The mystery buyer of Web calendaring site Kiko has finally come forward: It's Tucows.
There are always many reasons for such acquisitions, but what made this deal unusual was the way it was handled--by an auction on eBay. Tucows was apparently the real identity behind "powerjoe1998," the moniker used to win Kiko for $258,100 in one of 111 bids.
In a post on Tucows' site, CEO Elliot Noss explained the purchase this way: "While there are a lot of little reasons, I'll cover a few of them in a moment, there is really one big reason why we bought Kiko. We needed the functionality, quite desperately, inside of our email platform and it was going to take us a long time to get it. Especially at the level of sophistication Kiko has."
Kiko had often been cited as one of the more promising Web 2.0 prospects, so its appearance on eBay was particularly surprising. Although we and others speculated that Google had something to do with the decision to sell, at least some Kiko alumni offered other explanations.
In any case, Kiko's spirit may well live on for some time. Tucows is a longtime veteran of the Internet, a dot-com bust survivor that has been around for 13 years.
Even Google can't make that claim.