This is giving new meaning to the term “daily deal.” In a continued flurry of activity in the M&A market, Seattle-based Dashwire today agreed to be sold to Taiwain smartphone maker HTC for up to $18.5 million.
Founded by former Microsoftie Ford Davidson in 2006, Dashwire has developed a mobile phone back-up service that allows users to easily sync contacts, photos, text messages and other content to the Web. The company provides the mobile back-up service for Best Buy, known as mIQ. Its technology will be integrated with HTC’s own HTCSense.com cloud service, which launched last year.
Dashwire raised about $1 million late last year, with backers that included Seattle super angel Geoff Entress, John Stanton’s Trilogy Equity Partners and others. Davidson and his team of 20 or so workers won’t have far to travel to become part of HTC, whose North American operations are located in the Seattle area.
But The Wall Street Journal suggests that the deal might also be about patents. HTC has been locked in a series of patent battles, and Dashwire may provide some protection in key areas. In fact, Dashwire inked a licensing deal with Nathan Myhrvold’s Intellectual Ventures in April.
We have an e-mail into Davidson and we’ll update the post when we hear more. In a statement, he said:
“Dashwire was founded with the conviction that mobile cloud services would fundamentally change how people create, connect with and share their content across their devices. HTC shares the mobile cloud computing vision with Dashwire which makes it exciting for us to be joining the HTC family to drive even more innovation in this space.”
As noted above, there’s been a constant stream of M&A deals involving Seattle area companies. Just this week, Smilebox, Sucker Punch Productions, Liberty Dialysis, AdXpose and Hipcricket have been sold.
UPDATE: I chatted with Davidson via email this morning and he noted that the entire team at Dashwire will stay put. In fact, he said the Dashwire team will grow as a result of the deal. He also added some more perspective on why he sold the company:
“As more people are buying smartphones and tablets, there is a huge need to help them to easily setup and personalize their devices, and once they are up and running, to seamlessly gain access to their content across multiple screens and services. That’s what Dashwire has been focused on creating, and we will be helping HTC bring new innovation and experiences to its connected services offerings. This is an exciting opportunity for us to join forces with HTC, one of the hottest companies in the industry, to focus on bringing connected services to millions of customers around the world.”