Tucows Makes A $258K Date With Kiko

    September 6, 2006
    WebProNews Staff

The mystery buyer of the Kiko Ajax-based calendar web service turned out to be Tucows, an Internet services company with a long history of hosted freeware and shareware downloads.

Blogger Robert Scoble suggested the sale of Kiko predicted “more failures” from the Web 2.0 startup space. The online calendar ended up selling for $258,100 in an eBay auction, with Tucows revealing itself as the buyer.

Long-time geeks have probably visited and downloaded software from Tucows in the earlier days of dialup and 14.4kbps (and slower) modem speeds. Despite all the software they have hosted, Kiko proved to be one they would buy outright.

Tucows president and CEO Elliot Noss provided several reasons on his blog why they chose to buy Kiko:

We all believe that a calendar is a very important function in the messaging suite for small businesses. Given that people don’t want to maintain separate services for personal and business use, and because the line between personal and business services is getting blurrier, we felt this functionality was a big hole for us.

So why didn’t we build it? Well the short answer is we have so many things to do in general and so many exciting things to do with email in particular that it was just not going to be possible until at least Q2 of next year and even then the plan didn’t really excite anyone around here.

Among the little features, Noss touted mobile carrier integration as one factor:

Kiko has a very impressive set of mobile carriers they integrate with. We were blown away when we dug into this. It will be nice to have that functionality for the calendar. We are just starting to experiment with mobile around the edges of our business and this will help things along.

Noss cited Kiko founders Justin Kan and Emmett Shear in calling Kiko a feature and not a business (we suggested that too), and considering Kiko’s and Tucows’ global userbase it appears it will be offered that way.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.