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Handmark Buys Mobile RSS App Firm FreeRange

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Handmark, the Kansas City, MO-based mobile applications and software firm, has acquired Freerange, the Portland, OR-based mobile RSS applications firm. No financial details were disclosed. Handmark’s flagship software Pocket Express is a MyYahoo-like portal that serves up customized news, weather and sports on wireless devices, including newer ones like iPhones and Android-based systems.

Early last year, Handmark also acquired UK-based Astraware, a developer and publisher of casual games for smartphones. In 2006, it received $5 million in its second round of funding from *Motorola* ventures, and previous investors Apax Partners, Borealis Ventures, Village Ventures and Hanna Capital Management. Paul Reddick, the former VP of content/data at *Sprint* Nextel, took over as CEO of the company in Oct 2007

FreeRange, founded in 2004 as a Web-based mobile RSS reader, expanded into downloadable Blackberry and other smartphone apps couple of years later. It has been working with WSJ, AP, *CBS*, and others for their mobile apps, monetized primarily through advertising in the app. It will use the additional resources from Handmark to expand its video support, iPhone, Android, etc, the companies said.

Full disclosure: FreeRange is the provider of our company’s mobile RSS applications as well.