Exits for Two More Y Combinator Startups, Movity and Etacts
It’s been a busy month for young startups backed by the Mountain View, CA-based venture incubator Y Combinator. Salesforce.com revealed a couple of weeks ago that it had acquired Heroku, which runs a hosting platform for Ruby on Rails websites, for an eye-popping $212 million. Then Rackspace bought Cloudkick, a San Francisco cloud management startup that was part of the winer 2009 batch at Y Combinator. Now Salesforce has also scooped up San Francisco-based Etacts, an e-mail reminder service that debuted last February, according to reports in TechCrunch and VentureWire. At the same time, San Francisco-based real estate search site Trulia announced that has acquired Movity, a stealth-mode geodata company that, like Etacts, had participated in the winter 2010 term at Y Combinator.
Co-founded by Howie Liu and Evan Beard, Etacts offered a service that helped consumers and business users keep e-mail relationships healthy by allowing them to set reminders to contact people they’d lost touch with. The service also unified background information on these contacts, such as recent correspondence, social media updates, and voice mails. The startup raised $700,000 in seed funding from an array of well-known individual investors, including Ron Conway of SV Angel, former Netscaper Eric Hahn, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, actor Ashton Kutcher, and Delicious creator Joshua Schachter.
TechCrunch first reported the Salesforce acquisition yesterday, and VentureWire obtained confirmation. The terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, and it’s not clear whether the Etacts service will disappear entirely, or turn up in some new form as part of Salesforce’s customer relationship management platform. (The Etacts website has already gone inactive, bearing a note saying “We have decided to pursue other opportunities and will be shutting down our service on January 31, 2011.”) Adding context and functionality to Web-based e-mail inboxes is an opportunity currently being explored by numerous startups, including at least two other Y Combinator-backed companies, Xobni and Rapportive.
Movity, meanwhile, achieved an exit before it really even entered the market. The company never came out of stealth mode after finishing its term at Y Combinator; it had been running an invitation-only beta test of a service designed, according to the startup’s website, to “inform home buyers and renters of what the location is REALLY like” through map-based searches of “geo-data, local comments, conversations, safety stats, demographics” and other information.
Movity’s co-founders—who will join Trulia in its new offices in San Francisco’s SoMa district—included RentWiki.com co-founder Eric Wu, Stamen Design data visualization specialist Sha Hwan, Bing and Expedia program manager Vaughn Koch, and Django contributor Zain Memon. Movity had raised $1.3 million in seed funding from prominnt individual investors such as Gmail inventor Paul Buchheit, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen, Reddit and Hipmunk co-founder Steve Huffman, PayPal alum Keith Rabois, VentureHacks/AngelList founder Naval Ravikant, and former Googler Aydin Senkut.
In a statement, Wu called Trulia’s engineering team “world class” and said he was excited about joining the company. Trulia CEO Pete Flint, meanwhile, said bringing on the Movity team would “accelerate our innovation and growth.” Terms of the acquisition weren’t disclosed. Trulia is backed by almost $33 million in venture funding from Accel Partners, Deep Fork Capital, Fayez Sarofim and Co., and Sequoia Capital, and says it recently turned profitable.