way, and larger companies are considering it as well. Microsoft is investing heavily in its cloud service called Azure and is almost certainly going to be a major player in this space. Every single large technology provider is scrambling to catch up. This intense competition will drive innovation and lower computing costs.
Go to full article here.
GigaOm, 4/9/2012 — Infrastructure has become a hot area for VCs, which shouldn’t come as a big surprise given that the cloud provides the foundation for the entire web. Not only is the cloud attracting more VC funding, infrastructure pros are joining the investment community in greater numbers. On Tuesday, North Bridge announced that Jonathan Heiliger, previously of Facebook, had joined the firm. He follows Michael Abbott, the former head of engineering at Twitter, who joined Kleiner Perkins in December. But not every one of these VCs has a deep enough Rolodex to find the engineers who can take a business from hundreds of users to hundreds of millions — or has the corporate development contacts to make sure that same company eventually finds a buyer. So if you’re a cloud startup, which VCs should you work with?
We at GigaOM talk to a lot of startups, VCs and big companies buying up cloud startups — and the some names keep coming up again and again. Some of these guys (yes, they are all guys) have specialities within infrastructure, like networking or chips, while others are particularly skilled at building companies. With the list below, we’ve picked the VCs that are doing deals and real knowledge and influence in the space. On the up-and-comers list are newer VCs and those working with very early-stage companies, which means they haven’t had any exits yet.
If you’re building an infrastructure startup, these are the guys you’d want on your team. (They’re listed in alphabetical order.)
The tried and true.
Alex Benik: General Partner at Battery Ventures
Current deals: Cumulus Networks, VSS Monitoring and Traceltyics
Exits: Anobit, which sold to Apple and Optichron, which was acquired by Netlogic.
Our take: Networking and semiconductors are some of Benik’s favorite topics, and he also has a lot of connections into Wall Street’s IT shops where enterprise meets webscale. He’s one of the few VCs (along with others at Battery) who still invests in semiconductors.
John Connors: Partner at Ignition Partners
Current deals: Opscode, Splunk, Tier 3
Exits: Heroku, which sold to Salesforce.com, Xensource which sold to Citirx, Likewise which sold to EMC
Our take: His experience as the former CFO of Microsoft means he has business savvy and plenty of connections (he’s on the board at Nike), plus his track record in the cloud space as an investors speaks for itself.
Satish Dharmaraj: General Partner at Redpoint Ventures
Current deals: MapR, StorSimple
Exits: Cloud.com which sold to Citrix and Posterous, which was acquired by Twitter
Our take: Dharmaraj has a special affinity for where the cloud meets the consumer, especially on a mobile device. He’s also part of the team that scouts for investments that Verizon can make to populate and better its 4G network.
Peter Fenton: General Partner at Benchmark Capital
Current deals: EngineYard, New Relic, DotCloud, Twitter
Exits: SpringSource, which he sold to VMware, and JBoss, which he sold to RedHat.
Our take: Fenton is super connected, and he understands large webscale platforms better than anyone.
Ben Horowitz: General partner at Andreessen Horowitz
Current deals: Factual, Nicira, Okta
Exits: Andreesen Horowitz is new enough that Horowitz doesn’t have infrastructure exits associated with it yet, except for Fusion-io’s public offering in 2011.
Our take: He has a lot of operational experience and built a cloud company before it was cool. On top on that he has a breadth of investments that help him understand the big picture.
Ping Li: General Partner Accel Partners
Current deals: Nimble Storage, Nimbula and ScaleXtreme
Exits: Reactivity which cold to Cisco and Fusion-io which went public in 2011
Our take: Li gets webscale at the consumer level and also understands what it takes from the infrastructure side to build it. He’s also in charge of Accel’s Big Data Fund and will have a front row seat to the infrastructure requirements of the big data era.
John Vrionis: Managing director at Lightspeed Venture Partners
Current deals: Embrane, Tintri, Niciria, Boundary
Exits: IO Turbine which sold to Fusion-io and Pliant which sold to SanDisk
Our take: Vrionis has a very clear view of the changes happening in the networking world inside the data center, but he’s also thinking big thoughts on big data and the infrastructure to support it.
Mike Abbott: Investment Partner at Kleiner Perkins
Current deals: Abbott joined KPCB in December of 2011 so we’re still waiting on his portfolio
Our take: Abbott is a practitioner who helps grow Twitter’s infrastructure and engineering team. He also helped create Palm’s next-generation webOS platform and while new at the VC game, he has connections and knowledge to help entrepreneurs find their way in a mobile and cloud world.
Puneet Agarwal: Partner at True Ventures (see disclosure)
Current deals: Puppet Labs, Loggly, Urban Airship, Piston Cloud
Our take: Agarwal is best at the ooey-gooey middle layers between the hardware and the software. Think configuration management software or PaaSes, and with he’s comfortable working at the early stages, so is a good place to start when you’re tossing around an idea.
Frank Artale: Partner at Ignition Partners
Current deals: ServiceMesh, Bromium, AppFog, ScaleXtreme
Exits: He’s only been at Ignition since 2011.
Our take: Artale is one of two Ignition Partners team members on the list. His experience building sales channels at Citrix and focus on making cool tech into a marketable product is invaluable for starry-eyed entrepreneurs who think they have something cool, but don’t know how to make money off of it.
Jonathan Heiliger: General partner at North Bridge Venture Partners
Current deals: none yet at North Bridge, but he is invested in Tango and Sonus Networks
Exits: Last.fm which sold to CBS and Contendo, which sold to Akamai
Our take: His investments remain to be seen, but when it comes to scaling infrastructure and knowing the people who know how to build at webscale, Heiliger has the contacts and the knowledge base. Plus, he’s a nice guy.
Mike Volpe: Partner at Index Ventures
Current deals: Big Switch Networks, StorSimple and Path
Exits: Cloud.com, which sold to Citrix
Our take: Volpe is not exactly and up and comer in the investment space, but he hasn’t done that many cloud deals. But as networking rises in importance we expect him to make a splash. He also knows the enterprise sales channel better than anyone else thanks to his time at Cisco.
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