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Andrew Wright of Smilebox at his company's offices in Redmond. Photo: Annie Laurie Malarkey

It’s that time of year when folks start thinking about connecting with family and friends through holiday cards. And Smilebox CEO Andrew Wright has certainly seen his fair share of interactive creations over the years.

Since its launch in 2006, the Smilebox software has been downloaded by more than 15 million people and over 180 million Smilebox greetings have been played.

Those numbers attracted the attention of an Israeli suitor in August, with Tel Aviv-based IncrediMail Ltd. agreeing to gobble up the company for as much as $40 million.

“Most companies lose a step after an acquisition,” says Wright. “I am really focused on making sure that doesn’t happen and we don’t slow down. We are only 90 days in but so far so good. We are running as fast, if not faster, than before the acquisition.”

A former RealNetworks gaming executive and native of Toronto, the acquisition capped a six-year entrepreneurial journey for Wright. At the outset of the voyage, he faced competition from big greeting card companies such as Hallmark and American Greetings, as well as photo sharing services such as Photobucket, Flickr and Shutterfly.

Wright was not only able to survive against those rivals, but thrive, at times inking partnerships with some of the companies.

At the time of the acquisition, Wright told GeekWire that it marked a good value for the company.

“If it turns out that our efforts in mobile and everything else are successful, (IncrediMail) will have gotten one hell of a deal,” he said.

Newsmakers at the GeekWire Gala

We’ll be recognizing more than 20 Newsmakers of 2011 during the GeekWire Gala, Dec. 8 at the Great Hall at Seattle’s Union Station. We’ll introduce a new Newsmaker every weekday leading up to the big event.

The night is also a celebration of “Geeks who Give Back,” recognized in a special GeekWire 2012 Calendar that will be given to attendees, with a share of sponsorship proceeds going to the Child’s Play charity.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The event is now sold out. If you’ve already signed up, we’re looking forward to seeing you there! See the registration page for details and logistics.

Thanks to our sponsors Zillow, Bing, Filter, Facebook, thePlatform and Barokas PR for helping to make this special evening possible.

Contact Rebecca Lovell,, for sponsorship opportunities.

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