Kiko, a Web 2.0-ish calendar company, recently sold itself on eBay. The buyer was Tucows, a company that you may know from their venerable and giant software download archives. Their CEO, Elliot Noss, says in his blog:
[There is] one big reason why we bought Kiko. We needed the functionality, quite desperately, inside of our email platform and it was going to take us a long time to get it. Especially at the level of sophistication Kiko has.
Tucows isn’t about to release Kiko as open source; but according to their official line at least, they didn’t buy the company to sell its product; they bought it to use its product.
This reminded me of something I heard from a Sun employee on a LUGRadio podcast – that Sun originally bought StarOffice for much the same reason. To my surprise, the quote I remembered has made its way into the Wikipedia article on the subject:
The number one reason why Sun bought StarDivision in 1999 was because, at the time, Sun had something approaching forty-two thousand employees. Pretty much everyone of them had to have both a Unix workstation and a Windows laptop. And it was cheaper to go buy a company that could make a Solaris and Linux desktop productivity suite than it was to buy forty-two thousand licenses from Microsoft.
Matthew Revell commented on Thu Sep 7 03:54:52 2006:
Wow, that’s really cool, that Simon’s quote in our interview with him, has made it into the Wikipedia entry.
Gamelexi commented on Wed Sep 20 08:47:23 2006:
hrm really interesting. Anybody know what the price was they paid? I couldnt find the price. :( but I heard they got a fair price.
Paul commented on Wed Sep 20 11:36:19 2006:
Reports I saw put the price at a little over $250,000.
Gamelexi commented on Wed Sep 20 12:35:03 2006:
Wow thats not too bad. Thanks for the info.