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Microsoft buys Paris startup Capptain to better analyze mobile app usage

Microsoft is buying Capptain, a small Paris-based startup that helps mobile developers get a better sense of how people are using their applications. Terms of the deal — announced today on the Capptain Web site — were not immediately known. The Capptain service analyzes user behavior within apps, and then compiles push notifications with specially-targeted messages,… Read More

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. (Microsoft file photo)

What should Microsoft buy? 10 companies for Satya Nadella’s shopping list

The market for tech mergers and acquisitions is strong right now. Facebook is acquiring Oculus. Comcast is buying Time Warner Cable, and AT&T is combining with DirecTV. Not to mention all the rumored deals in the works, including the latest — a report that Google’s newly acquired Nest division is itself interested in acquiring connected home camera… Read More

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Mike McSherry departs Nuance three years after selling Swype for $100 million

Mike McSherry, a Seattle start-up veteran, has left Nuance Communications nearly three years after the company purchased Swype, GeekWire has learned. Swype is famous for building a mobile keyboard that allows you to type on touchscreens by tracing your finger along the glass. The technology rose in popularity right as phones with physical keyboards were going out of style. The Seattle-based start-up… Read More

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Microsoft’s Xbox loses Twitch to Google’s YouTube (and why that matters)

Google has reportedly beat out Microsoft and others to reach a deal to buy Twitch, a popular videogame streaming company. The acquisition, which is expected to cost $1 billion, according to Variety, will give YouTube a war chest of content that appeals to the hardcore gamer. Over the past three years, San Francisco-based Twitch has become the ESPN of… Read More

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Walmart’s shopping spree continues as its online sales grow faster than Amazon’s

Walmart’s technology investments are starting to pay off — at least a little bit. For the first time in a decade, the mega retailer’s online revenues are growing faster than its archenemy Amazon.com, according to The Wall Street Journal. Global Internet sales at Wal-Mart Stores rose by 30 percent for the year ended Jan. 31, exceeding Amazon’s growth rate of… Read More

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T-Mobile adds another 2.4M customers in record quarter, within shouting distance of Sprint

T-Mobile added a net total of 2.4 million customers in the first quarter — the biggest growth in its history — including record expansion of 1.3 million customers in the coveted category of branded postpaid accounts. The continued growth takes the Bellevue-based wireless company to more than 49 million customers overall, up from 34 million a year ago. T-Mobile is… Read More

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Fast-growing Avalara buys Zytax line, helping businesses process fuel excise taxes

Avalara is expanding again through an acquisition, announcing today that it has acquired the Zytax line of energy-related tax automation products. Avalara purchased the assets from Houston-based FuelQuest, incorporating a new business for the company in how fuel excise taxes are processed. “This acquisition continues Avalara’s longstanding strategy of extending our reach into new industries, providing… Read More

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Online presentation startup 9Slides buys Seattle’s Now Meeting

Two Seattle area startups are joining forces with the goal of helping workers communicate more effectively. 9Slides, the 3-year-old online presentation company started by former Microsoftie Ruchit Garg, is buying Now Meeting, the latest startup from serial entrepreneur Shane Jones. As a result of the deal, Jones, who previously founded Seattle-based Daptiv, is joining 9Slides… Read More

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Portland startup and TechStars Seattle grad Glider acquired by FPX

TechStars Seattle grad Glider, a Portland startup developing tools to streamline the sales contract process at organizations, has been acquired in a deal of undisclosed size by Dallas-based FPX. It marks the second acquisition in the past two months of a Portland startup which graduated from the TechStars Seattle program, following the acquisition of Vizify by… Read More

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Blucora paying $45M to purchase HowStuffWorks, the Internet’s how-to guide with 38 million monthly visitors

Blucora continues to expand through acquisitions. The Bellevue company today announced that it’s buying HowStuffWorks from Discovery Communications, paying $45 million for the Internet’s how-to guide for everything from automobile maintenance to gardening tips to job interview advice. Among the questions that people can get answered on HowStuffWorks: How do they make hollow chocolate Easter… Read More

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Amazon buys digital comic book purveyor comiXology

Amazon.com is making a big push into the digital comic book arena, announcing today that it has acquired New York-based comiXology in deal of undisclosed size. Founded seven years ago, comiXology distributes digital comics on behalf of more than 75 publishers, including giants Marvel and DC Comics. Readers purchase comics through the company’s digital storefront,… Read More

The Mindbloom team

Mobile health app maker Mindbloom acquired

  Mindbloom, a Seattle maker of mobile apps designed to help people live healthier lives, has been acquired in a deal of undisclosed size by Denver-based Welltok. Mindbloom’s 11 employees will be joining Welltok, which plans to use the acquisition as a base for expansion in Seattle. It will continue to operate Mindbloom’s apps, which… Read More

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Teledesic 2.0? Facebook looking to buy solar-powered drone maker Titan to deliver Internet access from the skies

Craig McCaw’s Teledesic raised hundreds of millions of dollars in the 1990s to build low-orbiting satellites that could deliver high-speed Internet to those below. The idea fizzled, despite the involvement of the likes of Boeing and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates. But the concept remains alive, at least in a less expensive form, in a New… Read More

Omar Tawakol

Oracle agrees to buy big data marketing platform BlueKai

BlueKai, which operates a large repository of customer data that allows advertisers to better target messages to specific audiences, has agreed to be acquired by Oracle. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though AdExchanger pegs it at $350 million to $400 million, and notes that IBM and Salesforce.com also were sniffing around the startup…. Read More

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Online banking startup Simple acquired for $117 million

Simple, an online banking startup based in Portland, has agreed to be acquired by banking giant BBVA, based in Madrid, Spain, in a deal valued at $117 million, the companies announced this morning. It’s a big exit for the Rose City’s tech community, and the culmination of a meteoric rise for the online banking startup… Read More

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Why Seattle needs a WhatsApp

I woke up this morning thinking about WhatsApp. Not so much about the mouth-dropping $19 billion price tag that Facebook put on the five-year-old Santa Clara, Calif.-based startup, the biggest venture-backed M&A exit ever. But why a deal of this size, style and scope is so desperately needed in Seattle. I’ve argued in the past… Read More

This note is a daily reminder at the WhatsApp office that reads “No Ads! No Games! No Gimmicks!”  Credit: Sequoia Capital

WhatTheApp? Why Facebook would spend $16 billion on an app with no advertising

Facebook announced this afternoon that it will pay $16 billion for WhatsApp, a free messaging application that lets users tap into their phone’s Internet connection to avoid paying hefty text messaging fees. But based on what we know about WhatsApp’s business model, Facebook isn’t doing the deal for the advertising revenue. Two years ago, that… Read More