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Data Sheet—Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Good morning, Data Sheet readers. Zenefits is getting some unwanted attention from payroll services giant ADP. Spotify just closed another massive funding round. Plus, sales and marketing analytics company Lattice Engines has raised another $28 million. Do you know someone who should be reading this newsletter? Encourage him or her to sign up. Have a terrific Wednesday!


Zenefits runs afoul of payroll giant ADP. The human resources software startup apparently has another fight on its hands after ADP cut off access to data about some of its small-business clients.

At issue: how Zenefits pulls data out of ADP’s systems. The much larger company is concerned both about the depth of what is collected—including “unmasked Social Security numbers and employee banking information”—along with the strain that Zenefits data requests are putting on ADP servers, according to a statement published on its website.

This is just the latest example of how Zenefits is challenging the status quo. In April, the startup prevailed in Utah, where regulators were trying to prevent it from doing business. This latest conflict is developing.



HP settles one of three Autonomy-related lawsuits. Its insurance policy will pay $100 million to shareholders who bought stock between when the deal was disclosed (August 2011) and when Hewlett-Packard took its $8.8 billion write-down for it (November 2012). The agreement requires court approval. There are two more cases pending, not to mention HP’s suit against Autonomy’s former CEO and CFO.

Jack Ma: No hidden agenda here. During a speech Tuesday in New York, Alibaba’s executive chairman downplayed the suggestion his company wants to take on Amazon and eBay on their home turf: “We’re not coming here to compete.”

Facebook international ads edge out domestic contribution. The social network now generates 51% of advertising revenue outside the United States, with sales growing fastest in the Asia Pacific region, reports Reuters.  

Spotify closes massive $526 million round. New financing for the streaming music service values the company at more than $8.5 billion, reports The Wall Street Journal, citing sources close to the matter. The funding will help the company fend off vocal competitor, Apple, and invest in new media including its nascent video offering. Plus, Apple Music isn’t officially live until the end of this month, but antitrust watchdogs in New York and Connecticut are looking into how the company negotiates its licensing deals.


Who will buy? This analytics software helps sales teams prioritize leads

The art of influencing “considered purchases”—aka business-to-business marketing—has inspired dozens of predictive marketing and sales applications over the past decade.

One high-profile company in this category, by virtue of its $1.5 billion valuation and management ties to Salesforce, is Another player intending to build scale is Lattice Engines, which just disclosed a $28 million Series D financing round led by River Cities Capital and Piper Jaffray Merchant Banking.

The new infusion brings total backing to $75 million. “We almost potentially see this as our last round,” said Lattice CEO Shashi Upadhyay, the former Cornell University data scientist and McKinsey partner who co-founded the company. Upadhyay won’t disclose revenue, saying only that it’s between $10 million and $100 million.

Lattice’s new round also included Blue Cloud Ventures, Sequoia Capital, and New Enterprise Associates. Sequoia partner Doug Leone was named to Lattice’s board.

The company’s applications are used by sales teams at close to 200 companies to prioritize prospects and identify accounts that might be ready to go deeper. The information is informed by several dozen data partnerships with companies such as Dun & Bradstreet, Lexis Nexis, Experian, Profound Networks, and Bombora. The software has found a following among technology companies Amazon, Dell and Hewlett-Packard, with financial services firms including SunTrust Bank, and with media companies Thomson-Reuters and McGraw-Hill, Upadhyay said.

“Lattice helps customers dramatically improve one of the most important drivers of growth: sales efficiency,” Leone said in a statement.

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Sharing, scrutinized. There have been plenty of local challenges to the “sharing economy” business model exemplified by companies like Uber and Airbnb. Now agencies like the Federal Trade Commission are watching more closely.

Another matter that’s getting attention (again) in Washington, a permanent ban on taxes for Internet servicesThe House is in favor.


Intel’s plan to shake up white, male Silicon Valley by Matt McCue

PayPal’s Dan Schulman aims at millennials’ wallets by Leena Rao

What one startup CEO learned from handling Apple’s HomeKit mess by Stacey Higginbotham

Apple attempts fast break in the battle over connected cars by Kirsten Korosec

NSA spying is going to cost the tech sector much more than we thought by Claire Groden


Mobile commerce, reconsidered. You can now manage eBay auctions on the Apple Watch.


Red Hat Summit: Energize your enterprise. (June 23 – 26; Boston)

Brainstorm Tech: Fortune’s invite-only gathering of thinkers, influencers and entrepreneurs. (July 13 – 15; Aspen, Colorado)

LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 – 19; Seattle)

VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 – 18; San Francisco)

.conf2015: Splunk’s “get your data on” gathering. (Sept. 21 – 24; Las Vegas)

Cassandra Summit: Largest gathering of Cassandra database developers. (Sept. 22 – 24; San Francisco)

BoxWorks 2015: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 – 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 – Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 – 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 – 8; Orlando, Florida)

Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing: World’s largest gather of women technologists. (Oct. 14 – 16; Houston)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 – 29; San Francisco)

TBM Conference 2015: Manage IT like a business. (Oct. 26 – 29; Chicago)

QuickBooks Connect: SMBs, entrepreneurs, accountants and developers. (Nov. 2 – 4; San Jose, California)