Congrats again to our friends at Newroo, and best wishes in La-La Land…!
Google is not the only one buying tiny startups to get the minds behind them. When the dust cleared after a flurry of acquisitions last week, the online content software sector was three companies smaller.
The news came rapid-fire: Blog company Six Apart picked up cameraphone blogging application developer SplashBlog; NewsCorp’s Fox Interactive bought customizable online news gatherer Newroo; NewsGator bought mobile RSS reader SmartRead and mobile podcatcher SmartFeed (which makes tools for downloading syndicated updates of web sites and podcasts). It was difficult not to see a trend.
Newroo, for its part, had no users. It delayed its launch as well as a round of funding after entering talks with Fox Interactive. The three-person San Francisco-based team had taken a seed round from CommerceNet. They are building something called a “memetracker” which learns about new online content on a particular topic and retrieves information based on a user’s interests.
Apparently the activity is not a blip. Mr. Holston, Mr. Berkowitz, and Fox Interactive President Ross Levinsohn all say they are open to additional purchases in the next year.