In what could best be described as a “talent acquisition,” Seattle startup Off & Away has been purchased by fast-growing social networking company Lockerz, GeekWire has learned. Eleven of the 12 employees at Off & Away have joined Lockerz, which is also based in Seattle.
Lockerz plans to shut down the Off & Away service, which offered daily deals on luxury hotels across the globe. So, why the purchase?
Lockerz CEO Kathy Savitt tells GeekWire that the acquisition will be used to help the company build out its “platform for rewarded social expression.”
“The extremely talented Off & Away team is completely focused on the Lockerz customer experience,” she said. Savitt, a former public relations and retail executive who founded Lockerz in 2009, declined to offer details on the specifics of what the Off & Away team plans to work on.
Founded by former Jott Networks executive Doug Aley and Michael Walton, Off & Away launched to plenty of buzz last year. The company, which raised $2 million from Madrona Venture Group and others, assembled a strong team of advisors and board members that included former MySpace and Zynga executive Owen Van Natta, former Farecast CEO Hugh Crean and venture capitalists Brad Gerstner and Matt McIlwain.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed. However, Lockerz recently filed documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission for $4 million, money that presumably was used for the acquisition.
Aley was not available for comment.
Lockerz, which raised $36 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, DAG Ventures, Live Nation and others in August, has been on an acquisition spree this year. Off & Away marks its fourth purchase, and Savitt said they are keeping their eyes out for other possibilities.
“Lockerz is always interested in pursuing companies for acquisition when it makes sense from a product integration and cost-effectiveness perspective,” she said. “However, we don’t have any specific plans to announce at this time.”
Lockerz is building a social networking service where teenagers and twenty-somethings earn points for sharing content or watching videos. The company says it is attracting about 40 million visitors per month. It employs about 70 people.
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