Well, well, well — look who wound up buying Kiko, the online calendar-app-disguised-as-a-business that everyone was talking about not so long ago, when it put itself up for sale on eBay. It’s none other than my old pal Elliot Noss over at Tucows, the domain registrar and Blogware provider whose ultra-hip, factory-reno offices hosted a BarCamp Toronto event back in the spring. In a posting on the brand-new Tucows blog, he writes about why the company paid $258,100 for the Ajaxy calendar app.
In a nutshell, the reason seems to be a variation on the reason oil companies often give for buying other oil producers — cheaper to buy than dig for it yourself. As Elliot puts it (on the blog Gigaom says somewhat harshly was set up “to justify its purchase”):
So why didn’t we build it? Well the short answer is we have so many things to do in general and so many exciting things to do with email in particular that it was just not going to be possible until at least Q2 of next year and even then the plan didn’t really excite anyone around here.
Makes sense to me (Don Dodge thinks so too). And for what it’s worth, Elliot also says that the founders are to be congratulated for “determining that Kiko was a feature not a business,” (Richard White blogged about the sale here) and that while the existing users of Kiko were a nice bonus, Tucows wasn’t really interested in buying it for its user base, just for its existing app functionality, which Tucows will be rolling into its hosted email solution for domain operators. In fact, he says he’s glad the company didn’t have too many users, because it would have pushed up the price.
Ross Rader, who runs the Tucows retail services group, has more on the purchase here. Congratulations, guys (and girls).