Summary:

After nearly a week of radio silence since the first rumour of the deal, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has now confirmed it’s acquiring Dopplr, the two-…

Dopplr-mooleskin
photo: Mark Wubben

After nearly a week of radio silence since the first rumour of the deal, Nokia (NYSE: NOK) has now confirmed it’s acquiring Dopplr, the two-year-old social network for international travellers.

Neither terms nor price were announced. And that also goes for detail on exactly why Nokia is doing the deal. The release says: “The Dopplr team brings to Nokia’s Services unit unique know-how in creating internet-based communities and showing their journeys, experiences and tastes collectively on the web.” But there are no specifics.

Right now, Dopplr is mainly used by a subsection of A-list international jetsetter professionals – not exactly the kind of crowd that will significantly enhance Nokia’s mission of connecting all people. But connecting Dopplr with Nokia’s Ovi suite – particularly its Maps, which benefits from GPS-enabled handsets – could mean Dopplr becoming a network to share automatically-generated location data.

This would also make Dopplr more compelling to use, since manually entering info on upcoming trips can be a pain in the neck. Dopplr already recently released its own iPhone app – your basic user-generated local ratings service. Dopplr’s team is only seven-strong. In buying Dopplr, Nokia is likely buying its team’s talent to help build something bigger than Dopplr itself.

Launched in 2007 based in Helsinki and London, Dopplr’s links with Nokia were already strong. CEO Marko Ahtisaari was Nokia’s director of design strategy, Matt Jones worked with him as Nokia’s multimedia UX design director before co-founding Dopplr as design director. Developer Matt Bidduplh is CTO.

Dopplr had some high-profile seed investors including Martin Varsavsky, Esther Dyson, Joichi Ito, Saul Klein and Reid Hoffman. But Jones recently left to join long-time design buddies Schulze & Webb and European ad-funded mobile network Blyk, of which Ahtisaari had also been design director, recently changed strategy to work with carriers.

Reuters: “A Nokia spokeswoman told Reuters the price ‘was a fraction’ of the 10-15 million euros ($14.7-$22.0 million) estimate mentioned in reports.”

Martin Varsavsky: “While I really don

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