LivingSocial acquires Urban Escapes to take lead in daily deal war

Online daily deal site LivingSocial announced today that it has acquired social adventure company Urban Escapes in a bid to give members more bang for their buck as they search for activities that fit their lifestyles without breaking the bank.

Google on track to acquire a new company every 2 weeks

Google is now on track to acquire a new company every two weeks this year. It’s on quite the shopping spree, but for a company that made $24 billion last year alone, it might be exactly what the doctor ordered to keep up with significant competition in the smartphone and search markets.

Can you trust any VCs under 40?

(Editor’s note: Serial entrepreneur Steve Blank is the author of Four Steps to the Epiphany. This column originally appeared on his blog.)

Here comes the SPAC attack

The IPO market is getting ugly for many startups, but the sun is still shining for special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs — sort of shell companies with blank-checks to acquire other companies opportunistically.

Brace yourselves for the SPAC attack

Life-science IPOs may be hitting the wall — so far this year, seven biotech and medical-device startups have yanked their offerings — but one part of the IPO market is booming. That’s the field of “special-purpose acquisition corporations,” or SPACs, which are essentially blank-check companies that raise money through initial offerings specifically for the purpose of acquiring other companies.

Life sciences briefing: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2007

Featured companies: AxoGen, Cognition Therapeutics, Ester Neurosciences, Gene Security Network, HealthTalk, MPM Capital, Revolution Health, SparkPeople

Cancer-drug biotech Agensys sells to Astellas for $387M — but is it a pig in a poke?

Yet another biotech has succumbed to Big Pharma’s deep-pocketed blandishments. Agensys, a decade-old Santa Monica, Calif., biotech with an early-stage pipeline, just agreed to sell itself to Japan’s Astellas Pharma for $387 million in cash. The company’s shareholders can receive up to another $150 million in milestone payments.

Life sciences briefing: Monday, Oct. 29, 2007

Featured companies: Azaya Therapeutics, Global Care Solutions, Oxford Immunotec, RealSelf.com, Sequoia Pharmaceuticals, Tactile Systems Technology, WellGen, Zeltiq Aesthetics

Life sciences briefing: Monday, Oct. 22, 2007

Featured companies: Ablynx, Avant Immunotherapeutics, BioForm Medical, Celldex Therapeutics, Genomas, High-Throughput Genomics, Orchid Cellmark, ReliaGene Technologies, SarCode, TransMolecular, VisEn Medical

Life sciences briefing: Monday, Oct. 8, 2007

Featured companies: AirInSpace, Anacor Pharmaceuticals, Apollo Endosurgery, Ascension Health Partners, BG Medicine, CeraPedics, GlaxoSmithKline, Simplex Diabetic Supply, Zars Pharma

Life sciences briefing: Monday, Sept. 24, 2007

Featured companies: Adnexus Therapeutics, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Cellerix, Elixir Therapeutics, GenomeQuest, Intronn, JapanBridge, JenaValve, VirXsys, Ysios Capital