BAY AREA TECH WIRE -- Dec. 18, 2015
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o San Francisco-Based Lily Robotics Raises $14 Million in First Round
Ligand Pharmaceuticals to Acquire Palo Alto-Based OMT
San Jose-Based Fairchild Vows to Appeal $139.8 Million Jury Award
o Survey: Nearly a Quarter of Bay Area Companies Expect to Grow IT Staffs
Briefly Noted:
Prosper Marketplace

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o San Francisco-Based Lily Robotics Raises $14 Million in First Round

San Francisco -- Lily Robotics, a San Francisco-based startup developing self-flying camera drones, said it has raised $14 million in its first round of funding, but said it will delay pre-order shipments until next summer as it refines its technology. The funding, which follos an early $1 million seed round, included investments by Spark Capital, SV Angel and the Stanford-StartX Fund, as well as musician Steve Aoki and football legend Joe Montana. "This backing allows us to progress toward our ship date, expand the team as needed and remain laser-focused on delivering a state of the art flying camera to you," wrote co-founders Antoine Balaresque and Henry Bradlow in a blog post. Those deliveries, however, will have to wait a few more months, as the company works to iron out issues with its flight control software. "Right now, our team is working relentlessly on Lily Camera's flight control software," the pair wrote. "We've hit some challenges there, but rest assured, it's nothing our team can’t handle. We just need more time."

o Ligand Pharmaceuticals to Acquire Palo Alto-Based OMT

Palo Alto, Calif. -- Ligand Pharmaceuticals, a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical firm, said it will pay $178 million to acquire Palo Alto-based OMT, which focused on the genetic engineering of animals to generation human therapeutic antibodies. Under the deal, expected to close in January, Ligand will pay $92.6 million in cash and the remainder in stock. Roland Buelow, the founder of OMT and a noted antibody researcher, will join Ligand as its vice president of antibody technologies. OMT holds licensing deals with biotechnology partners including Amgen, Celgene, Genmab, Janssen, Merck KGaA, Pfizer, Seattle Genetics, Five Prime and Symphogen. "OMT brings a robust and important technology for biologic drug discovery," said John Higgins, the CEO of Ligand.

o San Jose-Based Fairchild Vows to Appeal $139.8 Million Jury Award

San Jose, Calif. -- Fairchild Semiconductor said it plans to appeal a $139.8 million award handed down by a jury in San Francisco Thursday after the company was found to have infringed on two patents owned by San Jose-based Power Integrations. The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California had ruled in favor of Power Integrations last year, but threw out a $105 million damages award. San Jose-based Fairchild is hoping for the same outcome this time around, claiming that the award was "legally flawed," and failed to measure damages based on a "reasonable royalty determined under applicable patent law." The two companies are involved in five patent lawsuits dating to 2004.
http://s1.q4cdn.com/369102141/files/doc_news/Power-Integrations-Awarded-1398-Million-in-Damages-from-Fairchild-Semiconductor.pdf (PDF)

o Survey: Nearly a Quarter of Bay Area Companies Expect to Grow IT Staffs

San Francisco -- Twenty-three percent of Bay Area chief technology officers (CTOs) surveyed say they plan to expand their IT teams through the first half of 2016, according to a new report by Robert Half Technology. That's the same figure from the prior six months, but down 8% from a year ago. In addition, 65% plan to hire only for open IT roles, 8% plan to put hiring plans on hold and 3% expect to reduce their IT staffing levels. "The Bay Area continues to be an active job market for IT professionals, and employers are committed to adding top talent, including web developers, DevOps engineers and Linux/Window system administrators, to their organization," said Heather Johnston, the Bay Area regional manager for Robert Half Technology. "In the first part of the year, technology hiring is largely fueled by new budgets for infrastructure projects, such as investments in cloud migrations, upgrades of OS and new deployments." The complete report is at the link below.

o Briefly Noted:

(San Francisco) San Francisco-based Prosper Marketplace, the operator of an online marketplace that connects borrowers and investors, has named Kunal Kaul as its executive vice president of operations. Kaul most recently led Home Loans Originations Operations Excellence at Capital One.

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