eBay plays investment banker
When Google launched Google Calendar in April, the founders of Kiko, a Cambridge-based web calendar startup, knew the handwriting was on the wall. A week ago, Kiko put itself up for sale on eBay. Soon enough, a deal was struck.

"What a deal," writes Caroline McCarthy on the CNET blog. "An eBay user known as 'powerjoe1998' has scooped up Web 2.0 calendar site Kiko for $258,100 in an auction that ended Saturday." Digital Micro-Markets describes the cash as a "consolation prize" for the Kiko execs, who came out of Paul Graham's startup incubator "YCombinator." But at least one seemed relatively pleased by the outcome. On the Kiko blog, co-founder Emmet Shear writes, "I think this venture has proven that auctioning off intellectual property assets is a legitimate revenue route for a company to take. Hopefully others will follow us in this, because so many valuable pieces of software wind up simply abandoned instead."

Well, Shear wasn't the only one to have the idea -- or even the only one this month. In fact, this approach seems to be the newest twist on exit strategies for flailing Internet companies. "A little known, very early-stage Pasadena-based startup, Yoosi.com, has turned to the internet marketplace eBay to try to raise money for the firm's founding team," reported SocalTech on August 9. Yoosi eventually went for a mere five grand, but The Browser senses a trend -- and one that can only be good for eBay. Playing small-scale investment banker could be lucrative for the auction giant, which is always in search of new revenue streams. Who needs Google ads when you've got fee income from brokering M&A deals?
Posted by Oliver Ryan 12:43 PM 0 Comments comment | Add a Comment

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