Deals done this past week


16 Jul 2012

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Digg founder Kevin Rose on the cover of Business Week in 2006

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An overview of the week in deals in the Irish and global technology sector.

As well as Betaworks, LinkedIn and Washington Post spend US$16m on Digg assets

In addition to Betaworks buying Digg for US$500,000, it turns out that social network LinkedIn and the Washington Post Company have also bought parts of Digg in a total package worth an estimated US$16m.

Despite raising US$45m from major Silicon Valley investors including Greylock, LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, former Silicon Valley start-up darling Digg has been sold to Betaworks for just US$500,000.

TechCrunch reported that as well as Betaworks, the Washington Post Company paid US$12m for the Digg engineering team.

LinkedIn is understood to have paid up to US$4m for at least 15 different Digg patents, including the patent for clicking on a button to vote up a story.

The 2006 cover of Business Week featuring Digg founder Kevin Rose blazed ‘How this kid made US$60m in 18 months’ and is considered to be something of an iconic moment in Silicon Valley’s revival following the dot.com implosion of 2000.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Betaworks intends to revive the news-sharing genre eclipsed by the rise of Facebook and Twitter.

Irish start-up Mrs2Be.ie acquires Welsh wedding business

Irish wedding website Mrs2Be.ie has its eye on the international online wedding marketing arena, as it has just purchased a UK-based wedding planning and marketing business, Mrs2Be.com.

Based in Wrexham, Wales, Mrs2Be.com has has been operating in the online wedding space since 2005.

Meanwhile, the Irish start-up was set up in 2009 by husband-and-wife team Keith and Claire Malone as Online Bridal Directory t/a Mrs2Be.ie.

The website operates as a lead-generation business that advertises venues and wedding service providers. The website also hosts a visual wedding directory, as well as a wedding blog providing planning ideas and inspiration to engaged couples. The company said around 4,000 brides and grooms use Mrs2Be.ie on a daily basis.

Keith Malone, CEO of Mrs2Be.ie, said the acquisition of the Mrs2Be.com business was a natural progression for the start-up.

"Despite an over-saturated marketplace, we’ve already managed to quickly position Mrs2Be.ie as Ireland’s second-largest wedding website. While we expect to enjoy further growth in Ireland, this acquisition offers exciting possibilities because the UK market is approximately 10 times larger," he said.

Microsoft to acquire Perceptive Pixel Inc

Microsoft Corp has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire multitouch display solutions provider Perceptive Pixel Inc (PPI) for an undisclosed sum.

The deal will allow Microsoft to draw on its complementary strengths, said Kurt DelBene, president, Office Division for Microsoft.

“PPI’s large touch displays, when combined with hardware from our OEMs, will become powerful Windows 8-based PCs and open new possibilities for productivity and collaboration,” DelBene said.

Perceptive Pixel Inc works in the research, development and production of large-scale, multitouch display solutions.

Salesforce.com to acquire Canadian ‘shared web’ start-up GoInstant

Clouding computing giant Salesforce.com is to acquire the Canadian start-up GoInstant, which was set up in 2010 to focus on helping companies connect with customers via shared web experiences.

Salesforce.com announced its intention to acquire GoInstant in a blog post, as well as indicating its swerve towards the social enterprise. Details of the transaction were not been revealed, however.

"The GoInstant team and technology are a perfect fit for Salesforce.com. We enjoy a shared vision for improving business by helping organisations connect more easily with customers, fans and followers inside and outside their company," said Salesforce.com’s senior vice-president Marcel LeBrun in the post.

He went on to refer to how Salesforce.com believes there is "tremendous potential" for social enterprises to benefit from the technology GoInstant has built.

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