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Acquisition

Digital Paper App Goodnotes Acquires Korean AI Startup, Dropthebit, to Accelerate Development of AI Features

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Goodnotes, the leading digital paper app, has announced that it has acquired Dropthebit, the creators of Traw, a service that automatically organizes meeting, lecture, and video content into summarized notes and videos. Following the acquisition, Traw’s generative AI technology will be further enhanced and adopted into the Goodnotes platform.

Kyumin Sim, former CEO and Co-Founder of Traw (left) and Steven Chan, CEO and Founder of Goodnotes.

Since its launch in 2020, Traw has focused its efforts on using technology to automate notes creation, both for a user’s own materials and for the content they find online. Following a seed investment led by Capstone Partners and KB Investment, Dropthebit launched Traw’s initial offering, Traw Whiteboard, in 2022. This smart digital whiteboard for lectures and meetings automatically recorded when a user spoke or drew on the board. Traw then automatically edited the video into meeting minutes with subtitles and distilled the video into a document for easy reading and editing. Last May, the company introduced Traw AI, a tool that automatically organized and summarized YouTube video content. Traw AI could create short video or textual summaries and even extract key information from videos into a table format, transforming the research process.

While this comes as Goodnotes’ first acquisition, this is not the company’s first venture in investment aimed at accelerating improvements to the overall user experience. In late 2023, Goodnotes invested $1.9M into South Korea’s largest digital stationery platform, WeBudding. This strategic investment was the first within a larger initiative to partner with rising startups that offer technology or services that complements the burgeoning digital paper space. AI innovation has been a particular focus for Goodnotes following the 2023 launch of Goodnotes 6, which included the world’s first generative AI for handwritten text and thereby transformed Goodnotes into the world’s first AI-powered digital paper company.

“Like many M&As, the meeting of Goodnotes and Traw was like fitting together forgotten puzzle pieces,” said Kyumin Sim, former Traw co-founder and CEO and now a product lead at Goodnotes. “We’ve put a lot of thought into what digital note-taking should look like, so it’s especially an honor to collaborate with Goodnotes, the world’s most popular note-taking app. I’m excited about the new features this will inspire and the value we’ll bring to many people.”

In addition to leveraging the skilled Traw team to create new ways to enhance AI note-taking features, Goodnotes plans to explore extending its offerings beyond “pen and paper” note-taking, incorporating modalities beyond the stylus, and eyeing new mediums to integrate into the platform.

“When I met the Traw team for the first time in Seoul, I knew right away that the AI tools they’ve built for audio and video recordings are a natural fit for Goodnotes,” said Steven, CEO at Goodnotes. “I was really impressed by not only their innovative ideas, but also their passion and drive. We feel very fortunate to be in a position to acquire small, capable teams like Traw to accelerate our roadmap.”

About Goodnotes
Goodnotes is the leading AI digital paper used by more than 24 million monthly users worldwide. Launched in 2011, Goodnotes started as an improvement to physical paper notes — introducing the ability to take handwritten digital notes, search handwritten text, and organize everything into a digital library. Today, Goodnotes is pioneering generative AI for digital handwriting in the productivity space. Goodnotes was most recently named Apple’s 2022 iPad App of the Year.

About Dropthebit
Dropthebit, established in 2020, is a startup that has been founded to create services to improve everyone’s work efficiency. Its first product, ‘Traw,’ is a service that automatically organizes all content from meetings and lectures on a whiteboard into videos and transcripts. Since this year, it has been launching ‘Traw AI,’ which uses AI technology to organize and convert various data easily.

Acquisition

Fifty 1 Labs, Inc Announces Acquisition of Drago Knives, LLC

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Company adds another patent to its portfolio with acquisition

MELBOURNE, Fla., June 18, 2024Fifty 1 Labs, Inc. (OTCPK: CAFI), a leading company in the sports supplement, sports equipment, and health and wellness industries, is thrilled to announce the acquisition of Drago Knives, LLC, a Florida-based company specializing in innovative throwing knives. Founded by Dragan Zivotic, a former member of the Serbian Army and an expert in knife throwing, Drago Knives plans to make significant contributions to the sports and outdoor equipment sector with its patent-pending design for throwing knives.

The acquisition of Drago Knives, LLC, marks a significant milestone for Fifty 1 Labs as it expands its portfolio into the growing market of throwing knives, an ancient practice with a rich history that dates back to prehistoric times. Historically, throwing knives have been used across various cultures for hunting, combat, and sport, evolving over centuries into a popular activity for enthusiasts and professional competitors alike.

Drago Knives, LLC, will distinguish itself in this market with a unique patent-pending design that enhances the throwing knife experience. This design allows users to correctly place their fingers and hand on the knife, enabling quick proficiency in knife throwing—a skill that combines art, sport, and precision. This innovation not only honors the traditional aspects of knife throwing but also brings a modern twist that appeals to beginners and experienced throwers.

“We are excited to welcome Drago Knives into the Fifty 1 Labs family. This acquisition aligns with our commitment to providing high-quality, innovative products to our customers,” said Robert Clark, CEO of Fifty 1 Labs, Inc. “Dragan Zivotic’s expertise and passion for knife throwing have led to the creation of a product that we believe will set a new standard in the industry.”

Throwing knives are currently sold in select sports equipment stores, online retailers, and specialty shops across the United States and are gaining popularity among a wide range of consumers, from outdoor enthusiasts to professional athletes. The growing interest in throwing knives as a sport and hobby is evident in the increasing number of competitions and clubs dedicated to knife throwing, indicating a bright future for this segment.

Fifty 1 Labs, Inc is committed to leveraging its resources and network to further enhance the Drago Knives brand, expand its distribution channels, and introduce the sport of knife throwing to a broader audience.

About Fifty 1 Labs, Inc (CAFI)

Fifty 1 Labs, Inc. (Ticker symbol: CAFI), a publicly traded entity presently in the process of a name and symbol transition to become Fifty 1 Labs, Inc. from Consumer Automotive Finance, Inc. This transformation accompanies the company’s ownership of three distinct subsidiaries entrenched within the domains of sports supplementation, fitness apparatus, and the realm of holistic well-being. These subsidiaries encompass 51, LLC, a distinguished brand specializing in sports supplementation; The Quickness, the proud bearer of a patent for pioneering athletic training equipment, meticulously crafted to amplify linebacker development; and Astound NMN, a beacon of excellence within the anti-aging sector, heralding the era of DNA reparation through its premium supplements. Guided by an unwavering commitment, Fifty 1 Labs, Inc. remains at the forefront of ingenuity, consistently presenting avant-garde solutions infused with state-of-the-art technology, poised to empower individuals in their pursuit of fitness and holistic health aspirations. Furthermore, Fifty 1 Labs, Inc. remains actively engrossed in the pursuit of strategic acquisitions, aimed at fortifying its portfolio by incorporating profit-generating enterprises into its fold.

About Drago Knives, LLC

Founded by Dragan Zivotic, Drago Knives, LLC, is based in Florida and specializes in the design and manufacture of high-quality throwing knives. With a patent-pending design, Drago Knives aims to make knife throwing accessible and enjoyable for everyone, from beginners to seasoned throwers.

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Acquisition

Software and analytics company Buyers Edge Platform Accelerates European Expansion with Two Strategic UK Acquisitions

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Buyers Edge Platform, the leading software and analytics company providing data-driven insights and technology to the foodservice industry, announces its acquisitions of The Full Range and Delta Procurement, two prominent UK Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs). These acquisitions mark a significant step in Buyers Edge Platform’s rapid expansion across Europe, solidifying its position as a key player in the international procurement landscape. This announcement comes on the heels of Buyers Edge Platform recently securing a $425 million Preferred Equity investment from three prominent investors: General Atlantic, Blackstone, and Morgan Stanley.

These acquisitions align with Buyers Edge Platform’s broader strategy to create the largest Digital Procurement Network in Europe, mirroring their success achieved in the US. Through strategic acquisitions, new country partnerships, and organic growth initiatives, Buyers Edge Platform is set to transform procurement, offering exceptional value to foodservice businesses across Europe.

John Davie, CEO of Buyers Edge Platform, expressed his excitement about both acquisitions, stating, “We’re seeking the best and most powerful GPOs in each country in Europe and have been looking to bring both brands on board as we continue our mission to revolutionize procurement practices and empower businesses across the continent.”

Daniel Wilson, President of Buyers Edge Platform Europe, added “We are delighted to welcome the Full Range and Delta Procurement to the Buyers Edge Platform Family. We have hugely ambitious plans to expand our operations across Europe and look forward to working with the team members, supply partners, and customers of the acquisitions to achieve this.” Buyers Edge Platform has now completed 3 European acquisitions since January 2023.

The Full Range

Founded by Co-Owners and Directors Barry Knight and Nicky Prentice, The Full Range stands as one of the largest independent GPOs in the UK. Renowned for its comprehensive support and consultancy services, The Full Range caters to diverse sectors including hotels, bars, restaurants, and golf clubs. Their sterling reputation stems from a commitment to enhancing client purchasing efficiency while fostering strong supplier relationships.

Barry Knight, Director of The Full Range, expressed his enthusiasm about the acquisition, saying: “From the very first conversation with Buyers Edge Platform, it was clear we shared the same vision and values. We are both people-focused businesses who always put the customer first. Combining our UK market knowledge with Buyers Edge Platform technology and buying power will create the perfect environment to help our customers to thrive. We are excited to have joined the most powerful network in the foodservice industry and to share the opportunities this brings to hospitality owners across the UK.”

Delta Procurement

Delta Procurement, led by Dave Anderson and Nick Ryan, has emerged as a transformative force in the UK procurement service industry. With a focus on delivering absolute value at every link of the foodservice chain, Delta has earned acclaim for its tailored solutions and exceptional customer satisfaction. The company’s success underscores its commitment to innovation and customer-centricity.

“We have always put our clients front and center of all that we do and so are thrilled about the acquisition by Buyers Edge Platform as it represents a significant opportunity for our customers. By joining forces, we can now offer our clients access to cutting-edge technology and enhanced buying power, enabling them to streamline their procurement processes and drive greater efficiencies in their businesses. This acquisition marks a new chapter for Delta and our customers, and we are excited to continue delivering exceptional value and service as part of the Buyers Edge Platform.”

About Buyers Edge Platform

Buyers Edge Platform is the leading software and analytics company providing data-driven insights and technology to the foodservice industry. We connect entities throughout foodservice and empower them to run their businesses more efficiently by leveraging data and analytics. Buyers Edge Platform’s mission is to drive the foodservice industry from manual to automated with programs that benefit all stakeholders across the supply chain. Visit BuyersEdgePlatform.com to learn more.

Buyers Edge Platform recently announced a $425M preferred equity investment from a consortium led by General Atlantic Credit’s (“GA Credit”) Atlantic Park fund, alongside funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities (“Blackstone“) and investment funds managed by Morgan Stanley Tactical Value (“MS Tactical Value”). Buyers Edge Platform intends to leverage the new funds and partnership with GA Credit, Blackstone, and MS Tactical Value to support the execution of its continued growth initiatives, including platform innovation, strategic M&A, and European expansion.

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Acquisition

Graybar Acquires Blazer Electric Supply

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Expands presence in Southern Colorado

Graybar, a leading distributor of electrical, communications and data networking products and provider of related supply chain management and logistics services, today announced that it will acquire Blazer Electric Supply, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, effective March 1, 2024.

Blazer Electric Supply is an electrical distributor that serves construction, commercial, institutional, and industrial customers. The company was founded in 2009 and operates two locations in southern Colorado. As a subsidiary of Graybar, the company will operate under the Blazer Electric Supply name. Trevor Blazer will serve as president, and the company’s employees will continue to support customers with the same products, solutions, and services.

“Blazer is a market leader in its territory, with comprehensive product lines, extensive capabilities and a reputation for outstanding customer service,” said Kathleen M. Mazzarella, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Graybar. “Blazer fits well with Graybar’s core values, our people-oriented culture and our long-term growth strategy. We are thrilled to welcome the Blazer team to Graybar and look forward to achieving even greater success together.”

“I am incredibly proud of our company and grateful for the employees who have been so instrumental in our success,” said Steve Blazer, president of Blazer Electric Supply. “This is an exciting new chapter for our company. Joining forces with Graybar presents a tremendous opportunity to expand our service capabilities and grow our business for the long term. It also allows us to sustain a distinctive culture and positive work environment for our employees. I am confident that we have a bright future as part of Graybar.”

Graybar, a Fortune 500 corporation and one of the largest employee-owned companies in North America, is a leader in the distribution of high quality electrical, communications and data networking products, and specializes in related supply chain management and logistics services. Through its network of more than 325 North American distribution facilities, it stocks and sells products from thousands of manufacturers, helping its customers power, network, automate and secure their facilities with speed, intelligence and efficiency.

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