October 31st, 2011
Urban Airship acquires SimpleGeo combining push notifications and geolocation on a nonstop flight
It's not often that Portland companies are part of wildly swirling rumory breaking tech news---especially in a positive way. But today, Urban Airship
has done just that.
UA has acquired SimpleGeo
, a company with a great deal of positive buzz and executives who are well-known in tech and startup circles. It's a move that definitively puts Portland on the startup map. Pun intended.
The news was broken by Michael Arrington
---and was officially confirmed by Urban Airship
a few hours later. The companies have been working closely together as part of a partnership
announced in July of this year.
Here's a round up of what people are saying, so far:
UrbanAirship was born just a few short years ago, when a team of unemployed online bacon salesmen found out they could offer mobile push notifications and in-app sales functionality fast enough and cheap enough that brands all over the world would buy their service rather than build it themselves. That company grew fast and led by CEO Scott Kveton has apparently acquired SimpleGeo, a company led by an even more storied CEO, Jay Adelson of Equinix and Digg. Adelson has been at SimpleGeo for just under a year and there is no word yet about whether he'll be joining Airship.
The Urban Airship API will now be a whole lot more geo-aware. The push notification company has acquired SimpleGeo and its suite of APIs, which include Storage, Places and Context. The move brings one of the biggest names in the trend of APIs as products into another big name in the movement.
Back in November of 2009, former Digg Chief Architect Joe Stump and Social Thing founder Matt Galligan first publicly unveiled their new startup, SimpleGeo, which was slated to become the new infrastructure for location-based services. They called it the “Amazon Web Services” for location, offering products that make it easy for developers to build location-enabled web and mobile apps, including storage, context, API features, and polymaps.
“It was in the back of our minds when we did the partnership in July,” said Urban Airship chief executive Scott Kveton (pictured above0 in a call with VentureBeat this afternoon, referring to a co-branded product roll-out the companies started working on over the summer.
“We had a really candid conversation, and the engineering teams were culturally and technically a great fit,” Kveton continued.
Urban Airship's headquarters will remain in Portland, according to Kveton, but he said employees will have the option of working from either site.
"This is a great way for us to get a foothold down there," said Kveton, wearing a Patagonia jacket with an Urban Airship logo patched on one sleeve and the "Made in Portland" symbol emblazoned on the other.
"Portland will always be where the mothership is."
Urban Airship, a Portland startup that specializes in push notifications and in-app transactions, has acquired San Francisco’s SimpleGeo in an all stock deal.
The acquisition will add location-based technologies to the Urban Airship lineup, meaning that a retailer can push coupons to a shopper in a specific aisle in a store or a sports team could send different messages to fans based on their seats in the stadium.
Urban Airship, a back-end provider for push notifications, in-app purchases and subscriptions has purchased location-based tracking software provider SimpleGeo.
Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton will take over leading the company, SimpleGeo said in a statement today.
Arrington reported that SimpleGeo was sold in an all stock deal, worth $3.5 million to a Portland-based in-app notifications and messaging platform Urban Airship. The problem is that SimpleGeo raised roughly $10 million in funding. The company was often written about and was highly visible but apparently there wasn’t enough demand for its data.
"Companies should not have to rely on a fragmented and unwieldy mix of tools that only deliver part of what is needed to understand how people are interacting with their brand on mobile," Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton said in a statement. "We've been working with SimpleGeo for months now and knew that putting the two companies together would create a powerhouse as a one-stop-shop for developers and marketers to build, monetize and measure the success of their apps in the ecosystem."
Mobile developer notification service Urban Airship confirmed on Monday that it is buying Jay Adelson’s SimpleGeo in an all-stock deal.
That's quite a bit of hubbub. And it's still continuing to grow
Something tells me that with Portland Seed Fund Demo Day and OEN Venture Northwest this week, it's a good time to keep an eye on the Portland startup scene.