This is guest post by Reinout H.M. te Brake, Group Strategist for the Spill Group Holding
Google has acquired online address book, Plaxo in a “sub-$200m offer”, according to a blog on tech news site Wired. The site claims that Plaxo has accepted an offer and that the “purchasing company is most likely search engine Google.” The report has sparked various other online rumors, and follows a month of speculation about a major takeover bid. This followed a New York Times report at the beginning of January, which said Plaxo had hired investment bank, Revolution Partners, to handle a forthcoming deal.
Silicon Valley gossip site, Valleywag, posted a report responding to the Google acquisition rumors claiming that the deal was completed due to good relations between Google’s social-network strategist Brad Fitzpatrick and Plaxo’s Chief Platform Architect Joseph Smarr. However a separate Valleywag report claims that cable operator, Comcast, may be bidding for Plaxo. Meanwhile CNet dismisses the Google rumor as “unlikely.”
In January it was strongly rumored that Facebook were seeking to buy Plaxo, also for $200m, yet this never materialized. A week earlier, the New York Times claimed Plaxo was due to auction itself for some $100m, with investment bankers recruited to handle the deal. Meanwhile, tech site, Techcrunch, this week cited a Silicon Valley insider as saying “Plaxo has been desperately, desperately, desperately trying to sell.”
Mountain View-based Plaxo started in 2002 as an online address book service, but recently shifted its focus to social networking with the launch of Plaxo Pulse. This tool acts as a social network aggregator, providing Facebook-style news feeds when users’ friends update their profiles on sites such as Twitter, Digg, and MySpace. In January Plaxo joined Facebook and Google as part of the Dataportability Group, a body which is working on projects designed to let users of social networks to transfer data from one network to another.
So, who is up to speed here and can give me details!?