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Groupon Reportedly Acquires Campfire Labs

Social startup from execs with search backgrounds

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Groupon Reportedly Acquires Campfire Labs
[ Business]

It would appear that the Groupon acquisitions continue.

TechCrunch is reporting that Groupon has quietly acquired Campfire Labs, after finding that the campfirelabs.com domain was transferred to Groupon.

Little information is available about what Campfire Labs actually does. One thing seems clear. It’s social-related. Robin Wauters points to a job posting on MasterBranch that says:

We’re an early stage seed-funded startup that wants to change the way people think of social interactions in the real world and online. We are committed to building an intellectually stimulating and fun environment, where technology and product excellence are respected above all. We pride ourselves in having an open culture of equals. We have a cozy office in downtown San Francisco with a red couch and a well-stocked kitchen.

We are tackling very complex algorithmic, technology and product problems. We’re building systems designed to scale. Some tools in our toolkit – javascript (node.js, javascript mvc), hypertable, hadoop, C++ and Ruby. We like unit testing, continuous integration and contributing to open source.

ABOUT YOU. IF YOU…
feel that current social tools are only the tip of the iceberg
are excited by complex problems in computer science and sociology
crave an environment where there is absolute respect for everybody’s contributions
have natural curiosity and strong technical skills
have a burning desire to create something of lasting value
want to have fun and learn new things every day
…then come work with us

You must be smart and able to “pick technologies up”. We expect you to have the potential and ambition to grow into a technology leadership role. Passion and initiative are more important to us than conformity. We care more about what you’ve done beyond your day job or school requirements

Here’s what LinkedIn shows under employees for Campfire Labs:

Campfire Labs employees

Note that founder and CEO Naveen Koorakula was once a software engineer and technical lead at Inktomi, and worked on search at Powerset (which was acquired by Microsoft). Co-founder Sakina Arsiwala was a software engineer at Altavista and Yahoo before eventually becoming Product Lead International Search and Search Quality at Google and Head of International for YouTube.

There are pretty much no details about an actual acquisition by Groupon, so obviously it’s unclear whether this is anything beyond a talent acquisition.

Update: Liz Gannes claims to have confirmed the acquisition, saying: “Koorakula said his company’s full team — which I believe is seven people — would be joining Groupon to head up its social efforts. He did not disclose a price.”

Groupon Reportedly Acquires Campfire Labs
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