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Communications startup Twisted Pair acquired by Motorola Solutions

Seattle startup Twisted Pair Solutions has been acquired by Motorola Solutions in a deal of undisclosed size. Twisted Pair’s technology creates an integrated communications system for smartphones, tablets and PCs into secure communication, allowing those devices to talk to each other seamlessly in mission-critical business, public safety and military applications. “The acquisition of Twisted Pair… Read More

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Educational software firm Headsprout acquired

Headsprout, the 14-year-old Seattle educational software company known for the MimioReading titles, has been acquired by Cambium Learning Group’s Learning A-Z unit. Terms of the deal were not announced. Headsprout, originally backed by Kaplan, was acquired by Cambridge, Mass.-based Mimio in 2011. Skyline Capital acquired Mimio in July, and decided to sell off Headsprout. Headsprout… Read More

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CRM ‘side project’ Stride acquired by KISSMetrics founders

Stride, an easy-to-use customer relationship management tool, has been acquired by KISSMetrics founders Neil Patel and Hiten Shah. Terms of the all cash deal were not disclosed. “Stride was created and grown as a side project. Since that time, it’s grown to over 8,000 companies using the service regularly … and over 300 paid customers,”… Read More

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Amazon reportedly buys payment startup GoPago

Amazon has purchased GoPago, a San Francisco-based tablet point-of-sale and mobile payment startup, according to a report in La Repubblica, GoPago’s platform allows users to pre-pay for goods at a participating business with a mobile app, and works as a Square-like point-of-sale system for businesses. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed, though co-founder… Read More

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Social TV startup Wetpaint acquired by Viggle for $30M

Wetpaint, an 8-year-old Seattle startup led by entrepreneur Ben Elowitz, has been sold to New York-based Viggle for a purchase price of $30 million. Founded initially as a provider and network of wikis, Wetpaint pivoted over the years to create a destination for entertainment and celebrity news, attracting more than 12 million unique visitors per… Read More

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European Commission gives go-ahead for Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition

Following Monday’s announcement that the U.S. Justice Department has cleared Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services business for $7.2 billion, the European Commission announced today that after reviewing the deal, it is also giving Microsoft the all clear to make the purchase without conditions. The deal was first announced in early September of this… Read More

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Bootstrapped employee recognition startup MeritShare acquired after 17 months

MeritShare, a Seattle startup founded just 17 months ago by former WhitePages execs Kevin Nakao and Travis Pearl, has been acquired by 95-year-old Grand Rapids, Michigan-based employee reward and recognition company Terryberry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though Nakao tells GeekWire that it was a “good financial outcome.” “The reason we started the company was… Read More

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Apple buys Ignition-backed Topsy to boost its social cred

The Apple acquisition train keeps on rolling. This week, the Cupertino-based company scooped up Topsy Labs, a startup that specializes in Twitter analytics, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal. Bellevue-based Ignition Parters was one of the firms backing Topsy, and it seems like they’ve made out fairly well for themselves. Sources close… Read More

Jim Heckman. Photo via Crunchbase

Sports network Scout.com finds a home in Seattle … again

Ten days after getting word that entrepreneur Jim Heckman was back at the helm of online sports network Scout.com, more details are emerging about the venture. Today, NAMG — an entity established by MTV founder Bob Pittman and others — officially announced that it has acquired Scout.com from Fox Networks Group, inserting Heckman as CEO. As… Read More

Cliff Sharples

Former Cheezburger and Garden.com exec launches firm to gobble up emerging digital media properties

Seattle Internet executive Cliff Sharples is currently on an around-the-world adventure with his wife and five kids — writing about the adventures they experience as they bump between places like Greece, Spain and Tanzania. But he’s not letting a little travel get in the way of his next venture. Sharples, a former HomeAway and Kinetx… Read More

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RealNetworks buys European ringback tone firm Muzicall

RealNetworks has acquired Muzicall, a 9-year-old London company that specializes in ringback tones. The company will be integrated with Real’s mobile entertainment division, which works with carriers to manage 18 million ringback tone subscribers. Ringback tones replace the traditional ring that a caller hears before their phone call is answered. They typically consist of music,… Read More

David McCann

Nuance to buy Varolii to bolster automated customer support calls

You’ve probably received the call or text from an airline, sports team or bank — an automated message informing you that your flight has been canceled; game time has changed or bank statement is overdue. Now, Nuance — the giant speech recognition company — is buying a Seattle-based company that specializes in those automated alerts…. Read More

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Shares of Redbox parent jump after hedge fund discloses large stake, encourages sale

Shares of Outerwall, the Bellevue company best known for its Coinstar coin counting machines and Redbox movie rental kiosks, jumped more than 17 percent after the New York investment firm Jana Partners disclosed that it had become the company’s largest shareholder with a 13.5 percent stake. Shares of Outerwall are trading Monday morning around $60.50,… Read More

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TaxAct bolsters personal finance tools with Balance Financial buy

Balance Financial, a 9-year-old Bellevue company that specializes in personal finance tools and services, has been acquired by Blucora’s TaxAct subsidiary. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Balance Financial CEO Devin Miller wrote in a blog post that the deal will benefit “customers, partners and employees.” “TaxACT is well-capitalized and boasts the valuable… Read More

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A good showing: 26 venture-backed IPOs completed in Q3

The market for initial public offerings continued to accelerate in the third quarter as 26 venture-backed companies started trading on the public markets, more than double the totals for the same period last year. In fact, the report by Thomson Reuters and the National Venture Capital Association indicated that Q2 and Q3 marked the first… Read More

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F5 looks to wipe out cybercrime with acquisition of Versafe

F5 Networks is strengthening its Internet security offerings, announcing today that it is buying Tel Aviv-based Versafe in a deal of undisclosed size. Versafe’s 40 employee will remain with the company, operating out of Israel. The company’s three founders also will remain, working on the Versafe technology. Versafe’s development team will report to Ron Talmor,… Read More

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Microsoft: Economics make Nokia a ‘smart acquisition’

Microsoft’s gross margin from royalties on Windows Phones sold by Nokia is less than $10 per unit, but the margin will be more than $40 per unit once Nokia’s Windows Phone business is brought in house as part of Microsoft’s $7.2 billion acquisition of the Nokia Devices & Services business. That’s one of the financial… Read More