Blog Post

Tucows Bought Kiko

It turns out Kiko, the web calendar that sparked a thousand bubble-or-not conversations, was bought by Tucows. Kiko had put itself up for sale on eBay and sold for $258,100. Tucows is a public domain name registrar that sells hosted email, website tools, et cetera. You might remember their shareware directory. The company set up a corporate blog to justify its recent purchase, with CEO Elliot Noss saying it was simpler for his company to buy a next-gen calendar to integrate with Tucows’ email rather than spend the next year building it. Apparently building calendars bores everybody. “[W]e 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,” writes Noss. Thanks for the comment, Ken.

13 Responses to “Tucows Bought Kiko”

  1. First Google used an electronic trading system to generate their grey market pre-IPO, now startups are exiting for six figure sums through another electronic trading market. Does not bode well for M&A advisors when eBay gets into their act.

  2. Thanks for the coverage Liz!

    “The company set up a corporate blog to justify its recent purchase”

    While it sure looks like that, this is far from the case.

    We’ve been blogging for ages (as individuals and as a company) but we never managed to get around to doing an “official Tucows blog”. It was on the slate for a late September launch but when the Kiko deal was ready to be announced we decided to rush-release the blog to tell the world about the deal the way we want to in the future.

    If you check out the blog now http://www.tucowsblog.com/ you’ll find a few additional posts of interest, including links to a few podcasts Elliot our CEO has done about Kiko.

    Love the new look btw – outstanding!

  3. To the user that suggested outsourcing development of an application to drive down cost. It would be nice if it were that simple but it usually ends up costing 3 times more. You might be too late in the game, corporations are waking up now.

  4. “I’d say Tucows got a bargain here. They bought a working site for 250K.”

    Even if the site was a bargain, will Tucows make any money off of it? What’s their business model? Tucows was a software library (like Download.com) that added some registrar/hosting capabilities. How does a calendar further their goals and grow their business? Do they even know?

  5. The Kiko folks seemed good to me so I’m glad they were able to do this. I think it’s genius to use eBay for the process (other than the fee which might be high even by investment banking standards…)

    Calendars need to tackle the difficult and far more interesting use cases for them to be really worth much more than the raw development costs.

  6. I’d say Tucows got a bargain here. They bought a working site for 250K. You can’t even buy a one bedroom condo for that much in SF.

    Sure they could’ve spent less outsourcing. Might have gotten good product, but also might have gotten ripped off. So I think they made a smart move here. 250K for an established company is nothing.

  7. Just a thought..wouldn’t it be doable by an outsourced team in 6 months at an approx cost of 2000 USD/month. I’d believe so especially looking at the activity on the popular freelance sites with top notch development firms.
    Worst still..atleast for double/triple/quadruple that amount??

  8. Sounds like a deal to me. Let’s say you have a team of 3-4 skilled web developers doing something similar to Kiko. Figure at around $55k-$60k/year salary that works out to $240,000 for a year of development work, and that assumes that they get it done in a year.

    So $258,100 for a calendar that they -know- works is a pretty good deal. Plus they can instead devote that year of developer work to something else in Tucows to attempt to generate revenue.